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Prologue

How David Sedaris became a Christmas writer — and how he started writing stories about the holiday that are so dark that sometimes it seems that he's trying to single handedly destroy Christmas. We hear from members of David's own family, and from David, all of whom insist that David loves Christmas.

Act One: The Oldest Trick in the Book

Magicians say it can take years to create and polish a new magic trick. Teller (of Penn and Teller) shows host Ira Glass how he invented one of his most beautiful and puzzling routines.

Prologue

If there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, why haven’t we heard from the extraterrestrials yet? Producer David Kestenbaum explains The Fermi Paradox to host Ira Glass. The possibility that we are alone in the universe makes David sad.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass gives an update on his health status after going into quarantine last week, and David Kestenbaum interviews a 71 year old trying to avoid the virus.

Prologue

We hear two stories of everyday life which are more easily understood if one knows some of the laws of physics, specifically the Mediocrity Principle and the Casimir Effect.

Act One: White Like Me

David Rakoff on how he tried to pass as a local once he moved from Toronto to New York. He claims that there must be a chip in his head — or something like it — that automatically tells him when someone or something famous is Canadian.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks about the way most political apologies go, and chats with a man named Derek Jones about similar sorts of apologies among preteen girls and King David, in the Old Testament.

Act Two: Internet

In this show, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Ira and David Hauptschein explored this now utterly quaint question: Are people having experiences on the Internet they wouldn't have anywhere else? Several hundred listeners sent in samples of what they were finding on the Internet. A guy offers a girl a late-night tour of Microsoft...and this actually makes him seem hot.

Act One: Letters

Ira and playwright David Hauptschein took out advertisements in Chicago inviting people to come to a small theater with letters they've received, sent or found. People came for two nights, and read their letters onstage.