My Favorite Episodes of All Time

A curated episode list by

Creation Date November 15th, 2018
Updated Date Updated January 21st, 2021
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  1. Beautiful Episodes

  2. The Lumineers released their second album on April 8, 2016. Their first album went platinum, and they spent months touring relentlessly in support of it. That schedule took a toll on their relationship, but they ended up putting it into their songs. In this episode, Wes and Jeremiah break down their song “Ophelia." You’ll hear their demos and a version that didn’t make it to the album. They’ll explain how the final track is not just a product of what they put into it, but what they decided to leave out. This episode is sponsored by SeatGeek and Lagunitas Brewing Company.
  3. Horseshoe crabs are not much to look at.  But beneath their unassuming catcher’s-mitt shell, they harbor a half-billion-year-old secret: a superpower that helped them outlive the dinosaurs and survive all the Earth’s mass extinctions.  And what is that secret superpower? Their blood. Their baby blue blood.  And it’s so miraculous that for decades, it hasn’t just been saving their butts, it’s been saving ours too. But that all might be about to change.   Follow us as we follow these ancient critters - from a raunchy beach orgy to a marine blood drive to the most secluded waterslide - and learn a thing or two from them about how much we depend on nature and how much it depends on us.   BONUS: If you want to know more about how miraculous horseshoe crabs are, here's a bunch of our favorite reads: Alexis Madrigal, "The Blood Harvest" in The Atlantic, and Sarah Zhang's recent follow up in The Atlantic, "The Last Days of the Blue Blood Harvest"  Deborah Cramer, The Narrow Edge Deborah Cramer, "Inside the Biomedical Revolution to Save Horseshoe Crabs" in Audubon Magazine  Richard Fortey, Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms Ian Frazier, "Blue Bloods"  in The New Yorker  Lulu Miller's short story, "Me and Jane"  in Catapult Magazine Jerry Gault, "The Most Noble Fishing There Is"  in Charles River's Eureka Magazine or check out Glenn Gauvry's horseshoe crab research database   This episode was reported by Latif Nasser with help from Damiano Marchetti and Lulu Miller, and was produced by Annie McEwen and Matt Kielty with help from Liza Yeager. Special thanks to Arlene Shaner at the NY Academy of Medicine, Tim Wisniewski at the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives at Johns Hopkins University, Jennifer Walton at the library of the Marine Biological Lab of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Glenn Gauvry at the Ecological Research and Development Group. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
  4. In this story, comedian Cord Jefferson tells a heartfelt personal story and offers up some illuminating science about the power of the human voice. Support for this episode was provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: https://afsp.org/.
  5. In this episode, we talk to a 74-year-old woman who decides the only way to get over her husband's death is to jump out of an airplane. And to a third generation beekeeper whose entire collection of hives has been stolen - he believes by Russian mobsters. After losing so much can they tell themselves new stories about themselves that allow them to function?
  6. Five years ago, Leena Sanzgiri was living her childhood dream... New York city apartment, job at Vogue, and a boyfriend she planned to marry. Until the July day she woke up in the hospital, and everything changed. Support for this episode provided by Charles Schwab: https://www.schwab.com/.
  7. Amy and Ryan Green’s one-year-old son is diagnosed with cancer and begins an agonizing period of treatment. And then, one night in the hospital, Ryan has a strange epiphany: this whole terrible ordeal should be a video game. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
  1. Interesting and Informative

  2. Ballots are an essential component to a working democracy, yet they are rarely created (or even reviewed) by design professionals. Good ballot design is mainly a matter of following good design principles in general—familiar territory for graphic designers, but not … Continue reading →
  3. Tuck your napkin under your chin.  We’re about to serve up a tale of love, loss, and lamb chops.  For as long as she can remember, Amy Pearl has loved meat in all its glorious cuts and marbled flavors. And then one day, for seemingly no reason, her body wouldn’t tolerate it.  No steaks. No brisket. No weenies.  It made no sense to her or to her doctor: why couldn’t she eat something that she had routinely enjoyed for decades? Something our evolutionary forebears have eaten since time immemorial? The answer involves mysterious maps, interpretive dance, and a collision of three different species. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.
  4. For nearly 200 years of our nation’s history, the Second Amendment was an all-but-forgotten rule about the importance of militias. But in the 1960s and 70s, a movement emerged — led by Black Panthers and a recently-repositioned NRA — that insisted owning a firearm was the right of each and every American. So began a constitutional debate that only the Supreme Court could solve. That didn’t happen until 2008, when a Washington, D.C. security guard named Dick Heller made a compelling case. Sean Rameswaram interviews Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale on the roof of the Oakland Museum of California, where “All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50” was on display earlier this year. (Lisa Silberstein, Oakland Museum of California)  Joseph P. Tartaro, president of the Second Amendment Foundation, at his desk in Buffalo, New York. (Sean Rameswaram) The key voices: Adam Winkler, professor at UCLA School of Law, author of Gunfight Jill Lepore, professor of American history at Harvard University Stephen Halbrook, attorney specializing in Second Amendment litigation Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party John Aquilino, former spokesman of the National Rifle Association Joseph P. Tartaro, president of the Second Amendment Foundation Sanford Levinson, professor at the University of Texas Law School  Clark Neily, vice president for criminal justice at the Cato Institute, represented Dick Heller in District of Columbia v. Heller Robert Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute, helped finance Dick Heller’s case in District of Columbia v. Heller Alan Gura, appellate constitutional attorney, argued District of Columbia v. Heller on behalf of Dick Heller Dick Heller, plaintiff in District of Columbia v. Heller Joan Biskupic, author of American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia  Jack Rakove, professor of history and political science at Stanford University  The key cases: 2008: District of Columbia v. Heller The key links: Black Panther Party protest the Mulford Act at the California State Capitol in Sacramento Dick Heller and his hat outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Sean Rameswaram) Dick Heller and his gun on the job at a federal building in Washington, D.C. (Sean Rameswaram) Special thanks to Mark Hughes, Sally Hadden, Jamal Greene, Emily Palmer, Sharon LaFraniere, Alan Morrison, Robert Pollie, Joseph Blocher, William Baude, Tara Grove, and the Oakland Museum of California. Leadership support for More Perfect is provided by The Joyce Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation. Supreme Court archival audio comes from Oyez®, a free law project in collaboration with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell.
  1. Wild Stories

  2. It's been 80 years to the day since Orson Welles' infamous radio drama "The War of the Worlds" echoed far and wide over the airwaves. So we want to bring you back to our very first live hour, where we take a deep dive into what was one of the most controversial moments in broadcasting history. "The War of the Worlds," a radio play about Martians invading New Jersey, caused panic when it originally aired, and it's continued to fool people since--from Santiago, Chile to Buffalo, New York to a particularly disastrous evening in Quito, Ecuador. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 
  3. Back in 1995, Claude Steele published a study that showed that negative stereotypes could have a detrimental effect on students' academic performance. But the big surprise was that he could make that effect disappear with just a few simple changes in language. We were completely enamoured with this research when we first heard about it, but in the current roil of replications and self-examination in the field of social psychology, we have to wonder whether we can still cling to the hopes of our earlier selves, or if we might have to grow up just a little bit. This piece was produced by Simon Adler and Amanda Aronczyk and reported by Dan Engber and Amanda Aronczyk.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.
  4. You are born and raised in a household speaking a language. Then you start going to school, and that language is banned. If you speak it, you’ll be punished physically or psychologically. Across your country, there are people like you who associate their first language with shame, or not even being a language at all. This is the predicament of the Scots language. Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/scots. I have several events coming up – in the next few weeks, the live Allusionist stage spectacular is hitting Australia and New Zealand. Check the listings at http://theallusionist.org/events The Allusionist’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts on the interwaves. Hear all the shows at http://radiotopia.fm. This episode is sponsored by Bombas and Babbel. Get a 20% discount on Bombas’s expertly engineered socks by visiting http://bombas.com/allusionist and entering the offer ALLUSIONIST in the checkout code space. There are fourteen languages you can learn via Babbel, the number 1 selling language app in the world. To get 50% off your first 3 months of Babbel, use the code ALLUSION when you go to babbel.com/allusion.
  5. There are two main places in the world where the Welsh language is spoken: Wales, and the Chubut Province in Patagonia. How did this ancient language take root in rural Argentina, 12,000km away from its home base? Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/survival1. The Allusionist’s online home is http://theallusionist.org. Stay in touch at http://twitter.com/allusionistshow and http://facebook.com/allusionistshow. The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts on the interwaves. Hear all the shows at http://radiotopia.fm. I have several events coming up – live Allusionists and Bugles and the Radiotopia tour. Check the listings at http://theallusionist.org/events This episode is sponsored by Bombas. Get a 20% discount on their expertly engineered socks by visiting http://bombas.com/allusionist and entering the offer ALLUSIONIST in the checkout code space.
  6. Sam Anderson, author of Boom Town, guides us through the chaotic founding of Oklahoma City, which happened all in one day in 1889, in an event called the Land Run. Plus, we talk about Operation Bongo, the supersonic flight tests that rattled OKC residents in the 1960s. Anderson calls Operation Bongo his favorite research discovery of his entire career. The Worst Way to Start a City
  7. Everything in Bethel, Alaska comes in by cargo plane or barge, and even when something stops working, it’s often too expensive and too inconvenient to get it out again. So junk accumulates. Diane McEachern has been a resident of Bethel for about 20 years, and she’s made it her personal mission to count every single dead car in the city. Dead cars are the most visible manifestation of the town’s junk problem. You see them everywhere -- broken down, abandoned, left to rust and rot out in the elements. Dead Cars Plus, a preview of Radiotopia’s newest series Passenger List. Subscribe!

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