Host Ira Glass visits This American Life producer Sarah Koenig at her house in State College PA, a few blocks from Penn State's campus, on a weekend night near one in the morning. They witness all kinds of alcohol-induced mayhem.
Most of the This American Life production staff spent the weekend at Penn State, and found that drinking is the great unifier at the school. Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig, Lisa Pollak and Jane Feltes report on tailgating parties, frat parties, an article of clothing known as a "fracket," and a surprising and common drunken crime.
Administrators have tried everything to curb drinking at Penn State, and nothing has worked. Producer Sarah Koenig reports on why this issue is so hard to tackle, and on how students react when a student dies from alcohol poisoning.
This American Life producer Sarah Koenig reports on a very surprising reason why insurance companies dump members, and how this reasoning contradicts President Obama's argument for what will lower health care costs.
Producer Sarah Koenig tells the story of her father, Julian Koenig, the legendary advertising copywriter whose work includes the slogan "Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking" and Volkswagen's "Think Small" ads. For years Sarah has heard her dad accuse a former partner of stealing some of his best ideas, but until recently she never paid much attention.
Barack Obama's transition team made it clear this week that the incoming president plans to order the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on his first full day in office. It's also likely that he'll immediately suspend the military commissions held there—the special courts the military set up in Guantanamo that have been widely criticized as unfair to the detainees. This American Life Producer Sarah Koenig talked to one of the military lawyers currently defending a Guantanamo detainee about all this—what's going on there, and what should happen next.
While McCain gathers stray Democrats, Obama is trying to find new ones—in the reddest part of the state. To do that, his campaign has launched enormous registration drives, especially among college students.
Growing up, Clevins Browne moved all over New York with his mother, in different apartments and homeless shelters. But that all changed when he was 12, and they got an apartment in a public housing complex in Brooklyn.
This American Life producer Sarah Koenig tells a story of the rise and fall of a politician's reputation. Raymond Buckley, a Democratic operative from New Hampshire, was instrumental in his party's success in last fall's midterm elections.
This American Life producer Sarah Koenig tells the story of how her stepsister Rue bought a house on the cheap, with the understanding that the previous owner would soon move out. More than ten years later, she's still waiting.
This American Life producer Sarah Koenig visits Pearlington, Mississippi, a town in danger of not starting up again after Hurricane Katrina. It's in Hancock County, the Ground Zero of the hurricane's devastation.
This American Life producer Sarah Koenig checks out competing sales techniques at a Chevy dealership on the south side of Chicago. It turns out the number two salesman thinks he's number one, and the number one salesman...is a grandmother, Yvonne Hawk.