Robert Krulwich

Host, Radiolab

Robert Krulwich appears in the following:

Just Like Van Gogh, Ocean Waves Paint Clouds In The Sky

Friday, July 19, 2013

If you can't get to a beach this weekend, you can still see waves. Just look up.

Clouds, after all, are sculpted by waves of air. These clouds, in Birmingham, Ala., were formed when two layers of air — one fast, the other slow — collided at just the right ...


What Is 10 Trillion Times More Powerful Than A Heartbeat?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It was July 15, 2009, in Ottawa when it happened. You didn't have to be there, you could have been blocks away. Kiss, the band, appeared on stage and made what some say is the loudest sound ever produced in a live music concert. Their onstage speakers blasted music at ...


I Bet I Can Create A 25 Million-Year-Old False Alarm, Says Biologist E.O. Wilson

Monday, July 15, 2013

The world's most famous ant-scholar likes to daydream. "So much good science — and perhaps all of great science," he writes in his new book "has its roots in fantasy."

Here's his.

After seeing Jurassic Park, where scientists clone dinosaurs from the blood of ancient dino-biting mosquitoes,Wilson thought: Hmmm, ...


'Why You? Why Now?' A Med Student's Journal

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I guess doctors, especially doctors-in-training, have to get used to sudden, inexplicable endings. You are trained to heal. That's the goal, that's the point. But every so often, you don't win. Something you didn't see coming, comes. I don't know which hurts more, the 'suddenly' or the 'why?" If the ...


The Hardest Thing To Find In The Universe?

Friday, July 12, 2013

What is rarer than a shooting star?

Rarer than a diamond?

Rarer than any metal, any mineral, so rare that if you scan the entire earth, all six million billion billion kilos or 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds of our planet, you would find only one ounce of it?

What is so rare ...


Where's My Dinner? It Was Here A Second Ago — The Sandpiper's Dilemma

Monday, July 08, 2013

They scuttle, peck, scuttle, peck, then they dash up the shoreline, dodging waves, heads down, concentrating. What are they doing? They're "looking for something, something, something," writes the poet Elisabeth Bishop.

Sandpipers are the busiest folks on the beach because their food is hard to see and is coming and ...


Democracy, My Mother And Toast

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

When they proposed it in the 1770s, it was such a novel idea. That instead of a king anointed by God, instead of a sage, instead of one leader telling all of us what to do, we should, every four years, all of us, pick our own leader, who would ...


A Beautiful Notion: That Caterpillars Killed Off The Dinosaurs

Monday, July 01, 2013

For the last hundred years, scientists have been wondering why the dinosaurs disappeared so quickly. Was there one key reason, or several?

Volcanologists pointed to volcanoes. Climatologists suggested global warming, or possibly, global cooling. Ocean experts thought the oceans receded. Some biologists blamed egg snatching mammals. Some botanists suggested toxic ...


Stroke, Stroke, Stroke — The Atlantic Ocean's Dazzling Oarsmen

Saturday, June 29, 2013

At night, in the ocean, they look like little Broadway billboards with dazzling trills of rainbow colored light. They have eight little runways on their bodies for light display. What are they?

They're called comb jellies. They're not jellyfish. They don't pulse like jellies. They seem to hang. You can ...


Artist Plays Detective: Can I Reconstruct A Face From A Piece Of Hair?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Her techniques aren't super-sophisticated. She's not a leader in the field. She's more or less an amateur. This is what you can do with ordinary genetic engineering tools right now. Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg can find a cigarette lying on the sidewalk on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, and working from traces ...


7 Billion People And Trillions Of Creatures To Be Photographed Together On July 19

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's going to be a very small picture, but we're all going to be in it. All trillions of us on Earth.

It's not our first group portrait, but Carolyn Porco, the woman in charge, says it's going to be gasp-worthy. She should know. She helped shoot some of the ...


The Man With A 'Battery Operated Brain'

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

He calls himself the "human with the battery operated brain" because he does, in fact, have electrodes in his head, put there by his New Zealand doctors.

Andrew Johnson (also known as "Cyber AJ") a few months ago was a young, 39 year old, early-onset Parkinsonian who tremored constantly. His ...


Weekend Special: What If A Cricket Fan Had To Suddenly Announce A Baseball Game?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

This isn't going to be sciencey. This is just total, happy craziness. Suppose you have never seen a baseball game. All you know is cricket, and somebody sticks you at a Yankee/Red Sox game and says, "Do the play by play. Now. You're on!" There's no time to prepare. You ...


Every Night You Lose More Than A Pound While You're Asleep (For The Oddest Reason)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Here's a simple question: Why do you weigh more when you go to sleep than when you wake up? Because you do. In the video below, you'll see the evidence. You can check this yourself. Somehow, while doing absolutely nothing all night but sleep, you will wake up lighter.

This ...


The Love That Dared Not Speak Its Name, Of A Beetle For A Beer Bottle

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It was early September — that's springtime in Western Australia — and two young biologists, Dwayne Gwynne and David Rentz, were on a field trip, wandering dirt roads near the highways, looking for insects, when one of them noticed a loose beer bottle lying on the ground — not so ...


Isn't That King David? Nope, It's Just Dave

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Usually they're naked, ancient and stony. But all of a sudden, they could live next door.

The Paris-based designer Leo Caillard had, as he wrote me, "the idea conception" and took the photographs. Alexis Persani dressed them. (Not actually; it was done on a computer, as you


Why Men Die Younger Than Women: The 'Guys Are Fragile' Thesis

Monday, June 17, 2013

The 19th century just lost its last living man.

Jiroemon Kimura, of Kyotango, Japan, was born in April 1897, lived right through the 20th century and died last Wednesday. He was 116. According to Guinness World Records (which searches for these things), he was the last surviving male born in ...


Why Dolphins Make Us Nervous

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What is it about dolphins? They have very, very big brains, and that makes we humans, whose brains are nothing to sniff at, nervous. We don't know what to make of them.

The latest example: On May 17 in India, the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued an order ...


Why Dolphins Make Us Nervous

Thursday, June 13, 2013

India has just banned dolphin entertainment parks. They are "morally unacceptable," says a government ministry. Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, the U.S. Navy announced t...
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The Most Dangerous Traffic Circle In The World?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I've been to New Delhi where traffic is frightening. I've seen pictures of Nairobi and Bangkok, where it's even scarier. But Ho Chi Minh City? The town we used to call Saigon? I don't think I'd put myself in a truck, car, bike or even a Sherman tank in that ...