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.
The basal ganglia is a core part of the brain, deep inside your skull, that helps control movement. Unless something upsets the chain of command. In this short, Jad and Robert meet a young researcher who was studying what happens when the basal ganglia gets short-circuited in mice...until one fateful day, when things got really, really weird.
In this short, 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.
In this short, Jad presents the electrifying sounds of three mind-bending musical acts: Brooklyn duo Buke & Gass, drummer Glenn Kotche of Wilco, and the one-and-only Reggie Watts. Their performances were recorded live at our Curious Sounds concert earlier this month in NYC.