I wasn’t born a traveler. I was born the child of travelers. Or, to be precise, of people who had traveled. By the time I showed up, most of the traveling was over and done with. My father…
“A specter is haunting Eastern Europe,” the Czech playwright Václav Havel wrote in 1978, “the specter of what in the West is called ‘dissent.’” In echoing the…
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4692 words)
DISCUSSED: Basements as Dungeons, Middle-earth, War Games, Moral Clarity, Vin Diesel, Biological Determinism, Death by Misadventure, Freaks Geeks, Tom Hanks, Castration Anxiety, Satanism,…
On the morning of 15 August, India’s Independence Day, it was raining cats and dogs in Delhi. By 7 am, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was atop the ramparts of the 17th-century Red Fort, hoisting the flag and saluting the assembled soldiers and citizens from behind a glass enclosure. Amid a sea of umbrellas, children who had gathered to watch the parade ran about, as if at a disorderly festival ground; the soldiers and paramilitary troops paraded on the wet asphalt, completely drenched.
PUBLISHED: Oct. 1, 2011
LENGTH: 52 minutes (13041 words)
I marvel at Radiolab when I hear it. I feel jealous. Its co-creators Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich have digested all the storytelling and production tricks of everyone in public radio before them, invented some slick moves of their own, and ended up creating the rarest thing you can create in any medium: a new aesthetic. Take the opening of their show on the mathematics of random chance, stochasticity. The first aesthetic choice Jad and Robert make is that they don’t say you’re about to listen to a show about math or science. They don’t use the word stochasticity. They know those things would be a serious turn off for lots of people. In doing this, Jad and Robert sidestep most of the conventions of a normal science show – hell, of most normal broadcast journalism.