Constant Wonder

By BYUradio

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Stay in tune with our phenomenal world. Join Marcus Smith for explorations of hidden marvels in nature, forgotten heroes of history, and life stories that both humble and inspire. Constant Wonder is a production of BYUradio.

Episode Date
S2 E36: Can Iceland's Elves Save the Planet?
Meet an Icelandic woman who speaks to (and for) elves. Her efforts led to a famous compromise over a highway construction project in Iceland that would've taken out an elf "church." But more importantly, American researcher Nancy Marie Brown claims, a belief in elves–or in the possibility of elves–could change the way we see, and care for, our environment. Skeptical? That's okay. On this Constant Wonder podcast, we aim to suspend our disbelief to explore ancient ways of thinking, at least for an episode. Guests: Nancy Marie Brown, author of "Looking for the Hidden Folk: How Iceland's Elves Can Save the Earth" Ragnhildur Jónsdóttir, elf seer and educator Mara Menzies, Kenyan/Scottish performance storyteller
Nov 23, 2022
S2 E35: Uncovering Archaeology's Hidden Treasures . . . Out of Desert and Ice
In three decades at National Geographic, Ann Williams has been an eyewitness to some of the greatest archaeological treasures of the last century. She was just outside on the dark and stormy night when they loaded King Tut's mummy into a CAT scanner. She examined the fibers of an ancient woven blanket shrouding an Incan teenager, who'd been sacrificed to the gods. She documented the bowls and baskets left behind as an entire Alaskan Yupik village fled an attack. Guest: Ann Williams, General Editor of "Treasures of Egypt: A Legacy in Photographs from the Pyramids to Cleopatra" and "Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs: 100 Discoveries That Changed the World" Listen to Constant Wonder wherever you get your podcasts.
Nov 16, 2022
S2 E34: Advocating for Sharks and Other "Scary" Creatures
From a young age, Rachel Graham was interested in all kinds of marginalized animals, from snakes to bats. But when she went on a dive trip and experienced a real-life sharknado, it became clear that her future would be inextricably tied to sharks. This marked the beginning of her quest to change people’s mindsets about these fascinating and threatened creatures. Guest: Rachel Graham, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director of MarAlliance Listen to Constant Wonder wherever you get your podcasts.
Nov 09, 2022
ARCHIVE BONUS: Life As an Astronaut
Astronaut Terry Virts experienced a juxtaposition of the sublime and the mundane, sensing God while floating weightless, fixing cables outside his spacecraft. While in orbit, Virts took more than 300,000 photos, which became part of the National Geographic IMAX film "A Beautiful Planet." Podcast Guest: Colonel Terry Virts, fighter pilot, test pilot, NASA astronaut, and author of "How to Astronaut: An Insider's Guide to Leaving Planet Earth." He also directed "One More Orbit,” documenting the fastest circumnavigation of the earth via both poles.
Nov 02, 2022
S2 E33: Mysterious Tattoo Reunites Korean Adoptee With Birth Family
When Korean adoptee Sara Jones went looking for her birth family, she wondered if a strange tattoo given to her in childhood could unlock any secrets. Jones was adopted into an American family at age three. She found much success here in America, becoming an attorney and CEO. It wasn't until her own kids started asking questions that she decided to search for her birth family. And she started her search with that mysterious tattoo. Hear the story on this week's podcast. Guest: Sara Jones, CEO of InclusionPro, Board Member of The (Utah) State Workforce Development Board, Board of Trustees for Intermountain Salt Lake Valley Hospitals, Co-Founder of Women Tech Council
Oct 26, 2022
S2 E32: A Pediatric Neurosurgeon Shares Stories of Triumph and Resilience
Neurosurgeon Jay Wellons performs the most delicate surgeries on the traumatized brains of children, where every cut and stitch has life-changing consequences. He’s also an enthralling storyteller and a tireless advocate for his patients–a lesson he learned the hard way. Join us as he shares inspiring tales of his patients’ journeys. Guest: Jay Wellons, MD, Cal Turner Chair and Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; author of "All That Moves Us: A Pediatric Neurosurgeon, His Young Patients, and Their Stories of Grace and Resilience"
Oct 19, 2022
S2 E31: From the Streets to Symphony Hall: The Improbable Backstory of a World-Class Tuba Player
A story of human triumph: A young child is rescued from life on the streets, fostered, and mentored. He chases a dream to play classical music, and now as a mentor himself, he encourages others to dream big. With humility and humor, Richard Antoine White shares his unique journey. Guest: Richard Antoine White, author of "I'm Possible: A Story of Survival, a Tuba, and the Small Miracle of a Big Dream"; principal tubist for the Santa Fe Symphony and the New Mexico Philharmonic; Associate Professor of Tuba/Euphonium at the University of New Mexico
Oct 12, 2022
ARCHIVE BONUS: The Hidden Life of the Deep Ocean
The abyss of the deep sea is anything but lifeless!
Oct 05, 2022
S2 E30, p2: Black Paramedics Find an Ally in a Young White Female Doctor
Part 2 of our Freedom House story involves the racial politics of saving lives in the late '60s and early '70s, a norm-shattering young White female doctor, and the graceful but determined response of one skilled Black paramedic, who provided unheralded leadership to the people he worked under. Kevin Hazzard, author of "American Sirens: The Incredible Story of the Black Men Who Became America's First Paramedics" John Moon, former paramedic at Freedom House and former Assistant Chief, City of Pittsburgh EMS Photo Credit: Harvard University, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Sep 28, 2022
S2 E30, p1: America's First Paramedics Were Black Pioneers in Pittsburgh
Paramedics haven't always raced to the scene of an emergency. Before 1966, if you called for help to get to the hospital, you might get a police car, or even a hearse. That year, Pittsburgh's non-profit Freedom House set out to change that for the city's Hill District, which was predominately Black. Staffed by trained Black men and mentored by the inventor of CPR, the ambulance service served as a model for newly emerging paramedic services around the country. Guests: Kevin Hazzard, author of "American Sirens: The Incredible Story of the Black Men Who Became America's First Paramedics" John Moon, paramedic at Freedom House and former Assistant Chief, City of Pittsburgh EMS Photo Credit: Heinz History Center
Sep 21, 2022
S2 E29: A Humble Farmer Walks the Globe and Meets the World's Elite
One day in 1901, a young farmer from Croatia set out on a walk. Decades later, he was still walking, had traversed six continents, and had stood face-to-face with the most famous people of the age. His mammoth autograph book, lost to history for nearly a century, has resurfaced to tell the tale of Joseph Mikulec and his eccentric quest. Guests: Rebecca Rego Barry, author of "Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places" and editor of Fine Books & Collections magazine. She wrote about Mikulec's odyssey for "Smithsonian Magazine." Nathan Raab, rare book collector, Philadelphia, PA
Sep 14, 2022
BONUS: Fabric: History Hidden in Plain Sight
The history of fabric is the history of life and death on this planet.
Sep 07, 2022
S2 E28: This Party's Dead
In some cultures, the dead are regularly exhumed and carried about in celebration. Why, in the West, are we so much more somber about death and dead bodies? And what can we learn from the carnival atmosphere at many death festivals? Guests: Erica Buist, author of "This Party’s Dead: Grief, Joy and Spilled Rum at the World’s Death Festivals" Victoria Finlay, author of "Fabric: The Hidden History of the Material World"
Aug 31, 2022
S2 E27: How Can You Reforest the Desert Without Planting a Single Tree?
Tony Rinaudo arrived in Africa optimistic that his tree-planting efforts would reverse the damages of deforestation and drought. His efforts failed abysmally, but one day he stumbled on a solution that had been right at his feet the whole time. His new methods have led to the regeneration of more than 200 million trees in Niger alone. Guest: Tony Rinaudo, author of "The Forest Underground: Hope for a Planet in Crisis" and Principal Climate Action Advisor for World Vision International
Aug 24, 2022
S2 E26: Have You Heard the Buzz? Why We Need Pollinators
Have you heard the buzz about pollinators? Bees, butterflies, wasps, and even some flies live fascinating lives and play critical roles in our ecosystems. Come learn why we should make more room for pollinators in our yards and how to do it. Guests: Rachel Taylor, Founder of Utah Friends of Monarchs Joseph (Joe) Wilson, Associate Professor of Biology, Utah State University; co-author of several books, including "Common Bees of Eastern North America" and "The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees"
Aug 17, 2022
ARCHIVE BONUS: Pho-nomenal!
An exploration of delectable foods and the people who make them: Pho is delicious and nutritious, one of the best comfort foods. Learn some tips for making your own pho at home. Every week, 400,000 food lovers wait anxiously for a new video about pasta from their favorite YouTubers: authentic Italian grandmothers. And, St. Vith, Belgium is home to the only sourdough library in the world—they are dedicated to preserving and researching sourdough for current and future generations. Guests: Andrea Nguyen, cooking teacher, editor, consultant, and author of "Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors" and "The Pho Cookbook: Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam's Favorite Soup and Noodles” Vicky Bennison, creator of “Pasta Grannies” YouTube channel Karl De Smedt, Sourdough Librarian at Puratos Sourdough Library, St. Vith, Belgium
Aug 10, 2022
S2 E25: Where Is Hope? Towns Rebuild Their "Lifescapes" After Disaster Strikes
When widespread disaster strikes, survivors lose not just their homes and belongings, they also can lose their "lifescape": their relationships with their neighbors, the places they frequent daily, their support systems. Meet some survivors from around the world who have held on to their lifescapes with creativity and tenacity. From out of the rubble, stories of inspiration and hope. Guests: Lucy Easthope, author of "When the Dust Settles: Stories of Love, Loss and Hope from an Expert in Disaster" Marc Mattox, Public Works Director and Town Engineer for the City of Paradise, CA Jeff Marcus, retired principal and former special teams football coach at Paradise High School Rick Printz, retired head football coach from Paradise High School Josh Alvies, former player and current JV football coach at Paradise High School
Aug 03, 2022
S2 E24: Summer Shorts: Adventure Stories
Travel with us to otherworldly places, both beautiful and strange. You may never get to see these places in person, but we'll take you there: volcanoes in space, the tips of the mighty redwoods, the sunken Titanic. We've mined our archives for breathtaking adventure stories. Guests: Richard Preston, author of "The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring" Robin George Andrews, author of "Super Volcanoes: What They Reveal about Earth and the Worlds Beyond" Palani Mohan, author of "Hunting with Eagles in the Realm of the Mongolian Kazakhs" Kerry McCauley, author of "Ferry Pilot: Nine Lives over the North Atlantic" Doug Peacock, author of "Was it Worth It? A Wilderness Warrior's Long Trail Home"
Jul 27, 2022
S2 E23: The Sun Can Heal the Planet
Brilliant Planet, founded by an enthusiastic dreamer who has always believed in the power of photosynthesis, borrows a simple process from nature to produce food and sequester carbon. And, an ocean farm that needs no seeds, no fertilizer, no fresh water, no LAND. Through the non-profit GreenWave, its farmer teaches his competitors how do it, too. Guests: Raffael Jovine, Founder and Chief Scientist, Brilliant Planet; author of "How Light Makes Life: The Hidden Wonders and World-Saving Powers of Photosynthesis" Bren Smith, Co-Founder of Greenwave; author of "Eat Like a Fish: My Adventures as a Fisherman Turned Restorative Ocean Farmer" Photo credit: Brilliant Planet
Jul 20, 2022
What Makes a City Great? Featuring: Top of Mind
Constant Wonder is giving listeners a sneak peak of another BYUradio show, Top of Mind. Millions of Americans move each year in search of a better house, neighborhood, job, or quality of life. Is leaving the only way to live some place better? What would it take for an imperfect place to become your perfect match? Today we crisscross the country and check in with Top of Mind listeners about what makes a city great. Guests: Majora Carter, author of “Reclaiming your Community” Jim and Deb Fallows, co-authors of “Our Town: A Journey into the Heart of America” Melody Warnick, author of “This Is Where You Belong” and “If You Could Live Anywhere” Lynn Kreutz, Hayley Trotter, Reed Wolfley, Erika Layland, Jenny Van Stone, Kim Parati – Top of Mind Listeners
Jul 13, 2022
S2 E22: Power Struggles in the Peaceable Kingdom, Part 2
Adam Nicolson went looking for tranquility and reflection when he built tide pools along Scotland's harsh coastline. He found plenty to reflect on, but things were not so peaceful in the pools. He discovered that to maintain harmony in the wild, species need to be at each others' throats. Guest: Adam Nicolson, author of "Life Between the Tides"
Jul 08, 2022
S2 E22: Power Struggles in the Peaceable Kingdom, Part 1
There's plenty of warfare in animal kingdom, even within a species: battalions of mongooses square off against each other, hermit crabs evict each other in the quest for the perfect shell, ravens rally their brothers to back them up in a rumble. Sounds almost like West Side Story. But all of this conflict actually leads to more peace and harmony, not less. Guest: Lee Alan Dugatkin, author of "Power in the Wild: The Subtle and Not-So-Subtle Ways Animals Strive for Control over Others" Photo courtesy of Harry Marshall/Banded Mongoose Research Project
Jul 06, 2022
S2 E21: The Unfinished Story of America's Anthem
A true national anthem isn't set by law: it's chosen by the people, often emerges out of conflict, and its meaning shifts over time. All of that and more is true of The Star-Spangled Banner. But still, it was sung by four generations of Americans before it became our official anthem. It's been translated into 40 languages, requires extraordinary athleticism to sing, and has long been both an object of awe and a lightening rod for controversy. Guest: Mark Clague, author of "O Say Can You Hear? A Cultural Biography of The Star-Spangled Banner" and a professor of musicology at the University of Michigan.
Jun 29, 2022
S2 E20: Tomatoes That Leave Earth Behind
This greenhouse in the Utah desert seems to be right out of science fiction, where yummy tomatoes grow without soil and produce for nearly an entire year. The greenhouse gets heat and CO2 from a natural-gas power plant to which it is linked by a sort of umbilical cord. Within this bubble of clean, warm air, bumblebees pollinate the vines, and wasps fend off parasites. Whether you hope to build a colony on Mars or just aim to get a good tomato when there's snow on the ground, this is a good place to start. Guests: Travis Jones, General Manager of Longvine Growing Co. Martin Weijters, Head Grower at Longvine Growing Co.
Jun 22, 2022
S2 E19: A Passion for the Past
"The past is never dead," wrote William Faulkner. "It's not even past." Ron Coddington was a young boy at a flea market one Saturday, when he stumbled on a book of Civil War-era photos and felt his world shift beneath his feet. The boy's passion deepened as he grew to adulthood, maturing into a deeply felt obligation to uncover these stories. Many photos of the time were preserved on calling cards ("cartes de visite") that people would hand out to others, much like the profile pictures we post on social media today. Guest: Ron Coddington, Editor and Publisher of "Military Images" magazine Cartes de visite featuring Daniel Waldo, Martin C. Clark, and Almira Newcomb McNaughton Lockwood Fales from Ron Coddington's personal collection. These images are used with his permission.
Jun 15, 2022
S2 E18: Body, Soul & Memory: What would you do with a lock of George Washington's hair?
An old friend of Benjamin Franklin always regretted not having asked the founding father if he could taxidermize his body. He thought Franklin might have agreed, and then maybe George Washington might have also followed suit. But (maybe to our collective relief) what we do have, instead, as a tangible reminder of our first president are several collections of cuttings from his hair. In the days before photography, a lock of hair might be the only proof that a person had access to a notable man like Washington. After his death, some pseudoscientists used Washington's hair to "prove" the biological superiority of America's founders. Others used their clippings to prove that they, too, were there at America's founding. Now, in our digital age, are these kinds of physical relics and mementos still important? Guest: Keith Beutler, author of "George Washington's Hair: How Early Americans Remembered the Founders" and professor of history at Missouri Baptist University
Jun 08, 2022
S2 E17: Downton Shabby
Meet the improbable rescuer of a dilapidated English manor house: Hopwood DePree, a Hollywood producer having a mid-life crisis. He'd heard rumors about his family's ancestral castle, and when he discovers that it really exists–but in a shocking state of disrepair–he goes all in to save it. Guests: Hopwood DePree, author of "Downton Shabby: One American's Ultimate DIY Adventure Restoring His Family's English Castle" Geoff Wellens, historian Bob Wall, caretaker of Hopwood Hall; historical and heritage building specialist Zena Howard, PR & Communications for Hopwood DePree and Hopwood Hall Estate
Jun 01, 2022
ARCHIVE BONUS: The Dressmakers of Auschwitz
In Auschwitz, twenty-five Jewish slaves used their sewing skills to survive the Holocaust. The Upper Tailoring Studio, run by the commandant's wife, Hedwig Höss, and a prisoner, Marta Fuchs, was created to design, cut, and sew popular fashions for the Nazi elite. But it was also the means of saving Jewish women from the gas chambers. Guest: Lucy Adlington, author of "The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive"
May 25, 2022
S2 E16: It's Complicated: Our Fraught Relationships with Animals
Why do some cultures object to dogs the way that we object to rats? And why do we object to rats? Simon Barnes says they're our brothers. We explore who's really domesticating whom in the pet ownership process, why we choose to protect certain wild animals over others, how there's no such thing as the natural world, and many other assumptions about our relationships with animals. Guests: Hal Herzog, psychologist; author of "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight about Animals"; blogger at "Animals and Us" blog in Psychology Today Simon Barnes, author of "The History of the World in 100 Animals" Madi Vazquez, veterinary nurse
May 18, 2022
S2 E15: Superplants vs. Superbugs
After losing a leg as a toddler and struggling with repeated infections, Cassandra Quave became obsessed, even as a young child, with preventing infection. That obsession has led her from Florida's swamps to the Peruvian Amazon in pursuit of plants that can defeat antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Her stories are personal, riveting and inspiring, and they offer hope for a medical future that's quite different from our present. Guest: Cassandra Quave, author of "The Plant Hunter: A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines" and Associate Professor of Dermatology and Human Health at Emory School of Medicine
May 11, 2022
S2 E14: Animal Duets
Clarinet duets with laughing thrushes, nightingales, whales and cicadas. Philosopher and ornithologist David Rothenberg poses the question: do birds make music, or do they just make sounds to defend a territory or attract a mate? We also talk to a zoomusicologist in Scotland, and we listen to a trio of two oboes and a dog. Guests: David Rothenberg, musician, composer, author, philosopher-naturalist, and Professor of music and philosophy at the New Jersey Institute of Technology Emily Doolittle, composer, zoomusicologist, and Athenaeum Research Fellow and Lecturer in Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
May 04, 2022
Roots of Belief Featuring: The Apple Seed
Constant Wonder is giving listeners a sneak peak of another BYUradio show, The Apple Seed. In this episode, a musician and a couple of actors take unlikely approaches to sharing scripture. (4:58) Detroit storyteller and blues guitarist Robert B. Jones talks about how he became an ordained minister (9:51) Rev. Jones tells the story of he built his guitar from the wood from different parts of his childhood home to stay connected to his hometown in the story “Detroit Guitar,” recorded live in the Apple Seed studio (25:32) Host Sam Payne connects with his Greek grandparents by learning to cook Greek food in today’s entry in The Radio Family Journal (34:03) Two New York pals connect to their heritage by performing Torah stories for families as a duo called The Bible Players
Apr 27, 2022
BONUS: Our Animal Superpowers (Extended Version)
Extended version of our conversation with Jackie Higgins.
Apr 22, 2022
S2 E13: Our Animal Superpowers
Meet the crustacean that packs the biggest punch in the animal kingdom and the river-dweller that could be called a "swimming tongue." We investigate animal superpowers to celebrate what marvels our fellow creatures are, and also to remind ourselves of our own often-neglected senses. Guest: Jackie Higgins, author of "Sentient: How Animals Illuminate the Wonder of Our Human Senses"
Apr 22, 2022
S2 E12: Street Vet
He walked the streets in secret, a veterinarian in his off-hours, looking to help the pets of the homeless. Now his work in the subject of the tv show "Street Vet." He describes how his work has changed the lives of both pets and their owners. And his own. Guest: Kwane Stewart, veterinarian and co-founder of Project Street Vet
Apr 20, 2022
S2 E11: Mockingbirds
Darwin hated peacocks because he couldn't explain their excess beauty. He likely would have hated mockingbirds for the excessive complexity of their songs. Where many birds are content with a few simple chirps, mockingbirds learn hundreds of sounds from other birds and animals and mix them together using sophisticated musical techniques, the kind human musicians often employ. Their songs go far, far beyond anything necessary to find food, defend territory, or attract a mate. Why do they do it? Guests: David Rothenberg, author, composer, musician, and Distinguished Professor of Humanities & Social Sciences at the New Jersey Institute of Technology Dave Gammon, Professor of Biology, Elon University
Apr 13, 2022
S2 E10: Sprouting a Seed That Survived the Roman Siege
This seed could symbolize the resilience of an entire people. Atop a lonely desert fortress near the Dead Sea, a Judean date seed lay inert for over 2,000 years. We talk to the scientists who brought that tree to life, named it Methusaleh, and rejuvenated an extinct species. Guests: Elaine Solowey, Director of the Center for Sustainable Agriculture, The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies R.A., Ketura, Israel Sarah Sallon, Hadassah University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel Jodi Magness, Professor of Archeology, University of North Carolina.
Apr 06, 2022
S2 E9: To Rescue an Animal, You've Got to Think Like One
Giraffe's don't like to swim, so how do you get them off an island that's flooding? How do keepers feed a violent, orphaned baby elephant that's been traumatized by humans? The answer is to think like an animal. Meet some empathetic rescuers who had to get creative to save the animals in their care. But their efforts paid off, and, turns out, the humans' lives were better for it, too. Guests: David O'Connor, President of Save Giraffes Now Ami Vitale, filmmaker and National Geographic Magazine photographer Jake Owens, Director of Conservation at the L.A. Zoo
Mar 30, 2022
S2 E8: Living Boldly with Blindness
When Daniel Kish was a toddler, he got around. One night he climbed out of his window and made his way over multiple chain link fences, but the neighbors knew who he was. "All the neighbors knew who the blind kid belonged to," he says. As a kid, Daniel climbed trees, rode bikes, and swam in pools. Today he is one of the world's leaders in human echolocation and does pretty much whatever he wants. And he's teaching younger generations to do the same. Part 2 of 2. Guests: Daniel Kish, President of World Access for the Blind Robert Just, retired medical record transcriber
Mar 25, 2022
S2 E7: The Real Batman
Daniel Kish is blind and he navigates the world kind of like a bat—making clicking sounds with his mouth and, from the echoes he gets back, building a picture of the world he's moving through. "The sonic environment is incredibly alive," says Kish, who lost his eyes to cancer when he was barely one year old. He doesn't just get around. He reveals in the physical beauty of the world. "Domes are pretty special," he says. "So I've been in these tropical gardens, for example, where they'll have these dome structures over these gardens. And when you find the apex of the dome, your every sound that you make, and every sound that's being made in that dome is highly, highly resonant." Come along with us while we walk alongside one of the world's leading experts on echolocation. Part 1 of 2. Guest: Daniel Kish, President of World Access for the Blind
Mar 23, 2022
S2 E6: Our Team
Larry Doby, Sr., became the second Black player in the MLB, and his home run during the '48 World Series turned the series around for the Indians. Behind him stood the team's free-thinking owner, Bill Veeck, who wanted to upend the sport, opening his doors to Negro league players and bringing a carnival atmosphere into the stands. Baseball would never be the same again. Guests: Larry Doby, Jr., son of Larry Doby, Sr.; union stage hand, Local One IATSE, New York City Luke Epplin, author of "Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball"
Mar 16, 2022
S2 E5: Flavor: More Than a Matter of Taste
We examine why flavor is our "most neglected sense" and we meet a restaurant owner who, in the spirit of the fictional "Babette's Feast," is spreading the message that "Food Is Love."
Mar 09, 2022
S2 E4: The Inside Story of How an Orphaned Baby Orca Got Home
When a two-year-old baby orca lost her mother, rescuers in Washington State and Canada rallied to get her home to her grandmother and extended family. Nothing was easy about this rescue, but the results exceeded expectations. Now living a normal life with her clan, Springer is the mother of two with a third on the way. Here is an intimate tale told by people who were there.
Mar 02, 2022
S2 E3: Egyptomania and the Rosetta Stone
With a hint of magic and the lure of buried wisdom, Ancient Egypt has, like a mysterious and powerful magnet, for millennia pulled on the collective imagination of the West. But almost as gripping as the story of Egypt itself is the story of Egyptomania, the tale of how that fascination took hold, the bold adventurers who unearthed antiquities, the clashing empires that fought over these ancient prizes, and a pair of brilliant linguists who cracked the ancient code of the hieroglyphs.
Feb 23, 2022
S2 E2: Sea Connections Everywhere, with Craig Foster, Sy Montgomery, Helen Scales, and Luke Harris
Mollusks cultivate underwater gardens, cuttlefish become invisible, and tiny fish run spas for predators. Meanwhile, some ingenious humans work to protect the underwater world that most of us rarely see. Photograph from UNDERWATER WILD by Craig Foster and Ross Frylinck. Copyright © 2018, 2021 by Quivertree Publications. Reprinted by permission of Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers LLC. All rights reserved.
Feb 16, 2022
S2 E1: When the Sky Dances
When a comet crashes into Jupiter, the first to see it are amateurs at the Vatican Observatory in Rome, who can't restrain themselves from shouting and dancing. Far to the north, an aurora hunter backs into a freezing river in Iceland and barely notices his frigid feet. His eyes are on the skies. Miracles, mindfulness, and celestial wonder. Guest: Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory, "The Pope's Astronomer," and author of "Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope—and How to Find Them" Guest: Tom Kerss, F.R.A.S., aurora-hunter, veteran of the Royal Observatory, founder of Stargazing London, and author of "The Northern Lights: The Definitive Guide to Auroras"
Feb 09, 2022
TRAILER: Constant Wonder Podcast
Join host Marcus Smith for conversations that invite you to discover, explore, and reengage with the wonders of the world around you. Find new episodes that will be available each week starting February 9th, 2022.
Jan 26, 2022
TRAILER: Constant Wonder Podcast
Join host Marcus Smith for conversations that invite you to discover, explore, and reengage with the wonders of the world around you. Find new episodes that will be available each week starting February 9th, 2022.
Jan 26, 2022
S1 E24: 1904 Olympic Marathon Mayhem
Why the mishaps of the 1904 Olympic Marathon almost led to the event being banned in all future Olympic Games. Also, how world's fairs have changed the world.
Jan 26, 2022
S1 E23: Nature Conspiracies
Trees conspire with each other to thwart seed predators. David Allen Sibley tries to answer essential birder questions: “What do birds do?” and “Why?”
Jan 25, 2022
S1 E22: Henry Ford’s Forgotten Utopia
Henry Ford and Thomas Edison dreamed of more than Model-Ts and lightbulbs.
Jan 24, 2022
S1 E21: Aloha Rodeo in the Wild West
How Hawaiian cowboys stunned Wyoming.
Jan 19, 2022
S1 E20: Lifesaving Fear
The benefits and hazards of fear. And, how to die in space.
Jan 18, 2022
S1 E19: Freed Slaves Sue for Damages
How a formerly enslaved man in Kentucky worked with a former Confederate hero to win damages from a lynch mob, and how a formerly enslaved woman sued her former master, and won.
Jan 17, 2022
S1 E18: The Weird, Wonderful World of Scorpions
Scorpions hear through their feet, navigate by the stars, and cannibalize each other. And, milking deadly snakes to make lifesaving anti-venom.
Jan 12, 2022
S1 E17: Pho and Other Specialty Foods
The secrets to making excellent pho at home; cooking with Italian grannies; and an introduction to the world's only sourdough library.
Jan 11, 2022
S1 E16: Before We Swiped Right
A delightful history of using personal ads to find love. And, when did diamonds become a girl's best friend?
Jan 10, 2022
S1 E15: The History of Color
Pigments in every color that you can imagine.
Jan 05, 2022
S1 E14: The Hidden Life of the Deep Ocean
The abyss of the deep sea is anything but lifeless!
Jan 04, 2022
S1 E13: Conning Their Way to Freedom
For two POWs in WWI, a con was the only way to secure their freedom. And, Gregor MacGregor fooled hundreds into believing in a nonexistent promised land.
Jan 03, 2022
S1 E12: Whitman, Alabama & America in Maps
Whitman's poetry sheds light on human connections and national identity. Maps help us view history differently.
Dec 29, 2021
S1 E11: How Mexican Food Conquered America
From "chili queens" to the founder of Taco Bell to the invention of Doritos, how America embraced Mexican food.
Dec 28, 2021
S1 E10: Despots of Ancient Egypt
Monuments and mummies alike provide insights to the distribution of power in ancient Egypt.
Dec 27, 2021
S1 E9: Kris Kringle Nabs Cash
The Santa Claus Association was supposed to help kids, but its founder was no saint. And, the myths behind the man Johnny Appleseed.
Dec 22, 2021
S1 E8: Snow, Snow, Snow!
Climate change, ice instruments, and lab-designed snowflakes.
Dec 21, 2021
S1 E7: Making the Modern Christmas
Christmas wouldn't be the same without Dickens. And, the railroads changed Christmas forever.
Dec 20, 2021
S1 E6: Tasteblind
Danielle Reed explores the wide genetic differences in taste buds, and a related topic, why COVID-19 causes some people to lose their sense of taste and smell. And, musician Annie Dickinson sees music in color.
Dec 15, 2021
S1 E5: Teddy Roosevelt and the Founding of the FBI
Federal law enforcement was weak at the beginning of the 20th century.
Dec 14, 2021
S1 E4: Tales from the Heart
Advances in cardiac surgery were pioneered by fearless heart surgeons, and some unsung heroes who assisted them.
Dec 13, 2021
S1 E3: Jim Thorpe: All-American
Jim Thorpe was known as the greatest athlete in the world.
Dec 10, 2021
S1 E2: The Ancient Craft of Japanese Boatbuilding
Preserving traditional and ancient arts.
Dec 09, 2021
S1 E1: The Soul of an Octopus
The wonders of these smart, social creatures.
Dec 08, 2021