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Episode Date
The Primordial Journey
<p><span>At two weeks old, the human embryo has only just begun its months-long journey to become a baby. The embryo is tiny, still invisible to the naked eye. But inside it, an epic struggle plays out, as a nomadic band of cells marches toward a mysterious destiny, with the future of humanity resting on their microscopic shoulders.</span></p> <p><em>This episode was reported by Molly Webster, and produced by Jad Abumrad. With scoring and original composition by Alex Overington and Dylan Keefe. Additional production by Rachael Cusick, and editing by Pat Walters. The “Ballad of the Fish” and “Gonads” was composed and sung by Majel Connery, and produced by Alex Overington.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Ruth Lehmann and Dagmar Wilhelm.</em></p> <p class="p1"><em>Radiolab is supported in part by <a href="">Science Sandbox</a>, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science. And the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, enhancing public understanding of science and technology in the modern world. More information about Sloan at <a href="applewebdata://98F02D21-82D9-4896-A630-23984C56BA70/"></a>.</em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab" target="_blank"></a>.</em></p>
Jun 15, 2018
<div> <p class="p1"><span>We originally posted this episode in 2015, and it inspired producer Molly Webster to take a deep dive into the wild and mysterious world of human reproduction. Starting next week, she’ll be taking over the Radiolab podcast feed for a month to present a series of mind-bending stories that make us rethink the ways we make more of us.</span></p> </div> <div>You know the drill - all it takes is one sperm, one egg, and blammo - you got yourself a baby. Right? Well, in this episode, conception takes on a new form - it’s the sperm and the egg, plus: two wombs, four countries, and money. Lots of money. </div> <p>At first, this is the story of an Israeli couple, two guys, who go to another continent to get themselves a baby - three, in fact - by hiring surrogates to carry the children for them. As we follow them on their journey, an earth shaking revelation shifts our focus from them, to the surrogate mothers. Unfolding in real time, as countries around the world consider bans on surrogacy, this episode looks at a relationship that manages to feel deeply affecting, and deeply uncomfortable, all at the same time. </p> <p><em>Birthstory is a collaboration with the brilliant radio show and podcast Israel Story, created to tell stories for, and about, Israel. <a href="">Go check ‘em out! </a></em></p> <p><em><span>Israel Story's five English-language seasons were produced in partnership with <a href="" target="_blank">Tablet Magazine</a> and we highly recommend you listen to all of their work at  <a href="" target="_blank"></a></span></em></p> <p><em>This episode was produced and reported by Molly Webster. </em></p> <p><em>Special thanks go to: Israel Story, and their producers Maya Kosover, and Yochai Maital; reporters Nilanjana Bhowmick in India and Bhrikuti Rai in Nepal plus the <a href="">International Reporting Project</a>; Doron Mamet, Dr Nayana Patel, and Vicki Ferrara; with translation help from Aya Keefe, Karthik Ravindra, Turna Ray, Tom Wasserman, Pradeep Thapa, and <a href="">Adhikaar</a>, an organization in Ridgewood, Queens advocating for the Nepali-speaking community. </em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab" target="_blank"></a>.</em></p> <p><strong>Audio Extra:</strong></p> <p>Tal and Amir had a chance to meet each surrogate once - just after the deliveries, after all the paperwork was sorted out, and before any one left Nepal. As Amir says, they wanted to say "a big thank you." These meetings between intended parents, surrogate, and new babies are a traditional part of the surrogacy process in India and Nepal, and we heard reports from the surrogates that they also look forward to them. These moments do not stigmatize, reveal the identity of, or endanger the surrogates. Tal and Amir provided the audio for this web extra.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="54" src="" width="474"></iframe></p>
Jun 08, 2018
Poison Control
<p class="p1"><span>When reporter Brenna Farrell was a new mom, her son gave her and her husband a scare -- prompting them to call Poison Control. For Brenna, the experience was so odd, and oddly comforting, that she decided to dive into the birth story of this invisible network of poison experts, and try to understand the evolving relationship we humans have with our poisonous planet. As we learn about how poison control has changed over the years, we end up wondering what a place devoted to data and human connection can tell us about ourselves in this cultural moment of anxiety and information-overload.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span><em>Call the national Poison Help Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or text POISON to 797979 to save the number in your phone.</em></span></p> <p class="p1"><em>This episode was reported by Brenna Farrell and was produced by Annie McEwen.</em></p> <p class="p1"><em>Special thanks to Wendy Blair Stephan, Whitney Pennington, Richard Dart, Marian Moser Jones, and Nathalie Wheaton. Thanks also to Lewis Goldfrank, Robert Hoffman, Steven Marcus, Toby Litovitz, James O'Donnell, and Joseph Botticelli.  </em></p> <p class="p1"><em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab" target="_blank"></a>.</em></p> <p class="p1"> </p> <p class="p1">Further Reading: </p> <p><a href="">The Poisoner's Handbook,</a> by Deborah Blum</p> <p><a href="">The Poison Squad,</a> by Deborah Blum</p> <p>Illinois Poison Center’s latest <a href="">“A Day in the Life of a Poison Center”</a> post</p> <p><strong>You can find out more about the country’s 55 poison centers at the<a href=""> American Association of Poison Control Centers</a></strong><strong><a href="">,</a> </strong>including a snapshot of the latest available from the <a href="">National Poison Data System (2106)</a>: </p> <p><a href="">"Poison Politics: A Contentious History of Consumer Protection Against Dangerous Household Chemicals in the United States," </a>by Marian Moser Jones: </p> <p>2011 article from The Annals of Emergency Medicine: <a href="">"The Secret Life of America's Poison Centers,"</a> Richard Dart </p> <p>A 1954 article from Edward Press -- one of the key figures in creating a formalized poison control system in Chicago in the early 1950s, Press and Gdalman are credited with starting the first poison control center in the US in 1953 in Chicago: <a href="">"A Poisoning Control Program"</a> Edward Press and Robert B Mellins </p> <p class="p1"><span><br><br></span></p>
Jun 01, 2018
Unraveling Bolero
<p>This week, we're throwing it back to an old favorite: a story about obsession, creativity, and a strange symmetry between a biologist and a composer that revolves around one famously repetitive piece of music.</p> <p>Anne Adams was a brilliant biologist. But when her son Alex was in a bad car accident, she decided to stay home to help him recover. And then, rather suddenly, she decided to quit science altogether and become a full-time artist. After that, her husband <span>Robert Adams</span> tells us, she just painted and painted and painted. First houses and buildings, then a series of paintings involving strawberries, and then ... "Bolero."</p> <p>At some point, Anne became obsessed with Maurice Ravel's famous composition and decided to put an elaborate visual rendition of the song to canvas. She called it "Unraveling Bolero." But at the time, she had no idea that both she and Ravel would themselves unravel shortly after their experiences with this odd piece of music. <span>Arbie Orenstein</span> tells us what happened to Ravel after he wrote "Bolero," and neurologist <span>Bruce Miller</span> helps us understand how, for both Anne and Ravel, "Bolero" might have been the first symptom of a deadly disease.</p> <p> <em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab" target="_blank"></a>.</em></p> <p>Read more:</p> <p><a title="Unravelling Bolero" href="" target="_blank">Unravelling Bolero: progressive aphasia, transmodal creativity and the right posterior neocortex</a></p> <p>Arbie Orenstein's <a title="Ravel: Man and Musician" href=";qid=1340121834&amp;sr=1-1" target="_blank">Ravel: Man and Musician</a></p>
May 22, 2018
More or Less Human
<p>Seven years ago chatbots - those robotic texting machines - were a mere curiosity. They were noticeably robotic and at their most malicious seemed only capable of scamming men looking for love online. Today, the chatbot landscape is wildly different. From election interference to spreading hate, chatbots have become online weapons.</p> <p>And so, we decided to reinvestigate the role these robotic bits of code play in our lives and the effects they’re having on us. We begin with a little theater. In our live show “Robert or Robot?” Jad and Robert test 100 people to see if they can spot a bot. We then take a brief detour to revisit the humanity of the Furby, and finish in a virtual house where the line between technology and humanity becomes blurrier than ever before.</p> <p><em>This episode was reported and produced by Simon Adler. Our live event was produced by Simon Adler and Suzie Lechtenberg.</em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab" target="_blank"></a>.</em></p> <p><span><em>Note</em></span><span><em> from the Managing Editor:</em></span></p> <p class="p1"><span>In the original version of our “More or Less Human” podcast, our introduction of neuroscientist Mavi Sanchez-Vives began with mention of her husband, Mel Slater. </span><span>We’ve edited that introduction because i</span><span>t was a mistake to introduce her first as someone’s wife. Dr. Sanchez-Vives is an exceptional scientist and we’re sorry that the original introduction distracted from or diminished her work. </span> </p> <p class="p3"><span>On a personal note, I failed to take due note of this while editing the piece, and in doing so, I flubbed what’s known as the <a href=""><strong>Finkbeiner Test</strong> </a>(all the more embarrassing given that Ann Finkebeiner is a mentor and one of my favorite science journalists). In addition to being a mistake, this is also a reminder to all of us at Radiolab that we need to be more aware of our blind spots. We should’ve done better, and we will do better.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span> </span><span>- </span><span>Soren</span><span> Wheeler </span></p>
May 18, 2018
Dark Side of the Earth
<p class="p1"><span>Astronauts at the International Space Station can make one request to talk to an earthling of their choice. For some reason, Astronaut Mark Vande Hei chose us. A couple weeks ago, we were able to video chat with Mark and peer over his shoulder through the Cupola, an observatory room in the ISS. Traveling at 17,000 miles an hour, we zoomed from the Rockies to the East Coast in minutes. And from where Mark sits, the total darkness of space isn’t very far away. </span></p> <p>Talking to Mark brought us back to 2012, when we spoke to another astronaut, Dave Wolf. When we were putting together our live show <em>In the Dark</em>, Jad and Robert called up Dave Wolf to ask him if he had any stories about darkness. And boy, did he. Dave told us two stories that  became the finale of our show.</p> <p><img style="float: right; margin: 5px 10px 5px 10px;" src="" alt="" width="300"><img style="float: right; margin: 5px 10px 5px 10px;" src="" alt="" width="300">Back in late 1997, Dave Wolf was on his first spacewalk, to perform work on the Mir (the photo to the right was taken during that mission, courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank">NASA.</a>). Dave wasn't alone -- with him was veteran Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev. (That's a picture of Dave giving Anatoly a hug on board the Mir, also courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank">NASA</a>).</p> <p>Out in blackness of space, the contrast between light and dark is almost unimaginably extreme -- every 45 minutes, you plunge between absolute darkness on the night-side of Earth, and blazing light as the sun screams into view. Dave and Anatoly were tethered to the spacecraft, traveling 5 miles per second. That's 16 times faster than we travel on Earth's surface as it rotates -- so as they orbited, they experienced 16 nights and 16 days for every Earth day.</p> <p>Dave's description of his first spacewalk was all we could've asked for, and more. But what happened next ... well, it's just one of those stories that you always hope an astronaut will tell. Dave and Anatoly were ready to call it a job and head back into the Mir when something went wrong with the airlock. They couldn't get it to re-pressurize. In other words, they were locked out. After hours of trying to fix the airlock, they were running out of the resources that kept them alive in their space suits and facing a grisly death. So, they unhooked their tethers, and tried one last desperate move.</p> <p>In the end, they made it through, and Dave went on to perform dozens more spacewalks in the years to come, but he never again experienced anything like those harrowing minutes trying to improvise his way back into the Mir.</p> <p>After that terrifying tale, Dave told us about another moment he and Anatoly shared, floating high above Earth, staring out into the universe ... a moment so beautiful, and peaceful, we decided to use the audience recreate it, as best we could, for the final act of our live show.</p> <p>Pilobolus creates a shadow astronaut during Dave Wolf's story on stage (photo by Lars Topelmann):</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="620"></p> <p>The audience turns Portland's Keller auditorium into a view of outer space with thousands of LED lights (photo by Lars Topelmann):</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="620"></p> <p>Here's Dave Wolf in the dark darkness of space, performing a spacewalk in 2009 (courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank">NASA</a>):</p> <p><em><img src="" alt="" width="620"></em></p> <p>To give you an idea of what it looks like during the brightness of day, here's another photo taken in 2009 -- more than a decade after the adventure described in our podcast -- this time of astronaut Tom Marshburn (Dave Wolf is with him, out of frame, photo courtesy of <a href="" target="_blank">NASA</a>):</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="620"></p> <p><em>This episode was produced by Matt Kielty and Soren Wheeler. </em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p>
Apr 26, 2018
Border Trilogy Part 3: What Remains
<p><strong>Border Trilogy</strong></p> <p>While scouring the Sonoran Desert for objects left behind by migrants crossing into the United States, anthropologist Jason De León happened upon something he didn't expect to get left behind: a human arm, stripped of flesh.</p> <p>This macabre discovery sent him reeling, needing to know what exactly happened to the body, and how many migrants die that way in the wilderness. In researching border-crosser deaths in the Arizona desert, he noticed something surprising. Sometime in the late-1990s, the number of migrant deaths shot up dramatically and have stayed high since. Jason traced this increase to a Border Patrol policy still in effect, called “Prevention Through Deterrence.”</p> <p>Over three episodes, Radiolab will investigate this policy, its surprising origins, and the people whose lives were changed forever because of it.</p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <p><strong>Part 3: What Remains </strong></p> <p>The third episode in our Border Trilogy follows anthropologist Jason De León after he makes a grisly discovery in Arivaca, Arizona. In the middle of carrying out his pig experiments with his students, Jason finds the body of a 30-year-old female migrant. With the help of the medical examiner and some local humanitarian groups, Jason discovers her identity. Her name was Maricela. Jason then connects with her family, including her brother-in-law, who survived his own harrowing journey through Central America and the Arizona desert.</p> <p>With the human cost of Prevention Through Deterrence weighing on our minds, we try to parse what drives migrants like Maricela to cross through such deadly terrain, and what, if anything, could deter them.</p> <p><em>This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte and was produced by Matt Kielty and Tracie Hunte. </em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Carlo Alb<span>á</span>n, Sandra Lopez-Monsalve, Chava Gourarie, Lynn M. Morgan, Mike Wells and Tom Barry.</em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p> <p> </p> <p><em>CORRECTION: An earlier version of this episode incorrectly stated that a person's gender can be identified from bone remains. We've adjusted the audio to say that a person's sex can be identified from bone remains. </em></p>
Apr 20, 2018
Border Trilogy Part 2: Hold the Line
<p><strong>Border Trilogy </strong></p> <p>While scouring the Sonoran Desert for objects left behind by migrants crossing into the United States, anthropologist Jason De León happened upon something he didn't expect to get left behind: a human arm, stripped of flesh.</p> <p>This macabre discovery sent him reeling, needing to know what exactly happened to the body, and how many migrants die that way in the wilderness.  In researching border-crosser deaths in the Arizona desert, he noticed something surprising. Sometime in the late-1990s, the number of migrant deaths shot up dramatically and have stayed high since. Jason traced this increase to a Border Patrol policy still in effect, called “Prevention Through Deterrence.”</p> <p>Over three episodes, Radiolab will investigate this policy, its surprising origins, and the people whose lives were changed forever because of it.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Part 2: Hold the Line</strong></p> <p>After the showdown in court with Bowie High School, Border Patrol brings in a fresh face to head its dysfunctional El Paso Sector: Silvestre Reyes. The first Mexican-American to ever hold the position, Reyes knows something needs to change and has an idea how to do it. One Saturday night at midnight, with the element of surprise on his side, Reyes unveils ... Operation Blockade. It wins widespread support for the Border Patrol in El Paso, but sparks major protests across the Rio Grande. Soon after, he gets a phone call that catapults his little experiment onto the national stage, where it works so well that it diverts migrant crossing patterns along the entire U.S.-Mexico Border.</p> <p>Years later, in the Arizona desert, anthropologist Jason de León realizes that in order to accurately gauge how many migrants die crossing the desert, he must first understand how human bodies decompose in such an extreme environment. He sets up a macabre experiment, and what he finds is more drastic than anything he could have expected.</p> <p><em>This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte, and was produced by Matt Kielty, Bethel Habte and Latif Nasser.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Sherrie Kossoudji at the University of Michigan, Cheryl Howard, Andrew Hansen, William Sabol, Donald B. White, Daniel Martinez, Michelle Mittelstadt at the Migration Policy Institute, Former Executive Assistant to the El Paso Mayor Mark Smith, Retired Assistant Border Patrol Sector Chief Clyde Benzenhoefer, Paul Anderson, Eric Robledo, Maggie Southard Gladstone and Kate Hall.</em></p> <p> <em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p> <p> </p> <p class="p1"><em><strong>CORRECTION:</strong> An earlier version of this piece incorrectly stated that Silvestre Reyes's brother died in a car accident in 1968; it was actually his father who died in the accident.  We also omitted a detail about the 1997 GAO report that we quote, namely that it predicted that as deaths in the mountains and deserts might rise, deaths in other areas might also fall. The audio has been adjusted accordingly.</em></p> <p><em> </em></p>
Apr 06, 2018
Border Trilogy Part 1: Hole in the Fence
<p><strong>Border Trilogy</strong></p> <p>While scouring the Sonoran Desert for objects left behind by migrants crossing into the United States, anthropologist Jason De León happened upon something he didn't expect to get left behind: a human arm, stripped of flesh.</p> <p>This macabre discovery sent him reeling, needing to know what exactly happened to the body, and how many migrants die that way in the wilderness. In researching border-crosser deaths in the Arizona desert, he noticed something surprising. Sometime in the late-1990s, the number of migrant deaths shot up dramatically and have stayed high since. Jason traced this increase to a Border Patrol policy still in effect, called “Prevention Through Deterrence.”</p> <p>Over three episodes, Radiolab will investigate this policy, its surprising origins, and the people whose lives were changed forever because of it.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Part 1: Hole in the Fence:</strong></p> <p><span>We begin one afternoon in May 1992, when a student named Albert stumbled in late for history class at Bowie High School in El Paso, Texas. His excuse: Border Patrol. Soon more stories of students getting stopped and harassed by Border Patrol started pouring in. So begins the unlikely story of how a handful of Mexican-American high schoolers in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country stood up to what is today the country’s largest federal law enforcement agency. They had no way of knowing at the time, but what would follow was a chain of events that would drastically change the US-Mexico border. </span></p> <p><em>This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte and was produced by Matt Kielty, Bethel Habte, Tracie Hunte and Latif Nasser. </em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, Estela Reyes López, Barbara Hines, Mallory Falk, Francesca Begos and Nancy Wiese from Hachette Book Group, Professor Michael Olivas at the University of Houston Law Center, and Josiah McC. Heyman, Ph.D, Director, Center for Interamerican and Border Studies and Professor of Anthropology.</em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p>
Mar 23, 2018
Rippin’ the Rainbow an Even Newer One
<p>One of our most popular episodes of all time was our <a href="">Colors episode</a>, where we introduced you to a sea creature that could see a rainbow far beyond what humans can experience.</p> <p>Peacock mantis shrimps are as extraordinary as they are strange and boast what may well be the most complicated visual system in the world. They each have 16 photoreceptors compared to our measly three. But recently researchers in Australia put the mantis shrimps’ eyes to the test only to discover that sure, they can SEE lots of colors, but that doesn't mean they can tell them apart.</p> <p>In fact, when two colors are close together - like yellow and yellow-y green - they can’t seem to tell them apart at all.  </p> <p><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm1400816645290564b8bc51e-b10b-436b-9e13-46e968fcd7af"><iframe width="465" height="349" src=";autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a-2304816732337389044" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url=""></iframe></div></div> </p> <p>MORE ON COLORS: There was a time -- between the flickery black-and-white films of yore and the hi-def color-corrected movies we watch today -- when color was in flux. Check out this <a href="">blog post</a> on how colors made it to the big screen from our director of research, Latif Nasser. </p> <p><em>Our original episode was produced by Tim Howard and Pat Walters. This update was produced by Amanda Aronczyk.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Chris Martin of <a href="">Creative Aquarium Nation</a>, Phil Weissman, David Gebel and Kate Hinds for lending us their colorful garments. Also thanks to Michael Kerschner, Elisa Nikoloulias and the <a href="">Young New Yorkers’ Chorus</a>, as well as Chase Culpon and The Greene Space team.</em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at </em><a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"><em></em></a><em>.</em></p>
Mar 15, 2018
Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - The Gun Show
<p class="p1"><span>The shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, reignited an increasingly familiar debate about guns in this country. Today, we’re re-releasing a <em>More Perfect </em>episode that aired just after the Las Vegas shooting last year that attempts to make sense of our country’s fraught relationship with the Second Amendment.</span></p> <p class="p1">For nearly 200 years of our nation’s history, the Second Amendment was an all-but-forgotten rule about the importance of militias. But in the 1960s and 70s, a movement emerged — led by Black Panthers and a recently-repositioned NRA — that insisted owning a firearm was the right of each and every American. So began a constitutional debate that only the Supreme Court could solve. That didn’t happen until 2008, when a Washington, D.C. security guard named Dick Heller made a compelling case.</p>
Feb 23, 2018
The Curious Case of the Russian Flash Mob at the West Palm Beach Cheesecake Factory
<p><span>We don’t do breaking news. But when Robert Mueller released his indictment a few days ago, alleging that 13 Russian nationals colluded to disrupt the 2016 elections, we had a lot of questions. Who are these Russian individuals sowing discord? And who are these Americans that were manipulated?? Join us as we follow a trail of likes and tweets that takes us from a Troll Factory to a Cheesecake Factory.</span></p> <p><em>This episode was produced by Simon Adler and Annie McEwen with reporting help from Becca Bressler and Charles Maynes. </em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at<a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>. </em></p>
Feb 20, 2018
Smarty Plants
<p class="p1"><span>Do you really need a brain to sense the world around you? To remember? Or even learn? Well, it depends on who you ask. Jad and Robert, they are split on this one. Today, Robert drags Jad along on a parade for the surprising feats of brainless plants. Along with a home-inspection duo, a science writer, and some enterprising scientists at Princeton University, we dig into the work of evolutionary ecologist Monica Gagliano, who turns our brain-centered worldview on its head through a series of clever experiments that show plants doing things we never would've imagined. </span>Can Robert get Jad to join the march?</p> <p class="p1"><span><em>This episode was produced by Annie McEwen. </em></span></p> <p class="p2"><em>Support Radiolab today at<a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>. </em></p>
Feb 14, 2018
Ghosts of Football Past
<p>In anticipation of Super Bowl LII (Go Eagles), we're revisiting an old episode about the surprising history of how the game came to be. It's the end of the 19th century -- the Civil War is over, and the frontier is dead. And young college men are anxious. What great struggle will test their character? Then along comes a new craze: football. A brutally violent game where young men can show a stadium full of fans just what they're made of. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn -- the sons of the most powerful men in the country are literally knocking themselves out to win these gladiatorial battles. And then the most American team of all, with the most to prove, gets in the game and owns it. The Carlisle Indian School, formed in 1879 to assimilate the children and grandchildren of the men who fought the final Plains Wars against the fathers and grandfathers of the Ivy Leaguers, starts challenging the best teams in the country. On the football field, Carlisle had a chance for a fair fight with high stakes -- a chance to earn respect, a chance to be winners, and a chance to go forward in a changing world that was destroying theirs. </p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at<a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>. </em></p>
Feb 04, 2018
Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - One Nation, Under Money
<p>An unassuming string of 16 words tucked into the Constitution grants Congress extensive power to make laws that impact the entire nation. The Commerce Clause has allowed Congress to intervene in all kinds of situations — from penalizing one man for growing too much wheat on his farm, to enforcing the end of racial segregation nationwide. That is, if the federal government can make an economic case for it. This seemingly all-powerful tool has the potential to unite the 50 states into one nation and protect the civil liberties of all. But it also challenges us to consider: when we make everything about money, what does it cost us?</p> <p><strong>The key voices:</strong> </p> <ul> <li>Roscoe Filbrun Jr., Son of Roscoe Filbrun Sr., respondent in Wickard v. Filburn</li> <li>Ollie McClung Jr., Son of Ollie McClung Sr., respondent in Katzenbach v. McClung</li> <li><a href="">James M. Chen</a>, professor at Michigan State University College of Law</li> <li><a href="">Jami Floyd</a>, legal analyst and host of WNYC’s All Things Considered who, as a domestic policy advisor in the Clinton White House, worked on the Violence Against Women Act</li> <li><a href="">Ari J. Savitzky</a>, lawyer at WilmerHale </li> </ul> <p><strong>The key cases:</strong></p> <ul> <li>1824: <a href=""><em>Gibbons v. Ogden</em></a></li> <li>1942: <a href=""><em>Wickard v. Filburn</em></a></li> <li>1964: <a href=""><em>Katzenbach v. McClung</em></a></li> <li>2000: <a href=""><em>United States v. Morrison</em></a></li> <li>2012: <em><a href="">National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius</a></em></li> </ul> <p> <em>Additional production for this episode by Derek John and Louis Mitchell.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Jess Mador, Andrew Yeager, and Rachel Iacovone.                                                 </em></p> <p><em>Leadership support for More Perfect is provided by The Joyce Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation.</em></p> <p><em>Supreme Court archival audio comes from </em><a href=""><em>Oyez®</em></a><em>, a free law project in collaboration with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell.</em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at<a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p>
Jan 31, 2018
The Voice in Your Head - A Tribute to Joe Frank
<p class="p1"><span>How do you pay proper tribute to a legend that many people haven’t heard of?</span></p> <p class="p1"><span>We began asking ourselves this question last week when the visionary radio producer Joe Frank passed away, after a long struggle with colon cancer.  Joe Frank was the radio producer’s radio producer.  He told stories that were thrillingly weird, deeply mischievous (and sometimes head-spinningly confusing!). He had a big impact on us at Radiolab.  For Jad, his Joe Frank moment happened in 2002, while sitting at a mixing console in an AM radio studio waiting to read the weather.  Joe Frank's Peabody Award-winning series "Rent-A-Family” came on the air.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span>Time stood still.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span>We’ve since learned that many of our peers have had similar Joe Frank moments.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span>In this episode, we commemorate one of the greats with Brooke Gladstone from On the Media and Ira Glass from This American Life.</span> </p> <p class="p1"><span><em>This episode was produced by Jad Abumrad with help from Kelly Prime and Sarah Qari. </em></span></p> <p class="p1"><span><em>A very special thanks to Michal Story.</em></span></p> <p class="p1"><em>Support Radiolab today at<a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p>
Jan 23, 2018
How to Be a Hero
<p>What are people thinking when they risk their lives for someone else? Are they making complicated calculations of risk or diving in without a second thought? Is heroism an act of sympathy or empathy?  </p> <p>A few years ago, we spoke with Walter F. Rutkowski about how the Carnegie Hero Fund selects its heroes, an honor the fund bestows upon ordinary people who have done extraordinary acts.</p> <p>When some of these heroes were asked what they were thinking when they leapt into action, they replied: they didn’t think about it, they just went in.</p> <p>Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky says there is a certain kind of empathy that leads to action. But feeling the pain of another person deeply is not necessarily what makes a hero.  </p> <p><em>Our original episode was reported and produced by Lynn Levy and Tim Howard. This update was produced by Amanda Aronczyk.</em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p>
Jan 09, 2018
Inside Radiolab (Video)
<p>Take a stroll through where Radiolab is made and meet some of the people who have created your favorite episodes.</p> <p>Help make another year of curiosity possible. <a href="" target="_blank" title=""></a></p> <p>If you're having trouble watching the video you can view it by clicking <a href=";t=1s" target="_blank" title="video alt">here</a>. </p>
Dec 29, 2017
Bigger Little Questions
<p class="p1"><span>We're back with Part 2! When we dumped out our bucket of questions, there was a lot of spillover. Like, A LOT of spillover. So today, we’re chasing down answers to some bigger, little questions.  </span></p> <p class="p1"><span><em>This episode was reported and produced by Annie McEwen, Bethel Habte, Latif Nasser, Matt Kielty, Simon Adler and Tracie Hunte.</em></span></p> <p class="p1"><em>Special thanks to Stephen Brady and Staff Sergeant Erica Picariello in the US Air Force's 21st Space Wing.</em></p> <p class="p1"><em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p>
Dec 22, 2017
Big Little Questions
<p>Here at the show, we get a lot of questions. Like, A LOT of questions. Tiny questions, big questions, short questions, long questions. Weird questions. Poop questions. We get them all.</p> <p>And over the years, as more and more of these questions arrived in our inbox, what happened was, guiltily, we put them off to the side, in a bucket of sorts, where they just sat around, unanswered. But now, we’re dumping the bucket out.</p> <p>Today, our producers pick up a few of the questions that spilled out of that bucket, and venture out into the great unknown to find answers to some of life's greatest mysteries: coincidences; miracles; life; death; fate; will; and, of course, poop.</p> <p><em>This episode was reported and produced by Rachael Cusick, Tracie Hunte and Matt Kielty. </em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Blake Nguyen, Sarah Murphy and the New York Public Library. </em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p>
Dec 20, 2017
Super Cool
<p>When we started reporting a fantastic, surreal story about one very cold night, more than 70 years ago, in northern Russia, we had no idea we'd end up thinking about cosmology. Or dropping toy horses in test tubes of water. Or talking about bacteria. Or arguing, for a year. Walter Murch (aka, the Godfather of <em>The Godfather</em>), joined by a team of scientists, leads us on what felt like the magical mystery tour of super cool science.</p> <p>Our supercooling demonstration (with a tiny horse):</p> <p><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm1400816515104323e52fb9b-a17c-449f-949b-083bcf1b1f97"><iframe width="300" height="169" src=";autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a-653083126755228439" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url=""></iframe></div></div></p> <p> </p> <p>For more video of our trip to the lab, check out:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Jad grows ice, with one finger (sorta)</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">A flash freezing, in high-def</a></p> <p>And it turns out, our podcast <a href="" target="_blank">has something to do with this pret-ty big physics discovery</a>, about possibly one of the earliest supercooling events in the universe, moments after the Big Bang.</p> <p><em>This piece was produced by Molly Webster and Matt Kielty with help from Amanda Aronczyk. </em><em> It originally aired in March of 2014.</em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab today at<a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p>
Dec 05, 2017
Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - Mr. Graham and the Reasonable Man
<p><span><em>This story comes from the second season of Radiolab's spin-off podcast, More Perfect. To hear more, subscribe <a href="">here</a>.</em></span></p> <p><span>On a fall afternoon in 1984, Dethorne Graham ran into a convenience store for a bottle of orange juice. Minutes later he was unconscious, injured, and in police handcuffs. In this episode, we explore a case that sent two Charlotte lawyers on a quest for true objectivity, and changed the face of policing in the US.</span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>The key voices:</p> <ul> <li>Dethorne Graham Jr., son of Dethorne Graham, appellant in <em>Graham v. Connor</em></li> <li><a href="">Edward G. (Woody) Connette</a>, lawyer who represented Graham in the lower courts</li> <li><a href="">Gerald Beaver</a>, lawyer who represented Graham at the Supreme Court</li> <li><a href="">Kelly McEvers</a>, host of <em>Embedded</em> and <em>All Things Considered</em></li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><span><span> </span></span>The key case:</p> <ul> <li><em>1989: <a href="">Graham v. Connor</a></em></li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><span><em>Additional production for this episode by Dylan Keefe and Derek John; additional music by Matt Kielty and Nicolas Carter.</em></span></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Cynthia Lee, Frank B. Aycock III, Josh Rosenkrantz, </em><em>Leonard Feldman, and Ben Montgomery.</em></p> <p><em>Leadership support for More Perfect is provided by The Joyce Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation.</em></p> <p><em>Supreme Court archival audio comes from </em><a href=""><em>Oyez®</em></a><em>, a free law project in collaboration with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell.</em></p>
Nov 30, 2017
<p>Back in 1995, Claude Steele published a study that showed that negative stereotypes could have a detrimental effect on students' academic performance. But the big surprise was that he could make that effect disappear with just a few simple changes in language. We were completely enamoured with this research when we first heard about it, but in the current roil of replications and self-examination in the field of social psychology, we have to wonder whether we can still cling to the hopes of our earlier selves, or if we might have to grow up just a little bit.</p> <p><em>This piece was produced by Simon Adler and Amanda Aronczyk and reported by Dan Engber and Amanda Aronczyk.</em></p> <p> <em>Support Radiolab today at<a href=";utm_medium=notes&amp;utm_campaign=membership&amp;utm_content=radiolab"></a>.</em></p>
Nov 23, 2017
Match Made in Marrow
<p>You never know what might happen when you sign up to donate bone marrow. You might save a life… or you might be magically transported across a cultural chasm and find yourself starring in a modern adaptation of the greatest story ever told.</p> <p>One day, without thinking much of it, Jennell Jenney swabbed her cheek and signed up to be a donor.  Across the country, Jim Munroe desperately needed a miracle, a one-in-eight-million connection that would save him. It proved to be a match made in marrow, a bit of magic in the world that hadn’t been there before.  But when Jennell and Jim had a heart-to-heart in his suburban Dallas backyard, they realized they had contradictory ideas about where that magic came from. Today, an allegory for how to walk through the world in a way that lets you be deeply different, but totally together.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>This piece was reported by Latif Nasser.  It was produced by Annie McEwen, with help from Bethel Habte and Alex Overington.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to <span>Dr. Matthew J. Matasar, Dr. John Hill, Stephen Spellman at CIBMTR, St. Cloud State University’s Cru Chapter, and Mandy Naglich.</span></em></p>
Nov 10, 2017
Oliver Sacks: A Journey From Where to Where
<p class="p1"><span>There’s nothing quite like the sound of someone thinking out loud, struggling to find words and ideas to match what’s in their head. Today, we are allowed to dip into the unfiltered thoughts of Oliver Sacks, one of our heroes, in the last months of his life. </span></p> <p class="p2">Oliver died in 2015, but before he passed he and his partner Bill Hayes, in an effort to preserve some of Oliver’s thoughts on his work and his life, bought a little tape recorder. Over a year and half after Oliver’s death, Bill dug up the recorder and turned it on. Through snippets of conversation with Bill, and in moments Oliver recorded whispering to himself as he wrote, we get a peek inside the head, and the life, of one of the greatest science essayists of all time.<br><span></span></p> <p class="p2"><em>The passages read in this piece all come from Oliver’s recently released, posthumous book, <a href="">The River of Consciousness</a>. </em><br><span></span></p> <p class="p2">Special thanks to Billy Hayes for letting us use Oliver’s tapes, you can check out his work at <a href=""><span></span></a><br><span></span></p> <p class="p2"> <br><span></span></p> <p class="p2"><br><span></span></p> <p class="p2"> </p>
Oct 27, 2017
Father K
<p>Today, while the divisions between different groups in this country feel more and more insurmountable, we zero in on a particular neighborhood to see if one man can draw people together in a potentially history-making election. </p> <p>Khader El-Yateem is a Palestinian American running for office in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, one of the most divided, and most conservative neighborhoods in New York City. To win, he'll need to convince a wildly diverse population that he can speak for all of them, and he'll need to pull one particular group of people, Arab American Muslims, out of the shadows and into the political process. And to make things just a bit more interesting, El-Yateem is a Lutheran minister.</p> <p><em>This story was reported and produced by Simon Adler, with help from Bethel Habte, Annie McEwen, and Sarah Qari.</em></p> <p> Support Radiolab today at <a href=""></a>.</p>
Oct 13, 2017
Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - American Pendulum I
<p><em>This story comes from the second season of Radiolab's spin-off podcast, More Perfect. To hear more, subscribe <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> <p>What happens when the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, seems to get it wrong? <em>Korematsu v. United States </em>is a case that’s been widely denounced and discredited, but it still remains on the books. This is the case that upheld President Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of American citizens during World War II based solely on their Japanese heritage, for the sake of national security. In this episode, we follow Fred Korematsu’s path to the Supreme Court, and we ask the question: if you can’t get justice in the Supreme Court, can you find it someplace else?</p> <p><span><span> </span></span>The key voices:</p> <ul> <li>Fred Korematsu, plaintiff in Korematsu v. United States who resisted evacuation orders during World War II.</li> <li><a href="">Karen Korematsu</a>, Fred’s daughter, Founder &amp; Executive Director of Fred T. Korematsu Institute</li> <li>Ernest Besig, ACLU lawyer who helped Fred Korematsu bring his case</li> <li><a href="">Lorraine Bannai</a>, Professor at Seattle University School of Law and friend of Fred's family</li> <li>Richard Posner, recently retired Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit</li> </ul> <p><span><span> </span></span>The key cases:</p> <ul> <li>1944: <a href="">Korematsu v. United States</a></li> </ul> <p><span><span> </span></span>The key links:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">Fred T. Korematsu Institute</a></li> <li><a href="">Densho Archives</a></li> </ul> <p><span><span><br><br></span></span></p> <p><em>Additional music for this episode by The Flamingos, Lulu, <a href="">Paul Lansky</a> and <a href="">Austin Vaughn</a>.</em></p> <p><span><span> </span></span><em>Special thanks to the Densho Archives for use of archival tape of Fred Korematsu and Ernest Besig.</em></p> <p><span><span> </span></span><em>Leadership support for More Perfect is provided by The Joyce Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation.</em></p> <p><span><em>Supreme Court archival audio comes from </em><a href=""><em>Oyez®</em></a><em>, a free law project in collaboration with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell.</em></span></p>
Oct 02, 2017
Driverless Dilemma
<div> <p>Most of us would sacrifice one person to save five. It’s a pretty straightforward bit of moral math. But if we have to actually kill that person ourselves, the math gets fuzzy.</p> <p>That’s the lesson of the classic Trolley Problem, a moral puzzle that fried our brains in an episode we did about 11 years ago. Luckily, the Trolley Problem has always been little more than a thought experiment, mostly confined to conversations at a certain kind of cocktail party. That is until now. New technologies are forcing that moral quandry out of our philosophy departments and onto our streets. So today we revisit the Trolley Problem and wonder how a two-ton hunk of speeding metal will make moral calculations about life and death that we can’t even figure out ourselves.</p> <p><em>This story was reported and produced by Amanda Aronczyk and Bethel Habte.</em></p> <p><em><span>Thanks to Iyad Rahwan, Edmond Awad and Sydney Levine from the Moral Machine group at MIT. Also thanks to Fiery Cushman, Matthew DeBord, Sertac Karaman, Martine Powers, Xin Xiang, and Roborace for all of their help. </span></em><em><span>Thanks to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism students who collected the vox: Chelsea Donohue, Ivan Flores, David Gentile, Maite Hernandez, Claudia Irizarry-Aponte, Comice Johnson, Richard Loria, Nivian Malik, Avery Miles, Alexandra Semenova, Kalah Siegel, Mark Suleymanov, Andee Tagle, Shaydanay Urbani, Isvett Verde and Reece Williams.</span></em></p> <p>Support Radiolab today at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p> </p> </div>
Sep 26, 2017
Oliver Sipple
<p class="p1"><span>One morning, Oliver Sipple went out for a walk. A couple hours later, to his own surprise, he saved the life of the President of the United States. But in the days that followed, Sipple’s split-second act of heroism turned into a rationale for making his personal life into political opportunity. What happens next makes us wonder what a moment, or a movement, or a whole society can demand of one person. And how much is too much? </span></p> <p class="p1">Through newly unearthed archival tape, we hear Sipple himself grapple with some of the most vexing topics of his day and ours - privacy, identity, the freedom of the press - not to mention the bonds of family and friendship. </p> <p><em>Reported by Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte. Produced by Matt Kielty, Annie McEwen, Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Jerry Pritikin, Michael Yamashita, Stan Smith, Duffy Jennings; Ann Dolan, Megan Filly and Ginale Harris at the Superior Court of San Francisco; Leah Gracik, Karyn Hunt, Jesse Hamlin, The San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive, Mike Amico, Jennifer Vanasco and Joey Plaster.</em></p> <p class="p1"><span>Support Radiolab today at <a href=""><span></span></a>.</span></p>
Sep 22, 2017
Radiolab Presents: Anna in Somalia
<p class="p1">This week, we are presenting a story from NPR foreign correspondent Gregory Warner and his new globe-trotting podcast <a href=""><em>Rough Translation</em>.</a></p> <p class="p1"><span>Mohammed was having the best six months of his life - working a job he loved, making mixtapes for his sweetheart - when the communist Somali regime perp-walked him out of his own home, and sentenced him to a lifetime of solitary confinement.  With only concrete walls and cockroaches to keep him company, Mohammed felt miserable, alone, despondent.  But then one day, eight months into his sentence, he heard a whisper, a whisper that would open up a portal to - of all places and times - 19th century Russia, and that would teach him how to live and love again. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes%20%20%20%20%20%20" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.</span></p>
Sep 12, 2017
Where the Sun Don't Shine
<p>Today we take a quick look up at a hole in the sky and follow an old story as it travels beyond the reach of the sun. We hear from some moon-peeping listeners and then, on the 40th anniversary of their launch, we check in with the Voyager space probes. We revisit the story of the romantic time capsules that were placed onboard, and a question we asked five years ago: where exactly is Voyager 1? </p> <p><em>Original piece reported by Lynn Levy. This update was produced by Amanda Aronczyk and Annie McEwen.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Don Gurnett, Elizabeth Landau, Sarah Mozal, and Andrew Good.</em></p> <p>Support Radiolab today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes%20%20%20%20%20%20" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p>
Aug 23, 2017
Breaking News
<p>Simon Adler takes us down a technological rabbit hole of strangely contorted faces and words made out of thin air. And a wonderland full of computer scientists, journalists, and digital detectives forces us to rethink even the things we see with our very own eyes. </p> <p>Oh, and by the way, we decided to put the dark secrets we learned into action, and unleash <a href="">this</a> on the internet. </p> <p> </p> <p><em>Reported by Simon Adler. Produced by Simon Adler and Annie McEwen.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to everyone on the University of Southern California team who helped out with the facial manipulation: Kyle Olszewski, Koki Nagano, Ronald Yu, Yi Zhou, Jaewoo Seo, Shunsuke Saito, and Hao Li. Check out more of their work <a href=""></a></em></p> <p class="p2"><em>Special thanks also to Matthew Aylett, Supasorn Suwajanakorn, Rachel Axler, Angus Kneale, David Carroll, Amy Pearl and Nick Bilton. You can check out Nick’s latest book, </em>American Kingpin<em>, <a href=";pcrid=158258695635&amp;pmt=b&amp;pkw=&amp;source_code=GO1GB907OSH060513&amp;;cvo_crid=158258695635&amp;cvo_pid=5075902449&amp;gclid=Cj0KCQjwnubLBRC_ARIsAASsNNk5E0ryUTkXEriNiKNrY4b4lTIFQuR9ktcO2nJFL65KxYsLXXZ6i_MaAuy8EALw_wcB">here.</a></em><br><span></span></p> <p class="p2"><em>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.</em></p>
Jul 28, 2017
The Ceremony
<p>Last November, journalist Morgen Peck showed up at her friend Molly Webster's apartment in Brooklyn, told her to take her battery out of her phone, and began to tell her about The Ceremony, a moment last fall when a group of, well, let's just call them wizards, came together in an undisclosed location to launch a new currency. It's an undertaking that involves some of the most elaborate security and cryptography ever done (so we've been told). And math. Lots of math. It was all going great until, in the middle of it, something started to behave a little...strangely.</p> <p><em>Reported by Molly Webster. Produced by Matt Kielty and Molly Webster. Denver Ceremony station recordings were created by media maker Nathaniel Kramer, with help from Daniel Cooper. </em></p> <p><em>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.</em></p>
Jul 14, 2017
Revising the Fault Line
<p>A new tussle over an old story, and some long-held beliefs, with neurologist and author Robert Sapolsky.</p> <p>Four years ago, we did a story about a man with a starling obsession that made us question our ideas of responsibility and justice. We thought we’d found some solid ground, but today Dr. Sapolsky shows up and takes us down a rather disturbing rabbit hole. </p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p> <p> </p>
Jun 27, 2017
The Gondolier
<p><span>What happens when doing what you want to do means giving up who you really are? </span></p> <p><span>We travel to Venice, Italy with reporters Kristen Clark and David Conrad, where they meet gondolier Alex Hai. On the winding canals in the hidden parts of Venice, we learn about the nearly 1000-year old tradition of the Venetian Gondolier, and how the global media created a 20-year battle between that tradition and a supposed feminist icon.</span> </p> <p><em>Reported by David Conrad and Kristen Clark. Produced by Annie McEwen and Molly Webster.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to<span> Alexis Ungerer, Summer, Alex Hai, Kevin Gotkin, Silvia Del Fabbro, Sandro Mariot, Aldo Rosso and Marta Vannucci, The Longest Shortest Time (Hillary Frank, Peter Clowney and Abigail Keel), </span>Tim Howard, Nick Adams/GLAAD, Valentina Powers, Florence Ursino, Ann Marie Somma, Alex Overington, Jeremy Bloom and the people of Little Italy. </em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p> <p>You can find Alex Hai's website <a href="">here</a>, where you can check out the photographs discussed in the piece. </p> <p> </p>
Jun 15, 2017
The Radio Lab
<div><span><span>15 years ago the very first episode of Radiolab, fittingly called "Firsts," hit the airwaves. It was a 3-hour long collection of documentaries and musings produced by a solitary sleep-deprived producer named Jad Abumrad. Things have changed a bit since then.</span></span></div> <div><span><span> </span></span></div> <div><span><span>Today, with help from our long time Executive Producer Ellen Horne, we celebrate our 15th birthday by surprising Jad and Robert in the studio and forcing them to look back on a time when “Radiolab” was just that: a lab for experimenting with radio.   </span></span></div> <div><span><span> Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </span></span></div>
May 26, 2017
Null and Void
<div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div><span><span>Today, a hidden power that is either the cornerstone of our democracy or a trapdoor to anarchy.</span></span></div> <div><span><span> </span></span></div> <div><span><span>Should a juror be able to ignore the law? From a Quaker prayer meeting in the streets of London, to riots in the streets of LA, we trace the history of a quiet act of rebellion and struggle with how much power “we the people” should really have.</span></span></div> </div> </div> <p><em>Produced by Matt Kielty and Tracie Hunte</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Darryl K. Brown, professor of law at the University of Virginia, Andrew Leipold, professor of law at the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign, Nancy King, professor of law at Vanderbilt University, Buzz Scherr law professor at University of New Hampshire, Eric Verlo and attorneys David Lane, Mark Sisto, David Kallman and Paul Grant. </em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.   </p> <div dir="ltr"></div>
May 12, 2017
Funky Hand Jive
<p><span>Back when Robert was kid, he had a chance encounter with then President John F. Kennedy. The interaction began with a hello and ended with a handshake. And like many of us who have touched greatness, 14 year old Robert was left wondering if maybe some of Kennedy would stay with him.  Now, 50 years later, Robert still finds himself pondering that encounter and question. And so with the help of brand new science and Neil Degrasse Tyson, he sets out to satisfy this curiosity once and for all. </span></p> <p><em>Produced by Simon Adler with help from Only Human: Amanda Aronczyk, Kenny Malone, Jillian Weinberger and Elaine Chen.</em></p> <p class="p1"><span>Neil deGrasse Tyson's newest book is called "<a href="">Astrophysics for People in A Hurry</a>."</span></p> <p><em><span><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm1400816603383681e870ffd-4ca1-45be-8074-e455415d8172"><iframe width="620" height="349" src=";autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a5106077161854089080" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url=";"></iframe></div></div>  </span></em></p> <p> </p> <p><em><span>Radiolab needs your help! Please visit </span><span><strong></strong></span><span> and tell us a little about you and the podcasts you love in a 5-minute, anonymous survey. We really appreciate your help - knowing more about you helps us make more of the shows you enjoy. Thank you from all of us at Radiolab!</span> </em></p> <p><span>*** As of Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 we've run out of kits. Thanks so much to uBiome for generously donating over 13,000 free kits, and thanks to everyone for participating. ***</span><span> </span></p> <h3>FAQ:</h3> <p><a name="who"></a><strong><em>Who is uBiome?</em></strong></p> <p>uBiome is a California-based biotech company started in 2012 that sequences the DNA of the microbes that live on and in you.</p> <p><a name="pay"></a><strong><em>Do I have to pay for my results?</em></strong></p> <p>No, as long as you use the code for Radiolab/Only Human listeners, the sequencing results are free! uBiome otherwise charges $89 to have a skin sample analyzed.</p> <p><strong><a name="sick"></a><em>Am I going to find out if I’m sick?</em></strong></p> <p>This uBiome information isn’t for diagnosing any health condition.</p> <p><em><a name="long"></a><strong>How long will it take to get my results?</strong></em></p> <p>It can take from 3-6 weeks from when uBiome receives your sample to sequence, process and compile the material. So please send those samples back to the uBiome labs soon, so we can report back to you about the Radiolab/Only Human group.   </p> <p><strong><em><a name="data"></a>What is uBiome going to do with my microbiome info?</em></strong></p> <p>uBiome scientists are going to share aggregate level analysis with Radiolab and Only Human so we can give general results about our group’s skin microbiome. Aside from that, what uBiome does with your results generally depends on whether you choose to be included in research or share your information. uBiome is HIPAA-compliant, and their practices are reviewed by an independent committee for ethical research (an IRB). For more information, see uBiome’s summary of <a href="">its privacy practices</a> (just 6 pages in regular-sized font).</p> <p><em><a name="download"></a><strong>Will I be able to get my raw data?</strong></em></p> <p>Yes! Once your results are in, you’ll be able to download it as a CSV, JSON or FASTQ file.</p> <p><strong><a name="clone"></a><em>Will they take my DNA and clone me?</em></strong></p> <p>If by “me”, you mean the human you, then no, uBiome isn’t going to clone, let alone even sequence human DNA.</p> <p><strong>More questions? Email</strong></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.   </p>
Apr 26, 2017
Radiolab Extra: Henrietta Lacks
<p><span>With all the recent talk about HBO's upcoming film, we decided it would be good time to re-run our story of one woman's medically miraculous cancer cells, and how Henrietta Lacks changed modern science and, eventually, her family's understanding of itself.</span></p> <p><span> Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </span></p>
Apr 19, 2017
<p>President Richard Nixon once boasted that at any moment he could pick up a telephone and - in 20 minutes - kill 60 million people.  Such is the power of the US President over the nation’s nuclear arsenal.  But what if you were the military officer on the receiving end of that phone call? Could you refuse the order?</p> <p>This episode, we profile one Air Force Major who asked that question back in the 1970s and learn how the very act of asking it was so dangerous it derailed his career. We also pick up the question ourselves and pose it to veterans both high and low on the nuclear chain of command. Their responses reveal once and for all whether there are any legal checks and balances between us and a phone call for Armageddon.</p> <p><em>Reported by Latif Nasser. Produced by Annie McEwen and Simon Adler with production help from Arianne Wack. </em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to: Elaine Scarry, Sam Kean, Ron Rosenbaum, Lisa Perry, Ryan Furtkamp, Robin Perry, Thom Woodroofe, Doreen de Brum, Jackie Conley, Sean Malloy, Ray Peter, Jack D’Annibale, Ryan Pettigrew at the Nixon Presidential Library and Samuel Rushay at the Truman Presidential Library.</em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.   </p>
Apr 07, 2017
Shots Fired: Part 2
<p>A couple years ago, Ben Montgomery, reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, started emailing every police station in Florida.</p> <p>He was asking for any documents created - from 2009 to 2014 - when an officer discharged his weapon in the line of duty. He ended up with a six foot tall stack of reports, pictures, and press clippings cataloging the death or injury of <span>828 people by Florida police. </span></p> <p>In part 2 of Shots Fired, Jad and Robert talk to Ben about how communication breakdowns too often lead to violence and our reporter Matt Kielty sits with one man who found himself at the center of a police visit gone horribly wrong.</p> <p><em>Produced and reported by Matt Kielty.</em></p> <p><em>For the full presentation of Ben Montgomery's reporting please visit the Tampa Bay Times' <a href="">'Why Do Cops Shoot?"</a> We can't recommend it highly enough. </em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p>
Mar 24, 2017
Shots Fired: Part 1
<p>A couple years ago, Ben Montgomery, reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, started emailing every police station in Florida.</p> <p>He was asking for any documents created - from 2009 to 2014 - when an officer discharged his weapon in the line of duty. He ended up with a six foot tall stack of reports, pictures, and press clippings cataloging the death or injury of <span>828 people by Florida police. </span></p> <p>Jad and Robert talk to Ben about what he found, crunch some numbers, and then our reporter Matt Kielty takes a couple files off Ben's desk and brings us the stories inside them - from a network of grief to a Daytona police chief.</p> <p>And next week, we bring you another, very different story of a police encounter gone wrong.</p> <p><em>Produced and reported by Matt Kielty</em></p> <p><em>For the full presentation of Ben Montgomery's reporting please visit the Tampa Bay Times' <a href="">'Why Do Cops Shoot?"</a> We can't recommend it highly enough. </em></p> <p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that in reporter Ben Montgomery's six years of Florida data there were, on average, 130 people shot and killed each year. Police offers did indeed shoot 130 people per year, on average, but only half of those shootings were fatal. The audio has been adjusted to reflect this fact.</em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.   </p>
Mar 17, 2017
Update: CRISPR
<p><span>It's been almost two years since we learned about CRISPR, a ninja-assassin-meets-DNA-editing-tool that has been billed as one of the most powerful, and potentially controversial, technologies ever discovered by scientists. In this episode, we catch up on what's been happening (it's a lot), and learn about CRISPR's potential to not only change human evolution, but every organism on the entire planet.</span></p> <p>Out drinking with a few biologists, Jad finds out about something called CRISPR. No, it’s not a robot or the latest dating app, it’s a method for genetic manipulation that is rewriting the way we change DNA. Scientists say they’ll someday be able to use CRISPR to fight cancer and maybe even bring animals back from the dead. Or, pretty much do whatever you want. Jad and Robert delve into how CRISPR does what it does, and consider whether we should be worried about a future full of flying pigs, or the simple fact that scientists have now used CRISPR to tweak the genes of human embryos.</p> <p><em>This episode was reported and produced by Molly Webster and Soren Wheeler. Special thanks to Jacob S. Sherkow.</em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.   <em>  </em></p>
Feb 24, 2017
Radiolab Presents: Ponzi Supernova
<p>We thought we knew the story of Bernie Madoff.  How he masterminded the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, leaving behind scores of distraught investors and a $65 billion black hole. </p> <p>But we had never heard the story from Madoff himself.</p> <p>This week, reporter Steve Fishman and former Radiolabber Ellen Horne visit our studio to play us snippets from their extraordinary Audible series <em>Ponzi Supernova</em>, which features exclusive footage of the man who bamboozled the world.  After years of investigative reporting – including interviews with dozens of FBI and SEC agents, investors, traders, and attorneys – the pair scrutinize Madoff’s account to understand exactly why he did it, how he managed to pull it off, and how culpable he actually was. Was he a puppetmaster or a puppet? And if the latter, who else is to blame for the biggest financial fraud in history?</p> <p><a href="">You can hear the entire series on iTunes</a> or <a href="">for free on Audible</a></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p>
Feb 10, 2017
Stranger in Paradise
<div>Back in 1911, a box with a dead raccoon in it showed up in Washington D.C., at the office of Gerrit S. Miller. After pulling it out and inspecting it, he realized this raccoon was from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe, and unlike anything he’d ever seen before.  He christened it <em>Procyon minor</em> and in doing so changed the history of Guadeloupe forever.  </div> <p>Today we travel from the storage rooms of the Smithsonian to the sandy beaches of Guadeloupe, chasing the tale of this trash can tipping critter. All the while trying to uncover what it means to be special. </p> <p><em>Produced and reported by Simon Adler.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Sally Stainier and Allie Pinel for all their help translating in Guadeloupe and New York respectively. </em></p> <p><em>Thanks to Bernie Beelmeon, Paola Dvihally, Hervé Magnin, Guillaume Aricique, Laurence Baptiste-Salomon, David Xavier-Albert, Florian Kirchner, Matt Chew, and everyone at the ONCFS. </em></p> <p> </p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p>
Jan 27, 2017
Radiolab Presents: On the Media: Busted, America's Poverty Myths
<p>We love to share great radio, even if we didn’t make it. Today, On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone tells Jad and Robert about a mammoth project they launched to take a critical look at the tales we tell ourselves when we talk about poverty.</p> <p>In a 5-part series called "Busted: America’s Poverty Myths,” On the Media picked apart numerous oft-repeated narratives about what it's like to be poor in America. From Ben Franklin to a brutal eviction, Brooke gives us just a little taste of what she learned and shares a couple stories of the struggle to get ahead, or even just get by.</p> <p>Go check out the full series, it’s well worth it. You can <a href="">hear all 5 episodes of Busted here</a> or <a href="">subscribe to On the Media in iTunes</a> (or wherever you get your podcasts) to listen to this series or all their other great work.</p> <p><em>"Busted: America’s Poverty Myths" was produced by Meara Sharma and Eve Claxton and edited by Katya Rogers. They produced the series in collaboration with WNET’s Chasing the Dream; poverty and opportunity in America.</em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.     </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Jan 18, 2017
Lose Lose
<div>No matter what sport you play, the object of the game is to win. And that’s hard enough to do. But we found a match where four top athletes had to do the opposite in one of the most high profile matches of their careers. Thanks to a quirk in the tournament rules, their best shot at winning was … to lose. </div> <div> <p>This episode, we scrutinize the most paradoxical and upside down badminton match of all time, a match that dumbfounded spectators, officials, and even the players themselves. And it got us to wondering …  what would sports look like if everyone played to lose?</p> </div> <div> <p><em>Reported by Latif Nasser. Produced by Matt Kielty and Annie McEwen and Latif Nasser.</em></p> </div> <div> <p><em>Special thanks to <span>Aparna Nancherla, Mark Phelan, Yuni Kartika, Greysia Polii, Joy Le Li, Mikyoung Kim, Stan Bischof, Vincent Liew, Kota Morikowa, Christ de Roij and Haeryun Kang.</span></em></p> <p><span></span>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.</p> </div>
Dec 30, 2016
It's Not Us, It's You
<div>It’s the end of the year, and the entire Radiolab team is starting to take stock and come up for air. We're excited about how much ground we've covered - stories about college debaters and figure skaters, meat allergies and salmon-eating trees, deathwatch beetles mating and Kpop stars dating - we're excited for what 2017 holds, and grateful because you have made all these things possible with your support. </div> <div> <p>But before 2016 comes to an end, we wanted to do something a little different. We wanted to swivel our attention back to you, our listeners, reconnect with some old friends to see how they are doing, and thank everyone for what they've shared with us.</p> </div> <div> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p> </div>
Dec 16, 2016
Bringing Gamma Back
<div><span>Today, a startling new discovery: prodding the brain with light, a group of scientists got an unexpected surprise -- they were able to turn back on a part of the brain that had been shut down by Alzheimer’s disease. This new science is not a cure, and is far from a treatment, but it’s a finding so … simple, you won’t be able to shake it. Come join us for a lab visit, where we’ll meet some mice, stare at some light, and come face-to-face with the mystery of memory. We can promise you: by the end, you’ll never think the same way about Christmas lights again.</span></div> <div> <p><em>This piece was reported by Molly Webster. It was produced by Annie McEwen, Matt Kielty, and Molly Webster, with help from Simon Adler.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Ed Boyden, Cognito Therapeutics, Brad Dickerson, Karen Duff, Zaven Khachaturian, Michael Lutz, Kevin M. Spencer, and Peter Uhlhaas.</em></p> <p><em><strong>Producer's note about the image:</strong></em></p> <p><em>Those neon green things in the image are microglia, the brain’s immune cells, or, as we describe them in our episode, the janitor cells of the brain. Straight from MIT’s research files, this image shows microglia who have gotten light stimulation therapy (one can only hope in the flicker room). You can see their many, super-long tentacles, which would be used to feel out anything that didn’t belong in the brain. And then they’d eat it!</em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p> </div>
Dec 08, 2016
Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - Object Anyway
<div><span><span><span>At the trial of James Batson in 1982, the prosecution eliminated all the black jurors from the jury pool. Batson objected, setting off a complicated discussion about jury selection that would make its way all the way up to the Supreme Court. On this episode of More Perfect, the Supreme Court ruling that was supposed to prevent race-based jury selection, but may have only made the problem worse.</span></span></span></div> <div><span><span><span> Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </span></span></span></div> <div> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> </div> <div><span><span><span> </span></span></span></div>
Nov 22, 2016
One Vote
<div>Come election season, it's easy to get cynical. Why cast a ballot if your single measly vote can't possibly change anything?</div> <p>In our first-ever election special, we set off to find a single vote that made a difference. We venture from the biggest election on the planet - where polling officials must brave a lion-inhabited forest to collect the vote of an ascetic temple priest - to the smallest election on the planet - where there are no polling officials, only kitty cats wearing nametags. Along the way, we meet a too-trusting advice columnist, a Texan Emperor, and a passive-aggressive mom who helped change American democracy forever. </p> <p><em>Reported by Latif Nasser with help from Tracie Hunte. Produced by Simon Adler, Tracie Hunte, Matt Kielty, Annie McEwen and Latif Nasser. </em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to The Plymouth Fife and Drum Corps and their director Jim Predhomme. Special thanks also to Professors Timothy Harris, Krista Kesselring, Charles Somerwine, Jim Lehring, Isabel DiVanna, Sara Bronin, Wanda Sobieski, Paula F. Casey, Andrea Mansker, and Jenny Diamond Cheng. Thanks to the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound. And thanks as well to Cindy Horswell, Robin Melvin, Ken Herman, Laura Harrington and Mel Marvin. </em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.   </p>
Nov 07, 2016
Alpha Gal
<div>Tuck your napkin under your chin.  We’re about to serve up a tale of love, loss, and lamb chops. </div> <div> <p>For as long as she can remember, Amy Pearl has loved meat in all its glorious cuts and marbled flavors. And then one day, for seemingly no reason, her body wouldn’t tolerate it.  No steaks. No brisket. No weenies.  It made no sense to her or to her doctor: why couldn’t she eat something that she had routinely enjoyed for decades? Something our evolutionary forebears have eaten since time immemorial?  The answer involves mysterious maps, interpretive dance, and a collision of three different species.</p> </div> <div> <p><em>Produced by Annie McEwen &amp; Matt Kielty with reporting help from Latif Nasser</em></p> </div> <div> <p><em>Thanks to our friends at <a href="">The Sporkful</a>, we encourage you to listen to them if you aren't already. </em></p> <p> </p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.   </p> </div>
Oct 27, 2016
Seneca, Nebraska
<div dir="ltr">Back in 2014 the town of Seneca, Nebraska was deeply divided. How divided? They were so fed up with each other that some citizens began circulating a petition that proposed a radical solution. If a majority wanted to they'd self-destruct, end the town and wipe their community off the map. </div> <p>Producer Simon Adler goes to Seneca to knock on doors and sit down with residents for a series of kitchen table conversations. Along the way, we try to piece together what happened in this tiny town and what its fracture says about America.</p> <p><em>Produced and Reported by Simon Adler. <span>Special Thanks to Matthew Hansen of the Omaha World Herald.</span></em></p> <p><span> Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.   </span></p>
Oct 12, 2016
The Primitive Streak
<p>Last May, two research groups announced a breakthrough: they each grew human embryos, in the lab, longer than ever before. In doing so, they witnessed a period of human development no one had ever seen. But in the process, they crashed up against something called the '14-day rule,' a guideline set over 30 years ago that dictates what we do, and possibly how we feel, about human embryos in the lab.</p> <p>On this episode, join producer Molly Webster as she peers down at our very own origins, and wonders: what do we do now?</p> <p><em>This piece was produced by Molly Webster and Annie McEwen, with help from Matt Kielty.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks goes to the Bioethics Research Library at Georgetown University; Omar Sultan Haque, Kevin Fitzgerald, SJ, and Josephine Johnston; Charlie McCarthy; Elizabeth Lockett, Mark Hill, and Robert Cork; plus, Eric Boodman, Lauren Morello, and Martin Pera.</em></p> <p><strong>Producer's note about the image:</strong></p> <p>Check out the super cool picture that's running with this piece. Scientist Gist Croft sent it to me a couple of weeks after my visit to the Rockefeller lab: it’s an image of the very embryo I looked at under the microscope - a twelve-day old human embryo - but with all the detail highlighted using fluorescent dye. (When I looked in person, we were using a light microscope that showed everything in black and white, with not nearly that precision.) The neon green bits are what's called the epiblast, the clump of cells from which the entire human body develops. See how it looks like it's pulling apart in to two? The scientists don’t know for sure, but they think this embryo might have been on it's way to becoming TWO embryos. Twinning! In action!</p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p>
Sep 23, 2016
Update: Eye In the Sky
<p>An update on Ross McNutt and his superpower — he can zoom in on everyday life, then rewind and fast-forward to solve crimes in a shutter-flash. But should he?</p> <p class="p1"><span>In 2004, when casualties in Iraq were rising due to roadside bombs, Ross McNutt and his team came up with an idea. With a small plane and a 44 mega-pixel camera, they figured out how to watch an entire city all at once, all day long. Whenever a bomb detonated, they could zoom onto that spot and then, because this eye in the sky had been there all along, they could scroll back in time and see - literally see - who planted it. After the war, Ross McNutt retired from the Air Force, and brought this technology back home with him. Manoush Zomorodi and Alex Goldmark from the podcast “Note to Self” give us the lowdown on Ross’s unique brand of persistent surveillance, from Juarez, Mexico to Dayton, Ohio. Then, once we realize what we can do, we wonder whether we should.</span></p> <p><em>Produced by Andy Mills. Special thanks to Dan Tucker and George Schulz.</em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.</p>
Sep 13, 2016
The Girl Who Doesn't Exist
<p>In today’s episode, we meet a young woman from Texas, born and raised, who can’t prove that she exists.</p> <p>Alecia Faith Pennington was born at home, homeschooled, and never visited a dentist or a hospital. By both chance and design she is completely invisible in the eyes of the state. We follow Faith as she struggles to free herself from one restrictive world only to find that she is trapped in another. In her journey to prove her American citizenship she attempts to answer the age-old question: who am I?</p> <p><em>Reported and produced by Alexandra Leigh Young. Produced by Andy Mills and Brenna Farrell. Special thanks to Savannah Escobar, Nick Reed, Chris Van Deusen, David Glenn, Zen Allegra, Russell Whelan, Rachel Coleman and Lake Travis Zipline Adventures.</em></p> <p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this episode's web copy incorrectly stated that Faith Pennington was born on a farm. Pennington was born at home in Houston, TX, then she and her family moved to a farm in Kerrville, TX, where she was raised. </em></p> <p><em>Faith’s original Youtube video is posted here: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em></p> <p><em>For updates on Faith’s journey, visit her Facebook page Help Me Prove It: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p>
Aug 29, 2016
Playing God
<p>When people are dying and you can only save some, how do you choose? Maybe you save the youngest. Or the sickest. Maybe you even just put all the names in a hat and pick at random. Would your answer change if a sick person was standing right in front of you?</p> <p>In this episode, we follow <em>New York Times</em> reporter Sheri Fink as she searches for the answer. In a warzone, a hurricane, a church basement, and an earthquake, the question remains the same. What happens, what should happen, when humans are forced to play god?</p> <p><em>Produced by Simon Adler and Annie McEwen. Reported by Sheri Fink. </em></p> <p>In the book that inspired this episode you can find more about what transpired at Memorial Hospital during Hurricane Katrina, <a href="">Sheri Fink’s</a> exhaustively reported <a href=";qid=1471783956&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=five+days+at+memorial">Five Days at Memorial</a></p> <p>You can find more about the work going on in Maryland at: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Very special thanks to Lilly Sullivan. </p> <p>Special thanks also to: Pat Walters and Jim McCutcheon and Todd Menesses from WWL in New Orleans, <span>the researchers for the allocation of scarce resources project in Maryland - Dr. Lee Daugherty Biddison from Johns </span><span>Hopkins University School of Medicine, Howie Gwon from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Emergency Management, Alan Regenberg </span><span>of the Berman Institute of Bioethics and Dr. Eric Toner of the UPMC Center </span><span>for Health Security.</span></p> <p><span> Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </span></p>
Aug 22, 2016
From Tree to Shining Tree
<p>A forest can feel like a place of great stillness and quiet. But if you dig a little deeper, there’s a hidden world beneath your feet as busy and complicated as a city at rush hour.</p> <p>In this story, a dog introduces us to a strange creature that burrows beneath forests, building an underground network where deals are made and lives are saved (and lost) in a complex web of friendships, rivalries, and business relations. It’s a network that scientists are only just beginning to untangle and map, and it’s not only turning our understanding of forests upside down, it’s leading some researchers to rethink what it means to be intelligent. </p> <p><em>Produced by Annie McEwen and Brenna Farrell. Special Thanks to Latif Nasser, Stephanie Tam, Teresa Ryan, Marc Guttman, and Professor Nicholas P. Money at Miami University. </em></p> <p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified naturalist David Attenborough as his late brother, actor Richard Attenborough. In addition, it dated the earliest scientific studies of fungi to the late 19th century, whereas naturalists have studied fungi since the 17th century. Lastly, we mistakenly stated that the oxygen that a plant respires comes from CO2, when in reality it comes from water. The audio has been adjusted to correct these facts.</em></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.   </p>
Jul 30, 2016
David and the Wire
<p>David Weinberg was stuck. He had been kicked out of college, was cleaning toilets by day, delivering pizzas by night and spending his weekends in jail. Then one night he heard a story on the radio and got it in his head that maybe he too could make a great radio story. He’d cast himself as the main character in a great documentary and he’d travel and <em>live</em> and steer his way out of his rut.</p> <p>So he bought a recorder and began to secretly record every last meaningful and mundane minute of his life and he found his great idea transformed into a troubling obsession. The very thing that gave him hope and purpose was also distancing him from those he loved the most. What if he’d created an archive of his life that had become his life?</p> <p><span><br><em>Produced by Andy Mills.</em></span></p> <p>David Weinberg is an award winning reporter and producer for KCRW. His most recent project is Below The Ten (<a href=""></a>)</p> <p>The iTunes page for the series: <a href=""></a></p> <p>He has taken lots of those old recordings (and lots of new ones too) and put them together in a collection called Random Tape <a href=""></a></p> <p>David explored some of this story on the late, great CBC show Wiretap: <a href=""></a></p> <p>David isn't alone in being inspired by Scott Carrier. You can listen to his This American Life stories here: <a href=""></a></p> <p>And we highly recommend his podcast Home of the Brave: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href=";utm_medium=radiolab-redirect&amp;utm_campaign=pledge&amp;utm_content=show-notes" target="_blank" title="Pledge"></a>.    </p>
Jul 12, 2016
Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - The Imperfect Plaintiffs
<p>Last week, the court decided one of this term’s blockbuster cases — a case that could affect the future of affirmative action in this country. The plaintiff was Abigail Fisher, a white woman, who said she was rejected from the University of Texas because the university unfairly considered race as one of many factors when evaluating applicants. And while Fisher’s claims were the focus of the case, the story behind how she ended up in front of the Supreme Court is a lot more complicated.</p> <center> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Edward Blum is the director of the Project on Fair Representation</div> <div class="image-credit">(AEI) </div> </div> </div> </center> <p>On this episode, we visit Edward Blum, a 64-year-old “legal entrepreneur” and former stockbroker who has become something of a Supreme Court matchmaker — He takes an issue, finds the perfect plaintiff, matches them with lawyers, and works his way to the highest court in the land. He’s had remarkable success, with 6 cases heard before the Supreme Court, including that of Abigail Fisher. We also head to Houston, Texas, where in 1998, an unusual 911 call led to one of the most important LGBT rights decisions in the Supreme Court’s history.</p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">John Lawrence (L) and Tyron Garner (R) at the 2004 Pride Parade in Houston</div> <div class="image-credit">(J.D. Doyle/Houston LGBT History)</div> </div> </div> <div class="embedded-image"></div> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Mitchell Katine (L) introduces Tyron Garner (Middle) and John Lawrence (R) at a rally celebrating the court's decision</div> <div class="image-credit">(J.D. Doyle/Houston LGBT History)</div> </div> </div> <p><strong>The key links:</strong></p> <p>- The <a href="">website</a> Edward Blum is using to find plaintiffs for a case he is building against Harvard University<br>- Susan Carle's <a href=";qid=1466011809&amp;ref_=la_B00E7ROGKC_1_1&amp;s=books&amp;sr=1-1">book</a> on the history of legal ethics<br>- Ari Berman's <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1466106368&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=ari+berman">book</a> on voting rights in America<br>- An <a href="">obituary</a> for Tyron Garner when he died in 2006<br>- An <a href="">obituary</a> for John Lawrence when he died in 2011<br>- Dale Carpenter's <a href="">book</a> on the history of Lawrence v. Texas<br>- A <a href="">Lambda Legal documentary</a> on the story of Lawrence v. Texas</p> <p><strong>The key cases</strong>:</p> <p>- 1896: <a href="">Plessy v. Ferguson</a><br>- 1917: <a href="">Buchanan v. Warley</a><br>- 1962: <a href="">National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Button</a><br>- 1986: <a href="">Bowers v. Hardwick</a><br>- 1996: <a href="">Bush v. Vera</a><br>- 2003: <a href="">Lawrence v. Texas</a><br>- 2009: <a href="">Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder</a><br>- 2013: <a href="">Shelby County v. Holder</a><br>- 2013: <a href="">Fisher v. University of Texas (1)</a><br>- 2016: <a href="">Evenwel v. Abbott</a><br>- 2016: <a href="">Fisher v. University of Texas (2)</a></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Ari Berman. His book <a href=";ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1466106368&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=ari+berman">Give Us the Ballot</a>, and his reporting for <a href="">The Nation</a>, were hugely helpful in reporting this episode.  </em></p> <p><em>More Perfect is funded in part by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation, and the Joyce Foundation.</em></p> <p><em>Supreme Court archival audio comes from <a href="">Oyez®</a>, a free law project in collaboration with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell.</em></p>
Jun 28, 2016
Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - The Political Thicket
<p><em>This story comes from Radiolab's first ever spin-off podcast, More Perfect. To hear more, subscribe <a href="">here</a>.</em></p> <p>When Chief Justice Earl Warren was asked at the end of his career, “What was the most important case of your tenure?”, there were a lot of answers he could have given. After all, he had presided over some of the most important decisions in the court’s history — cases that dealt with segregation in schools, the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, just to name a few. But his answer was a surprise: He said, “Baker v. Carr,” a 1962 redistricting case. </p> <p>On this episode of <em>More Perfect</em>, we talk about why this case was so important; important enough, in fact, that it pushed one Supreme Court justice to a nervous breakdown, brought a boiling feud to a head, put one justice in the hospital, and changed the course of the Supreme Court — and the nation — forever.</p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Associate Justice William O. Douglas (L) and Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter (R)</div> <div class="image-credit">(Harris &amp; Ewing Photography/Library of Congress)</div> </div> </div> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption"><span>Top Row (left-right): </span><span>Charles E. Whittaker</span><span>, </span><span>John M. Harlan</span><span>,</span><span>William J. Brennan, Jr.</span><span>, </span><span>Potter Stewart</span><span>. Bottom Row (left-right): </span><span>William O. Douglas</span><span>, </span><span>Hugo L. Black</span><span>, </span><span>Earl Warren</span><span>, </span><span>Felix Frankfurter</span><span>, </span><span>Tom C. Clark</span><span>.</span></div> <div class="image-credit">(Library of Congress)</div> </div> </div> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Associate Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Whittaker at his desk in his chambers.</div> <div class="image-credit">(Heywood Davis)</div> </div> </div> <p><strong>Music in this episode by <a href="" target="_blank">Gyan Riley</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Alex Overington</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">David Herman</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Tobin Low</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Jad Abumrad</a>. </strong></p> <p><em>More Perfect is funded in part by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation, and the Joyce Foundation.</em></p> <p><em>Supreme Court archival audio comes from <a href="">Oyez®</a>, a free law project in collaboration with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell.</em></p> <p><em>Archival interviews with Justice William O. Douglas come from the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University Library.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Whittaker's clerks: Heywood Davis, Jerry Libin and James Adler. Also big thanks to Jerry Goldman at Oyez.</em></p> <p> </p>
Jun 10, 2016
The Buried Bodies Case
<div><span><span>In 1973, a massive manhunt in New York's Adirondack Mountains ended when police captured a man named Robert Garrow.  And that’s when this story really gets started.</span></span></div> <div><span><span> </span></span></div> <div><span><span><span>This episode we consider a string of barbaric crimes by a hated man, and the attorney who, when called to defend him, also wound up defending a core principle of our legal system.  When Frank Armani learned his client’s most gruesome secrets, he made a morally startling decision that stunned the world and goes to the heart of what it means to be a defense attorney - how far should lawyers go to provide the best defense to the worst people?</span></span></span></div> <div> <p><em>NOTE: This episode contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault and violence.</em></p> <p><em>Produced by Matt Kielty and Brenna Farrell. Reported by Brenna Farrell.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Tom Alibrandi, author of Privileged Information, with Frank Armani, Laurence Gooley, author of Terror in the Adirondacks: The True Story of Serial Killer Robert F. Garrow, Charl Bader and the students in her Criminal Defense Clinic at Fordham University, Leslie Levin and the students in her Legal Profession class at The University of Connecticut School of Law, Clark D. Cunningham at Georgia State University College of Law, Debra Armani, Mary Armani, <span>Lohr McKinstry, Tom Scozzafava, </span>Stephanie Jenkins, Brian Farrell, Jennifer Brumback and Nick Capodice. </em></p> </div> <div><br><span></span> <span></span> <span></span></div> <div><span><span> </span></span></div>
Jun 03, 2016
Coming Soon: More Perfect
<p>How does an elite group of nine people shape everything from marriage and money, to safety and sex for an entire nation? From the producers of Radiolab, More Perfect dives into the rarefied world of the Supreme Court to explain how cases deliberated inside hallowed halls affect lives far away from the bench.</p>
May 24, 2016
Bigger Than Bacon
<p class="p1"><span>Today's story is a mystery, shockingly hot, and vanishingly tiny. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span>It starts with a sound, rising like a mist from the marsh, around a dock in South Carolina. But where it goes next - from submarines to superheroes (and yes, Keanu Reeves!); from the surface of the sun to the middle of the brain - is far from expected. Producer Molly Webster brings her family along for the ride. Enjoy the adventure, before it...implodes. </span></p> <p class="p1"><em>Produced by Molly Webster and Annie McEwen. Reported by Molly Webster. Guest sound designer, Jeremy Bloom.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to </em><em>Kullervo Hynynen, </em><em>James Bird, and </em><em>Lawrence Crum. </em></p> <p>After you listen to the episode (spoiler alerts):</p> <p>Wanna see the shrimp bubble in super slowmo? Check it out<a href=""> here</a> (and note, of the 1,400 views on this video, producer Molly Webster probably comprises 752).<span><span></span></span></p> <p>If you want to see cavitation bubbles form, and think you might enjoy watching it happen in French, <a href="">check this out</a> - the high frame rate makes these shots divine. </p> <p><strong>Bigger Better Bubbles </strong></p> <p>Before Dave Stein, soap bubbles were round, smallish, and collapsed with a pop. Now, they are anything but. </p> <p>Today we explore the story of one man, who - in an instant, changed the art of bubble blowing and what it means to be a bubble forever. </p> <p><em>Produced by Simon Adler</em></p> <div><em>Special thanks to Megan Colby Parker, Gary Pearlman, David Erk, Rick Findley and everyone who came out to blow giant bubbles with us in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. </em></div> <p><em>You can hear <a href="">Jad's bubble dance party song here</a></em></p> <p><strong><span><br></span><span></span></strong></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span><br></span><span><br></span><span></span></strong></p> <p> </p>
May 10, 2016
On the Edge
<p>At the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, one athlete pulled a move that, so far as we know, no one else had ever done in all of human history.</p> <p>Surya Bonaly was not your typical figure skater.  She was black. She was athletic. And she didn’t seem to care about artistry.  Her performances – punctuated by triple-triple jumps and other power moves – thrilled audiences around the world.  Yet, commentators claimed she couldn’t skate, and judges never gave her the high marks she felt she deserved.  But Surya didn’t accept that criticism.  Unlike her competitors – ice princesses who hid behind demure smiles – Surya made her feelings known.  And, at her final Olympic performance, she attempted one jump that flew in the face of the establishment, and marked her for life as a rebel. </p> <p>This week, we lace up our skates and tell a story about loving a sport that doesn’t love you back, and being judged in front of the world according to rules you don’t understand. </p> <p><em>Produced by Matt Kielty with help from Tracie Hunte. Reported by Latif Nasser and Tracie Hunte</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, the Schwan Super Rink, Richmond Training Center, Simon Bowers of Bowers Audio Service, Vanessa Gusmeroli, Phil Hersh, Allison Manley, Randy Harvey, Rob Bailey and Lynn Plage, Michael Rosenberg, and Linda Lewis</em></p> <p>If you heard "On the Edge" and you're looking to fall in love with figure skating all over again, start here: <a href=""></a></p> <p>You can take the survey we mentioned at the beginning of this episode here: <a href="" target="_blank"><span></span></a><span> </span><span> </span>Thank you!</p> <p> </p>
Apr 22, 2016
<p>There’s a black hole in the middle of the history of life: how did we go from tiny bags of chemicals to the vast menagerie of creatures we see around us? </p> <p>Today, we explore one of the most underrated mysteries of all time, and present one possible answer that takes us from an unexpected houseguest to a tiny bolt of lightning to every critter you hold dear. It’s the story of one cosmic oops moment that changed the game of life forever.  </p> <p><em>Production help from Matt Kielty and Annie McEwen. Reporting help from Latif Nasser. Special thanks to Eric Steinbrook, Scott Dawson, Ahna Skop &amp; Rachel Whittaker</em></p>
Apr 06, 2016
Update: 23 Weeks 6 Days
<p>An update on Juniper French, a tiny baby, born at 23 Weeks and 6 days -- roughly halfway to full term. And a whole universe of medical and moral questions.</p> <p><span>Technology has had a profound effect on how we get pregnant, give birth, and think about life and death. The decision to become parents was not an easy one for Kelley and Tom. Even after they sorted out their relationship issues and hopes for the future, getting pregnant wasn't easy. But, thanks to a lot of technology, they found a way to a baby. Then, about halfway through the pregnancy, the trouble began. Neonatal nurse practitioner Diane Loisel describes helping Kelley and Tom make the most important decision of their lives. And Nita Farahany helps Jad and Robert understand the significance of viability, and how technology has influenced its meaning...making a difficult idea even harder to pin down.</span></p> <p><span>Kelley and Tom had hoped that meeting their daughter would be the happiest moment of their life. But when she came early -- at just 23 weeks and 6 days, that moment was full of terror and an impossibly difficult decision. And when the time came to face it, Tom and Kelley turned to their baby for help. Seeing their daughter for the first time, they looked for her to "declare herself." That's a phrase that comes up again and again to help guide decisions in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. But parents and medical professionals have very different ideas about what the phrase really means. Nurse Tracy Hullet and Neonatologist Keith Barrington describe the difficulty of interpreting the fuzzy boundary between a baby's strength of will, and simple physiology. Meanwhile Kelley and Tom are left to wonder, and wait.</span></p> <p><span>The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU, is a land of emotional and medical limbo. Kelley, Tom, and their daughter Juniper got stranded in this limbo for months, fighting to survive, and finally get to the next chapter of their lives. Their doctor, Fauzia Shakeel, describes the moment when Juniper's life hung in the balance, and Keith Barrington helps us understand how our newest technologies open the door not only to hope, but also to a pain that we, as humans, have kept hidden for most of our history.</span></p> <p>And finally, Kelley, Tom, Nita Farahany and Juniper herself, nearly 5 years old, give us an update on her life and what has happened since our story originally aired. </p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Juniper and Kelley</div> <div class="image-credit">(Photo Credit: Kelley Benham)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Mar 23, 2016
<p><span>Unclasp your briefcase. It’s time for a showdown. </span><br><br><span>In competitive debate future presidents, supreme court justices, and titans of industry pummel each other with logic and rhetoric. </span><br><span> </span><br><span>But a couple years ago Ryan Wash, a queer, Black, first-generation college student from Kansas City, Missouri joined the debate team at Emporia State University. When he started going up against fast-talking, well-funded, “name-brand” teams, it was clear he wasn’t in Kansas anymore. So Ryan became the vanguard of a movement that made everything about debate debatable. In the end, he made himself a home in a strange and hostile land. Whether he was able to change what counts as rigorous academic argument … well, that’s still up for debate.</span></p> <p><em>Produced by Matt Kielty. Reported by Abigail Keel</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Will Baker, Myra Milam, John Dellamore, Sam Mauer, Tiffany Dillard Knox, Mary Mudd, Darren "Chief" Elliot, Jodee Hobbs, Rashad Evans and Luke Hill. </em></p> <p><em>Special thanks also to Torgeir Kinne Solsvik for use of the song <span>h-lydisk / B Lydian from the album <a href="" target="_blank"><span>Geirr Tveitt Piano Works and Songs</span></a></span></em></p>
Mar 11, 2016
<p>In the U.S., paparazzi are pretty much synonymous with invasion of privacy. But today we travel to a place where the prying press create something more like a prison break. </p> <p>K-pop is a global juggernaut - with billions in sales and millions of fans hanging on every note, watching K-pop idols synchronize and strut. And that fame rests on a fantasy, K-pop stars have to be chaste and pure, but also … available. Until recently, Korean music agencies and K-pop fans held their pop stars to a strict set of rules designed to keep that fantasy alive. That is, until Dispatch showed up.</p> <p>Taking a cue from American and British paparazzi, a group of South Korean reporters started hiding in their cars and snapping photos of stars on their secret dates. The first-ever paparazzi photos turned the world of K-pop upside down and introduced sort of a puzzle … how much do you want to know about the people you idolize, and when is enough enough?</p> <p><em>Produced by Matthew Kielty and Alexandra Young. Reported by Alexandra Young with Brenna Farrell.</em></p> <p><em><span>Special Thanks to Dispatch, Haeryun Kang, Joseph Kim, Charlie Cho, Hyena, Crayon Pop, Jeremy Bloom, The Kirukkiruk Guesthouse, Choi Baekseol</span><span>, Jiin Choi, David Bevan, and The One Shots. </span></em></p> <p>And if, like us, this story leaves you with an insatiable desire to listen to K-pop here is a starter list of our recommendations: </p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="380" src="" width="300"></iframe></p>
Feb 24, 2016
Hard Knock Life
<p><span>This Valentine's Day, a mysterious tap tap tapping leads us into a world of sex, death, and head-banging. </span></p> <p>Biologist Dave Goulson introduces us to the lonely yearnings of an especially pathetic beetle and snatches a sound back from the hands of the devil himself.  Featuring rapping about rapping from extra special guests Lin-Manuel Miranda, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Freestyle Love Supreme. </p> <p><em>Produced by Simon Adler. We had engineering help from Rick Kwan.</em></p>
Feb 12, 2016
I Don't Have To Answer That
<p>Roosevelt, Kennedy, Eisenhower … they all got a pass. But today we peer back at the moment when poking into the private lives of political figures became standard practice.</p> <p>In 1987, Gary Hart was a young charismatic Democrat, poised to win his party’s nomination and possibly the presidency. Many of us know the story of what happened next, and even if you don’t, it’s a familiar tale. But at the time, politicians and political reporters found themselves in uncharted territory. With help from author Matt Bai, we look at how the events of that May shaped the way we cover politics, and expanded our sense of what's appropriate when it comes to judging a candidate.  </p> <p><em>Produced by Simon Adler</em></p> <p><em>Special Thanks to Joe Trippi</em></p>
Jan 30, 2016
The Cathedral
<div> <p>Ryan and Amy Green were facing the unfaceable: their youngest son, Joel was diagnosed with terminal cancer after his first birthday. Producer Sruthi Pinnamaneni tells the story of how Ryan and Amy stumble onto an unlikely way of processing their experience fighting alongside Joel: they decide to turn it into a video game. In the end, they find themselves facing what might be, for a game designer or a parent, the hardest design problem ever.</p> <p><em>Correction: In the original audio we stated that the survival rate of childhood AT/RT cancer is 50% over five years. But studies suggest the survival rate is 50% over two years. </em><em>The audio has been updated to reflect this change.</em></p> <p>For an extended version of this story and a bunch more incredible stories, go check out <a href="">Reply All</a>.</p> <p>Special thanks to Eilis O’ Neill, Jon Hillman, and Josh Larson. This episode included audio from “Thank You For Playing,” a documentary film about the creation of<a href=""> That Dragon, Cancer </a>by David Osit &amp; Malika Zouhali-Worrall. You can learn more about the film and where you can see it, at <a href=""></a>. For more, we suggest reading Wired's <a href="">"Playing For Time."</a></p> </div>
Dec 28, 2015
The Fix
<div><span><span><span><span><br class="Apple-interchange-newline"></span></span></span></span> <p>This episode we take a sober look at the throbbing, aching, craving desire states that return people (again and again) to the object of their addiction … and the pills that just might set them free.</p> <span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span> <p>Reporter Amy O’Leary was fed up with her ex-boyfriend’s hard-drinking, when she discovered a French doctor’s memoir titled <em>The End of My Addiction</em>.  The fix that he proposed seemed too good to be true.  But her phone call with the doctor left her, and us, even more intrigued. Could this malady – so often seen as moral and spiritual - really be beaten back with a pill?</p> <span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span> <p>We talk to addiction researcher Dr. Anna Rose Childress, a<span>ddiction psychologist</span> Dr. Mark Willenbring, journalist Gabrielle Glaser, The National Institute of Health’s Dr. Nora Volkow, and scores of people dealing with substance abuse as we try to figure out whether we're in the midst of a sea change in how we think about addiction.</p> </div> <p><em>Produced by Andy Mills with Simon Adler</em></p> <p><em>If you are someone looking for help with a substance abuse problem and want to find health care services in your area, <a href="">check out this map</a> from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.</em></p> <p>For more on Dr. Mark Willenbring and the Alltyr Clinic visit <a href="">their website</a>.</p> <p>If you’d like to hear more from Nora Volkow you can watch her speech from <a href="">this summer’s American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting</a>.</p> <p>Or watch her and other top addiction researchers <a href="">at last year’s World Science Fair</a><em><span><span> </span></span></em></p> <p><em><span><span><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm140081663409392a083f318-a874-4c92-a4b6-8a69fced83a0"><iframe width="620" height="349" src=";autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a-7650873955495496299" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url=""></iframe></div></div>  </span></span></em></p>
Dec 18, 2015
The Cold War
<p><em>Editor's Note:</em></p> <p><em>In our podcast, The Cold War, we failed to correctly credit David Wolman and Julian Smith, who wrote and reported the article on which it was based. At the time we published this podcast, we had not properly determined the extent of their role in finding and developing this story. As a result, we have removed the episode from the Radiolab archive.  We did not feel a correction could rectify the problem and Radiolab honors its relationships with contributors too much to let the error remain.</em></p> <p><em>We apologize to David and Julian.</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Nov 30, 2015
Staph Retreat
<p>What happens when you combine an axe-wielding microbiologist and a disease-obsessed historian? A strange brew that's hard to resist, even for a modern day microbe.</p> <p>In the war on devilish microbes, our weapons are starting to fail us.  The antibiotics we once wielded like miraculous flaming swords seem more like lukewarm butter knives.</p> <p>But today we follow an odd couple to a storied land of elves and dragons. There, they uncover a 1000-year-old secret that makes us reconsider our most basic assumptions about human progress and wonder: What if the only way forward is backward?</p> <p><em>Reported by Latif Nasser. Produced by Matt Kielty and Soren Wheeler.</em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to Steve Diggle, <span>Professor Roberta Frank, </span>Alexandra Reider and Justin Park (our Old English readers), Gene Murrow from Gotham Early Music Scene, Marcia Young for her performance on the medieval harp and </em><em>Collin Monro of Tadcaster and the rest of the Barony of Iron Bog.</em></p>
Nov 03, 2015
Update: New Normal?
<p><span>An update: we revisit our episode about normalcy. Evolution results from the ability of organisms to change. But how do you tell the difference between a sea change and a ripple in the water? Is a peacenik baboon, a man in a dress, or a cuddly fox a sign of things to come? Or just a flukey outlier from the norm? And is there ever really a norm? This episode we return to two stories where choice has challenged destiny to see what's changed and what has become deeply normal. </span></p> <p><em>Produced by Soren Wheeler</em></p>
Oct 19, 2015
Smile My Ass
<p>Candid Camera is one of the most original – and one of the most mischievous – TV shows of all time.  Admirers hailed its creator Allen Funt as a poet of the everyday.  Critics denounced him as a Peeping Tom.  Funt sought to capture people at their most unguarded, their most spontaneous, their most natural.  And he did. But as the show succeeded, it started to change the way we thought not only of reality television, but also of reality itself.  Looking back at the show now, a half century later, it’s hard NOT to see so many of our preoccupations – privacy, propriety, publicity, authenticity – through a funhouse mirror, darkly.</p> <p><em>Reported by Latif Nasser. Produced by Matt Kielty. </em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>Special Thanks to: Bertram van Munster, Fred Nadis, Alexa Conway, the Eastern Airlines Employee Association and Eastern Airlines Radio, Rebecca Lemov, Anna McCarthy, Jill Lepore, Cullie Bogacki Willis III, Barbara Titus and the Funt family. </em></p> <p> </p>
Oct 06, 2015
<p>It would seem that hackers today can do just about anything they want - from turning on the cellphone in your pocket to holding your life's work hostage. Cyber criminals today have more sophisticated tools, have learned to work collaboratively around the world and have found innovative ways to remain deep undercover in the internet's shadows. This episode, we shine a light into those shadows to see the world from the perspectives of both cybercrime victims and perpetrators.</p> <p>First we meet mother-daughter duo Alina and Inna Simone, who tell us about being held hostage by criminals who have burrowed into their lives from half a world away. Along the way we learn about the legally sticky spot that unwitting accomplices like Will Wheeler find themselves in.</p> <p>Then reporter and author Joseph Menn tells us about the surprisingly lucrative professional hacker structure in places throughout the former Soviet Union. Finally, the co-creator of one of the most notorious online marketplaces to ever exist speaks to us and NPR cyber-crime expert Dina Temple-Raston about how a young suburban Boy Scout can turn into a world renowned black hat hacker.</p> <p><em>Produced by Kelsey Padgett and Andy Mills. </em></p>
Sep 22, 2015
The Rhino Hunter
<p>Back in 2014, Corey Knowlton paid $350,000 for a hunting trip to Namibia to shoot and kill an endangered species.  He’s a professional hunter, who guides hunts all around the world, so going to Africa would be nothing new.  The target on the other hand would be. And so too, he quickly found, would be the attention. </p> <p>This episode, producer Simon Adler follows Corey as he dodges death threats and prepares to pull the trigger.  Along the way we stop to talk with Namibian hunters and government officials, American activists, and someone who's been here before - Kenya’s former Director of Wildlife, Richard Leakey.   All the while, we try to uncover what conservation really means in the 21st century.</p> <p><em>Reported &amp; produced by Simon Adler with production help from Matthew Kielty.</em></p> <div><span><span><span><br class="Apple-interchange-newline"><em>Special thanks to Chris Weaver, Ian Wallace, Mark Barrow, the Lindstrom family, and everyone at the Aru Game Lodge in Namibia.</em></span></span></span></div> <p><em><span>Thanks also to Sarah Fogel, Ray Crow, Barbara Clucus, </span><span>Diogo Veríssimo</span></em></p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p>
Sep 07, 2015
Remembering Oliver Sacks
<p>In memory of one of our dear friends and one of the truest inspirations for Radiolab, a re-release of the last conversation we had with Dr. Oliver Sacks. </p> <p>When Radiolab was just starting out, Robert asked <a href="">Dr. Oliver Sacks</a> if he could help us, maybe send us a few story ideas. Over the years he has shared with us stories of chemistry, music, neurology, hallucinations and more, so much more. Because Oliver notices the world and the people around him with scientific rigor, with insight, and most importantly, with deep empathy. ‪When he announced a few months ago that he had terminal cancer and wasn't going to do any more interviews, we asked him if he'd talk with us one last time. He said yes‬. So Robert went, as he has done for 30 some years now, to his apartment with a microphone, this time to ask him about the forces that have driven him in his work, in his unique relationships with his patients, and in his own life.</p> <p><em>This performance was scored live by the incomparable Sarah Lipstate/Noveller. <a href="">Her new album Fantastic Planet is out now. </a></em></p> <p><em>The lullabies you hear in "Dr. Sacks Looks Back" are sung by Carrie Erving, whose current project is <a href="" target="_blank">Ponyhof</a>. </em></p> <p><em>Though it probably goes without saying, <a href="">we highly recommend Dr. Sacks' new autobiorgraphy, On The Move. </a></em></p>
Aug 30, 2015
<p><span>Scientists took about 300 years to lay out the Periodic Table into neat rows and columns. In one hour, we’re going to mess it all up.  This episode, we enlist journalists, poets, musicians, and even a physicist to help us tell stories of matter that matters. You’ll never look at that chart the same way again.</span></p> <p><em>Special thanks to <a href="">Emotive Fruition</a> for organizing poetry performances and to the mighty <a href="">Sylvan Esso</a> for composing 'Jaime's Song', both inspired by this episode.</em></p> <p><em><span>Thanks also to Sam Kean, Chris Howk, Brian Fields and to Paul Dresher and Ned Rothenberg for the use of their song "<a href="">Untold Story:The Edge of Sleep"</a>. </span></em></p>
Aug 23, 2015
From the Archives: Oliver Sacks' Table of Elements
<p><span>As we're busy working on our next episode, with stories inspired by the Periodic Table of Elements, we thought we'd bring you one of its chief inspirations.  As a young boy, neurologist, author and Radiolab favorite </span><a class="external-link" href="" target="_blank">Oliver Sacks</a> <span>pored over the pages of the Handbook of Physics and Chemistry, fantasizing about the day that he, like the shy gas Xenon, would find a companion with whom to connect and share. That companion turned out to be the Periodic Table of the Elements itself, a relationship he's never outgrown. He introduces us to the elements that he's known and loved. </span></p>
Aug 06, 2015
<div><span>The definition of life is in flux, complexity is overrated, and humans are shrinking.</span><br> <p>Viruses are supposed to be sleek, pared-down, dead-eyed machines. But when one microbiologist stumbled upon a GIANT virus, hundreds of times bigger than any seen before, all that went out the window.  The discovery opened the door not only to a new cast of microscopic characters with names like Mimivirus, Mamavirus, and Megavirus, but also to basic questions: How did we miss these until now? Have they been around since the beginning? What if evolution could go … backwards?</p> <div>Join Jad and Robert as they grill Radiolab regular Carl Zimmer on these paradoxical viruses – they’re so big that they can get their own viruses! - and what they can tell us about the nature of life. </div> </div> <p> </p>
Jul 31, 2015
Gray's Donation
<div>A donation leads <a href="">Sarah and Ross Gray to places we rarely get a chance to see</a>. In this surprising journey, they gain a view of science that is redemptive, fussy facts that are tender, and parts of a loved one that add up to something unexpected.</div> <p>Before he was even born, Sarah and Ross knew that their son Thomas wouldn’t live long. But as they let go of him, they made a decision that reverberated through a world that they never bothered to think about. Years later, after a couple awkward phone calls and an unexpected family road trip, they managed to meet the people and places for whom Thomas’ short life was an altogether different kind of gift.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>Since we first aired this segment, some exciting things have happened in the Gray's world. Our producer Tracie Hunte sat down with Sarah Gray to get the low-down on what's new. Check it out here: </p> <p class="p1"> </p> <p> </p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="130" scrolling="no" src=";share=0" width="100%"></iframe></p>
Jul 16, 2015
Mau Mau
<p>This is the story of a few documents that tumbled out of the secret archives of the biggest empire the world has ever known, offering a glimpse of histories waiting to be rewritten.</p> <p>Just down the road from a pub in rural Hanslope Park, England is a massive building — the secret archives of the biggest empire the world has ever known. This is the story of a few documents that tumbled out and offered a glimpse of histories waiting to be rewritten.</p> <p>When professor Caroline Elkins came across a stray document left by the British colonial government in Nairobi, Kenya, she opened the door to a new reckoning with the history of one of Britain's colonial crown jewels, and the fearsome group of rebels known as the Mau Mau. We talk to historians, archivists, journalists and send our producer Jamie York to visit the Mau Mau. As the new history of Kenya is concealed and revealed, document by document, we wonder what else lies in wait among the miles of records hidden away in Hanslope Park.</p> <p>Produced by Matt Kielty with reporting from Jamie York</p> <p>Special thanks to:</p> <p>Mattathias Schwartz for first bringing us this story. Martin Mavenjina and Faith Alubbe of the <a href="">Kenyan Human Rights Commission</a>. </p> <p>Nyakinyua Kenda for the use of their music, Rose Mutiso and Anne Moko for translation help, and Sruthi Pinnamaneni for production support.</p> <div id="divSelDisplay"> <div id="divExpSubHdr"> <div id="divSubFs"> <div id="divFs"> <div class="divTx"> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="divBdy" class="bdyItmPrt" _fallwcm="1"> <div><span><span><em>Correction: An earlier version of this episode contained two errors, which we have corrected. </em></span></span></div> <p><span><span><em>The first was our mention of Israel as a former British colony where official documents were purged. In fact, Israel</em></span></span><span><span><em> was a successor to the British mandated territory of Palestine, which we also listed, and so we removed the redundancy. </em></span></span></p> <p><em>The second was that we qualified our statement about Kikuyu support for the Mau Mau. Some listeners misinterpreted our claim that support for the Mau Mau cut across all demographics among the Kikuyu to mean that all Kikuyu supported the Mau Mau, which is untrue. We tempered the language in that spot.</em></p> <div> <p> </p> </div> </div>
Jul 03, 2015
Eye in the Sky
<p>Ross McNutt has a superpower — he can zoom in on everyday life, then rewind and fast-forward to solve crimes in a shutter-flash. But should he?</p> <p class="p1"><span>In 2004, when casualties in Iraq were rising due to roadside bombs, Ross McNutt and his team came up with an idea. With a small plane and a 44 mega-pixel camera, they figured out how to watch an entire city all at once, all day long. Whenever a bomb detonated, they could zoom onto that spot and then, because this eye in the sky had been there all along, they could scroll back in time and see - literally see - who planted it. After the war, Ross McNutt retired from the airforce, and brought this technology back home with him. Manoush Zomorodi and Alex Goldmark from the podcast “Note to Self” give us the low-down on Ross’s unique brand of persistent surveillance, from Juarez, Mexico to Dayton, Ohio. Then, once we realize what we can do, we wonder whether we should.</span></p> <p>Special thanks to Dan Tucker and George Schulz.</p> <p>More info:</p> <ul> <li><span>Listen to Note to Self's episode on </span><a style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 9.5pt;" href="">surveillance coverage</a><span>.</span></li> <li><a style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 9.5pt;" href="">"New surveillance technology can track everyone in an area for several hours at a time,"</a><span> from the Washington Post</span></li> <li><a style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 9.5pt;" href="">"Hollywood-style surveillance technology inches closer to reality,"</a><span> from the Center of Investigative Reporting</span></li> <li><span>Ross McNutt's company </span><a style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 9.5pt;" href="">Persistent Surveillance Systems</a></li> </ul>
Jun 18, 2015
Antibodies Part 1: CRISPR
<div><span>Hidden inside some of the world’s smallest organisms is one of the most powerful tools scientists have ever stumbled across. It's a defense system that has existed in bacteria for millions of years and it may some day let us change the course of human evolution. </span></div> <p><span>Out drinking with a few biologists, Jad finds out about something called CRISPR. No, it’s not a robot or the latest dating app, it’s a method for genetic manipulation that is rewriting the way we change DNA. Scientists say they’ll someday be able to use CRISPR to fight cancer and maybe even bring animals back from the dead. Or, pretty much do whatever you want. Jad and Robert delve into how CRISPR does what it does, and consider whether we should be worried about a future full of flying pigs, or the simple fact that scientists have now used CRISPR to tweak the genes of human embryos.</span></p> <p><em><a href=";content_type_id=26&amp;object_id=738864&amp;_=c72629fa">As of February 24th, 2017 we've updated this story.</a><br></em></p>
Jun 06, 2015
Nazi Summer Camp
<p><span>Reporter Karen Duffin and her father were talking one day when, just as an aside, he mentioned the Nazi prisoners of war that worked on his Idaho farm when he was a kid. Karen was shocked ... and then immediately obsessed. So she spoke with historians, dug through the National Archives and oral histories, and uncovered the astonishing story of a small town in Alabama overwhelmed by thousands of German prisoners of war.  Along the way, she discovered that a very fundamental question  - one that we are struggling with today  -  was playing out seventy years ago in hundreds of towns across America: When your enemy is at your mercy, how should you treat them? Karen helps Jad and Robert try to figure out why we did what we did then, and why we are doing things so differently now.</span></p> <p><em>Produced by Kelsey Padgett. </em></p> <p class="p1"><em>CORRECTION: A previous version of this podcast stated that the Nuremberg Laws and the Mississippi Black Code could be viewed side by side at a museum in Nuremberg. We were unable to confirm the existence of such an exhibit. We were also unable to confirm that the Nuremberg Laws were literally copied from the Mississippi Black Codes. The audio has been corrected to reflect this.</em></p> <p class="p1"><em>We've gathered more photos of Camp Aliceville <a href=";content_type_id=26&amp;object_id=455652&amp;_=21281027">here</a></em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to:</em></p> <div>Mary Bess Paluzzi, founding director of the Aliceville Museum </div> <div><span>John Gillum, current Director of the Aliceville Museum</span></div> <div>Sam Love, <a href="">a filmmaker who gathered the oral histories</a></div> <div>Ruth Beaumont Cook, who wrote a great <a href="" target="_blank">book about Aliceville</a></div>
May 22, 2015
Radiolab Live: Tell-Tale Hearts featuring Oliver Sacks
<p>A few days ago Radiolab performed a live show and this episode we're bringing you a few of the highlights. They were stories of what motivates us, our drives, our loves and losses. Producer Molly Webster tells us the story of life, near-death and what happens when your heart starts to work against you. And we visit with Dr. Oliver Sacks one last time to reflect on his life, his loves and his endless sense of wonder.</p> <p>Special thanks to our musical guests, <a href="">SO Percussion</a> and <a href="">Sarah Lipstate</a></p>
May 12, 2015
Sight Unseen
<p><span>In December of 2009, photojournalist Lynsey Addario was embedded with a medevac team in Afghanistan. After days of waiting, one night they got the call - a marine was gravely wounded. What happened next happens all the time. But this time it was captured, picture by picture, in excruciating detail. Horrible, difficult, and at times strikingly beautiful, those photos raise some questions: Who should see them, who gets to decide who should see them, and what can pictures like that do, to those of us far away from the horrors of war and those of us who are all too close to it?</span></p> <p><em>Special thanks to <a href="">Chris Hughes and Helium Records for the use of Shift Part IV from the album Shift</a></em></p>
Apr 28, 2015
The Living Room
<p>We're thrilled to present a piece from one of our favorite podcasts, Love + Radio (Nick van der Kolk and Brendan Baker). </p> <p>Producer Briana Breen brings us the story: Diane’s new neighbors across the way never shut their curtains, and that was the beginning of an intimate, but very one-sided relationship.</p> <p>Please listen to <a href="">as much of Love + Radio as you can</a>. </p>
Apr 09, 2015
VIDEO: Radiolab Presents: Radio Ambulante
<p>Our story <a href="">Los Frikis</a> was a collaboration with <a href="">Radio Ambulante</a>, who produced a story of their own about two of the last surviving frikis, Yohandra and Gerson. They've also made a translated video of their Spanish-language piece and we're thrilled to share it with you.</p> <p><div class="user-embedded-video"><div id="videoplayer_idm140489712133840f988cc70-9829-4663-b415-f0115ea0a46a"><iframe width="620" height="349" src=";autohide=1&amp;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;feature=oembed&amp;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" id="a7765580067766576220" class="youtube_video" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" data-original-url=";"></iframe></div></div>  </p> <p>Reporter <a href=";lang=en">Luis Trelles</a> went to visit Yohandra and Gerson in the sanitarium where they still reside, still punks and still alive, though all their fellow frikis have died.  </p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Yohandra and Gerson at the sanitarium in Pinar del Rio</div> <div class="image-credit">(Photo Credit: Luis Trelles)</div> </div> </div> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Apr 02, 2015
Los Frikis
<p>How a group of 80’s Cuban misfits found rock-and-roll and created a revolution within a revolution, going into exile without ever leaving home. In a collaboration with <a href="">Radio Ambulante</a>, reporter <a href=";lang=en">Luis Trelles</a> bring us the story of punk rock’s arrival in Cuba and a small band of outsiders who sentenced themselves to death and set themselves free.</p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-metadata"> <div class="image-caption">Gerson Govea</div> <div class="image-credit">(Photo Credit: Josu Tueba Leiva)</div> </div> </div> <p><em>Produced by Tim Howard &amp; Matt Kielty. With production help from Andy Mills. </em></p> <p><em>Special thanks to VIH, Eskoria, Metamorfosis and Alio Die &amp; Mariolina Zitta for the use of their music. </em></p>
Mar 24, 2015
<p>During World War II, something happened that nobody ever talks about. This is a tale of mysterious balloons, cowboy sheriffs, and young children caught up in the winds of war. And silence, the terror of silence.</p> <p>Reporters Peter Lang-Stanton and Nick Farago tell us the story of a seemingly ridiculous, almost whimsical series of attacks on the US between November of 1944 and May of 1945. With the help of writer Ross Coen, geologist Elisa Bergslien, and professor Mike Sweeney, we uncover a national secret that led to tragedy in a sleepy logging town in south central Oregon.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Special thanks to Annie Patzke, Leda and Wayne Hunter, and Ilana Sol. Special thanks also for the use of their music to <a href="">Jeff Taylor</a>, <a href="">David Wingo</a> for the use of "Opening" and "Doghouse" - from the <a href="">Take Shelter </a>soundtrack, <a href="">Justin Walter</a>'s "Mind Shapes" from his album Lullabies and Nightmares, and <a href="">Michael Manning</a> for the use of <a href="">"Save"</a>. </em></p>
Mar 10, 2015
La Mancha Screwjob
<p><span>All the world’s a stage. So we push through the fourth wall, pierce the spandex-ed heart of professional wrestling, and travel 400 years into the past to unmask our obsession with authenticity and our desire to walk the line between reality and fantasy.</span></p> <p>Thanks to Nick Hakim for the use of <a href="">his song "The Light". </a></p>
Feb 24, 2015
The Trust Engineers
<p>When we talk online, things can go south fast. But they don’t have to. Today, we meet a group of social engineers who are convinced that tiny changes in wording can make the online world a kinder, gentler place. So long as we agree to be their lab rats.</p> <p>Ok, yeah, we’re talking about Facebook. Because Facebook, or something like it, is more and more the way we share and like, and gossip and gripe. And because it's so big, Facebook has a created a laboratory of human behavior the likes of which we’ve never seen. We peek into the work of Arturo Bejar and a team of researchers who are tweaking our online experience, bit by bit, to try to make the world a better place. And along the way we can’t help but wonder whether that’s possible, or even a good idea.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Feb 10, 2015
American Football
<div>Today, we tackle football. It’s the most popular sport in the US, shining a sometimes harsh light on so much of what we have been, what we are, and what we hope to be. Savage, creative, brutal and balletic, whether you love it or loathe it … it’s a touchstone of the American identity.</div> <p><span>Along with conflicted parents and players and coaches who aren’t sure if the game will survive, we take a deep dive into the surprising history of how the game came to be. At the end of the 19th century, football is a nascent and nasty sport.</span> The sons of the most powerful men in the country are literally knocking themselves out to win these gladiatorial battles. But then the Carlisle Indian School, formed in 1879 to assimilate the children and grandchildren of the Native American men who fought the final Plains Wars, fields the most American team of all. The kids at Carlisle took the field to face off against a new world that was destroying theirs, and along the way, they changed the fundamentals of football forever. </p> <div><em>Correction: An earlier version of this episode included a few errors that we have corrected. We've also added one new piece of information. </em></div> <div><em>The piece originally stated that British football had no referees.  While this was true in the earliest days of British football, they were eventually added. We stated that referees were added to American football in response to Pop Warner. American referees existed prior to Pop Warner, in order to address brutality as well as the kind of rule-bending that Pop Warner specialized in.</em></div> <div><em>Chuck Klosterman said that the three most popular sports in the US are football, college football and major league baseball. In fact, baseball actually ranks 2nd, college football is third.</em></div> <div><em>Monet Edwards stated that 33 members of her family were players in the NFL. That number is actually 13. </em></div> <div><em>We also added one new fact: over 200 students at The Carlisle Indian School died of malnutrition, poor health or distress from homesickness. </em><br><br></div> <div><em>The audio has been adjusted to reflect these corrections.</em></div>
Jan 29, 2015
Radiolab Presents: Invisibilia
<div><span><em>Producers' Note: A correction has been made to this audio to reflect the wishes of the subject of this story, Paige Abendroth. NPR's Invisibilia's originally included Paige's birth name in this piece due to a miscommunication between Invisibilia's reporter, Alix Spiegel and Paige. We have not been in contact with Paige directly, but NPR has issued t</em></span><em>he following statement from Anne Gudenkauf, senior supervising editor of NPR's science desk: "We would never have violated Paige’s wishes in this story; it’s an unfortunate misunderstanding.  Invisibilia's upcoming episode on Paige will be edited to remove references to the name she no longer recognizes. Also the upcoming episode, which focuses on how categories affect us all, will explore in more depth the changes in Paige's life over the two years that she and Alix have spoken and will do that, as always, with attention to bi-gender and transgender reporting guidelines."</em><span></span></div> <div><span>Former Radiolab producer Lulu Miller and NPR reporter Alix Spiegel come to the studio to give us a sneak peak of their new show, <a href="">Invisibilia</a>.</span></div> <p>Invisibilia has an upcoming episode about categories, so Alix tells us a story about two very basic categories: boy and girl. We've heard lots of stories about the sometimes blurry boundaries between boy and girl, but Alix introduces us to someone who experiences those categories in a way that was totally, completely new to us.</p> <p> </p> <p><em> </em></p> <p> </p>
Jan 09, 2015
<p><span>This episode, we make three earnest, possibly foolhardy, attempts to put a price on the priceless. We figure out the dollar value for an accidental death, another day of life, and the work of bats and bees as we try to keep our careful calculations from falling apart in the face of the realities of life, and love, and loss.</span></p>
Dec 23, 2014
Buttons Not Buttons
<p>Buttons are usually small and unimportant. But not always. Sometimes they are a portal to power, freedom, and destruction. Today we thread together tales of taking charge of the little things in life, of fortunes made and lost, and of the ease with which the world can end. </p> <p>Confused? Push the button marked Play.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Special thanks for the music of <a href="">Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra</a></em></p>
Dec 12, 2014
Outside Westgate
<p class="p1">In the wake of public tragedy there is a space between the official narrative and the stories of the people who experienced it. Today, we crawl inside that space and question the role of journalists in helping us move on from a traumatic event. </p> <p class="p1">NPR's East Africa correspondent Gregory Warner takes us back to the 2013 terrorist attacks on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Warner reported on the attack as it happened, listening to eyewitness accounts, sorting out the facts, establishing the truth. But he's been been wrestling with it ever since as his friends and neighbors try not only to put their lives back together, but also try to piece together what really happened that day.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Special thanks to Jason Straziuso, Heidi Vogt, Robert Alai, Didi Schanche and Edith Chapin.</em></p>
Nov 29, 2014
Patient Zero - Updated
<p class="p1">The greatest mysteries have a shadowy figure at the center—someone who sets things in motion and holds the key to how the story unfolds—Patient Zero. This hour, Radiolab hunts for Patient Zeroes of all kinds and considers the course of an ongoing outbreak.</p> <p class="p1">We start with the story of perhaps the most iconic Patient Zero of all time: Typhoid Mary. Then, we dive into a molecular detective story to pinpoint the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and we re-imagine the moment the virus that caused the global pandemic sprang to life. After that, we update the show with a quick look at the very current Ebola outbreak in west Africa. In the end, we're left wondering if you can trace the spread of an idea the way you can trace the spread of a disease and find ourselves faced with competing claims about the origin of the high five.</p>
Nov 13, 2014
<p class="p1">Dennis Conrow was stuck. After a brief stint at college, he’d passed most of his 20’s back home with his parents, sleeping in his childhood room. And just when he finally struck out on his own, fate intervened. He lost both his parents to cancer. So Dennis was left, back in the house, alone. Until one night when a group of paranormal investigators showed up at his door and made him realize what it really means for a house, or a man, to be haunted.</p>
Oct 30, 2014
<p class="p1">How close can words get you to the truth and feel and force of life? That's the question poking at our ribs this hour, as we wonder how it is that the right words can have the wrong meanings, and why sometimes the best translations lead us to an understanding that's way deeper than language. This episode, 8 stories that play out in the middle space between one reality and another — where poetry, insult comedy, 911 calls, and even our own bodies work to close the gap.</p> <p class="p1"> </p> <p class="p1"><em>Special thanks for the music of <a href="">Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra</a></em></p>
Oct 20, 2014
John Luther Adams
<p>What's the soundtrack for the end of the world? We go looking for an answer.</p> <p>When Jad started to compose music for <a href="">our live show Apocalyptical</a>, he immediately thought of John Luther Adams. <a href="">Adams' symphony “Become Ocean</a>,” rooted in the sounds of nature, is elemental, tectonic, and unstoppable. It seemed a natural fit for our consideration of the (spoiler alert) extinction of the dinosaurs.</p> <p>In this piece, Jad introduces Robert to a special on Adams from a podcast called <a href="">Meet the Composer</a>. Through interviews and snippets of his music, it captures all the forces at play in Adam's work and reveals the dark majesty of Adams' take on the apocalypse.</p>
Oct 03, 2014
<p class="p1">Ron and Cornelia Suskind had two healthy young sons, promising careers, and a brand new home when their youngest son Owen started to disappear. </p> <p class="p2">3 months later a specialist sat Ron and Cornelia down and said the word that changed everything for them: Autism. </p> <p class="p2">In this episode, the Suskind family finds an unlikely way to access their silent son's world. We set off to figure out what their story can tell us about Autism, a disorder with a wide spectrum of symptoms and severity. Along the way, we speak to specialists, therapists, and advocates including Simon Baron-Cohen, Barry and Raun Kaufmann, Dave Royko, Geraldine Dawson, Temple Grandin, and Gil Tippy.</p> <p class="p2"><em>Produced by Kelsey Padgett.</em></p>
Sep 18, 2014
In The Dust Of This Planet
<p class="p1">Horror, fashion, and the end of the world … things get weird as we explore the undercurrents of thought that link nihilists, beard-stroking philosophers, Jay-Z, and True Detective.</p> <p class="p1">Today on Radiolab, a puzzle. Jad’s brother-in-law <a href="">wrote a book called 'In The Dust of This Planet'.</a></p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""></div> <p class="p1">It’s an academic treatise about the horror humanity feels as we realize that we are nothing but a speck in the universe. For a few years nobody read it. But then …</p> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-caption"><a href="">It seemed to show up on True Detective.</a></div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-caption">Then in a fashion magazine.</div> </div> <p> </p> <div class="embedded-image"><img class="mcePuppyImage" src="" alt=""> <div class="image-caption">And then on Jay-Z's back. How?</div> </div> <p> </p> <p class="p1">We talk nihilism with Eugene Thacker &amp; Simon Critchley, leather jackets with June Ambrose, climate change with David Victor, and hope with the father of Transcendental Black Metal - Hunter Hunt Hendrix of the band <a href="">Liturgy. Special thanks to Thrill Jockey</a> for use of the Liturgy song 'Generation'. <a href="">It's from their album Aesthetica, out now, which is highly recommended listening for the end times.</a></p> <p class="p1"><a href="">You can find Eugene Thacker's 'In The Dust Of the Planet' at Zero Books</a></p> <p class="p1"><em>Correction: An earlier version of this piece mistakenly identified Nic Pizzolatto as the director of True Detective, when he is in fact the creator, writer, and executive producer of the series. The audio has been adjusted to reflect this fact. Cary Fukunaga (brilliantly) directed season one of True Detective. </em></p>
Sep 08, 2014
<p>It's hard to start a conversation with a stranger—especially when that stranger is, well, different. He doesn't share your customs, celebrate your holidays, watch your TV shows, or even speak your language. Plus he has a blowhole.</p> <p>In this episode, we try to make contact with some of the strangest strangers on our little planet: dolphins. Producer Lynn Levy eavesdrops on some human-dolphin conversations, from a studio apartment in the Virgin Islands to a research vessel in the Bermuda Triangle.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Special thanks for the music of <a href="">Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra</a></em></p>
Aug 21, 2014
Happy Birthday Bobby K
<p>It’s Robert’s birthday! (Or it was, anyway, a couple days back.) So today we celebrate with some classic Krulwich radio and a backwards peek into the spirit and sensibility that, in many ways, drives our show.</p> <p>For his birthday surprise we all listened to some old NPR pieces that Robert did in the 70s, 80s and early 90s — a news piece on the dawn of the ATM, a fake opera on interest rates, and the story of a family business splintered into relatives fighting to be first in the phone book. Along the way, we hear some incredible stories from Robert’s life … </p> <p>And, just to celebrate the man whose infectious curiosity draws so many people (including us) to his side … we share with you the kind of gonzo, full-throated Krulwich story we usually can’t include in the show … an epic of secret zoos, sewing machines, an alligator farm, a marching band, and a bus full of French tourists that save the day.</p>
Aug 07, 2014
For the Birds
<p class="p1">Today, a lady with a bird in her backyard upends our whole sense of what we may have to give up to keep a wild creature wild.</p> <p class="p1">When the conservationists showed up at Clarice Gibbs’ door and asked her to take down her bird feeders down for the sake of an endangered bird, she said no. Everybody just figured she was a crazy bird lady. But writer Jon Mooallem went to see her and discovered there was much more to this story. Mrs. Gibbs tells us her surprising side of the tale, and together with Joe Duff, we struggle with the realization that keeping things wild in today's world will be harder than we ever would’ve thought.</p>
Jul 24, 2014
<p class="p1">Today, the strange story of a small group of islands that raise a big question: is it inevitable that even our most sacred natural landscapes will eventually get swallowed up by humans? And just how far are we willing to go to stop that from happening?</p> <p class="p1">We are dedicating a whole hour to the Galapagos archipelago, the place that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. 179 years later, the Galapagos are undergoing rapid changes that continue to pose -- and possibly answer -- critical questions about the fragility and resilience of life on Earth.</p>
Jul 17, 2014
9-Volt Nirvana
<p class="p1">Learn a new language faster than ever! Leave doubt in the dust! Be a better sniper! Could you do all that and more with just a zap to the noggin? Maybe.</p> <p class="p1">Sally Adee, an editor at <em>New Scientist</em>, was at a conference for DARPA - The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - when she heard about a way to speed up learning with something called trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). A couple years later, Sally found herself weilding an M4 assualt rifle, picking off enemy combatants with a battery wired to her temple. Of course, it was a simulation, but Sally's sniper skills made producer Soren Wheeler wonder what we should think of the world of brain stimulation. </p> <p class="p2">In the last couple years, tDCS has been all over the news. Researchers claim that juicing the brain with just 2 milliamps (think 9-volt battery) can help with everything from learning languages, to quitting smoking, to overcoming depression. We bring Michael Weisend, neuroscientist at Wright State Research Institute, into the studio to tell us how it works (Bonus: you get to hear Jad get his brain zapped). Peter Reiner and Nick Fitz of the University of British Columbia help us think through the consequences of a world where anyone with 20 dollars and access to Radioshack can make their own brain zapper. And finally, Sally tells us about the unexpected after-effects of a day of super-charged sniper training and makes us wonder about world where you can order up a state of mind.</p> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p2"><em>Special thanks for the music of <a href="">Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra</a></em></p> <p class="p2"> </p>
Jun 26, 2014
≤ kg
<p>A plum-sized lump of metal takes us from the French Revolution to an underground bunker in Maryland as we try to weigh the way we weigh the world around us.</p> <p>In this short, we meet a very special cylinder. It's the gold standard (or, in this case, the platinum-iridium standard) for measuring mass. For decades it's been coddled and cared for and treated like a tiny king. But, as we learn from writer <a href="">Andrew Marantz</a>, things change—even things that were specifically designed to stay the same.</p> <p><em>Special thanks to Ken Alder, Ari Adland, Eric Perlmutter, Terry Quinn and Richard Davis.</em></p>
Jun 13, 2014
<p>From a piece of the Wright brother's plane to a child’s sugar egg, today: Things! Important things, little things, personal things, things you can hold and things that can take hold of you. This hour, we investigate the objects around us, their power to move us, and whether it's better to look back or move on, hold on tight or just let go.</p>
May 30, 2014
The Skull
<p><span> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span>Today, the story of one little thing that has radically changed what we know about humanity’s humble beginnings and the kinds of creatures that were out to get us way back when.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><br></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span>Wits University Professor Lee Berger</span><span> </span><span>and Dr. Chris Stringer from London’s Natural History Museum explain how a child’s skull, found in an ancient cave, eventually helped answer one of our oldest questions: Where do we come from? Then Lee takes us on a journey to answer a somewhat smaller question: how did that child die? Along the way, we visit Dr. Bernhard Zipfel at Wits University in Johannesburg to actually hold the skull itself.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><br></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span>We wanted to give you a chance to hold the skull, too. So we did a little experiment: we made a 3D scan of it. If you visit </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href=""><span>our page on Thingiverse</span></a><span>, you’ll see the results. Anyone with access to a 3D printer can print their own copy of the skull. (We printed a bunch, with help from our friends at </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href=""><span>MakerBot</span></a><span>—there’s even a purple one with sparkles.)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><br></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span>We also collaborated with the folks at </span><a style="text-decoration: none;" href=""><span>Mmuseumm</span></a><span>, a tiny (really tiny, it’s in an elevator shaft) museum in Manhattan. You can visit them to see the 3D printed skull, along with the other wonderful things in their collection: mosquitoes swatted mid-bite, toothpaste tubes from around the world, and much more.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><br></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><em>Thanks to JP Brown, Emily Graslie and Robert Martin at the Field Museum in Chicago for scanning the skull. Thanks to Curtis Schmitt and <a href="">s<span>hootdigital</span></a> for refining the scan. Thanks to Bre Pettis and Jenifer Howard at MakerBot for guiding us through the world of 3D printing. </em></p> <div><span><br></span></div> <p> </p>
May 15, 2014
For the Love of Numbers
<p>It’s hard to think of anything more rational, more logical and impersonal than a number. But what if we’re all, universally, also deeply attuned to how numbers … feel? Why 2 is warm, 7 is strong and 11 is downright mystical.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>In this short, writer Alex Bellos tells Robert how, from the very first time humans ever used numbers, we couldn’t help but give them human-like qualities. From favorite numbers to numbers that we’re suspicious of, from 501 jeans to Oxy 10, our feelings for these digits may all come down to some serious, subconscious inner-math….a deeply human arithmetic buried in our heart.</p>
May 02, 2014
60 Words
<p>This hour we pull apart one sentence, written in the hours after September 11th, 2001, that has led to the longest war in U.S. history. We examine how just 60 words of legal language have blurred the line between war and peace.</p> <p>In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into law - called the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) -  has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the "war on terror."</p> <p>In this collaboration with BuzzFeed, reporter Gregory Johnsen tells us the story of how this has come to be one of the most important, confusing, troubling sentences of the past 12 years. We go into the meetings that took place in the chaotic days just after 9/11, speak with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former Congressman Ron Dellums about the vote on the AUMF. We hear from former White House and State Department lawyers John Bellinger &amp; Harold Koh. We learn how this legal language unleashed Guantanamo, Navy Seal raids and drone strikes. And we speak with journalist Daniel Klaidman, legal expert Benjamin Wittes and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine about how these words came to be interpreted, and what they mean for the future of war and peace.</p> <p><em>Produced by Matt Kielty and Kelsey Padgett with original music by Dylan Keefe. </em></p> <p>This episode is included in the Radiolab #smartbinge podcast playlist at <a href=""></a></p>
Apr 18, 2014
Straight Outta Chevy Chase
<p>From boom bap to EDM, we look at the line between hip-hop and not, and meet a defender of the genre that makes you question... who's in and who's out.</p> <p>Over the past 40 years, hip-hop music has gone from underground phenomenon to global commodity. But as <em>The New Yorker's</em> Andrew Marantz explains, massive commercial success is a tightrope walk for any genre of popular music, and especially one built on authenticity and “realness.”  Hip-hop constantly runs the risk of becoming a watered-down imitation of its former self - just, you know, <em>pop music</em>.</p> <p>Andrew introduces us to Peter Rosenberg, a guy who takes this doomsday scenario very seriously. Peter is a DJ at Hot 97, New York City’s iconic hip-hop station, and a vocal booster of what he calls “real” hip-hop. But as a Jewish fellow from suburban Maryland, he's also the first to admit that he's an unlikely arbiter for what is and what isn't hip-hop.</p> <p>With the help of Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and NPR's Frannie Kelley, we explore the strange ways that hip-hop deals with that age-old question: are you in or are you out?</p> <p><em>Special thanks to The New Yorker who let us do a radiophonic version of their piece. If you've got a New Yorker subscription check out Andrew Marantz's stellar written version <a href="">here</a>. If you don't, well you should get one, but you can also watch Rosenberg crate digging and spinning records <a href="">here</a>. </em></p>
Apr 01, 2014
<p>They buzz. They bite. And they have killed more people than cancer, war, or heart disease. Here’s the question: If you could wipe mosquitoes off the face of the planet, would you?</p> <p>Ever since there have been humans, mosquitoes have been biting us, and we’ve been trying to kill them. And, for the most part, the mosquitoes have been winning. Today there are over 3000 species on pretty much every corner of Earth. Mosquito-borne diseases kill around 1 million people a year (most of them children) and make more than 500 million people sick. But thanks to Hadyn Perry and his team of scientists, that might be about to change. Producer Andy Mills talks with author Sonia Shah about the difficulties of sharing a planet with mosquitoes and with science writer David Quammen about the risks of getting rid of them. </p> <p>Oh, and we visit a mosquito factory in eastern Brazil.</p> <p>And after listening, read this, from Radiolab producer Andy Mills: <a href="" target="_blank">what if we don't kill 'em all?</a></p> <p><a href=""><em>Special thanks to reporter David Baker</em></a></p>
Mar 25, 2014
What's Left When You're Right?
<p>More often than not, a fight is just a fight... Someone wins, someone loses. But this hour, we have a series of face-offs that shine a light on the human condition, the benefit of coming at something from a different side, and the price of being right.</p> <p><em>Special thanks to Mark Dresser for the use of <a href="">his music</a>.</em></p> <p> </p>
Feb 25, 2014
Neither Confirm Nor Deny
<p><span> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span>How a sunken nuclear submarine, a crazy billionaire, and a mechanical claw gave birth to a phrase that has hounded journalists and lawyers for 40 years and embodies the tension between the public’s desire for transparency and the government’s need to keep secrets.  </span></p> <div><span><br></span></div> <p> </p> <p><span> </span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">Whether it comes from government spokespeople or celebrity publicists, the phrase “can neither confirm nor deny” is the perfect non-denial denial. It’s such a perfect deflection that it seems like it’s been around forever, but reporter <a href="">Julia Barton</a> takes us back to the 1970s and the surprising origin story of what’s now known as a “Glomar Response.” With help from David Sharp and Walt Logan, we tell the story of a clandestine CIA operation to lift a sunken Soviet submarine from the ocean floor and the dilemma they faced when the world found out about it.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><br></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span>In the 40 years since that operation, the Glomar Response has become boilerplate language from an array of government agencies. With help from ProPublica editor Jeff Larson and NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston, we explore the implications of this ultimate information dodge. ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer explains how it stymies oversight, and we learn that, even 40 years later, governmental secrecy can be emotionally painful.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"> </p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><strong>After listening to the story ... </strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"> </p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">After 40 years, many of the details of Project Azorian are only now coming to light. The US government’s default position has been to keep as much of it classified as possible. It took three years for retired CIA employee David Sharp to get permission <a href="">to publish his account</a> of Project Azorian. And FOIA played an indirect role in that, as Cold War historians got the CIA to release, in redacted form, <a href="">an internal history of the mission</a>. After that and a threat of legal action, Sharp was finally able to publish his manuscript in 2012.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"> </p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">We mentioned conspiracy theories that have swirled around Project Azorian filling the void where official silence has reigned. One of them is promulgated in the 2005 book <a href="">“Red Star Rogue” by Kenneth Sewell and Clint Richmond.</a> They posit that the K-129 was taken over by rogue Stalinist KGB agents in order to start a nuclear conflict. But the conflict was to be between the US and China, as, according to the authors, the sub had powers to disguise its sonic signature as a Chinese Navy vessel.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"> </p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">This book is the basis of the 2013 drama <a href="">“Phantom,”</a> which features Ed Harris and David Duchovny as Soviet military officers who sip vodka in a very un-Russian way.</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"> </p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">Russian Naval historians, <a href="">like Nikolai Cherkashin</a>, are not only insulted by this take on the cause of the K-129’s demise, they say the true cause is much easier to pinpoint: They say an American vessel, possibly the USS Swordfish, <a href="">collided with the Soviet submarine.</a> </p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"> </p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span>Despite the fact that the US government has turned over many documents about Project Azorian and what it found to the Russian government, many in the Russian Navy stand by their theory that it was far too easy for the US to locate the K-129 on the bottom of the Pacific, given the technology of the time. According to these theories, Project Azorian was nothing more than an elaborate cover-up disguised as... an elaborate cover-up. We can neither confirm nor deny that we exactly understand how that would have worked in practice or execution.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"><span><br></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr">But for our money, there’s probably no stranger and more telling document from this time <a href=";noredirect=1">than a video of the funeral at sea for Soviet sailors</a> ostensibly recovered by the US during Project Azorian. Audio of the service starts at 1:25 in this post. Eulogies and rites are performed in both English and Russian (albeit with an American accent).</p> <p style="line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;" dir="ltr"> </p> <p><span>It’s one of the more solemn moments of the Cold War, and one that the Glomar Response helped keep a secret for a very long time.</span></p> <div><span><br></span></div> <p> </p>
Feb 12, 2014
Brown Box
<p>You order some stuff on the Internet and it shows up three hours later. How could all the things that need to happen to make that happen happen so fast?</p> <p> </p> <p>It used to be, when you ordered something on the Internet, you waited a week for it to show up. That was the deal: you didn’t have to get off the couch, but you had to wait. But in the last few years, that’s changed. Now, increasingly, the stuff we buy on the Internet shows up the next day or the same day, sometimes within hours. Free shipping included. Which got us wondering: How is this Internet voodoo possible?</p> <p>A fleet of robots? Vacuum tubes? Teleportation? Hardly. In this short, reporter <a href="">Mac McClelland</a> travels into the belly of the beast that is the Internet retail system, and what she finds takes her breath away and makes her weak in the knees (in the worst way). Producer Pat Walters and <a href="">Brad Stone, author of <em>The Everything Store</em></a>, a book about, assist.</p> <p>*****This podcast contains some language and subject matter that might not be appropriate for young listeners******</p> <p><em>Correction: In the podcast Mac describes Powell's online order fulfillment process. When we contacted Powell's they told us that over 90% of their online orders are filled in their own unionized warehouse, not outsourced. The audio now reflects that fact.</em></p>
Jan 28, 2014
Black Box
<p>This hour, we examine three very different kinds of black boxes—those peculiar spaces where it’s clear what’s going in, we know what’s coming out, but what happens in-between is a mystery. From the darkest parts of metamorphosis, to a sixty year-old secret among magicians, to the nature of consciousness itself, we confront the stubborn gaps in our understanding.</p>
Jan 17, 2014
The Times They Are a-Changin'
<p>At the start of this new year we crack open some fossils, peer back into ancient seas, and look up at lunar skies to find that a year is not quite as fixed as we thought it was.</p> <p> </p> <p>With the help of paleontologist Neil Shubin, reporter Emily Graslie and the Field Museum's Paul Mayer we discover that our world is full of ancient coral calendars. Each one of these sea skeletons reveals that once upon a very-long-time-ago, years were shorter by over forty days. And astrophysicist Chis Impey helps us comprehend how the change is all to be blamed on a celestial slow dance with the moon. </p> <p>Plus, Robert indulges his curiosity about stopping time and counteracting the spinning of the spheres by taking astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on a (theoretical) trip to Venus with a rooster and sprinter Usain Bolt.</p> <p> </p>
Dec 30, 2013
Sex, Ducks, and The Founding Feud
<p>Jilted lovers and disrupted duck hunts provide a very odd look into the soul of the US Constitution.</p> <p>What does a jilted lover’s revenge have to do with an international chemical weapons treaty? More than you’d think. From poison and duck hunts to our feuding fathers, we step into a very odd tug of war between local and federal law.</p> <p>When Carol Anne Bond found out her husband had impregnated her best friend, she took revenge. Carol's particular flavor of revenge led to a US Supreme Court case that puts into question a part of the US treaty power. </p> <p>Producer Kelsey Padgett drags Jad and Robert into Carol's poisonous web, which starts them on a journey from the birth of the US Constitution, to a duck hunt in 1918, and back to the present day … it’s all about an ongoing argument that might actually be the very heart and soul of our system of government</p> <p><em>UPDATE: The Supreme Court made a decision in the Carol Anne Bond case during the summer of 2014. If you've listened to the piece (or don't mind a spoiler) <a href="">check out what our producer Kelsey Padgett had to say about the verdict</a>.</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>
Dec 19, 2013
VIDEO: Radiolab Live Apocalyptical Sneak Peek
<p>A preview of Radiolab's live show Apocalyptical: dinosaurs, death, destruction... plus cinematic live scoring and comedic mayhem from Reggie Watts and Kurt Braunohler. Feast your eyes on more video -- including a cut of the full show! -- at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="349" src="" width="620"></iframe></p> <p>Recorded live at Seattle's <span>Paramount Theatre on November 21st and 22nd.</span></p>
Dec 09, 2013
<p>Cataclysmic destruction. Surprising survival. In this new live stage performance, Radiolab turns its gaze to the topic of endings, both blazingly fast and agonizingly slow.</p> <p>This hour we celebrate the one thing that all things do: end. From the stage in Seattle, with an all-star cast of comedians and musical guests, we bring you stories that end with a bang, with a whimper, and with astonishing bravery and resilience in the face of one's own demise.</p> <p> </p>
Dec 09, 2013
An Ice-Cold Case
<p><span>Scientists' obsession with one particular man - and with the tiny scraps of evidence left in the wake of his death - gives us a surprisingly intimate peek into the life of someone who should've been lost to the ages.</span></p> <p>A little over 20 years ago, a perfectly preserved corpse was found buried in the ice, high up in the Alps. And after decades of investigating, cutting-edge forensics have revealed not only a murder mystery, but a startling story about one man's final days.<br><br>When hikers first found Ötzi (the nickname given to the body discovered in 1991), everyone assumed they'd stumbled upon an unfortunate mountaineering accident. But as the body was pulled from the ice, authorities started to suspect this wasn't a modern-day adventure gone wrong. It was, as producer Andy Mills explains, an OLD body. Really, really old. <br><br>Botanist <a href=";type=P">Jim Dickson</a>, graphic artist <a href="">Aaron Birk</a>, and <a href="">Albert Zinc</a>, head of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman, describe how scientific advances and modern forensic breakthroughs have uncovered an ancient tale of violence and humanity.</p>
Nov 19, 2013
Cut and Run
<p>Legions of athletes, sports gurus, and scientists have tried to figure out why Kenyans dominate long-distance running. In this short, we stumble across a surprising, and sort of terrifying, explanation.</p> <p>At the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico City, Kipchoge Keino overcame a gall bladder infection to win gold in the 1500 meter race. Since then, one particular group of Kenyans - the Kalenjin - has produced an astonishing number of great long-distance runners. <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Gregory Warner</strong></a> - NPR's East Africa correspondent - takes Jad and Robert down a rabbit hole of theories about what exactly is going on in Kalenjin country. <strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>David Epstein</strong> and <strong>John Manners</strong> help Greg untangle a web of potential factors - from something in the cornmeal to simple economics.<strong> </strong>And, after talking to a young Kalenjin runner named <strong>Elly <span><span>Kipgogei</span></span>, </strong>Greg discovers a somewhat disturbing explanation for Kalenjin running prowess that actually makes him want to get on the treadmill and push himself just a little harder. </p> <p> </p> <p>Check out a video of Kipchoge Keino's 1968 Olympic 1500m run:</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="465" src="" width="620"></iframe></p>
Nov 01, 2013
UPDATE: Famous Tumors
<p>When we first released Famous Tumors, Rebecca Skloot's book about the life and legacy of Henrietta Lacks (and her famous cells) had just hit the shelves. Since then, some interesting things have happened to both Henrietta's cells and her family. So, 4 years later, we have a newly updated show!</p> <p>This hour, we poke and prod at the good, bad, and ugly sides of tumors -- from the growth that killed Ulysses S. Grant, to mushy lumps leaping from the faces of infected Tasmanian Devils, to a mass that awakened a new (though pretty strange) kind of euphoria for one man. Plus, the updated story of one woman's medically miraculous cancer cells, and how they changed modern science and, eventually, her family's understanding of itself.</p> <p>Read more:</p> <p>Rebecca Skloot's <span class="book"><a title="buy this book at Amazon" target="_blank" href=""><em>The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks</em></a></span></p>
Oct 22, 2013
<p>For many of us, quicksand was once a real fear -- it held a vise-grip on our imaginations, from childish sandbox games to grown-up anxieties about venturing into unknown lands. But these days, quicksand can't even scare an 8-year-old. In this short, we try to find out why. </p> <p>Producer Soren Wheeler introduces us to Dan Engber, writer and columnist for <em>Slate</em>, who ran across a strange fact: kids are no longer afraid of quicksand. To figure out what happened to quicksand, Dan immersed himself in research, compiled mountains of data, and met with quicksand fetishists. Dan tells Soren and Robert about his journey, and shares his theory about why the terror of his childhood seems to have lost its menacing allure. And Carlton Cuse, best-known as writer and executive producer of <em>Lost</em>, weighs in on whether giant pits of hero-swallowing mud might one day creep back into the spotlight.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="620" height="299"></p> <p><em>Dan Engber's data on the percentage of movies released that feature quicksand.</em></p>
Oct 10, 2013
Poop Train
<p>You may not give a second thought (or backward glance) to what the toilet whisks away after you do your business. But we got wondering -- where would we wind up if we thought of flushing as the start, and not the end, of a journey? In this short, we head out to trace the trail of sludge...from Manhattan, to wherever poop leads us.</p> <p>This all started back when we were working on our <a href="">Guts</a> show, and author Frederick Kaufman told us about getting sucked in to the mystery of what happens to poop in New York City. Robert and producer Pat Walters decided to take Fred's advice and pay a visit to the <a href="" target="_blank">North River Wastewater Treatment Plant</a>... which turned out to be just the beginning of a surprisingly far-ranging quest.</p> <p>Want some more sewer fun?</p> <p>Read: As Robert and Pat report, some of that sewer sludge made it out into the ocean. <a href="" target="_blank">Wonder what happened to it?</a></p> <p>Play: Try out our Poop Quiz:</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="785" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p>
Sep 24, 2013
<p>We've all felt it, that irresistible urge to point the finger. But new technologies are complicating age-old moral conundrums about accountability. This hour, we ask what blame does for us -- why do we need it, when isn't it enough, and what happens when we try to push past it with forgiveness and mercy?</p>
Sep 12, 2013
Dawn of Midi
<p>In this short, Jad puts on his music hat and shares his love of Dawn of Midi, a band that he recently started using on the show.</p> <p>Midi, for those of you who don't know, is sort of like a computer language for music. But the band Dawn of Midi seems to exist at the intersection between acoustic and electronic sounds. Jad talks to Aakaash Israni, Amino Belyamani, and Qasim Naqvi about how they met and how they ended up creating their latest album, Dysnomia, an album filled with heavily layered rhythms that feel both mechanistic and deeply human at the same time.</p>
Aug 29, 2013
Rodney Versus Death
<p>What do you do in the face of a monstrous disease with a 100% fatality rate? In this short, a Milwaukee doctor tries to knock death incarnate off its throne.</p> <p>In the fall of 2004, Jeanna Giese checked into the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin with a set of puzzling symptoms ... and her condition was deteriorating fast. By the time Dr. Rodney Willoughby saw her, he only knew one thing for sure: if Jeanna's disturbing breakdown turned out to be rabies, she was doomed to die.</p> <p>What happened next seemed like a medical impossibility. Producer <a href=""><strong>Tim Howard</strong></a> tells Jeanna's story and talks to authors Monica Murphy and Bill Wasik, and scientists Amy Gilbert and Sergio Recuenco, while trying to unravel the mystery of an unusual patient, and a doctor who dared to take on certain death.</p> <p>Read more:</p> <p><span class="book"><a title="buy this book at Amazon" target="_blank" href=""><em>Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus</em></a></span>, by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy</p> <p>"<a href="" target="_blank">Undead: The Rabies Virus Remains a Medical Mystery</a>," <em>Wired</em> article by Monica Murphy and Bill Wasik</p> <p>"<a href="" target="_blank">Bats Incredible: The Mystery of Rabies Survivorship Deepens</a>," <em>Wired</em> article by Monica Murphy and Bill Wasik</p> <p>"<a href="" target="_blank">Study Detects Rabies Immune Response in Amazon Populations</a>," the CDC's page on Amy Gilbert and Sergio Recuenco's work (inc. photos from Peru)</p> <p>"<a href="" target="_blank">Selection Criteria for Milwaukee Protocol</a>," when to try the Milwaukee Protocol</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Jeanna Giese's website</a></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="785" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p>
Aug 13, 2013
<p>From medicine to the movies, the horrifying to the holy, and history to the present day -- we're kinda obsessed with blood. This hour, we consider the power and magic of the red liquid that runs through our veins.</p>
Jul 31, 2013
Happy Birthday, Good Dr. Sacks
<p>One of our favorite human beings turns 80 this week. To celebrate, Robert asks Oliver Sacks to look back on his career, and explain how thousands of worms and a motorbike accident led to a brilliant writing career.</p> <p>More Oliver:</p> <p>"<a href="" target="_blank">The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.)</a>" <em>Oliver Sacks reflects on his life, and turning 80, in the New York Times</em></p> <p>"<a href="" target="_blank">Awakenings</a>" <em>The 1990 movie based on Oliver's book of the same name.</em></p> <p> <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ var amzn_wdgt={widget:'Carousel'}; amzn_wdgt.tag='radiolabbooks-20'; amzn_wdgt.widgetType='ASINList'; amzn_wdgt.title='10 Books by Oliver Sacks'; amzn_wdgt.width='620'; amzn_wdgt.ASIN='0684853949,0375704051,0679756973,0375700730,037570406X,0307473023,0307957241,1400033535,0375704043,0375704078'; amzn_wdgt.width='620'; amzn_wdgt.height='200'; // ]]></script> <script src=""> </script> </p>
Jul 09, 2013
Ally's Choice
<p>Producer Lu Olkowski brings us the story of a tightly-knit family caught on opposite sides of a very big divide. If you ask Ally Manning's mom and sister, they'll tell you there's no question: they're black. But as a teenager, Ally decided that what was true for them didn't make sense for her.</p> <p>Lu explains how the complex racial history of two towns in Ohio leads members of the same family to disagree strongly about whether they're black or white. And Ally, along with her mom Clarice and her sister Carlotta, wrestles with what it means to choose a different identity from her closest relations.</p> <p>Ally Manning, Clarice Shreck’s daughter, takes a moment before heading work to read a poem she wrote about her mom:</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="620"></p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Photo: Lloyd Cederdstrand</a>.</em></p> <p>Carlotta Hixon and her mom Clarice Shreck:</p> <p><em><img src="" alt="" width="620"><br></em></p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank">Photo: Lloyd Cederstrand</a>.</em></p> <p><em><img style="float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" src="" alt="" width="75">A version of this story, “As Black As We Wish to Be,” was sponsored by <a href="" target="_blank">Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area</a> and made possible with funding from the <a href="" target="_blank">Ohio Humanities Council</a>. It originally aired on <a href="" target="_blank">State of the Re:Union</a>."</em></p>
Jul 02, 2013
Curious Sounds from the Solid Sound Festival
<p>This fall, we're hitting the road with our brand-new live show. We're stopping in 20 cities across the US (plus 1 stop in Canada), and we have some exciting news about the special musical guests who are joining us for the tour. Listen to a quick sneak peek, and <a href="">grab your tix now</a>.</p>
Jun 27, 2013
The Trouble with Everything
<p>The desire to trace your way back to the very beginning, to understand everything -- whether it's the mysteries of love or the mechanics of the universe -- is deeply human. It might also be deeply flawed.</p> <p>In this short, Jad and Robert talk to a writer and two physicists who are all grappling with versions of the same enormous question: is it possible to understand everything, or are we chasing an impossible dream... one built on questions that always lead to more questions?</p> <p><strong>Jenny Hollowell</strong> kicks things off with her gorgeous short story "A History of Everything, Including You." It's a powerful tale with a sweeping scope -- the history not just of one couple, but everything that led to them -- distilled into a poetic crush of just a few pages. The piece was born out of a sense of frustration Jenny felt about trying to account for "everything" in order to understand her life. And in many ways, her solution speaks to an eerily similar moment of uncertainty in physics. Inspired by an essay written by physicist and novelist <strong>Alan Lightman</strong>, Robert pays a visit to <strong>Brian Greene</strong> to ask if the latest developments in theoretical physics spell a crisis for science -- where we find we've reached the limit of what we can see and test, and are left with mathematical equations that can't be verified by experiments or observation.</p> <p>Read more:</p> <ul> <li>Jenny Hollowell's "A History of Everything, Including You" can be found in the anthology <span class="book"><a title="buy this book at Amazon" target="_blank" href=""><em>New Sudden Fiction: Short-Short Stories from America and Beyond</em></a></span></li> <li>Alan Lightman's essay for Harper's Magazine "<a href="" target="_blank">The Accidental Universe: Science’s crisis of faith</a>"</li> </ul>
Jun 13, 2013
Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl
<p>This is the story of a three-year-old girl and the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court case <em>Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl</em> is a legal battle that has entangled a biological father, a heart-broken couple, and the tragic history of Native American children taken from their families.</p> <p>When producer <a href="">Tim Howard</a> first read about this case, it struck him as a sad but seemingly straightforward custody dispute. But, as he started talking to lawyers and historians and the families involved in the case, it became clear that it was much more than that. Because <em>Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl </em>challenges parts of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, this case puts one little girl at the center of a storm of legal intricacies, Native American tribal culture, and heart-wrenching personal stakes.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE: The Supreme Court has made its ruling in <em>Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl</em>. Hear our update at the end of this episode.<br></strong></p> <h3>Background and Reporting from a range of different perspectives</h3> <p>"<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Couple forced to give up daughter</a></strong>"<br> <em>An introductory article by Allyson Bird, for the Charleston, SC Post and Courier</em></p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Comprehensive coverage of the case by the Charleston <em>Post and Courier</em></a></strong></p> <p>"<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Supreme Court Takes on Indian Child Welfare Act in Baby Veronica Case</a></strong>"<em> </em><br> <em>A report for Indian Country Today by Suzette Brewer, who has also written a <a href="" target="_blank">two-part series</a> on the case.</em></p> <p>"<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Supreme Court hears Indian child custody case</a></strong>"<br><em>Tulsa World</em> article by Michael Overall which includes Dusten Brown's account of his break-up with Veronica's mother, and his understanding about his custodial rights. Plus photos of Dusten, Veronica, and Dusten's wife Robin in their Oklahoma home<em>.</em></p> <p>Randi Kaye's report for CNN on the background of the case, and interviews with Melanie and Matt Capobianco: "<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Video: Adoption custody battle for Veronica</a>"</strong><br> <object data=";profile=desktop&amp;context=embed&amp;videoId=bestoftv/2012/02/22/ac-kaye-veronica-custody-appeal.cnn&amp;contentId=bestoftv/2012/02/22/ac-kaye-veronica-custody-appeal.cnn" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="349"> <param value="#000000"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000"> <param name="src" value=";profile=desktop&amp;context=embed&amp;videoId=bestoftv/2012/02/22/ac-kaye-veronica-custody-appeal.cnn&amp;contentId=bestoftv/2012/02/22/ac-kaye-veronica-custody-appeal.cnn"> <param name="wmode" value="transparent"> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"> </object></p> <p>Nina Totenberg’s report for NPR: "<strong><a href=";f=1070" target="_blank">Adoption Case Brings Rare Family Law Dispute To High Court</a></strong>"</p> <p>Reporting by NPR's Laura Sullivan and Amy Walters on <strong><a href="" target="_blank">current ICWA violations in South Dakota</a></strong>.</p> <p>Dr. Phil's coverage: "<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Adoption Controversy: Battle over Baby Veronica"</a></strong></p> <h3>Analysis and Editorials</h3> <p>Op-ed by Veronica's birth mom, Christy Maldonado, in the <em>Washington Post</em>: "<span><a href="" target="_blank">Baby Veronica belongs with her adoptive parents</a>"</span></p> <p><em>Colorlines </em>report "<strong><a href="">The Cherokee Nation’s Baby Girl Goes on Trial</a></strong>:"</p> <blockquote> <p>Americans remain dangerously uninformed about the basics of tribal sovereignty, and what it means for the relationship between the United States and Native tribes and nations.</p> </blockquote> <p><em>The Weekly Standard's</em> Ethan Epstein argues that ICWA is "being used to tear [families] apart]: "<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Mistreating Native American Children</a></strong>"</p> <p>Andrew Cohen considers the trickier legal aspects of the case for the <em>Atlantic</em> in "<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Indian Affairs, Adoption, and Race: The Baby Veronica Case Comes to Washington</a></strong>:"</p> <blockquote> <p>A little girl is at the heart of a big case at the Supreme Court next week, a racially-tinged fight over Native American rights and state custody laws.</p> </blockquote> <p>Marcia Zug's breakdown of the case (Marica Zug is an associate professor of law at the University of South Carolina School of Law who she specializes in family and American Indian law) "<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Doing What’s Best for the Tribe</a></strong>" for <em>Slate</em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Two-year-old “Baby Veronica” was ripped from the only home she’s known. The court made the right decision.  </p> </blockquote> <p>Marcia Zug for the Michigan Law Review: "<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl: Two-and-a-Half WAys To Destroy Indian Law</a></strong>"</p> <p>From Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies: "<strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Constitutional Flaws of the Indian Child Welfare Act</a></strong>"</p> <p><em>Rapid City Journal</em> columnist David Rooks poses a set of tough questions about ICWA: "<strong><a href="" target="_blank">ROOKS: Questions unasked, unanswered</a></strong>"</p> <p>From Johnston Moore, an adoptive father of six children, three of whom are part Indian. (Moore is director and co-founder of Home Forever, and a founding member of the Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children &amp; Families. NewsOK): "<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Some different talking points about Indian Child Welfare Act</a></strong>"</p> <p>Editorial coverage from <em>The New York Times</em>:</p> <p>"<strong><a href="" target="_blank">A Wrenching Adoption Case</a></strong>"</p> <p>"<strong><a href="" target="_blank">Adoptive Parents vs. Tribal Rights</a></strong>"</p> <h3>Contemporary, Historic, and Legal Source Materials</h3> <p>Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl on the <strong><a href="" target="_blank">SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) Blog</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Audio from the oral arguments in the Supreme Court</a></strong></p> <p><object id="oyez_movie" data=";base_url=;nobutton=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="250"> <param name="quality" value="high"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff"> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"> <param name="src" value=";base_url=;nobutton=1"> <param name="name" value="oyez_movie"> </object></p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Official website for ICWA</a></strong> (the federal Indian Child Welfare Act)</p> <p>1974 Hearings Before the Subcommitee on Indian Affairs "<strong><a href="" target="_blank">on problems that American Indian families face in raising their children and how these problems are affected by federal action or inaction</a></strong>." PDF</p> <p>The <strong><a href="" target="_blank">National Indian Child Welfare Association</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <p> </p> <p>The <strong><a href="" target="_blank">First Nations Repatriation Institute</a></strong>, which works with and does advocacy for adoptees</p>
May 30, 2013
VIDEO: Radiolab Behind the Scenes
<p>If you've ever wondered how the podcast comes together, or what it's like to work at Radiolab, here's a peek into our process.</p> <p>If you're a fan of the show, help us make more Radiolab by <strong><a title="Donate to Radiolab" href="" target="_blank">making a contribution</a></strong>. Thanks so much, Radiolab couldn't exist without support from listeners like you!</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="349" src=";byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=ff9933" width="620"></iframe></p> <p><em>Special thanks to David Fine and American Hipster. Their complete Radiolab video can be seen at <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em></p>
May 20, 2013
The Septendecennial Sing-Along
<p>Every 17 years, a deafening sex orchestra hits the East Coast -- billions and billions of cicadas crawl out of the ground, sing their hearts out, then mate and die. In this short, Jad and Robert talk to a man who gets inside that noise to dissect its meaning and musical components.</p> <p>While most of us hear a wall of white noise, squeaks, and squawks....David Rothenberg hears a symphony. He's trained his ear to listen for the music of animals, and he's always looking for chances to join in, with everything from lonely birds to giant whales to swarming cicadas.</p> <p>In this podcast, David explains his urge to connect and sing along, and helps break down the mysterious life cycle and mating rituals of the periodical cicadas into something we can all relate to.</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="620"></p> <p><em>David Rothenberg making music with the cicadas.<a href="" target="_blank">Courtesy of David Rothenberg/Bug Music</a></em></p> <p>A visual breakdown of the cicada mating calls:</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="620"><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p><em>Courtesy of John Cooley and David Marshall at UConn</em>. <em>For more on cicada mating calls, take a look at this <a href="" target="_blank">paper from Cooley and Marshall</a>. </em></p> <p>A close-up of cicadas getting down:</p> <p><img src="" alt="" width="620"></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Courtesy of David Rothenberg/Bug Music</em></a></p> <p>Enjoy a free download of our favorite track from David's CD <a href="!music/czas" target="_blank">Bug Music</a> -- here's the description from the liner notes:</p> <blockquote> <p>Katydid Prehistory: Named in honor of Archaboilus musicus, the 165 million year old prehistoric katydid, whose fossil remains reveal an ability to sing distinct pitches.</p> </blockquote> <p><div class="inline_audioplayer_wrapper"><h3>Katydid Prehistory</h3><div id="audioplayer_idm140081662666496f335a484-863d-4995-b48a-a2f47adac833" class="player_element" data-url="" data-width="620" data-title="" data-brand="" data-thumbnail="" data-download="true" data-may-embed="true"></div></div></p>
May 14, 2013
The Distance of the Moon
<p>What if the moon were just a jump away? In this short, a beautiful answer to that question from Italo Calvino, read live by Liev Schreiber. </p> <p>According to one theory, the moon formed when a Mars-sized chunk of rock collided with Earth. After the moon coalesced out of the debris from that impact, it was much closer to Earth than it is today. This idea is taken to it's fanciful limit in Italo Calvino's story "The Distance of the Moon" (from his collection <span class="book"><a title="buy this book at Amazon" target="_blank" href=""><em>Cosmicomics</em></a></span>, translated by William Weaver). The story, narrated by a character with the impossible-to-pronounce name Qfwfq, tells of a strange crew who jump between Earth and moon, and sometimes hover in the nether reaches of gravity between the two.</p> <p>This reading was part of a live event hosted by Radiolab and Selected Shorts, and it originally aired on WNYC’s and PRI’s SELECTED SHORTS, paired with a Ray Bradbury classic, “All Summer in a Day,” read by musical theater star Michael Cerveris. Hosted by BD Wong, you can <a href="" target="_blank">listen to the full show here</a>.</p>
Apr 16, 2013
Radiolab Presents: TJ & Dave
<p>Improv comedy puts uncertainty on center stage -- performers usually start by asking the audience for a prompt, then they make up the details as they go. But two actors in Chicago are taking this idea to its absolute limit, and finding ways to navigate the unknown.</p> <p>When<a href="" target="_blank"><strong> TJ Jagodowski</strong> and <strong>Dave Pasquesi</strong> </a>get on stage they introduce themselves, work the crowd a bit ... and then, the lights go off. And when the lights come back on, they're just standing there, staring at each other. The audience is waiting, wondering what's going to happen. And so are TJ and Dave. There are no audience suggestions to kick off the show, there’s no plan -- TJ and Dave begin each night as a complete blank, without even a glimmer of an <em>idea</em> about who they're going to be for the next hour, where they'll find themselves, or what might happen with all those eyes on them. And yet, so far without fail, an elaborate, operatic, two-person play filled with incredibly rich characters and situations emerges. In this short, Robert Krulwich and producer Sean Cole talk to TJ and Dave about stepping into the unknown, take a peek into one of their performances, and discover a very unusual strategy for dealing with the stress of having no idea what's going to happen: just assume it’s been happening all along. </p>
Apr 02, 2013
Are You Sure?
<p>This hour, we walk the tightrope between doubt and certainty, and wonder if there's a way to make yourself at home on that razor's edge between definitely...and not so sure.</p> <p>We meet a geologist whose life is rocked by a crisis of faith, talk to a gambler who's made a name (and millions) by embracing what she can't know, and we relive a series of decisions and convictions that turn one woman's certainty into a deeply troubling question about just how certain is certain enough.</p> <p><em>NOTE: This episode contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault and violence.</em></p>
Mar 26, 2013
<p>This spring, parts of the East Coast will turn squishy and crunchy -- the return of the 17-year cicadas means surfaces in certain locations (in patches from VA to CT) will once again be coated in bugs buzzing at 7 kilohertz. In their honor, we're rebroadcasting one of our favorite episodes: Emergence.</p> <p>In this classic hour, we take a look at the bottom-up logic of cities, Google, and even our very own brains... with fire-flyologists, ant experts, neurologists, a mathematician, and an economist.</p> <p>We'll be back next week with a brand-new hour. In the meantime, enjoy <a href="" target="_blank">Emergence</a>, and consider rolling up your sleeves for some DIY bug science: help us <a href="" target="_blank">track the return of the </a><em><a href="" target="_blank">Magicicada Brood II</a>.</em></p>
Mar 19, 2013
The Man Behind the Maneuver
<p>In the 1970s, choking became national news: thousands were choking to death, leading to more accidental deaths than guns. Nobody knew what to do. Until a man named Henry Heimlich came along with a big idea. Since then, thousands and thousands -- maybe even millions -- have been rescued by the Heimlich maneuver. Yet the story of the man who invented it may not have such a happy ending.</p> <p>Producer Pat Walters wouldn't be here without the Heimlich maneuver -- it saved his life when he was just 11 years old. And one day he started wondering -- who was Heimlich, anyway? And how did he come up with his choking remedy? Pat had always kinda assumed Heimlich died in the mid-1800s. Not so. The man is very much alive: he's 93 years old, and calls Cincinnati, Ohio home.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Producer’s note:</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>We made some minor changes to this story that do not alter the substance.</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>First, we removed the audio of Peter Heimlich, Henry Heimlich’s son, from the version now on the site. When we approached Henry’s other son Phil to arrange an interview with his father, one of Phil’s conditions was that we not air audio of Peter. We thought he’d waived that provision in a subsequent conversation but he contends he did not. So we are honoring the original request.</em></p> <p><em> </em></p> <p><em>Second, we originally reported that Henry Heimlich was involved in a train wreck when he was 19 years old and on the way to summer camp. In fact the wreck happened on the way back to New York City from summer camp, in the summer of 1941, making Heimlich 21 years old. We also stated that a woman whose husband attempted to perform an emergency tracheotomy on her bled to death, when in fact she choked to death. The audio has been adjusted to correct these facts.</em></p>
Mar 05, 2013
Speedy Beet
<p>There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit.</p> <p>Jad starts out talking with <strong>Alan Pierson</strong>, Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, about the fact that neither of them really like Beethoven's Fifth. It feels, they say, heavy and ponderous. But then Alan tells Jad a story: Late in life, Beethoven got his hands on a metronome, went back into his symphonies, and marked them with tempos that are shockingly fast -- so fast, in fact, that most conductors simply refuse to play them as marked. To investigate, we gather up a quartet of musicians to give us a feel for Beethoven's speedy beats, and we talk to composer and author <strong>Matthew Guerrieri</strong> about the way fast tempos push us and unsettle us. But is that really what Beethoven was going for? WQXR host <strong>Terrance McKnight</strong> says given his background and personality, Beethoven clearly didn't want his music to be easy and comfortable. So, as an homage to our new found vision of Ludwig van B., we ask Alan and his players to take the Fifth to a whole new level.</p> <p>Big thanks to our <a href="" target="_blank">Brooklyn Philharmonic </a>musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola.</p> <p>And check out <span class="book"><a title="buy this book at Amazon" target="_blank" href=""><em>The First Four Notes</em></a></span>, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth.</p>
Feb 19, 2013
<p>We live our lives at human speed, we experience and interact with the world on a human time scale. But this hour, we put ourselves through the paces, peek inside a microsecond, and master the fastest thing in the universe.</p>
Feb 05, 2013