NPR Science reporters Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller explain to Ira Glass how they smuggled a rat into NPR headquarters in Washington, and ran an unscientific version of a famous experiment first done by Psychology Professor Robert Rosenthal. It showed how people’s thoughts about rats could affect their behavior.
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Lulu tells the story of Daniel Kish, who’s blind, but can navigate the world by clicking with his tongue. This gives him so much information about what’s around him, he does all sorts of things most blind people don’t.
Daniel Kish says that through clicking, he forms mental pictures. He actually sees.
Alix Spiegel revisits a story she reported in 2006 - which caused more listeners to email us than any other story we've broadcast. It was about a Muslim American girl named "Chloe," who was tormented at school after the students had a lesson on 9/11.
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.
Are doctors to blame for the rising costs? NPR Science Correspondent Alix Spiegel reports on the shocking results of studies about varied health care spending. Hear more health care stories this week from Alix at npr.org.
Serry and her husband's love story began in a place not usually associated with romance: The West Bank. That was where the couple met, fell in love and decided to get married.
A couple uses a controversial therapy to train their son to love them.
Alix Spiegel reports on the "Recovered Memory" movement. In the early 1990s people across America turned to experts in psychology for help...and many people were told that the source of their problems could be traced to traumatic events they could not even remember, to memories that had to be recovered through special techniques.
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) declared that homosexuality was not a disease simply by changing the 81-word definition of sexual deviance in its own reference manual. It was a change that attracted a lot of attention at the time, but the story of what led up to that change is one that we hear today, from reporter Alix Spiegel.
Alix Spiegel's story continues, with a man dressed in a Nixon mask called Dr. Anonymous, and a pivotal encounter in a Hawaiian bar.
Reporter Alix Spiegel tells the story of the Ostwind, the boat that came to be known as "Hitler's Yacht." (25 minutes)
Alix Spiegel's story continues.
Most sperm banks provide all sorts of information about their donors: Education level, medical background. They even have videotaped interviews and recorded answers to essay questions.
A small-town mayor tries to keep a developer from building in his town...and it results in the kind of snowballing fiasco by the end of which the town literally doesn't exist anymore. Alix Spiegel tells that story, which she produced with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
What happens when a crowd converges over something they strongly believe in, for weeks, and months, in front of television cameras that never go away? To what degree does that change the character of being in a crowd? A few days before Elian Gonzalez was seized by Federal authorities, reporter Alix Spiegel went to the lawn of his home, where activists camped out 24 hours a day.
Barbara Clinkscales grew up in Chicago's public housing projects, had her first child when she was 15, and is now—over two decades later—struggling to get her teenage son to finish his senior year of high school. Barbara is a working mom, with a network of close friends who look out for her.
Barbara's story continues, as she hears some terrible news about her son.
Ron Copeland is a historical interpreter at the Conner Prairie Living History Museum, outside of Indianapolis. For several months a year, in his job, he pretends to be a slaveowner in the old south.
Alix Spiegel travels with a group of white suburbanites as they pretend to be runaway slaves, at the Conner Prairie Living History Museum. Her goal: to find out what it is that people actually get out of this elaborate game of pretend.
Alix Spiegel reports on an entire community that's turned its back on easy money—for now. Nine years ago a native American community in Minnesota—the Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe—built a casino.
Reporter Alix Spiegel and playwright David Kodeski tell stories about Niagara Falls. During the hour we hear from Paul Gromosiak, a man who's obsessed with the Falls, writes about them, thinks about them all the time, but never goes there, because "they've ruined the falls." We hear a man who went over the falls in a barrel, and we hear the recordings he made inside the barrel as he went over. There's a man who picks up the bodies of people who've jumped over the Falls.
Alix Spiegel in Colorado Springs, where a massive prayer project is underway to pray for every person, business, and school. When she arrives, she finds the Christians speak a kind of Christian jargon she does not understand.
An inextinguishable subterranean fire on the edge of a small Pennsylvania town, and why the residents are not afraid of it. Host Ira Glass and This American Life contributor Alix Spiegel.