At one grain elevator on the outskirts of Lincoln, Nebraska, during the slow months, the five burly men who load corn, soybeans, wheat and milo onto trains spend their work hours watching soap operas. Meghan Daum gets them to explain what they like about the Young and the Restless. (11 minutes)
In the early 1970s, a geographer named Roger Hart did a study of exactly where it is that children go during the daytime. For two years, he followed 86 children—all the children in a small town in Vermont, during the hours when parents were away at work. In this rural setting, nearly every child had a secret hiding place somewhere. He explains what the places were, and why nearly every child in town had the compulsion to make a secret place. He published his findings in a book called Children's Experience of Place, which is now out of print. (5 minutes)
A postman explains how it is that he can be so much a part of the scenery that people commit crimes in front of him, on quiet daytime streets, as if he's not there. This American Life producer Alex Blumberg spent a day with postman on Chicago's west side, to find out what he sees...and who sees him...and who doesn't see him, even though he's right there. (10 minutes)
Writer Mona Simpson reads from her forthcoming novel My Hollywood. This excerpt is about the daytime life of Filipino nannies, during the hours in which they run the lovely homes of certain Los Angeles neighborhoods.