Robert Krulwich

Robert Krulwich works on radio, podcasts, video, the blogosphere. He has been called "the most inventive network reporter in television" by TV Guide.

Krulwich is a Science Correspondent for NPR. His NPR blog, "Krulwich Wonders" features drawings, cartoons and videos that illustrate hard-to-see concepts in science.

He is the co-host of Radiolab, a nationally distributed radio/podcast series that explores new developments in science for people who are curious but not usually drawn to science shows. "There's nothing like it on the radio," says Ira Glass of This American Life, "It's a act of crazy genius." Radiolab won a Peabody Award in 2011.

His specialty is explaining complex subjects, science, technology, economics, in a style that is clear, compelling and entertaining. On television he has explored the structure of DNA using a banana; on radio he created an Italian opera, "Ratto Interesso" to explain how the Federal Reserve regulates interest rates; he has pioneered the use of new animation on ABC's Nightline and World News Tonight.

For 22 years, Krulwich was a science, economics, general assignment and foreign correspondent at ABC and CBS News.

He won Emmy awards for a cultural history of the Barbie doll, for a Frontline investigation of computers and privacy, a George Polk and Emmy for a look at the Savings & Loan bailout online advertising and the 2010 Essay Prize from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Krulwich earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Oberlin College and a law degree from Columbia University.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:28 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Pigeon Interuptus — A Fish That Hunts Pigeons On Land

YouTube

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 4:34 pm

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:38 am
Mon December 10, 2012

How About A Little Drive, Hmm? (A Horror Story)

mandatory.com

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 6:12 pm

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:51 am
Fri December 7, 2012

What To Do When The Bus Doesn't Come And You Want To Scream. An Experiment

Fra.Biancoshock

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:54 am

We're in Milan. We're not happy. We're waiting for a bus that doesn't seem to come. Then we see this:

Three different sized sheets of bubble wrap, sized for how long you expect to wait: a little square for three minutes, bigger for five minutes, biggest for 10 — and the sign on top says: "Antistress For Free!!"

Everyone knows what to do. First, you calculate.

Then you choose.

Then you forget all about the bus and spend the time happily popping polyethylene-wrapped air bubbles.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:26 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Strange Looking Tombstone Tells Of Moving Ice, Ancient Climates And A Restless Mind

Encyclopaedia Britannica UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 12:39 pm

With glaciers melting and crumbling all over the world, let me tell you the story of the man who first imagined ice ages, the man buried under this stone in Cambridge, Mass. It's an odd gravestone; a rough, clumpy hunk of granite that doesn't look at all like the other markers at Mt. Auburn Cemetery.

That's because it isn't. It's an erratic. A single stone found sitting downhill from a glacier in Switzerland that was lifted, packed, shipped to all the way to Massachusetts to honor this man.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:47 am
Tue December 4, 2012

New Superhero, 3,200 Years Old, Turns Air Into Wood Superfast

Robert Krulwich NPR

This is for you, Martina Navratilova, for you, Nolan Ryan, for you, Methuselah, for you, Jimmy Carter, and for all of you reading this if you're on the "wrong" side of 50 but still pumping. This week, we've got ourselves a role model, a poster boy for robust old age.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:08 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Music Video Borrows From 200-Million-Year-Old Artist And Disappears

YouTube

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 9:14 am

It's You Tube's 17th Most Viewed Video of All Time, and the 4th Most Liked, "Somebody That I Used to Know." sung principally by Wouter "Wally" De Backer, also known as "Gotye," who took his clothes off and got a paintjob from designer Emma Hack.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:11 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee

David Liittschwager

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 11:19 am

We'll start in a cornfield — we'll call it an Iowa cornfield in late summer — on a beautiful day. The corn is high. The air is shimmering. There's just one thing missing — and it's a big thing...

...a very big thing, but I won't tell you what, not yet.

Instead, let's take a detour. We'll be back to the cornfield in a minute, but just to make things interesting, I'm going to leap halfway around the world to a public park near Cape Town, South Africa, where you will notice a cube, a metal cube, lying there in the grass.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:52 am
Thu November 29, 2012

The Rubik's Cube That Isn't

YouTube

This is your brain making things up.

What you see isn't really there.

Even if I tell you "this isn't what you think," you'll think it anyway — until I make a simple move, and suddenly — you know.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:59 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Is Life A Smoother Ride If You're A Chicken?

YouTube

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 11:02 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:27 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Double Thanks

monkey
vimeo

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 12:58 pm

I'm giving thanks in two ways today, first for things that have lasted, persisted (and here's hoping they keep on going), and second — for change; for our ability to create beauty in new ways. So I'm saying thank you for what's old and what's new.

Thanksgiving, I think, can go both ways.

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:06 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Ferocious Flowers

A screen-grab from Andrew Zuckerman's Flower project.
Andrew Zuckerman Studio Vimeo

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 9:07 am

Nothin' dainty about these flowers. Nope, these guys are pistol-firing, fire-cracking blossoms from photographer/filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman. Click on this image and stand back ...

Bang and they're dead.

It's a short, violent life these flowers have.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:46 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Why Not Say It Simply? How About Very Simply?

xkcd: "Another thing that is a bad problem is if you're flying toward space and the parts start to fall off your space car in the wrong order. If that happens, it means you won't go to space today, or maybe ever."
xkcd

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 12:27 pm

There are people (and I hear from them constantly) who think if a subject is sophisticated, like science, the language that describes it should be sophisticated, too.

If smart people say torque, ribosome, limbic, stochastic and kinase, then the rest of us should knuckle down, concentrate and figure out what those words mean. That's how we'll know when we've learned something: when we've mastered the technical words.

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:28 am
Sat November 17, 2012

The Big Apple's Mayor Makes A Very Scary Video

YouTube

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 10:15 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:41 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Mugged By Sound, Rescued By A Waitress

Vimeo

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:23 pm

You walk into a room. There are people there, cars outside, dogs, phones ring, the radio is on, somebody coughs; it's the pleasant blur of a busy world, until something, someone catches your attention. Then you lean in, the other sounds fade back, and you focus. That's how listening works — for most of us.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:21 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Death, But Softly

Michel de Montaigne
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:35 pm

It was 1569, or maybe early 1570, when it happened: A young French gentleman was out for a ride with his workers, all of them on horseback, when suddenly, "like a thunderbolt," he felt something thick and fleshy slam him from behind. (It was an overzealous, galloping assistant who couldn't stop in time.) Michel de Montaigne's horse crumbled, he went flying up, then down, he crashed to the ground. Then things went black.

When he came to, a minute or so later, he says,

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