RadiolabAuthor: WNYC Studios
20 May 2019

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    Bit Flip

    Back in 2003, Belgium was holding a national election. One of their first where the votes would be cast and counted on computers. Thousands of hours of preparation went into making it unhackable. And when the day of the vote came, everything seemed to have gone well. That was, until a cosmic chain of events caused a single bit to flip and called the outcome into question.

    Today on Radiolab, we travel from a voting booth in Brussels to the driver's seat of a runaway car in the Carolinas, exploring the massive effects tiny bits of stardust can have on us unwitting humans.

    This episode was reported and produced by Simon Adler and Annie McEwen. 

    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate

     

    Check out our accompanying short video Bit Flip: the tale of a Belgian election and a cosmic ray that got in the way. 

    This video was produced by Simon Adler with animation from Kelly Gallagher.

     


  • Posted on 08 May 2019

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    Dinopocalypse Redux

    Using high-powered ballistics experiments, fancy computer algorithms, and good old-fashioned ancient geology, scientists have woven together a theory about the extinction of the dinosaurs that is so precise, so hot, so instantaneous, as to seem unimaginable. Today, we bring you this story, first published on Radiolab in 2013, plus an update: a spot on planet Earth, newly discovered, that - if it holds true - has the potential to tell us about the first three hours after the dinos died.

    This update was reported by Molly Webster and was produced with help from Audrey Quinn. 

    We teamed up with some amazing collaborators for Apocalyptical, the Radiolab live show that this episode is based on. Find out more about these wildly talented folkscomedians Reggie Watts, Patton Oswalt, Simon Amstell, Ophira Eisenberg and Kurt Braunohler; musicians On Fillmore and Noveller, and Erth Visual & Physical Inc.

    Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate

     

    To learn more about the North Dakota site - known as Tanis, for all you Indiana Jones fans - check out the recent paper. Make sure you spend time digging into those supplemental materials, it contains all the juice !

    And, go watch Apocalyptical; to dinosaurs and beyond!

     

     


  • Posted on 03 May 2019

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    Fu-Go

    This week we’re going back to a favorite episode from 2015.

    During World War II, something happened that nobody ever talks about. This is a tale of mysterious balloons, cowboy sheriffs, and young children caught up in the winds of war. And silence, the terror of silence.

    Reporters Peter Lang-Stanton and Nick Farago tell us the story of a seemingly ridiculous, almost whimsical series of attacks on the US between November of 1944 and May of 1945. With the help of writer Ross Coen, geologist Elisa Bergslien, and professor Mike Sweeney, we uncover a national secret that led to tragedy in a sleepy logging town in south central Oregon.

     Check out pictures of the ghostly balloons here

    Special thanks to Annie Patzke, Leda and Wayne Hunter, and Ilana Sol. Special thanks also for the use of their music to Jeff TaylorDavid Wingo for the use of "Opening" and "Doghouse" - from the Take Shelter soundtrack, Justin Walter's "Mind Shapes" from his album Lullabies and Nightmares, and Michael Manning for the use of "Save"

     Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate


  • Posted on 26 Apr 2019

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    Americanish

    In 1903 the US Supreme Court refused to say that Isabel González was a citizen of the United States. Then again, they said, she wasn’t a exactly 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


  • Posted on 19 Apr 2019

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    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

    A tasty note from Latif: Towards the end of the story, I casually mentioned a place called Greg's Poutine in Toronto.  Turns out, it's actually called Smoke's Poutinerie. (Confused it with Greg's Ice Cream.) Go. It's delicious. 

  • Posted on 29 Mar 2019

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