The Gist: Maria Konnikova on hand sanitizer and Annie Lowrey on the election cycle.

How Well Does Hand Sanitizer Work

How Well Does Hand Sanitizer Work

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
May 19 2015 8:18 PM

Nine out of 10 Germs Agree

We dig through Maria Konnikova’s purse for hand sanitizer. Will she come clean about its effectiveness?

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Will this squirt make a difference?

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Andrew Braithwaite/Flickr Creative Commons.

Listen to Episode 260 of Slate’s The Gist:


Today on The Gist, what does the looong campaign mean for 2016’s candidates? Annie Lowrey from New York magazine joins us for a reasonable amount of time. She’s part of a new Panoply podcast called Podcast for America, which debuts Tuesday on Soundcloud and iTunes.


Then, in another installment of “Is That Bulls--t?” Mike asks Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker if hand sanitizer is a reasonable use of purse space. Her new book The Confidence Game is now available for preorder.

For the Spiel, Mike explores the growing popularity of the breastaurant—and does it partly in rhyme.

Today’s sponsor: Harry’s, the shaving company that offers German-engineered blades, well-designed handles, and shipping right to your door. Visit for $5 off your first purchase with the promo code GIST.

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.