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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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Krulwich Wonders: Double Thanks

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NPR

I'm giving thanks in two ways today, first for things that have lasted, persisted (and here's hoping they keep on going), and second -- for change; for our ability to create beauty in new ways. So I'm saying thank you for what's old and what's new.

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Revenge of the Caterpillars: A Footnote to “Contagious Laughter”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A seemingly cuddly caterpillar becomes the Terminator in Latif Nasser's story about a not-so-distant epidemic in America's bluegrass country...

 

 

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And the Winner Is...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A clever take on the works of DaVinci wins our first-ever Halloween Costume Contest. And we got so many great entries, we couldn't resist putting together a slideshow of our favorites -- feast your eyes on all the costume greatness.

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Krulwich Wonders: Ferocious Flowers

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NPR

Nothin' dainty about these flowers. Nope, these guys are pistol-firing, fire-cracking blossoms from photographer/filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman. Click on this image and stand back ...

Foxtail from Andrew Zuckerman Studio on Vimeo.

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Brain Fodder Vol. 5

Monday, November 19, 2012

It appears the Radiolab staff is giving thanks for a lot of videos this week, spanning the spectrum from sand to origami to baseball to dying cartoons (accompanied by folk music, of course). Intrigued? Check it...

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Krulwich Wonders: Why Not Say It Simply? How About Very Simply?

Monday, November 19, 2012

NPR

There are people (and I hear from them constantly) who think if a subject is sophisticated, like science, the language that describes it should be sophisticated, too.

If smart people say torque, ribosome, limbic, stochastic and kinase, then the rest of us should knuckle down, concentrate and figure out what those words mean. That's how we'll know when we've learned something: when we've mastered the technical words.

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Krulwich Wonders: The Big Apple's Mayor Makes A Very Scary Video

Saturday, November 17, 2012

NPR

I didn't know what to make of this when I saw it. I live in Manhattan, in a city where people bike, take buses, subways, trains, live and work in towers where they share elevators, share water, share electricity. I thought my town is setting the example for energy-efficient, communal living. And then, the guy who runs the place, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, releases a study — including (see below) a shocking videothat says, you think New York is great on energy? You think that? Well, check this out...

YouTube

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Krulwich Wonders: Mugged By Sound, Rescued By A Waitress

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NPR

You walk into a room. There are people there, cars outside, dogs, phones ring, the radio is on, somebody coughs; it's the pleasant blur of a busy world, until something, someone catches your attention. Then you lean in, the other sounds fade back, and you focus. That's how listening works -- for most of us.

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Why we fall into a good book

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Writer Jonathan Gottschall explores why the real world falls away when we hear a good story... 

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A history of the Earth -- free lecture!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lulu recommends a free lecture series you can stream live online on November 15 and 16. The subject: Changing Planet...a look at the past, present, and future of the forces that shape the Earth and its climate.

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Krulwich Wonders: Death, But Softly

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NPR

It was 1569, or maybe early 1570, when it happened: A young French gentleman was out for a ride with his workers, all of them on horseback, when suddenly, "like a thunderbolt," he felt something thick and fleshy slam him from behind. (It was an overzealous, galloping assistant who couldn't stop in time.) Michel de Montaigne's horse crumbled, he went flying up, then down, he crashed to the ground. Then things went black.

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Krulwich Wonders: Finnish Underwater Ice Fishing Mystery Finally Solved

Saturday, November 10, 2012

NPR

I'm going to take you somewhere, but before I do, I should warn you that there's something not quite right about what you'll see. This place I'm going to show you will be astonishingly beautiful. It will be cold. It will be wet. But it will also be a touch -- more than a touch -- mysterious. So watch carefully.

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Krulwich Wonders: Mathematically-Challenging Bagels

Thursday, November 08, 2012

NPR

Surgically, this will be complicated. Mathematically, it will be elegant. What we are going to do is take an ordinary bagel, and rather than cut it in half, we are going to turn it, delicately, into two intertwining, interlocked bagel parts, connected, unbroken, one twisting through one the other. In other words, a Mobius bagel.

George W. Hart

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Krulwich Wonders: When You're Visited by a Copy of Yourself, Stay Calm

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

NPR

You know Carl Linnaeus, right? The great Swedish naturalist who categorized plants and animals in the 1750s? He was a singular figure in botany. But when he got a headache, he stopped being singular. He doubled, from one Carl to two.

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Blanc photos

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Mel Blanc was known as "the man of 1,000 voices" (Bugs Bunny, Tweety, & tons more). Sean Cole shares some photos from Mel's mountain home in Big Bear Lake, where he interviewed Mel's son Noel for our new short What's Up, Doc?

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