David Rakoff tells the story of a contract between a son and his visiting mother. David Rakoff is the author of several books including Half Empty.
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David Ellis Dickerson tells the story of heading home to Tucson after six years away, having rejected the evangelical Christianity of his family. David came prepared for war, armed with new beliefs.
Back in 2004, a reporter named David Holthouse published a remarkable story in the weekly paper he worked for, Westword. It's about something he waited his entire life to do...since childhood.
This week Southerners were still digging out in the wake of last week's tornados. David Kestenbaum, from our Planet Money team, heads to Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he finds that facts are not so easy to hold onto.
Ever wondered what you might do with 18 days of rest after serving 15 months in combat? Reporter David Finkel followed one group of soldiers in Iraq for 15 months, and reported all of it in his book The Good Soldiers. Here is our radio version of one of the chapters in his book, where we hear actors read aloud what soldiers and families of soldiers told David about their break.
Ira and the radio show staff get their results on the psychopath test from Dr. David Bernstein, of Forensic Consultants, LLC., who administered the test to them.
Though the name of the Federal Reserve includes the word "federal," it's not actually part of the government. It's an independent institution tasked with something very simple, but very huge: Creating money out of thin air.
In the 1970s, Dave Kestenbaum's cousin Dan Weiss got promoted from stocker to gift shop manager at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. It was a good job... except for the fact that the place was bleeding cash because of apparent embezzlement.
Susan Burton rereads her parents' divorce papers—the fine print that changed her life forever.
Ira explains that when the radio staff decided to take a test that reveals who is a psychopath, very quickly everyone came to believe that the highest score would go to either Robyn, Jane, or him.
There's a derogatory term in Silicon Valley for companies that amass huge troves of patents and make money by threatening lawsuits: "patent trolls." When Jeff Kelling's Internet company Fototime was sued - along with more than 130 other companies - for violating someone's patent, he wondered if it was a troll (which the company denies), and then settled out of court.
NPR reporter Laura Sydell and This American Life producer/Planet Money co-host Alex Blumberg tell the story of Intellectual Ventures, which is accused of being the largest of the patent trolls. The investigation takes them to a small town in Texas, where they find a hallway full of empty companies with no employees.
Host Ira Glass talks about the infamous line in the band Van Halen's contract insisting that the groups' dressing room include a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown M&Ms removed. Ira used to think this request was just petulant rock-star behavior.
Host Ira Glass talks to Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri on a press conference he held to announce the creation of just one job.
The formula for Coca-Cola is one of the most jealously guarded trade secrets in the world. So we were surprised to come across a 1979 newspaper article with what looked like the original recipe for Coke.
Last summer when Nancy Updike was reporting in Iraq, Sarah, an Iraqi woman in her 40s, was her interpreter. But it wasn't the first time Sarah had had that gig.
Allison Silverman reports on This Is Your Life, a show from the 1950s where unsuspecting—and often famous—audience members would have their biographies created on the spot for 40 million viewers. But is that really a present you'd want to receive? Allison is an Emmy Award-winning writer who has worked on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
Host Ira Glass spends time in perhaps the toughest room on earth, the editorial meeting at the satirical newspaper, The Onion, where there's one laugh for every 100 jokes.
Ira continues with Cole Lindbergh and the hundred teenagers who work for himin the games department at Worlds of Fun. We watch them compete againsteach other to see who can do the most business, in Cole's Sweet Sixteenbracket tournament, which pits all 32 games in the park against each other.