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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this short, we go looking for the devil, and find ourselves tangled in a web of details surrounding one of the most haunting figures in music--a legendary guitarist whose shadowy life spawned a legend so powerful, it's still being repeated...even by fans who don't believe a word of it.
Alan Turing's mental leaps about machines and computers were some of the most innovative ideas of the 20th century. But the world wasn't kind to him. In this short, Robert wonders how Turing's personal life shaped his understanding of mechanical minds and human emotions.
Every day, every moment, an epic battle is raging across the globe. It's happening in the ocean. And the evidence is both highly visible and totally hidden, depending on your perspective. In this short, the tale of an arms race involving trillions of sea creatures--and why their struggle is vital to our survival.
Sometimes being a good scientist requires putting aside your emotions. But what happens when objectivity isn't enough to make sense of a seemingly senseless act of violence? In this short, Jad and Robert talk to an entomologist about the risks, and the rewards, of trying to see the world through someone else's eyes.
Roman Mars loves to spotlight the seams and joints that make up the world around us. He's the host of an irresistible podcast called 99% Invisible--a series of tiny radio stories that provoke enormous questions. Roman joins Jad and Robert to play a few favorites, and to chat about the hidden language of design that shapes our lives--from sound effects to stuff that’s more ... concrete.
Writer Ian Frazier made a startling discovery several years ago in eastern Siberia: no one he met there had ever heard of tic tac toe. In this short, Jad and Robert wonder how a game that seems carved into childhood DNA could be completely unknown in some parts of the world.