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To Die For

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To Die For

Lizza, Lolo and Noodles

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To Die For Podcast is the dream child of Lizza who dragged her cousin Lolo and best bud Noodles along for the ride. We are looking to create hilarious magic while exploring the world of true crime and all things spooky, scary and just plain weird.
 
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Last weekend, just as many Americans were returning from Thanksgiving feasts with family and friends, reports of a new coronavirus variant, called Omicron, began to proliferate worldwide. Though there is some preliminary evidence that Omicron may be more transmissible and less responsive to the current COVID-19 vaccines than previous variants, the …
 
Growing up, Rachel Held Evans was a fiercely enthusiastic evangelizer for her faith, the kind of kid who relished the chance to sit next to an atheist. But when she experienced doubt, that sense of certainty began to crumble. “We went to all these conferences about how to defend your faith, how to have an answer for what you believe,” her sister Am…
 
Mexico is a deeply Catholic nation where abortion was, for a long time, criminalized in many states; just a few years ago, Coahuila, near the U.S. border, imposed jail time on women who underwent the procedure. But, this year, as Stephania Taladrid reported, Mexico’s ten-member Supreme Court voted unanimously to decriminalize abortion throughout th…
 
This month, Britney Spears was released from the conservatorship that had overseen her finances, communications, and professional and personal life for more than thirteen years. The details of the arrangement were shrouded in mystery and poorly covered by the media. But over the past two years, things started to change, as the #FreeBritney movement…
 
After storms and other climate disasters, legions of workers appear overnight to cover blown-out buildings with construction tarps, rip out ruined walls and floors, and start putting cities back together. They are largely migrants, predominantly undocumented, and lack basic protections for construction work. Their efforts are critical in an era of …
 
In August, 2020, during a period of civil unrest after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the seventeen-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot three people, killing two and maiming the third. Rittenhouse’s actions ignited a political firestorm. To some, he was a right-wing vigilante radicalized by conservative rhetoric about the thre…
 
Cal Newport, the author of “A World without Email” and other books, has been writing about how the shutdown has affected businesses and the culture of work. Remote operation, he says, has raised fundamental questions about the purpose of work, its role in our lives, and how productivity is measured. While most companies are asking employees to retu…
 
This week, the Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated the Democrat Terry McAuliffe to become the next governor of Virginia. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the Democrat Phil Murphy narrowly won a gubernatorial race he was expected to dominate. The results further destabilize a Democratic Party struggling to find consensus on the infrastructure and social-spe…
 
The roughly ten thousand company documents that make up the Facebook Papers show a company in turmoil—and one that prioritizes its economic interests over known harms to public interest. Among other things, they catalogue the company’s persistent failure to control disinformation and hate speech. David Remnick spoke with Maria Ressa, an investigati…
 
Welcome back to episode 69 and Happy Halloweeny boils and ghouls! This year we brought in three special guests to help us get extra spooky ooky all up in this bitch. First off we have stand-in co-host, burlesque buddy and Exorcist fanatic; Brit! Next up is the elusive and unimpressed hubby of Lizza; Mr. J! And finally, being just as elusive as J is…
 
Next Tuesday, Virginia voters will go to the polls to elect a new governor, choosing between the Democrat Terry McAuliffe and the Republican Glenn Youngkin. Pundits have been describing the race as an indicator for the 2022 midterm elections across the country. Both candidates have seized on the broader messages of their parties. Youngkin has used …
 
In the summer, Shabana Basij-Rasikh came on the Radio Hour to speak with Sue Halpern about founding the School of Leadership Afghanistan—known as SOLA—which was the country’s only boarding school for girls. She and those around her were watching the Taliban’s resurgence in the provinces anxiously, but with determination. “It’s likely that Taliban c…
 
Welcome back to episode 67, part two of the Rebecca Zahau case. We head back to San Diego county and the little island city of Coronado for the conclusion of this true crime fuckery. This story is absolutely infuriating and is full of assumptions, shoddy police work and tragedy. You may want a drink or something before starting this one because if …
 
Colin Powell was a Vietnam War veteran, a four-star general, and—among other high-level positions in the U.S. government—the Secretary of State under George W. Bush. Powell was well known for his conviction that the United States should go to war only when the likelihood of victory was overwhelming. But then the Bush Administration used his popular…
 
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” defined an era. For more than sixteen years, Stewart and his many correspondents skewered American politics. At the 2021 New Yorker Festival, Stewart spoke with David Remnick about his new show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart”; the potential return of Donald Trump to the White House; and the controversy around cance…
 
The United Kingdom officially withdrew from the European Union on January 31, 2020. On that day, the first cases of COVID-19 were officially confirmed in Britain. Like every other country, the U.K. has had trouble containing the pandemic—the economic devastation, the implementation of lockdowns, the distribution of vaccines. But it has had another …
 
At the 2021 New Yorker Festival, the investigative journalist Jane Mayer sat down for a conversation with Merrick Garland, the longtime federal judge now serving as President Biden’s Attorney General. Mayer asked about the central role that the Department of Justice plays in some of the most critical issues of our time: racial justice, domestic ter…
 
Welcome back to episode 66 and a trip down memory lane for Lizza and Lolo. We head to San Diego county and the little island city of Coronado for part 1 of today's true crime fuckery. This story is absolutely infuriating and is full of assumptions, shoddy police work and tragedy. You may want a drink or something before starting this one because if…
 
Last month, the Wall Street Journal began publishing a series of reports called “The Facebook Files.” Based on leaked internal documents, the series highlights how Facebook has stoked fear, anger, and division in order to increase user engagement—and how it then failed to effectively fight the spread of misinformation and the use of its platform to…
 
Jonathan Franzen’s sixth novel, “Crossroads,” is set in 1971, and the title is firmly on the nose: the Hildebrand family is at a crossroads itself, just as the America of that moment seemed poised to come apart. In the course of his career, Franzen has evolved away from an early postmodernist sensibility that highlighted “bravura” writing, and “wit…
 
It's another bonus episode, yay! We are back with all of the random outtakes, clips, and randomness that didn't make it into the final cut for August and September's episodes. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, there is no context, no follow up and very little editing. It's raw, it's ridiculous, it's full on To Die For behind the scenes. Support t…
 
The first jail on Rikers Island opened in 1932, and the complex has since expanded to include ten jails holding thousands of inmates every day. Violence among Rikers inmates is common, and there are accusations of mistreatment, neglect, and abuse by correction officers and the facility’s administrators. Despite promises by city and state officials …
 
Andreas Malm, a climate activist and senior lecturer at Lund University, in Sweden, studies the relationship between climate change and capitalism. With the United Nations climate meeting in Glasgow rapidly approaching—it begins on October 31st—Malm tells David Remnick that he believes environmentalists should not place too much faith in talks or t…
 
Welcome back to episode 65 and our dive into the super spooky ookies that is The Exorcist! We take a quick detour from our main story to talk about the curse that seems to have attached itself to the movie. We have weird fires, horrendous injuries, churches struck by lightning and even death. If all of that wasn't enough for you we move on to the r…
 
Even before his election, Joe Biden described the upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to reform the American economy. Now, after months of negotiations, Biden’s trillion-dollar infrastructure plan will soon come up for a vote in the House, and Democrats expect to pass an enormous social-safety-net package through budget re…
 
In 1967, in the wake of a violent uprising in Detroit, President Lyndon B. Johnson assembled the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to investigate what had happened. This seemed futile: another panel to investigate yet another uprising. “A lot of people felt that way—‘We don’t need more studies, nothing’s going to come out of that comm…
 
We are back after a short hiatus and it is episode 64! This week we dive into the movie that scares the bajeebus out of Lizza, the Exorcist! Not only is the movie one of the all time scariest movies with all kinds of its own weird ass spooky ookies (just wait until next week) but it also had a real life murderer as one of the extras. Paul Bateson h…
 
Over the past year, public meetings have become scenes of chaos. Debates about the results of the 2020 election, race, abortion, voting access, and the COVID-19 vaccine have erupted in displays of frustration, rage, and sometimes in violence. This week, Evan Osnos, a New Yorker staff writer, published “Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury.” It’s …
 
The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan began less than three weeks after the September 11th attacks, and forces finally withdrew just weeks before the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. The Taliban are once again in power, and claim to have adopted more permissive stances on issues like women’s rights and education. “We should be very skeptical of these sort…
 
Texas Senate Bill 8, known as the “Texas Heartbeat Act,” allows private citizens in Texas to sue anyone who aids in an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The law effectively outlaws the vast majority of abortions in Texas, but its supporters argue that it does not violate the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, because individuals, not the sta…
 
The child tax credit, received by more than thirty-five million families, isn’t entirely new. But the way it’s distributed is almost a revolution in American politics: instead of showing up once a year at tax time, the government also provides money ahead of time, in predictable monthly payments. Wide-scale, direct cash payments are anathema to Rea…
 
U Read It Well Podcast. Reading RuPaul's Dragrace. Cuckoo bananas for Allstars! Hosted by Jean Lizza. We have a winner! The long and winding road all allstars has come to an end and the results are delightful. All stars is always thrilling and disappointing so a bunch of URIW regular guest judges have returned to talk about the fashion, music and p…
 
America’s campaign in Afghanistan temporarily defeated Al Qaeda and unseated the Taliban government, but Al Qaeda remains a force in the region, and the speed with which the Taliban have reclaimed control of the country shows their strength. Meanwhile, ISIS has asserted itself in the Middle East and Central Asia, and attacks have been carried out i…
 
One of the premier writers of thinky sci-fi, Kim Stanley Robinson opened his book “The Ministry for the Future” with an all too plausible scenario: a lethal heat wave descends on India, with vast, horrifying consequences. It’s a sobering read, especially after July, 2021, was declared the hottest month on record. And yet Robinson tells Bill McKibbe…
 
It's a bonus episode, yay! Trying out something new with all of the random outtakes, clips, and randomness that didn't make it into the final cut for June and July's episodes. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, there is no context, no follow up and very little editing. It's raw, it's ridiculous, it's full on To Die For behind the scenes. Support t…
 
U Read It Well Podcast. Reading RuPaul's Dragrace. Cuckoo bananas for Allstars! Hosted by Jean Lizza. What a heartbreaker as the gals are challenged to tell their stories. But does the track record tell the real story of allstars6? The baddest bitch Harry Thompson, returns to URIW, filling in last minute like our fave substitute teacher. We get rea…
 
Jiayang Fan immigrated to the United States from China at age seven. Her mother, who had been a doctor, cleaned houses in Greenwich, Connecticut, so that Fan could attend good schools. In 2011, Fan’s mother was diagnosed with A.L.S., and Fan oversaw her care as her condition worsened. When the COVID-19 lockdown threatened to separate her mother fro…
 
Dexter Filkins covered the American invasion of Afghanistan when he was a reporter for the New York Times, and has continued to report on conflicts in the region for The New Yorker. Filkins’s best-seller from 2008 carried the resonant title “The Forever War.” Thirteen years after the book’s publication, the forever war is over, but its end has been…
 
U Read It Well Podcast. Reading RuPaul's Dragrace. Cuckoo bananas for Allstars! Hosted by Jean Lizza. The game within a game wasn't what we imagined but boy was it entertaining as we witnessed the Festival of Silky, with a bag of tricks so big, she could fit a turkey in there! But Eureka's heartfelt performance may just crush her road to rudemption…
 
Welcome back to Sin City baby! For episode 63 we head back to the strip for some high stakes hauntings at some of Vegas' best known hotels. What's even more fun was that Lizza and Noodles were just recently at some of these places and they share their own weird (possibly ghost induced) stories from their trip to Zak Bagan's the Haunted Museum. We g…
 
Twelve years ago, David Rohde, then a reporter for the New York Times, was kidnapped by the Taliban outside of Kabul. Seven months later, he escaped confinement alongside the Afghan journalist Tahir Luddin. Luddin subsequently immigrated to the U.S., and has become an American citizen, but his family—including his wife and several of his children—s…
 
As a new arrival in Oakland, California, Courtney Martin wondered why there were no white kids on the playground of her nearby elementary school. That school, other white parents told her euphemistically, was “not a good fit” for their children; she found that the school had received a score of one out of ten on a school-data Web site. Martin began…
 
U Read It Well Podcast. Reading RuPaul's Dragrace. Cuckoo bananas for Allstars! Hosted by Jean Lizza. The #allstars6 werk room is a packed full of talented queens, each with something different to offer. But if the maxi challenge makes no sense, what are they supposed to do? Drag Tots, more like Drag NOTS! This week, The Gaze returns to give an fan…
 
This week, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report confirming what a summer of wildfires, floods, and record temperatures had suggested: the planet is warming fast, and human are unquestionably responsible. However, the window to take action to fight climate change is not yet closed. Elizabeth Kolbert joins E…
 
For a few brief moments this summer, in places where the vaccination rate was high, we could imagine life after COVID-19: restaurants and theatres were filling up, gatherings of all kinds were taking place, and many businesses were planning to return to their offices after Labor Day. Then the story changed, as the highly contagious Delta variant be…
 
U Read It Well Podcast. Reading RuPaul's Dragrace. Cuckoo bananas for Allstars! Hosted by Jean Lizza. As the queens go from a group to a handful, are we really ever going to be able to take this game within a game seriously? The Snatch Game of Love is arguably harder than Snatch Game and the queens delivered some pretty good performances, just make…
 
Welcome back to episodes 62 and 63. We are getting seriously spooky ooky with a two part ghost tour of the Las Vegas strip. In episode 62 we start at the north end of the strip and work our way down through residential homes, sketchy motels, and the well known hotel/casinos. We have mobsters, we have celebrities, we have super creepy pervy bathroom…
 
After Joe Biden won Arizona in 2020, Donald Trump began complaining, contrary to fact, that voter fraud took place there and across the country, stealing the election from him. Four audits have since taken place in Arizona, upholding Biden’s victory, but donors are funding yet another ballot count, this time run by the firm Cyber Ninjas. Jane Mayer…
 
With the world overheating, glaciers melting, and landscapes in flames, it’s difficult to think of a harder or more important job than John Kerry’s. The former senator and Secretary of State is now the special Presidential envoy for climate, a Cabinet-level post created by President Biden. Kerry talks with David Remnick about reasserting the United…
 
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