The Leonard Lopate Show

Behind the Scenes in Groundbreaking Television, Theater, and Invention

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Norman Lear on his controversial sitcoms. Betty Halbreich, personal shopper at Bergdorf’s. John Lahr on Tennessee Williams. Steven Johnson on the power of modern inventions. 

99% Invisible

144- There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Hanging in the garage of Fire Station #6 in Livermore, California, there’s a small, pear-shaped light bulb. It is glowing right now. This lightbulb has been glowing, with just a couple of momentary interruptions, for 113 years.


The Takeaway

How We Got to Now: Quest for Light and Cleanliness

Monday, October 06, 2014

Science and technology writer Steven Johnson explains that once inventions were made to give us light and clean, people realized how enslaved we had been by dark and dirt. 

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The Takeaway

Scientists Invent the World's Darkest Material

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Batman, Coco Chanel, and Johnny Cash all had a thing for classic black. But a new material is so strikingly dark, it makes these icons look like they're wearing faded gray. Vantablack is a color the human eye has never seen before.

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Studio 360

Garage Inventors

Friday, January 27, 2012

All over the country, amazing science is happening without institutional or government funding. We visit inventors working in garages, basements, even a Quonset hut on a farm. Rachel Zimmerman works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, but she was an amateur inventor first ...

Video: Frank Polifka's "Tornado in a Can"

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The Takeaway

Steven Johnson on 'Where Good Ideas Come From'

Monday, October 04, 2010

Everyone knows what it feels like to come up with a good idea. It comes from someplace, not completely made out of thin air. Usually it’s being formed in the back of your head among all of the little, unconnected thoughts, memories and hunches until... BAM! It arrives.

What if we tracked the history of the most significant ideas that humans have ever come up with, in order to see if there’s a pattern to these little moments of genius? That'd be a pretty good idea all on its own, right?

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Today in History: Edison Patents the Electric Light Bulb

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


While the world is buzzing over Apple's latest product release, the iPad, it's appropriate that we look back at another pioneer of technology, Thomas Edison. Light_bulbOn this day in 1880, Edison patented the electric light bulb: U.S. ...