American cities have gone through a massive wave of gentrification in the last few decades. To some people, it's not a natural ebb and flow of the real estate market, but a plot, by rich, mainly white people, to take over the neighborhoods of poor, mainly black people. This American Life producer Jon Jeter reports on how, in neighborhoods all over the country, the plot has a name, "The Plan," and most people you talk to know about it.
For the last 13 years, the University of Montevallo in Alabama has held an event called The Life Raft Debate, where several professors take the stage and each tries to convince the students that his or her discipline—chemistry, say, or communications—is the most essential field of study. But in 2007, a professor named Jon Smith decided that the debate itself needed saving.
Producer Jonathan Menjivar tells the story of John Smid, a gay man who did not want to be gay, and who tried to get other gay people to suppress their urges as well. Then...John changed.
Scott Carrier tells the story of how the environmentalist that ranchers hated the most—whom they tried to run out of town and hanged in effigy—came to take the ranchers' side of things. Some funding for this story comes from Hearingvoices.com and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The creators of the new podcast The Truth are trying to re-imagine and re-invent radio drama, so it doesn't sound like an antique novelty. They created this for us.
Therapist Scott Miller tells the story of a patient who thought he was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Solving the problem required unusual treatment.
Sometimes in the classified ads one person will be seeking something that another person will be offering. This is especially true of the musicians section of the classifieds, where there might be a drummer seeking a band, and on the same page, a band seeking a drummer.
Ira goes to Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood to talk to some condo owners who are in a precarious situation—since the housing market crash, the developer who renovated and sold them their units—Haso Meseljevic—has all but disappeared. He's in foreclosure on half of their building's units.
Ira tells the story of a guy, Lenny Pozner, who strikes up a conversation with a stranger in a bar, only to learn the guy already knows who Lenny is. And the stranger is furious with him.
Host Ira Glass describes the scene at a courthouse resource center in lower Manhattan where people learn how to represent themselves in civil court. Attorney Ruth Sharfman, who assists at the center, tells Ira that some of the pro se litigants are more prepared for the job than others.
Host Ira Glass talks to Jonathan Gold about the bully in high school who knocked Jonathan and his cello down the stairs one day as he was walking to history class—and why Jonathan felt a sudden surge of satisfaction about this almost three decades later.
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.
Host Ira Glass explains that when you name names, when you whistleblow, when you tell on someone, you often do it anonymously. We hear from one anonymous squealer, who was done wrong by her doctor—he messed up a procedure and then refused to fix it.
The story of the lengths a father will go to to retrieve a lost teddy bear, and why—after he's enlisted many other parents to help him wade through tens of thousands of bags of trash to find it—none of the parents involved think he's nuts.
David Iserson tried to lay low in junior high, staying out of sight to keep from getting teased and bullied. But then he starred in a local TV commercial for his father's furniture store, and all of a sudden everyone knew about him...in a bad way.
Jonathan Goldstein tells the story of Santa Claus, who, after losing his wife, Martha Claus, sets out to find love once again. Jonathan is the host of the podcast, Heavyweight.
The story begun in the Prologue continues.
One day a successful cancer researcher named Jonathan Brody gave a talk at his alma mater, about how people in his field need to think outside the box if they're going to find a cure. Afterward Jonathan's old music teacher Anthony Holland shared an idea that was way out of the box: Killing cancer cells with electromagnetic waves. Gabriel Rhodes tells what happened next.
Ira Glass talks with Robert Costa of The Washington Post about President Trump's promise that Mexico would build the wall.Then Brian Reed investigates a wall that may or may not exist. Brian is our senior producer and host of our podcast series S-Town.
Earlier this month, North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile… one powerful enough, news reports said, to reach Alaska. People were shocked.
NPR Science Correspondent Alix Spiegel tells the story of Robert Dixon, who's in a maximum security prison in Vacaville California and is unlikely to ever get parole because of his score on the psychopath test. The test also is called "the checklist" or, more formally, the PCL-R, which stands for "Psychopathy Check List—Revised." Alix tells the story of its creation and reports that the man who created the test, Bob Hare, is concerned at how it's being used today in the criminal justice system.
Myron Jones and his sister Carol Bove explain what happened when they were teenagers, and they ended up babysitting children who didn't exist.
One more confusing financial product that's bringing down the global economy. And one of way to think about this product is this: If bad mortgages got the financial system sick, this next thing you're about to hear about, helped spread the sickness into an epidemic.
Kim Jong-Il loved movies, but hated all the movies made in North Korea. So he kidnapped a famous South Korean director and his ex-wife—a South Korean film star—locked them up in a villa in North Korea, and forced them to make movies for him. Nancy Updike tells the story.