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A Christmas Offering

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Likely, you've already seen it. Maybe two or three times. But this time of year, one more viewing just can't hurt. For the uninitiated, enjoy. Julia Child remixed to perfection with blousey insistence on how to live.

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The Hypnotic Power of Graph Paper

Friday, December 21, 2012

Look into this paper. You are getting very sleepy...


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Snowflake Science

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snowflakes 101 -- inspired by the snowflake story in Radiolab's new episode Bliss, a little backstory on how snowflakes form. Plus lots of sparkly pictures.

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Krulwich Wonders: This Should Be A Hit In Texas: Puddle Of Oil Turns Into A Christmas Tree

Monday, December 17, 2012

NPR

We start with a pool of oil. We turn on a magnet. The oil travels up a superstructure and blossoms into a tree. Turn off the magnet, the branches, the needles, the tree melt away. It's a puddle again.

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Mapping the Bilingual Brain

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chris Berube -- intrepid Radiolab intern, and monolinguist -- sets aside his ego to delve into a listener's question about intelligence and speaking more than one language.

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Krulwich Wonders: A Metaphor For Forgetting (That You Might Remember)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NPR

Alzheimer's is the disease that creeps in and slowly erases what you know until, eventually, there's no more to erase. How this happens is still a mystery, but this short animation by Po Chou Chi tries to make poetic sense of what goes on.

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Krulwich Wonders: Pigeon Interruptus — A Fish That Hunts Pigeons On Land

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

NPR

There you are, hanging with the other pigeons. It's a sunny day. Tranquil. You are taking a bird bath along a river's edge, when suddenly, leaping out of the water onto the land, straight at you — is a fish! A pigeon-eating catfish. (We've got pictures.)

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Struggle Pumps

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lulu's new blog post explains the origins of "struggle pumps," one of her favorite new phrases, in order to get you fired up for two big word creation contests whose deadlines are fast-approaching.

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Krulwich Wonders: How About A Little Drive, Hmm? (A Horror Story)

Monday, December 10, 2012

NPR

Dashboard video cameras are common in Russia. In case you get bumped into, or bump someone else, insurance companies want to see what happened. So we have a video record of what it's like to drive there. You don't want to see this compilation video. (Oh yes you do.)

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Krulwich Wonders: What To Do When The Bus Doesn't Come And You Want To Scream. An Experiment

Friday, December 07, 2012

NPR

Where's the bus? It's supposed to be here by now, but it isn't. You crane your neck. Nothing. And then — miraculously — there's a solution. The bus still isn't here. But something else is.

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Brain Fodder Vol. 6

Thursday, December 06, 2012

We don't know about you, but we've got a giant trampoline, a burger refill denied, and buffaloing English grammar on our minds...

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Krulwich Wonders: Strange-Looking Tombstone Tells Of Moving Ice, Ancient Climates And A Restless Mind

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

NPR

It's a tombstone like no other. A rough, clumpy hunk of granite, carried across Europe on a sea of ice, dumped in a valley, shipped across the Atlantic, lugged to Massachusetts — all to honor a restless man.

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Moms and Inheritance: Tracing the Maternal Line

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Ever wonder why so many of the inheritance studies are about men? Molly Webster had that question too...

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Krulwich Wonders: New Superhero, 3,200 Years Old, Turns Air Into Wood Superfast

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

NPR

"The President" is a 3,200-year-old giant sequoia that clocks in at 247 feet tall and counting. And contrary to most living things we can think of, giant sequoias grow faster later in life than earlier in life.

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Krulwich Wonders: Music Video Borrows From 200-Million-Year-Old Artist And Disappears

Saturday, December 01, 2012

NPR

YouTube

It's You Tube's 17th Most Viewed Video of All Time, and the 4th Most Liked, "Somebody That I Used to Know," sung principally by Wouter "Wally" De Backer, also known as "Gotye," who took his clothes off and got a paintjob from designer Emma Hack.

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Krulwich Wonders: Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even a Bee

Friday, November 30, 2012

NPR

Nikola Nikolovski/iStockphoto

We'll start in a cornfield — we'll call it an Iowa cornfield in late summer — on a beautiful day. The corn is high. The air is shimmering. There's just one thing missing — and it's a big thing...

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Krulwich Wonders: The Rubik's Cube That Isn't

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NPR

This is your brain making things up.

What you see isn't really there.

Even if I tell you "this isn't what you think," you'll think it anyway -- until I make a simple move, and suddenly -- you know.

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Krulwich Wonders: Is Life a Smoother Ride if You're a Chicken?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NPR

What happens when we go head to head with chickens -- pitting their gaze-steadying powers against our own? The answer involves a rigging a chicken steadicam, take a look.

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Repeat After Me

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Writer Elizabeth Giddens answers a listener's question about toddlers by pondering repetition, and how all sorts of activities seem to have a Goldilocks amount that's just right...and a "too much" threshold where things can turn transcendent, or get very troubling.

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On Goose Bumps

Monday, November 26, 2012

It turns out these little flashing studs of flesh used to do something very specific (and useful!) for us. Lulu Miller explains how goose bumps used to protect us.

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