This American Life

This American Life is an award-winning critically acclaimed weekly program describing and documenting contemporary American life. Each week a theme is chosen, and host Ira Glass and a variety of writers and performers share stories in a range of styles: monologues, documentaries, short radio plays, “found recordings,” and original works for radio. Music underscores many stories.

Visit the This American Life website.

Planet Money
2:40 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

How A Pasta Factory Got People To Show Up For Work

Robert Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:06 am

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This story is about the unofficial border within one country — the border that divides northern and southern Italy. This is the fourth story in a four-part series.

A decade ago, the Barilla pasta factory in Foggia, Italy, had a big problem with people skipping work. The absentee rate was around 10 percent.

Read more

A Prairie Home Companion

Recorded live every Saturday,  A Prairie Home Companion features comedy sketches, music, and Garrison Keillor's signature monologue, "The News from Lake Wobegon."

Visit the A Prairie Home Companion website.

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! is NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what's real news and what's made up. On the Web, you can play along too.

Visit the Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! website.

Remembrances
2:14 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

David Rakoff: 'There Is No Answer As To Why Me'

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 7:28 am

Writer and humorist David Rakoff, who died Thursday at the age of 47, wrote with a perfect balance of wit and gravity about the cancer that would ultimately take his life.

Rakoff developed a devoted following as a regular contributor to the public radio program This American Life. His books of essays include Fraud and Don't Get Too Comfortable. Rakoff's most recent book, Half Empty, won the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2011.

Read more
The Salt
1:59 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Consumer Group Files Suit Against Sweetner For Claiming It's 'Essential'

Spenda Essentials
NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:06 am

Ok guys, reality check here: Nutella is not really a health food, POM Wonderful may be wonderful, but it doesn't necessarily prevent heart disease and... eating Splenda Essentials doesn't single-handedly make the pounds drop off.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

California's Baking And The Power Grid's Being Tested

Will there be too much demand? Power lines near Redondo Beach, Calif.
Gerard Burkhart AFP/Getty Images

Southern California will be broiling through the weekend, as a heat wave that has brought record-breaking temperatures continues, the Los Angeles Times says.

That's why the managers of California's power grid have issued a "flex alert" to customers.

They're asking that residents:

-- "Turn off all unnecessary lights."

Read more
The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Wave Of Violence Leaves Dozens Dead Across Mexico

Police officers and soldiers stand around a white van containing the dead bodies of several man while it is being hauled onto a tow truck in San Luis Potosi on Thursday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:39 pm

While the exact number of dead seems to be in flux, there is no question that the last few days have been incredibly bloody across Mexico.

Read more
The Torch
1:24 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Year Of The Woman At The London Games? For Americans, It's True

The U.S. women's soccer team won gold Thursday, in a victory that also kept the American women far ahead of the men in the number of medals won at the London Games: 100 to 59.
Martin Bernetti AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 6:27 pm

Every nation that sent a delegation to the London Games sent at least one female athlete — a first for the Olympics. This year's Team USA has more female than male athletes — and the women have won nearly twice as many medals: 100 total medals, by my count, to 59 for the men.

So yes, it looks like this is the Year of the Woman at the Olympics, particularly for the United States.

Read more
Monkey See
1:04 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: On Fall TV And Whether Criticism Is Too Nice

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week, I managed to return from press tour, but we are still without Trey Graham. Fortunately, that means that the lovely Barrie Hardymon joined us for this episode, which kicks off with me fully (and exhaustively — sorry!) debriefing the team about fall television as I experienced it out in Los Angeles.

Read more

Pages