What happens at the moment when we slip from life...to the other side? Is it a moment? If it is, when exactly does it happen? And what happens afterward? It's a show of questions that don't have easy answers. So, in a slight departure from our regular format, we bring you eleven meditations on how, when, and even if we die.
This hour: Radiolab stares down the very moment of passing, and speculates about what may lay beyond.
Stochasticity (a wonderfully slippery and smarty-pants word for randomness), may be at the very foundation of our lives. To understand how big a role it plays, we look at chance and patterns in sports, lottery tickets, and even the cells in our own body.
Along the way, we talk to a woman suddenly consumed by a frenzied gambling addiction, meet two friends whose meeting seems to defy pure chance, and take a close look at some very noisy bacteria.
Chimps. Bonobos. Humans. We're all great apes, but that doesn't mean we're one happy family. This hour of Radiolab: stories of trying to live together. A chimp named Lucy teaches us the ups adn downs of growing up human, and a visit to The Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa highlights some of the basics of bonobo culture. (Be careful, they bite!)
Ghosts, ghouls, shades from the past...in this episode of Radiolab, real-life people try to pin down, and make peace with, mysterious figures that haunt them, prod them, and fade out of existence. One man finds a way to put the beatdown on his personal bogey man, a dead monk spurs a king to build a perfect prayer machine, an unknown face launches a thousand dummies (actually, a whole lot more than that), and a skeptic goes on a one-way journey to find out whether spirits exist.
In this episode of Radiolab, strange stories of brains that lead their owners astray, knock them off balance, and, sometimes, propel them to do amazing things. We hear from a kid whose voice was disguised from himself, relive a surreal day in the life of a young researcher who was hijacked by her own brain, and try to keep up with an ultra-athlete who, after suffering terrible seizures, gained extraordinary abilities through removing a chunk of her brain.
We stick our hand in a cow stomach, get a window into our core (thanks to a hunter who became a walking science experiment in the 1800s), and listen in on the surprising back-and-forth between our gut and our brain. And we talk to a man who kind of went out of his mind when a medical procedure left him (for a little while) gutless.