Over the past few years, I used to catch bits of a radio show on NPR that always caught my attention and would suck me in, but I never knew when it was on or exactly what it was. I finally did some investigating a while back and discovered it was WNYC’s Radiolab.
Since then I think I haven listened to every episode from all 5 seasons. It is kind of sciencey, but really more just about curiosity. Every episode they pose a question, sometimes a very seemingly simple and obvious one, and then explore it. Usually revealing that it was not such a simple question after all.
Questions like, why do we sleep? Why do we laugh? What is music?
They attempt to answer these question with interviews and sort of, audio collages and stories. And they employ some really nice audio editing, sounds and music. It is really just great radio, and it feels very new and fresh and smart.
They have every episode available to listen to online, or download at their website, as well as extras that didn’t make it into the show (which is an hour long). You can also grab it at iTunes for free, but they don’t have as many episodes.