Host Ira Glass plays clips of interviews with several people whose dads have tried reach out to them the best way they know how, which often means...awkwardly.
Host Ira Glass speaks with former FBI agent Bill Tobin about police collusion with organized crime in 1970s Chicago. It turns out that old boys networks like the mob pull in good and bad cops alike.
In this act: judge wannabes working with the old boys network.
Ira explains that when the radio staff decided to take a test that reveals who is a psychopath, very quickly everyone came to believe that the highest score would go to either Robyn, Jane, or him.
Ira and the radio show staff get their results on the psychopath test from Dr. David Bernstein, of Forensic Consultants, LLC., who administered the test to them.
Host Ira Glass talks to Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri on a press conference he held to announce the creation of just one job.
Ira tells what happened this week to Dan Curry in Odessa Texas on Wednesday, to eight-year-old Ruby Melman on Sunday in New Jersey, to Beau O'Reilly at a bike store in Chicago on Saturday, to Theodosha Alexander at the World Trade Center site on Thursday, to Dr. Wade Gordon in Afghanistan on Thursday, to a high school class at the Grand Canyon on Wednesday, and at a bar in New York City on Saturday.
Ira tells what happened this week to Shirley Everett-Dicko in Oakland on Sunday, to Gabe and Kevin in Brooklyn on Saturday, to Eric and Roz in Stevens Point, Wisconsin on Wednesday night at midnight, and (in the podcast version of the show) to Eugene Rand and Bill True, on Monday in South Portland, Maine.
Host Ira Glass talks about the infamous line in the band Van Halen's contract insisting that the groups' dressing room include a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown M&Ms removed. Ira used to think this request was just petulant rock-star behavior.
Host Ira Glass speaks with Jim McManus, whose book Positively Fifth Street inspired Ira to start playing poker. Jim talks about holding and folding, why a poker novice is sometimes the toughest player to beat...and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
There's a part of Brazil that was almost all rainforest until the 1970s, and over the next few decades a million people moved in, cutting down the forest and building towns and cities. Monte Reel was the South American correspondent for the Washington Post in the mid 1990s, when he started hearing rumors of a "wild man," the last member of a tribe, who lived completely alone in this area's remaining forest. Reel's book about the quest to find and save this man is called The Last of the Tribe.
Ira speaks with Middle East specialist Michelle Dunne to answer this question: Before the recent Arab uprisings, just how hard was the US pushing the government of Egypt to enact human rights reforms? (7 1/2 minutes)
Ira reports from Glynn County Georgia on Superior Court Judge AmandaWilliams and how she runs the drug courts in Glynn, Camden and Waynecounties. We hear the story of Lindsey Dills, who forges two checks on herparents' checking account when she's 17, one for $40 and one for $60, andends up in drug court for five and a half years, including 14 months behindbars, and then she serves another five years after that—six months of itin Arrendale State Prison, the other four and a half on probation.
We hear about how Brandi Byrd and many other offenders end up in Judge Williams' drug court. One reason drug courts were created was to save money by incarcerating fewer people.
The formula for Coca-Cola is one of the most jealously guarded trade secrets in the world. So we were surprised to come across a 1979 newspaper article with what looked like the original recipe for Coke.
Thanksgiving 2002, the Ohm family's dinner conversation turned to the recent terrorist attacks. Alexis Ohm, the youngest daughter, made a comment that in retrospect she admits was probably the wrong thing to say with her conservative, military-veteran dad at the table...that Osama bin Laden was hot.
Host Ira Glass spends time in perhaps the toughest room on earth, the editorial meeting at the satirical newspaper, The Onion, where there's one laugh for every 100 jokes.
Ira Glass explains that, like the rest of America, we at This American Life are not tired of those stories of women who have no idea they're pregnant and then—poof—one day a baby pops out. Ira and several of our producers speak with Jennifer Lyne, who found out just a few days before giving birth and even appeared on the TV show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant.
Ira Glass plays clips from a documentary film called Please Vote for Me, by Weijun Chen. It follows a third grade class in central China in the very first election they've ever had or witnessed.
As adults battle over how climate change should be taught in school, we try an experiment. We ask Dr Roberta Johnson, the Executive Director of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, who helps develop curricula on climate change, to present the best evidence there is to a high school skeptic, a freshman named Erin Gustafson.
Ira Glass speaks with several members of the Planet Money team, who all found themselves—in the course of their reporting—independently asking the same stoner-ish question: What is money? Ira and Planet Money producer Jacob Goldstein discuss a pre-industrial society on the island of Yap that used giant stones as currency. The book that Jacob read about Yap is called The Island of Stone Money.