Episode of the day: “The Primitive Streak”

Listen to “The Primitive Streak” (30:51)

Podcast: Radiolab

So interesting and a great catalyst for reflecting on which stage does nothingness end and life begin.

Day 12 of human embryo. (Image: Gist Croft, Cecilia Pelligrini, Ali H. Brivanlou, The Rockefeller University)  

More information:

Great article on Nature about the 14 day rule

Episode of the day: “On the Edge”

Listen to “On the Edge”

Podcast: Radiolab

The story of a great figure skater who shook the establishment.

From the Radiolab website: “Surya Bonaly was not your typical figure skater. She was black. She was athletic. And she didn’t seem to care about artistry. Her performances – punctuated by triple-triple jumps and other power moves – thrilled audiences around the world. Yet, commentators claimed she couldn’t skate, and judges never gave her the high marks she felt she deserved. But Surya didn’t accept that criticism. Unlike her competitors – ice princesses who hid behind demure smiles – Surya made her feelings known. And, at her final Olympic performance, she attempted one jump that flew in the face of the establishment, and marked her for life as a rebel.”

More information:

Surya Bonaly in the Huffpost Black Voices

Surya Bonaly, 1992 (Image:Uwe Langer)

Episode of the day: "Cellmates"

Listen to “Cellmates”

Podcast: Radiolab

“There’s a black hole in the middle of the history of life: how did we go from tiny bags of chemicals to the vast menagerie of creatures we see around us? The story of one cosmic oops moment that changed the game of life forever.”

Improbable randomness! But still randomness! What a great episode.

More information:

Nick Lane’s book The Vital Question on Amazon

Ed Yong’s book I Contain Multitudes on Amazon

Although not mentioned in this episode, Lynn Margulis contributed greatly to this theory.

Check out Suzana Herculano-Housel TED Talk for more about the link between cooking food and the human brain.

Episode of the day: "Update: 23 Weeks 6 Days"

Listen to “Update: 23 Weeks 6 Days”

Podcast: Radiolab

Juniper French in the NICU
Juniper French in the NICU
(image: Cherie Diez / Times)

“An update on Juniper French, a tiny baby, born at 23 Weeks and 6 days — roughly halfway to full term. And a whole universe of medical and moral questions.”

I had this episode in my archives and it has been now updated. There is more than simple natural reflexes, there is a transcendental bond cultivated by natural reflexes.

More information:

Roe versus Wade on Wikipedia

Kelley Benham and Tom French on book collaboration

Juniper: the girl who was born too soon on Amazon

Tom French reading to Juniper
(image: Cherie Diez / Times)

Episode of the day: "Galapagos"

“Galapagos”

Podcast: Radiolab

This one is from the archives. I’ve listened to it when it first aired and then again… and again. Would love to go to the Galapagos, therefore any opportunity to know more about the place is welcomed. This is the best documentary on the Galapagos I have ever watched/listened to. But this episode is more than just a documentary, it is yet another Man vs Nature saga.

“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? The Galapagos archipelago – the place that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. 179 years later, the Galapagos are undergoing rapid changes.”

Listen to “Galapagos”

More information:

Learn more about Project Isabela

Lonesome George on Wikipedia

Episode of the day: "Hard Knock Life"

“Hard Knock Life”

Podcast: Radiolab

“This Valentine’s Day, a mysterious tap tap tapping leads us into a world of sex, death, and head-banging. Biologist Dave Goulson introduces us to the lonely yearnings of an especially pathetic beetle and snatches a sound back from the hands of the devil himself.”

A symbol that stands for ideas about human life and experiences! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Listen to “Hard Knock Life”

More information:

Deathwatch Beetle

Dave Goulson

Dave Goulson

Episode of the day: "The Cathedral"

“The Cathedral”

Podcast: Radiolab

Ryan and Amy Green were facing the unfaceable: their youngest son, Joel was diagnosed with terminal cancer after his first birthday. Ryan and Amy stumble onto an unlikely way of processing their experience fighting alongside Joel: they decide to turn it into a video game. In the end, they find themselves facing what might be, for a game designer or a parent, the hardest design problem ever.

This is an incredible emotional journey. It did bring tears to my eyes. Some listeners were critical because it turns the suffering of a child into a profitable outcome. But I disagree with that simplistic approach. People find different coping mechanisms to deal with extreme emotional circunstamces. This family bravely articulated emotion and science into art and technology.

Listen to “The Cathedral”

More information:

That Dragon, Cancer

Release trailer

NYTimes