Stories about the pitfalls of knowing just a little bit too little.
Tagged with “this american life” (11)
Only the clever need apply. This week, stories of people acting on a technicality in the face of some of life’s toughest regulators: financial regulators, parents and God.
The Psychopath Test — Recently we heard about this test that could determine if someone was a psychopath. So, naturally, our staff decided to take it. This week we hear the results. Plus Jon Ronson asks the question: is this man a psychopath?
Ira explains that when the radio staff decided to take a test that reveals who is a psychopath, very quickly everyone came to believe that the highest score would go to either Robyn, Jane, or him. (6 minutes)
ACT ONE. UNDERACHIEVEMENT TEST.
NPR Science Correspondent Alix Spiegel tells the story of Robert Dixon, who’s in a maximum security prison in Vacaville California and is unlikely to ever get parole because of his score on the psychopath test. The test also is called "the checklist" or, more formally, the PCL-R, which stands for "Psychopathy Check List—Revised." Alix tells the story of its creation and reports that the man who created the test, Bob Hare, is concerned at how it’s being used today in the criminal justice system. A version of this story aired on NPR’s All Things Considered. (28 minutes)
ACT TWO. KING OF THE FOREST.
Jon Ronson investigates whether corporate leaders can, in fact, be psychopaths by visiting a former Sunbeam CEO named Al Dunlap. This is an excerpt from Ronson’s book, The Psychopath Test. (15 minutes)
Song: "If I Were King of the Forest", Wizard of Oz Soundtrack
ACT THREE. THE RESULTS ARE IN.
Ira and the radio show staff get their results on the psychopath test from Dr. David Bernstein, of Forensic Consultants, LLC., who administered the test to them. (6 minutes)
Song: "If I Only Had the Nerve", Wizard of Oz Soundtrack
Why would a company rent an office in a tiny town in East Texas, put a nameplate on the door, and leave it completely empty for a year? The answer involves a controversial billionaire physicist in Seattle, a 40 pound cookbook, and a war waging right now, all across the software and tech industries.
We take you inside this war, and tell the fascinating story of how an idea enshrined in the US constitution to promote progress and innovation, is now being used to do the opposite.
The formula for Coca-Cola is one of the most jealously guarded trade secrets in the world. Locked in a vault in Atlanta. Supposedly unreplicable. But we think we may have found the original recipe. And to see if the formula actually might be Coke, we made a batch.
The feature is taken from one of The American Life’s Classified specials, where all of the content from the show is harvested from one day’s classified ads in the local Chicago papers. Here Jon Langford of The Mekons puts together a band of never met before musicians for a rendition of a classic tune.
There are lots of things I really like about this clip: the narrator’s amazing Dawson’s-Creek-meets-Juno delivery, the theremin player that likes to amaze people and then spurn their fawning adoration, but the cherry on top is reserved for the violin player who is in anger management. Have a listen.
Five ways of mapping the world. One story about people who make maps the traditional way — by drawing things we can see. And other stories about people who map the world using smell, sound, touch, and taste. The world redrawn by the five senses.
"This story [of This American Life] includes excerpts from a radio documentary called "The Human Button", which originally aired on BBC Radio 4 in December, 2008. For more information visit www.bbc.co.uk/radio4."
Via This American Life 399: Contents Unknown, http://thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=399
Stories of people who are trying to convince you that the Devil is there, whispering in your ear…and stories of people who try to deny he’s there, against some very heavy evidence.
How does the Devil work? We hear stories from five different people who say they found themselves inexplicably doing something random and bad, something which made no sense to them at all.
- Act One. It’s Fun to Make Hell on Earth.
- Act Two. Sixteen Candles Can Lead to a Lot of Fire.
- Act Three. Devil in Angel’s Clothing, or Is It the Other Way Around?
Mike Birbiglia had bizarre adventures at night, but just got used to sleep being slightly scary—until it almost killed him. Reasons to fear sleep, including roaches, bedbugs, "The Shining," and mild-mannered husbands who turn into maniacs while asleep.
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