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Born Wet, Human Babies Are 75 Percent Water. Then Comes Drying

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A fresh tomato is 93.5 percent water. A fresh baby girl or boy is 75 percent water. A banana, 74 percent. We all start wet, and then, inevitably, dry. A 1-year-old baby carries 10 percent less water; a male adult 15 percent less. Life is a slow evaporation, with some curious exceptions.

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Otzi Confirms: Tattoos Have Always Been Cool

Monday, November 25, 2013

Producer Andy Mills takes a close look at Ötzi's ink -- the roughly 5,300-year-old Iceman has more than 50 tattoos etched into his skin. (PS: If you haven't listened yet, check out our latest short, all about Ötzi, An Ice-Cold Case).

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An Eyeful of Otzi

Monday, November 25, 2013

After you listen to our latest short, An Ice-Cold Case, check out these photos of Ötzi the Iceman (seriously, listen first or else this post will ruin a few surprises...).

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The Iceman Speaks

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stefan Merrill Block, a novelist and friend of our show, reads his haunting short story from the perspective of Ötzi the Iceman (the mysterious figure at the center of our latest short, An Ice-Cold Case).

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My Wine Won't Stop Crying — A Mystery In A Wineglass

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Something strange happens when you slosh wine in a wineglass. The wine doesn't just settle. Some of it starts to "cry." That is, little droplets of wine slide down and then mysteriously creep up again, dripping, then climbing, dripping, climbing, over and over, pushed by some force that doesn't seem to end. What's going on?

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The Sludge at the Bottom of the Sea

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Whatever happened to all that poop New York City dumped out in the ocean?

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Behind the Scenes Video: Apocalyptical Scoring

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A quick dispatch from the road. Glenn Kotche and Darin Gray are on tour with us and they're insane. They make up the band On Fillmore, and Glenn also plays with Wilco. Each night, during the show, they create excellent noises to go along with our stories. Just ...

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Seasons of Smell

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Fall: cinnamon. Winter: pine. Spring: lilacs. Each season smells different, right? Well, sorta.

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Falling Into The Sky And Other Tales Of Gravity

Friday, November 01, 2013

You're high, high up. You lean over and look way, way down. Then you leap. Meet my favorite leapers: An Austrian who falls for 24 continuous miles, a medieval musician who leaps off a tower, a movie stuntman who lands on a chain of cardboard boxes, and my favorite, a man who almost falls into the sky.

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Putting On Einstein's Glasses

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Whenever you look at the teeming, rich and oh-so-various world, if you've got the right eyes, if you've got the eyes of a mathematician, you will find patterns — simple, elegant forms hiding in everything you see.

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You'd Look Great in This Hat

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Find out how you could win a hand-knitted hat, made by On the Media's Brooke Gladstone.

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Vintage HeLa Cells Video

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We've updated our show Famous Tumors with a check-in from Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and one of Henrietta's granddaughters, on some of the interesting developments since the book came out. After you listen, check out this 1956 HeLa cells video.

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UPDATE: Famous Tumors

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When we first released Famous Tumors, Rebecca Skloot's book about the life and legacy of Henrietta Lacks (and her famous cells) had just hit the shelves. Since then, some interesting things have happened to both Henrietta's cells and her family. So, 4 years later, we have a newly updated show!

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Americans Fall Behind In The 'Getting Older' Race

Monday, October 21, 2013

In the 1960s, Americans lived very long lives — among the longest in the world. Since then, we've improved our lot, but not as fast as the French, the Australians, the Swedes, the British, the Canadians, the Dutch, the Germans and the Japanese. They are galloping away from us. What happened?

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Successful Children Who Lost A Parent — Why Are There So Many Of Them?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Writer Malcolm Gladwell calls them "eminent orphans" — an intriguingly large number of successful politicians, statesmen, poets, scientists who lost a parent when they were young. Why the pattern? Is it just coincidence? Or is it something more?

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A Recipe For Quicksand

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Within lies the secret to making your own quicksand pit...

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Watch Daniela. She's Up To Something Big

Monday, October 14, 2013

Daniela Rus' lab at MIT is inventing new, ever more remarkable "reconfigurable robots." Don't know what they are? Well, take a look at what her grad students have made and prepare to be frightened — or delighted. Me? I'm kinda delighted.

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A Zoo For You

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Zoos are where you go to look at "them," the animals. But not in this video of a zoo in Amsterdam. Here, differences melt away, and all the animals, including the ones with hats, coats and strollers, are just as curious, just as odd, just as silly as the monkeys, hippos and tigers.

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Comparing Sperm Whales To Sperm: A Swimming Contest

Friday, October 04, 2013

Ready, get set, go! Let's compare a sperm whale plowing through the ocean to a human sperm plowing through a glass of water: The whale barely notices the water it's in; the sperm — oh, gee — it's got a problem. How it solves that problem — being much closer to the size of the water molecules around it — is ... well, masterful.

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Poop Quiz!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Our latest podcast, Poop Train, is packed with unexpected facts about what happens after New Yorkers flush. For even more sewer trivia, take our Poop Quiz.

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