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The Septendecennial Sing-Along

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Every 17 years, a deafening sex orchestra hits the East Coast -- billions and billions of cicadas crawl out of the ground, sing their hearts out, then mate and die. In this short, Jad and Robert talk to a man who gets inside that noise to dissect its meaning and musical components.

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Comments [19]

The Distance of the Moon

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What if the moon were just a jump away? In this short, a beautiful answer to that question from Italo Calvino, read live by Liev Schreiber. 

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Comments [55]

Radiolab Presents: TJ & Dave

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Improv comedy puts uncertainty on center stage -- performers usually start by asking the audience for a prompt, then they make up the details as they go. But two actors in Chicago are taking this idea to its absolute limit, and finding ways to navigate the unknown.

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Comments [33]

The Man Behind the Maneuver

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

In the 1970s, choking became national news: thousands were choking to death, leading to more accidental deaths than guns. Nobody knew what to do. Until a man named Henry Heimlich came along with a big idea.

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Comments [80]

Speedy Beet

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit.

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Comments [90]

The Bitter End

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

We turn to doctors to save our lives -- to heal us, repair us, and keep us healthy. But when it comes to the critical question of what to do when death is at hand, there seems to be a gap between what we want doctors to do for us, and what doctors want done for themselves.

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Comments [109]

Solid as a Rock

Monday, December 31, 2012

Is reality an ethereal, mathematical poem... or is it made up of solid, physical stuff? In this short, we kick rocks, slap tables, and argue about the nature of the universe with Jim Holt.

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Comments [63]

Raising Crane

Monday, December 03, 2012

In this short, costumed scientists create a carefully choreographed childhood for a flock of whooping cranes to save them from extinction. It's the ultimate feel-good story, but it also raises some troubling questions about what it takes to get a species back to being wild.

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Comments [40]

What's Up, Doc?

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Mel Blanc was known as "the man of 1,000 voices," but the actual number may have been closer to 1,500. Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Tweety, Barney Rubble -- all Mel. His characters made him one of the most beloved men in America. And in 1961, when a car crash left him in a coma, these characters may have saved him.

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Comments [40]

Seeing in the Dark

Monday, October 22, 2012

John and Zoltan are both blind, but they deal with the world in completely different ways -- one paints vivid pictures in his mind, while the other refuses to picture anything at all. In this short, they argue about the truth of a world they can't see.

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Comments [40]

Dark Side of the Earth

Monday, October 08, 2012

200 miles above Earth's surface, astronaut Dave Wolf -- rocketing through the blackness of Earth's shadow at 5 miles a second -- floated out of the Mir Space Station on his very first spacewalk. In this short, he describes the extremes of light and dark in space, relives a heart-pounding close call, and shares one of the most tranquil moments of his life.

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Comments [61]

What a Slinky Knows

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Hey kids," said physicist Tadashi Tokieda, "Wanna see a magic trick?" He pulled out a Slinky and did something that amazed the kids, & their dad Steve Strogatz. Steve, along with Neil deGrasse Tyson, explains what the gravity-defying Slinky trick reveals about the nature of all things great and small (including us).

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Comments [40]

Inside "Ouch!"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pain is a fundamental part of life, and often a very lonely part. Doctors want to understand their patients' pain, and we all want to understand the suffering of our friends, relatives, or spouses. But pinning down another person's hurt is a slippery business. 

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Comments [69]

Argentine Invasion

Monday, July 30, 2012

From a suburban sidewalk in southern California, Jad and Robert witness the carnage of a gruesome turf war. Though the tiny warriors doing battle clock in at just a fraction of an inch, they have evolved a surprising, successful, and rather unsettling strategy of ironclad loyalty, absolute intolerance, and brutal violence.

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Comments [22]

Double Blasted

Monday, July 16, 2012

In early August of 1945, Tsutomu Yamaguchi had a run of the worst luck imaginable. A double blast of radiation left his future, and the future of his descendants, in doubt. In this short: an utterly amazing survival story that spans ... well, 4 billion years when you get down to it.

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Comments [34]

Radiolab Remixed

Monday, July 02, 2012

Turning ideas into radio is one of the most exciting, frustrating, rewarding, and insanely fun things there is. Which got us thinking--why not ask you to join in on the fun? So we teamed up with Indaba for our first-ever remix competition. And now we get to play the winners.

 

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Comments [34]

Unraveling Bolero

Monday, June 18, 2012

In this podcast, a story about obsession, creativity, and a strange symmetry between a biologist and a composer that revolves around one famously repetitive piece of music.

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Comments [56]

Grumpy Old Terrorists

Monday, June 04, 2012

While working on The Bad Show, producer Pat Walters ran across some recordings that spooked him--partly because they seemed like they had to be a big joke ... and partly because, at the same time, they sounded so deadly serious. In this short, Jad & Robert try to decide how to feel.

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Comments [51]

Colors Sneak Peek

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just before the curtain went up on our live show in Los Angeles, Jad and Robert carved out a little stage time for a sneak peek at next week's Colors episode.

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Comments [9]

Fetal Consequences

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mother's day is nigh. Sort of. Anyway, without knowing it, you might have already given your mom a pretty lasting gift. But whether it helps or hurts her, or both, is still an open question. In this Radiolab short, Robert updates us on the science of fetal cells -- one of the first topics he covered as an NPR science correspondent.

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Comments [40]