The story of a clandestine radio station the CIA set up back in the good old, bad old days of the 1950s, to overthrow Guatemala. The coup succeeded because of the immense power of radio.
Cringing means literally "to shrink from something dangerous or painful." So what could be more potentially dangerous or painful—more cringe-worthy—than love? Nancy Updike reports on the characteristics and bylaws of cringe love.
Reporter Nancy Updike spends two days with Neal Smither, who cleans up crime scenes for a living, and comes away wanting to open his Los Angeles franchise, despite the gore—or maybe because of it.
The story of a con man, one of the most successful salesmen in a long-running multimillion-dollar telemarketing scam, who finally got caught when he was conned himself. Nancy Updike talks about the case with Dale Sekovich, Federal Trade Commission investigator.
No radio program about caregivers in a hospital would be complete without a few words about the caregiver that is the most omnipresent...in every room, in the waiting rooms, at the nurses' stations. It's television.
Before this show ended we wanted to know—how typical are the horror stories? What happens in a typical drug case? To find out, reporter Nancy Updike spent nine hours in Night Narcotics Court in Chicago. What she discovers is that the system is working as fairly as one could hope or expect, with one caveat: Nearly all the defendants are African-American, even though the jurisdiction contains an equal number of white drug users.
Producer Nancy Updike tells the story of scientists who simply made up an invisible, weightless subatomic particle called the neutrino. Then they set out on the task of finding it, using tools that sound positively crude: A mineshaft and 100,000 gallons of dry cleaning fluid.
When adults talk babytalk to each other, it is precisely to avoid having real conversations and experiencing real moments with each other. People almost never discuss babytalk in public. This American Life producer Nancy Updike and her boyfriend—Chicago journalist Adam Davidson—agreed to step forward and speak the truth on the subject.
A story about a device that charts the world through smell — and only smell. TAL producer Nancy Updike visits Cyrano Sciences in Pasadena, California, where researchers are creating an electronic nose.
A con man named Nick Ward who's so good he's thanked.
Ellery Eskelin never met his father but always heard he was a musical genius. Years after his father's death, Ellery started finding recordings of his musical output: he was the king of "song-poems." These are the songs that result when people answer those ads in the backs of magazines that say, "Send us your lyrics, and we'll write and record your song." Ellery's father's musical output was prodigious — and very odd.
Producer Nancy Updike with Ki Kim, who's not afraid of walking on coals. But maybe he should have been.
Nancy Updike and UPS Men.
This American Life producer Nancy Updike on a family where the father was one kind of sissy and the son was another kind, and how the family was destroyed despite the fact that no one wanted it to be.
Chicago playwright David Isaacson, on hating the Bulls.Then, Nancy Updike presents a sound portrait of a Philadelphia woman and her basketball trophies.
Temporary employment agencies' business has exploded in the last few years as corporations lay off their full-time employees, especially technical workers. This American Life "hired" two temp workers, Lee and Tito, to document their experiences as temps. Ira invites Tito and Lee into the studio to spin some music "appropriate" for temp employees.