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February 13 2016

#579: My Damn Mind

The brain! It's powerful! We have the story of how one man's delusions lead him to a situation that's just as strange as the worst thoughts his mind is cooking up. That story's a collaboration with the New York Times. Our second story is about a man using the power of his own mind to deal with a problem.

Pictured: Alan Pean, with visible scar from a bullet wound. Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times.

February 01 2016

#578: I Thought I Knew You

This week, stories of people who are feeling the ground shift underneath them when people they are close to change. Including conservative radio host Tony Beam in South Carolina who is completely baffled by the candidate his audience has decided to get behind this election season.

January 25 2016

#214: Family Physics

We take the stately laws of physics—laws which mathematicians and scientists have spent centuries discovering and verifying—and apply them to the realm of human relationships, to see if they shed useful light on our daily lives.

January 18 2016

#577: Something Only I Can See

When you’re the only one who can see something, sometimes it feels like you’re in on a special secret. The hard part is getting anyone to believe your secret is real. This week, people trying to show others what they see—including a woman with muscular dystrophy who believes she has the same condition as an Olympic athlete.

January 11 2016

#198: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Stories of people climbing to be number one. How do they do it? What is the fundamental difference between us and them?

December 28 2015

#576: Say Yes To Christmas

No Christmas can ever be as good as the ones you had as a kid. But this week we go all in and bring the joy, the spontaneity, the sense that anything can happen back to Christmas. We've got a live Christmas performance from some of the best improvisors in the country including Mike Birbiglia, Chris Gethard, and SNL's Aidy Bryant and Sasheer Zamata. Also holiday meals – on fire.

December 21 2015

#575: Poetry of Propaganda

Sure, there's a crude message that propaganda is trying to get across. But like poetry, when you know how to read it, propaganda contains lots of more subtle messages that you might not see at first glance. This week: examples, big and small, from around the world.

December 14 2015

#574: Sinatra's 100th Birthday

For Frank Sinatra's 100th Birthday: stories, tributes, and attempts to understand the Chairman of the Board.

An updated version of an episode originally broadcast back in 1997.

December 07 2015

#225: Home Movies

Home movies are often all the same—kids on the beach, people getting married, birthday parties—so why do we make and watch so many of them? Maybe it's because the story they show and the story they tell are different. In this show, we bring you five stories that all start with a fairly typical home movie but go on to tell a unique story.

November 30 2015

#573: Status Update

Most of the time, the updates we share about our lives are small and inconsequential. This week, status updates that interrupt daily life. We hear two friends talk about how one of them has become rich and famous. And an entire town gets a status update on itself.

November 09 2015

#572: Transformers

This week we have stories of people deciding to take on some very big fears. A prisoner who hasn't talked to anyone in years comes up with a bold plan to re-introduce himself to the world, while a 90-year-old woman shocks her family when she announces a love interest.

November 02 2015

#571: The Heart Wants What It Wants

When Jesse first started getting letters from Pamala, he couldn’t believe his luck. He'd been waiting all his life to fall in love—and then he started getting these letters from the perfect woman. Vulnerable. In need of protection. Classic beauty. He was totally devoted. They corresponded for years. And when something happens that really should change how he feels about her— he just can’t give it up.

October 26 2015

#319: And the Call Was Coming from the Basement

For the week leading up to Halloween, scary stories that are all true. Kidnappings, zombie raccoons, haunted houses—real haunted houses!—and things that go "EEEEK!!!" in the night. Plus a story by David Sedaris, in which he walks among the dead.

October 19 2015

#570: The Night In Question

Twenty years ago, the prime minister of Israel was assassinated. The killer was a lone gunman, Israeli and Jewish, just like the prime minister. Lots of witnesses saw it happen; the assassin confessed immediately, that night, and has never recanted. But today, oddly, lots of people don’t believe it happened that way. And a question hangs over the country: did this act change the fate of the nation?

October 12 2015

#569: Put a Bow on It

This week we go into the room at the headquarters of fast food chain Hardee's with the people who decided that this burger with beef, hot dogs, and chips is what America should be eating. We'll hear the story of how they sold that burger and other instances where how you tell the story is more important than the literal facts.

October 05 2015

#568: Human Spectacle 2015

Gladiators in the Colosseum. Sideshow performers. Reality television. We've always loved to gawk at the misery or majesty of others. But this week, we ask the question: What's it like when the tables are turned and all eyes are on you?

An episode from last year, with one story swapped.

September 21 2015

#567: What's Going On In There?

Often we see someone’s situation from the outside and think we know exactly what’s going on. This week we get inside and find out just how much more interesting the reality of it is. Including a teenaged girl who records a remarkable story about the boyfriend who abuses her, and why it’s so hard to break up with him. Also this week: our new video by Bianca Giaever.

September 14 2015

#566: The Land of Make Believe

A father constructs an elaborate fantasy to occupy his 12 children, and a woman finds herself sucked into a world of make believe that we almost never get to see inside.


August 31 2015

#565: Lower 9 + 10

Katrina bus tours go all over New Orleans, but it’s illegal for them to go into the Lower 9th Ward, the area that's been the slowest to rebuild. This week we go around talking to residents there about what matters the most to them (and what doesn't) ten years after the hurricane. The episode we did in 2005 the week of the storm is here.

Pictured: map of Katrina-related fatalities.

August 17 2015

#564: Too Soon?

When is too soon for that celebrity comeback; that joke that is either brilliant or full-on repugnant; that parent-child conversation? This week: stories about a fallen man trying to kickstart his career with a reality show, and an awkward moment between a mom and a daughter.
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