Episodes
This week at Invisibilia, we're bringing you an episode from NPR's Throughline about an emotion you might be feeling a lot these days: nostalgia. Longing for 'simpler times' and 'better days', many of us have been turning to 90s dance playlists, TV sitcoms, and sports highlights. We're looking for comfort and safety in the permanence of the past, or at least, what we think the past was. But, when it first appeared, nostalgia itself wasn't considered a feeling; it was a deadly disease. This...
Published 12/09/21
Published 12/09/21
It's the end of the friendship season! We'll be back next year with more Invisibilia. In the meantime, if you're hungry for more friendship content, our friends over at Life Kit have done several episodes about it - from how to be a better listener, to what to do when a friendship changes. In this episode: practical tips on how to make new friends.
Published 11/18/21
Would you ever consider going to therapy with a friend?Two best friends who call themselves brothers were drifting apart, so they asked psychotherapist Esther Perel to help — and we listened in. This episode was recorded in collaboration with Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel and a companion episode can be heard on her podcast.
Published 11/04/21
Sh*t happens. So why is it so hard to talk about? This week, the ways that poop divides and binds us in our friendships.
Published 10/28/21
A lot of us think that it's a bad idea to get physical with friends. We worry it'll get messy, maybe even ruin the friendship. But if physical intimacy between friends weren't so taboo, what could our friendships look like? In this episode, we explore the gray zone of sex and friendship, following a man who deliberately kept his friendships with women hazy and now wants to apologize, and a pair of BFFs who became close through sex.
Published 10/21/21
You know the old saying--keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But what if you can't tell the difference? In this episode, the story of two friends who got caught up in a Top Secret operation that tested their assumptions about trust, betrayal, loyalty, and power.
Published 09/30/21
It's a basic tenet of friendship that you get to choose your friends. We look at two institutions that took away that choice: convents circa the 1960s and a summer program with unusual rules. What do we lose and what do we gain when we give up our preferences and try to make friends with everyone equally?
Published 09/23/21
It's one of the most common and infuriating friend mysteries out there - a friend disappears into thin air. But where do these ghosts go? And why are we so haunted by them? If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Published 09/16/21
Friendship gets the Invisibilia treatment.
Published 09/14/21
A 16-year-old Black kid walks into a gas station in Stockton, Calif. to buy gummy worms for his little sister. When the teen gets in an argument with the clerk over a damaged dollar bill, a white officer in plainclothes decides to intervene — with force. We bring you an episode of On Our Watch, a new podcast from NPR and KQED that traces the ripple effects of this incident over the next 10 years in a department trying to address racism and bias.
Published 07/07/21
Let's get slow. Producer Abby Wendle picks up the gauntlet that was thrown down in the last episode "The Great Narrative Escape." Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Published 06/12/21
Imagine a TV show with no plot, no characters, no tension... and yet, it went viral! In this episode, we have a story that questions storytelling as we know it. Plus, co-hosts Kia Miakka Natisse and Yowei Shaw take a spectacularly unspectacular train ride.
Published 05/20/21
Is 209 Times helping or hurting the community it claims to serve? What does the site mean for the future of local news in America? And what can be done about it? In the final installment of "The Chaos Machine" series , Yowei finds herself in the middle of a long-standing tug of war over who owns the truth.
Published 05/13/21
The man behind 209 Times is not who you'd expect. In Part 2, co-host Yowei Shaw discovers the website's surprising origin story, and ends up at the frontlines of a revolt against the mainstream media and a fight over who gets to own the truth.
Published 05/06/21
Yowei gets a tip about Russian trolls in Stockton, California and falls down a hole of swirling conspiracy theories. At the center is a scrappy, controversial website that has become one of the most popular sources of local news in town. Some say it's doing important investigative journalism while others say it's spreading hateful lies about progressive leaders. In part 1 of The Chaos Machine series, what happens when traditional local news runs out of resources and reporting the narrative of...
Published 04/29/21
Invisibilia explores a social experiment with money, focused around a contentious topic: reparations. What happens when you demand white people give up their wealth?
Published 04/22/21
Invisibilia is back! Stories that help you see the world differently, with new hosts Kia Miakka Natisse and Yowei Shaw.
Published 04/19/21
Hacking, phishing, surveillance, disinformation... these are tools used to silence dissidents and influence elections. But what happens when these same methods are used against an ordinary citizen? The story of a man fighting an enemy he can't see and becoming increasingly paranoid.Which makes him a lot like the rest of us. What happens when you no longer know how to trust?
Published 06/13/20
The strange story of an unlikely crew of people who band together to take on one of our largest problems using nothing but whale sounds, machine learning, and a willingness to think outside the box. Even stranger, several of the world's most accomplished scientists seem to think they might have a good idea. | To learn more about this episode, subscribe to our newsletter. Click here to learn more about NPR sponsors.
Published 04/10/20
A city council candidate says he's black. But his opponent accuses him of being a white man pretending to be black. If race is simply a social construct and not a biological reality, how do we determine someone's race? And who gets to decide? We tell the story of a man whose racial identity was fiercely contested... and the consequences this had on an entire city. | To learn more about this episode, subscribe to our newsletter. Click here to learn more about NPR sponsors.
Published 04/03/20
What if you had a superpower that allowed you to see part of the world that was to come? At the age of 60, a Scottish woman named Joy Milne discovers she has a biological gift that allows her to see things that will happen in the future that no one else can see. A look at how we think about the future, and the important ways the future shapes the present. | To learn more about this episode, subscribe to our newsletter. Click here to learn more about NPR sponsors.
Published 03/27/20
Welcome to what is possibly the most tense and uncomfortable summer program in America! The Boston-based program aims to teach the next generation the real truth about race, and may provide some ideas for the rest of us about the right way to confront someone to their face. | To learn more about this episode, subscribe to our newsletter. Click here to learn more about NPR sponsors.
Published 03/22/20
Daniel Martinez discovered the unthinkable: a creature that breaks one of the most fundamental laws of life. In the wake of his discovery--which has been widely confirmed by the scientific community--all kinds of people have thrown themselves into trying to unlock the secrets of how this creature seems to cheat death. Cellular biologists, aging researchers, and the biotech industry all hold high hopes that there may be some application to slow human aging. Millions of dollars are being poured...
Published 03/16/20
Bernie Krause was a successful musician as a young man, playing with rock stars like Jim Morrison and George Harrison in the 1960s and '70s. But then one day, Bernie heard a sound unlike anything he'd ever encountered and it completely overtook his life. He quit the music business to pursue it and has spent the last 50 years following it all over the earth. And what he's heard raises this question: what can we learn about ourselves and the world around us if we quiet down and listen? | To...
Published 03/08/20