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Prologue

Host Ira Glass explains that when you name names, when you whistleblow, when you tell on someone, you often do it anonymously. We hear from one anonymous squealer, who was done wrong by her doctor—he messed up a procedure and then refused to fix it.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with people who've been hit by lightning. They describe what happened at the moment the bolt struck ... and how they came to view it later.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with Robert Lipsyte, author of In the Country of Illness, who tells a story of how one lady in New York won the hospital staff over to her side with one conversation.

Prologue

When Brigid starting going blind, she tried to hire someone to drive her around. Only problem was, the guy she hired wanted to carry her groceries, hold her arm as she walked to the curb...he tried to help her in too many ways.

Act One: Biblical Thinking In A Digital World

Reporter Hanna Rosen did an investigation of those new antibacterial products—the antibacterial soaps and lotions, the antibacterial pizza cutter and linen and underwear. In her article, she mocked these products as ineffective.

Act Two: 20th Century Germ

Germs were first understood at the turn of the 20th century and it turns out that the aesthetics of everyday life during this century—the way we dress, the way we groom ourselves, the way we make our homes—are all partly a response to this newfangled idea of germs.

Act Three: Iron Man

Mark O'Brien is a writer in California, who lives most of each day in an iron lung, thanks to a childhood case of polio. It's an excerpt from Jessica Yu's Oscar-winning documentary.

Prologue

Ira talks about the adage "Comedy equals tragedy plus time." Usually it's true, he says, though today's show is devoted to someone who decided to go on stage the same week she was experiencing some horrible things — and talk about those things.