When Danielle's family serves poultry at their dinner table, no one utters the word "chicken." Instead, it is always called "fish." Danielle explains why with the help of her friend "Duki." (16 minutes)
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An excerpt from Your Radio is Haunted. (6 minutes)
Host Ira Glass uses Italian author Umberto Eco's essay Travels in Hyperreality as a guidebook to American simulated worlds. Eco says that the urge to create these miniature simulated worlds is a very American impulse — a significant American aesthetic — and one that's not often discussed.
Ira's mom is invited to speak to a group of Jewish mothers who only discuss one topic: their relationships with their adult children.
Ira continues the story about his conversation with his mom. Then he calls her up on the air.
Jack Hitt reviews the strange case of William Kane, his mistress, his family, and fifteen vials of frozen sperm.
Navy Pier's renovation was presented as a success in last week's show, but recent press reveals that the pier is bleeding money. WBEZ personality Aaron Freeman and his kids take Ira on a tour of the pier, looking at it from a child's perspective.
Barbara Adams, a former member of the Whitewater trial jury, showed up for jury duty wearing a full-scale costume from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ira dissects a discussion on an Internet mailing list about fandom, inspired by Adams' celebrity. Also: Temple University professor Cindy Patton's childhood infatuation with G.I.
A Midwestern family records a "letter on tape" to their son, who is in medical school in California. Three decades later, the recording somehow ends up in a thrift store.
Ira plays tapes of his own father, Barry, who was a radio deejay in the mid-1950s. Barry gave up spinning records when he decided that he couldn't make a decent living at it, and for over a decade he was against his son going into radio, not wanting him to waste time the way he did.
Susan Bergman's father was a family man, head of the church choir, and, secretly, having sex with men. He died before his children had a chance to really talk to him about what they should make of his hidden life.
When Susan Bergman wrote a book about her family's experience, other gay men tried to explain her father's actions to her.
Claudia Perez returns to talk about her year from a more personal perspective.