You order some stuff on the Internet and it shows up three hours later. How could all the things that need to happen to make that happen happen so fast?   It used to be, when you ordered something on the Internet, you waited a week for it to show up. That was the deal: you didn’t have to get off the couch, but you had to wait. But in the last few years, that’s changed. Now, increasingly, the stuff we buy on the Internet shows up the next day or the same day, sometimes within hours. Free shipping included. Which got us wondering: How is this Internet voodoo possible? A fleet of robots? Vacuum tubes? Teleportation? Hardly. In this short, reporter Gabriel Mac travels into the belly of the beast that is the Internet retail system, and what he finds takes his breath away and makes him weak in the knees (in the worst way). Producer Pat Walters and Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store, a book about, assist. *****This podcast contains some language and subject matter that might not be appropriate for young listeners******  

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Radiolab Podcast Reviews

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As with exclamation points.....The insertion of of the word “like” should only be used three times in a writer’s lifetime. I can’t listen to this..Score: 2/5

Radio Lab Is Back!Robert and Jad together again! This is what the fans wanted. Please keep it this way! The chemistry between them makes for a fascinating show. As far as the younger producers with their Like Like Like disease. They need to study and learn how to speak properly before participating in a show of this level. My previous review will be coming back if RadioLab gets sloppy and brings these amateurs back. Previous Review: What has happened to RadioLab? Not only do it’s producers overuse the word LIKE, LIKE, LIKE. Now we get to hear constant Schlurping S sounds. RadioLab Podcast listeners are accustomed to precise diction, sophisticated language, and erudite content. Valley girl language and cartoon character voices clearly miss the mark. Suffering succotash! I used to love this show, but if this doesn’t improve soon, I’m deleting it from my podcast library..Score: 5/5

Reply-All Proto-PodcastA year or two back Radio Lab began producing nearly every episode to reinforce the notion that there’s nothing more important on earth than the proverbial blanket (statement) draped around the shoulders of every “white, sis gendered man” in America: that he is the cause of all other’s woes, regardless of individual circumstance or nuance. It was interesting to watch as the podcast Reply-All began down this same path not long after. What once was a purely lovely, thought provoking, and hilarious hour of each week became an uninviting repetition of the same rhetoric coming from every major news outlet, and a reinforcement of the current great division in this nation. Now, Reply-All is in shambles as the mob of internet influence — which almost surely caused the shift to begin with — has turned on them for not living up to the ideals which they felt pressure to profess. I don’t foresee this happening to Radio Lab — as I imaging the current satisfied listenership could practically be politically defined solely by its support of the new content — but it is sad to start every new episode with the hope that it will feel as good to listen to as it once did, only to eventually be called the cause of every problem we face as a society..Score: 1/5

RIP Radiolab (2002-2020)RIP Radiolab (2002-2020). Still remember clearly the day Jad announced Radiolab’s death on his TED talk. You are missed, my old friend Hoping one day Jad chooses to revive you. All of us could use you now, more than ever.Score: 1/5

YupTip shelf. Thanks.Score: 5/5

Too hipToo cool for easy listening. Tell the stories without all the hip references, comments, labels..Score: 2/5

Not as good as it used to be.This show used to be really good but it lacks the fun and focus it used to. I understand they are trying to go in a new direction but it’s just not as good or interesting anymore.Score: 3/5

Repetitive sounds and effects are killing meAdmittedly I have misophonia (the hatred of sounds), and repetitive sounds, chewing, swallowing, crunching, vocal fry speaking, etc drive me nuts. This podcast has so any added sound effects and it drives me insane! The content is to my liking, the execution is beyond irritating. I’d give it a 3.5 if I could… Unfortunately I can’t listen to it, But I keep forgetting why, until I try again and remember all over. The “brown box” episode beeps just sent me over the edge. 😂😂😖.Score: 4/5

Change isn't always goodI understand that one goal of the show is to make you think. But I miss the earlier shows' focus on science-related topics. RL has become more political and there are other podcasts that do that better. Also, I have always enjoyed listening to Lulu Miller, but Latif Nasser needs to take it down a notch and slow down as well. His pace and voice are exhausting..Score: 3/5

A different show now.I loved to old podcast but the new show doesn’t live up to the standards of the old one. I know Jad said he thought he needed to take the show in another direct after Robert left but I don’t like the show anymore. I really liked the wonder of science aspect and the objective social commentary. Now there is not much of either of those things. I’m not mad or upset, just a little sad. I wish the show and the talented people who made it great for nearly 20 years all the best. Good luck with your new direction. I won’t be following you down this new path..Score: 1/5

“Lady reporter” to “old person”Please don’t write off all the recent disappointed reviews as disgruntled, privileged Trump apologists or whatever, that’s definitely not me. We’re all on the same side in our love for good content. This has always been the best podcast out there, and I have gained so much wonder, knowledge and inspiration over so many years. However, it’s been really disappointing to hear the transition you guys have made into a platform for close-minded “woke” “neoliberal” ideals. I also remember Gabriel referring to themself as a “lady reporter” in that episode years ago. It stood out because I was raised to believe that anyone can be whatever they want without being defined by their gender. I love all types of people no matter. Can’t we all just BE without being so stuck on our differences and assuming anyone who isn’t with us is against us? Please...Just...stick to science and diverse points of view please. Never imagined how much I’d be missing Robert! He was the head cornerstone..Score: 1/5

Downhill FastShow quality is WAY down! Just canceled!.Score: 1/5

Thank you!So much fun to listen to. It’s hard to believe I am learning with each episode. Thank you..Score: 5/5

ConflictedRadiolab has held a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember, and I don’t think that this feeling will ever subside completely. What I can say, however, is that the reason I’m writing this review is in hopes of some sort re-integration of old content. I have enjoyed Radiolab so much because of the well thought out, thought provoking, awe inspiring episodes that the team managed to release weekly. (Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the political commentary, but in a time where I can get this same information anywhere else, I’d like to see Radiolab reach towards its roots and do a little more science reporting.) I loved (and continue to love) Radiolab for the escapism of its content, and while I recognize that it the direction the show takes is in no way my decision, I sincerely hope that the team releases a bit more of the “old stuff”..Score: 3/5

Used to be good 😞It’s all politics now..Score: 1/5

Wonderful CurationThis podcast feels like walking into a different wing of a museum every time. They do a great job of curating wonderful stories from different sources. Great job setting a hypothesis and then just letting the logic unfold naturally..Score: 4/5

Radio at its bestNothing, absolutely nothing moves me like Radiolab! I just love it....Score: 5/5

KleptothetmsMan, there should be a way to write a comment per episode, because individual contributors deserve distinct commentary when they are brilliant. In this case, I am so glad that these ladies got the chance to come up through Radiolab because they are truly the core spirit of the show, and bring a strongly unique individual angle to it each one. You ladies are awesome and I am grateful for your use of your talent in this wonderful venue❤️👍🤙.Score: 5/5

My first go to!Radio Lab is my first go to when I choose a podcast. The quality of the stories are top notch and their choices are relevant, intriguing and thought provoking. I have thoroughly enjoyed each podcast and have shared them with so Many of my friends who are now followers. Thank you for bringing quality knowledge to me!.Score: 5/5

BeautifulI just listened to your latest episode, the pale blue dot and imaging that little space craft in silence surrounding myself in complete silence and peace 🌍🪐💫☄️🎹.Score: 5/5

AmazingIf you are bored during COVID this is a great thing to listen to..Score: 5/5

Ruined by politicsThis used to be my favorite show. There was nothing else like it done so well and so informative. Science is about viewing things from all sides and letting people come to their own conclusions. The quality of the show and the content has drastically declined..Score: 1/5

Slow declineThey use to be excellent and extremely objective and informative but it seems in the past year they just have to push their bias and narrative. Quiet saddening. Revisited the show and it is just a leftist echo chamber pretty sad.Score: 1/5

Check out early seasonsThis podcast is why I started listening to podcasts 10+ years ago, it was that good. It used to be primarily a science podcast now it is mostly the same old American politics as every other podcast. The last episode on body temp was at least about science, but was so shallow compared to their old deep dives. What happened to the journalism guys? So sad about this. Well, on to other things I guess..Score: 2/5

To TreeloversunitedDo you mean mark rober the YouTuber that does cool stuff? Bty he is suuuper smart (mark rober) Also love the podcast AMAZING..Score: 5/5

Stick with scienceOnce great radio lab is becoming another social justice blah blah poop piece podcast. Understand that your main listeners are science nerd no nonsense types. Please stick with scientific topics or become has-been..Score: 1/5

So awesome!You should definitely do a podcast with Mark Rober! He’s awesome!.Score: 5/5

So good and...U and mark rober should have a clab.Score: 5/5

Steady declineThis podcast slowly lost quality. When I began listening in 2016 the episodes were packed with content that kept you on the edge of your seat. Recently they’ve focused much more on social justice which after a while loses its flair..Score: 2/5

Still really goodBut I do miss Robert. If there’s a way to inject his sort of character and patter back into the podcast that would be great.Score: 5/5

ElementsPlease take the chewing sounds out! Sooooo cringey ah! Maybe its just me....Score: 2/5

Robert left and took away scienceRobert Krulwich left and took away the depth and science and the mediocrity filters. Still an okay show, but no longer a must have..Score: 3/5

I’m so sorryThis was my favorite podcast forever. Interesting science and social science. But recently it’s gone waaaaay down hill — what was that last episode abstractly criticizing free speech??.Score: 3/5

I need Brain Food!!! Not politics!!I’m a Republican HATER, and am all about social justice reforms and whatnot, but please!! I need the old radio lab back! I love/need to keep learning!! Update: I ranted a few days ago, and then a new episode Kleptotherm” comes out and FINALLY!!! SCIENCE and CURIOSITY!! I needed an episode like this. I miss Robert..........Score: 4/5

Long time first timeEssential listening for anyone that’s curious about the world around us..Score: 5/5

This is amazingI really like this podcast and I listen to it all the time. I don’t know any better podcast..Score: 5/5

Any New Podcast Ideas?Looking for a Radiolab replacement All I want is a science-based podcast, apolitical, highly entertaining, well-researched and well-reported. Just like the old Radiolab Even something half as good as the old Radiolab will be much appreciated!.Score: 1/5

First and often bestI lOve Radio lab. I’m a monthly contributor. I’ve been to a live show. Radio lab was one of the first podcasts I listened to and I binged everything available before I moved on. Now There are many many podcasts I love and Radio Lab continues to be amount the favs every time. Thank you all so much for your wonderful, inspiring, engaging work..Score: 5/5

Love this podcastThis podcast was the best! Thanks Victor.Score: 5/5

A Deeply Personal RequestLatif talks down to the listener and tells hipster style self-serving jokes. Please remove him from your editorial board or I’ll have to remove you from my top 3 podcasts. Latif makes me literally miss Krolwitch I can’t believe I’m actually saying that....Score: 5/5

Don’t do the show when you’re sickKleptotherms is awesome content, but Lulu has a bad cold or something. How about don’t do the show if you’re audibly sick. Get someone else this time. It’s disgusting to at theen to someone’s phlegmy voice for an hour..Score: 3/5

GhostbustersThe other Latif is Egon.Score: 5/5

From first to worstRadiolab used to be my favorite. Jad and Robert did interesting shows talking to knowledgeable people about weird, thought-provoking stuff, and used sound creatively to create an aural translation of visual materials. That was the show’s genius masterstroke, typified by an episode discussing color vision that was aurally symbolized by a choir. Now Robert is retired and gone, Jad is trying his best to hand off the show, and we listeners are left to nasally, whiny, high-piched ugly radio voices popping the treble cones in my wireless speakers talking to boring people in their apartments about boring and sad things, with little to no scoring, let alone creative soundscapes that spark new perspectives. Just another wonderful thing in the world that has been 1984ed into total crap no one can care about..Score: 1/5

Both in depth and expansiveThe spirit of inquiry - as pure as it gets - love it.Score: 5/5

Brown box “dude” cry baby’sJust sad man!!.Score: 1/5

Not what it used to beUnfortunately Latif just isn’t a good host. He’s extremely condescending to the listener, and it detracts from the reporting. The new direction is a bust..Score: 1/5

Fascinating Stories“...where did I hear that?...Oh yeah! On Radiolab” The most interesting discussions in our house of 4 millennials and 2 Post Baby Boomers start this way on the reg (?).Score: 5/5

CleptothermsThe science is great. The tittering, “girly” presentation is so off-putting. It seems that you can be a female STEM star, but still feel the need to giggle with ridiculous sound effects. Why?.Score: 2/5

Radiolab Rocks!I used to catch an episode once in a while but now I’m addicted. I want to listen to them all! Love the format, content and information delivery. So good. So good. :).Score: 5/5

The sound effects are terribleI can’t even say how many times I’ve been listening to a great story then turned it off completely because of how terrible the sound effects are, they ruin the show. Please stop with the sound effects!.Score: 2/5

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Radiolab Podcast Episodes

Brown Box

You order some stuff on the Internet and it shows up three hours later. How could all the things that need to happen to make that happen happen so fast?   It used to be, when you ordered something on the Internet, you waited a week for it to show up. That was the deal: you didn’t have to get off the couch, but you had to wait. But in the last few years, that’s changed. Now, increasingly, the stuff we buy on the Internet shows up the next day or the same day, sometimes within hours. Free shipping included. Which got us wondering: How is this Internet voodoo possible? A fleet of robots? Vacuum tubes? Teleportation? Hardly. In this short, reporter Gabriel Mac travels into the belly of the beast that is the Internet retail system, and what he finds takes his breath away and makes him weak in the knees (in the worst way). Producer Pat Walters and Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store, a book about, assist. *****This podcast contains some language and subject matter that might not be appropriate for young listeners******  


In this episode, we break the thermometer watch the mercury spill out as we discover temperature is far stranger than it seems. Five stories that run the gamut from snakes to stars. We start out underwater, with a snake that has evolved a devious trick for keeping warm. Then we hear the tale of a young man whose seemingly simple method of warming up might be the very thing making him cold. And Senior Correspondent Molly Webster blows the lid off the idea that 98.6 degrees Farenheight is a sound marker of health. 

Deep Cuts

Today, Lulu and Latif talk about some of their favorite episodes from Radiolab’s past that hold new power today.   Lulu points to an episode from 2008:  Imagine that you're a composer. Imagine getting the commission to write a song that will allow family members to face the death of a loved one. Well, composer David Lang had to do just that when a hospital in Garches, France, asked him to write music for their morgue, or 'Salle Des Departs.' What do you do? This piece was produced by Jocelyn Gonzales. And Latif talks about an episode Jad made in 2009. Here’s how we described it back then: Jad--a brand new father--wonders what's going on inside the head of his baby Amil. (And don't worry, you don't need kids to enjoy this podcast.) The questions here are big: what is it like to be so brand new to the world? None of us have memories from this time, so how could we possibly ever know? Is it just chaos? Or, is there something more, some understanding from the very beginning? Jad found a development psychologist named Charles Fernyhough to explore some of his questions. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at    

The Septendecennial Sing-Along

Every 17 years, a deafening sex orchestra hits the East Coast -- billions and billions of cicadas crawl out of the ground, sing their hearts out, then mate and die. In this short, Jad and Robert talk to a man who gets inside that noise to dissect its meaning and musical components. While most of us hear a wall of white noise, squeaks, and squawks....David Rothenberg hears a symphony. He's trained his ear to listen for the music of animals, and he's always looking for chances to join in, with everything from lonely birds to giant whales to swarming cicadas. In this podcast, David explains his urge to connect and sing along, and helps break down the mysterious life cycle and mating rituals of the periodical cicadas into something we can all relate to. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at       David Rothenberg making music with the cicadas. Courtesy of David Rothenberg/Bug Music A visual breakdown of the cicada mating calls: Courtesy of John Cooley and David Marshall at UConn. For more on cicada mating calls, take a look at this paper from Cooley and Marshall. A close-up of cicadas getting down: Courtesy of David Rothenberg/Bug Music Enjoy a free download of our favorite track from David's CD Bug Music -- here's the description from the liner notes: Katydid Prehistory: Named in honor of Archaboilus musicus, the 165 million year old prehistoric katydid, whose fossil remains reveal an ability to sing distinct pitches. Katydid Prehistory

What Up Holmes?

Love it or hate it, the freedom to say obnoxious and subversive things is the quintessence of what makes America America. But our say-almost-anything approach to free speech is actually relatively recent, and you can trace it back to one guy: a Supreme Court justice named Oliver Wendell Holmes. Even weirder, you can trace it back to one seemingly ordinary 8-month period in Holmes’s life when he seems to have done a logical U-turn on what should be say-able.  Why he changed his mind during those 8 months is one of the greatest mysteries in the history of the Supreme Court.  (Spoiler: the answer involves anarchists, a house of truth, and a cry for help from a dear friend.)  Join us as we investigate why he changed his mind, how that made the country change its mind, and whether it’s now time to change our minds again. This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and was produced by Sarah Qari. Special thanks to Jenny Lawton, Soren Shade, Kelsey Padgett, Mahyad Tousi and Soroush Vosughi. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at      further reading: Thomas Healy’s book The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes CHanged His Mind - And Changed the History of Free Speech In America (the inspiration for this episode) plus his latest book Soul City: Race, Equality and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia. The Science article that Sinan Aral wrote in 2018, along with Soroush Vosughi and Deb Roy: “The Spread of True and False News Online” Sinan Aral’s recent book The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy and our Health - And How We Must Adapt Zeynep Tufekci’s newsletter “The Insight” plus her book Twitter and Teargas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest Nabiha Syed’s news website The Markup Trailer for “The Magnificent Yankee,” a 1950 biopic of Oliver Wendell Holmes Anthony Lewis, Freedom for the Thought that We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment


Scientists took about 300 years to lay out the Periodic Table into neat rows and columns. In one hour, we’re going to mess it all up.  This episode, we enlist journalists, poets, musicians, and even a physicist to help us tell stories of matter that matters. You’ll never look at that chart the same way again. Special thanks to Emotive Fruition for organizing poetry performances and to the mighty Sylvan Esso for composing 'Jaime's Song', both inspired by this episode. Thanks also to Sam Kean, Chris Howk, Brian Fields and to Paul Dresher and Ned Rothenberg for the use of their song "Untold Story:The Edge of Sleep".  Check out Jaime Lowe's book Mental: Lithium, Love and Losing My Mind Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at   


As we hit the one year mark since the first U.S. state (California) issued a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we put out a call to see if any of you would take us to your secret escape spot and record audio there. And you astounded us with what you brought in.  In this soundrich, kaleidoscopic episode, we journey around the planet and then, quite literally, beyond it. Listen only if you want a boatload of fresh air, fields of wildflowers, stars, birds, frogs, and a riveting tale involving Isaac Newton and a calm beyond any calm you knew could exist. This episode was produced by Matt Kielty and Lulu Miller, with production support from Jonny Moens and Suzie Lechtenberg.  Special thanks to: Lynn Levy, who went on to host the space-a-licious series, The Habitat, and edit (among other things) the powerful and beautiful new podcast Resistance. Merav Opher, an astronomy professor at BU, who now directs the SHIELD DRIVE Science Center which is studying the data collected by the Voyagers at the edge of the heavens, or--err, the “heliosphere” as the scientists call it. Edward Dolnick, The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World Ann Druyan, one of the creators of the 1977 Golden Album traveling on the Voyager probe, has recently released a new series on National Geographic,  “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” A.J. Dungo, who submitted a postcard while surfing, is author of the mesmerizing graphic novel, In Waves, a memoir about surfing and grief. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at   

Dispatch 14: Covid Crystal Ball

Last summer, at a hospital in England, a man in his 70s being treated for complications with cancer tested positive for covid-19. He had lymphoma, and the disease plus his drugs weakened his immune system, making him particularly susceptible to the virus. He wasn’t too bad off, considering, and was sent home. That was Day 1. This is the story of what the doctors witnessed, over the course of his illness: the evolution of covid-19 inside his body. Before their eyes, they get a hint of what might be to come in the pandemic.  This episode was reported by Molly Webster.  Special thanks to Ravindra Gupta, Jonathan Li. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at      Want to learn more about some of the covid case studies? Here are a couple papers to get you started:The “U.K. Paper”, co-authored by Ravi Gupta, one of our sources for the episode: A case study out of Boston, co-authored by Dr. Jonathan Li, one of our sources for the episode: For more on immune suppression and covid-19, check out this amazing Scientific American article:

The Ceremony

In November of 2016, journalist Morgen Peck showed up at her friend Molly Webster's apartment in Brooklyn, told her to take her battery out of her phone, and began to tell her about The Ceremony, a moment last fall when a group of, well, let's just call them wizards, came together in an undisclosed location to launch a new currency. It's an undertaking that involves some of the most elaborate security and cryptography ever done (so we've been told). And math. Lots of math. It was all going great until, in the middle of it, something started to behave a little...strangely. Reported by Molly Webster. Produced by Matt Kielty and Molly Webster. Denver Ceremony station recordings were created by media maker Nathaniel Kramer, with help from Daniel Cooper.  Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at

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