About a year ago, a John Hopkins University study in the British medical journal The Lancet estimated the number of civilian casualties in Iraq. It came up with a number—100,000 dead—that was higher than any other estimate, and was mostly ignored.
To find out more about the bridge Denise talked about in act one and the armed police who prevented pedestrians from crossing, This American Life producer Alex Blumberg talks with Lorrie Beth Slonsky and her husband Larry Bradshaw. They're paramedics from San Francisco who were visiting New Orleans for a convention when Hurricane Katrina hit.
We compare Fox TV talk show host Bill O'Reilly's ideas about the hurricane's aftermath with those of Ashley Nelson, an 18-year-old who lives in the Lafitte Housing projects in New Orleans, in one of the flooded neighborhoods. Among other things, she explains what it feels like to go without food and water for two days.
Alex Blumberg tells the story of an audacious act of rebranding done by a group of people who aren't normally thought of as very audacious: public librarians. In Michigan, they've started staging rock concerts in libraries.
This American Life producer Alex Blumberg investigates a little-studied phenomenon: Children who get a mistaken idea in their heads about how something works or what something means, and then don't figure out until well into adulthood that they were wrong. Includes the tale of a girl who received a tissue box for Christmas, allegedly painted by trained monkeys.
A visit to one of the many states where the GOP has been picking up strength, to see why and how. This American Life producer Alex Blumberg spends some time with the Alabama Republican Party.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has issued a report condemning the Bush Administration for what it called "distorting and censoring scientific findings that contradict" Administration policies. One of the cases cited in the report involves something called the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning.
This American Life producer Alex Blumberg tells the true story of Jerry Springer's life before he was a talk show host. It's the story of an idealistic and serious Jerry Springer, a progressive politician, and the most popular mayor ever of a certain American city.
Alex Blumberg spends three days with Michigan state representative Steve Tobocman. He ran for office because he thought that would be the best way to change things for his neighborhood in Detroit.
Host Ira Glass talks with producer Alex Blumberg about going on a date with a woman from Russia.
Producer Alex Blumberg bought a stock on a tip in 1997. By 1998 it was worthless.
You can't do a program about middlemen without a story about business. In this act, we hear from a man who made his living buying low and selling high...incredibly high, sometimes at mark-ups of up to 1,000 percent.
Producer Alex Blumberg explains that he wanted to do this show because of his conflicted relationship with his own testosterone. He tells host Ira Glass that the reasons go back to a girl in his eighth-grade homeroom and the 1970s seminal feminist novel The Women's Room. We also hear from a man who stopped producing testosterone due to a medical treatment and found that his entire personality was altered.
Alex Blumberg talks with sailor Prevon Scott, who stocks vending machines on the Stennis.
Josh Noel reports with Alex Blumberg from Groom, Texas, 45 minutes east of Amarillo, on the largest cross in the Western hemisphere—it's 19 stories tall—the man who built it, and the people who stop at the cross to pray.
U.S. special operations forces will lead the first part of the coming war we're all bracing for. We hear how a simple half-hour mission turned into a bloody all-day battle in one of the last times special operations forces went out: in 1993, in Somalia.
Producer Alex Blumberg sets out to find a woman named Susan Jordan, who babysat him and his sister for a year when he was nine. He discovers that each of them remembered something about the other that the other would just as soon forget.
The Jarvis family, a group of eight, goes on the run from the law—for seven years. They live on a boat, in a treehouse in a swamp.
Producer Alex Blumberg tells the story of an ex-con-turned-actor named Richie Castellano. After a bit role in the movie Analyze This, he moved to a small town and got dozens of people to invest money and time in a movie that never premiered.
The 2000 election season was strange in that many of the issues that the candidates debated most heatedly were ones that most of us have no handle on—prescription drug policy, social security solvency...and educational accountability. Producer Alex Blumberg travels to North Carolina, a state where many of the promises both candidates make regarding education are already in place.
Producer Alex Blumberg conducts an investigation, perhaps the first ever, into this American subspecies: People who compulsively imitate their mother's voices in everyday conversation, well into adulthood.
Alex Blumberg tells the story of citizens who feel perfectly connected to their candidate of choice. Citizens who feel inspired by him.
Producer Alex Blumberg with people who listen in on the invisible world on the nether reaches of the radio spectrum, mostly illegally...and what they find there.
Then Chicago-radio-listener and writer Alex Blumberg (he's now one of our producers) tells the story of encountering a corporation on its first day. It made all the human errors anyone does on a first day: exhibiting false confidence, pretending it wasn't the first day, trying too hard.