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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.


Ira Glass talks to Sam Ashner, whose debilitating fear of spiders was ruining his life. So he opted for an extraordinary treatment — the nuclear option — to deal with it.


Ira talks with comedian Rob Delany, who suffered the worst kind of loss a parent can endure — the death of his two-year-old son, Henry. Rob describes what his grief has been like and what he’s learned from it.


Host Ira Glass goes to a block in New York City where, over a year into the pandemic, neighbors are still clapping for health care workers every night at 7 p.m. (7 minutes)


You can’t get herd immunity until you deal with the herd, and get enough of them moving together in the same direction. That’s been difficult this past year, in a way it’s never been during any other epidemic in our history.

Act One

Reporter Paul Tough and Host Ira Glass look at the biggest change in admissions this year: colleges no longer requiring the SATs. Paul speaks to a student whose SAT score determined her future.