Oct 062005
 

Radiolab

Radiolab is on a curiosity bender. We ask deep questions and use investigative journalism to get the answers. A given episode might whirl you through science, legal history, and into the home of someone halfway across the world. The show is known for innovative sound design, smashing information into music. It is hosted by Lulu Miller and Latif Nasser.

Mixtapes to the Moon

They promised to change you. They ended up changing all of us.

 

On July 20, 1969 humanity watched as Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. It was the dazzling culmination of a decade of teamwork, a collective global experience unlike anything before or since, a singular moment in which every human being was invited to feel part of something larger than themself. There was however, one man who was left out.   

This week on Radiolab we explore what it means to be together and - of course - the cassette tapes that changed it. 

Special thanks to WBUR and the team at City Space for having us and recording this event, all the other folks and venues that hosted us on tour, Sarah Rose Leonard and Lance Gardner at KQED for developing this show with us and Alex Overington for musically bringing it to life. 

EPISODE CREDITS:
Reported by - Simon Adler
Produced by - Simon Adler
Original music and sound design contributed by - Alex Overington
Fact-checking by - Emily Krieger
and Edited by  - Soren Wheeler

EPISODE CITATIONS:

Videos - 

Check out Zack Taylor’s beautiful documentary CASSETTE: A Documentary Mixtape (https://vimeo.com/127216590)

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, X (Twitter) and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.

Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

Lucy

Chimps. Bonobos. Humans. We're all great apes, but that doesn’t mean we’re one happy family.

This episode, a mashup of content stretching all the way back to 2010, asks the question, is cross-species co-habitation an utterly stupid idea? Or might it be our one last hope as more and more humans fill up the planet? A chimp named Lucy teaches us the ups and downs of growing up human, and a visit to The Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa highlights some of the basics of bonobo culture (be careful, they bite).

EPISODE CITATIONS -

Photos:

Photo of Lucy and Janis hugging.  (https://zpr.io/U7qRdYDqxbGj)

Videos:

Lucy throughout the years (https://vimeo.com/9377513)

Slideshow produced by Sharon Shattuck.

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.

Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

Selected Shorts

A selection of short flights of fact and fancy performed live on stage.

Usually we tell true stories at this show, but earlier this spring we were invited to guest host a live show called Selected Shorts, a New York City institution that presents short fiction performed on stage by great actors (you’ll often find Tony, Emmy and Oscars winners on their stage). We treated the evening a bit like a Radiolab episode, selecting a theme, and choosing several stories related to that theme. The stories we picked were all about “flight” in one way or another, and came from great writers like Brian Doyle, Miranda July, Don Shea and Margaret Atwood. As we traveled from the flight of a hummingbird, to an airplane seat beside a celebrity, to the mind of a bat, we found these stories pushing us past the edge of what we thought we could know, in the way that all truly great writing does.

Special thanks to Abubakr Ali, Becca Blackwell, Molly Bernard, Zach Grenier, Drew Richardson, Jennifer Brennan and the whole team at Selected Shorts and Symphony Space.

EPISODE CREDITS: 

Produced by - Maria Paz Gutierrez
Fact-checking by - Natalie Middleton
and Edited 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.


Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

Memory and Forgetting

Remembering is a tricky, unstable business. This hour: a look behind the curtain of how memories are made...and forgotten.

 

 

The act of recalling in our minds something that happened in the past is an unstable and profoundly unreliable process--it’s easy come, easy go as we learn how true memories can be obliterated, and false ones added. Then, Oliver Sacks joins us to tell the story of an amnesiac whose love for his wife and music transcend his 7-second memory.

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.

Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

Small Potatoes

An ode to the small, the banal, the overlooked things that make up the fabric of our lives.

Most of our stories are about the big stuff: Important or dramatic events, big ideas that transform the world around us or inspire conflict and struggle and change. But most of our lives, day by day or hour by hour, are made up of … not that stuff. Most of our lives are what we sometimes dismissively call “small potatoes.” This week on Radiolab, Heather Radke challenges to focus on the small, the overlook, the everyday … and find out what happens when you take a good hard look at the things we all usually overlook.

Special thanks to Moeko Fujii, Kelley Conway, Robin Kelley, Jason Isaacs, and Andrew Semans

EPISODE CREDITS: 

Reported by - Heather Radke, Rachael Cusick, and Matt Kielty
with help from - Erica Heilman
Produced by - Annie McEwen and Matt Kielty
Original music and sound design contributed by - Annie McEwen, Matt Kielty, and Jeremy Bloom
Fact-checking by - Emily Krieger and Diane Kelly
and Edited by  - Alex Neason

EPISODE CITATIONS:

Audio -
Check out Ian Chillag’s podcast, Everything is Alive, from Radiotopia.

Museums -
Learn more about The Museum of Everyday Life, located in Glover, Vermont, here.

Newsletter - 
Heather Radke has a newsletter all about small potatoes. It’s called Petite Patate and you can subscribe at HeatherRadke.substack.com.

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.

Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

The Distance of the Moon

In an episode we last featured on our Radiolab for Kids Feed back in 2020, and in honor of its blocking out the Sun for a bit of us for a bit last week, in this episode, we’re gonna talk more about the moon. According to one theory, (psst listen to The Moon Itself if you want to know more) the moon formed when a Mars-sized chunk of rock collided with Earth, the moon coalesced out of the debris from that impact. And it was MUCH closer to Earth than it is today. This idea is taken to its fanciful limit in Italo Calvino's story "The Distance of the Moon" (from his collection Cosmicomics, translated by William Weaver). Read by Liev Schreiber, the story is narrated by a character with the impossible-to-pronounce name Qfwfq, and tells of a strange crew who jump between Earth and moon, and sometimes hover in the nether reaches of gravity between the two.

This reading was part of a live event hosted by Radiolab and Selected Shorts, and it originally aired on WNYC’s and PRI’s SELECTED SHORTS, hosted by BD Wong and paired with a Ray Bradbury classic, “All Summer in a Day,” read by musical theater star Michael Cerveris.

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.

Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

The Moon Itself

There’s a total solar eclipse coming. On Monday, April 8, for a large swath of North America, the sun will disappear, in the middle of the day. Everywhere you look, people are talking about it. What will it feel like when the sun goes away? What will the blocked-out sun look like? But all this talk of the sun got us thinking: wait, what about the moon? The only reason this whole solar eclipse thing is happening is because the moon is stepping in front of the sun. So in today’s episode, we stop treating the moon like a bit player in this epic cosmic event, and place it centerstage. We get to know the moon, itself — from birth, to middle age, to … death.

This episode was reported by Molly Webster, Pat Walters, Becca Bressler, Alan Goffinski, Maria Paz Guttierez, Sarah Qari, Simon Adler and Alex Neason, and produced by Matt Kielty, Becca Bressler, Pat Walters, Maria Paz Guttierrez, Alan Goffinski and Simon Adler. 

It was edited by Becca Bressler and Pat Walters. Fact-checked by Diane Kelly and Natalie A Middleton. Original Music and sound design by Matt Kielty, Jeremy Bloom, and Simon Adler. Mixing help from Arianne Wack.

Special thanks to Rebecca Boyle, Patrick Leverone and Daryl Pitts at the Maine Gem and Mineral Museum in Bethel Maine, Renee Weber, Paul M. Sutter, Matt Siegler, Sarah Noble, and Chucky P.

EPISODE CREDITS: 

Reported by - Molly Webster, Pat Walters, Becca Bressler, Alan Goffinski, Maria Paz Guttierez, Sarah Qari, Simon Adler and Alex Neason
Produced by -Matt Kielty, Becca Bressler, Pat Walters, Maria Paz Guttierrez, Alan Goffinski and Simon Adler
Original music and sound design contributed by - Matt Kielty, Jeremy Bloom and Simon Adler
with mixing help from  - Arianne Wack
Fact-checking by - Natalie Middleton and Diane Kelley
and Edited by  - Pat Walters and Becca Bressler

EPISODE CITATIONS:

Books - 
Rebecca Boyle’s book, Our Moon: How the Earth’s Celestial Companion Transformed the Planet, Guided Evolution and Made Us Who We Are.

PEOPLE IN NORTH AMERICA, HERE'S HOW TO RECYCLE YOUR USED ECLIPSE GLASSES (https://zpr.io/D6wB7dA4Sb3m)
*unless you want to hold onto them till the next one on August 23rd, 2044

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.

Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

Short Cuts: Drawn Onward

As a treat for the first palindrome date of the calendar year 2024, 4/2/24, (for those who use U.S. formatting of dates anyway), we are releasing a special audio palindrome. A piece that plays the same forward and backward. It’s called “Drawn Onward” and it comes from the producers Alan Goffinski and Sarita Bhatt. It originally aired on the wonderful BBC show Short Cuts which curates fresh, experimental, adventurous audio journeys. 

Special thanks to Alan Goffinski, Sarita Bhatt, Josie Long, Eleanor McDowall, BBC Short Cuts

EPISODE CREDITS: 

Reported by - Alan Goffinski, Sarita Bhatt
Produced by - Axel Kacoutié
with help from - Alan Goffinski, Sarita Bhatt
Original music and sound design contributed by - Alan Goffinski
Mixed by - Axel Kacoutié

EPISODE CITATIONS:

Articles - BBC Short Cuts full episode: Meeting Myself Coming Back

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.

Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

Finding Emilie

This is a segment we first aired back in 2011. In it, we hear a story of a very different kind of lost and found. Alan Lundgard, a college art student, fell in love with a fellow art student, Emilie Gossiaux. Nine months after Alan and Emilie made it official, Emilie's mom, Susan Gossiaux, received a terrible phone call from Alan. Together, Susan and Alan tell Jad and Robert about the devastating fork in the road that left Emilie lost in a netherworld, and how Alan found her again.

Then, at the end of the episode, and a full decade later, we catch up with Emilie and talk about her art, her heart, a dog named London, and the movie The Fifth Element. 

EPISODE CITATIONS -

Exhibitions: Emilie L. Gossiaux - Other-Worlding (https://queensmuseum.org/exhibition/other-worlding/) at the Queen’s County Museum, through April, 7th, 2024.  

Video: A video of Emilie Gossiaux painting with the BrainPort (https://youtu.be/1xYi9oZMVWI?si=kDBtRlVE62g9AI0V)

 

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.

Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

Throughline: Dare to Dissent

On today’s show, we’re excited to share an episode from our friends at the podcast Throughline

Sometimes, the most dangerous and powerful thing a person can do is to stand up not against their enemies, but against their friends. As the United States heads into what will likely be another bitter and divided election year, there will be more and more pressure to stand with our in-groups rather than our consciences.

So the Throughline team decided to tell some of the stories of people who have stood up to that kind of pressure. Some are names we know; others we likely never will. What those people did, what it cost them, and why they did it anyway.

Check out the full version of “Dare to Dissent” here: 

https://www.npr.org/2023/11/30/1198908264/dare-to-dissent

 

EPISODE CITATIONS:

Books -
Defying Hitler: the White Rose Pamphlet (https://zpr.io/wAXJuTzqFBvw), by Alexandra Lloyd, fellow by special election in German at the University of Oxford.

King: A Life (https://zpr.io/iGAEggJJnFNE), by Johnathan Eig.
 

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.


Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

Staph Retreat

What happens when you combine an axe-wielding microbiologist and a disease-obsessed historian? A strange brew that's hard to resist, even for a modern day microbe.

In the war on devilish microbes, our weapons are starting to fail us.  The antibiotics we once wielded like miraculous flaming swords seem more like lukewarm butter knives.

But today we follow an odd couple to a storied land of elves and dragons. There, they uncover a 1000-year-old secret that makes us reconsider our most basic assumptions about human progress and wonder: What if the only way forward is backward?

Reported by Latif Nasser. Produced by Matt Kielty and Soren Wheeler.

Special thanks to Steve Diggle, Professor Roberta Frank, Alexandra Reider and Justin Park (our Old English readers), Gene Murrow from Gotham Early Music Scene, Marcia Young for her performance on the medieval harp and Collin Monro of Tadcaster and the rest of the Barony of Iron Bog.

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.


Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 

Hold On

Two years ago, the United States did something amazing. In response to the mental health crisis the federal government launched 988 - a nationwide, easy to remember phone number that anyone can call anytime and talk to a counselor. It was 911 but for mental health and they hoped that it would save lives. However, if you call 988 today the first thing you hear isn’t a sympathetic counselor. What you hear is hold music.

Today, the story of the highest stakes hold music in the universe, the three men who created suicide prevention and the two women trying to fix it. 

Special thanks to Dr. Matt Wray, Sherbert Willows, Dani Bennett & Monica Johnson, Shari Sinwelski & the folks at Didi Hirsch, David Green, Jay Kennedy S. Carey & JagJaguwar Records,  and George Colt for sharing his cassette taped interviews of Ed Schneidman with us.

EPISODE CREDITS: 

Reported by - Simon Adler

Produced by - Simon Adler

Fact-checking by - Natalie Middleton

and Edited 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.

Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 
 
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