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Pat Walters

Pat is senior editor of the special projects unit. He started at the show in 2010 as a production assistant, eventually became a producer, and spent about five years on staff making stories about all kinds of things, from a brain tumor that may have turned a man into a pedophile to the greatest comeback in the history of basketball to the reason 90 percent of humanity is right handed. He left for a few years to edit Pop-Up Magazine, the world’s first “live magazine;” host a podcast at Gimlet Media called Undone; and help create another new podcast there about the Civil War called Uncivil. Pat's delighted to be back at his radio birthplace.


Pat Walters appears in the following:

Rippin’ the Rainbow an Even Newer One

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The creature with the world’s most complex visual system seems to be terrible at telling colors apart.
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Poop Train

Ever wonder what happens to all of New York City's poop? So did we.

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What's Right When You're Left?

Jonathan Gottschall was just a lowly adjunct in the English Department of a small college outside of Pittsburgh. Then one day a mixed martial arts gym shows up across the street from his office. Jonathan can’t resist trying his hand in the ring, but 4 months into his training he’s ...

Comments [21]

What's Left When You're Right?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

From the stage to the cage, a series of showdowns that leave us wondering about the price of being right ... or coming from the left.

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Brown Box

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You order some stuff on the Internet and it shows up three hours later. How could all the things that need to happen to make that happen happen so fast?


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Heimlich's Maneuver

In the 1970s, choking became national news: thousands were choking to death, leading to more accidental deaths than guns. Nobody knew what to do. Until a man named Henry Heimlich came along with a big idea. Since then, thousands have been rescued by the Heimlich maneuver. Yet the story of ...

Comments [15]

Poop Train

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

You may not give a second thought (or backward glance) to what the toilet whisks away after you do your business. But we got wondering -- where would we wind up if we thought of flushing as the start, and not the end, of a journey? In this short, we head out to trace the trail of sludge...from Manhattan, to wherever poop leads us.

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Comments [67]

Fault Line

Kevin* is a likable guy who lives with his wife in New Jersey. And he's on probation after serving time in a federal prison for committing a disturbing crime. Producer Pat Walters helps untangle a difficult story about accountability, and a troubling set of questions about identity and self-control. Kevin's ...

Comments [17]

An Illustrated History of Heimlich

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Check out a timeline of key moments in the history of the Heimlich maneuver, plus a list of celebrities who've been Heimliched.
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Comments [25]

The Man Behind the Maneuver

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

In the 1970s, choking became national news: thousands were choking to death, leading to more accidental deaths than guns. Nobody knew what to do. Until a man named Henry Heimlich came along with a big idea.

Read More

Comments [88]

What If There Was No Destiny?

When Barbara Harris was 37, she started wishing she could have a daughter. It was 1989, and by that time only two of her six sons were still at home. So she filled out all the paperwork, and later that summer got a call about an 8-month-old ...

Comments [106]

Crossroads Music

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We discovered a ton of amazing music while putting together our story about the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson (which you can hear in our show The Power of Music). Check out the l...
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Comments [28]

The Great Escape Artist

Can a legendary escape artist -- a folk hero who's broken out of jail more times than anyone else alive -- break the cycle of running and getting caught?

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Murder on the Mind

Friday, January 13, 2012

For our episode, The Bad Show, Pat Walters reported a piece about a psychologist who found that 91% of men and 84% of women have had at least one serious homicidal fantasy. So P...
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Who's Bad?

What would it take to make you do something truly awful?

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Romania, Bears and an Old Friend

Monday, December 05, 2011

When Pat Walters traveled to Romania with a few American reporters to teach some classes on narrative journalism to a group of Romanian writers, he had a coincidental run-in with a Ra...
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Comments [9]

Radiolab Reads: All Over but the Shoutin'

Monday, August 22, 2011

Later this week, Radiolab goes to northeastern Alabama in our new hour-long podcast. For more on that part of our country, and for one of the most honest American memoirs out there, pick up Rick Bragg's All Over but the Shoutin'.

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Comments [3]

Radiolab Reads: Friday Night Lights

Monday, July 18, 2011

Friday Night Lights -- This is one that's worth consuming in its original form.

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Comments [1]

A Form of Hope

We begin in the middle of a phone call with Lulu Miller, who tells us the story of a couple with a seemingly unsolvable problem. It's the 1970s, and Richard and Tucker are very much in love. They'd like to get married, but it's against the law. And that would have been the end of the story...except that Richard, worried about Tucker and frustrated that he couldn't legally provide for him, came up with a very unusual (but totally legal) solution.

Lulu says these moments, where one little switch can reframe reality, are a kind of duct tape for the ethereal sadness. It's a form of hope, where an imperfect workaround opens up a door and makes life a little bit better.

And that brings us to a man named Jim Eggers, who suffers from a problem that not only puts his life at risk--it jeopardizes the safety of everybody around him. Producer Pat Walters explains how Jim found a way to manage his anger with the help of a bird named Sadie. African Grey Parrot expert Irene Pepperberg helps us understand how this could work, and shares some insights from her work with a parrot named Alex.


Comments [23]

You v. You

Zelda Gamson tried for decades to stop smoking. But while one part of her wanted to quit, another part just didn't want to let go. So, how do you win a tug-of-war with yourself? We decided to ask one of the greatest negotiators of our time for some advice. Adam ...

Comments [22]