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Act Four: Paradise Lost

Shalom Auslander tells the story of the time he went on vacation, pegged the guest in the room next door as an impostor and devoted his holiday to trying to prove it. Shalom Auslander is the author, most recently, of the novel Hope: A Tragedy.

Act Two: The Thin Gray Line

In New Orleans, visitors can take a bus tour called "HURRICANE KATRINA: AMERICA'S GREATEST CATASTROPHE," put on by the Gray Line bus company. (The tour is also sometimes called "Hurricane Katrina: America's Worst Catastrophe.") It's designed for out-of-towners, but we asked a local to take the tour and give us their impressions.

Act One: In the Event of An Emergency

In the middle of the news coverage of Hurricane Rita, newscasts broke into their coverage to show JetBlue flight 292, with its landing gear stuck in the wrong direction. For hours, the plane circled over the exurbs of Los Angeles to burn off fuel before it attempted an emergency landing.

Act Three: Romance Languages

Ben Karlin talks about how a foreign language can come in handy when it comes to smoothing over potentially ugly misunderstandings. When he was a student in Italy, he signed up to coach basketball in hopes of making friends with some Italians.

Act Five: Karen

Karen Hahn, who works for Custer Battles at the airport, started out there screening women passengers—and learned a lot from their handbags. Unlike most people Nancy met in Iraq, Karen is not a former military person, she doesn't work with guns or big machines, and she's never been happier in her life.

Act One: Changing The Channeler

This American Life contributor Davy Rothbart goes to Brazil with his deaf mother to try and get her hearing back from a miracle healer called Joao de Deus, or John of God. They had trouble agreeing whether the things they witnessed down there were miracles or not.

Act Four: Are You Ready?

Scott Carrier drove 2,000 miles across the country from his home in Salt Lake City to Chicago, talking with people about the coming war. If it's part of the American character to be profoundly skeptical, and another part to be boldly patriotic...Scott found both tendencies...often in the same person.

Act Three: Notes From The Underground

In our search for events that might illuminate what we've seen in New York this week, we hear interviews with survivors of a terrorist attack that happened in a crowded city, during rush hour, just six years ago. On March 20, 1995, the Aum cult dropped plastic bags of poison gas on the Tokyo subway.