medium: stories that are 10:00–30:00

Chris Garcia and his dad were driving home, listening to oldies, sharing a bag of chips. They’d driven this route probably hundreds of time, but something odd was happening in the car, so Chris started recording their conversation on his phone.

Nancy Updike
This American Life
10 min 00 sec
Air Date: 11/08/2013

“The zone” is a sort of trance state that gamblers experience while they’re playing. One’s sense of time, space, body, and sense of self can disappear. So there’s an imperative to design against interruption.

Roman Mars
99% Invisible
19 min 28 sec
Air Date: 04/30/2013

Lewis Greenberg is fighting to preserve a giant installation in his yard, Holocaust Revisited. He calls the neighbors who object Nazis, but it’s not nearly so black and white.

David Weinberg
Love + Radio
23 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/21/2012

David Foster Wallace first made his mark on the literary scene with his 1,079-page, three-pound-three-ounce novel, Infinite Jest. He discussed the book in 1996.

Leonard Lopate
The Leonard Lopate Show
29 min 22 sec
Air Date: 03/04/1996

In third grade, Shalom Auslander saw a chance to make his mom proud and push his drunk father out of the picture. The plan called for a lot of blessing, and a lot of sinning.

Shalom Auslander
This American Life
19 min 00 sec
Air Date: 01/21/2005

David Sedaris reflects on his mother’s lung cancer.

David Sedaris
This American Life
11 min 00 sec
Air Date: 10/31/1997

Jeff Viniard’s engagement to the woman he loves is threatened by a crisis of faith.

Lulu Miller
Radiolab
24 min 00 sec
Air Date: 03/26/2013

An investigation into internet sleuths — like Todd Matthews of Doe Network — amateur detectives who use the web to solve cold cases and identify missing persons.

Sara Parker
Falling Tree
27 min 38 sec
Air Date: 04/24/2007

After a bit role with DeNiro, ex-con-actor Richie Castellano moves to a small town and gets dozens of people to invest in a movie that never premieres. Why did they buy it?

Alex Blumberg
This American Life
22 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/15/2000

That moment, in basketball, when time is running out, the team is down by one, a player arcs the ball from downtown just as the buzzer sounds, and sinks it. It’s exhilarating. It’s heart breaking. And most of all, it’s good design.

Eric Mennel
99% Invisible
12 min 32 sec
Air Date: 04/15/2013

Heidi and Rick Solomon adopt a son who was raised in terrible circumstances in a Romanian orphanage. He is unable to feel attachments to anyone.

Alix Spiegel
This American Life
27 min 00 sec
Air Date: 09/15/2006

Completing an accurate map of all the stars in the night sky is the lifelong goal of astonomer and self-confessed nocturnal hermit Brian Skiff. Diane Hope documents a night in the life of one of this dwindling number of professional stargazers.

Diane Hope
Falling Tree
27 min 33 sec
Air Date: 05/26/2008

“How do we actually know that these sentences coming out of our mouths are real stories, are real sentences?” Author and illustrator Maira Kalman on her life and work.

Maira Kalman
TED Talks
13 min 43 sec
Air Date: 2007

One night, drunk and stumbling around the Hudson River with a friend, Sean Cole discovered a monument to two of his poetry heroes, Walt Whitman and Frank O’Hara. And weirdly, he had been reciting from O’Hara’s Lunch Poems just minutes before. Thus began his quest to talk to the people whose idea it was.

Sean Cole
99% Invisible
19 min 42 sec
Air Date: 07/25/2012

As a teenager, Jessica Riddle and her friends would pick up the phone and dial the letters “H-E-A-T-H-E-R.” An old man would pick up the phone and talk to them. At first they were prank calling. But it turned out to be much more.

Jessica Riddle
This American Life
18 min 00 sec
Air Date: 02/07/2003

A contemplation of time and mortality, including stories about a family’s tragic visit to Palestine and a man who attends a dinner party after learning he might be dying.

Joe Frank
Unfictional
28 min 30 sec
Air Date: 07/24/2012

In early August of 1945, Tsutomu Yamaguchi had a run of the worst luck imaginable. A double blast of radiation left his future, and the future of his descendants, in doubt.

Jad Abumrad
Radiolab
20 min 57 sec
Air Date: 07/16/2012

Jarrod Livingstone was once officially dead for three minutes. His sister wants to know what the experience was like, but he refuses to talk about it.

Carma Jolly
Outfront
13 min 28 sec
Air Date: 12/13/2004

A profile of the extraordinary rise of the British roller derby — a dynamic new expression of female identity and feminine aggression in Britain.

Eleanor McDowall
Falling Tree
27 min 26 sec
Air Date: 05/20/2011

Reggie Watts, the comedian and musician, goes on a sonic tour of Brooklyn.

Jay Cowit
Kristen Meinzer
The Takeaway
10 min 59 sec
Air Date: 07/09/2012

In 2003, Noel was working at an ad agency in Virginia. Everyone wanted to work on flashy spots like Apple or Nike. Which is why when an insurance company called Geico became a client, everyone hoped the campaign wouldn’t end up on their desk.

Starlee Kine
99% Invisible
14 min 29 sec
Air Date: 06/28/2012

On an August day in 1979, Carla Dimkoff learned something which shaped the rest of her life and the life of a complete stranger. And it took 26 years for her to realize that.

Alex Kotlowitz
This American Life
25 min 00 sec
Air Date: 10/06/2006

The discovery of Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig turned the block in Santa Monica where they’d been hiding for 15 years into a media circus. Writer Gideon Brower, who lived across the street, talks to residents of the apartment building about their neighbors — “The Gaskos.”

Gideon Brower
Unfictional
28 min 30 sec
Air Date: 06/26/2012

The story of a Christian card counting team, and why they saw no contradiction in being devout Christians who spent their days in casinos.

Jack Hitt
This American Life
18 min 00 sec
Air Date: 06/08/2012

Anthony Federico went from an unknown editor at ESPN to an accused bigot after unintentionally writing a racially loaded headline.

John Sepulvado
CNN Radio
10 min 40 sec
Air Date: 06/18/2012

A booker for court TV shows opens up about the world of daytime justice.

Lea Thau
Strangers
18 min 40 sec
Air Date: 06/14/2012

Wisconsin Public Radio wanted to do something simple: start running Car Talk. But to do this, they had to move their local show, About Cars, to the afternoon. The host was so upset that he not only refused to move, he rallied the public against Car Talk.

Ira Glass
This American Life
15 min 00 sec
Air Date: 04/25/1997

The main concept behind the Trappist lifestyle is that the abbey should be self sufficient. The monks should make something and sell it to the public. Some make cheese. Some make spirits. But none of the Trappist products are as famous as the beer.

Roman Mars
99% Invisible
13 min 21 sec
Air Date: 05/31/2012

Luis Da Silva has been called the best ball handler in the world. But he didn’t even start for his high school basketball team. It wasn’t until he showed up for a Nike commercial shoot in New York that anyone had a clue what he could do.

Joel Lovell
This American Life
17 min 00 sec
Air Date: 04/31/2001

Frankie Lewchuk lives in a small town in the southern Appalachian mountains in Alabama. His dad was on the run from the law for 16 years, and Frankie had no idea.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
12 min 09 sec
Air Date: 04/07/1997

Ira Glass travels to Vegas for the World Series of Poker, gets hooked, and explores what it would mean if he ditched his job in radio to become a professional card player.

Ira Glass
This American Life
26 min 00 sec
Air Date: 08/31/2001

It has been known since the 1990s that James “Whitey” Bulger was a secret FBI informant going back a couple decades. But newly obtained government documents now show that Bulger started snitching on fellow criminals when he was in his twenties.

David Boeri
WBUR
10 min 03 sec
Air Date: 05/30/2012

Tig Notaro was out at a party when she ran into Taylor Dayne, a late 80s pop star. Then she ran into her again. And again. They established something of a one-sided rapport.

Tig Notaro
This American Life
16 min 00 sec
Air Date: 05/14/2012

One of the best-known stories from the Bible reenacted with an armadillo. Sort of.

Brady Udall
This American Life
23 min 00 sec
Air Date: 03/10/2000

The man who helped bring the Hubble Space Telescope into focus.

Tim Skoog
TAPEdocs
10 min 57 sec
Air Date: 05/11/2012

For centuries, the Newfoundland fishery was hailed as the greatest in the world. Then, in 1992, the cod disappeared and island culture was poised to go the way of the cod.

Chris Brookes
Homelands Production
14 min 58 sec
Air Date: 01/28/2005

Private investigator Paul Bieber heads to Colombia for answers to a question victims of paramilitary violence are rarely — if ever — asked: What does justice look like to them?

Paul Bieber
Transom
10 min 37 sec
Air Date:

Private investigator Paul Bieber heads to Colombia for answers to a question victims of paramilitary violence are rarely — if ever — asked: What does justice look like to them?

Paul Bieber
Transom
10 min 37 sec
Air Date:

Aspiring young DJs without much money, post-blackout looting, and abundant hi-fi stores. Delaney Hall explores how the New York riots of 1977 sparked hip-hop music.

Delaney Hall
Sound Bank
11 min 47 sec
Air Date: 08/2011

For over 40 years, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sponsored a program that placed Native American children in Mormon homes. The program aimed to help bring a “cursed race” back to the Kingdom of God.

Kate Davidson
Homelands Production
15 min 40 sec
Air Date: 01/23/2005

Legions of fetal cells hang out inside a mother for decades after she gives birth — and might even help heal her when she’s sick or hurt.

Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
20 min 29 sec
Air Date: 04/30/2012

We’re taught to avoid doing things we’ll regret for the rest of our lives, but why? Author Kathryn Schulz makes the case for cherishing our worst choices — like her tattoo.

Alison Stewart
TED Radio Hour
17 min 53 sec
Air Date: 05/04/2012

A neuroscientist looks to her own research to understand her father.

Daniela Schiller
The Story Collider
10 min 12 sec
Air Date: 10/09/2011

Mark Sam Rosenthal’s father teaches him about the birds and the bees, but leaves out the one lesson he never learned himself.

Mark Sam Rosenthal
The Story Collider
17 min 19 sec
Air Date: 01/23/2012

As a teenager, Hallie Haglund had a complicated relationship with her English teacher — one that became even more complicated when they ventured into the wild.

Hallie Haglund
The Story Collider
16 min 25 sec
Air Date: 02/05/2012

The self-proclaimed Queen of Mean listens to and discusses her live performance about her ex-boyfriend, Big Frank, and what makes for good stand-up comedy.

Kevin Usten
Risk!
28 min 20 sec
Air Date: 01/05/2012

Urban planner Daniel D’Oca on architectural weapons — design elements in the urban landscape used to wage the ongoing war between integration and segregation.

Roman Mars
99% Invisible
10 min 47 sec
Air Date: 04/03/2012

Urban planner Daniel D’Oca on architectural weapons — design elements in the urban landscape used to wage the ongoing war between integration and segregation.

Roman Mars
99% Invisible
10 min 47 sec
Air Date: 04/03/2012

You may not know his face, but you definitely know his voice. Tom Kane: the man behind thousands of video games, commercials, and those ridiculous movie trailers.

Virginia Prescott
Word Of Mouth
13 min 46 sec
Air Date: 04/26/2012

Back in the 1980s, Michael Larson made the most money ever on the game show Press Your Luck. It was no luck, but was his winning plan a scam or an honest venture?

Shawn Allee
This American Life
18 min 00 sec
Air Date: 07/16/2010

Blaise Allysen Kearsley ponders the question: How do you learn about sexuality when no one tells you anything useful and everyone else seems to know what they’re doing?

Twenty five years ago, Michael Morton was convicted of killing his wife and sentenced to life in prison. DNA evidence finally set him free, but it took a quarter-century to force Texas officials to reveal the evidence that exonerated him.

Wade Goodwyn
Weekend Edition
14 min 20 sec
Air Date: 04/28/2012

Asa Carter was a speechwriter for Alabama Governor George Wallace. He penned one of the most infamous speeches of the era, Wallace’s “Segregation Now, Segregation Forever.” Forrest Carter was a Cherokee writer. But the two men shared a secret.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
12 min 07 sec
Air Date: 04/20/2012

Matt Danzico took on a massive project to show that strangers on the Internet can be trusted — and found himself in the middle of nowhere with a stranger and his gun.

Matt Danzico
The Story Collider
19 min 23 sec
Air Date: 04/22/2012

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what makes us happy are often wrong and challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel happy even when things don’t go as planned.

Dan Gilbert
TED Talks
19 min 46 sec
Air Date: 2004

In July 2011, Matthew Rochelle stood trial for murder. His father, Stephen Rochelle, describes what it felt like when his own son became a stranger.

Lea Thau
Strangers
16 min 58 sec
Air Date: 12/16/2011

Even during construction of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the deck would go up and down by several feet with the breeze. In the months the bridge was open, people came just to ride the waves as they crossed above Puget Sound. The thrill ride didn’t last long.

Roman Mars
99% Invisible
12 min 27 sec
Air Date: 04/18/2012

When we think about bad behavior, we think about character. But psychologists have found that doesn’t explain everything. Take for example a man who started out as an upstanding businessman and went on to commit fraud involving millions of dollars.

Alix Spiegel
Chana Joffe-Walt
Planet Money
25 min 57 sec
Air Date: 04/17/2012

A 26-year-old from Los Angeles gets deported to his parents’ home country of El Salvador, which he has not seen since he was five years old. He has no memories of the country, no immediate family, and little ability to speak Spanish.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
25 min 03 sec
Air Date: 05/21/1999

Jad Abumrad goes looking for the devil, in search of the truth behind the legend of one of the most haunting, shadowy figures in music — American blues singer Robert Johnson.

Jad Abumrad
Radiolab
30 min 10 sec
Air Date: 04/16/2012

Nneka’s music is a mixture of Afrobeat, hip-hop, R&B, and folk. As a teenager, she moved from Nigeria to Germany, her mother’s home country. “I was a foreigner, and I was treated like a foreigner. Despite the fact that I had both passports.”

Kurt Andersen
Studio 360
16 min 24 sec
Air Date: 04/13/2012

Published in 1967, Guy Debord’s “La Société du Spectacle” is a radical attack on modern society, in which, in Debord’s words, “being” had declined into a state of “having” and “having” merely meant “appearing”. But what exactly was the spectacle?

Benjamen Walker
Big Ideas Podcast
13 min 18 sec
Air Date: 03/26/2012

A young man is bewildered when his phone conversation with a date sounds entirely different on her end of the line than it does on his.

Jonathan Mitchell
The Truth
14 min 30 sec
Air Date: 04/13/2012

“Q: Did you hear about the new corduroy pillows? A: They’re making headlines!” An all-icebreaker episode of the Dinner Party Download. Very short, very stupid jokes from Patton Oswalt, Miranda July, Spike Jonze, Shepard Fairey, and many more. Part 1.

The Dinner Party
17 min 38 sec
Air Date: 08/12/2011

As a boy in religious school, Shalom Auslander is informed that his name is one of the names of God, so he must be very careful not to take his own name in vain.

Shalom Auslander
This American Life
10 min 00 sec
Air Date: 05/04/2007

After a terrible loss, science writer Carl Zimmer goes to report from the South Sudan, surrounded by the world’s deadliest parasites.

Carl Zimmer
The Story Collider
21 min 00 sec
Air Date: 2011

In 1822, an accidental shooting left Alexis St. Martin with a hole in his gut that wouldn’t heal, but didn’t kill him either. Instead, the strange relationship that developed between the patient and his doctor opened up a one-of-a-kind window into the human body.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
16 min 04 sec
Air Date: 04/02/2012

A look back at that relationship you can’t believe actually happened. You stayed too long, put up with too much, said such nasty things. The bylaws and byways of cringe love.

Nancy Updike
Hearing Voices
11 min 21 sec
Air Date: 04/01/2001

A tour through the world of money and politics, revealing just how much time members of Congress spend raising money and which committee assignments yield the biggest campaign donations. Plus, what exactly is all this money actually buying?

Alex Blumberg
Andrea Seabrook
This American Life
27 min 00 sec
Air Date: 03/30/2012

David Unkovic is a thoughtful, mild-mannered guy who was appointed to save Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The city had gone broke and it was Unkovic’s job to figure out how to fix things. Then he quit. And since resigning, Unkovic has gone missing.

Zoe Chace
Planet Money
21 min 32 sec
Air Date: 04/03/2012

Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, the renowned folksinger and bluesman, performed with pioneering folklorist Alan Lomax on WNYC in 1944.

Andy Lanset
WNYC
14 min 39 sec
Air Date: 02/14/1944

The story of how the environmentalist that ranchers hated the most, whom they tried to run out of town and hanged in effigy, came to take the ranchers’ side of things.

Scott Carrier
This American Life
26 min 00 sec
Air Date: 07/25/2003

Nick Epperson chronicles a turbulent year in his life. Feeling isolated, he drops out to try home schooling, then decides to go back. “If you could give me any advice or give me some potion that would make people my age start liking me,” he says, “or I don’t know.”

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
18 min 39 sec
Air Date: 09/28/1999

John Hodgman rambles through a story about aliens, physics, time, space, and the way all of these somehow contribute to a sweet, perfect memory of falling in love.

John Hodgman
TED Talks
16 min 57 sec
Air Date: 2008

In 1946, legendary radio dramatist Norman Corwin was named the first recipient of the “One World Flight” Award. His prize was a four month trip around the world. Corwin used his global journey to produce a series of thirteen radio documentaries for CBS.

Mary Beth Kirchner
Lost & Found Sound
08/13/1999 min sec
Air Date:

A taxi driver is forced to work on his anniversary, and gets more than he expected when he picks up a couple and a surprise passenger in Lower Manhattan.

Jonathan Mitchell
The Truth
17 min 53 sec
Air Date: 03/06/2012

Two stories about heart-stopping falls: David Eagleman gets to the bottom of what goes on in our brains during those life or death moments when time seems to slow way down. Plus, the story of Sarita and Simon, who fell in, and then out, of love.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
22 min 37 sec
Air Date: 09/20/2010

A year spent documenting Megan’s transition into Miles, from the mundane practical considerations to the fundamental identity transformation.

Sarah Reynolds
Transom
27 min 11 sec
Air Date: 06/08/2010

As an adolescent boy, David Sedaris feared he might be gay. His secret plan was to win the lottery and hire doctors who would purge him of his impulses. Then he went away to summer camp and met Pete, who seemed like an outsider in the same way he was.

David Sedaris
This American Life
26 min 00 sec
Air Date: 06/21/1996

“I love the simplicity of Sesame Street characters,” says Kevin Clash, Elmo’s creator. “I love that Elmo is just an orange nose and two eyes and no tongue — just a black mouth — and you just find that by just the tilt of the head or looking up, it says something.”

Terry Gross
Fresh Air
26 min 56 sec
Air Date: 12/15/2011

The Sporkful tackles the world of gum, including thoughts on the liquid center, ideal shapes and sizes, and the best gum jingles of the 80′s. Featuring NPR’s Mike Pesca.

Dan Pashman
Mark Garrison
The Sporkful
17 min 15 sec
Air Date: 04/12/2010

How to avoid bad jokes in your State of the Union speech, stop a nosebleed in the most insane way, and get discount groceries. Plus: Fred Armisen on how to make a prank call.

Ian Chillag
Mike Danforth
How To Do Everything
20 min 00 sec
Air Date: 01/26/2012

Jen Nathan produced “A square meal” in 2007 and she’s been reeling ever since. The story follows the last days of John Gallagher with his caring friend Cedric Chambers. Jen says being there felt uncomfortable at minimum and morally wrong at worst.

Rob Rosenthal
How Sound
16 min 06 sec
Air Date: 03/21/2012

David Foster Wallace reports on a turning point in a past Republican presidential primary: The moment when John McCain failed to respond well to an attack by George Bush, which arguably ended up costing him the election.

David Foster Wallace
This American Life
19 min 00 sec
Air Date: 05/19/2000

Josh Cutler is a teenager living with Tourette’s Syndrome. “It feels like there’s a big balloon inside my stomach,” he says. “Like every second extra the tic stays inside it feels like somebody blows up the balloon another notch.” Listen to Part 2 of Josh’s diary.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
12 min 25 sec
Air Date: 1996

At 17, Eleanor Longden started to hear voices and was diagnosed as a schizophrenic — a label she rejects. Now she is a high achieving academic, living happily with the voices.

Jon Ronson
BBC Radio 4
30 min 00 sec
Air Date: 04/26/2011

Starlee Kine plays matchmaker to form a band that’s made entirely out of the classifieds.

Starlee Kine
This American Life
15 min 00 sec
Air Date: 10/11/2002

Alan Turing was the first person to conceive of the computer age. He is considered the father of artificial intelligence. But the world wasn’t kind to Turing. In 1952, he was convicted under a British law prohibiting “acts of gross indecency between men.”

Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
23 min 45 sec
Air Date: 03/19/2012

John Coltrane recorded the album in 1964 and released it the following year. In many ways, it mirrors Coltrane’s spiritual quest that grew out of his personal troubles.

ERIC WESTERVELT
All Things Considered
12 min 56 sec
Air Date: 10/23/2000

A first-hand account of the power of animal magnetism.

Elizabeth Reale
Paper Radio
13 min 13 sec
Air Date: 02/14/2012

John Corcoran graduated from high school and college and was a teacher for 17 years without knowing how to read or write. Listen also to Part 1 of his story.

Lea Thau
Strangers
15 min 07 sec
Air Date: 02/22/2012

Dror Etkes has taken it as his personal mission to document the spread of Israeli settlements in the West Bank — every shack, mobile home, housing cluster, bypass road, and town. But settlement growth is something many people would rather keep quiet.

Nancy Updike
Hearing Voices
21 min 07 sec
Air Date: 11/21/2003

Jonathan Goldstein interrogates the girls, now grown up, who terrorized him and his classmates years ago in school — and finds they can be just as scary as ever.

Jonathan Goldstein
This American Life
18 min 00 sec
Air Date: 09/05/2003

The American novelist Richard Ford reads a favorite John Cheever short story, and discusses it with The New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman.

Deborah Treisman
The New Yorker Fiction Podcast
12 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/25/2006

Is there such thing as a good cage? The answer goes back to the ’70s, to the moment the modern zoo was born, embodied by the few tentative steps of a gorilla named Kiki.

Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
24 min 47 sec
Air Date: 06/04/2007

A retelling of the story of Cain and Abel, in which we finally hear Cain’s side of things.

Jonathan Goldstein
This American Life
18 min 00 sec
Air Date: 11/21/2003

In his ongoing wrestling match with the Cantonese language, Benjamin Law charts his attempts to master his family’s mother tongue.

Benjamin Law
Paper Radio
19 min 08 sec
Air Date: 06/14/2010

As Ed Gavagan watches medical students practice sutures on the subway, he remembers his own traumatic experience of being stabbed on the street in New York.

Ed Gavagan
The Story Collider
16 min 03 sec
Air Date: 03/11/2012

David Carr of the New York Times answers questions about his favorite “time” of the week, his thoughts on flying, and the country he knows least about.

Jody Avirgan
Ask Roulette
14 min 50 sec
Air Date: 03/14/2012

Colorado Springs was in rough shape. City services were being cut left and right. Then one man wrote a manifesto for how to solve the city’s problems: run it like a hotel.

Robert Smith
This American Life
27 min 00 sec
Air Date: 03/02/2012

Some have called the song an alternative national anthem. Others say it’s a Marxist response to “God Bless America.” Written and first sung by Woody Guthrie, it probably borrowed heavily from a 1930 gospel recording by the Carter Family. From

Nick Spitzer
All Things Considered
13 min 00 sec
Air Date: 07/03/2000

On The Media, the show that specializes in pulling back the curtain on other media, pulls the curtain back on itself. Not everybody speaks as cleanly as it might seem.

John Solomon
On The Media
12 min 12 sec
Air Date: 2005

The story of a man who has spent more than a decade trying to convince doctors that he’s not mentally ill. But the more he argues his case, the less they believe him.

Jon Ronson
This American Life
25 min 00 sec
Air Date: 07/10/2009

At this moment, a quiet war is raging in our oceans. The opponents are microscopic, but the scope is so vast it rivals Lord of the Rings. And it’s vital to our own survival.

Ari Daniel Shapiro
Radiolab
11 min 26 sec
Air Date: 03/05/2012

Hostile womanizer, crack addict, bad parent, New York Times columnist — David Carr has been all of those, sometimes simultaneously. But he couldn’t trust his memory of his own past. So the reporter set out to reconstruct his various sordid lives.

Dave Davies
Fresh Air
27 min 56 sec
Air Date: 08/11/2008

An Irish-Catholic family obsessed with the Kennedys spends a summer spying.

Michaela Murphy
The Moth
15 min 19 sec
Air Date: 10/15/2006

The conductor has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping people to realize their untapped love for it — and by extension, their untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, and new connections.

Benjamin Zander
TED Talks
20 min 47 sec
Air Date: 2008

In September 2010, NPR and ProPublica published an investigation about five soldiers who suffered traumatic brain injuries from an explosion in Iraq, and the cognitive and emotional problems they’d been having since. Twelve days later, one of the soldiers piled an armload of guns into his pickup and led police on a high-speed chase.

Daniel Zwerdling
T. Christian Miller
20 min 09 sec
Air Date: 03/22/2011

A Houston woman tries to document every day of her four-year-old daughter’s life.

Julie Checkoway
Kimberly Meyer
This American Life
13 min 00 sec
Air Date: 07/25/2003

The Maltese Falcon is a detective novel, but it’s also a brilliant literary work, a thriller, a love story, and a dark, dry comedy. This radio documentary on the novel is part of The Big Read series, from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Dan Stone
The Big Read
29 min 18 sec
Air Date: 05/29/2009

A closer look at Yoko Ono’s role in the Beatles break up, the complicated relationship with Paul McCartney, and surprising stories behind his most recognizable songs.

Virginia Prescott
Word Of Mouth
24 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/08/2011

As a brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor got an unusual research opportunity. She had a massive stroke, and watched in fascination as her functions shut down one by one.

Jill Bolte Taylor
TED Talks
18 min 42 sec
Air Date: 2008

Christopher Daniel Gay has broken out of jail more than anyone else alive. He is the stuff of country songs. In his most notorious getaway, he fled prison and stole a tractor trailer to visit his dying mother. But the story behind the myth is more complicated.

Ben Montgomery
Pat Walters
Radiolab
26 min 06 sec
Air Date: 02/20/2012

In 2012, for the first time ever, women will step into the ring to compete at the Summer Olympics in London. One of the contenders fighting for one of the three spots is 16-year-old Claressa Shields, a high-school junior in Flint, Michigan.

Joe Richman
Sue Jaye Johnson
Radio Diaries
16 min 34 sec
Air Date: 02/27/2012

“I have this habit of walking into any door that’s unlocked,” says Andrea Seabrook, NPR’s congressional correspondent. “You start poking around, you find the coolest things.” That’s how she found the marble bathtubs in the Capitol basement.

Andrea Seabrook
Roman Mars
99% Invisible
11 min 07 sec
Air Date: 02/26/12

Director Richard Shepard had been dwelling in cinema obscurity for years before he got his break: a big budget and a chance to direct big stars in his film The Matador. When he took the film to Sundance in 2005, his entire future was flashing before his eyes.

Matt Holzman
The Business
25 min 48 sec
Air Date: 02/21/2005

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released transcripts and audio recordings made at the NRC Operations Center during the meltdown in Japan. The release of the tapes came at the request of the public radio program “BURN: An Energy Journal.”

Marketplace
12 min 00 sec
Air Date: 02/22/2012

David Foster Wallace’s iconic 2005 Kenyon College commencement address, now available in full. Listen to Part 2.

David Foster Wallace
10 min 00 sec
Air Date: 2005

A documentary of a daughter’s frustration in not living up to her mother’s ideal, but compassion for a woman who suffered abuse, starvation, and the horrors of war.

Dmae Roberts
NPR
26 min 34 sec
Air Date: 1989

It’s a dark night in Greenwich Village. A couple, a solitary customer, and a bartender seem adrift in the darkness. Adam Gopnik, of the New Yorker, walks the streets in search of the location and mood of Edward Hopper’s 1942 painting Nighthawks.

Judith Kampfner
BBC Radio 4
27 min 04 sec
Air Date: 06/01/2010

Comedian Robert Popper couldn’t stop his drunken friend from putting their lives at risk during a wedding in Israel, and a survivor of the 7/7 terrorist attacks is unable to refrain from joining in with message boards accusing her of being a government plant.

Jon Ronson
BBC Radio 4
30 min 00 sec
Air Date: 06/12/2007

Meghan Groome encounters a young science teachers rite of passage.

Meghan Groome
The Story Collider
18 min 37 sec
Air Date: 03/18/2012

Junot Díaz reads his short story “How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie).” And Edwidge Danticat discusses it with The New Yorker’s fiction editor.

Deborah Treisman
The New Yorker Fiction Podcast
17 min 38 sec
Air Date: 06/11/2007

They should! It’s a cardinal rule: more expensive items are supposed to be qualitatively better than their cheaper versions. But is that true for wine?

Stephen Dubner
Freakonomics Radio
18 min 09 sec
Air Date: 12/15/2010

The New York Times reporter Amy Harmon is making no progress on her story about a young autistic man trying to live independently — until she finds a way to reconnect.

Amy Harmon
The Story Collider
27 min 28 sec
Air Date: 03/04/2012

Elna Baker on being a 24-year-old virgin in New York City.

Elna Baker
The Moth
16 min 27 sec
Air Date: 06/06/2010

Is there such a thing as a purely selfless deed? Three bona fide heroes explain what went through their minds as they leapt into action. The heroes: Lora Shrake, who squared off with a 950-pound bull; Bill Pennell, who repeatedly dove into a burning car for survivors; and Wesley Autrey, who jumped in front of a subway train.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
16 min 09 sec
Air Date: 12/14/2010

At 16 years old, Catalina Puente finds herself obsessing over a girl she hardly knows.

Catalina Puente
Radio Rookies
13 min 37 sec
Air Date: 06/16/2005

“Q: How do you turn a duck into a popular soul singer? A: Put it in the microwave until its bill withers.” An all-icebreaker episode of the Dinner Party Download. Very short, very stupid jokes from David Carr, Girl Talk, Billy Bragg, and many more. Part 2.

The Dinner Party
14 min 32 sec
Air Date: 03/12/2010

John Corcoran graduated from high school and college and was a teacher for 17 years without knowing how to read or write. Listen also to Part 2 of his story.

Lea Thau
Strangers
20 min 34 sec
Air Date: 02/10/2012

Kurt Braunohler and his girlfriend had been together for 13 years. So they decided that they needed to sleep with other people before they could get married. Naturally.

Ira Glass
This American Life
18 min 30 sec
Air Date: 02/10/2012

The pop star Robbie Williams is taking time out from his career and has been researching UFO sightings, abductees, and the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. Jon Ronson accompanies him to a UFO conference in Laughlin, Nevada.

Jon Ronson
BBC Radio 4
30 min 01 sec
Air Date: 05/06/2008

Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry’s pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce, and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.

Malcolm Gladwell
TED Talks
17 min 41 sec
Air Date: 2004

Scott Carrier hitchhiked to National Public Radio headquarters in 1983. It is something of a public radio legend. He left a failed marriage in Salt Lake City and spent several weeks thumbing his way east, carrying a tape recorder and a microphone.

Scott Carrier
Transom
24 min 03 sec
Air Date: 1983

In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee opened its hearing into Communist influence in the movie business. One of the 19 denounced was Gordon Kahn, the reporter’s father. The first of a six-part history of the Hollywood Blacklist.

Tony Kahn
WGBH
28 min 51 sec
Air Date: 1995

“Somebody might be able to do a great painting that’s 20 x 30 inches,” says Ethel Kessler, art director of the United States Postal Service Stamp Services. “But you take that down to 1 x 1.5 inches, and it’s a challenge to make it work.”

Julie Shapiro
99% Invisible
12 min 26 sec
Air Date: 02/10/2012

An exploration of our rather neurotic relationship with death.

Ed Prosser
Transom
30 min 00 sec
Air Date: 02/01/2012

In March of 1940, a young Woody Guthrie sat for a series of oral history interviews for the Library of Congress archives. The recordings offer a glimpse of Guthrie’s early music style and a frank account of his harrowing past.

Stacey Abramson
Sound Portraits
11 min 22 sec
Air Date: 10/20/1996

Ira Glass spends time in perhaps the toughest room on earth, the editorial meeting at The Onion, where there’s one laugh for every 100 jokes.

Ira Glass
This American Life
17 min 00 sec
Air Date: 02/08/2008

In 1993, John Perry Barlow was at a convention for the NeXT computer, the machine Steve Jobs created. Feet away, the American Psychiatric Association was holding a convention of its own. At the border of the two, Barlow’s life changed forever.

Ira Glass
This American Life
20 min 00 sec
Air Date: 08/29/1997

A woman finds herself a salesperson for two religions: Christianity and Mary Kay.

Jen Lee
The Moth
13 min 46 sec
Air Date: 05/16/2011

The mycologist Paul Stamets believes that mushrooms can save our lives, restore our ecosystems, and transform other worlds.

Paul Stamets
TED Talks
17 min 42 sec
Air Date: 2008

Anthropologist Helen Fisher takes on the tricky topic of love and explains its evolution, its biochemical foundations, and its social importance.

Helen Fisher
TED Talks
21 min 49 sec
Air Date: 2006

The Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis became most famous at the moment of its demise. The 33 high-rise towers were supposed to solve an impending population crisis, but when conditions started to decline, everything got very bad, very fast.

Roman Mars
99% Invisible
11 min 27 sec
Air Date: 01/05/2012

Ali Davis literally hands people their fantasies, at a video store with a huge porn section.

Ali Davis
This American Life
10 min 00 sec
Air Date: 07/12/2002

Musician David Berkeley has gotten a lot of requests in his life, but none quite like this one. A fan wanted Berkeley to come to his house and help save his relationship by serenading the troubled couple with a personal concert.

Ira Glass
This American Life
13 min 00 sec
Air Date: 09/26/2008

There’s a common problem faced by Alzheimer’s and dementia patients all over the world: lost in their memories, they sometimes get disoriented and wander off. A nursing home in Düsseldorf, Germany, came up with a novel solution.

Lulu Miller
Radiolab
15 min 47 sec
Air Date: 03/23/2010

A man tries to calculate what love costs.

Matt Malloy
This American Life
15 min 00 sec
Air Date: 01/02/1998

“What I was doing was trying to be a glamour girl,” the singer told Terry Gross. “I had been a tomboy most of the time. And I wanted to look grown, you know, I want to wear tall high-heeled shoes, and fishtail gowns, and big long rhinestone earrings.”

Terry Gross
Fresh Air
19 min 05 sec
Air Date: 1994

The composer and radio host are second cousins, but they didn’t know each other well when the Field Museum in Chicago asked Ira to interview Philip on stage.

Ira Glass
Fresh Air
17 min 52 sec
Air Date: 09/21/1999

Mount Kailash in Tibet is one of the world’s most venerated, and least visited, holy sites. Walking its circuit alongside pilgrims, yaks, and yogis, Scott Carrier circles the center of creation. From the six-part series Stories from the Heart of the Land.

Scott Carrier
Stories From The Heart Of The Land
19 min 15 sec
Air Date: 08/15/2007

What strikes most people when they first arrive in Antarctica is the quiet. “It’s the only place in the world that you can actually hear geology happening; all these processes that you’re schooled to think take thousands and thousands of years.”

Chris Watson
BBC Radio 4
30 min 00 sec
Air Date: 01/03/2010

The practice of isolating prisoners for extended periods has been denounced as torture by the United Nations. But thousands of inmates are locked up this way in US prisons.

Claire Schoen
National Radio Project
29 min 00 sec
Air Date: 2009

In 1998, Dr. Gary Kaplan, the CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, received some bad news about his hospital. It was losing money. In his quest for a better management system, Kaplan ended up at a Toyota factory in Japan.

David Weinberg
99% Invisible
10 min 19 sec
Air Date: 06/30/2011

The true story of Princess Alexandra Amelie of Bavaria, 1826-1875, who was observed awkwardly walking sideways down the palace corridors. When questioned by her worried royal parents, she announced that she had swallowed a grand glass piano.

Deborah Levy
Kate Bland
BBC RADIO 3
30 min 08 sec
Air Date: 2011

A teacher’s classroom of restless, indifferent students becomes suddenly reliant on his seemingly worthless field study on drowning.

Chris Somerville
Paper Radio
10 min 53 sec
Air Date: 04/26/2010

Before Ira Glass was host of This American Life, he worked as a producer for NPR. In this story from 1989, he talks to some of the 18 people in Chicago who were struck by lightning in just one month (on the story page, scroll down a bit to find the audio link).

Ira Glass
All Things Considered
11 min 28 sec
Air Date: 1989

A strange twist of legal taxonomy causes a dispute over whether X-MEN action figures are toys or dolls and sparks a court case about what it means to be human.

Ike Sriskandarajah
Radiolab
17 min 37 sec
Air Date: 12/22/2011

A story of the kind of preferential treatment we all dream of, where waiters routinely bring us extra appetizers on the house, delivery men throw a little something special into our take-out orders, and deli owners regularly comp us free pickles and chips.

Jonathan Goldstein
This American Life
16 min 00 sec
Air Date: 05/07/2004

Girl moves to big city, girl meets boy, boy turns out to be a crackhead living in a halfway home, girl thinks she can change him, ends up changing herself.

Sheri Holman
The Moth
17 min 59 sec
Air Date: 04/18/2011

The writer and her daughter talk sex, divorce and sexuality among young women.

Alec Baldwin
Here's The Thing
22 min 06 sec
Air Date: 01/02/2012

The true story of little-known rooms in the New York City school system. Teachers are told to report there instead of their classrooms. When they arrive, they find they’ve been put on probationary status. Average length of stay? Months, sometimes years.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
19 min 28 sec
Air Date: 02/29/2008

Jack London’s The Call of the Wild is a singular classic. It’s a great novel, and a philosophical one, but packed with adventure. Oddest of all, it is experimental — half of the characters are canine, including the hero. This radio documentary on the novel is part of The Big Read series, from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Dan Stone
The Big Read
29 min 00 sec
Air Date: 04/17/2009

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it.

Ken Robinson
TED Talks
17 min 40 sec
Air Date: 2006

A man who believes he’s turning into a cockroach reaches out to a world famous doctor.

David Rakoff
Jonathan Goldstein
This American Life
13 min 30 sec
Air Date: 07/26/2012

The interview begins with Terry Gross mispronouncing Simmons’ original Hebrew last name; he tells her it’s because she has a Gentile mouth. It’s only downhill from there. Simmons refused to allow the interview to be posted online by NPR.

Terry Gross
Fresh Air
26 min 50 sec
Air Date: 02/04/2002

The writing of Marshall McLuhan has entered popular jargon like that of few other modern intellectuals. Perhaps no other line has been quoted, and misquoted, as enthusiastically as “the medium is the message.” But what does that really mean?

Benjamen Walker
Big Ideas Podcast
10 min 34 sec
Air Date: 07/20/2011

This Is Your Life was a 1950s television show in which unsuspecting, often famous, guests would have their biographies created on the spot for 40 million viewers. But in some cases, the format seemed a bit inappropriate for the story being told.

Allison Silverman
This American Life
20 min 00 sec
Air Date: 03/04/2011

Barney’s has chosen an odd tactic for its Christmas decorations on the Upper East Side. They don’t refer to Christmas. Instead, each window is dedicated to a different famous person. Only one window has a live human being in it, and it’s the Freud window.

David Rakoff
This American Life
15 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/20/1996

The sounds from Dublin Zoo at night. Howling wolves and snuffling elephants.

Colette Kinsella
RTÉ Radio 1
10 min 00 sec
Air Date: 09/01/2011

The best idea that Susan Schaller ever had came after meeting an isolated young man at a community college. He was 27. Though he had been born deaf, no one had ever taught him to sign. He had lived his entire life without language.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
30 min 04 sec
Air Date: 08/09/2010

After a 2010 plane crash killed dozens of Polish dignitaries, including the president, some thought the country would cross the social and political rift and come together to mourn. But something else entirely happened instead.

Amy Drozdowska-McGuire
This American Life
26 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/16/2011

Dan Savage points a finger at the Catholic Church for driving him to atheism, despite the fact that he still wants to believe he’ll see his mom in heaven someday.

Dan Savage
This American Life
16 min 00 sec
Air Date: 05/01/2009

Brian and Alma Hart lost their 20-year-old son in Iraq in 2003. A week before he was killed, their son called home, concerned about a lack of protection for soldiers.

Robin Young
Here & Now
24 min 07 sec
Air Date: 12/20/2011

Working in an art museum, quietly observing for hours at a time, security guards begin to feel trapped inside their own thoughts, or even inside a painting.

Sofia Saldanha
Goldsmiths College
10 min 22 sec
Air Date: 2009

She rose at dusk, sang, rehearsed, performed, ate and drank and sang until dawn. Then she slept all day and began to create and unravel again as the sun went down.

The Kitchen Sisters
Soundprint
28 min 16 sec
Air Date: 1994

Eighteen years after Carol gave up her son for adoption, she still believed they would meet again. She never changed her name and she never moved away.

Shea Shackelford
DC Listening Lounge
10 min 25 sec
Air Date: 2009

Robert and Danielle tried for years to steer their son away from female clothing. But nothing they did made a difference. Eventually, they found out about a controversial treatment that allows kids to postpone puberty and avoid developing the physical attributes of the sex they were born with (here’s the first part of the series, too).

Alix Spiegel
All Things Considered
20 min 12 sec
Air Date: 05/08/2008

Jon Ronson goes to his high school reunion to figure out why his friends threw him in a lake when he was 16. He suspects it was because he was fat. But no one at the reunion remembers it quite the way he does. A shorter version aired on This American Life.

Jon Ronson
BBC Radio 4
27 min 49 sec
Air Date: 09/03/2009

In which Sean Cole goes undercover as a strip club attendee in Memphis, which he’s heard is the city for that sort of thing. Note: This story deals with mature themes.

Sean Cole
Love + Radio
11 min 53 sec
Air Date: 01/01/2007

The dizzying rise and fall of Lincoln Beachey, a pilot whose aeronautic feats changed aviation forever and turned chancy stunts into acrobatic mastery.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
17 min 08 sec
Air Date: 09/20/2011

The Great Salt Lake’s West Desert is a land of polygymists and bombing ranges. There’s chlorine gas in the air, anthrax underground, and people who call the place home.

Scott Carrier
Transom
21 min 11 sec
Air Date: 09/01/2002

An economist and his buddies tricked the people of Brazil into saving the country from rampant inflation. They had a crazy, unlikely plan, and it worked.

Chana Joffe-Walt
Planet Money
29 min 56 sec
Air Date: 10/01/2010

Most of us deal with death by looking away. But in the Zagar family, they looked closer. A father and son have a contest to take the best pictures of their dying grandpa.

Lu Olkowski
Radiolab
11 min 41 sec
Air Date: 06/14/2007

Before Starlee Kine was a producer for This American Life, she was the subject of a story, in which she and a neighbor become obsessed with treating each other badly.

Paul Tough
This American Life
14 min 00 sec
Air Date: 09/12/1997

Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein were adopted as infants. When they were 35 years old, they met and discovered they had been separated after birth, for a research study of identical twins designed to examine the question of nature versus nurture.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
11 min 53 sec
Air Date: 10/25/2007

The history of the modern shopping mall, told by people living in a real, yet unnamed, city. Scored to Muzak, the universal mall experience comes to life, for better or worse.

Jonathan Mitchell
Living On Earth
22 min 32 sec
Air Date: 11/26/2004

What it’s like to be the player who spends 90 minutes mostly looking at the backs of his colleagues. They call it a team sport, but for the goalie it is a life of inaction interrupted by moments of frantic activity, occasionally bordering on near-suicide.

Adam Fowler
Ladbroke Radio
27 min 50 sec
Air Date: 05/29/2010

“I was plotting to kill a man,” the reporter begins. “Investigators look for motive, and mine was buried 25 years in the past.” Note: This story deals with mature themes.

David Holthouse
This American Life
23 min 00 sec
Air Date: 01/21/2011
via @prx

When people critique cul-de-sacs, often, they’re actually critiquing the suburbs more generally. Cul-de-sacs by definition aren’t well connected to other streets and they are far away from town centers. People argue whether these are pros or cons.

Katie Mingle
Roman Mars
99% Invisible
11 min 46 sec
Air Date: 06/16/2011

Walking in San Francisco, journalist Delfin Vigil noticed the name “Nikko” etched into the sidewalk. Then he saw the name again. And again. And again.

Stephanie Foo
Snap Judgment
11 min 22 sec
Air Date: 11/12/2010

Can coconut cake + random phone calls = love? Two people who are used to being alone in the winter connect over the telephone in this radio drama.

Jonathan Mitchell
The Truth
10 min 34 sec
Air Date: 01/31/2009

As host of 99% Invisible, Roman Mars spotlights the seams and joints that make up the world around us. Roman joins Radiolab to play some favorites from his podcast, and chat about the hidden language of design that shapes our lives.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Roman Mars
26 min 37 sec
Air Date: 12/12/2011

Knowing what’s going on in the minds of humans is a leap of faith, but a pretty safe leap. The minds of animals is another story. When Jerry Stones, a zookeeper, was duped by an orangutan named Fu Manchu, was he knowingly deceiving his human captors?

Ben Calhoun
Radiolab
24 min 35 sec
Air Date: 05/14/2010

A profile of Ataiba, the chief of one of the last bands of nomads in the Americas, as he leaves the Bolivian jungle to live with evangelical missionaries.

Why is it that karaoke machines only have songs on them? Why aren’t there other options, like the “you talkin to me?” scene from Taxi Driver?

Jonathan Goldstein
Starlee Kine
This American Life
11 min 00 sec
Air Date: 05/30/2003

From the headquarters of Aftermath, Inc., amidst a strip of bland office buildings, Tim Reifsteck makes his living cleaning up after the darkest side of human society.

“It’s marvelous when we’re surprised by coincidences,” the composer said. “That’s one of the beautiful things about hunting mushrooms — is that they grow up and are fresh at just a particular moment, and our lives are actually characterized by moments.”

Terry Gross
Fresh Air
19 min 41 sec
Air Date: 1982

Whether or not you believe it, about one in 10 people report having an “out of body” experience. And turns out it happens pretty frequently among fighter pilots.

Ann Heppermann
Kara Oehler
Radiolab
15 min 10 sec
Air Date: 05/05/2006

Being in an open relationship can be awkward when meeting your partner’s parents.

Robbie McEwan
360 Documentaries
10 min 30 sec
Air Date: 07/29/2010

As construction commenced on the largest building project since the pyramids, questions swirled around Lower Manhattan. How tall? Why two? What’s a world trade center? Young women were posted outside to put a pretty face on a controversy.

The Kitchen Sisters
Lost & Found Sound
21 min 23 sec
Air Date: 07/29/2002

The same story from two different sides of the bench. Judge Jeremiah, a Rhode Island juvenile court judge, grants an early release to Matthew, a 16-year-old repeat offender. Two weeks later, Matthew is arrested again. Plus, the tragic update to the story.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
15 min 20 sec
Air Date: 01/16/2001

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck express their desire to be on Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!, to the producers’ delight. But it turns into a lesson on being duped.

Ian Chillag
Mike Danforth
How To Do Everything
13 min 37 sec
Air Date: 12/08/2011

The format of the program was to reconnect people, live on the air. On July 6, 1947, those connections were diverse: one man was reunited with his wife, another with a childhood friend, and — in a story unlike anything on the radio before — Holocaust survivor Siegbert Freiberg was reunited with his father.

David Isay
Henry Sapoznik
Yiddish Radio Project
11 min 12 sec
Air Date: 05/21/2002

In 2008, detectives in Worcester, Massachusetts, spent two hours interrogating a 16-year-old girl whose baby son had just died, until they forced from her what was later judged a coerced confession of murder. Listen to Part 2 of this investigative report.

David Boeri
WBUR
12 min 52 sec
Air Date: 12/07/2011

Pornography rates up there with Hollywood as one of Southern California’s biggest industries, yet stories about it are often completely off the mark. Pornographer Sam Stern offers an unsettling answer to the question: just how far have we come in perceptions of feminine sexuality? Note: This story deals with mature themes.

Ben Adair
Pacific Drift
10 min 02 sec
Air Date: 05/08/2005

An account of life in one of the Bowery’s last flophouses, from the men who live in its rows of wooden cubicles. “So it’s not the Waldorf,” says Nathan Smith, the manager, “but where else can you find a room in New York for $10 a night?”

David Isay
Sound Portraits
23 min 21 sec
Air Date: 09/18/1998

Mild traumatic brain injury has been called a signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shock waves from roadside bombs can ripple through soldiers’ brains, causing damage that leaves no visible scars. Listen to the second part of this story.

Daniel Zwerdling
All Things Considered
12 min 23 sec
Air Date: 06/08/2010

Suzanne, a single woman in her 40s, decides to adopt an African-American baby. In preparation, she attends workshops to “teach white people to raise kids of color.”

Dan Collison
Elizabeth Meister
Long Haul
29 min 02 sec
Air Date: 05/09/2005

An unconventional father/son story. Two prison inmates in Texas, Daniel Johnson and Jesse Johnson, form a stronger bond behind bars than any they’d had on the outside.

Michael May
This American Life
11 min 00 sec
Air Date: 06/17/2011

The stories of the men and women involved with the execution of death row inmates in Huntsville, Texas. Narrated by Warden Jim Willett, who oversees all lethal injections.

David Isay
Sound Portraits
22 min 22 sec
Air Date: 10/20/2000

Walking down the street in Seattle, it might be easy to ignore the throngs of homeless kids asking for spare change. But it’s harder to ignore their dogs.

Jake Warga
Matt Perry
Transom
12 min 06 sec
Air Date: 08/01/2001

When he was 16, Myron Jones was allowed to go out any night of the week, but his mother barely let his sister out of the house. So the siblings invented an imaginary family that required her to babysit late into the night and sometimes for entire weekends.

Jonathan Goldstein
This American Life
25 min 00 sec
Air Date: 01/05/2001

One of the last songs Johnny Cash recorded was “There Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down).” It was written in 1934 by a 12-year-old boy named Claude Ely, who went on to become a Pentecostal preacher known to followers as Brother Claude.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
12 min 47 sec
Air Date: 05/05/2011

The voice behind a famous but not well-understood “fall guy” for American policies worldwide — Lynndie England, the American servicewoman photographed at Abu Ghraib prison holding a leash with a naked, Iraqi prisoner on the end of it.

Philip Gourevitch
This American Life
15 min 00 sec
Air Date: 06/26/2009

The neurologist tells stories of Charles Bonnet syndrome, an under-reported phenomenon when visually impaired people experience lucid hallucinations.

Oliver Sacks
TED Talks
18 min 59 sec
Air Date: 2009

There’s no scientific metric for measuring a city’s personality. But you can feel it. As a musician, Sxip Shirey decided that living in New York was a necessary evil. Then, one night on a roof, he had an epiphany that completely changed the way he saw the city.

Jad Abumrad
Radiolab
21 min 30 sec
Air Date: 10/08/2010

For more than 25 years, Frank Pease was the primary portrait photographer in a town of about 20,000 just south of Lake Michigan. Jason Bitner, co-founder of Found Magazine, happened across thousands of those photos and tracked down some of the subjects.

Dan Collison
Elizabeth Meister
Long Haul
14 min 14 sec
Air Date: 2006

The reporter’s father spent 23 years in prison. He started off as a Cuban Revolutionary and later ended up a convicted felon in the United States. Then, out of the blue, she got an email from him. He wrote, “I’m home. Your biological father, Hector.”

Jeanine Cornillot
Transom
29 min 14 sec
Air Date: 11/01/2004

The Canadian singer-songwriter’s fourth studio album, Metals, is a bit more chaotic and liberating. It’s “about un-simplifying things and leaning on these masterful minds I have so much respect for,” Feist says. She performs four songs from the album.

David Dye
World Cafe
30 min 13 sec
Air Date: 12/02/2011

What thoughts do bridge jumpers have a second after their feet leave the wall? How does it feel to hit water at 120 miles per hour? How do they stay afloat until rescued?

Rich Halten
Transom
18 min 52 sec
Air Date: 07/19/2011

The things we do for love. It’s not pretty. These stories could also be described as the things we do when we fail to realize that we aren’t in love.

Roman Mars
Sue Mell
Invisible Ink
29 min 00 sec
Air Date: 09/30/2004

By day he was a file clerk, by night he created one of America’s favorite cult comics. A conversation with Cleveland’s favorite dark, dysfunctional and curmudgeonly son.

Elvis Mitchell
The Treatment
28 min 28 sec
Air Date: 2003

The phone rings at the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce and 86-year-old Matt Kennedy answers a common question about the Brooklyn amusement park. “Yes, of course Coney Island still exists. Yes, it’s bigger and better than ever. Thank you.”

David Isay
Sound Portraits
17 min 40 sec
Air Date: 08/19/1990

How to justify the use of “OMG,” evade the escaped cobra in New York, use Pandora effectively, and undo an awkward first impression, with guest Julie Klausner.

Ian Chillag
Mike Danforth
How To Do Everything
20 min 27 sec
Air Date: 03/30/2011

Burnt orange and harvest gold — looking at the century through changing palettes.

Brian Lehrer
The Brian Lehrer Show
15 min 14 sec
Air Date: 12/01/2011

Witness the tearful end of a perfect online world.

Roman Mars
Snap Judgment
11 min 06 sec
Air Date: 07/21/2010

A mystery involving a box of old letters and a chase through clues and suspects — a Manhattan middle school teacher, homesick WWII soldiers, Rte 101, an estranged wife and mother — that all revolve around, yes, a goat standing on a cow.

Laura Starecheski
Radiolab
23 min 02 sec
Air Date: 09/10/2007

A carpenter finds reason to stay in New York after a chance encounter.

Ed Gavagan
The Moth
15 min 29 sec
Air Date: 07/30/2007

Blues musician Screamin’ Jay Hawkins had 57 children, some of whom were happier than others to learn of their father’s prolific paternity.

Alix Spiegel
All Things Considered
22 min 56 sec
Air Date: 01/01/2001

Near the end of the 19th century, a mysterious young woman with a beguiling smile turned up in Paris. She became a huge sensation. She also happened to be dead. You’d probably recognize her face yourself. You might have even put your mouth on it.

Sean Cole
Radiolab
17 min 51 sec
Air Date: 11/28/2011

Residents of a FEMA trailer park deep in the Mississippi woods struggle with drugs and depression. One hundred families have lived there in near isolation for close to two years since Hurricane Katrina. Several people confess they want to kill themselves.

Alix Spiegel
All Things Considered
20 min 43 sec
Air Date: 08/08/2007

“I seem to be one of these curious cases of a person whose memory is continuous,” the author says. “The capacity to forget is what preserves your life, in some instances. On the other hand, there is no continuity of human life without memory.”

Terry Gross
Fresh Air
14 min 31 sec
Air Date: 10/04/1989

Captain David Trask was born on land but lived most of his life on the waters off Nova Scotia. A respected dragger, he was at peace on the sea, but he also knew her dangers. So when Trask saved the life of his crew, but not himself, no one was surprised.

Bob Murphy
The Late Show
27 min 29 sec
Air Date: 06/30/2011

Two toys with two very different fates. The teddy bear, named after the charismatic president Theodore Roosevelt, was a sensation in the early twentieth century. Then, in 1909, toy makers placed their bets on the Taft presidency’s answer to the teddy bear.

Roman Mars
99% Invisible
12 min 05 sec
Air Date: 11/23/2011

Julia Easterlin describes her performing style as “musical sudoku.” When the 22-year-old walks into a room, she is equipped with just a backpack. She unpacks her rectangular looping machine, which essentially creates a one-woman chorus.

Adam Ragusea
Radio Boston
21 min 05 sec
Air Date: 11/25/2011

Rachel North was on a train that got blown up in the London subway bombings. After blogging about her experience, Rachel became a spokeswoman for a survivors’ group. Conspiracy theorists started attacking her online. For some reason, she engaged them.

Jon Ronson
This American Life
21 min 00 sec
Air Date: 08/10/2007

Some ideas are just repugnant — like paying for human organs. On the other hand, is it any less repugnant to let thousands of people die every year for want of a kidney that people might be willing to give up if they were able to be compensated?

Stephen Dubner
Freakonomics Radio
27 min 57 sec
Air Date: 12/30/2010

Rumor has it that two things made Robbins become a writer: taking LSD and moving to Seattle. With that in mind, he plays a game called “Unleash the power within!”

Peter Sagal
Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
11 min 19 sec
Air Date: 06/05/2010

As a teenager, John Richardson Jr. discovered his father was the CIA station chief in Saigon, before his cover was blown in the ’60s. For decades, the son was desperate to know more. Then, with his years running out, his dad began to fill in the blanks.

Jennifer Ludden
All Things Considered
11 min 21 sec
Air Date: 08/13/2005

“I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them,” the author told Terry Gross. “What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”

Terry Gross
Fresh Air
19 min 56 sec
Air Date: 09/20/2011

Comedian Mike Birbiglia on the time he ruined a cancer charity event with the worst performance of his life. He improvised. About cancer.

Mike Birbiglia
This American Life
10 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/19/2008

For decades, believers living in the Appalachian hills of the southeastern US have incorporated handling serpents and drinking strychnine into their religious practice. In accordance with their faith, handlers refuse medical treatment when bitten.

David Isay
Sound Portraits
21 min 44 sec
Air Date: 11/30/1992

Mike Birbiglia was used to doing weird stuff in his sleep, until it almost killed him.

Mike Birbiglia
This American Life
13 min 00 sec
Air Date: 08/08/2008

Thembi was 19 and living in one of the largest townships in South Africa. She was willing to speak out at a time when few South Africans were willing to say, “I have AIDS.” Thembi carried a tape recorder from 2004 to 2005 to document her life.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
22 min 38 sec
Air Date: 04/19/2006

“Man is small, and, therefore, small is beautiful.” Ernst Fritz Schumacher sought to expose the flipside to glib mottos — growth is good, big is better — questioning our obsession with economic expansion. But did we heed the spirit of the phrase?

Benjamen Walker
Big Ideas Podcast
12 min 03 sec
Air Date: 11/09/2011

The odd power of the cover band. One day in Afghanistan, the reporter started playing “Those Were the Days My Friend” on his accordion. His translator, shocked, asks, “How do you know Afghan music?” And so we learn the tale of Afghan Elvis.

Gregory Warner
Radiolab
16 min 23 sec
Air Date: 04/21/2008

Jimmy Weekley has lived in Pigeonroost Hollow, West Virginia for 70 years. In the 1990s, Arch Coal moved in and began work on one of the largest mountaintop removal mining sites ever proposed. Over the last decade, Weekley has watched his family and neighbors take buyouts and leave the area. But he refuses to sell.

Joe Richman
Samara Freemark
Radio Diaries
12 min 56 sec
Air Date: 08/11/2011

In 2005, the singer, then 24, didn’t have a piano in her apartment, so she went to the Baldwin Piano showroom in Midtown Manhattan to play some new compositions.

Matt Lieber
The Next Big Thing
14 min 05 sec
Air Date: 10/28/2005

The true nature of the dark side, its power over 32-year-old men living with mom — and why being known as “The Master-Vader” may not command the respect you seek.

Benjamen Walker
Sean Cole
Your Radio Nightlight
10 min 43 sec
Air Date: 10/01/2002

A life-changing relationship between a young house painter and an older woman.

Bailey White
All Things Considered
18 min 18 sec
Air Date: 11/26/2009

Merrill Garbus’ second album, w h o k i l l, explores themes of sexuality, femininity, class and violence, with Garbus’ witty lyrics alternately delivered in animalistic bursts, tender coos and yodels. She performs four songs from the album.

David Dye
World Cafe
29 min 14 sec
Air Date: 11/23/2011

When Benny was 23, he couldn’t even admit to himself that he had feelings for other men. He actively campaigned to keep gay alliance clubs out of schools. But then he fell completely, horribly in love with another Mormon — a hopelessly straight one, at that.

Ira Glass
This American Life
13 min 30 sec
Air Date: 11/11/2011

Why does a country music star and all-American guy — half of what was Nashville’s biggest act — have a house full of paintings from the Soviet Union? It’s a long story.

Julie Barton
Studio 360
10 min 15 sec
Air Date: 11/18/2011

You pretend you don’t want to listen, but you totally do. The mom/manager of the Kardashian clan says the reality show was a no-brainer. “If someone says, we could shine a camera on your shop every day, hello, I’m signing up.”

Alec Baldwin
Here's The Thing
21 min 29 sec
Air Date: 11/21/2011

Early in his career, musician Dan Deacon embarked on an eight-week tour. Totally broke, when the car died, he had no choice but to finish the trip by Greyhound bus.

Erin Gleeson
Let's Be Self Sufficient
18 min 29 sec
Air Date: 09/18/2011

While first man on the moon Neil Armstrong receives honorary degrees from MIT, second man on the moon Buzz Aldrin is stuck doing space-themed fast food restaurant openings. Their embittered email exchange features David Sedaris as Armstrong.

David Sedaris
Jonathan Goldstein
Wiretap
26 min 29 sec
Air Date: 11/18/2011

For a time, the Nadeau family had secret: the husband had a tendency to wear women’s clothes. Then Doug Nadeau got sick and, after surgery, he became less inhibited and more public in his crossdressing. His wife tells his story.

Eric Winick
All Things Considered
12 min 48 sec
Air Date: 11/28/2008

Each year, South Dakota removes an average of 700 Native American children from their homes. Indian children are less than 15 percent of the state’s population, but make up more than half the children in foster care (Part one of a three-part series).

Amy Walters
Laura Sullivan
All Things Considered
22 min 47 sec
Air Date: 10/25/2011

Mandy Maldonado’s dad is an evangelical minister. But she’s no angel.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
12 min 21 sec
Air Date: 10/07/1996

William Safire prepared a speech for President Nixon to read on television if the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the Moon. This radio drama imagines what it might have sounded like if things had gone differently for Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong.

Jonathan Mitchell
The Truth
15 min 21 sec
Air Date: 06/11/2010

At the age of 15, Cristel viciously attacked a rival classmate with a razor blade. It was one of the most violent acts ever committed by a young girl in Rhode Island. Now, after more than three years of incarceration, Cristel is getting ready to be released.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
19 min 28 sec
Air Date: 01/23/2001

A famous boy prodigy, William James Sidis taught himself Latin at 3, graduated Harvard at 16, but collected streetcar transfer tickets at 28.

Nate DiMeo
The Memory Palace
14 min 22 sec
Air Date: 01/07/2011

The Frankenstein Family Crypt in 1952, paranormal observations of an 8 year old, the haunting of a kitty, thoughts on the ghost story structure, and a scary pantry door.

Nick van der Kolk
Love + Radio
30 min 50 sec
Air Date: 10/30/2005

The extraordinary story of Mary Turner Thompson. Mary met and married Will, a man who said he was a CIA agent. He dashed off to Israel, leaving Mary holding the baby, never knowing when he would come back. But the most bizarre twist was still to come.

Jon Ronson
BBC Radio 4
30 min 04 sec
Air Date: 05/29/2007

The reporter’s father was kidnapped in Colombia by the FARC guerillas and held for months. To communicate with him, the family would go on a special radio station that broadcasts messages to people’s loved ones in captivity in the jungle.

Annie Correal
Transom
20 min 23 sec
Air Date: 01/10/2010

In Faulkner County, Arkansas, there’s been a gold-rush like influx of natural gas fracking in the community, with over 3,000 new wells drilled in the area. At the same time, there’s been a mysterious wave of thousands of small earthquakes. Musician Bonnie “Prince” Billy wrote an original song to contribute to the narrative.

Dan Collison
Elizabeth Meister
Long Haul
12 min 59 sec
Air Date: 07/08/2011

To make foie gras, geese must be strapped down and force-fed huge amounts of food. So when Dan Barber heard about a Spaniard who had supposedly found a way to make the delicacy without mistreating the animals, he went to Spain to investigate.

Ira Glass
This American Life
20 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/02/2011

This is a story that’s hard to describe. A slow, sonic, poetic roadtrip. The story itself starts at 05:05, before that is a conversation with the reporter.

Jay Allison
Saltcast
19 min 29 sec
Air Date: 09/08/2010

A classic example of what an economist would call a matching market — there’s a person who wants a ride, and there’s a person who’s willing to give a ride. There was some sort of equilibrium and somehow that got destroyed. So what happened?

Steven Levitt
Freakonomics Radio
29 min 59 sec
Air Date: 10/10/2011

A group of anxiety-ridden professionals hold a weekly phone conference aimed at providing support and advice. The producer joined and recorded the proceedings over six years. In this first episode, we meet the members.

Eurydice Aroney
Radio Eye
14 min 59 sec
Air Date: 02/25/1998

Can fear change you for the better? A clinic in Russia aims to scare patients sober, with a pill called “the torpedo,” administered … creatively.

Gregory Warner
Radiolab
17 min 38 sec
Air Date: 03/08/2011

The audio diary of LeAlan Jones, 13, and Lloyd Newman, 14, on Chicago’s South Side. The boys walk listeners to school, to an overpass to throw rocks at cars, to a bus ride that takes them out of the ghetto, and to friends and family members in the community.

David Isay
Sound Portraits
30 min 15 sec
Air Date: 05/18/1993

Singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens is introduced to the Arkansas town of Brinkley, a farming town not far from where the ivory-billed woodpecker was recently rediscovered. That the bird is not extinct has brought a ray of hope to the residents.

Dan Collison
Elizabeth Meister
Long Haul
12 min 49 sec
Air Date: 07/06/2005

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, told Sarah-Vowell style.

Sarah Vowell
This American Life
10 min 00 sec
Air Date: 09/19/2003

Rob Corddry is a detective confronted with the biggest case of his career: a stolen soul. He’s heard of stolen hearts. Heck, he’s stolen plenty himself. But a stolen soul?

Jonathan Goldstein
Wiretap
26 min 29 sec
Air Date: 11/04/2011

In 1906, a rich family vacationing in Oyster Bay, New York, started to get sick. Very sick. It turns out they’d come down with typhoid, a disease forever associated with one woman: Typhoid Mary. You may think you know this story — you don’t.

Sean Cole
Radiolab
15 min 40 sec
Air Date: 11/14/2011

Matthew wears a face mask. He reveals through drawings and sound the story behind the mask. Let’s leave it at that, because the strength is in the unraveling.

Helena Keeffe
Matthew Blanchard
Transom
18 min 44 sec
Air Date: 04/07/2010

Working at FAO Schwartz, the reporter’s job is to sell lifelike “newborns” displayed in a “nursery” inside the store. When the white babies sell out, white parents are faced with a choice: Will they go for an Asian, Latino, or African-American baby instead?

Elna Baker
This American Life
16 min 00 sec
Air Date: 01/18/2008

The much-publicized bout between Joe Frazier’s daughter, Jacqui, and Muhammed Ali’s daughter, Laila. Billed as “Ali vs. Frazier IV,” the daughters’ fight was a continuation of the feud that fueled their fathers’ three title fights in the 1970s.

The Kitchen Sisters
Morning Edition
23 min 35 sec
Air Date: 06/08/2001

In 1945, Willie McGee was accused of raping a white woman and put to death in Mississippi’s traveling electric chair. His execution was broadcast live by a local radio station. The reporter grew up knowing nothing about her grandfather. Now she is on a quest to unearth everything she can about his life — and death.

Bridgette McGee
Radio Diaries
21 min 24 sec
Air Date: 05/07/2010

In 1929, George Orwell stepped from a life of privilege into a battle against dirt and hunger. In France, the novelist was starving and broke. In Britain, he lived the life of those who’d fallen even lower — becoming a tramp on London’s streets.

Emma Jane Kirby
BBC World Service
25 min 00 sec
Air Date: 10/08/2011

Rolling Stones bouncer turned large animal veterinarian Kevin Fitzgerald talks about his more interesting patients and answers questions about baseball doping and Barry Bonds.

Peter Sagal
Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
14 min 16 sec
Air Date: 08/22/2009

Growing up in a Mexican-American family in Texas, Domingo Martinez’s two middle school aged sisters found a unique way of coping with feelings of inferiority.

Domingo Martinez
This American Life
11 min 30 sec
Air Date: 10/28/2011

First Ira Glass issued a challenge: Is NPR liberal leaning? Are public radio employees broadcasting a bunch of leftist propaganda? The terms are surprisingly hard to define. What is liberal? What is bias? What is NPR? (Hear also: the follow-up show.)

Brooke Gladstone
On The Media
18 min 05 sec
Air Date: 03/18/2011

Efforts to protect the endangered Kirtland’s warbler have led to the killing of cowbirds and a prescribed burn aimed at creating a new habitat. Tragically, this burn led to the death of a 29-year-old wildlife technician who was dedicated to warbler restoration. How far should we should go to protect one species?

Lulu Miller
Radiolab
22 min 53 sec
Air Date: 06/28/2010

The reporter gets answers about her parents’ marriage from her dad… after a lifetime of mystery. She and her sister had wanted her parents to divorce since they were little.

Starlee Kine
This American Life
16 min 00 sec
Air Date: 03/26/2004

In 1932, a group of World War I veterans rallied the Bonus Army to Washington to lobby for early payment of their promised bonuses. They set up camp that May. But by July, officials lost patience and went in to evict the marchers. It turned violent.

Joe Richman
Samara Freemark
Radio Diaries
12 min 55 sec
Air Date: 11/11/2011

“Pretend I’m your priest,” the political strategist tells prospective candidates — most recently, Republican Michelle Bachmann. Rollins encourages his clients to tell him everything, but even still, he tells Alec, “they always lie.”

Alec Baldwin
Here's The Thing
30 min 33 sec
Air Date: 11/07/2011

The story of a man obsessed with reruns. A director makes an entire movie that’s a rerun, based on a personal rerun that he found himself caught in. But why?

Starlee Kine
This American Life
27 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/06/2002

Kohn Ashmore’s voice is arrestingly slow. When he was eight years old, he was in a coma for five months, and when he finally woke up, everything about him was slowed down, except for his mind. His friend Andy tells his story.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
20 min 34 sec
Air Date: 08/18/11

Laura Rothenberg has always tried to live a normal life, with lungs that often betray her and the sober awareness that she may not live to see her 30th birthday. For two years, Laura keeps an audio diary of her battle with cystic fibrosis.

Joe Richman
Radio Diaries
21 min 13 sec
Air Date: 08/05/2002

In December of 1967, miner Melvin Earl Dummar was driving down a desert road in Nevada when he saw a man lying in the road. Melvin rescued the man who turned out, he says, to be billionaire tycoon Howard Hughes. His life changed forever.

Ben Bombard
Nick van der Kolk
Love + Radio
27 min 08 sec
Air Date: 05/01/11

David Sedaris tells a story from his boyhood, when a voice inside his head commanded him to lick every light switch and tap his forehead with his heel.

David Sedaris
This American Life
14 min 00 sec
Air Date: 01/31/1997

The recovered tapes of Lance Corporal Michael A. Baronowki, a young marine who kept an audio diary of his war experience in Vietnam until his death.

Christina Egloff
Lost & Found Sound
22 min 38 sec
Air Date: 04/21/2000

On the 25th anniversary of the mass suicide and murder of more than 900 followers of Reverend Jim Jones in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978, survivor Laura Johnston Kohl looks back on what went wrong, and the pain and regret she lives with.

Melissa Block
All Things Considered
12 min 29 sec
Air Date: 11/17/2003

Samr “Rocky” Tayeh is 6 foot 1 and weighs 393 pounds. At 16, he is dangerously overweight. Rocky wants to slim down, but doesn’t know how to control his eating.

Samr Tayeh
Radio Rookies
12 min 44 sec
Air Date: 12/29/2003

The reporter and his family live in the same Salt Lake City neighborhood as Elizabeth Smart, the 14-year-old whose kidnapping made international news in 2002. Though pictures of Smart were everywhere, her captors brought her back to the neighborhood and walked freely through the streets with her. But no one recognized her.

Scott Carrier
This American Life
12 min 00 sec
Air Date: 04/08/2005

Elliot Castro spent five years being a con man, travelling first class around the world, pursuing a five-star, fantasy life that eventually spiralled out of control.

Jon Ronson
BBC Radio 4
28 min 59 sec
Air Date: 09/04/2008

Charlie Barnett is a composer who scores films for a living. But in the summer of ’74, he was just one of a legion of hippie hitchhikers making his way across country.

Charlie Barnett
All Things Considered
22 min 00 sec
Air Date: 09/02/2002

At age 48, Stewart Selman was told he had a malignant brain tumor. Less than 5 percent of people with the diagnosis live for more than a year. To leave a record for his wife and their two children, Selman began an audio diary.

Mary Beth Kirchner
All Things Considered
22 min 43 sec
Air Date: 03/27/2006

The steel drum was first created in Trinidad, hammered from biscuit boxes, brake drums and oil barrels. One of the biggest “steel pan” bands of the 1960s gained worldwide fame when an unlikely patron heard their act and took them on tour.

The Kitchen Sisters
Lost & Found Sound
12 min 49 sec
Air Date: 03/04/2003

Starting in 1931, C. Israel Lutsky took to the air daily for more than 30 years with listeners seeking advice. He replied with a mixture of folk wisdom and abuse. Charlatan or sage, Lutsky was one of the most beloved figures in the golden age of Yiddish radio.

David Isay
Henry Sapoznik
Yiddish Radio Project
12 min 14 sec
Air Date: 04/23/2002

In her last book, Joan Didion contemplated how her life was fundamentally altered after her husband’s sudden death. The book was published just months after Didion’s only child, her daughter Quintana Roo, died at age 39. Didion says she was unable to start mourning her daughter’s death until she started writing again.

Terry Gross
Fresh Air
20 min 28 sec
Air Date: 11/02/2011

Most sperm banks provide all sorts of information about their donors. They even have videotaped interviews and recorded answers to essay questions. But not all clients take advantage of this information. In fact, lots of women choose to avoid it.

Alix Spiegel
This American Life
20 min 00 sec
Air Date: 04/20/2001

The reporter was unexpectedly chosen to be the PC in those Apple commercials. He tells the story of what happens when celebrity hunts you down and finds you … on your living room couch, pushing 40, and a couple sizes larger than you want to be.

John Hodgman
This American Life
12 min 00 sec
Air Date: 04/06/2007

For Alec Baldwin’s inaugural show, the actor invites him into his apartment to discuss what makes a great director, a smart producer, and why playing a villain is wonderful.

Alec Baldwin
Here's The Thing
23 min 49 sec
Air Date: 10/24/2011

Thunderbolt’s business card is a little mysterious. It reads, “Thunderbolt – Party Naked” and gives a phone number. Call the number and he’ll invite you to a private strip club at his bungalow in a working-class neighborhood in east Detroit.

Brendan Baker
Nick van der Kolk
Love + Radio
28 min 02 sec
Air Date: 04/01/11

A garage near Pittsburgh is considered the birthplace of modern broadcasting. And 94-year-old Harry Mills may be the only surviving person who heard those broadcasts.

Joe Richman
Lost & Found Sound
12 min 51 sec
Air Date: 11/30/2001

In 1946, a psychiatrist named Walter Freeman launched a radical new era in the treatment of mental illness. One of his patients, at age 56, embarked on a quest to discover the story behind the procedure he received as a 12-year-old boy.

Howard Dully
All Things Considered
22 min 49 sec
Air Date: 11/16/2005

Shirley Diaz’s life has been shaped by her mother’s murder, and the difficulty of growing up in six different foster homes, separated from her younger siblings.

Shirley Diaz
Radio Rookies
12 min 57 sec
Air Date: 02/27/2008

Thousands of miles apart, two families notice their toddler sons gravitating toward toys and clothes associated with girls. Each family decides to go with radically different approaches, as directed by their therapists (here’s the second part of the series, too).

Alix Spiegel
All Things Considered
22 min 45 sec
Air Date: 05/07/2008

If you’ve read any 19th century literature, England seems to be an island made up entirely of people with submerged, often misplaced passions for other people. This particular affair, even years after it ended, wasn’t much discussed.

Ruby Wright
This American Life
14 min 00 sec
Air Date: 10/30/2009

A brush with death turns into a full blown nightmare when the police report is so poorly filled out that somehow Mike winds up owing a drunk driver 12,000 dollars — not because it’s fair, but because he can’t get anyone to listen to him.

Mike Birbiglia
This American Life
15 min 00 sec
Air Date: 05/01/2009

With alleged mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger back and behind bars, trouble is just starting for the rest of his family. Gone is the protective bubble that once insulated former Senate President William Bulger from anyone asking about his brother.

David Boeri
WBUR
10 min 14 sec
Air Date: 07/22/2011

The story of a small town production of Peter Pan, in which the flying apparatus smacks the actors into the furniture and Captain Hook’s hook flies off his arm. By the end of the evening, all normal boundaries between audience and actors have dissolved.

Jack Hitt
This American Life
23 min 00 sec
Air Date: 04/25/1997

The reporter took a job working for a network correspondent he refers to as “The Friendly Man.” Every story was supposed to be upbeat, a tale of people coming together. And every story they sent him out on turned out to be a sham.

Scott Carrier
This American Life
17 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/06/1996

Adrian Leon LeBlanc was 85 years old and in the end stage of lung cancer. With his blessing, his daughter documented his final months in an intimate audio essay.

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
All Things Considered
12 min 51 sec
Air Date: 11/13/2006

Laura Buxton, an English girl just shy of ten years old, didn’t realize the strange course her life would take after her red balloon was swept away into the sky. What happened next is something you just couldn’t make up.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
22 min 06 sec
Air Date: 06/15/2009

Asked to perform at Robert DeNiro’s birthday party, the comedian is in over his head.

Colin Quinn
The Moth
14 min 00 sec
Air Date: 03/24/2004

The story of how the insatiable millionaire John D. Rockefeller turned an eye to the untapped market of the American South and ended up eradicating the hookworm. And, we’re introduced to Jasper Lawrence, a modern-day entrepreneur whose passion for hookworms stems from lifelong battles with allergies and asthma.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
26 min 28 sec
Air Date: 09/07/2009

Will a lost TV remote ever be found? Can you successfully fake the sound of call waiting? Will our hero ever get to see Yentl? Maybe the show’s funniest ever episode.

Jonathan Goldstein
Wiretap
22 min 30 sec
Air Date: 08/14/2004

The producer asks his friend Sam how he would eulogize him. The answer is a startling reminder that you can’t necessarily count on your friends.

Jonathan Goldstein
Wiretap
27 min 30 sec
Air Date: 09/10/2006

Stu Rasmussen, of Silverton, Oregon, is an avid metalworker, woodworker, and electrician — and in 2008 became our country’s first transgendered mayor. News of his election swept the country, but what was it like at home?

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
21 min 32 sec
Air Date: 10/19/2009

A very different kind of lost and found. A college student, Alan Lundgard, falls hopelessly in love with a fellow art student, Emilie Gossiaux. Then a devastating fork in the road leaves Emilie lost in a netherworld — but Alan isn’t willing to let her go.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
22 min 15 sec
Air Date: 01/25/2011

The people who pick up our trash don’t call themselves garbagemen. They’re san men. The host follows a couple of New York city san men around for a day to find out what 4.8 pounds of trash per person per day looks like from street level.

Ira Glass
This American Life
12 min 00 sec
Air Date: 10/31/2003

Trouble in the Town of Bedrock. Barney accidentally runs over and kills a dinosaur that belongs to his neighbor and best friend, Fred. In the ensuing series of phone messages, the two friends air some long-simmering grievances in their friendship.

Jonathan Goldstein
This American Life
14 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/14/2007

One percent of the general population tests as psychopath. Four percent of corporate leaders do. With that in mind, the reporter pays an unforgettable visit to a former Sunbeam CEO. Plus, Jon Ronson talks more about psychopaths with Jesse Thorn.

Jon Ronson
This American Life
15 min 00 sec
Air Date: 05/27/2011

Lilly and Thomasina have a lot in common. They’re both 8 years old. And they were both born boys, but it became clear early on that they’d prefer to be girls.

Mary Beth Kirchner
This American Life
17 min 00 sec
Air Date: 02/13/2009

The radio producer quit his job at a low moment in his life. His wife left him and took the kids. And he got a job interviewing schizophrenics for research. After doing it a while, he began to wonder if he was a schizophrenic himself.

Scott Carrier
This American Life
18 min 00 sec
Air Date: 09/27/1996

It was a cold December day in 2008. Harry Markopolos was at a karate studio, where his twin boys were getting lessons. His phone buzzed with voicemails from friends. That’s when Harry found out his fight was over and that his nemesis — the man he’d always called Madoff — had surrendered. But Harry had failed.

Curt Nickisch
WBUR
13 min 16 sec
Air Date: 04/21/2009

A man who’s lost everything, Clive Wearing has what Oliver Sacks calls “the most severe case of amnesia ever documented.” With Clive’s wife, Sacks tries to understand why, amidst so much forgetting, Clive remembers music and love.

Jad Abumrad
Robert Krulwich
Radiolab
15 min 00 sec
Air Date: 06/07/2007

In the wake of a break-up, the reporter finds so much comfort in break-up songs that she decides to try and write one herself—even though she has no musical ability whatsoever. For some help, she goes to a rather surprising expert.

Starlee Kine
This American Life
29 min 00 sec
Air Date: 08/24/2007