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Prologue

Yvonne has lived by herself for 12 years, ever since her last child moved out. She eats dinner by herself, takes care of the house on her own, and usually spends most holidays alone.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks to reporter John Bowe about the story of John Nash Pickle, who ran a company in Tulsa, Oklahoma that made steel tanks used in the oil industry. According to 52 Indian men whom Pickle hired and brought to America, Pickle was trying to compete with foreign companies, doing something most companies never try.

Act Two: Age Of Consent

Ira talks to the teen editors of Sex, Etc., a national magazine for teenagers, about the mistakes parents make when talking—or not talking—to their kids about sex. Sex, Etc. is published by Answer, a sex education organization based at Rutgers University. (8 minutes) Then, the story of what happened when one anonymous mother learned that her daughter was having sex.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with Lauren Waterman, who's in the middle of a break-up right now and grappling with totally contradictory feelings. She wants her boyfriend to call, but also—maybe a little bit—doesn't want him to call.

Act Two: But Why?

Eight-year-old Betsy Walter goes on a campaign to understand her parents' divorce.

Act Three: Let No Court Put Asunder

Ira talks with divorce mediator Barry Berkman about why it's bad when the justice system gets involved in a break-up. Barry specializes in matrimonial law and is a member of The New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, which he helped found.

Prologue

David Iserson tried to lay low in junior high, staying out of sight to keep from getting teased and bullied. But then he starred in a local TV commercial for his father's furniture store, and all of a sudden everyone knew about him...in a bad way.

Prologue

Dal LaMagna, millionaire and creator of the Tweezerman tweezer, prepares to go to Iraq on a diplomatic mission he invented for himself—despite concern (and mocking) from his own sister.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks to Tim Jaccard, who used to be a police medic. The calls he hated most were all the same: "Baby not breathing." So in 1998, he helped write the first "safe haven" law, which allows mothers to safely abandon their babies without getting into trouble.

Act Two: Rescue You, Rescue Me

When the U.S. government sent out a call for volunteers—regular, non-military people—to go to Iraq and help rebuild the country, Randy Frescoln signed up. He believed in the cause of the war and in the promise of its mission.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass tells a story about how, when he was in seventh grade, he was over at his best friend's house and saw beer in the fridge. He'd only ever seen beer in fridges on TV; he didn't think it existed in real life.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks to Vincent Homenick and Norman Goodman, the court officials who hear all the excuses from New York City residents trying to get out of jury duty.

Prologue

There's a 200-person operation based out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas called the Center for Army Lessons Learned. Host Ira Glass speaks with Colonel Steve Mains, who runs the Center, and with Craig Hayes and Lynn Rolf, two men who answer soldiers' requests for information.

Second Half Prologue

Ira speaks with Milt Hileman of the Center for Army Lessons Learned about the single most-requested publication they put out, Soldiers' Handbook: The First 100 Days: Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures. It explains how to avoid getting killed in your first hundred days in Iraq, which is when a disproportionate number of U.S. casualties occur.

Commandment Eight: You Shall Not Steal

Ira talks to a waiter named Hassan at Liebman's Deli in the Bronx about some audacious thefts he's witnessed in his years in the restaurant business.

Prologue

Robyn Forest thought she'd gotten her big break when a magazine assigned her to write about a famous Japanese pop singer. Instead, Robyn ended up on Japanese television denying that she and the singer were having an affair.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with Jane Espenson—who's written for the TV shows Battlestar Galactica and Gilmore Girls—and with J.J. Abrams—one of the creators of the hit shows Lost, Alias, and Felicity—about how we might be in the midst of another Golden Age of television.