We all want to know if we’re normal—do I have enough friends? Should it take me this long to get over my ex? Should I move or stay where I am? Endlessly curious data journalist Mona Chalabi NEEDS to know, and she’s ready to dive into the numbers to get some answers. But studies and spreadsheets don’t tell the whole story, so she’s consulting experts, strangers, and even her mum to fill in the gaps. The answers might surprise you, and make you ask: does normal even exist? Am I Normal? with Mona Chalabi is produced in partnership with Transmitter Media.
The secret Somali mixtapes | Far Flung
It’s 1988, and Somalians are fleeing the city of Hargeisa. People are trying to get out, trying to save their families and sometimes their things. But in the city’s radio station, staff are packing cassettes and reel to reel recordings into a secret underground bunker. What's on them? A slice of the country’s musical heritage, to remain for years in an underground room—until now.
This is an episode of Far Flung with Saleem Reshamwala, another podcast in the TED Audio Collective. If you want to hear more episodes exploring ideas in Caracas, Barcelona, Puerto Rico, the world of dreams and beyond, follow Far Flung wherever you're listening to this.
Breaking Up with Perfectionism | WorkLife with Adam Grant
Perfectionism is on the rise–and not just in job interviews when people claim it’s their greatest weakness. But the desire to be flawless is not always productive—or healthy. As a recovering perfectionist, organizational psychologist Adam Grant dives into how he managed to abandon the quest for 10s while holding onto his drive for excellence. This is an episode of WorkLife with Adam Grant, another podcast in the TED Audio Collective. To hear more episodes, follow WorkLife wherever you're listening to this.
What question is on YOUR mind?
The first season of Am I Normal? centered around the questions of data journalist Mona Chalabi. In Season 2, launching in September this year, we want to answer the questions on YOUR mind. If you’ve ever wondered if something’s normal–whether that something is about you or the world AROUND you–or you just have that nagging question you simply NEED the data on, then Mona’s excited to figure it out with you (or to at least try to)! Leave a voicemail at (919) 446-5131 OR drop us an email or voice message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is it really that bad to marry my cousin?
Charles Darwin. Edgar Allen Poe. Albert Einstein. What do all of these men have in common? Yes, they’ve made major contributions to science and literature. Buuuut they also all married their first cousins. Mona looks at the genetic consequences of cousin marriage, and what taboos really tell us about the social norms and power.
Should you break the law?
The obvious answer: no. Though you haven’t exactly committed to a life of crime if you jaywalk on an empty street. But if we bend the law on jaywalking, why not drunk driving? Well, there was a time when people thought drunk driving didn't really matter either. So what changed? How do we decide to follow a law or not? What even IS a law? Mona meets with social psychology of law professor, Kenworthy Bilz to understand how laws can (and can’t) shape our behaviors.
You can find the full text transcript along with studies cited in this episode at go.ted.com/AIN7
Which box do I check?
We’re constantly checking boxes on forms, whether it’s for eye color or sexual orientation. Those categories can be empowering or, they can make you feel invisible, like when Mona painted a portrait of 100 New Yorkers based on the New York Census data, and realized she couldn’t see herself. There was no “Arabic” box to check in the census—the closest being “white” or “other.” So what happens when someone spends their whole life checking that box for “other”? Mona talks with nonbinary British Iraqi drag queen Amrou Al-Kadhi about embracing the contradictions of having multiple, wonderful, identities, that SOME people see as conflicting.
You can find the full text transcript along with studies cited in this episode at go.ted.com/AIN6
Love this podcast
I’ve enjoyed listening to each episode! Though I noticed that there hasn’t been any recent updates and I’m kinda bummed. Hoping that you can keep it up!
Where is season two? This should be a weekly thing? I had high hopes for this show. Please fix this!
Amazing Quality 🤩
The quality of this podcast is hands the best I’ve heard. All the little sounds and transitions really make this show enjoyable to listen while not being too long. Awesome to be informed of stuff too!