Ira Glass recommends these episodes of “This American Life” | Today Headlines

Ira Glass recommends these episodes of “This American Life”

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The New York Times and “This American Life” have formed a new partnership this year, and one of my favorite things about it is that we can bring the show’s vast archive (over 700 episodes!) To audiences in the world. Times.

For Thanksgiving, listening to a year when so many of us aren’t with our families because of the pandemic, I picked out a few shows on family, and a few episodes on other things as well. I have included my favorite interview, possibly the best I have ever done. Listen while cooking or traveling (if you risk it) or shopping online for Black Friday.

Babysitting stories – and what happens while mom and dad are away that mom and dad never find out. It includes the story of two teenagers who decide to invent children to babysit, as an excuse to get out of their own home.

The interview that ends this show is my favorite interview I’ve ever done, and possibly the best.

Because we love our pets, they can also arouse all the other feelings that can accompany love: jealousy, anger, addiction. An episode about the dogs, cats and armadillos that live in our homes – and how they change family dynamics.

Among these family stories, I wanted to include a family mystery. Yes, it is a dark one! In 1912, a 4-year-old boy named Bobby Dunbar went missing in a Louisiana swamp. Eight months later, he was found in the hands of a handyman wandering through Mississippi – or was he?

So many families this year have lost people to Covid-19. It reminded me of the wind phone, which a man installed after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. It’s an old-fashioned phone booth that families use to “call.” »Their relatives who died during this natural disaster. This story is associated in this episode with the story of a father and a son trying to avoid future grief and regret, by arranging a very inconvenient family reunion.

One of my colleagues at public radio, John Biewen, grew up in Mankato, Minnesota, and says no one has ever spoken about the most important historical event that ever happened there: in 1862 , it was the site of the largest mass execution in US history. Thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged after a war with white settlers, by order of Abraham Lincoln. He began to discover history and understand why no one spoke about it when he was a child.



In these dark and combative times, my colleague Bim Adewunmi suggested that we try the most radical counter-programming imaginable: an episode made up entirely of stories about pleasure. She co-hosts the episode, which is in part inspired by poet Ross Gay, who said that people who don’t take the time to honor the things that delight them are careless. But more importantly, they should share the things that appeal to them.

Only a few years before landing the internship at NPR which launched me into radio, I had another career: I was a child magician. My colleague from “This American Life”, David Kestenbaum, was too. In this episode, we dive into something we weren’t good at back then: how magicians go about inventing incredible tricks.

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