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.

Pages

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

Finally solved: Finnish underwater ice fishing mystery

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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NPR Science
1:12 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

The 'miracle' of the levitating slinky (cooler than it seems)

Veritasium/YouTube

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 5:43 am

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NPR science
10:27 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Volcano shoots geyser of water up into space

Michael Benson

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 8:53 am

What we have here is a moon — a small one (slightly wider than the state of Arizona) — circling Saturn.

If you look closely, you will see a small splay of light at its top, looking like a circular fountain.

That's because it is a fountain — of sorts. A bunch of volcano-like jets are sending fantastically high geysers of water vapor up into the sky, so high that you can see them in this remarkable print by Michael Benson, back lit by light bouncing off of Saturn.

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2012 Olympics
9:02 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Embarrassed By Your Olympic Javelin: Did Cavemen Do It Better?

Ian Walton Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 10:23 am

Stronger, faster, fiercer, finer. That's what the Olympics promise us — higher performance, new world records. But not if you throw things.

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NPR diversions
7:50 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb

Atom Central/YouTube

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:23 am

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NPR Diversions
2:31 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Woman On Street Attacked By Giant Snail, It Seems

Julian Beever

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 2:09 pm

Here's what got Nagai Hideyuki excited. Hideyuki lives in Tokyo. He's now 21. This photo was taken on the other side of the world, somewhere in Europe. What you see here is a street and a plain stone bench, both partially covered by a chalk drawing. The drawing disappears in places and at one point seems to bump into a metal pole.

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NPR tech news
9:10 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Robot with super powers wins at 'rock, paper scissors' every time

YouTube

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 4:06 am

First chess, now this:

Here's a robot from Ishikawa Oku's physics lab at the University of Tokyo that plays rock, paper, scissor and always beats the human, every single time. Because the team that built it gave it a superpower.

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NPR diversions
9:06 am
Sat April 14, 2012

The strange persistence of shoes at sea

Tennis shoes lay on the beach on Terschelling island, Netherlands, Feb. 10, 2006. They were from a shipping container that fell off a ship during a storm.
Marleen Swart AP

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 5:23 am

A ship sinks. A hundred years pass. What remains? Look down, down to your feet while I tell you this tale.

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