This American Life Podcast


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    This American Life #567 - What’s Going On In There?

    57:41

    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.

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    This American Life #503 - I Was Just Trying To Help

    50:05

    Stories of people doing the noble thing and stepping up to help, only to find out that others think what they're doing isn't helping at all. Planet Money looks at a charity that's decided to just give people money, and a sheriff in California devises a plan to let farmers grow weed — as long as they register with him.

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    This American Life #613: OK, I’ll Do It

    1:3:42

    Stories of people who decide that they are the best person for the job, no matter how dangerous. Including a story about a stay-at-home mom with a history of gun running for a guerilla organization, and a surgeon who does surgery...on himself.
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    This American Life #406 - True Urban Legends

    56:25

    Can a rat crawl through your plumbing and end up in your toilet? Can your cell phone give you a brain tumor? Download a transcript or read much more information about our Steve Poizner story.

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    This American Life - Unconditional Love

    56:13

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    This American Life - What I Learned from Television

    55:10

    Stories recorded during our 2007 live tour. Sarah Vowell, David Rakoff, Dan Savage, and other favorite contributors went on the road with us to New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles; and performed brand-new stories in front of sold-out audiences.

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    This American Life - Georgia Rambler

    55:55

    In the 1970s a reporter named Charles Salter wrote a column for the Atlanta Journal called Georgia Rambler. He'd get into his car, head out to some small town, and ask around until he found a story. This week, nine of us go to Georgia to try it out for ourselves, in small towns all over the state.

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    This American Life - Heretics

    56:52

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    This American Life #541 - Regrets, Ive Had a Few

    49:26

    Every day we make mistakes, and most of the time we just ignore these failings and move forward. But every so often, there is one that makes us pause and take notice. This week, people struggling with those regrets — big and small — that take root and have to be dealt with.

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    This American Life #622 - Who You Gonna Call?

    1:2:21

    When everything goes wrong, one of the first things we think is, Who do I call? This week, stories of lucky people who have found the exact right person to ring up for help.

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    This American Life #396 - Party School

    59:55

    The Princeton Review named Penn State the #1 Party School in America. It's a rotating crown—last year it was University of Florida, before that it was West Virginia University. So we wondered: what's it like to be at the country's top party school?

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    This American Life - Strangers in a Strange Land

    54:32

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    This American Life - Infidelity

    55:24

    Stories of cheating, cheaters and the cheated. Writer James Braly with a story about temptation (performed and recorded at The Moth), Dani Shapiro on being the mistress, and more.

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    This American Life - My Big Break

    55:32

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    This American Life - Going Big

    55:55

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    This American Life - Frenemies

    58:26

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    This American Life - How We Talked Back Then

    55:06

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    This American Life - My Reputation

    58:13

    Stories of people trying to recover from damage to their reputations—sometimes caused by others, sometimes self-inflicted.

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    This American Life - Right to Remain Silent

    55:13

    Stories about people who have the right to remain silent... but choose not to exercise that right—including police officer Adrian Schoolcraft, who secretly recorded his supervisors telling officers to manipulate crime statistics and make illegal arrests.

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    This American Life #458 - Play the Part

    56:10

    Stories of people who decide to flip their personalities and do the exact opposite of what they normally do. Pictured: Louis Ortiz, Obama impersonator. He is the subject of the documentary film The Audacity of Louis Ortiz.

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    This American Life #457 - What I Did For Love

    54:39

    Love makes us do crazy things. But not this crazy. This week for Valentine's Day we have stories of people going to extremes as they fall in love, chase love down, and try to make sense of it—including a teenager who falls for an undercover cop, and epic tales of snooping.

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    This American Life #505 - Use Only as Directed

    55:32

    One of the country's most popular over-the-counter painkillers — acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol — also kills the most people, according to data from the federal government. Over 150 Americans die each year on average after accidentally taking too much. And it requires a lot less to endanger you than you may know.

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    This American Life #409 - Held Hostage

    55:11

    A kidnapping victim in Colombia spends his nights listening to a radio station that plays messages from the families of the kidnapped. That and other stories of people held captive—by criminals, by paperwork, and in one man's case, his own body—and the ways they try to cope.

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    This American Life #618 - Mr. Lie Detector

    1:1:15

    A polygraph operator and his strange journey. And other stories.

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    This American Life #420 - Neighborhood Watch

    54:08

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    This American Life #460 - Retraction

    57:43

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    This American Life #552 - Need To Know Basis

    1:49

    Even when you're not trying to get one over on someone, it can be useful to keep the truth to yourself. Or conversely, to not know why people are lying to your face all the time. This week we'll tell you the whole truth about not telling the whole truth. Including the story of a guy who learned to lie for the first time in his life at age 29.

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    This American Life #556 - Same Bed, Different Dreams

    59:21

    Stories of people who are tied together, but imagine radically different futures. In one case, a movie star and her ex-husband plot against Kim Jong-Il. In another, a woman stalks her doppleganger. And sometimes, one bed is the basis for an entire relationship, even for a man who almost never sees the person who shares his bed.

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    This American Life #492 - Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde

    59:36

    Dr. Benjamin Gilmer (left) gets a job at a rural clinic. He finds out he’s replaced someone — also named Dr. Gilmer (picture) — who went to prison after killing his own father. But the more Benjamin’s patients talk about the other Dr. Gilmer, the more confused he becomes. Everyone loved the old Dr. Gilmer. So Benjamin starts digging around, trying to understand how a good man can seemingly turn bad.

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    This American Life #479 - Little War on the Prairie

    1:1:22

    Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, John Biewen says, nobody ever talked about the most important historical event ever to happen there: in 1862, it was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged after a war with white settlers. John went back to Minnesota to figure out what really happened 150 years ago, and why Minnesotans didn’t talk about it much after.

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    This American Life #620 - To Be Real

    56:29

    Most of the time, we show the world a pretty superficial version of ourselves. How about that weather? But this week—people who try to go deeper, to get to something real, in some unexpected places: war, magic and porn.

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    This American Life #540 - A Front

    54:43

    Stories about people and places that are fronting in order to hide the truth. We visit a bizarre store in Milwaukee called Fearless Distributing, government checkpoints scattered on highways out west, and a front in a doctor's office.

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    This American Life #506 - Secret Identity

    56:24

    A bank robber on an undercover mission. A teenage girl with the powers of a tiger. A vigilante seeking vengeance in Ciudad Juarez. All have secret identities. But not all of them chose those identities for themselves.

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    This American Life Videos 4 U: I Love You

    6:21

    Maia and her boyfriend have been dating for eight years, but they've never said I love you. For Valentine's Day, This American Life helped Maia make a video to finally say those words. If you need help with something you need to say, please email personalvideo@thislife.org. Made by Bianca Giaever and This American Life with m ss ng p eces. Animation by Jordan Bruner.

    See Alex's reaction here:

    Bianca Giaever
    This American Life
    m ssng p eces
    Jordan Bruner

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    This American Life #594 - My Summer Self

    57:08

    Summer is a time when change seems more possible than ever. But is that really how it happens? Can people actually reinvent themselves in the warmer months? This week we present stories — and some comedy — about people and their summer selves.

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    This American Life #605 - Kid Logic

    58:28

    Stories of kids using perfectly logical arguments, and arriving at perfectly wrong conclusions. An updated version of an episode from 2001, with one story swapped.

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    This American Life - Not What I Signed Up For

    57:02

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    This American Life #405 - Inside Job

    58:03

    For seven months a team of investigative journalists from ProPublica looked into a story for us, the inside story of one company that made hundreds of millions of dollars for itself while worsening the financial crisis for the rest of us.

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    This American Life #484 - Doppelgängers

    55:16

    We got a tip about a meat plant selling pig intestines as fake calamari, wondered if it could be true, and decided to investigate. Doppelgängers, doubles, evil twins and not-so-evil twins, this week. Fred Armisen co-hosts with Ira Glass.

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    This American Life - Put Your Heart In It

    54:59

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    This American Life #423 - The Invention of Money

    55:22

    Five reporters stumbled on what seems like a basic question: What is money? The unsettling answer they found: Money is fiction.

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    This American Life #448 - Adventure!

    56:39

    Sometimes you choose the adventure and sometimes the adventure chooses you. This week, stories that pinpoint when people's boring old lives turn into something wildly unfamiliar. Including a story of one young man's time served in a Chinese prison, and a handful of adventure stories from some of our favorite writers.

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    This American Life #447 - The Incredible Case of the P.I. Moms

    54:46

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    This American Life #526 - Is That What I Look Like?

    54:59

    You've been seeing yourself, getting to know what you look like, your whole life. So why does it often take an outsider to see things about you that are obvious, and set you straight?

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    Serial from This American Life w/ Sarah Koenig - S01 Episode 01: The Alibi

    53:31

    It's Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he's innocent - though he can't exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found.

    SUBCRIBE -

    Serial is a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won't know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she'll bring you the latest chapter, so it's important to listen in, starting with Episode 1.

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    #589: Tell Me Im Fat

    1:9:34

    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.

    Official free, weekly podcast of the award-winning radio show This American Life. First-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising. Hosted by Ira Glass, from WBEZ Chicago Public Media, and distributed by Public Radio International. In mp3 and updated Mondays.

    © Copyright 1995-2016 Ira Glass

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    This American Life - Living Without

    54:00

    Stories of people living without. Nubar Alexanian explains what fish can do for him that his own ears cannot. Bobby Morris, on leaving baseball. And other stories.

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    This American Life #504 - How I Got Into College

    55:04

    Students all over are starting college this month, and some of them still have a nagging question: what, exactly, got me in? An admissions officer tells us the most wrongheaded things applicants try. And Michael Lewis has the incredible story of how a stolen library book got one man — Emir Kamenica — into his dream school.

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    This American Life #595 - Deep End of the Pool

    55:41

    What do you do when you're thrown into a situation you’re not prepared for? And while you’re flailing around—what happens to the people who depend on you? This week we present stories of people who find themselves in over their heads, including an attorney who knows little about criminal law assigned to defend a young man facing twenty years in prison.

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    This American Life #430 - Very Tough Love

    58:07

    This week: A drug court program that we believe is run differently from every other drug court in the country, doing some things that are contrary to the very philosophy of drug court. The result? People with offenses that would get minimal or no sentences elsewhere sometimes end up in the system five to ten years.

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