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Things That Go Boom

18 EpisodesProduced by PRXWebsite

Stories about the ins, outs, and whathaveyous of what keeps us safe. Hosted by Laicie Heeley. Things That Go Boom takes an unconventional look at critical global and national security issues — so grab a beer and buckle up. It gets bumpy.

18 Episodes | 2017 - 2020

S3E2 While We Were Sleeping

June 1st, 2020


If the US can’t build better airports or trains than China, or even take care of itself in times of major crisis like the coronavirus, how exactly is it supposed to “beat” China in this global competition we’re in?

We …

S3E1: World War C

May 18th, 2020


The US spends more than $700 billion on defense every year, more than healthcare, education, and all the rest of our discretionary spending combined. And yet the coronavirus slipped silently and invisibly across our …

S3 Trailer (The Wrong Apocalypse)

May 4th, 2020


Could the rise of China spell the end of the US as the dominant world power? Are we on an irreversible path toward military confrontation? Are we …

S2 Bonus - Our Closet Bunker Broadcast on Iran

January 8th, 2020


Last night it looked like we were headed for war. Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two military bases in Iraq in response to US escalation in …

S2 Bonus - Amb. William Burns

July 8th, 2019


When we left off with our second season, there were... a few things happening with Iran…

S2 E7 (Fallout) - Collateral Damage

June 24th, 2019


The first clue something was wrong came in the form of an alert on Yegi Rezaian’s phone. Where I grew up,” she says, “these things don’t happen by accident.”

Within hours, Yegi and her husband, Washington Post …

S2 E6 (Fallout) - No Cheese, Extra Pickles

June 17th, 2019


If you want to know how sanctions are playing out in Iran — look no further than the classified ads. You’ll find folks selling unused cosmetics, …

S2 E5 (Fallout) - I Want Money

June 10th, 2019


Money in politics is a little bit like an iceberg — there’s the stuff you can see, like lobbying firms, and then there’s all the stuff below the …

S2 E4 (Fallout) - Bad Blood

June 3rd, 2019


Before they were enemies, the US and Iran used to have a thing. In fact, we started their nuclear program.

Like any failed relationship… it’s not …

S2 E3 (Fallout) - The Slog

May 27th, 2019


Jake Sullivan is no James Bond. He's a nice kid from Minnesota. But Sullivan's top secret diplomacy may have staved off catastrophe as the U.S. …

S2 E2 (Fallout) - The Worst Deal Ever

May 20th, 2019


Time magazine called Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster a “pre-eminent warrior-thinker.” President Trump called him a pain.

So when McMaster left the White …

S2 E1 (Fallout) - Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

May 13th, 2019


Prepping a fallout shelter might sound like an exercise from an era of soda fountains and hula hoops. But for Ron Hubbard, president of Atlas …

S2 Trailer (Fallout)

May 6th, 2019


It’s been called President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement -- so why does the Trump administration think it was the “worst deal ever” …

S1 E4 - What Shakespeare Can Teach Us About PTSD

February 12th, 2018


We don’t always talk about the things that scare us most. First, Ally Harpootlian's grandmother Betty kept a secret life of poetry locked away. Then, …

S1 E3 - What Happens When the Military Thinks Outside the Box?

February 5th, 2018


How Nancy Sinatra’s #1 hit, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," became a military anthem. Then, a bunch of students at the Rhode Island School of …

S1 E2 - Home Security

January 29th, 2018


In this episode, Laicie explores white nationalism, the Haitian revolution, and the impacts of nuclear weapons production on the Navajo Nation – and …

S1 E1 - The Bear

January 22nd, 2018


Two true stories about nuclear false alarms. Plus, what deterrence has to do with being an eleven-year-old boy, and a deeper dive into the Trump …

S1 Trailer

December 11th, 2017


One year ago, Donald J. Trump became the President of the United States. Since then, it seems like the world has exploded. North Korea, Russia, Charlottesville. The threats are all around.

Enter Things That Go Boom, a …

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