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Radiolab podcast

Radiolab

Radiolab is on a curiosity bender. We ask deep questions and use investigative journalism to get the answers. A given episode might whirl you through science, legal history, and into the home of someone halfway across the world. The show is known for innovative sound design, smashing information into music. It is hosted by Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser.

Radiolab is on a curiosity bender. We ask deep questions and use investigative journalism to get the answers. A given episode might whirl you through science, legal history, and into the home of someone halfway across the world. The show is known for innovative sound design, smashing information into music. It is hosted by Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser.

 

#150

Galápagos

As our co-Hosts Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser are out this week, we are re-sharing the perfect episode to start the summer season! This one, which first aired in 2014, tells the strange story of a small group of islands that keeps us wondering: will our most sacred natural landscapes inevitably get swallowed up by humans? How far are we willing to go to stop that from happening? This hour is about the Galápagos archipelago, which inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. Nearly 200 years later, the Galápagos are undergoing rapid changes that continue to pose — and perhaps answer — critical questions about the fragility and resilience of life on Earth. Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of <a href="https://members.radiolab.org/"></a>The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about special events. [Sign up] (https://radiolab.org/newsletter) ( [https://radiolab.org/newsletter] (https://radiolab.org/newsletter) )! Follow our show on [Instagram] (https://www.instagram.com/radiolab/) , [Twitter] (https://twitter.com/Radiolab) and [Facebook] (https://www.facebook.com/Radiolab) @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.   ... Read more

Yesterday

1 HR 04 MINS

1:04:36

Yesterday


#149

No Special Duty

Since the massacre that took the lives of 19 schoolchildren in Uvalde, Texas, people across the world began to ask versions of one question: why did police wait outside the door instead of protecting the kids? It's not the first time this question has come up. Two years ago, as she watched police respond to the protests that followed the death of George Floyd, Producer B.A. Parker wondered: what are police for? With the help of our Producer Sarah Qari, she found that the United States’ Supreme Court had given this a most consequential and bewildering answer. We decided to re-air this episode to shed light on how a case from 2005 upended our assumptions about the role police are meant to play in our lives. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of [The Lab] (https://members.radiolab.org/)  (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg)  (https://zpr.io/MTSFMLXQWDkE) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! ... Read more

17 Jun 2022

46 MINS

46:18

17 Jun 2022


#148

Neanderthal's Revenge

A few months ago, co-Host Latif Nasser, who was otherwise healthy, saw blood in his poop. It was the start of a medical journey that made him not only question what was going on in his body, but also dig into the secret genetic story of how we became human. Curled up in a hospital bathroom, Latif tries to sort out whether his ordeal is the result of a long-lost sibling knifing him in the gut or, on the contrary, a long-forgotten kindness shared between two human-ish travelers.  Special thanks to Azra Premiji, Avir Mitra, Suzanne Lehrer, David Reich, Sriram Sankararaman, Ainara Sistiaga, Carl Zimmer, Carly Mensch, Latif's GI Doctor Florence Damilola Odufalu and her entire team, and the staff at LA County-USC Medical Center and Keck USC hospitals who looked after Latif during his hospitalization. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership) today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe!Editorial Note: This podcast was amended after initial release to change the way we refer to those afflicted by addiction.  ... Read more

10 Jun 2022

26 MINS

26:54

10 Jun 2022


#147

Origin Stories

We’re all in a tizzy here at Radiolab on account of our 20-year anniversary. And, as one does upon passing a milestone, we’ve been looking back in all kinds of ways. Two weeks ago, we went out over the airwaves, “ [Live on your FM dial] (https://radiolab.org/episodes/radiolab-after-dark) ,” a callback to our origins as a radio show. We revamped our logo and redid our website (get your Freq on, people!). More recently, Lulu's and Latif’s first stories came up in a meeting. They weren’t always the intrepid hosts of our collective journey in wonder. Soren Wheeler, our editor, thought it would be fun to highlight those firsts for you.  So here they are, baby Latif and Lulu, doing their darndest to make audio magic. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership) today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe!   ... Read more

03 Jun 2022

43 MINS

43:29

03 Jun 2022


#146

Radiolab After Dark

Back in 2002, Jad Abumrad started Radiolab as a live radio show. He DJ’d out into the ether and 20 years later we do the same. To commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the show, the Radiolab team went old school and took over WNYC Radio, live on the FM band. We answered the phones, played some wonderfully weird audio, including one piece where Kurt Vonnegut—yes, that Kurt Vonnegut—interviews the dead, took part in some games and tomfoolery, and did everything we could to have and to share in our good time. ... Read more

27 May 2022

58 MINS

58:46

27 May 2022


#145

La Mancha Screwjob

All the world’s a stage. Or, sometimes it feels that way, especially these days. In this episode, originally aired in 2015, 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. Thanks to Nick Hakim for the use of  [his song "The Light". ] (https://soundcloud.com/enhakim) Support Radiolab by becoming a member of  [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership)  today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg)  Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe!   ... Read more

20 May 2022

57 MINS

57:54

20 May 2022


#144

Frailmales

This week, we bring you two stories about little guys trying to do big big things. First, self-proclaimed animal grinch producer Becca Bressler introduces us to perhaps the one creature that has warmed her heart: a cricket. And more specifically, a male cricket. This is a tale about a tiny Romeo insect trying to find a mate, and the ingenious lengths he’ll go to have his beckoning heard. The hero of our story   And second, producer Annie McEwen journeys through perhaps the zaniest game of football that has ever been played. When a ragtag group of players take on the top team, will it be an underdog tale for the ages or an absolute disaster? Special thanks to Stephen Spann and Joshua Baxter at the Doris and Harry Vice University Library at Cumberland University as well as Alison Reynolds at Georgia Tech Library. Thanks also to Rick Bell, and to Scott Larson who wrote a book all about this game called [Cumberland: The True Story of the Highest Scoring Football Game in History] (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36549726-cumberland) . And finally, thanks so much to our tape syncer Ambriehl Crutchfield for her help with this episode.  If you’re still interested in learning more about this epic football game, be sure to check out this brilliant and hilarious [video] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doZzrsDJo-4&ab_channel=JonBois) by sportswriter Jon Bois. Lastly, don't forget to check out [Death Sex and Money] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/deathsexmoney/episodes) <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/deathsexmoney/episodes"></a>. We recommend episode titled [Hard] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/deathsexmoney/episodes/hard-erectile-dysfunction-death-sex-money) , which is deep dive into our relationship with erectile dysfunction, and the drugs developed to treat it.   Support Radiolab by becoming a member of  [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership)  today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg)  Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! [DOWNLOAD BRAILLE READY FILE HERE] (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Nupfd0ZIpzMfWittBxsVgvf8NkZMNafq/view?usp=sharing) ( [https://zpr.io/YPQjmqjec5g7] (https://zpr.io/YPQjmqjec5g7) ) ... Read more

13 May 2022

35 MINS

35:49

13 May 2022


#143

Debatable

In competitive debate future presidents, supreme court justices, and titans of industry pummel each other with logic and rhetoric.  Unclasp your briefcase. It’s time for a showdown. Looking back on an episode originally aired in 2016, we take a good long look at the world of competitive college debate. This is Ryan Wash's story. He's a queer, Black, first-generation college student from Kansas City, Missouri who joined the debate team at Emporia State University on a whim. When he started going up against fast-talking, well-funded, “name-brand” teams, from places like Northwestern and Harvard, 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. 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.  Special thanks also to Torgeir Kinne Solsvik for use of the song h-lydisk / B Lydian from the album  [Geirr Tveitt Piano Works and Songs] (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007IVZUEU/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp) Support Radiolab by becoming a member of [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership) today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! ... Read more

06 May 2022

1 HR 00 MINS

1:00:40

06 May 2022


#142

Hello, My Name Is

As a species, we’re obsessed with names. They’re one of the first labels we get as kids. We name and rename absolutely everything around us. And these names carry our histories, they can open and close our eyes to the world around us, and they drag the weight of expectation and even irony along with them. This week on Radiolab, we’ve got six stories all about names. Horse names, the names of diseases, names for the beginning, and names for the end. Listen to “Hello, My Name Is” on Radiolab, wherever you find podcasts.  Special thanks to Jim Wright, author of “The Real James Bond”, Tad Davis, Cole delCharco, Peter Frick-Wright, Alexa Rose Miller, Katherine De La Cruz, and Fahima Haque.Members of The Lab, watch for an audio extra on your exclusive feeds, a poem written and read by Mary Szybist, whom Molly Webster interviewed for her story in this episode about endlings. It is titled “We Think We Do Not Have Medieval Eyes.” If you are not yet a member and would like to listen to it,  [you can join here] (http://members.radiolab.org/) . [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! [DOWNLOAD BRAILLE READY FILE HERE] (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gr9vrj1iJu2G8d6cC0zPEX9jELu3jYdv/view?usp=sharing) ( [https://zpr.io/BmPeeLvvRDrD] (https://zpr.io/BmPeeLvvRDrD) ) Citations: [The Emperor of All Maladies] (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7170627-the-emperor-of-all-maladies) by Siddhartha Mukherjee [Warhorse: Cavalry in Ancient Warfare] (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2753144-warhorse?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=7W3hFw2xmR&rank=1) by Philip SidnellCheck out [ArtsPractica.com] (http://www.artspractica.com) , a site focused on medical uncertainty. [Alexa Rose Miller] (https://twitter.com/artspractica) . ... Read more

29 Apr 2022

1 HR 11 MINS

1:11:51

29 Apr 2022


#141

The Other Latif: Cuba-ish

Almost exactly twenty years ago, detainee 244 got transferred to Guantanamo Bay. Captured by American forces at the battle Tora Bora five months previous, Abdul Latif Nasser was shaved, hooded, shackled, diapered, and flown halfway across the world. The Radiolab special series,  [The Other Latif] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/other-latif) , kicked off when one of our hosts, Latif Nasser, made a bizarre and shocking discovery. He shares his name with detainee 244. A man the U.S. government paints a terrifying picture of as Al-Qaeda’s top explosives expert, and one of the most important advisors to Osama bin Laden. Nasser’s lawyer claims, on the other hand, that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and that he was never even in Al-Qaeda. This clash launched our Latif into a years-long investigation, picking apart evidence, attempting to separate fact from fiction, and trying to uncover what the man with whom he shares a name actually did or didn’t do. Along the way, Radiolab’s Latif reflects on American values and his own religious past, and wonders how a fellow nerdy, suburban Muslim kid, may have gone down such a strikingly different path. Episode 5: Cuba-ish  To mark the solemn occasion of the other Latif's transfer to, "the legal equivalent of outer space," we thought we'd replay Cuba-ish, the fifth episode of our special series which first aired back in 2020. In this episode, our Latif heads to Guantanamo Bay to try to speak to his namesake. Before he gets there, he dives deep, seeking the answer to what seems like a simple question: why Cuba? Why in the world did the United States pick this sleepy military base in the Caribbean to house “the worst of the worst”?  Support Radiolab by becoming a member of [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership) today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe!   ... Read more

22 Apr 2022

1 HR 04 MINS

1:04:56

22 Apr 2022


#140

NULL

A one-word magical spell. Several years back, that’s exactly what Joseph Tartaro thought he’d discovered. It was a spell that, if used properly, promised to make one’s problems disappear. And so he crossed his fingers, uttered the word and cast the enchantment on himself. The result, however, was anything but magical. Unbeknownst to Joseph, by unleashing this spell, he’d earned a lifetime membership into a cursed community. A clan made up of folks who, through no fault of their own, had become nameless and invisible. Today, the story of these unfortunate souls, the dark digital arts that took so much from them and the wizardry needed to give them new life. Special thanks to Sarah Chasins, Tony Hoare, Brian Kernighan and to Patrick McKenzie for writing that wonderful list of assumptions programmers believe about names. And also to all the folks who spoke to us and emailed us with stories of their own ‘problematic’ names. [DOWNLOAD BRAILLE READY FILE HERE] (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vV8GOoarFHV91anbiuz_EHpiZQxy4Epn/view?usp=sharing) Support Radiolab by becoming a member of  [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership)  today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg)  Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! ... Read more

15 Apr 2022

19 MINS

19:41

15 Apr 2022


#139

In the Dust of This Planet

Horror, fashion, and the end of the world … In this episode, first aired in 2014, but maybe even more relevant today, things get weird as we explore the undercurrents of thought that link nihilists, beard-stroking philosophers, Jay-Z, and True Detective. Today on Radiolab, a puzzle. Jad’s brother-in-law  [wrote a book called 'In The Dust of This Planet'.] (https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/zer0-books/our-books/in-the-dust-of-this-planet) 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 … [It seemed to show up on True Detective.] (http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/02/02/writer-nic-pizzolatto-on-thomas-ligotti-and-the-weird-secrets-of-true-detective/)   Then in a fashion magazine.   And then on Jay-Z's back. How?  We talk nihilism with Eugene Thacker & 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  [Liturgy. ] (http://www.thrilljockey.com/thrill/Liturgy/Aesthethica#.VA9NM7ywK68) Also, check out WNYC Studio's On the Media episode [Staring into the Abyss] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/staring-abyss) , in it Brooke Gladstone and Jad Abumrad continue their discussion of nihilism and its place in history. [You can find Eugene Thacker's 'In The Dust Of the Planet' at Zero Books] (http://www.zero-books.net/books/in-the-dust-of-this-planet) Support Radiolab by becoming a member of  [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership)  today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg)  Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! ... Read more

08 Apr 2022

28 MINS

28:59

08 Apr 2022


#138

Inheritance

Once a kid is born, their genetic fate is pretty much sealed. Or is it? In this episode, originally aired in 2012, we put nature and nurture on a collision course and discover how outside forces can find a way inside us, and change not just our hearts and minds, but the basic biological blueprint that we pass on to future generations.Support Radiolab by becoming a member of  [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership)  today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg)  Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! ... Read more

01 Apr 2022

1 HR 04 MINS

1:04:34

01 Apr 2022


#137

The Right Stuff

Since the beginning of the space program, we’ve always expected astronauts to be fully abled athletic overachievers who are one-part science-geek, two-parts triathlete – a mix the writer Tom Wolfe famously called “the right stuff.” But what if, this whole time, we’ve had it all wrong? In this episode, reporter Andrew Leland joins a blind linguistics professor named Sheri Wells-Jensen and a crew of eleven other disabled people on a mission to prove that disabled people have what it takes to go to space. And not only that, but that they may have an edge over non-disabled people. We follow the Mission AstroAccess crew members to Long Beach, California, where they hop on an airplane to take an electrifying flight that simulates zero-gravity – a method used by NASA to train astronauts – and afterwards learn that the biggest challenges to a future where space is accessible to all people may not be where they expected to find them. And our reporter Andrew, who is legally blind himself, confronts some unexpected conclusions of his own.This episode was reported by Andrew Leland and produced by Maria Paz Gutierrez, Matt Kielty and Pat Walters. Jeremy Bloom contributed music and sound design. Production sound recording by Dan McCoy.Special thanks to William Pomerantz, Sheyna Gifford, Jim Vanderploeg, Tim Bailey, and Bill Barry Support Radiolab by becoming a member of  [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership)  today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg)  Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! [DOWNLOAD BRAILLE READY FILE HERE] (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1caY-zb5LZ0i6Pr95QTHgSfnGWFMCsmpk/view?usp=sharing)  ( [https://zpr.io/vWtJYGLn6UXm] (https://zpr.io/vWtJYGLn6UXm) )   Citations in this episode Multimedia:Sheri Wells-Jensen’s  [SETI Institute presentation] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iiC0jGgxH8) Learn more about [Mission AstroAccess] (https://astroaccess.org/) Other work by [Andrew Leland] (https://www.andrewleland.org/) Articles:Sheri Wells-Jensen’s, “ [The Case for Disabled Astronauts] (https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-case-for-disabled-astronauts/) ,” Scientific American ... Read more

25 Mar 2022

41 MINS

41:51

25 Mar 2022


#136

Stress

Stress can give your body a boost - raising adrenaline levels, pumping blood to the muscles, heightening our senses. And those sudden superpowers can be a boon when you’re running from a lion. But repeatedly dipping into that well can make you sick, even kill you. Since it feels like there’s been an extra bit of stress going around lately, we decided to replay this episode, originally aired back in 2005, which takes a long hard look at the body's system for getting out of trouble. And how in our modern, hyper-connected world, that system misfires and takes us from the frying pan, right into another, albeit entirely different, frying pan. Stanford University neurologist (and part-time "baboonologist") Dr. Robert Sapolsky takes us through what happens on our insides when we stand in the wrong line at the supermarket, and offers a few coping strategies: gnawing on wood, beating the crap out of somebody, and having friends. Plus: the story of a singer who lost her voice, and an author stuck in a body that never grew up. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of  [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership)  today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg)  Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! ... Read more

18 Mar 2022

57 MINS

57:14

18 Mar 2022


#135

The Helen Keller Exorcism

Fantasy writer Elsa Sjunneson has been haunted by Helen Keller for nearly her entire life. Like Helen, Elsa is Deafblind, and growing up she was constantly compared to her. But for a million different reasons she hated that, because she felt different from her in a million different ways. Then, a year ago, an online conspiracy theory claiming Helen was a fraud exploded on TikTok, and suddenly Elsa found herself drawing her sword and jumping to Helen’s defense, setting off a chain of events that would bring her closer to the disability icon than she ever dreamt. For over a year, Elsa, Lulu and the Radiolab team dug through primary sources, talked to experts, even visited Helen’s birthplace Ivy Green, and discovered the real story of Helen Keller is far more complicated, mysterious and confounding than the simple myth of a young Deafblind girl rescued by her teacher Annie Sullivan. It’s a story of ghosts, surprises, a few tears, a bit of romance, some hard conversations, and a possibly psychic dog.This episode was reported by Elsa Sjunneson and Lulu Miller. It was produced by Sindhu Gnanasambandan and Rachel Cusick, with help from Sarah Qari, Tanya Chawla, and Carolyn McClusker. Jeremy Bloom contributed music and sound design. Additional Mixing by Arianne Wack. Special thanks to Georgina Kleege, Julia Bascom, Desiree Kocis, Peter C. Kunze, Andrew Leland, Sara Luterman, Alexander Richey, Will Healy, Nate Jones, Nate Peereboom, and Pamela Sabaugh (who was our voice of Helen Keller).ASL TRANSCRIPTION Support Radiolab by becoming a member of [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership) today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! [DOWNLOAD BRAILLE READY FILE HERE] (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Qw4-eXnmBDEEZeF2z5KTGioz5O40vqQj/view?usp=sharing)  ( [https://zpr.io/s23JtuYxyrNA] (https://zpr.io/s23JtuYxyrNA) )Citations in this episodeBooks:Elsa Sjunneson, [Being Seen] (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56650715-being-seen?ref=nav_sb_ss_2_10) Kim Nielsen, [The Radical Lives of Helen Keller] (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/74519.The_Radical_Lives_of_Helen_Keller?ref=nav_sb_ss_1_22) Georgina Kleege, [Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller] (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/316581.Blind_Rage?ref=nav_sb_ss_3_10) Katie Booth, [The Invention of Miracles: language, power, and Alexander Graham Bell’s quest to end deafness] (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54737718-the-invention-of-miracles?ref=nav_sb_ss_1_21) Haben Girma, [Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law] (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43211952-haben?ref=nav_sb_ss_1_6) Articles:Susan Crutchfield, “ [Play[ing] her part correctly: Helen Keller as Vaudevillian Freak] (https://dsq-sds.org/article/view/577/754) ,” Disability Studies Quarterly.Desiree Kocis, “ [Did Helen Keller Fly A Plane?] (https://www.planeandpilotmag.com/news/pilot-talk/did-helen-keller-fly-plane/) ” (she did), Plane & Pilot Magazine.Peter C. Kunze, “ [What We Talk about When We Talk about Helen Keller] (https://www.academia.edu/4493150/What_We_Talk_about_When_We_Talk_about_Helen_Keller_Disabilities_in_Children_s_Biographies) ,” Children’s Literature Association QuarterlyThe archives of the [American Foundation for the Blind] (https://www.afb.org/) (AFB) ... Read more

11 Mar 2022

1 HR 03 MINS

1:03:47

11 Mar 2022


#134

Life in a Barrel

This week, we flip the Disney story of life on its head thanks to a barrel of seawater, a 1970s era computer, and underwater geysers. It’s the chaos of life. Latif, Lulu, and our Senior Producer Matt Kielty were all sitting on their own little stories until they got thrown into the studio, and had their cherished beliefs about the shape of life put on a collision course. From an accidental study of sea creatures, to the ambitions of Stephen J Gould, to an undercooked theory that captured the world’s imagination, we undo the seeming order of the living world and try to make some music out of the wreckage. (Bonus: Learn how Francis Crick really thought life got started on this planet). This episode was reported by Latif Nasser, Matt Kielty, Heather Radke, Lulu Miller and Candice Wang. It was produced by Matt Kielty and Simon Adler. Sound and music from Matt Kielty, Simon Adler, and Jeremy Bloom, and dialogue mix by Arianne Wack.Special thanks to Alan and Alida Goffinski for giving our chaos musical life in the song at the end of the episode. [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! Support Radiolab by becoming a member of [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership) today.  Citations in this episodeScientific Papers:Elisa Beninca, Reinhard Heerkloss, et al, [“Chaos in a long-term experiment with a plankton community”] (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature06512) Nature (2008)Hendrik Schubert, Reinhard Heerkloss, et al, [“Chaos theory discloses triggers and drivers of plankton dynamics in a stable environment”] (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6937249/pdf/41598_2019_Article_56851.pdf) Scientific Reports (2019) Books:Nick Lane, [The Vital Question] (https://nick-lane.net/books/the-vital-question-why-is-life-the-way-it-is/) : Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex LifeFrancis Crick, [Life Itself] (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/865615.Life_Itself) : Its Origin and NatureStephen Jay Gould:  [Full House] (https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-517-70394-6) : The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, and  [The Mismeasure of Man] (https://wwnorton.com/books/The-Mismeasure-of-Man/) <a href="https://wwnorton.com/books/The-Mismeasure-of-Man/"></a>David M. Raup, [Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck?] (https://www.abebooks.com/9780393309270/Extinction-Bad-Genes-Luck-Raup-0393309274/plp) David Sepkoski, [Rereading the Fossil Record] (https://chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.7208/chicago/9780226748580.001.0001/upso-9780226748559-chapter-1) : The Growth of Paleobiology as an Evolutionary Discipline   ... Read more

04 Mar 2022

53 MINS

53:23

04 Mar 2022


#133

Speed

We live our lives at human speed, we experience and interact with the world on a human time scale. In this episode, which first aired in its entirety in the winter of 2013, we put ourselves through the paces. We examine a material that exists between two states of matter, take a ride on the death-defying roller coaster that is the stock market, open up our internal clocks of thought, and achieve mastery over the fastest thing in the universe. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership) today.     [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe!   ... Read more

25 Feb 2022

56 MINS

56:11

25 Feb 2022


#132

The Wordless Place

This week, we turn to an expert who tromps the wilds of wordlessness. Lulu’s young son. In this essay, originally published for The Paris Review under the title “ [The Eleventh Word] (https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2020/10/05/the-eleventh-word/) ,” Lulu explores what is lost with the gaining of language. And how, in a very odd way, a fear of confusion and the unknown may begin with the advent of words. The Radiolab sound team brings this piece to life with original music, and at one point the words melt right out of the air. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of [The Lab] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership)  today. [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! ... Read more

18 Feb 2022

26 MINS

26:36

18 Feb 2022


#131

Hello

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. In this episode, which originally aired in the summer of 2014, 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. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of <a href="https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/membership"></a>The Lab today. [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! ... Read more

11 Feb 2022

46 MINS

46:23

11 Feb 2022


#130

Forests on Forests

For much of history, tree canopies were pretty much completely ignored by science. It was as if researchers said collectively, "It's just going to be empty up there, and we've got our hands full studying the trees down here! So why bother?!" But then, around the mid-1980s, a few ecologists around the world got curious and started making their way up into the treetops using any means necessary (ropes, cranes, hot air dirigibles) to document all they could find. It didn't take long for them to realize not only was the forest canopy not empty, it was absolutely filled to the brim with life. You've heard of treehouses? How about tree gardens?!  This week we journey up into the sky and discover Forests above the forest. We learn about the secret powers of these sky gardens from ecologist [Korena Mafune] (https://twitter.com/korenamafune) , and we follow [Nalini Nadkarni] (https://nalininadkarni.com/) as she makes a ground-breaking discovery that changes how we understand what trees are capable of.  P.S. This episode is a layer cake of arboreal surprises (including the reappearance of a certain retired host).  A few visual tre(e)ats:  We first learned about the magical world of the canopy from [this beautiful video] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRd8_Tu7YDs&ab_channel=PBSTerra) from Michael Werner, Joe Hanson, and the PBS Overview team. It features Korena Mafune’s research up in the treetops, as well as the people who have dedicated their lives to saving what’s left of the old growth forests. We highly recommend checking it out! And, if you’re hankering to go climb a tree after this episode, you might enjoy browsing Hallie Bateman’s [wonderfully illustrated guide] (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/09/03/magazine/04mag-trees.html?_r=0) to the best climbing trees in NYC for a little inspiration.Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab/onestep/) . [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe!   ... Read more

04 Feb 2022

24 MINS

24:06

04 Feb 2022


#129

The First Radiolab

Jad started Radiolab roughly 20 years ago. And now he is stepping aside from hosting and producing the show to replenish, to think, to rock in his chair and be with his kids and wife, and maybe make some music. The news has been all over twitter and there’s a letter from Jad and our hosts Latif and Lulu on the website. But in this episode, Jad talks through his decision to leave and the future of the show with Lulu and Latif. And then, as a parting gift, we play him the very first episode of Radiolab (“The Radio Lab” as he called it then). He tells us about biking the CDs over the Brooklyn bridge just before the show was supposed to air, reading the news and weather between segments, and then we just sit back together and listen to where it all began. Jad, for those of us who have been radically changed by the thing you put out into the world, we are both sad to lose you in our ears and endlessly grateful for what you’ve given us. ... Read more

28 Jan 2022

1 HR 24 MINS

1:24:26

28 Jan 2022


#128

News and Gratitude

            ... Read more

26 Jan 2022

--:--

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26 Jan 2022


#127

The 11th: A Letter From George

Last week, Lulu heard an interview that trapped her in her car. She decided to play it for Latif. The interview – originally from a podcast called [The Relentless Picnic] (https://relentlesspicnic.com/) , but presented by one of Lulu’s current podcast faves, [The 11th] (http://pineapple.fm/the-11th) – is part of an episode of mini pep talks designed to help us all get through this cold, dark, second-pandemic-winter-in-a-row. But the segment that Lulu brings Latif is about someone trying to get through something arguably much more difficult, something a pep talk can’t solve, but that a couple friends — and one very generous stranger — might be able to help make a little more bearable. The episode of The 11th this comes from is [“I’m Here to Pep You Up.”] (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/im-here-to-pep-you-up/id1566642706?i=1000547543765) The Relentless Picnic is currently running a series of episodes called CABIN, an audio exploration of isolation, which you can listen to [here] (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3qvthPp5wUlGhJrWK4o9nI) . The organization where Matt volunteers as a counselor is called [SUDEP] (https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/early-death-and-sudep/sudep) . The Lu Olkowski story Lulu recommends at the end of the episode is [“Grandpa,”] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/segments/91568-grandpa) and the lobster story Latif recommends is [“The Luckiest Lobster.”] (https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/91969-the-luckiest-lobster) Special Thanks: Eric Mennel, senior producer at The 11th, and host of the podcast [Stay Away from Matthew Magill.] (https://shows.cadence13.com/podcast/stay-away) Lu Olkowski, voracious listener, super reporter, and host of the podcast [Love Me] (https://www.cbc.ca/radio/loveme) . [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab/onestep/) .   ... Read more

21 Jan 2022

23 MINS

23:04

21 Jan 2022


#126

Darkode

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. 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. 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. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab/onestep/) . [Radiolab is on YouTube!] (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! ... Read more

14 Jan 2022

38 MINS

38:34

14 Jan 2022


#125

Worst. Year. Ever.

What was the worst year to be alive on planet Earth?   We make the case for 536 AD, which set off a cascade of catastrophes that is almost too horrible to imagine. A supervolcano. The disappearance of shadows. A failure of bread. Plague rats. Using evidence painstakingly gathered around the world - from Mongolian tree rings to Greenlandic ice cores to Mayan artifacts - we paint a portrait of what scientists and historians think went wrong, and what we think it felt like to be there in real time. (Spoiler: not so hot.)  We hear a hymn for the dead from the ancient kingdom of Axum, the closest we can get to the sound of grief from a millennium and a half ago. The horrors of 536 make us wonder about the parallels and perpendiculars with our own time: does it make you feel any better knowing that your suffering is part of a global crisis? Or does it just make things worse?"Thanks to reporter Ann Gibbons whose Science article " [Eruption made 536 ‘the worst year to be alive] (https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.362.6416.733) " got us interested in the first place. In case you want to learn more about 536, here are some other sources: Timothy P. Newfield, [“The Climate Downturn of 536-50”] (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/978-1-137-43020-5_32) in the Palgrave Handbook on Climate HistoryDallas Abbott et al., [“What caused terrestrial dust loading and climate downturns between A.D. 533 and 540?”] (https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/doi/10.7916/D81V5DCR) Joel Gunn and Alesio Ciarini (editors), [ “The A.D. 536 Crisis: A 21st Century Perspective”] (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348577900_THE_AD_536_CRISIS_A_21ST_CENTURY_PERSPECTIVE) Antti Arjava, [“The Mystery Cloud of 536 CE in the Mediterranean Sources”] (https://www.jstor.org/stable/4128751)  And for more on the composer Yared, watch Meklit Hadero’s TED talk “ [The Unexpected Beauty of Everyday Sounds”] (https://www.ted.com/talks/meklit_hadero_the_unexpected_beauty_of_everyday_sounds/transcript?language=en) Credits: This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and Lulu Miller, and produced by Simon Adler.  With sound and music from Simon Adler and Jeremy Bloom. Special Thanks: Thanks to Joel Gunn, Dallas Abbott, Mathias Nordvig, Emma Rigby, Robert Dull, Daniel Yacob, Kay Shelemey, Jacke Phillips, Meklit Hadero, and Joan Aruz. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at <a href="https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab/onestep/"></a>Radiolab.org/donate.  <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaum_fMDGgFQCmKHUBPq_xg"></a>Radiolab is on YouTube! Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe! ... Read more

07 Jan 2022

24 MINS

24:38

07 Jan 2022


#124

Flop Off

This past year was a flop. From questionable blockbuster reboots to supply chain shenanigans to worst of all, omnipresent COVID variants. But, in a last ditch effort to flip the flop, we at Radiolab have dredged up the most mortifying, most cringeworthy, most gravity-defying flops we could find. From flops at a community pool to flops at the White House, from a flop that derails a career to flops that give NBA players a sneaky edge, from flops that’ll send you seeking medical advice to THE flopped flop that in a way enabled us all. Take a break from all the disappointment and flop around with us. Special Thanks to: Kaitlin Murphy, Dana Stevens, David Novak, Pablo Pinero Stillman Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at  [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab/onestep/) .  ... Read more

31 Dec 2021

1 HR 15 MINS

1:15:22

31 Dec 2021


#123

Vanishing Words

When Alana Casanova-Burgess set out to make a podcast series about Puerto Rico, she struggled with what to call it. Until one word came to mind, a word that captures a certain essence of life in Puerto Rico, but eludes easy translation into English. We talk to Alana about her series, and that particular word, then turn to an old story about treating words as signals of something happening just beneath the surface.  Agatha Christie's clever detective novels may reveal more about the inner workings of the human mind than she intended. According to [Dr. Ian Lancashire] (http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~ian/) at the University of Toronto, the Queen of Crime left behind hidden clues to the real-life mysteries of human aging in her writing. Meanwhile, [Dr. Kelvin Lim] (http://www.cmrr.umn.edu/facultystaff/kelvin.shtml) and [Dr. Serguei Pakhomov] (http://www.pharmacy.umn.edu/faculty/pakhomov_sergey/home.html) from the University of Minnesota add to the intrigue with the story of an unexpected find in a convent archive that could someday help pinpoint very early warning signs for Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Sister Alberta Sheridan, a 94-year-old [ Nun Study] (http://www.healthstudies.umn.edu/nunstudy/) participant, reads an essay she wrote more than 70 years ago. La Brega update was produced by Maria Paz Gutierrez ... Read more

17 Dec 2021

24 MINS

24:02

17 Dec 2021


#122

Return of Alpha Gal

Tuck your napkin under your chin.  We’re about to serve up a tale of love, loss, and lamb chops - with a side of genetic modification. Several years ago we told a story about Amy Pearl. For as long as she could remember, Amy 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: why couldn’t she eat something that she had routinely enjoyed for decades?  It turned out Amy was not alone. And the answer to her mysterious allergy involved maps, a dancing lone star tick, and a very particular sugar called Alpha Gal.  In this update, we discover that our troubles with Alpha Gal go way beyond food. We go to NYU Langone Health hospital to see the second ever transplant of a kidney from a pig into a human, talk to some people at Revivicor, the company that bred the pig in question, and go back to Amy to find out what she thinks about this brave new world. The original episode was reported by Latif Nasser, and produced by Annie McEwen and Matt Kielty. Sound design and scoring from Dylan Keefe, Annie McEwen, and Matt Kielty. Mix by Dylan Keefe with Arianne Wack. The update was reported and produced by Sarah Qari. It was sound designed, scored, and mixed by Jeremy Bloom.  Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at [Radiolab.org/donate] (https://pledge3.wnyc.org/donate/radiolab/onestep/) .    ... Read more

10 Dec 2021

57 MINS

57:18

10 Dec 2021


#121

Animal Minds

In this hour of Radiolab, stories of cross-species communication. When we gaze into the eyes of a wild animal, or even a beloved pet, can we ever really know what they might be thinking? Is it naive to assume they're experiencing something close to human emotions? Or is it ridiculous to assume that they AREN'T feeling something like that? We get the story of a rescued whale that may have found a way to say thanks, ask whether dogs feel guilt, and wonder if a successful predator may have fallen in love with a photographer. ... Read more

26 Nov 2021

59 MINS

59:09

26 Nov 2021