148 episodes

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 Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser.

Radiolab WNYC

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 37.7K Ratings

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 Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser.

    Animal Minds

    Animal Minds

    In this hour of Radiolab, stories of cross-species communication.

    When we gaze into the eyes of a wild animal, or even a beloved pet, can we ever really know what they might be thinking? Is it naive to assume they're experiencing something close to human emotions? Or is it ridiculous to assume that they AREN'T feeling something like that? We get the story of a rescued whale that may have found a way to say thanks, ask whether dogs feel guilt, and wonder if a successful predator may have fallen in love with a photographer.

    • 59 min
    Mixtape: Help?

    Mixtape: Help?

    In tape five, three stories: first, a tale of how the cassette tape supercharged the self-help industry. Second, cassettes filled with history make an epic journey across Africa with a group of Lost Boys. And finally, Simon meets up with fellow Radiolabber David Gebel to dig through an old box of mixtapes and rediscover the unique power of these bygone love letters.

    Mixtape was reported, produced, scored and sound designed by me, Simon Adler, with music throughout by me. Unending reporting and production assistance was provided by Eli Cohen.

    Special Thanks to: Shad Helmstetter, Vic Conan, Glenna Salisbury, Jerry Rosen, Richard Petty, Sharon Arkin, William Mulwill for sharing his cassettes with me, and to the British library for sharing some of their recordings from their South Sudan collection, which is housed at the British Library Sound Archive.

    Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    • 48 min
    Mixtape: Cassetternet

    Mixtape: Cassetternet

    In 1983, Simon Goodwin had a strange thought. Would it be possible to broadcast computer software over the radio? If so, could listeners record it off the air and onto a cassette tape? This experiment and dozens of others in the early 80s created a series of cassette fueled, analog internets. They copied and moved information like never before, upended power structures and created a poisonous social network that brought down a regime. 

    In tape four of Mixtape, we examine how these early internet came about, and how the societal and cultural impacts of these analog information networks can still be felt today.

    Mixtape is reported, produced, scored and sound designed by Simon Adler with original music throughout by Simon. Top tier reporting and production assistance was provided by Eli Cohen.

    Special thanks to: Alex Sayf Cummings, Martin Maly, Piotr Gawrysiak, Joe Tozer, James Gleick, Jason Rezaian, Gholam Khiabany and Mo Jazi. And to Arash Aziz for helping us every step of the way with our story about Khomeini. And Simon Goodwin for making us that secret code. And to Micah Loewinger to tipping me off to these software radio broadcasts. 

    Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.   

     

    • 58 min
    Mixtape: The Wandering Soul

    Mixtape: The Wandering Soul

    As the Vietnam war dragged on, the US military began desperately searching for any vulnerability in their North Vietnamese enemy. In 1964, they found it. It was an old Vietnamese folktale involving a ghost, eternal damnation and fear - a tailor made weaponizable myth. And so, armed with tape recorders and microphones, the military set out to win the war by bringing this ghost story to life.

    Today, the story of these efforts and their ghosts that still haunt us today. 

    Mixtape is reported, produced, scored and sound designed by Simon Adler with original music throughout by Simon. Indispensable reporting and production assistance was provided by Eli Cohen.

    This episode was produced by Annie McEwen, with original music by Annie. Original reporting was contributed by Trung Dung Vo and Nguyễn Vân Hà.

    Special thanks to: Allison Boccia, Jared Tracy and Herb Friedman. And to Mathew Campbell for introducing me to the Wandering Soul tape to begin with. And to Erik Villard for all his help pulling those tapes and voices for us. 

    Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

    • 40 min
    Mixtape: Jack and Bing

    Mixtape: Jack and Bing

    In 1946 Bing Crosby was the king of media. He was the movie star, the pop star and his radio show was reaching a third of American living rooms each week.  But then, it all started to fall apart. His ratings were plummeting and his fans were fleeing. Bing however, was not going down without a fight. 

    Today, the story of how Bing Crosby and some stolen Nazi technology won his audience back, changed media forever and accidentally broke reality along the way. 

    Mixtape is reported, produced, scored and sound designed by Simon Adler with original music throughout by Simon Adler. Invaluable reporting and production assistance was provided by Eli Cohen.

    Special thanks to: Michele Hilmes, Pete Hammer, Rich Flores, Mara Mills, Jonathan Sterne, Claudia Mewes. Though their voices weren’t in the piece, input certainly was.

    And to Mary Crosby and Robert Bader, for opening up Bing’s archive for us, and enabling us to fill this episode with so much of Bing’s music.

    Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.    

    • 36 min
    Mixtape: Dakou

    Mixtape: Dakou

    Through the 1980s, the vast majority of people in China had never heard western music, save for John Denver, the Carpenters, and a few other artists included on the hand-picked list of songs sanctioned by the Communist Party. But in the late 90s, a mysterious man named Professor Ye made a discovery at a plastic recycling center in Heping.In episode 1 of Mixtape, we talk to Chinese historians, music critics, and the musicians who took the damaged plastic scraps of western music, changed the musical landscape of China, and reimagined rock and roll in ways we never could’ve imagined.

     

    Mixtape is reported, produced, scored and sound designed by Simon Adler with original music throughout by Simon. Invaluable reporting and production assistance was provided by Eli Cohen. Additional reporting by Noriko Ishigaki, Rebecca Kanthor and our amazing anonymous Chinese reporter. 

     

    Special thanks to: Paul de Gay, Juliette Kristensen, Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, Nick Lyons, Michael Bull, Jiro Ishikawa, Hayley Zhao, Megan Smalley and Deanne Totto.

    This episode would not have happened without each and every one of them.

    Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.   

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
37.7K Ratings

37.7K Ratings

ADDaD ,

It's hard to estimate the value of this podcast

This podcast stands out as pretty much constantly astounding. As someone who writes about science for a living, the 'scientific' concepts here are rendered in an enviably fascinating and pretty much idiot-proof way. It's a testament to the skills of the hosts in their use of the audio format that they can cruise through really complex stuff and give the ordinary listener entertainment and learning in a single scoop. This is the best. Now if they would only get season one on itunes....

God' conundrum ,

Mix Tape

The last episode was beautifully done to end with your office person recounting his history and each songs meaning. Wish that you could do more but I understand all good things must end.
The mix tape series brought back years of stuff I recorded when our family got the first cassette recorder. My mother was in Sweet Adelines Barbershop when dad bought her a new portable tape recorder to record her music for chorus. Naturally us kids needed our own so the following Christmas we recieved a smaller version of cassette recorder. Thus began my recording career from James Bonds to Prerecorded Pipe Organ Music. I can not tell you how many tape players and recorders I burned up. They went every where I went. Thanks again for the high quality story lines can’t wait for the next one.

anutzman ,

Lisping trend?

Seriously, has it become a trend to have lisp or something?

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