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There's a whole infrastructure that springs into action when a mass shooting occurs. There's the police and SWAT teams, the Red Cross, the Billy Graham prayer truck, therapy dogs.

Act One: Planet of the Apes

Ira Glass follows Ken as he tries to figure out whether or not the man who reached out to him actually scammed him. Ken learns about a mysterious bot that may have been involved and worries his life may be in danger.


Host Ira Glass plays recordings of a woman named Katia in Kyiv, dealing with the quotidian challenges of life — like taking the dog out to pee — in the middle of the war. (7 minutes)We found out about Katia from the podcast Vice News Reports, a show with a lot of great reporting on the war in Ukraine, plus stories that are unfolding all over the world.


Like a lot of parents, Yibin Li’s dad dedicated himself to making sure his daughter stayed on a path that would lead her to a better life than his. But the obstacles her dad had to surmount to achieve this are unlike those any parent anywhere has faced.


Late at night on the evening Russia invaded Ukraine, Ira talks to two people who escaped to Lviv, near the Polish border: a woman we call Natalie, and the Ukraine Correspondent for The Economist, Richard Ensor. Natalie’s harrowing story about escaping Kyiv is not the sort of war story that makes you think, "I can't imagine what it'd be like to go through that.” In fact it’s just the opposite.

Act Two: Mr. Popular

Vladmir Putin’s approval rating among Russians is always stunningly high. Ira talks to reporter Charles Maynes to find out if that number is real and how it could be that high.

Act Four: A Matter of Principal

Protestors came out across Russia after the Ukraine invasion. In this act, that we first broadcast in 2017, we hear from young people who attended anti-government protests that swept through Russia.


Ira tells three stories about the ghosts captured whenever you record sound. (10 minutes)Michèle Dawson Haber wrote about hearing her father’s voice on tape as a Modern Love column "Hearing His Voice Changed Everything," in The New York Times.

Act Two: Father of Invention

There’s a machine lots of us encounter as a big impersonal, mechanical apparatus, that has a ghost in it. But it’s a ghost that appears to just a small handful of people. Jean Hannah Edelstein tells the story to Ira.

Act Two: Brian and Peg

Brian and Peg disagree over a very important thing. Host Ira Glass tries to figure out who’s right.


Ira goes out birding with birder extraordinaire Noah Strycker, who tells the dramatic story of the bird that changed his life: the turkey vulture.

Act One: Don’t Chicken Out

Carmen Milito tells Ira the story of a date she went on as a teenager, and the bird her mom brought to the occasion.


Scott, who had worked as a guard at Guantanamo Bay, sees that the detainee he had been in charge of all those years ago, Mohamedou Ould Slahi, had finally been released. The two of them talk.