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Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - Object Anyway

From Radiolab - At the trial of James Batson in 1982, the prosecution eliminated all the black jurors from the jury pool. Batson objected, setting off a complicated discussion about jury selection that would make its way all the way up to the Supreme Court. On this episode of More Perfect, the Supreme Court ruling that was supposed to prevent race-based jury selection, but may have only made the problem worse.    


Radiolab
Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Radiolab is heard around the country on more than 500 member stations.

Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - Object Anyway
2016-11-22 15:00:00
At the trial of James Batson in 1982, the prosecution eliminated all the black jurors from the jury pool. Batson objected, setting off a complicated discussion about jury selection that would make its way all the way up to the Supreme Court. On this episode of More Perfect, the Supreme Court ruling that was supposed to prevent race-based jury selection, but may have only made the problem worse.    
49 minutes, 53 seconds


Smarty Plants
2018-02-13 20:42:00
Do you really need a brain to sense the world around you? To remember? Or even learn? Well, it depends on who you ask. Jad and Robert, they are split on this one. Today, Robert drags Jad along on a parade for the surprising feats of brainless plants. Along with a home-inspection duo, a science writer, and some enterprising scientists at Princeton University, we dig into the work of evolutionary ecologist Monica Gagliano, who turns our brain-centered worldview on it's head through a series of clever experiments that show plants doing things we never would've imagined. Can Robert get Jad to join the march? This episode was produced by Annie McEwen.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 


Ghosts of Football Past
2018-02-03 16:08:00
In anticipation of Super Bowl LII (Go Eagles), we're revisiting an old episode about the surprising history of how the game came to be. It's the end of the 19th century -- the Civil War is over, and the frontier is dead. And young college men are anxious. What great struggle will test their character? Then along comes a new craze: football. A brutally violent game where young men can show a stadium full of fans just what they're made of. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn -- the sons of the most powerful men in the country are literally knocking themselves out to win these gladiatorial battles. And then the most American team of all, with the most to prove, gets in the game and owns it. The Carlisle Indian School, formed in 1879 to assimilate the children and grandchildren of the men who fought the final Plains Wars against the fathers and grandfathers of the Ivy Leaguers, starts challenging the best teams in the country. On the football field, Carlisle had a chance for a fair fight with high stakes -- a chance to earn respect, a chance to be winners, and a chance to go forward in a changing world that was destroying theirs.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate. 


Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - One Nation, Under Money
2018-01-31 00:00:00
An unassuming string of 16 words tucked into the Constitution grants Congress extensive power to make laws that impact the entire nation. The Commerce Clause has allowed Congress to intervene in all kinds of situations — from penalizing one man for growing too much wheat on his farm, to enforcing the end of racial segregation nationwide. That is, if the federal government can make an economic case for it. This seemingly all-powerful tool has the potential to unite the 50 states into one nation and protect the civil liberties of all. But it also challenges us to consider: when we make everything about money, what does it cost us?


The Voice in Your Head - A Tribute to Joe Frank
2018-01-22 21:03:00
How do you pay proper tribute to a legend that many people haven't heard of? We began asking ourselves this question last week when the visionary radio producer Joe Frank passed away, after a long struggle with colon cancer.  Joe Frank was the radio producer's radio producer.  He told stories that were thrillingly weird, deeply mischievous (and sometimes head-spinningly confusing!). He had a big impact on us at Radiolab.  For Jad, his Joe Frank moment happened in 2002, while sitting at a mixing console in an AM radio studio waiting to read the weather.  Joe Frank's Peabody Award-winning series "Rent-A-Family" came on the air. Time stood still. We've since learned that many of our peers have had similar Joe Frank moments. In this episode, we commemorate one of the greats with Brooke Gladstone from On the Media and Ira Glass from This American Life.  This episode was produced by Jad Abumrad with help from Kelly Prime and Sarah Qari.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.


How to Be a Hero
2018-01-09 15:09:00
What are people thinking when they risk their lives for someone else? Are they making complicated calculations of risk or diving in without a second thought? Is heroism an act of sympathy or empathy?   A few years ago, we spoke with Walter F. Rutkowski about how the Carnegie Hero Fund selects its heroes, an honor the fund bestows upon ordinary people who have done extraordinary acts. When some of these heroes were asked what they were thinking when they leapt into action, they replied: they didn't think about it, they just went in. Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky says there is a certain kind of empathy that leads to action. But feeling the pain of another person deeply is not necessarily what makes a hero.   Our original episode was reported and produced by Lynn Levy and Tim Howard. This update was produced by Amanda Aronczyk. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.


Inside Radiolab (Video)
2017-12-29 15:00:00
Take a stroll through where Radiolab is made and meet some of the people who have created your favorite episodes. Help make another year of curiosity possible. Radiolab.org/support


Bigger Little Questions
2017-12-22 00:59:00
When we dumped out our bucket of questions, there was a lot of spillover. Like, A LOT of spillover. So today, we're back for round two. This time with some bigger, little questions.   This episode was reported and produced by Annie McEwen, Bethel Habte, Latif Nasser, Matt Kielty, Simon Adler, and Tracie Hunte. Special thanks to Stephen Brady and Staff Sergeant Erica Picariello in the US Air Force's 21st Space Wing. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.


Big Little Questions
2017-12-20 00:12:00
Here at the show, we get a lot of questions. Like, A LOT of questions. Tiny questions, big questions, short questions, long questions. Weird questions. Poop questions. We get them all. And over the years, as more and more of these questions arrived in our inbox, what happened was, guiltily, we put them off to the side, in a bucket of sorts, where they just sat around, unanswered. But now we're dumping the bucket out. Today, our producers pick up a question that spilled out of that bucket, and venture out into the great unknown to find answers to some of life's greatest mysteries: coincidences; miracles; life; death; fate; will; and, of course, poop. This piece was reported and produced by Rachael Cusick, Tracie Hunte, and Matt Kielty.  Special thanks to Blake Nguyen, Sarah Murphy, and the New York Public Library.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.


Super Cool
2017-12-05 15:12:00
When we started reporting a fantastic, surreal story about one very cold night, more than 70 years ago, in northern Russia, we had no idea we'd end up thinking about cosmology. Or dropping toy horses in test tubes of water. Or talking about bacteria. Or arguing, for a year. Walter Murch (aka, the Godfather of The Godfather), joined by a team of scientists, leads us on what felt like the magical mystery tour of super cool science. This piece was produced by Molly Webster and Matt Kielty with help from Amanda Aronczyk.  It originally aired in March of 2014. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.


Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - Mr. Graham and the Reasonable Man
2017-11-30 00:41:00
This story comes from the second season of Radiolab's spin-off podcast, More Perfect. To hear more, subscribe here. On a fall afternoon in 1984, Dethorne Graham ran into a convenience store for a bottle of orange juice. Minutes later he was unconscious, injured, and in police handcuffs. In this episode, we explore a case that sent two Charlotte lawyers on a quest for true objectivity, and changed the face of policing in the US.     The key voices: Dethorne Graham Jr., son of Dethorne Graham, appellant in Graham v. Connor Edward G. (Woody) Connette, lawyer who represented Graham in the lower courts Gerald Beaver, lawyer who represented Graham at the Supreme Court Kelly McEvers, host of Embedded and All Things Considered    The key case: 1989: Graham v. Connor   Additional production for this episode by Dylan Keefe and Derek John; additional music by Matt Kielty and Nicolas Carter. Special thanks to Cynthia Lee, Frank B. Aycock III, Josh Rosenkrantz, Leonard Feldman, and Ben Montgomery. 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.


Stereothreat
2017-11-23 15:00:00
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 or 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.


Match Made in Marrow
2017-11-09 18:25:00
You never know what might happen when you sign up to donate bone marrow. You might save a life... or you might be magically transported across a cultural chasm and find yourself starring in a modern adaptation of the greatest story ever told. One day, without thinking much of it, Jennell Jenney swabbed her cheek and signed up to be a donor.  Across the country, Jim Munroe desperately needed a miracle, a one-in-eight-million connection that would save him. It proved to be a match made in marrow, a bit of magic in the world that hadn't been there before.  But when Jennell and Jim had a heart-to-heart in his suburban Dallas backyard, they realized they had contradictory ideas about where that magic came from. Today, an allegory for how to walk through the world in a way that lets you be deeply different, but totally together.   This piece was reported by Latif Nasser.  It was produced by Annie McEwen, with help from Bethel Habte and Alex Overington. Special thanks to Dr. Matthew J. Matasar, Dr. John Hill, Stephen Spellman at CIBMTR, St. Cloud State University's Cru Chapter, and Mandy Naglich.


Oliver Sacks: A Journey From Where to Where
2017-10-26 21:09:00
There's nothing quite like the sound of someone thinking out loud, struggling to find words and ideas to match what's in their head. Today, we are allowed to dip into the unfiltered thoughts of Oliver Sacks, one of our heroes, in the last months of his life.  Oliver died in 2015, but before he passed he and his partner Bill Hayes, in an effort to preserve some of Oliver's thoughts on his work and his life, bought a little tape recorder. Over a year and half after Oliver's death, Bill dug up the recorder and turned it on. Through snippets of conversation with Bill, and in moments Oliver recorded whispering to himself as he wrote, we get a peek inside the head, and the life, of one of the greatest science essayists of all time. The passages read in this piece all come from Oliver's recently released, post-humous book, The River of Consciousness.  Special thanks to Billy Hayes for letting us use Oliver's tapes, you can check out his work at http://www.billhayes.com/    


Father K
2017-10-12 19:59:15
Today, while the divisions between different groups in this country feel more and more insurmountable, we zero in on a particular neighborhood to see if one man can draw people together in a potentially history-making election.  Khader El-Yateem is a Palestinian American running for office in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, one of the most divided, and most conservative neighborhoods in New York City. To win, he'll need to convince a wildly diverse population that he can speak for all of them, and he'll need to pull one particular group of people, Arab American muslims, out of the shadows and into the political process. And to make things just a bit more interesting, El-Yateem is a Lutheran minister. This story was reported and produced by Simon Adler, with help from Bethel Habte, Annie McEwen, and Sarah Qari.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.


Radiolab Presents: More Perfect - American Pendulum I
2017-10-01 21:11:00
This story comes from the second season of Radiolab's spin-off podcast, More Perfect. What happens when the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, seems to get it wrong? Korematsu v. United States is a case that's been widely denounced and discredited, but it still remains on the books. This is the case that upheld President Franklin Roosevelt's internment of American citizens during World War II based solely on their Japanese heritage, for the sake of national security. In this episode, we follow Fred Korematsu's path to the Supreme Court, and we ask the question: if you can't get justice in the Supreme Court, can you find it someplace else?


Driverless Dilemma
2017-09-26 14:55:46
Most of us would sacrifice one person to save five. It's a pretty straightforward bit of moral math. But if we have to actually kill that person ourselves, the math gets fuzzy. That's the lesson of the classic Trolley Problem, a moral puzzle that fried our brains in an episode we did about 11 years ago. Luckily, the Trolley Problem has always been little more than a thought experiment, mostly confined to conversations at a certain kind of cocktail party. That is until now.


Oliver Sipple
2017-09-21 23:34:00
One morning, Oliver Sipple went out for a walk. A couple hours later, to his own surprise, he saved the life of the President of the United States. But in the days that followed, Sipple's split-second act of heroism turned into a rationale for making his personal life into political opportunity. What happens next makes us wonder what a moment, or a movement, or a whole society can demand of one person. And how much is too much?


Radiolab Presents: Anna in Somalia
2017-09-11 22:45:00
This week, we are presenting a story from NPR foreign correspondent Gregory Warner and his new globe-trotting podcast Rough Translation. Mohammed was having the best six months of his life - working a job he loved, making mixtapes for his sweetheart - when the communist Somali regime perp-walked him out of his own home, and sentenced him to a lifetime of solitary confinement.  With only concrete walls and cockroaches to keep him company, Mohammed felt miserable, alone, despondent.  But then one day, eight months into his sentence, he heard a whisper, a whisper that would open up a portal to - of all places and times - 19th century Russia, and that would teach him how to live and love again. 


Where the Sun Don't Shine
2017-08-25 07:05:45
Today we take a quick look up at a hole in the sky and follow an old story as it travels beyond the reach of the sun.


Truth Trolls
2017-08-10 19:40:08
Today, a third story of folks relentlessly searching for the truth.  But this time, the truth seekers are an unlikely bunch... internet trolls. Support Radiolab today at radiolab.org/donate


Truth Warriors
2017-08-03 16:00:00
After last week's episode exploring the future of fakery scared the living daylights out of us, we decided to search for a bit of hope. What we found... A few folks, warriors really, ready to defend the truth with all they've got. 


Breaking News
2017-07-27 19:09:34
Today, two new technological tricks that together could invade our most deeply held beliefs and rewrite the rules of credibility. Also, we release something terrible into the world.


The Ceremony
2017-07-14 01:00:00
Today, paranoia sets in: we head to The Ceremony, the top-secret, three-day launch of a new currency, wizards and math included. Halfway through, something strange happens.  


Revising the Fault Line
2017-06-27 15:00:00
A new tussle over an old story, and some long-held beliefs, with neurologist and author Robert Sapolsky.

Four years ago, we did a story about a man with a starling obsession that made us question our ideas of responsibility and justice. We thought we'd found some solid ground, but today Dr. Sapolsky shows up and takes us down a rather disturbing rabbit hole.   


The Gondolier
2017-06-15 09:16:50
What happens when doing what you want to do means giving up who you really are?

We travel to Venice, Italy with reporters Kristen Clark and David Conrad, where they meet gondolier Alex Hai. On the winding canals in the hidden parts of Venice, we learn about the nearly 1000-year old tradition of the Venetian Gondolier, and how the global media created a 20-year battle between that tradition and a supposed feminist icon.

  Reported by David Conrad and Kristen Clark. Produced by Annie McEwen and Molly Webster.

Special thanks to Alexis Ungerer, Summer, Alex Hai, Kevin Gotkin, Silvia Del Fabbro, Sandro Mariot, Aldo Rosso and Marta Vannucci, The Longest Shortest Time (Hillary Frank, Peter Clowney and Abigail Keel), Tim Howard, Nick Adams/GLAAD, Valentina Powers, Florence Ursino, Ann Marie Somma, Alex Overington, Jeremy Bloom and the people of Little Italy.


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