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This American Life

Built around the innovative vision of Ira Glass, this program documents and describes contemporary America. Using radio monologues, mini-documentaries, “found tape,” and unusual music, it is radio storytelling at its best.

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Thursday, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
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Saturday, April 19, 2014 Permalink

This American Life: No Coincidence, No Story!

  
From a chance encounter at a bus station to a romantic dollar bill to a baffling apparition in a college shower stall. See more of your coincidence stories — with photos — here.
 
Prologue: Hannah Jacoby tells the story of when she and her best friend Lindsey bonded over those toy soldiers with the parachutes, called (really) Poopatroopers — and how the little jumpers perfectly bookended their high-school years. And guest host Sarah Koenig explains the very interesting trends we discovered in our listeners' coincidences. 
 
Act 1: Grandmas A surprising number of coincidences involve grandmothers — that’s one of the things we learned doing this show. One grandma has so many coincidences happen to her, it drives her granddaughter, 16-year-old Juliana Bontrager, to try to beat her at her own coincidence game. And we also hear from Blake Oliver about a very strange appearance his grandma once made. You can hear more from Blake Oliver in an interview on The Story
 
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Act 2: In God We Trust When it comes to love, coincidences tend to loom extra-large. Stephen Lee tells about the time his parents first met his fiance’s parents, and his future mother-in-law dropped a coincidence bomb. And we hear how a dollar bill ended up clinching a marriage, after floating around Chicago for years. 
 
Act 3: Brother Can You Spare A Dime Ryan Rozar told us about a confounding coincidence that was visited on him in college. We didn’t think it was a coincidence at all, so we set out to prove him wrong. 
 
Act 4: More stories of dazzling coincidences: An old boyfriend is conjured in Morocco; a jazz singer seems to rise from the dead, and three boys believe they’ve seen a corpse. Plus stories of errant fathers, lost and found.
 
Act 5: What Are The Chances Sometimes the best way to appreciate a coincidence is to look past all the rational reasons it might have happened. Other times, it’s better to face facts — even very, very large facts. Kerry Weeks tells about the time he lost a pocketknife, and turned to the galaxy for help. His story was recorded live at a Moth StorySLAM in New York City.