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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10:21am

Tue November 13, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Death, But Softly

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

Michel de Montaigne
Wikimedia Commons

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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8:34am

Sat November 10, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Finnish Underwater Ice Fishing Mystery Finally Solved

That's ordinary air pouring out of the pail.
YouTube

I'm going to take you somewhere, but before I do, I should warn you that there's something not quite right about what you'll see. This place I'm going to show you will be astonishingly beautiful. It will be cold. It will be wet. But it will also be a touch — more than a touch — mysterious. So watch carefully.

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11:18am

Thu November 8, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Mathematically Challenging Bagels

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:33 pm

A guide to making a Mobius bagel. Cut along the black line.
George W. Hart

12:05pm

Wed November 7, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

When You're Visited By A Copy of Yourself, Stay Calm

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 2:18 pm

Charles Michelet for NPR

You know Carl Linnaeus, right? The great Swedish naturalist who categorized plants and animals in the 1750s? He was a singular figure in botany. But when he got a headache, he stopped being singular. He doubled, from one Carl to two.

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12:47pm

Fri November 2, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Sunflowers Seen Flying Through Empty Desert. Why?

Vincent Liota

I've been hearing strange wind stories all my life. The best ones are both wildly improbable but still true, like how the Empire State Building gets hit by wafts of barley flying in on jet streams from Iowa, or how tons of sand from the Saharan desert rain down every year onto Brazilian rainforests. You never know what the wind will bring. The wind decides.

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8:54am

Wed October 31, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

When A Whale Goes Trick Or Treating, What Does It Wear?

Liz Climo

Well, this, of course....

Liz Climo, an artist who works on Fox's "The Simpsons" by day, spends her off-hours imagining animals who seem to be imagining being little humans. I like this little guy.

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2:27pm

Tue October 30, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Will We 'Fix' The Weather? Yes. Should We Fix The Weather? Hmmm

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 3:58 pm

YouTube

Because I'm at home, wind raging outside, trees bending, leaves flying, a hurricane descending, subways suspended, my day upended, I can't stop thinking: "What is Maureen Raymo thinking?"

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8:59am

Mon October 29, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

Celebrating Autumn All Year Round ... By Becoming A Leaf

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 11:04 am

Piotr Naskrecki

It is autumn, and where I live the leaves are peaking; there is a riot of them everywhere, narrow ones, broad ones, droopy ones, crunchy ones. Leaves come in so many shapes, hues, textures — the closer you look, the more differences you see. Botanists have names for every leaf type, and clumped together, says writer Robert Dunn, they sound like free verse poetry ...

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12:30pm

Wed October 24, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

When You're Almost Extinct, Your Price Goes Up

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 12:35 pm

Illustration by NPR

When a species gets rare, its market value rises. The higher its price, the more it's hunted. The more it's hunted, the rarer it gets. Not a happy cycle, and this keeps happening ...

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1:21pm

Tue October 23, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

See No Evil, Say No Evil. But As for Hearing? Hmmm

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 3:07 pm

Dorit Hockman Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

These are baby bats — embryos actually. They remind me of those See No Evil, Say No Evil, Hear No Evil monkey pictures I saw growing up, but these little guys are much, much cuter. And, of course, being bats, the hearing thing doesn't apply. Bats don't hear with our kind of ears, so of course, there's no covering-ears-up picture. That wouldn't make bat sense.

This photograph was taken by Dorit Hockman of Cambridge University. It's the 20th place winner in the Nikon Small World 2012 Photomicrography Competition.

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