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Playing God

Playing God

2022-09-3001:00:587

When people are dying and you can only save some, how do you choose? Maybe you save the youngest. Or the sickest. Maybe you even just put all the names in a hat and pick at random. Would your answer change if a sick person was right in front of you? In this episode, first aired back in 2016, we follow New York Times reporter Sheri Fink as she searches for the answer. In a warzone, a hurricane, a church basement, and an earthquake, the question remains the same. What happens, what should happen, when humans are forced to play God? Very special thanks to Lilly Sullivan.  Special thanks also to: Pat Walters and Jim McCutcheon and Todd Menesses from WWL in New Orleans, the researchers for the allocation of scarce resources project in Maryland - Dr. Lee Daugherty Biddison from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Howie Gwon from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Emergency Management, Alan Regenberg of the Berman Institute of Bioethics and Dr. Eric Toner of the UPMC Center for Health Security. Episode Credits: Reported by - Reported by Sheri Fink.Produced by - Produced by Simon Adler and Annie McEwen. Citations: Articles:You can find more about the work going on in Maryland at: www.nytimes.com/triageBooks: The book that inspired this episode about what transpired at Memorial Hospital during Hurricane Katrina, Sheri Fink’s exhaustively reported Five Days at Memorial, now a series on Apple TV+. Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.
Lulu Miller, intrepid host and fearless mother of two, went off on her own and put together a little something for kids. All kids: hers, yours, and the one still living inside us all.  Radiolab for Kids Presents: Terrestrials And it’s spellbinding. So much so, that we wanted to put this audio goodness in front of as many ears as possible.  Which is why we’re running the first episode of that series here for you today.  It’s called The Mastermind. In it, Sy Montgomery, an author and naturalist, shares the story of a color-changing creature many people assumed to be brainless who outsmarts his human captors. If you want a SPOILER of what the creature is, read on: It’s an octopus. We hear the story of one particularly devious octopus who lost a limb, was captured by humans, and then managed to make an escape from its aquarium tank—back into the ocean! The tale of “Inky” the octopus calls into question who we think of as intelligent (and kissable) in the animal kingdom. Learn about the storytellers, listen to music, and dig deeper into the stories you hear on Terrestrials with activities you can do at home or in the classroom on our website, Terrestrialspodcast.org  Find MORE original Terrestrials fun on Youtube.And badger us on Social Media: @radiolab and #TerrestrialsPodcast And if your little ones or you want to hear more of Team Terrestrials amazing work on this series, please search for Radiolab for Kids Presents: The Mastermind, wherever you get podcasts or subscribe here.  Terrestrials is a production of WNYC Studios, created by Lulu Miller. This episode is produced by Ana González, Alan Goffinski and Lulu Miller. Original Music by Alan Goffinski. Help from Suzie Lechtenberg, Sarah Sandbach, Natalia Ramirez, and Sarita Bhatt. Fact-checking by Diane Kelley. Sound design by Mira Burt-Wintonick with additional engineering by Joe Plourde. Our storyteller this week is Sy Montgomery. Transcription by Caleb Codding. Our advisors are Theanne Griffith, Aliyah Elijah, Dominique Shabazz, John Green, Liza Steinberg-Demby, Tara Welty, and Alice Wong. Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.
Quicksaaaand!

Quicksaaaand!

2022-09-1617:3213

For many of us, quicksand was once a real fear — it held a vise grip on our imaginations, from childish sandbox games to grown-up anxieties about venturing into unknown lands. But these days, quicksand can't even scare an 8-year-old. In this short, we try to find out why.  Then-Producer Soren Wheeler introduces us to Dan Engber, writer and columnist for Slate, now with The Atlantic. Dan became obsessed with quicksand after happening upon a strange fact: kids are no longer afraid of it. In this episode, Dan recounts for Soren and Robert Krulwich the story of his obsession. He immersed himself in research, compiled mountains of data, met with quicksand fetishists and, in the end, formulated a theory about why the terror of his childhood seems to have lost its menacing allure. Then Carlton Cuse, who at the time we first aired this episode was best-known as the writer and executive producer of Lost, helps us think about whether giant pits of hero-swallowing mud might one day creep back into the spotlight.And, as this episode first aired in 2013, we can see if we were right.   Episode Credits:Reported and produced by Soren Wheeler Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.  
40,000 Recipes for Murder

40,000 Recipes for Murder

2022-09-0932:2029

Two scientists realize that the very same AI technology they have developed to discover medicines for rare diseases can also discover the most potent chemical weapons known to humankind. Inadvertently opening the Pandora’s Box of WMDs. What should they do now? Special thanks to, Xander Davies, Timnit Gebru, Jessica Fjeld, Bert Gambini and Charlotte HsuEpisode Credits: Reported by Latif NasserProduced by Matt KieltyOriginal music and sound design contributed by Matt KieltyMixing help from Arianne WackFact-checking by Emily KriegerCITATIONS:Articles:Read the Sean and Fabio’s paper here. Get Yan Liu’s book Healing with Poisons: Potent Medicines in Medieval China here. Yan is now Assistant Professor of History at the University at Buffalo.Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.
Rodney v. Death

Rodney v. Death

2022-09-0237:2925

In the fall of 2004, Jeanna Giese checked into the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin with a set of puzzling symptoms... and her condition was deteriorating fast. By the time Dr. Rodney Willoughby saw her, he only knew one thing for sure: if Jeanna's disturbing breakdown turned out to be rabies, she was doomed to die. What happened next seemed like a medical impossibility. In this episode, originally aired in 2013, Producer Tim Howard tells Jeanna's story and talks to authors Monica Murphy and Bill Wasik, and scientists Amy Gilbert and Sergio Recuenco, while trying to unravel the mystery of an unusual patient and the doctor who dared to take on certain death. Episode credits: Reported and produced by Tim Howard CITATIONS: Articles:"Undead: The Rabies Virus Remains a Medical Mystery," Wired article by Monica Murphy and Bill Wasik "Bats Incredible: The Mystery of Rabies Survivorship Deepens," Wired article by Monica Murphy and Bill Wasik "Study Detects Rabies Immune Response in Amazon Populations," the CDC's page on Amy Gilbert and Sergio Recuenco's work (inc. photos from Peru) "Selection Criteria for Milwaukee Protocol," when to try the Milwaukee Protocol Books:Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus, by Bill Wasik and Monica MurphyOur newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.    
Gigaverse

Gigaverse

2022-08-2651:4917

A pizzeria owner in Kansas realizes that DoorDash is hijacking his pizzas. A Lyft driver conquers the streets of San Francisco until he unwittingly puts his family in danger. A Shipt shopper in Denton, Texas tries to crack the code of the delivery app that is slashing his pay. This week, Host Latif Nasser, Producer Becca Bressler, and Philosophy Professor Barry Lam dive into the ins and outs of a new and growing part of our world: the gig economy. Special thanks to, Julie Wernau, Drew Ambrogi, David Condos, David Pickerell, Cory Doctorow, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Coby McDonald, Bret Jaspers, Peter Haden, Bill Pollock, Tanya Chawla, and Mateo Schimpf. Episode Credits: Reported by Becca Bressler, Latif Nasser, and Barry LamProduced by Becca Bressler, Eli Cohen, and Sindhu Gnanasambandan.Original music and sound design contributed by Jeremy Bloom and Becca Bressler.Mixing help from Arianne Wack Fact-checking by Natalie Middleton Edited by Pat Walters CITATIONSArticles:Subscribe to Ranjan Roy's newsletter, Margins, here. Jeffrey’s story was originally reported by Lauren Smiley for WIRED. Check out her piece for an even more in-depth look at his life as a gig driver. Audio:Check out Barry Lam’s podcast Hi-Phi Nation, a show about philosophy that turns stories into ideas.  Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.
9-Volt Nirvana

9-Volt Nirvana

2022-08-1927:3234

Learn a new language faster than ever! Leave doubt in the dust! Be a better sniper! Could you do all that and more with just a zap to the noggin? Maybe. Back in the early 2010s, Sally Adee, then an editor at New Scientist Magazine, went to a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) conference and heard about a way to speed up learning with something called trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). A couple of years later, Sally found herself wielding an M4 assault rifle to pick off simulated enemy combatants with a battery wired to her temple. But that got then-producer Soren Wheeler thinking about this burgeoning world of electroceuticals, and if real, what limits will it reach. For this episode, first aired back in 2014, we brought in Michael Weisend, then a neuroscientist at Wright State Research Institute, to tell us how it works (Bonus: you get to hear Jad get his brain zapped). And sat down with Peter Reiner and Nick Fitz, then at the University of British Columbia, to help us think through the consequences of a world where anyone with 20 dollars and access to a circuit board and a soldering iron, can make their own brain zapper. And then checked-in again to hear about the unexpected after-effects a day of super-charged sniper training can have on one mild-mannered science journalist. Episode credits: Reported by Sally Adee and Soren WheelerOriginal music by Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.
Infinities

Infinities

2022-08-1243:4031

In August 2018, Boen Wang was at a work retreat for a new job. Surrounded by mosquitoes and swampland in a tiny campsite in West Virginia, Boen’s mind underwent a sudden, dramatic transformation that would have profound consequences—for his work, his colleagues, and himself. Special thanks to Grace Gilbert for voice acting and episode art, and to Professors Erin Anderson and Maggie Jones for editorial support. Episode credits: Reported and produced by Boen WangOriginal Music provided by Alex Zhang HungtaiFact-checking by Diane KellyEdited by Pat Walters Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.
Escape

Escape

2022-08-0501:09:4929

This episode originally aired in 2012. An all-star lineup of producers — Pat Walters, Lynn Levy, and Sean Cole — bring you stories about traps, getaways, perpetual cycles, and staggering breakthroughs.  We kick things off with a true escape artist — a man who’s broken out of jail more times than anyone alive. Why does he keep running... and will he ever stop? Next, the ingeniously simple question that led Isaac Newton to an enormous intellectual breakthrough: why doesn’t the moon fall out of the sky? In the wake of Newton's new idea, we find ourselves in a strange space at the edge of the solar system, about to cross a boundary beyond which we know nothing. Finally, we hear the story of a blind kid who freed himself from an unhappy childhood by climbing into the telephone system, and bending it to his will. Now sit back, relax and enjoy what we hope will prove to be a welcomed Escape.Episode Credits:Reported and produced by Pat Walters, Lynn Levy, and Sean Cole
Killer whales — orcas — eat all sorts of animals, including humpback calves. But one day, biologists saw a group of humpback whales trying to stop some killer whales from eating… a seal. And then it happened again. And again. It turns out, all across the oceans, humpback whales are swimming around stopping killer whales from hunting all kinds of animals — from seals to gray whales to sunfish. And of course while many scientists explain this behavior as the result of blind instincts that are ultimately selfish, much of the world celebrates humpbacks as superhero vigilantes of the sea. But when Annie McEwen dug into what was really going on between humpbacks and killer whales, she found a set of stories that refused to fit in either of those two ways of seeing the world.Special thanks to Eric J. Gleske and Brendan Brucker at Media Services, Oregon State University as well as Colleen Talty at Monterey Bay Whale Watch and California Killer Whale Project. Special thanks also to Doug McKnight and Giuliana Mayo. Episode Credits:Reported and produced by Annie McEwenOriginal music and sound design by Annie McEwenMixing help from Arianne WackFact-checking by Diane KellyEdited by Becca Bressler Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. CITATIONS: Videos:Alisa Schulman-Janiger took this video (https://zpr.io/5mYNTWpxs5GV) of the humpbacks defending the gray whale calf’s carcass from the killer whales. Articles:Read Robert Pitman’s (et al) paper (https://zpr.io/iU9shuNW9tAj) about the humpbacks saving the seal and a review of the 115 interactions they collected between humpbacks and killer whales. Books:The World in the Whale (https://zpr.io/2BHBermJJfKj). If you are interested in whales, you are going to love this book.  
You v. You

You v. You

2022-07-2228:0336

This episode, originally aired more than a decade ago, attempts to answer one question: how do you win against your worst impulses? Zelda Gamson tried for decades to stop smoking, but the part of her that wanted to quit couldn’t beat the part of her that refused to let go. Adam Davidson, a co-founder of the NPR podcast Planet Money, talked to one of the greatest negotiators of all time, Nobel Prize-winning Economist Thomas Schelling, whose tactical skills saw him through high-stakes conflicts during the Cold War but fell apart when he tried them on himself in his battle to quit smoking. And a baby Pat Walters complicates things — in a good way — with the story of two brothers, Dennis and Kai Woo, who forged a deal with each other that wound up determining both of their futures. Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.  
The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper

2022-07-1550:5815

This week, Reporter Peter Smith and Senior Producer Matt Kielty tell the story of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that set the standard for scientific expertise in a courtroom, i.e., whether an expert can testify in a lawsuit. They also tell the story of the Daubert family — yes, the Dauberts of “Daubert v Merrell Dow” — whose win before the nine justices translated into a deeper loss. Special thanks to Leah Litman, Rachel Rebouche, Jennifer Mnookin, David Savitz, Brooke Borel, and Tom Zeller Jr. Credits: Reporting by Peter Andrey Smith. Produced by Matt Kielty. Reporting and production assistance from Sarah Qari. Fact-checking by Natalie A. Middleton. Editing by Pat Walters. Sound Design by Matt Kielty. Mixing help from Arianne Wack. Citations: If you're interested in reading more from Peter Smith, check out his work over at Undark.org Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.And, by the way, Radiolab is looking for a remote intern! If you happen to be a creative, science-obsessed nerd who is interested in learning how to make longform radio… Apply before July 20, 2022! We would LOVE to work with you. You can find more info at wnyc.org/careers.
Baby Blue Blood Drive

Baby Blue Blood Drive

2022-07-0854:0714

This is an episode that first aired in 2018 and then again in the thick of the pandemic in 2020. Why? Because though Horseshoe crabs are not much to look at, beneath their unassuming catcher’s-mitt shell, they harbor a half-billion-year-old secret: a superpower that helped them outlive the dinosaurs, survive all the Earth’s mass extinctions, and was essential in the development of the COVID vaccines.  And what is that secret superpower? Their blood. Their baby blue blood.  And it’s so miraculous that for decades, it hasn’t just been saving their butts, it’s been saving ours too. But that all might be about to change.   Follow us as we follow these ancient critters - from a raunchy beach orgy to a marine blood drive to the most secluded waterslide - and learn a thing or two from them about how much we depend on nature and how much it depends on us. Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about special events. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. And, by the way, Radiolab is looking for a remote intern! If you happen to be a creative, science-obsessed nerd who is interested in learning how to make longform radio… Apply! We would LOVE to work with you.  You can find more info at wnyc.org/careers. Citations: Alexis Madrigal, "The Blood Harvest" in The Atlantic, and Sarah Zhang's recent follow up in The Atlantic, "The Last Days of the Blue Blood Harvest"  Deborah Cramer, The Narrow Edge Deborah Cramer, "Inside the Biomedical Revolution to Save Horseshoe Crabs" in Audubon Magazine  Richard Fortey, Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms Ian Frazier, "Blue Bloods"  in The New Yorker  Lulu Miller's short story, "Me and Jane"  in Catapult Magazine Jerry Gault, "The Most Noble Fishing There Is"  in Charles River's Eureka Magazine or check out Glenn Gauvry's horseshoe crab research database
My Thymus, Myself

My Thymus, Myself

2022-07-0129:5030

Today, we go to a spot that may be one of the most philosophical places in the universe: the thymus, an organ that knows what is you, and what is not you. Its mood may be existential, but its role is practical — the thymus is the biological training ground where the body learns to protect itself from outside invaders (think: bacteria, coronaviruses). But this training is not the humdrum bit of science you might expect. It’s a magical shadowland with dire consequences.  Then, we’ll leave the thymus to visit a team of doctors who are using this organ that protects you as a way to protect someone… else. Their work could change everything. Special Thanks:  One thousand thanks to Hannah Meyer, Salomé Carcy, Josh Torres, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for showing us a real-life (mouse) thymus for this episode. Special thanks also go to Diane Mathis and Kate Webb. Further reading: Wanna do a little light reading? Here’s the immunology textbook Jenni Punt and Sharon Stranford helped write, including a whole section on that funny little thing called AIRE! Kuby Immunology  The science paper that first described what happens inside the thymus as an, “immunological self shadow”. Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about special events. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. And, by the way, Radiolab is looking for a remote intern! If you happen to be a creative, science-obsessed nerd who is interested in learning how to make longform radio… Apply! We would LOVE to work with you.  You can find more info at wnyc.org/careers.
Galápagos

Galápagos

2022-06-2401:07:1833

As our co-Hosts Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser are out this week, we are re-sharing the perfect episode to start the summer season! This one, which first aired in 2014, tells the strange story of a small group of islands that keeps us wondering: will our most sacred natural landscapes inevitably get swallowed up by humans? How far are we willing to go to stop that from happening? This hour is about the Galápagos archipelago, which inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. Nearly 200 years later, the Galápagos are undergoing rapid changes that continue to pose — and perhaps answer — critical questions about the fragility and resilience of life on Earth. Episode Credits:Reported and produced by Tim Howard. Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about special events. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.  
No Special Duty

No Special Duty

2022-06-1748:1031

Since the massacre that took the lives of 19 schoolchildren in Uvalde, Texas, people across the world began to ask versions of one question: why did police wait outside the door instead of protecting the kids? It's not the first time this question has come up. Two years ago, as she watched police respond to the protests that followed the death of George Floyd, Producer B.A. Parker wondered: what are police for? With the help of our Producer Sarah Qari, she found that the United States’ Supreme Court had given this a most consequential and bewildering answer. We decided to re-air this episode to shed light on how a case from 2005 upended our assumptions about the role police are meant to play in our lives. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.     Radiolab is on YouTube! (https://zpr.io/MTSFMLXQWDkE) Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe!
Neanderthal's Revenge

Neanderthal's Revenge

2022-06-1028:3523

A few months ago, co-Host Latif Nasser, who was otherwise healthy, saw blood in his poop. It was the start of a medical journey that made him not only question what was going on in his body, but also dig into the secret genetic story of how we became human. Curled up in a hospital bathroom, Latif tries to sort out whether his ordeal is the result of a long-lost sibling knifing him in the gut or, on the contrary, a long-forgotten kindness shared between two human-ish travelers.  Special thanks to Azra Premiji, Avir Mitra, Suzanne Lehrer, David Reich, Sriram Sankararaman, Ainara Sistiaga, Carl Zimmer, Carly Mensch, Nihal Kaur, Charlotte Hsu and Bert Gambini at the University at Buffalo Media Relations, and Latif's GI Doctor Florence Damilola Odufalu and her entire team, as well as all the staff at LA County-USC Medical Center and Keck USC hospitals who looked after Latif during his hospitalization. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab today.     Radiolab is on YouTube! Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe!Editorial Note: This podcast was amended after initial release to change the way we refer to those afflicted by addiction. 
Origin Stories

Origin Stories

2022-06-0345:2213

We’re all in a tizzy here at Radiolab on account of our 20-year anniversary. And, as one does upon passing a milestone, we’ve been looking back in all kinds of ways. Two weeks ago, we went out over the airwaves, “Live on your FM dial,” a callback to our origins as a radio show. We revamped our logo and redid our website (get your Freq on, people!). More recently, Lulu's and Latif’s first stories came up in a meeting. They weren’t always the intrepid hosts of our collective journey in wonder. Soren Wheeler, our editor, thought it would be fun to highlight those firsts for you.  So here they are, baby Latif and Lulu, doing their darndest to make audio magic. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab today.     Radiolab is on YouTube! Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe!  
Radiolab After Dark

Radiolab After Dark

2022-05-2701:00:559

Back in 2002, Jad Abumrad started Radiolab as a live radio show. He DJ’d out into the ether and 20 years later we do the same. To commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the show, the Radiolab team went old school and took over WNYC Radio, live on the FM band. We answered the phones, played some wonderfully weird audio, including one piece where Kurt Vonnegut—yes, that Kurt Vonnegut—interviews the dead, took part in some games and tomfoolery, and did everything we could to have and to share in our good time.
La Mancha Screwjob

La Mancha Screwjob

2022-05-2001:00:3414

All the world’s a stage. Or, sometimes it feels that way, especially these days. In this episode, originally aired in 2015, we push through the fourth wall, pierce the spandex-ed heart of professional wrestling, and travel 400 years into the past to unmask our obsession with authenticity and our desire to walk the line between reality and fantasy. Thanks to Nick Hakim for the use of his song "The Light".  Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab today.     Radiolab is on YouTube! Catch up with new episodes and hear classics from our archive. Plus, find other cool things we did in the past — like miniseries, music videos, short films and animations, behind-the-scenes features, Radiolab live shows, and more. Take a look, explore and subscribe!  
Comments (1358)

ID19619055

Sy’s books are wonderful, and the Soul of an Octopus changed my life. ❤️

Oct 1st
Reply

Alexandra Lehner

Completely unlistenable due to the background voices. Makes it impossible to focus on the narrative. Who decided this was a good idea?

Sep 14th
Reply

Jim Eisenberg

I'm surprised that the expert on chemical weapons didn't mention the extra difficulty of making chemical weapons, even beyond the difficulty of making the chemicals themselves. If you're going to make a VX-type of weapon you're not going to want to make a bunch of VX and put it in a bomb. That's much too dangerous for the people who are doing the manufacturing. In order to reduce that danger, those weapons use what's called Binary chemicals. Two chemicals that are relatively safe by themselves are put into a weapon so that when that weapon explodes the two chemicals mix to form the poison form, VX for example.That means that not only does the chemist have to figure out how to make that new form of VX, but they'd also have to figure out to make the binaries.

Sep 13th
Reply

Nakia Williams

this should come with a trigger warning for people with serious anxiety because this mess was not only unlistenable but had an intense effect on my overall wellbeing, which is exactly what I don't look for when listening to podcasts. this is where I find some calm. I know you got it in ya, Latif, Lulu, and Molly. Jad and Robert's shoes are hard to fill, but I believe in you.

Sep 6th
Reply

ID24384505

So annoying noises. Unbearable! Don’t do it

Aug 22nd
Reply

ID19619055

OMG. I am interested in the story, but I cannot listen because of all the distorted noise and music effects added in the background. Painful and anxiety provoking. Maybe that’s the point? I’ll never know…

Aug 14th
Reply

Plan B News source

ok great story. but it sounded like they narrator was about to uncover some fraud in the company... embezzlement what ever.. then they used his mental illness against him... please follow up on the fraudulence on behalf of the company please...wtf... how did that just get flooded over.

Aug 13th
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Jurry Taalib-Deen

I'm just now hearing this episode and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! Even how it ended, had me in disbelief because I said, "it can't be over." But simultaneously, my understanding of life has grown tremendously, and my curiosity to study this topic has grown into a hungry monster who hasn't eaten in days. THANK YOU AGAIN

Aug 11th
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Åbn dine øjne

Radical Liberal D Trump took control of the republican party using raw cash and now has returned to his roots having spent 68 years as a democrat.

Aug 9th
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Sohereweare

Everybody, don’t let the hateful ignorant people get to you. They say what they say because they seek attention and they’re not getting it at home.

Aug 8th
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Jesus voted for Biden 😇

Alex Jones bankruptcy, more sweet victory for us after we flushed Drumpf out (Thank you Jesus).

Jul 30th
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GoatDuckHorseElf

Let's just concede that we aren't the only beings on the planet's that experience a full range of emotions. Let's also consider those whales experience emotions we don't.

Jul 29th
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Chungus

Why does everyone use these to argue about the US president's approval rating

Jun 29th
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Åbn dine øjne

The Bohemian Grove pedophiles (now revealed to include high ranking republicans as well as dems) meets in the Galápagos island chain for hedonistic ritual sex parties, when will the truth come out?

Jun 25th
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Charles Saulino

They talk about Les McBurney but don't mention the hypothesis of nominative determinism or even the word aptronym? I find that disappointing.

Jun 22nd
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ekeama goddard

Wow....... just wow! Thanks for the information. Knowledge is power.

Jun 20th
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Ryan Persaud

Acting like human women using make up isn't the exact same thing as the little cricket guy using the leaf to amplify his sound...it's only bad if a guy does it, even if he isn't human 🙄

Jun 20th
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Åbn dine øjne

MAGA secretly stands for "Make America Gay Again" it's a false flag operation to provoke pro-gay feelings in America. While fluoride and forever chems make your children gay be aware that even republican fronts are now pro-gay crisis actors.

Jun 19th
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Hiram Douglas Williams

If you randomly select 1,000 people within any occupation, you will find a handful of everything: psychopaths, crooks, liars, and yes, cowards. Dentists, plumbers, teachers, engineers....etc. All have kooks, crooks, and cowards. Apparently, only in the case of law enforcement officers is that an indication of the character of everyone else in that group. 1% of all healthcare workers are sadistic and evil. Do we have a crisis in healthcare? No. This person certainly has a right to come after these officers. Nobody, especially superior minded liberal journalists, has the right to anecdotally extrapolate their actions onto all LE officers. That's what racists do, remember? If that's not the case, I'll go ahead and bring you hundreds... no thousands of examples of selfless bravery by law enforcement for every one story of cowardice. Has Radio Lab covered any of those?

Jun 19th
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Åbn dine øjne

I have been forced to continuously change my profile name to avoid detection by malevolent forces, forces not of this earth or dimension. When pedophile skin changing alien demons are united against you there is great strife, but great victory. Resist humankind! Utilize tin leaf cranial shield technology!

Jun 19th
Reply (1)
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