This Week in Love: Radiolab Podcast

This Week in Love is a series of blog posts where Sachi and I share what we love. Browse the archives and follow @weekinlove on Twitter. 

This Week in Love:  The Radiolab Podcast

Over the last couple of years, podcasts have become a big part of our lives.  We work from home and end up sharing our listening habits, for better or for worse.  We've discovered a number of podcasts that we love.  We play them while working (especially doing creative work), cooking dinner, working out, etc. They've become among our most frequently used types of media and we listen through iTunes and Stitcher Smart Radio. We explain podcasting here.

While there are podcasts on nearly every subject imaginable, we prefer informative ones.  We want to be enlightened, to learn something new.  That's why we fell in love with a podcast called Radiolab by Jab Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. It is, by far, our favorite.  At heart it's about science, but more than that, it's about exploration and discovery.  Produced in hour-long shows and twenty minute "shorts", the hosts pick a single topic and dive into the details, usually from several different perspectives, in a way you'd never expect. 

Photo: Radiolab/WNYC

But Radiolab is not just great content - it's great production.  Jad Abumrad (who recently won the MacArthur Genius Grant) runs the sound design and integrates music and sounds in a way we've never heard before. For example, a guest describing an experience is not a flat audio feed. Their commentary usually includes background sounds, the hosts' voices, and layers of sound, all artfully composed into a unique experience. Further, while their discussion is mostly scripted, it comes off with authenticity and friendly humor. 

Here are a few of our favorite episodes:


What's gotten into you? In this hour, Radiolab uncovers a world full of parasites. Could parasites be the shadowy hands that pull the strings of life? We explore nature's moochers, with tales of lethargic farmers, zombie cockroaches, and even mind-controlled humans (kinda, maybe). And we examine claims that some parasites may actually be good for you.

Talking to Machines

What can machines tell us about being human? This hour of Radiolab, Jad and Robert meet humans and robots who are trying to connect, and blur the line.


On this hour of Radiolab: a journey to the edge of human limits. How much can you jam into a human brain? How far can you push yourself past feelings of exhaustion? We test physical endurance with a bike race that makes the Tour de France look like child’s play, and mental capacity with a mind-stretching memory competition. And we ask if robots--for better or worse--may be forging beyond the limits of human understanding.
Learn more about and subscribe to Radiolab for free at or follow the show on Twitter @radiolab.  We think you'll love it too.