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June 12 2017

#618: Mr. Lie Detector

A polygraph operator and his strange journey. And other stories.
Reposted byekelias ekelias

June 05 2017

#246: My Pen Pal

Stories of very unusual pen pals, including a ten-year-old girl from Michigan who befriends Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. A show from 2003 that we’re bringing back with news this week of Noriega’s death.

May 29 2017

#589: Tell Me I’m Fat

The way people talk about being fat is shifting. With one-third of Americans classified as overweight, and another third as obese, and almost none of us losing weight and keeping it off, maybe it’s time to rethink the way we see being fat. A show inspired by Lindy West’s book Shrill .

May 22 2017

#617: Fermi’s Paradox

Three people grapple with the question, “Are we alone?”

May 15 2017

#218: Act V

We devote this entire episode to one story: Over the course of six months, reporter and This American Life contributor Jack Hitt followed a group of inmates at a high-security prison as they rehearsed and staged a production of the last act—Act V—of Hamlet.

May 08 2017

#616: I Am Not A Pirate

To be, or not to be a pirate? This week, that is the question. Hold fast, mateys! We have stories about both historical and modern-day swashbucklers who loot, pillage, and question their choices.

May 01 2017

#615: The Beginning of Now

Before Donald Trump started his presidential campaign in 2015, there was a congressional race that redefined what was possible in American politics. Steve Bannon and Breitbart News got involved in that race early, just like they later got deeply involved Donald Trump's race. On this week’s show: What happened in that campaign, what it made it work, and how we got to now.

April 24 2017

#583: It’ll Make Sense When You’re Older

At first, it’s super annoying, getting told it’ll make sense when you’re older. Then, when you’re a teenager, hard lessons are learned, despite your best efforts to be too cool to care. By the time you’re actually old, you know a bunch of stuff— and you’re desperate to hold onto it. You might even wonder HOW you know all the things you know. Hosted by Chana Joffe-Walt and featuring SNL’s Sasheer Zamata.

April 17 2017

#614: The Other Mr. President

Since Russia meddled in our election, there's been concern that the fake news and disinformation that's so prevalent there could be taking hold in this country. But is that hyperbole? This week we look at what it's actually like to live in the confusing information landscape that is Putin's Russia.

April 10 2017

#585: In Defense of Ignorance

Exactly how incompetent you are. What your ex’s best friend really thinks of you. The approximate time that you will die. Some things in life are better not to know about. And sometimes there can be a benefit to not knowing. In this episode, examples of ignorance truly being bliss, or even being an asset.

April 03 2017

#613: OK, I’ll Do It

Stories of people who decide that they are the best person for the job, no matter how dangerous. Including a story about a stay-at-home mom with a history of gun running for a guerilla organization, and a surgeon who does surgery...on himself.

March 27 2017

#220: Testosterone

Stories of people getting more testosterone and coming to regret it. And of people losing it and coming to appreciate life without it. The pros and cons of the hormone of desire.

March 20 2017

#612: Ask a Grown-Up

Stories from people who need a grown-up. Featuring teenage girls asking for advice about their love lives and Ira's tribute to his his very grown-up friend Mary.

March 11 2017

#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.

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

March 06 2017

#611: Vague and Confused

A show about rules and what happens when they’re vague and randomly enforced.

February 27 2017

#360: Switched At Birth

On a summer day in 1951, two baby girls were born in a hospital in small-town Wisconsin. The infants were accidentally switched, and went home with the wrong families.

February 20 2017

#610: Grand Gesture

This week we have stories of people going to very extreme measures to demonstrate their feelings. Elna Baker makes a questionable trip to Africa, while a man in Florida commits a series of disturbing acts in the name of love. Ira also goes to a high school to talk to kids before a dance.

February 13 2017

#582: When the Beasts Come Marching In

We human beings think we run the world, that we’ve got things under control. And then an animal shows up, and things don’t go as planned. We have stories this week where seals, wolves and a moose drop in and show us who isn't boss.

February 06 2017

#609: It’s Working Out Very Nicely

This week we document what happened when the President’s executive order went into effect temporarily banning travel from seven countries, and we talk about the way it was implemented. A major policy change thrown into the world like a fastball with no warning. It’s hard not to ask: “What just happened? What was that all about?”

January 30 2017

#489: No Coincidence, No Story!

We asked listeners to send us their best coincidence stories, and we got more than 1,300 submissions! There were so many good ones we decided to make a whole show about them. From a chance encounter at a bus station to a romantic dollar bill to a baffling apparition in a college shower stall. See more of your coincidence stories — with photos — here.
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