Streams

Robert Krulwich

Host, Radiolab

Robert Krulwich appears in the following:

Jupiter's Dot And Mine. Why Life Is Unfair

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Jupiter has a large red dot on its surface. I, too, have a dot on my surface. It's on my cheek. Jupiter just got lucky with its dot. Me? Not.

Comment

Jupiter's Dot And Mine. Why Life Is Unfair

Thursday, May 22, 2014

When I was 9, my dad drew this picture of me. You will notice something on my left cheek — a little brown spot.

Allen Krulwich

That's a mole. The doctor called it "a birthmark." My mom called it "a beauty mark." I was ...

Read More

Comments [6]

So What If It's Ugly? It Just Keeps On Going ...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thank heavens it's not pretty, not thirsty, not useful, not a bother, not nearby. It looks like a mess of rope. But, oh my, is this plant old. Really, really old.

Comment

So What If It's Ugly? It Just Keeps On Going ...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Far, far, far away is a great place to be — if you want to stay marvelous. There is a plant, called Welwitschia mirabilis (mirabilis being Latin for marvelous), found only one place on Earth. You can get there, as artist/photographer Rachel Sussman did, by driving through the vast emptiness of the ...

Read More

Comments [3]

Intriguing Lime-Green Blobs Appear In The Andes Mountains. Are They Alive?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Oops.

Someone dropped lime sherbet on the desert — and it's melting. Who's going to clean this up?

Courtesy of Terrace Lodge

Nobody. Because this — believe it or not — is a plant. It may look like a glob of goo, but it's ...

Read More

Comments [2]

Intriguing Lime-Green Blobs Appear In The Andes Mountains. Are They Alive?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's dry. Empty. Rocks everywhere. About 10,000 feet up in the Andes. Then, all of a sudden, you see an enormous, lime green, tasty-looking lump. Should you lick it?

Comment

When Numbers Bleed, Freeze, Starve And Die On A Battlefield: The Dark Poetry Of Data

Friday, May 16, 2014

Vasily Vereshchagin/Wikimedia Commons 

I once read that when Napoleon invaded Russia, he lost most of his army not to the horrible Russian winter, horrible though it was. No, says this legend, Napoleon's army suffered from "button failure." The company that provided the army with ...

Read More

Comments [4]

When Numbers Bleed, Freeze, Starve And Die On A Battlefield: The Dark Poetry Of Data

Friday, May 16, 2014

Let me tell you a story — a history story — that's all numbers, only numbers, and still packs an emotional wallop. Button up. It's 1812. In Russia. It's cold.

Comment

Why The U.S. Shunned The Man Who Will Now Lead India

Friday, May 16, 2014

The U.S. and other Western governments ostracized Narendra Modi for the past decade. Now President Obama has invited him to Washington as the elected leader of the world's largest democracy.

Comment

How To Marry The Right Girl: A Mathematical Solution

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Johannes Kepler, one of the world's great mathematicians, decided to marry in 1611. He made a list of 11 women to interview, and he wanted, of course, to choose the best. Here's the formula.

Comment

Did Homer Simpson Actually Solve Fermat's Last Theorem? Take A Look

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

You don't have to notice, but if you do, it's like a hidden kiss. There have always been popular television shows that sneak bits of arcane learning into their storylines. Star Trek did this. Dr. Who (in Britain) did this. So, back in the day, did Rocky and Bullwinkle, and before them, a cartoon show called Crusader Rabbit. You'd be watching the program, and — hiding in a tossed-off bit of dialogue, a detail on the set, or some signage in the background — there would be a sly reference to a math problem or to a philosopher.

Read More

Comments [9]

Did Homer Simpson Actually Solve Fermat's Last Theorem? Take A Look

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Simon Singh spotted the equation on a Homer Simpson blackboard. Had Homer just solved one of the toughest puzzles in math? His solution, crazily, seemed "valid" – so Singh checked Homer's numbers.

Comment

A Question Of Biggitude: What's The Largest Creature On Earth?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Is the largest creature on Earth a tree or a tree strangler? Both are candidates. Both are plausible. Neither is a blue whale.

Comment

A Question Of Biggitude: What's The Largest Creature On Earth?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

What's the biggest living thing on Earth? I can think of two. I'm not sure which is biggest, but neither of them is a blue whale. These are weirder. Much, much weirder.

One is a tree. The other eats trees.

This is the tree.

J. ...

Read More

Comments [5]

Draw My Left! No, No, My Other Left! A Hidden Bias In Art History Revealed

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Why is it that in thousands of portraits done all over the world, artists emphasize the left side of the subject's face? There's a bias here, and it's hiding in our brains.

Comment

Draw My Left! No, No, My Other Left! A Hidden Bias In Art History Revealed

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Look at this guy.

He is half-smiley, half-frowny. I drew the mouth carefully to make it equal parts sad and happy.

But when you look at him — take him in whole — would you say he's having a good day or a bad day?

...
Read More

Comments [19]

Listen To These Lovely Cats. No, Actually, Don't

Sunday, May 04, 2014

They are so sleek, so graceful, with such gorgeous eyes, tufted ears — but then they speak. And you think, "Oh no! Why? Why?"

Comment

Listen To These Lovely Cats. No, Actually, Don't

Sunday, May 04, 2014

John Pitcher /iStockphoto

"Oh, evolution," writes Mara Grunbaum in her new, about-to-come-out bookWTF Evolution, "You were doing so well with the lynx. You made it a fierce and graceful hunter, you gave it a luxurious spotted coat, you gave it pretty yellow eyes and tufted ears — and ...

Read More

Comments [8]

'Wassup, Sheep?' He Asked

Friday, May 02, 2014

One man is facing a few hundred sheep. He has questions. When he shouts to them, the sheep — surprisingly — answer back. It's a very lively back and forth, with one obvious problem. I don't trust these sheep. Their answer to his "Are you happy?" question seemed oddly, even ...

Read More

Comments [8]