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This American Life: Episodes

This week we bring you little-known and surprising stories of how all sorts of institutions began. An updated version of a 2009 episode.<div class="feedflare">
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Flipflops, u-turns, changes of heart, about faces. Completely changing our position &mdash; sometimes it can be our best move, sometimes it can be our worst. Either way, it's usually complicated. This week we bring you stories of people who go one way, and then, for what ever reason, turn around and ...
Stories of the kindness of strangers and where it leads. Also, the unkindness of strangers and where that can lead. All of today's stories take place in the city most people think of as the least kind city in America: New York.<div class="feedflare">
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Stories of people coming to terms with being in serious trouble. They need help. Figuring out how to get it, that's another problem.<div class="feedflare">
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Your waitress. Your colleagues at work. Your doctor. Maybe even your parents. They’re all high. All the time. That’s what it feels like anyway. This week, stories in which drug use and daily life intersect – and in which people get high in secret and then do their best to function in the non-high ...
It is a peculiar feeling to know with certainty that something big is about to happen to you. This week we watch people go right up to the edge of inevitable change. We hear from preteens about the terrifying knowledge that puberty is about to happen...any minute now. And true to the death and taxes ...
A journalist named Meron Estefanos gets a disturbing tip. She's given a phone number that supposedly belongs to a group of refugees being held hostage in the Sinai desert. She dials the number, and soon dozens of strangers are begging her to rescue them. How can she ignore them?<div class="feedflare">
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It's so easy to lose perspective (or worry you've lost perspective) when you're deep inside some situation. For instance, an American woman who suddenly trades her life for one in a place most people might think twice about: Juarez, Mexico.<div class="feedflare">
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Stories of summer camp. People who love camp say that non-camp people simply don't understand what's so amazing about camp. In this program, we attempt to bridge the gap of misunderstanding between camp people and non-camp people.<div class="feedflare">
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To celebrate our 500th episode, Ira asked the producers of <em>This American Life</em> to talk about their very favorite moments on the show. Some chose stories that've been more or less forgotten for years; others chose just one line of script, or a segment that secretly made them cry. So for our 500th, ...
Stories about kids being mean to each other... including a mysterious handbook for bullies, a surprising experiment conducted by a teacher who wants to make kids be nice, and a story of youthful backstabbing told by David Sedaris.<div class="feedflare">
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Dr. Benjamin Gilmer (left) gets a job at a rural clinic. He finds out he’s replaced someone &mdash; also named Dr. Gilmer (picture) &mdash; 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 ...
We pick up where we left off <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/487/harper-high-school-part-one">last week</a> in our second hour from Harper High School in Chicago. We find out if a shooting in the neighborhood will derail the school's Homecoming game and dance. We hear ...
We spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. 29. We went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this gun violence, how teens and adults navigate a world of funerals and Homecoming dances. We found so many incredible ...
Five ways of mapping the world. One story about people who make maps the traditional way — by drawing things we can see. And other stories about people who map the world using smell, sound, touch, and taste. The world redrawn by the five senses.<div class="feedflare">
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This holiday season we bring you a show filled with stories of people going to great lengths to throw a special Christmas for their families. Including tales of Luna the guinea pig (pictured), Bambi the reindeer, and Jeko the super-powerful (and somewhat-scary) Christmas elf.<div class="feedflare">
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What animals sacrifice for us, and what we sacrifice for them. Including a story from Susan Orlean about dogs in World War II, and the <em>This American Life</em> staff confronts Ira about his dog, Piney.<br /><br />
<strong>Photo:</strong> Dog wearing suicide bomb vest, 1943.<div class="feedflare">
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<p>This week, at the suggestion of a 14-year-old listener, we bring you stories from the awkward, confusing, hormonally charged world of middle school. Including a teacher who transforms peer pressure into a force for good, and reports from the frontlines of the middle school dance.</p>

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Everyone knows that politics is now so divided in our country that not only do the 2 sides disagree on the solutions to the country’s problems, they don’t even agree on what the problems are. It’s 2 versions of the world in collision. This week we hear from people who’ve seen this infect their ...
Stories of people breaking the rules fully, completely
and with no bad consequences. Some justify this by saying they’re doing it
for others, or for a greater good. Some really don’t care. And, unlike the
mealy weaklings you usually hear on this program: None of these wrongdoers
seem regretful ...
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