We hear two stories of everyday life which are more easily understood if one knows some of the laws of physics, specifically the Mediocrity Principle and the Casimir Effect.
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Producer David Kestenbaum tells the story of an astronaut who returns with a very unexpected view of the great beyond.
Producer David Kestenbaum took issue with the entire premise of today’s show, and explains why.
David Kestenbaum tells the story of a man on the verge of one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time … right on the verge. (4 minutes)
If there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, why haven’t we heard from the extraterrestrials yet? Producer David Kestenbaum explains The Fermi Paradox to host Ira Glass. The possibility that we are alone in the universe makes David sad.
Journalist David Epstein tells the story of Jill Viles, who has muscular dystrophy and can’t walk. But she believes that she somehow has same condition as one of the best hurdlers in the world, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep.
Guest host David Kestenbaum talks to producer Diane Wu about a list she keeps of things she means to know. Sweet potatoes vs. yams.
David’s story continues. He visits his old physics professor, who helps him figure out what to think.
David Kestenbaum tells Ira about the time, when he was doing graduate work in physics, he and his other single friends decided to figure out the mathematical probability that they’d find girlfriends. They wanted to know what the chances were that there was more than one person in the world for them.
NPR reporter David Kestenbaum tells host Ira Glass about the time, when he was doing graduate work in physics, he and his other single friends decided to figure out the mathematical probability that they'd find girlfriends. They wanted to know what the chances were that there was more than one person in the world for them.
Ira and Albert Donnay read a true ghost story that appeared in a medical journal in 1921. A "Mrs.
This American Life contributor Paul Tough visits Catherine Chalmers. She raises small animals and insects in her apartment, feeds them to each other, and photographs them eating each other.
Anthropologists agree that humans stopped being animals when they started walking upright, on two legs. But scientists don't agree on why our ancestors did this.
The story from the prologue continues, with the researchers re-doing the canvassing experiment. And the results are even more surprising this time around.
Another story about parasites. When Jasper Lawrence learned that hookworms might lessen the effects of his allergies, he set out on a unique mission: To travel to West Africa and purposefully become infected with the parasite.
Remember learning that women’s menstrual cycles tend to sync up when they spend a lot of time together? Producer Diane Wu was skeptical. So she went looking for evidence.
Among the things we tend to take for granted: The sun comes up and goes down like clockwork. Except when it doesn’t.
D. Travers Scott and his boyfriend spent six months gathering data on their own relationship and put together a report on it in the form of a corporate annual report.
Fake science can be fun. Fake science can make people happy.
Ralph and Sandra Fisher, who run a show-animal business in Texas, had a beloved Brahman bull named Chance. Chance was the gentlest bull they'd ever seen, more like a pet dog than a bull.