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29
MAY

Dispatch 6: Strange Times

Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It’s a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies.
This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte.
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.  
22
MAY

Speedy Beet

There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit.
Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola.
And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth.
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
15
MAY

Octomom

In 2007, Bruce Robison’s robot submarine stumbled across an octopus settling in to brood her eggs. It seemed like a small moment. But as he went back to visit her, month after month, what began as a simple act of motherhood became a heroic feat that has never been equalled by any known species on Earth. 
This episode was reported and produced by Annie McEwen. 
Special thanks to Kim Fulton-Bennett and Rob Sherlock at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Center. And thanks to the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra for the use of their piece, “Concerto for Bassoon & Chamber Orchestra: II. Beautiful.” 
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.  
If you need more ocean in your life, check out the incredible Monterey Bay Aquarium live cams (especially the jellies!): www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams
13
MAY

Why Fish Don't Exist

Our old friend Lulu Miller — former Radiolab producer, co-creator of Invisibilia — has been obsessed by the chaos that rules the universe since long before it showed up as a global pandemic, and a few weeks ago, she published a book about it. It’s called Why Fish Don’t Exist. It’s part scientific adventure story, part philosophical manifesto, part chest-ripped-open memoir. Jad called her up to talk about how an obscure 19th century ichthyologist with a checkered past helped her find meaning in the world, and what she means when she says fish aren’t real.
You can buy Lulu's book Why Fish Don’t Exist here.
This episode was produced by Pat Walters. 
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.  
08
MAY

David and Dominique

David Gebel and Dominique Crisden have a couple of things in common: they both live in New York, they’re both gay, and they’re both HIV-positive. But David is in his 60s, and has been living with the disease since moving to New York in the ‘80s. Dominique, on the other hand, is only in his early 30s. From our friends at WNYC's “Nancy”, this episode features a very special conversation between David and Dominique about the similarities and differences in their experiences living with HIV.
Special thanks to Krishna Stone at Gay Men's Health Crisis, an HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and advocacy organization in New York. 
This episode was produced by Tobin Low, Kathy Tu and Matt Collette. Music in this episode by Jeremy Bloom. Theme by Alexander Overington.
Note: A version of this episode first ran on May 7, 2017.
Support our work. Become a Nancy member today at Nancypodcast.org/donate.    
06
MAY

Dispatch 5: Don't Stop Believin'

Covid-19 has put emergency room doctors on the frontlines treating an illness that is still perplexing and unknown. Jad tracks one ER doctor in NYC as the doctor puzzles through clues, doing research of his own, trying desperately to save patients' lives. 
This episode was produced by Jad Abumrad and Suzie Lechtenberg.
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.  
24
APR

Atomic Artifacts

Back in the 1950s, facing the threat of nuclear annihilation, federal officials sat down and pondered what American life would actually look like after an atomic attack. They faced a slew of practical questions like: Who would count the dead and where would they build the refugee camps? But they faced a more spiritual question as well. If Washington DC were hit, every object in the the National Archives would be eviscerated in a moment. Terrified by this reality, they set out to save some of America’s most precious stuff. 
Today, we look back at the items our Cold War era planners sought to save and we ask the question: In the year 2020, what objects would we preserve now? 
This episode was reported and produced by Simon Adler with editing from Pat Walters and reporting assistance from Tad Davis. 
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.  
18
APR

The Cataclysm Sentence

One day in 1961, the famous physicist Richard Feynman stepped in front of a Caltech lecture hall and posed this question to a group of undergraduate students: “If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence was passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?” Now, Feynman had an answer to his own question - a good one. But his question got the entire team at Radiolab wondering, what did his sentence leave out? So we posed Feynman’s cataclysm question to some of our favorite writers, artists, historians, futurists - all kinds of great thinkers. We asked them, “What’s the one sentence you would want to pass on to the next generation that would contain the most information in the fewest words?” What came back was an explosive collage of what it means to be alive right here and now, and what we want to say before we go.
This episode was produced by Matt Kielty and Rachael Cusick, with help from Jeremy Bloom, Zakiya Gibbons, and the entire Radiolab staff. 
Special Thanks to:
Ella Frances Sanders, and her book, "Eating the Sun", for inspiring this whole episode.
Caltech for letting us use original audio of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. The entirety of the lectures are available to read for free online at www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu.
All the wonderful people we interviewed for sentences but weren’t able to fit in this episode, including: Daniel Abrahm, Julia Alvarez, Aimee Bender, Sandra Cisneros, Stanley Chen, Lewis Dartnell, Ann Druyan, Rose Eveleth, Ty Frank, Julia Galef, Ross Gay, Gary Green, Cesar Harada, Dolores Huerta, Robin Hunicke, Brittany Kamai, Priya Krishna, Ken Liu, Carmen Maria Machado, James Martin, Judtih Matloff, Ryan McMahon, Hasan Minhaj, Lorrie Moore, Priya Natarajan, Larry Owens, Sunni Patterson, Amy Pearl, Alison Roman, Domee Shi, Will Shortz, Sam Stein, Sohaib Sultan, Kara Swisher, Jill Tarter, Olive Watkins, Reggie Watts, Deborah Waxman, Alex Wellerstein, Caveh Zahedi.
 
11
APR

Dispatch 4: Six Feet

Since the onset of the pandemic, we exist in a constant state of calculation, trying to define our own personal bubble. We’ve all been given a simple rule: maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others. But why six? Producer Sarah Qari uncovers the answer, and talks to some scientists who now say six might not be the right number after all. 
This episode was reported and produced by Sarah Qari and Pat Walters.

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.  
06
APR

Space

In the 60’s, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism.
03
APR

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity

More than a million people have caught Covid-19, and tens of thousands have died. But thousands more have survived and recovered. A week or so ago (aka, what feels like ten years in corona time) producer Molly Webster learned that many of those survivors possess a kind of superpower: antibodies trained to fight the virus. Not only that, they might be able to pass this power on to the people who are sick with corona, and still in the fight. Today we have the story of an experimental treatment that’s popping up all over the country: convalescent plasma transfusion, a century-old procedure that some say may become one of our best weapons against this devastating, new disease.
 
If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood. 
To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here. 
To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.
 And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.
 
If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project.
And lastly, Tatiana Prowell’s tweet that tipped us off is here.
This episode was reported by Molly Webster and produced by Pat Walters. Special thanks to Drs. Evan Bloch and Tim Byun, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. 
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.  
01
APR

Dispatch 2: Every Day is Ignaz Semmelweis Day

It began with a tweet: “EVERY DAY IS IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS DAY.” Carl Zimmer — tweet author, acclaimed science writer and friend of the show — tells the story of a mysterious, deadly illness that struck 19th century Vienna, and the ill-fated hero who uncovered its cure … and gave us our best weapon (so far) against the current global pandemic.
This episode was reported and produced with help from Bethel Habte and Latif Nasser.
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

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