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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Composer ID: 
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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9:44am

Tue July 10, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Woman On Street Attacked By Giant Snail, It Seems

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 3:09 pm

Julian Beever

Here's what got Nagai Hideyuki excited. Hideyuki lives in Tokyo. He's now 21. This photo was taken on the other side of the world, somewhere in Europe. What you see here is a street and a plain stone bench, both partially covered by a chalk drawing. The drawing disappears in places and at one point seems to bump into a metal pole.

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10:13pm

Sat July 7, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Weekend Special: Guess What? Sweat Is Not Smelly! (So Why Do I Smell?)

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 11:28 am

The Chemical Heritage Foundation via YouTube

It's hot today. Really, really, hot; over a 100 degrees Fahrenheit hot, and so I'm sweating.

Sweating is what we people do to cool off, which is good. But sweating is also what makes me ... what's the word? Odoriferous. (Latinate for stinky, which is not so good.)

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10:39am

Fri July 6, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Buildings That Wheeze, Squeeze And Dance

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 9:54 am

La Tête au Carré in Nice, France
Paul Stevenson via Flickr

The pharoahs wouldn't, and probably couldn't, do it. Same for the Greeks. Ditto the Chinese. Two, three thousand years ago, builders had trouble building curvy buildings. They did straight lines. Obelisks go straight up. The Parthenon is a rectangle-triangle combination. The Great Wall is a vertical. Of course, there were tepees and igloos, but they weren't permanent. Big buildings stayed rigid, classic, geometric.

But no more. All over the world, buildings are now getting fleshy and round, more like us.

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11:41am

Tue July 3, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Showing Vultures A Little Love

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 10:32 am

iStockphoto.com

Think of a giraffe lying on the Serengeti plain. He has just died, maybe of disease, maybe he was killed by a pride of lions, but now he's a 19-foot-long, 4,000-pound mound of meat, which very soon is going to stink and rot and muck up the neighborhood.

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5:06am

Sat June 30, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Robot With Super Powers Plays Rock, Paper Scissors

YouTube

First chess, now this:

Here's a robot from Ishikawa Oku's physics lab at the University of Tokyo that plays rock, paper, scissor and always beats the human, every single time. Because the team that built it gave it a superpower.

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