It’s neat to see the This American Life podcast at the top of the iTunes charts. This is now ancient history but TAL played a big inspirational role in my contributions to podcasting. It’s still once of the best programs out there. On a related note, a recent episode of sister program Planet Money tells the story of a shipping executive who, after negotiating the ransom and release of a vessel taken by pirates, forms a relationship with the pirates’ negotiator. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.