Host Ira Glass reads famous last words from Bing Crosby, Oscar Wilde, W.C. Fields, and talks about what we want from people's last words.
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The story of a White House scandal from the year 1881. President James Garfield lay dying of a gunshot wound during that summer.
Germs were first understood at the turn of the 20th century and it turns out that the aesthetics of everyday life during this century—the way we dress, the way we groom ourselves, the way we make our homes—are all partly a response to this newfangled idea of germs.
Denis Wood talks with host Ira Glass about the maps he's made of his own neighborhood, Boylan Heights in Raleigh, North Carolina. They include a traditional street locator map, a map of all the sewer and power lines under the earth's surface, a map of how light falls on the ground through the leaves of trees, a map of where all the Halloween pumpkins are each year, and a map of all the graffiti in the neighborhood.
Camp Lake of the Woods holds a fake Indian powwow during the summer. This kind of fake Native American-ness has been a part of camping in America since organized camping began a century ago.
Host Ira Glass describes what thousands of people do all over America on our holiday weekends: we go to historic sites with our kids and stare at bricks and statues, trying to feel some connection with the past. It's not easy.
Now in exile, Jose Ramos Horta spent two decades as the leading international spokesman against the invasion of his country by Indonesia. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
Host Ira Glass with Jan Tomare, who spent three years in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Richard Klein of Cornell University explains that the way we view love really began with love poems in the 13th century — an illusion.
Host Ira Glass explains why some old answering machine messages from a decade ago have such power for him: there's a special power to recordings of phone conversations. The phone is intimate — more intimate than a photograph.