Season 2
Episode 216: APOCALYPSE

We attempt to come to better terms with our impending doom. This is such a mind-blowing episode that it is in a record eight parts: one short story, one excerpt from a novel, two poems, one interview, one story-booth vignette, one ballad, and a correspondence with our friend Pete, on the other side.


Host: Bonnie Swift

Producers: Jonah Willihnganz, Bonnie Swift, Dan Hirsch, Micah Cratty, Lee Konstantinou, Killeen Hanson, Elizabeth Bradfield, Hannah Krakauer, Jack Wang

Featuring: Daniel Steinbock, Adrienne Chung

Music: Nataly Dawn

URLs: People Say I've Changed, Pop Apocalypse: A possible Satire, Long Now Foundation

Episode 215: Unexpected Superheroes

Episode 215: Unexpected Superheroes

Although superheroes may seem like two dimensional relics of our childhoods, they can have a significant impact on our lives. Stories of superheroes battling in academia, superheroes living among us, and fictional superheroes fighting real-world battles.


Host: Micah Cratty

Producers: Micah Cratty, Lee Konstantinou and Matt Larson

Featuring: Professor Scott Bukatman and Robert Walker

Music: Kissing Johnny and Noah Burbank

Episode 214: No Work and All Play

What is it to be a toy or a tool? What is the difference between work and play, or is there a difference at all? Seriously playful stories from an archaeologist, a designer of toys for disabled children, and circuit-bending musicians. Who is influencing who in the process of design, creation, and the use of toys and tools?


Host: Hannah Krakauer

Producers: Hannah Krakauer, Liz Bradfield, Daniel Hirsch

Featuring: Michael Shanks, Jessica Zarin Kessin, Reed Ghazala, Sridharan Devarajan, Mike Rosenthall, Mike Mellenthin, Heather Roberts

Music: Kissing Johnny, Dubious Ranger, Nimbleweed

Episode 212: Rites of Passage

Episode 212: Rites of Passage

Sometimes our rites of passage are marked by large ceremonies, like graduations or weddings. But often the transformative moments of our lives come not on stage, but when we quietly face the challenges we are presented with. The strange importance of the unicycle in a young man’s life, Texas debutantes, and a 22-year-old trying to make it as a reporter in the real world.


Host: Micah Cratty

Producers: Micah Cratty, Matt Larson, Will Rogers

Featuring: Jon Ho

Music: Volunteer Pioneer, Kissing Johnny, Noah Burbank

URLs: Welch Widers unicycle performance, Texas Rose Documentary Blog

Episode 211: Narrow Escapes

Episode 211: Narrow Escapes

Why are we drawn to stories of escape? How do we know when we've escaped or when we’ve been captured? Today’s show features stories of narrow escapes, written and read by the winners of our first story contest. The dangers of professional panty sniffing, a maybe catastrophic encounter with abandoned tires, and a short story recalling a scary chapter in Stanford's past.


Host: Lee Konstantinou

Producers: Lee Konstantinou and Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Amanda Glasser, Erika Harrell, Mandy MacCalla

Episode 210: Writing on the Wall

Episode 210: Writing on the Wall

There all sorts of ways to send a messages: composing an email, writing a text message, pasting up fliers, or literally writing on the wall. In this show, we explore the various ways people communicate: digital and analog, private and public, even legal and illegal. The surprising origins of online social networks, the world of graffiti art, and bathroom stall vandalism.


Host: Dan Hirsch

Producers: Dan Hirsch, Will Rogers,

Featuring: Fred Turner, Molly Butcher, Lyndsey Garlock, Lexi Tsien-Shiang, Mitchell Wilcox,

SK, Crayone, Demon 202, Niccolo De Luca

Music: Johnny Hwin, Lauchlan Casey, Ill-Conditioned

Episode 209: Prediction

Episode 209: Prediction

The human brain was built to predict the future. If you can't see what's coming, you can't survive. Tea leaves, entrails, and complicated algorithms are just a few of the ways humans have tried to divine the future for personal gain. Today on our show we have three stories about various attempts to look into the future. A Berkeley undergraduate tries to beat the racetrack, economists attempt to predict recessions, and a software that can listen to a song and predict whether it's going to be a hit. Guess which one is the most successful, and who forgot about a couple very important variables.


Host: Charlie Mintz

Producers: Charlie Mintz, Daniel MacDougall, Bonnie Swift Jonah Willihnganz

Featuring: Sarah Rizk, Sam Alemayehu, Paul David, Howard Schwartz, Mike McCready, Jadena, Koji Gardiner, Eleanor Safridge Fields, Kasiana McLenaghan, Robert Mintz

Music: Koji Gardiner, Ian Burrell, Andy Seymour, Jeff Striker, Pascel, Boomsnake

URLs: Gambler's Book Shop

Episode 208: UnValentine's Day

Episode 208: Valentine's Day

Normally Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate coming together, but today we're exploring the reasons people drift apart. In four stories, we explore all the reasons we fail to click. We have a story about a Stanford student who tried, and failed, to sell her eggs to an elite donation agency, an investigation into the paradoxical allure of French women, a radio play about the perils of matchmaking, and an essay on love that offers an unusual take on arranged marriages.


Host: Charlie Mintz

Producers: Charlie Mintz, Hannah Krakauer, Rachel Hamburg

Featuring: Eva Glasrud, Paula England, Harville Hendrix, Stuart Blaire and Art Tosborvorn

Music: George Pritzker, Jeff Striker, Snuffaluffagus

Video Podcast: ‘Song of a Sperm Donor’ by Emmaunel Dayan

Episode 207: Questions of Travel

Episode 207: Questions of Travel

What happens to us when we travel? How do we get beyond the brochure (and should we)? Poets, a professor of ecology, an observer of the Malaysian meat market, and a researcher who studies sense of place work toward answers and share stories of discovery on the road.


Host: Elizabeth Bradfield

Producers: Elizabeth Bradfield, Daniel Hirsch

Featuring: Joshua Rivkin, John Evans, Laura McKee, Peter Vitousek, Nicole Ardoin, Samantha Wai, Michelle Traub, Selena Simmons-Duffin, Daniel MacDougall

Music: Volunteer Pioneer, Johnny Hwin, Natalie Dawn, Eli Herwitz, The Reiterators, and Midawe

URLs: Peter M. Vitousek, Nicole Ardoin

Episode 206: Serious Fun

 Episode 207: Questions of Travel We all do the things we do for fun a little bit seriously. Basketball, belly dancing, or playing in a band -- these all take practice and hard work to be really fun. But some people take fun more seriously than the rest of us. Some of them are just more competitive. Some of them want to expand the arena of fine art. And some of them want to re-enchant the world. This episode has stories about a historical re-enactment society that has helped professors make new discoveries about medieval warfare, video games that are becoming professional sports, and the tragic tale of a fan club so obsessed with a character from a book that they got rid of the author. And finally, Ken Kesey reads the children's story that he took seriously enough to say, "This was my best piece of work ever."

Host/Producer: Rachel Hamburg
Featured: Tony Ricciardi, Patrick Thill, Joshua Landy, Michael Saler, Ken Kesey, Arthur Maddox, Michael Lawrence
Music: Kevin Macleod, The Yeltsin Collective, Arthur Maddox, William McGlaughlin, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Episode 205: The novel

Episode 205: The novel November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a prize-less, month-long contest in which thousands around the world attempt to write their novel in one month. Thirty days, fifty thousand words minimum, and no prize at the end (save for their own satisfaction). On this week's show we follow of National Novel Writing Month and learn a little about the novel while we're at it. A class of Stanford students tries to finish their novels without flunking out, a San Francisco write-a-thon filled with wannabe novelists, and the elusive 150 thousand word woman. Plus interviews with a professor, a PhD, and a book critic on the history of the novel.

Host: Charlie Mintz
Producers: Lee Konstantinou, Charlie Mintz, Killeen Hanson, Dan Hirsch, Jonah Willihnganz
Featured: Emily Rials, Bianca Ceralvo, Mark McGurl, Emma Ziker, Chris Baty, Noam Cohen
Music: Max Citron
URLs: Chris Baty

Episode 204: Nemesis

Episode 204: Nemesis  Do you have a special someone in your life who does all the same things you do, but better? Are you nursing a grudge and need some vindication? On this week’s show we have epic college feuds, petty rivalries, sweet love affairs gone bitter, and the battling little voices in your own head. It's stories of conflict, within and without. Animosity, axes to grind, enemies and nemeses, hosted by dynamic doppelgänger duo.

Host: Charlie Mintz and Dan Hirsch
Producers: Charlie Mintz and Dan Hirsch
Featured: Hal Mikelson, Carmen Gray, Emily Cox, Will Rogers, Angela Castellanos, Matt Larson, Shoshana Wineburg, Jasmine Aarons, Laura Stokes, Martin Evans, Roland Greene, Tiffany James
Music: Lauchlan Casey

Episode 203: Take It for Granite

Episode 203: Take It for Granite When you live in a place, it's hard not to take it for granted. But in California that’s almost impossible -- the landscape is simply too striking to forget or ignore. Today’s show is about what happens when you attempt to really appreciate the place you call home. Two travelers spend five days retracing the historic and unmarked trail of the Buffalo Soldiers. Then a portrait of backcountry life in Yosemite. Finally, a poem about a wild tree with a universe inside it. And in this podcast, a supplemental interview between poet Peter Kline and Storytelling Poetry Editor, Elizabeth Bradfield.

Host: Bonnie Swift
Producers: Justine Lai, Killeen Hanson, Liz Bradfield, Bonnie Swift
Featuring: Shelton Johnson, Ward Eldridge, Peter Kline
Music: Noah Burbank, Mt. Eerie, The Microphones, Kate Wolf

Episode 202: Impostor

Episode 202: Impostor It's natural to want to be someone you're not. So why demonize the impostor? Today we have three stories of people who tried to pass themselves off as someone they weren't. First, a story about a degenerating mobster turned private investigator, with some very unorthodox ways of getting the job done. Then a story about a scientist who invented his data and got busted. Finally, a memoir about one woman's longing to have curly hair. Each one recalls an oh-so-typical journey of self-deception: after attempting to recreate themselves from the outside-in, they deal with the consequences.

Host: Charlie Mintz
Producers: Charlie Mintz and Matt Larson
Featured: Lawrence Klein, Tommy Wallach and Maria Hummel
Music: Pascalle, George Pritzker and Andy Seymour

Episode 201: Smallitics

Episode 201: Smallitics A Mississippi county fair, the real deal on Sarah Palin, high school elections, campaign calls to grandparents, and what happens when one same-sex couple finds their fate tied to the opinions of an entire state. In this show we look at the small side of big politics, "smallitics," or how the national stage is truly made up small actors with big roles.

Host: Dan Hirsh
Producers: Jonah Willihnganz, Clare Bennett, Charlie Mintz, Micah Cratty, Lee Konstantinou, and Dan Hirsch
Featured: Bridget Whearty, Ronnie Musgrove, Jenna Reback, Allison Fink
Music: Nimbleweed