Radiolab

Sunday 7 p.m.
Jad Abumrad & Robert Krulwich
Robert Krulwich

Radiolab is an experiential investigation that explores themes and ideas through a patchwork of people, sounds, and stories. In each episode, Radiolab experiments with sound and style allowing science to fuse with culture, and information to sound like music.

Hosted by Jad Abumrad with co-host Robert Krulwich, Radiolab is designed for listeners who demand skepticism but appreciate wonder; who are curious about the world, but also want to be moved and surprised.

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50e742e9e1c8e204c0dccad1|50e742a4e1c8e204c0dcca8a

Audio Archive

  • Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:46pm

    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.

  • Thursday, July 17, 2014 3:58pm

    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?

    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.

  • Thursday, June 26, 2014 1:17pm

    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.

    Sally Adee, an editor at New Scientist, 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. 

    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.

  • Friday, June 13, 2014 2:00pm

    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.

  • Friday, May 30, 2014 11:20am

    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.

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8:56am

Mon July 30, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Embarrassed By Your Olympic Javelin: Did Cavemen Do It Better?

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 11:23 am

Ian Walton Getty Images

Stronger, faster, fiercer, finer. That's what the Olympics promise us — higher performance, new world records. But not if you throw things.

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4:24am

Sat July 28, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Weekend Special: The Miracle Of The Felt-Tipped Pen

BMJ Case Reports

I guess things get swallowed all the time, but this tale (from a hospital case study in Devon, in Britain) tells us something extraordinary about felt-tip pens. (If you look at this woman's stomach, there's a pen in there near the top.)

It's called "An incidental finding of a gastric foreign body 25 years after ingestion," by Oliver Richard Waters, Tawfique Daneshmend, Tarek Shirazi, in BMJ Case Reports from 2011.

Here's the full report:

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8:45am

Tue July 17, 2012

7:13am

Fri July 13, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Fantasy Baseball For Physicists: Very, Very Fast Fastballs

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:00 am

what if? from xkcd

Here's a question: What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent of the speed of light?

The answer is: Don't.

Not that anyone's going to pitch a ball that fast, but if they do, you definitely don't want to be the batter. Or the pitcher. Or in the stands watching. Or anywhere near the ball field. But, trust me, you very definitely want to see what happens.

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6:58am

Thu July 12, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Thinking Too Much About Chalk

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 10:31 am

Ayodha Ouditt NPR

One day, the great novelist and essayist G. K. Chesterton decided to go sketching. He brought his colored chalks, his reds, blues, yellows and greens to a hill in South England, but he forgot to bring white. Damn, he thought, what an idiot, to leave out the crucial one. "Without white," he wrote, "my absurd little pictures would be...pointless." What to do? "I sat on the hill in a sort of despair."

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