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The Lauras Win!

Friday, October 30, 2009 - 04:51 PM

What are the odds? When Laura Buxton of Staffordshire, England, wrote “Please return to Laura Buxton” on a helium balloon before setting it free in her yard, she never expected it to reach another human being, much less one also named Laura Buxton. In "A Very Lucky Wind," the first segment of our Stochasticity episode, we marvel at the coincidence the two Lauras represent, and wrestle with the science of chance.

Now, we are happy to announce that ‘A Very Lucky Wind’ (produced by Jad and Soren Wheeler) has won Honorable Mention for Best Documentary at Chicago Public Radio’s 2009 Third Coast International Audio Festival! To check out more of the winners, including Ira Glass, Nancy Updike and more of the This American Life team, and to hear clips, go to

And you can listen to "A Very Lucky Wind" and the whole Stochasticity episode here.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Mav


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Comments [9]


I heard part of this on NPR and had to hear the rest of the story on The Third Coast Festival webpage ( If probability and coincidence had been explained this way when I was in college, I might have stayed awake during my statistics class. The documentary is so very well done, and the Lauras are charming. Thank you!

Nov. 29 2009 08:08 PM
Mark Sutherland

Congratulations on the award! Well deserved. I love listening to your shows - the subjects and the layers of sound make them riveting.

Nov. 14 2009 07:42 PM
Brett Vaughn

What are the odds... hah!

Nov. 02 2009 11:06 PM

How come I can't find this episode anywhere on the site? Why not link to it in the article? A search in your site search box for "A Lucky Wind" yields nada.


Nov. 02 2009 05:21 AM

Congratulations! I think your show is sheer genius. I have to say, though, I would never have known of your award had I not had to track you down on the web. I listen to your show on my iPhone and the Public Radio Tuner cut out SIX times while I was listening to "The New Normal," which I would have to start over from the beginning each time the signal disappeared. I was in a frenzy to get to the end (which, thankfully, I did.) "The New Normal" has got to be yet another award-winner for you.

Thx for combining riveting story-telling with intelligent topics and whimsical radio-show drama. Wow.

Nov. 01 2009 02:36 PM
Richard Ballermann

A truly mind-blowing story and the way in which Radiolab tells it is just brilliant. I think your program is amazing and I really believe the world would be a better place if everyone listened in. Keep up the good work!

Nov. 01 2009 01:16 PM
Mathieu Brissette Forte

i love you guys, your like the discovery channel on the go. not only that but you talk a lot with malcolm gladwell who is my absolute hero!

much love from montreal!

Oct. 31 2009 02:20 AM
David Robinson

That was the first ever Radiolab piece I heard about 4 months ago and I'm now an avid listener and it's my favourite thing in the world ever pretty much! Well Done!

Oct. 30 2009 08:24 PM

Congratulations to everyone involved! It was truly a fantastic piece.

Oct. 30 2009 04:55 PM

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