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Episode 8: Can't Rock This Boat

In March 1964, a 35-year-old African American woman named Johnnie Mae
Chappell was walking along the side of the road in Jacksonville,
Florida. Four white men were driving around listening to the local race
riots on the radio. They had a gun on the dashboard. As they passed
Chappell, one of the men leaned out the car window and shot her to
death. As the police investigated, evidence began to
mysteriously disappear, making it impossible to punish the men who
admitted to committing the crime.

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Shorts: For the Birds

Today, a lady with a bird in her backyard upends our whole sense of what we may have to give up to keep a wild creature wild.

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Galapagos

Today, the strange story of a small group of islands that raise a big question: is it inevitable that even our most sacred natural landscapes will eventually get swallowed up by humans? And just how far are we willing to go to stop that from happening?

We are dedicating a whole hour to the Galapagos archipelago, the place that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. 179 years later, the Galapagos are undergoing rapid changes that continue to pose -- and possibly answer -- critical questions about the fragility and resilience of life on Earth.

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Episode 7: J.R.R. Ziemba

Crime victims are often put under the same scrutiny as the accused. Not only for their version of events, but sometimes for how they look and talk, too. We meet a man whose trial hurt worse than his assault.

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Shorts: 9-Volt Nirvana

Learn a new language faster than ever! Leave doubt in the dust! Could you do all that and more with just a zap to the noggin? Maybe.

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Shorts: ≤ kg

A plum-sized lump of metal takes us from the French Revolution to an underground bunker in Maryland as we try to weigh the way we weigh the world around us.

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Things

This hour we investigate the objects around us, their power to move us, and whether it's better to look back or move on, hold on tight or just let go.

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Episode 6: We Lost Them

On April 13, 2014, former KKK member Frazier Glenn Cross pulled into a Jewish Community Center and ambushed a grandfather and grandson, killing both.  He then killed another woman a short distance away.  What does the family left behind do when they are thrust into a national spotlight? How do they figure out what to disclose and what should be private?

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Shorts: The Skull

Today, the story of one little thing that has radically changed what we know about humanity’s humble beginnings and the kinds of creatures that were out to get us way back when.


Wits University Professor Lee Berger and Dr. Chris Stringer from London’s Natural History Museum explain how a child’s skull, found in an ancient cave, eventually helped answer one of our oldest questions: Where do we come from? Then Lee takes us on a journey to answer a somewhat smaller question: how did that child die? Along the way, we visit Dr. Bernhard Zipfel at Wits University in Johannesburg to actually hold the skull itself.


We wanted to give you a chance to hold the skull, too. So we did a little experiment: we made a 3D scan of it. If you visit our page on Thingiverse, you’ll see the results. Anyone with access to a 3D printer can print their own copy of the skull. (We printed a bunch, with help from our friends at MakerBot—there’s even a purple one with sparkles.)


We also collaborated with the folks at Mmuseumm, a tiny (really tiny, it’s in an elevator shaft) museum in Manhattan. You can visit them to see the 3D printed skull, along with the other wonderful things in their collection: mosquitoes swatted mid-bite, toothpaste tubes from around the world, and much more.


Thanks to JP Brown, Emily Graslie and Robert Martin at the Field Museum in Chicago for scanning the skull. Thanks to Curtis Schmitt and shootdigital for refining the scan. Thanks to Bre Pettis and Jenifer Howard at MakerBot for guiding us through the world of 3D printing.


 

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Shorts: For the Love of Numbers

It’s hard to think of anything more rational, more logical and impersonal than a number. But what if we’re all, universally, also deeply attuned to how numbers … feel? Why 2 is warm, 7 is strong and 11 is downright mystical.

 

 

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Episode 5: Dropping Like Flies

Every year for the past few years, tens of thousand of flytraps have gone missing – from the wild, from gardens, from nurseries. And, really, nobody knows where they go. What’s cropped up in rural North Carolina is essentially a Venus Flytrap crime ring — with lackies, middle men, and a mysterious end buyer who’s perpetuating the market.

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60 Words

How one sentence -- just 60 words written in the hours after the September 11 attacks -- became the legal foundation for the "war on terror."

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Shorts: Straight Outta Chevy Chase

From boom bap to EDM, we look at the line between hip-hop and not, and meet a defender of the genre that makes you question... who's in and who's out.

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Episode 4: Call Your Mom

There are plenty of things we don't share with our mothers. Dark, sad things. Unless of course, you're both in the business of death.

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Shorts: KILL 'EM ALL

They buzz. They bite. And they have killed more people than cancer, war, or heart disease. Here’s the question: If you could wipe mosquitoes off the face of the planet, would you?

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Shorts: Super Cool

What do frozen horses and a scorching universe have in common? That's what we wanted to know.

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Episode 3: The Buck Stops Here

With the advent of the Inkjet printer, counterfeiting money became as simple as a trip to Staples. By the year 2000, there were 72 million of these homemade dollars in circulation. The real question is… who was behind them all?

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What's Left When You're Right?

From the stage to the cage, a series of showdowns that leave us wondering about the price of being right ... or coming from the left.

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Episode 2: Pants On Fire

For nearly a century we've been trying to read someone's truthfulness by the way they act. Be it through machine, or our own intuition. The police have tried. The FBI has tried. The CIA has tried. But the fact is… most of their efforts just don't work.

Are we doomed to ignorance? Maybe not.

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Shorts: Neither Confirm Nor Deny

How a sunken nuclear submarine, a crazy billionaire, and a mechanical claw gave birth to a phrase that has hounded journalists and lawyers for 40 years and embodies the tension between the public’s desire for transparency and the government’s need to keep secrets.  


 

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