Ira Glass talks with Planet Money reporter, Chana Joffe-Walt, about Hale County, Alabama — a place where one fourth of working age adults are on disability. That means the government has determined that due to a health issue, 25 percent of the adults in Hale County are unable to work, qualifying them for monthly payments and health care coverage.
A group called NO/AIDS heads into bars to offer free HIV testing for high-risk people. Writer Nathaniel Rich tells the story of one man's test.
A teenage girl gets bitten by a shark, rushed to the doctor's office, stitched up, and told she'll be totally fine. Crisis averted, right? Not so much.
Jessica Benko tells the story of a woman named Cathy who was almost killed several times... by a thought that she just couldn't get rid of.
For a year, Morgan Block saw her pilates instructor, Mary Archbold, twice aweek. She watched closely as Mary demonstrated moves and corrected poses.
Mary Archbold's story continues. She talks to Ira about the tactics she uses to hide her disability, and why she goes through all the effort to do it.
Host Ira Glass speaks with various people who regularly eat foods that give them severe allergic reactions, stomach cramping and trips to the hospital.
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.
Nubar Alexanian was forced to give up one thing—and then gave up another thing by choice. This story was put together by Nubar and his daughter Abby, with help from Jay Allison, for Transom.org, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In Malawi, in southeast Africa, not gossiping can be worse than gossiping. Sarah interviews a young Malawian woman named Hazel Namandingo, who explains that because so many people have HIV and AIDS in Malawi, they often rely on gossip to figure out who's safe to date or marry.
Producer Sarah Koenig continues the story Terry Engelder and Dan Volz, their rival calculations about natural gas in Pennsylvania, and how each was treated by his university. She explains how Pennsylvania's universities, politicans and industry have united to develop natural gas.
One night on stage, comedian Julian McCullough had an intense pain in his stomach, which he assumed was food poisoning. But it turned out to be a much more serious internal battle.
In a small west Texas town called Kermit, two nurses were accused of harassment after they complained to the medical board that a doctor was putting patients in danger. The nurses were fired and then arrested, facing ten years in prison.
Planet Money's Chana Joffe-Walt explains why prescription drug coupons could actually be increasing how much we pay, and prevent us from even telling how much drugs cost.
In the wake of the tsunami and nuclear disaster at Fukushima, some people suspected that Japanese government officials have not been forthcoming about the actual level of danger from radiation. No one, however, is suggesting a cover-up as extreme as what happened in the Soviet Union after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Nancy Updike follows up on a Haaretz newspaper story about a sting operation against a medical marijuana supplier in Israel—a case where being giving was not the best idea.
Ira Glass explains that, like the rest of America, we at This American Life are not tired of those stories of women who have no idea they're pregnant and then—poof—one day a baby pops out. Ira and several of our producers speak with Jennifer Lyne, who found out just a few days before giving birth and even appeared on the TV show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant.
"Slow to react" is usually an insult. But in this case the things that are slow...are cancer cells.
Ira speaks with Scott Krepel—via his interpreter Marc Holmes—about what happened when Scott got cochlear implants as a kid and could suddenly hear for the first time.
Four years ago, Matt Frerking started having attacks where he simply couldn't move his body.
Apricot Irving grew up on a missionary compound in Limbe, in the north of Haiti, and visits the missionary hospital there. It's pretty well stocked and staffed but, oddly, kind of a ghost town.
Do cell phones give people brain tumors? Ira speaks with Christopher Ketcham, who wrote an article on this subject for GQ magazine.
Another story about parasites. When Jasper Lawrence learned that hookworms might lessen the effects of his allergies, he set out on a unique mission: To travel to West Africa and purposefully become infected with the parasite.
When Luke Davies was 11 years old in Australia, his family moved from the boring suburbs to an incredibly fun place: A tourist park full of attractions, where his dad had gotten a job. There, he was considered kind of a wimpy kid...until he got his chance to save the day.