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...
10:53 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Mosquito Exclusive! Yes, They Bite, But Half The Time They Miss

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 9:20 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:00 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

The Subtle Mysteries Of Dinosaur Sex

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:33 am

They dominated our planet for 130 million years. You can't do that without having babies, and to have babies, dinosaurs had to have sex. The mystery is — and this is still very much a mystery — we don't really know how they did it.

The key problems being:

First, dinosaur ladies and dinosaur gentlemen were roughly the same size. No big/little asymmetry as with spiders. With spiders, the little fellow mounts the big lady. There are no body-crushing weight issues.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:26 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Why Dentists Should Fear Snails

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 1:30 pm

She was 34, on a trip to Europe, got sick from a flu or maybe it was a virus, had to lie down and stay in bed — for months and months. A friend brought her a snail. You might enjoy its company, she was told.

"Why, I wondered, would I enjoy a snail?," Elisabeth Tova Bailey asks in her book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. "What on earth would I do with it?"

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:35 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Mysterious Dancing Lights In Afghanistan

Courtesy of Michael Yon

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 10:28 am

This isn't a painting. It's not from a movie. It's not a strange astronomical event. This is real — what you can see when certain helicopters in Afghanistan touch down on sandy ground, raising dust, causing mysterious arcs of light to loop and dance through the air.

This doesn't always happen. "The halos usually disappear as the rotors change pitch," wrote war photographer Michael Yon. "On some nights, on this very same landing zone, no halos form." How come?

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:24 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

What It's Like To Drop 150,000 Feet Straight Down

YouTube

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:55 am

If I say "meet me 28 miles from here," that doesn't seem very far, right? You could take a taxi, a bus; if pushed you might even make it on a bike.

But what if the 28 miles is not on a road or a highway, but straight up, 150,000 feet — that's high. So high, we're out of the life zone. Up in the silence.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:20 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Just Like Van Gogh, Ocean Waves Paint Clouds In The Sky

YouTube

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 8:40 am

If you can't get to a beach this weekend, you can still see waves. Just look up.

Clouds, after all, are sculpted by waves of air. These clouds, in Birmingham, Ala., were formed when two layers of air — one fast, the other slow — collided at just the right speed to create rises and dips that caused the clouds to curl in on themselves and crash, just like waves on a beach.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:39 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

What Is 10 Trillion Times More Powerful Than A Heartbeat?

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 8:25 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:50 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

7 Billion People And Trillions Of Creatures To Be Photographed Together On July 19

NASA

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 8:40 am

It's going to be a very small picture, but we're all going to be in it. All trillions of us on Earth.

It's not our first group portrait, but Carolyn Porco, the woman in charge, says it's going to be gasp-worthy. She should know. She helped shoot some of the early ones.

What am I talking about?

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:39 am
Tue June 25, 2013

The man with a 'battery operated brain'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PFknl5YFsE

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 8:49 am

He calls himself the "human with the battery operated brain" because he does, in fact, have electrodes in his head, put there by his New Zealand doctors.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:00 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Every night you lose more than a pound while you're asleep (for the oddest reason)

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 7:21 am

Editor's Note: Robert has added an update to this post. Scroll down to read it.

Here's a simple question: Why do you weigh more when you go to sleep than when you wake up? Because you do. In the video below, you'll see the evidence. You can check this yourself. Somehow, while doing absolutely nothing all night but sleep, you will wake up lighter.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:28 am
Wed June 19, 2013

The love that dared not speak its name, of a beetle for a beer bottle

YouTube

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 2:35 pm

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:14 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Why men die younger than women: The 'guys are fragile' thesis

YouTube

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 6:53 am

The 19th century just lost its last living man.

Jiroemon Kimura, of Kyotango, Japan, was born in April 1897, lived right through the 20th century and died last Wednesday. He was 116. According to Guinness World Records (which searches for these things), he was the last surviving male born in the 1800s. All the other boys from that century, as best we know, are dead.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:05 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Not Winging It, But Ringing It

YouTube

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:04 am

Humans do it with smoke.

Dolphins do it with air.

With a little snort, dolphins can produce a nearly perfect "air" rings, (sophisticated non-dolphins called them toroidal vortices) which they turn into underwater toys.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:14 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

David Foster Wallace Tells Us About Freedom

YouTube

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 8:24 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:58 am
Tue May 14, 2013

What Is It About Bees And Hexagons?

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 10:26 am

Solved! A bee-buzzing, honey-licking 2,000-year-old mystery that begins here, with this beehive. Look at the honeycomb in the photo and ask yourself: (I know you've been wondering this all your life, but have been too shy to ask out loud ... ) Why is every cell in this honeycomb a hexagon?

Bees, after all, could build honeycombs from rectangles or squares or triangles ...

But for some reason, bees choose hexagons. Always hexagons.

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