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...
9:58 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Moths that drive cars—no, really!

YouTube

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 7:07 am

What you are about to see — and I'm not making this up — is a moth driving a car.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:20 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Monty Python's John Cleese almost explains our brains

YouTube

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 7:50 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:51 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Daring, dangerous DIY: Pants with benefits?

Vimeo

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 3:34 pm

They are pants. Or maybe we should call them Pants with Benefits. Some of you — especially parents of young teens — will find them totally inappropriate. The folks at Instructables.com find them totally silly, which is why they invented them.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:37 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Hear brilliant 9-year-old 'philosopher' explain the world

YouTube

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 9:16 am

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3.14159
8:41 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Let's get literal: Calculating Pi with pies

YouTube

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 8:39 am

Today is March 14, or "3/14," the first three digits of Pi. It's a day celebrated around the (geek) world as "Pi Day." Pi, of course, is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. It was first recorded by Archimedes, but you can replicate his discovery in all kinds of ways.

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Science
11:56 am
Sat January 12, 2013

The oldest rock in the world tells us a story

Steve Munsinger Photo Researchers Inc.

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 10:51 am

It's hard to imagine how this teeny little rock — it's not even a whole rock, it's just a grain, a miniscule droplet of mineral barely the thickness of a human hair — could rewrite the history of our planet. But that's what seems to be happening.

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Krulwich Wonders
11:23 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Suddenly there's a meadow in the ocean with 'flowers' everywhere

Courtesy of Matthias Wietz

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 10:40 am

It was three, maybe four o'clock in the morning when he first saw them. Grad student Jeff Bowman was on the deck of a ship; he and a University of Washington biology team were on their way back from the North Pole. It was cold outside, the temperature had just dropped, and as the dawn broke, he could see a few, then more, then even more of these little flowery things, growing on the frozen sea.

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An Experiment
10:35 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

What to do when the bus doesn't come and you want to scream

Fra.Biancoshock

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 6:54 am

We're in Milan. We're not happy. We're waiting for a bus that doesn't seem to come. Then we see this:

Three different sized sheets of bubble wrap, sized for how long you expect to wait: a little square for three minutes, bigger for five minutes, biggest for 10 — and the sign on top says: "Antistress For Free!!"

Everyone knows what to do. First, you calculate.

Then you choose.

Then you forget all about the bus and spend the time happily popping polyethylene-wrapped air bubbles.

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NPR diversions
11:16 am
Thu November 29, 2012

The Rubik's Cube that will trip up your mind

YouTube

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 6:52 am

This is your brain making things up.

What you see isn't really there.

Even if I tell you "this isn't what you think," you'll think it anyway — until I make a simple move, and suddenly — you know.

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NPR diversions
9:20 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Finnish Underwater Ice Fishing Mystery Finally Solved

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

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 5:34 am

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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NPR science
10:31 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Sunflowers seen flying through empty desert – Why?

Vincent Liota

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 9:47 am

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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NPR science
7:02 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Eat Your Heart Out, Columbus: A Sailing Ship That Travels On Sunshine

Emmanuel Leutze Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 8:29 am

Columbus, they say, crossed the Atlantic at a speed of roughly four knots. That's four-plus miles an hour. When the wind gusted, he could hit 9.2 mph. In 1492, that was speedy.

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Science
10:12 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Animals who love to rub themselves with ants. Is this addictive?

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 8:28 am

This is how we do it.

This is how they do it.

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NPR science
8:08 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Are those spidery black things on Mars dangerous? (Yup.)

Michael Benson NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/Kinetikon Pictures

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:43 pm

You are 200 miles directly above the Martian surface — looking down. This image was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Jan. 27, 2010. (The color was added later.) What do we see? Well, sand, mostly. As you scroll down, there's a ridge crossing through the image, then a plain, then dunes, but keep looking. You will notice, when you get to the dunes, there are little black flecks dotting the ridges, mostly on the sunny side, like sunbathing spiders sitting in rows. Can you see them?

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NPR science
7:14 am
Wed September 19, 2012

U.S. Explodes Atomic Bombs Near Beers To See If They Are Safe To Drink

National Technical Information Service via Alex Wellerstein

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:34 pm

So you're minding your own business when all of a sudden, a nuclear bomb goes off, there's a shock wave, fires all around, general destruction and you, having somehow survived, need a drink. What can you do? There is no running water, not where you are. But there is a convenience store. It's been crushed by the shock wave, but there are still bottles of beer, Coke and diet soda intact on the floor.

So you wonder: Can I grab one of those beers and gulp it down? Or is it too radioactive? And what about taste? If I drink it, will it taste OK?

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