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19
APR

Americanish

In 1903, the Supreme Court ruled that Isabel Gonzales was not a citizen of the United States. Then again, they said, she wasn’t an immigrant either. And they said that the US territory of Puerto Rico, Isabel’s home, was “foreign to the United States in a domestic sense.” Since then, the US has cleared up at least some of the confusion about US territories and the status of people born in them.
But, more than a hundred years later, there is still a US territory that has been left in limbo: American Samoa. It is the only place on earth that is US soil, but people who are born there are not automatically US citizens. When we visit American Samoa, we discover that there are some pretty surprising reasons why many American Samoans prefer it that way. 
 This episode was reported and produced by Julia Longoria.
Special thanks to John Wasko.
Check out Sam Erman's book Almost Citizens and Doug Mack's book The Not Quite States of America.
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
29
MAR

For Whom the Cowbell Tolls

When Nancy Holten was 8 years old her mom put her in a moving van. She fell asleep, woke up in Switzerland, and she's been there ever since. Nancy is big into animal rights, crystals, and various forms of natural and holistic healing. She’s also a viral sensation: the Dutch woman apparently so annoying, her Swiss town denied her citizenship. In this episode we go to the little village of Gipf-Oberfrick to meet Nancy, talk with the town, and ask the question: what does it mean and what does it take to belong to a place?
This episode was reported by Kelly Prime and was produced by Kelly Prime and Annie McEwen. 
Special thanks to reporter Anna Mayumi Kerber, the tireless fixer and translator for this story. Thanks also to Dominik Hangartner and to the very talented yodelers Ai Dineen and Gregory Corbino.

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
21
MAR

Bliss

This week Jad and Radiolab alum Tim Howard revisit a favorite episode from 2012.
Because moments of total, world-shaking bliss are not easy to come by. Maybe that's what makes them feel so life-altering when they strike. And so worth chasing. This hour: stories of striving, grasping, tripping, and falling for happiness, perfection, and ideals.  
With Alexander Gamme, Arika Okrent, Richard Sproat, and Ken Libbrecht.
This update was produced with help from Audrey Quinn.
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
07
MAR

Asking for Another Friend

Part 2: Last year, we ran a pair of episodes that explored the greatest mysteries in our listeners’ lives - the big ones, little ones, and the ones in between. This year, we’re back on the hunt, tracking down answers to the big little questions swirling around our own heads.
Today, we take a look at a strange human emotion, and investigate the mysteries lurking behind the trees, sounds, and furry friends in our lives. 
This episode was reported by Tracie Hunte, Pat Walters, Molly Webster, Arianne Wack, Carter Hodge, Sarah Qari and Annie McEwen, and was produced by Matt Kielty, Tracie Hunte, Pat Walters, Molly Webster, Arianne Wack, Sarah Qari, Annie McEwen, and Simon Adler. 
Special thanks to Yiyun Huang, lab manager at Yale's Canine Cognition Center. Check out Code Switch's "Dog Show!"
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
28
FEB

Asking for a Friend

Last year, we ran a pair of episodes that explored the greatest mysteries in our listeners’ lives - the big ones, little ones, and the ones in between. This year, we’re back on the hunt, tracking down answers to the big little questions swirling around our own heads.
We reached out to some of our favorite people and asked them to come along with us as we journeyed back in time, to outer space, and inside our very own bodies.
This episode was reported by Rachael Cusick, Simon Adler, Becca Bressler, and Annie McEwen and was produced by Rachael Cusick, Simon Adler, Matt Kielty, Becca Bressler, and Annie McEwen.
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
 
21
FEB

Loops

Our lives are filled with loops that hurt us, heal us, make us laugh, and, sometimes, leave us wanting more. This hour, Radiolab revisits the strange things that emerge when something happens, then happens again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and… well, again.
In this episode of Radiolab, Jad and Robert try to explain an inexplicable comedy act, listen to a loop that literally dies in your ear, and they learn about a loop that sent a shudder up the collective spine of mathematicians everywhere. Finally, they talk to a woman who got to watch herself think the thought that she was watching herself think the thought that she was watching herself think the thought that ... you get the point.
With Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunohler,  Alex Bellos, Steven Strogatz, Janna Levin, and Melanie Thernstrom. Plus mind-bending musical accompaniment from Laguardia Arts High School singers Nathaniel Sabat, Julian Soto, Eli Greenhoe, Kelly Efthimiu, Julia Egan, and Ruby Froom.
You can find the video Christine Campbell made of her mom Mary Sue here.

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
08
FEB

The Beauty Puzzle

When a female animal is checking out her prospects, natural selection would dictate that she pay attention to how healthy, or strong, or fit he is. But when it comes to finding a mate, some animals seem to be engaged in a very different game. What if a female were looking for something else - something that has nothing to do with fitness? Something...beautiful? Today we explore a different way of looking at evolution and what it may mean for the course of science.
This episode was reported by Robert Krulwich and Bethel Habte and was produced by Bethel Habte.
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
22
JAN

More Perfect: Sex Appeal

With Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the news and on the big screen recently, we decided to play the More Perfect show about her from back in November of 2017. This is the story of how Ginsburg, as a young lawyer at the ACLU, convinced an all-male Supreme Court to take discrimination against women seriously - using a case on discrimination against men. 
This episode was reported by Julia Longoria.
Special thanks to Stephen Wiesenfeld, Alison Keith, and Bob Darcy.
Supreme Court archival audio comes from Oyez®, a free law project in collaboration with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell.
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
16
JAN

The Punchline

John Scott was the professional hockey player that every fan loved to hate.  A tough guy. A brawler. A goon. But when an impish pundit named Puck Daddy called on fans to vote for Scott to play alongside the world’s greatest players in the NHL All-Star Game, Scott found himself facing off against fans, commentators, and the powers that be.  Was this the realization of Scott’s childhood dreams? Or a nightmarish prank gone too far? Today on Radiolab, a goof on a goon turns into a parable of the agony and the ecstasy of the internet, and democracy in the age of Boaty McBoatface.
This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and was produced by Matt Kielty.
Special thanks to Larry Lynch. Check out John Scott's "Dropping the Gloves" podcast and his book "A Guy Like Me".
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
 
28
DEC
2018

BONUS: Radiolab Scavenger Hunt

The question we get more than any other here at Radiolab is “where do all those stories come from?”  Today, for the first time ever, we divulge our secret recipe for story-finding.  Veteran Radiolab story scout Latif Nasser takes our newest producer Rachael Cusick along for what he calls “the world’s biggest scavenger hunt.”  Together, they’ll make you want to bake some cookies and find some true stories.  But we can’t find, much less tell, true stories without you. Find it in yourself to donate and help us make another year of this possible. It's a choice only you can make. Radiolab.org/support
 
Here are story-finding resources mentioned in this episode:
The World's Biggest Scavenger Hunt: Latif's Transom post on story scouting
Google Alerts: Set up your own!
Wikipedia Random Article: Play wiki roulette by clicking "random article" in the far-left column
WorldCat: to find where a book exists in a library near you
ArchiveGrid: to search libraries' special collections and oral histories
Trade Publications: Search for trade magazines by industry
Cusick Cookies: Rachael's cookie recipe...you're welcome.
 
 
27
DEC
2018

A Clockwork Miracle

As legend goes, in 1562, King Philip II needed a miracle. So he commissioned one from a highly-skilled clockmaker. In this short, a king's deal with God leads to an intricate mechanical creation, and Jad heads to the Smithsonian to investigate. 
When the 17-year-old crown prince of Spain, Don Carlos, fell down a set of stairs in 1562, he threw his whole country into a state of uncertainty about the future. Especially his father, King Philip II, who despite being the most powerful man in the world, was helpless in the face of his heir's terrible head wound. When none of the leading remedies of the day--bleeding, blistering, purging, or drilling--helped, the king enlisted the help of a relic...the corpse of a local holy man who had died 100 years earlier. Then, Philip II promised that if God saved his son, he'd repay him with a miracle of his own.
Elizabeth King, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, describes how--according to legend--Philip II held up his end of the bargain with the help of a renowned clockmaker and an intricate invention. Jad and Latif head to the Smithsonian to meet curator Carlene E. Stephens who shows them the inner workings of a nearly 450-year-old monkbot. 
This episode was reported by Latif Nasser. 
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
21
DEC
2018

Apologetical

How do you fix a word that’s broken? A word we need when we bump into someone on the street, or break someone’s heart. In our increasingly disconnected secular world, “sorry” has been stretched and twisted, and in some cases weaponized. But it’s also one of the only ways we have to piece together a sense of shared values and beliefs. Through today's sea of sorry-not-sorries, empty apologies, and just straight up non-apologies, we wonder what it looks like to make amends.
This episode was reported by Annie McEwen and was produced by Annie McEwen and Simon Adler. 
Special thanks to Mark Bressler, Nancy Kielty, and Patty Walters. 
Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 

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