#589 : June 17, 2016

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.

#588 : June 3, 2016

Mind Games 2016

Stories of people who try simple mind games on others, and then find themselves in way over their heads.

#587 : May 27, 2016

The Perils of Intimacy

Stories about mysteries that exist in relationships we thought couldn't possibly surprise us, and the strangeness of putting our wants on the line with someone who may not share them at all-- and how much we're willing to risk for someone we may never see again.

#586 : May 6, 2016

Who Do We Think We Are?

It’s nice to belong, to feel connected to others. But what happens when you realize that your fundamental beliefs don’t line up with the people you want to be close to? Do you bring it up? And, what does that conversation sound like? Guest host Sean Cole sits in for Ira.

#585 : April 22, 2016

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

#584 : April 8, 2016

For Your Reconsideration

The older and wiser we get, the more bewildering our past decisions can seem. This week, people revisit those decisions — and we revisit a story we aired a year ago with new, fascinating updates about a groundbreaking study that turned out to be false.

#583 : March 25, 2016

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.

#582 : March 11, 2016

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.

#581 : February 26, 2016

Anatomy of Doubt

This week, a story about doubt: how it germinated, spread, and eventually took hold of an entire community, with terrible consequences. A collaboration with The Marshall Project and ProPublica.

#580 : February 19, 2016

That's One Way to Do It

Forget the easy way. This week, stories about people who come up with very innovative…and unusual...solutions to their problems. Including the story of a young voter who defies political categorization.

#579 : February 12, 2016

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.

#578 : January 29, 2016

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.

#577 : January 15, 2016

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.

#576 : December 25, 2015

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.

#575 : December 18, 2015

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.

#574 : December 11, 2015

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.

#573 : November 27, 2015

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.

#572 : November 6, 2015

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.

#571 : October 30, 2015

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.

#570 : October 16, 2015

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?

#569 : October 9, 2015

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.

#568 : October 2, 2015

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.

#567 : September 18, 2015

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.

#566 : September 11, 2015

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.

#565 : August 28, 2015

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. (Source)

#564 : August 14, 2015

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.

#563 : August 7, 2015

The Problem We All Live With - Part Two

Last week we looked at a school district integrating by accident. This week: a city going all out to integrate its schools. Plus, a girl who comes up with her own one-woman integration plan.

#562 : July 31, 2015

The Problem We All Live With

Right now, all sorts of people are trying to rethink and reinvent education, to get poor minority kids performing as well as white kids. But there's one thing nobody tries anymore, despite lots of evidence that it works: desegregation. Nikole Hannah-Jones looks at a district that, not long ago, accidentally launched a desegregation program. First of a two-part series.

#561 : July 17, 2015

NUMMI 2015

A car plant in Fremont California that might have saved the U.S. car industry. In 1984, General Motors and Toyota opened NUMMI as a joint venture. Toyota showed GM the secrets of its production system: How it made cars of much higher quality and much lower cost than GM achieved. Frank Langfitt explains why GM didn't learn the lessons—until it was too late.

#560 : July 3, 2015

Abdi and the Golden Ticket

For July 4th, a story about someone who's desperately trying – against long odds – to make it to the United States and become an American. Abdi is a Somalian refugee living in Kenya and gets the luckiest break of his life: he wins a lottery that puts him on a short list for a U.S. visa. This is his ticket out. But before he can cash in his golden ticket, the police start raiding his neighborhood, targeting refugees.

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