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Mike Birbiglia's story is excerpted from his CD, My Secret Public Journal. He also wrote and appears in the one-man show Sleepwalk With Me.
A bad apple, at least at work, can spoil the whole barrel. And there's research to prove it. Host Ira Glass talks to Will Felps, a professor at Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands, who designed an experiment to see what happens when a bad worker joins a team. Felps divided people into small groups and gave them a task. One member of the group would be an actor, acting either like a jerk, a slacker or a depressive. And within 45 minutes, the rest of the group started behaving like the bad apple. (12 minutes)
Shots In The Dark
Measles cases are higher in the U.S. than they've been in a decade, mostly because more and more nervous parents are refusing to vaccinate their kids. Contributing Editor Susan Burton tells the story of what happened recently in San Diego, when an unvaccinated 7-year-old boy returned home from a trip to Switzerland, bringing with him the measles. By the end of the ordeal, 11 other children caught the disease, and more than 60 kids had to be quarantined. (22 minutes)
Tragedy Minus Comedy Equals Time
Comedian Mike Birbiglia talks about the time he ruined a cancer charity event, by giving the worst performance of his life. (Here's a hint: He improvised. About cancer.) (10 minutes)