253: The Middle of Nowhere
Dec 5, 2003
Stories from faraway, hard-to-get-to places, where all rules are off, nefarious things happen because no one's looking, and there's no one to appeal to.
- Host Ira Glass talks with sailor and researcher Captain Charles Moore about a gigantic area in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, as far away from land as you can get, that is filling with plastic trash. There are five spots like this on the world's oceans. For more, check out Captain Moore's website. (3 minutes)
- Nauru is a tiny island, population 12,000, a third of the size of Manhattan and far from anywhere: Yet at the center of several of the decade's biggest global events. Contributing editor Jack Hitt tells the untold story of this dot in the middle of the Pacific and its involvement in the bankrupting of the Russian economy, global terrorism, North Korean defectors, the end of the world, and the late 1980s theatrical flop of a London musical based on the life of Leonardo da Vinci called Leonardo, A Portrait of Love. (30 minutes)
- This American Life senior producer Julie Snyder found herself in a ten-month battle with her phone company, MCI Worldcom, which had overcharged her $946.36. She spent hours on hold in a bureaucratic nowhere. No one seemed able to fix her problem, and there was no way she could make the company pay her back for all her lost time and aggravation. Finally, she enlists the aid of the national media—specifically, This American Life host Ira Glass.
You can register a complaint about a phone company at the Better Business Bureau or at the FCC. (22 minutes)