Radiolab

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 Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser.

Episodes

April 19, 2024 59 mins

An ode to the small, the banal, the overlooked things that make up the fabric of our lives.

Most of our stories are about the big stuff: Important or dramatic events, big ideas that transform the world around us or inspire conflict and struggle and change. But most of our lives, day by day or hour by hour, are made up of … not that stuff. Most of our lives are what we sometimes dismissively call “small potatoes.” This week on Radiol...

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In an episode we last featured on our Radiolab for Kids Feed back in 2020, and in honor of its blocking out the Sun for a bit of us for a bit last week, in this episode, we’re gonna talk more about the moon. According to one theory, (psst listen to The Moon Itself if you want to know more) the moon formed when a Mars-sized chunk of rock collided with Earth, the moon coalesced out of the debris from that impact. And it was MUCH clos...

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April 5, 2024 49 mins

There’s a total solar eclipse coming. On Monday, April 8, for a large swath of North America, the sun will disappear, in the middle of the day. Everywhere you look, people are talking about it. What will it feel like when the sun goes away? What will the blocked-out sun look like? But all this talk of the sun got us thinking: wait, what about the moon? The only reason this whole solar eclipse thing is happening is because the moon ...

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April 2, 2024 13 mins

As a treat for the first palindrome date of the calendar year 2024, 4/2/24, (for those who use U.S. formatting of dates anyway), we are releasing a special audio palindrome. A piece that plays the same forward and backward. It’s called “Drawn Onward” and it comes from the producers Alan Goffinski and Sarita Bhatt. It originally aired on the wonderful BBC show Short Cuts which curates fresh, experimental, adventurous audio journeys....

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March 22, 2024 38 mins

This is a segment we first aired back in 2011. In it, we hear a story of a very different kind of lost and found. Alan Lundgard, a college art student, fell in love with a fellow art student, Emilie Gossiaux. Nine months after Alan and Emilie made it official, Emilie's mom, Susan Gossiaux, received a terrible phone call from Alan. Together, Susan and Alan tell Jad and Robert about the devastating fork in the road that left Emilie l...

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March 15, 2024 41 mins

On today’s show, we’re excited to share an episode from our friends at the podcast Throughline

Sometimes, the most dangerous and powerful thing a person can do is to stand up not against their enemies, but against their friends. As the United States heads into what will likely be another bitter and divided election year, there will be more and more pressure to stand with our in-groups rather than our consciences.

So the Throughline...

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March 8, 2024 31 mins

What happens when you combine an axe-wielding microbiologist and a disease-obsessed historian? A strange brew that's hard to resist, even for a modern day microbe.

In the war on devilish microbes, our weapons are starting to fail us.  The antibiotics we once wielded like miraculous flaming swords seem more like lukewarm butter knives.

But today we follow an odd couple to a storied land of elves and dragons. There, they uncover a 1000...

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March 1, 2024 47 mins

Two years ago, the United States did something amazing. In response to the mental health crisis the federal government launched 988 - a nationwide, easy to remember phone number that anyone can call anytime and talk to a counselor. It was 911 but for mental health and they hoped that it would save lives. However, if you call 988 today the first thing you hear isn’t a sympathetic counselor. What you hear is hold music.

Today, the sto...

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February 16, 2024 50 mins

This episode begins with a rant. This rant, in particular, comes from Dan Engber - a science writer who loves animals but despises animal intelligence research. Dan told us that so much of the way we study animals involves tests that we think show a human is smart ... not the animals we intend to study. 

Dan’s rant got us thinking: What is the smartest animal in the world? And if we threw out our human intelligence rubric, is there ...

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February 9, 2024 41 mins

In this episode, Maria Paz Gutiérrez does battle against the one absolute truth of human existence and all life… death. After getting a team of scientists to stand in for death (the grim reaper wasn’t available), we parry and thrust our way through the myriad ways that death comes for us - from falling pianos to evolution’s disinterest in longevity. In the process, we see if we can find a satisfying answer to the question “why do w...

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February 5, 2024 12 mins

Less than two weeks since we released Zoozve, and we have BIG NEWS about our quest to name the first-ever quasi-moon! And that’s only the half of it! 

Listen to the episode “Zoozve” before you listen to this update! (https://radiolab.org/podcast/zoozve)

EPISODE CREDITS -

Reported by - Latif Nasser
with help from - Ekedi Fausther-Keeys
Produced by - Sarah Qari
Original music and sound design contributed by - Sarah Qari
with mixing help fro...

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February 2, 2024 74 mins

Albert Einstein asked that when he died, his body be cremated and his ashes be scattered in a secret location. He didn’t want his grave, or his body, becoming a shrine to his genius. When he passed away in the early morning hours of April, 18, 1955, his family knew his wishes. There was only one problem: the pathologist who did the autopsy had different plans.

In the third episode of “G”, Radiolab’s miniseries on intelligence, first...

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January 26, 2024 40 mins

As co-host Latif Nasser was putting his kid to bed one night, he noticed something weird on a solar system poster up on the wall: Venus had a moon called … Zoozve.  But when he called NASA to ask them about it, they had never heard of Zoozve, and besides that, they insisted that Venus doesn’t have any moons.  So begins a tiny mystery that leads to a newly discovered kind of object in our solar system, one that is simultaneously a m...

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January 19, 2024 25 mins

We're thrilled to present a piece from one of our favorite podcasts, Love + Radio (Nick van der Kolk and Brendan Baker). 

Producer Briana Breen brings us the story: Diane’s new neighbors across the way never shut their curtains, and that was the beginning of an intimate, but very one-sided relationship.

Please listen to as much of Love + Radio as you can (loveandradio.org).

And, if you are in Seattle Area, or plan to be on Feb 15th...

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January 12, 2024 55 mins

Sometimes a seemingly silly question gets stuck in your craw and you can’t shake the feeling that something big lies behind it. We are constantly collecting these kinds of questions from our listeners, not to mention piling up a storehouse of our own “stupid” questions, as we lovingly call them. And a little while back, we noticed a little cluster of questions that seemed to have a shared edgy energy, and all led us to the same pla...

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January 5, 2024 51 mins

First aired way back in 2009, this episode is all about a wonderfully slippery and smarty-pants word for randomness, Stochasticity, and how it may be at the very foundation of our lives. Along the way, we talk to a woman suddenly consumed by a frenzied gambling addiction, hear from two friends whose meeting seems to defy pure chance, and take a close look at some very noisy bacteria.

EPISODE CITATIONS:

Videos - Stochasticity Music ...

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December 29, 2023 33 mins

Karim Ani dedicated his life to math. He studied it in school, got a degree in math education, even founded Citizen Math to teach it to kids in a whole new way. But, this whole time, his whole life, almost, he had this question nagging at him.

The question came in the form of a rule in math, NEVER divide by zero. But, why not?

Cornell mathematician, and friend of the show, Steve Strogatz, chimes in with the historical context, citi...

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December 22, 2023 59 mins

First aired back in 2009, this episode is all about one thing, or rather a collection of things. Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, chances are you rely on numbers every day of your life. Where do they come from, and what do they really do for us? This hour: stories of how numbers confuse us, connect us, and even reveal secrets about us.

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December 15, 2023 24 mins

As a lifeguard, a paramedic, and then an ER doctor, Blair Bigham found his calling: saving lives. But when he started to work in the ICU, he slowly realized that sometimes keeping people (and their hopes) alive just prolongs the suffering. He wrote a book arguing that a too-late death is just as bad as a too-early one, and that physicians and the public alike need to get better at accepting the inevitability of death sooner.  As th...

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December 8, 2023 21 mins

In this short episode that first aired in 2011, a neurologist issues a dare to a ragtime piano player and a famous conductor. When the two men face off in an fMRI machine, the challenge is so unimaginably difficult that one man instantly gives up. But the other achieves a musical feat that ought to be impossible.

Reporter Jessica Benko went to Michigan to visit Bob Milne, one of the best ragtime piano players in the world, and a pr...

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