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Recent Episodes and Articles

#565: Lower 9 + 10

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Katrina bus tours go all over New Orleans, but it’s illegal for them to go into the Lower 9th Ward, the area that's been the slowest to rebuild. This week we go around talking to residents there about what matters the most to them (and what doesn't) ten years after the hurricane. The episode we did in 2005 the week of the storm is here.

Pictured: map of Katrina-related fatalities. (Source)
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#419: Petty Tyrant

Sunday, August 23, 2015

In Schenectady, NY, a school maintenance man named Steve Raucci works his way up the ranks for 30 years, until finally he's in charge of the maintenance department. That's when he starts messing with his employees. Teasing them at meetings. Punishing them with crummy work assignments. Or worse things, like secretly slashing their tires in the middle of the night.
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#564: Too Soon?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

When is too soon for that celebrity comeback; that joke that is either brilliant or full-on repugnant; that parent-child conversation? This week: stories about a fallen man trying to kickstart his career with a reality show, and an awkward moment between a mom and a daughter.
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#563: The Problem We All Live With - Part Two

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Last week we looked at a school district integrating by accident. This week: a city going all out to integrate its schools. Plus, a girl who comes up with her own one-woman integration plan.
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#562: The Problem We All Live With

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Right now, all sorts of people are trying to rethink and reinvent education, to get poor minority kids performing as well as white kids. But there's one thing nobody tries anymore, despite lots of evidence that it works: desegregation. Nikole Hannah-Jones looks at a district that, not long ago, accidentally launched a desegregation program. First of a two-part series.
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#443: Amusement Park

Sunday, July 26, 2015

We head to some of the happiest places on Earth: Amusement Parks! Jonathan Goldstein revisits one he worked at as a teen, Ira takes us behind the scenes at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, where the staff so loves their jobs they make music videos and other videos.
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#561: NUMMI 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A car plant in Fremont California that might have saved the U.S. car industry. In 1984, General Motors and Toyota opened NUMMI as a joint venture. Toyota showed GM the secrets of its production system: How it made cars of much higher quality and much lower cost than GM achieved. Frank Langfitt explains why GM didn't learn the lessons—until it was too late.
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#526: Is That What I Look Like?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

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

Sunday, July 05, 2015

For July 4th, a story about someone who's desperately trying – against long odds – to make it to the United States and become an American. Abdi is a Somali refugee living in Kenya and gets the luckiest break of his life: he wins a lottery that puts him on a short list for a U.S. visa. This is his ticket out. But before he can cash in his golden ticket, the police start raiding his neighborhood, targeting refugees.
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#559: Captain's Log

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A captain’s log is a simple thing: the date, the time, maybe the weather — and the current status of a long journey. You wouldn’t know from the cryptic notations what weird worlds lurk beneath. On this week's show, stories behind those cryptic notations — including a concentration camp in China that housed groups of Girl Scouts. Also, Aziz Ansari explains the significance of a Thanksgiving text message, and Etgar Keret destroys a marriage piece by piece.
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#323: The Super

Sunday, June 21, 2015

In 1980's New York City, rent is rising: it seems out of control, and residents struggle to keep up. So Jack Hitt helps organize tenants, and threatens a rent strike. This does not go over so well with his building super, who, as it turns out, is a very dangerous man.
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#438: Father's Day 2011

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Yes yes yes you've heard it all before, when it comes to stories of fathers and their children. There's the story of the kid who idolizes his dad, but then learns something and becomes disappointed. Or the opposite story, where the kid gives up on his dad when he's still young, and then much later comes to have a grudging respect. This week for fathers day: surprising stories of fathers trying to be good dads.
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#528: The Radio Drama Episode

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Our most ambitious live show ever! (get the video!) We pulled together a massive team of theater pros at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Opera House – nearly 50 singers, actors, dancers and musicians. The result? Journalism turned into a Broadway musical (the cast album is here), into opera. Mike Birbiglia, Sasheer Zamata, Stephin Merritt, Josh Hamilton, Lindsay Mendez, Lin-Manuel Miranda and others.
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#558: Game Face

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Blair Braverman was a dog musher on an Alaskan glacier. One day the weather turned rough, and she and a pack of tourists were stuck. The worst part? They had to pretend like nothing was wrong. This and other stories of people facing very difficult situations who put their game face on and muscle through. And, we hear from people whose faces betray them and prominently display all their anxiety.
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#467: Americans in China

Sunday, May 24, 2015

It used to be that the American expats in China were the big shots. They had the money, the status, the know-how. But that's changed. What's it like to be an American living in China now? And what do they understand about China that we don't?
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#557: Birds & Bees

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Some information is so big and so complicated that it seems impossible to talk to kids about. This week, stories about the vague and not-so-vague ways to teach children about race, death and sex - including a story about colleges responding to sexual assault by trying to teach students how to ask for consent. Also, a story about how and when to teach kids about the horrors of slavery and oppression in America.
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#556: Same Bed, Different Dreams

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Stories of people who are tied together, but imagine radically different futures. In one case, a movie star and her ex-husband plot against Kim Jong-Il. In another, a woman stalks her doppleganger. And sometimes, one bed is the basis for an entire relatio
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#555: The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind

Sunday, April 26, 2015

It’s rare for people to change what they believe, and if they do it, it’s usually a long process. This week, stories of those very infrequent instances where people’s opinions flip on fundamental things that they believe. Why does it happen in these parti
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#525: Call For Help

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Stories of people coming to terms with being in serious trouble. They need help. Figuring out how to get it, that's another problem.
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#554: Not It!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Stories of people, cities, and commonwealths touching their noses and proclaiming "not it!" Including the story of how one city used a rocking chair to take retribution against a late night TV show host, and an island that takes people it doesn't want to
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