Host Ira Glass goes to one of the epicenters of modern Christmas — the world's biggest toy store — minutes before closing on Christmas Eve. (4 minutes)
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Chicago writer and actor Dave Awl, who runs a show called the Pansy King Cotillion, on how he accidentally discovered how not to get picked on as a sissy in high school.
Writer Sandra Tsing Loh on how she staged stunts to get press attention. She was wildly successful, featured in the Wall Street Journal, NPR, People Magazine, CNN, and in a Tonight Show monologue.
When Danielle's family serves poultry at their dinner table, no one utters the word "chicken." Instead, it is always called "fish." Danielle explains why with the help of her friend "Duki." (16 minutes)
Michael Stumm on the uses of chickens in South African sangoma (witch doctor) culture.
LuAnne Johnson is a teacher who sold her story to Hollywood and saw it made into the film and TV series Dangerous Minds, in which a character named LuAnne Johnson does things the real LuAnne believes are unethical and silly.
Found tape of a conversation about bringing back the dead.
Host Ira Glass talks about the drama of trying to be "just friends" with an ex-girlfriend. The meaning of the title will be clear if you hear the piece.
A visit to a replica of the White House outside San Francisco, the home of Norman and Rosemary Eckersly.
Host Ira Glass talks to people who gather every week to watch the TV show Dark Shadows. (1 minute)
Ira continues his story.
An excerpt from Your Radio is Haunted. (6 minutes)
An interview with Vampire Girl.
Gang Girl, on a body they thought was fake that turned out to be real.
Host Ira Glass uses Italian author Umberto Eco's essay Travels in Hyperreality as a guidebook to American simulated worlds. Eco says that the urge to create these miniature simulated worlds is a very American impulse — a significant American aesthetic — and one that's not often discussed.
Ira takes a Medieval scholar from the University of Chicago, Michael Camille, to Medieval Times — a chain of fake castles where visitors eat Medieval food and drink Medieval Pepsi and watch a supposed recreation of a Medieval jousting tournament. The scholar finds that there are many historical inaccuracies, but that Medieval Times does capture something essential and interesting about the spirit of the Middle Ages.
Ira Glass worked for NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered for seventeen years, and shares a few thoughts on the devices he and his colleagues used to simulate the real world on those shows.
Host Ira Glass on his relationship to his job, and your relationship to yours.
Host Ira Glass goes to Navy Pier to visit the clearance sales.
Found zoophilia letters read.
Host Ira Glass wonders what the Democrats stand for, and then goes in search of an answer.
The secret games delegates play to amuse themselves, differences between Republican and Democratic convention delegates, and more.
The latest installment of Michael Lewis's campaign diaries.
One of the boys from the book There Are No Children Here goes back to his old neighborhood across from the Convention site.