Learning to Lie

When asked what trait they want to instill in their children, most parents answer “honesty.” But in truth, learning to lie is a crucial part of childhood. This week, we take a deep look at how and why we learn to lie, and what lying does to you. Our first story investigates the most common lie of the western world and how it ushers us into the world of lies. Our second story is about the irrepressible urge to tell the truth, and our third and final story is about lying as a form of love.

Producer: Natacha Ruck

Featuring: Joshua Hoyt, Victoria Hurst, Poncie Rutsch, Christy Hartman, Dana Kletter, Dr. Gail Heyman, Dr. Karl Rosengren, Anish Mitra, Ian Girard, Rebekah Morreale, and Ashley Artmann.

Release Date: 1 August 2012

show image via flickr




Joshua Hoyt Interviews psychologists to find out when and how children learn to lie.

Featuring: Austin Meyer, Dr. Gail Heyman, Dr. Karl Rosengren.



Story 1: The Santa Game

Victoria Hurst tackle the big one: Santa Claus. He’s the biggest, Jolliest lie in the western world. For his sake we’ve cleaned our rooms and smiled when our great aunts pinched our cheeks. Because of him, we believed wholeheartedly in the fairness of the world and in bearded old men from the North. But What has he really taught us?

Producer: Victoria Hurst

Featuring: Anish Mitra, Ian Girard, Rebekah Morreale, and Ashley Artmann.

Image Courtesy of Ken Grobe



Story 2: The Lying Lesson

Dana Kletter was only seven years old when she found herself in a situation where she needed to learn how to lie–and to lie well. It was a matter of survival. But like any little girl, she also felt a big pressure to tell the truth, no matter how dangerous that may be.

Producer: Poncie Rutsch

Featuring: Dana Kletter

Image Courtesy of Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales



Story 3: Lie to Me

What happens when lying takes over your home, and comes between you and the ones you love? In this story, Christy Hartman explores how hard it can be to face the truth about your family, and how learning to lie can be a gift of love.

Producer: Christy Hartman

Image Courtesy of Christy Hartman


Form Follows Function

Hidden structures and forms constantly influence the way we think, from social norms to rules of grammar. This week we give you four stories that illuminate the forms that underpin our lives. First, you’ll learn about a successful cosmetic surgery industry in modern day Korea. Second, a software predicts hit songs before they’re hits, based on a formula (note: this piece also aired on our “Prediction” show). Third, Iambic Pentameter makes itself known in the modern world. And finally, An artist incorporates naturally occurring patterns into her audio art.

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Host: Bonnie Swift
Producers: Bonnie Swift, Hannah Krakauer and Noah Burbank
Featured: Olivia Puerta, Nellie Olsen, Olivia Prevost, Noah Burbank, Sarah Rizk, Sam Alemayehu, Jill McDonough and Jen Carlile
Music: Palaviccini, Talisman, The Yeltsin Collective

Release Date: 2 June 2008


Story 1: Beauty in the Eyes of the Beheld

Western culture can influence Eastern perceptions of beauty, and in this story, the body-image of women. This piece surveys a growing trend, in which Asian women undergo a surgery called blepharoplasty (more commonly known as “Asian Double Eyelid Surgery”).

Producers: Olivia Puerta, Nellie Olson and Olivia Prevost


Story 2: Are You a Hit?

A new software predicts the next big music sensation, and some local talent is put to through the software to see how they measure up. Does this mean the end of true artistic integrity and creativity? (note: this piece also aired in our episode titled “Prediction”)

Producers: Sarah Rizk and Sam Alemayehu

Story 3: Prison and Poetic Form

Stegner poet Jill McDonough uses the structure of the sonnet to write a book of poetry honoring people who have been executed in the United States. Then she is interviewed by our Fiction Editor.

Producers: Lee Konstantiou
Featuring: Jill McDonough


Story 4: The Sounds of Clouds (and of other Natural Things)

Have you ever wondered what clouds sound like? Jen Carlile uses a programming language to convert visual images of clouds into a musical experience.

Producers: Noah Burbank
Featuring: Jen Carlile


Images: :Dar., hellocatfood, and msnc on Flickr