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...
12:47 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Can Worms Create Their Own Imaginary Oceans? Can Oysters?

D.P. Wilson/FLPA Science Source

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:35 pm

When you see them on the beach, spinach-like plops of green sprawled on the sand, you'd never guess their teeny nervous systems are imprinted with beach-ness. They are the ultimate Beach Boys. For them it's always summer.

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:30 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Human Made From Paper Eats Pepperoni Pizza — And Lives!

Courtesy of Kelli Anderson

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 1:03 pm

Remember those frog transparencies from biology class? The ones in the textbook where you could lay the circulatory system on top of the digestive system on top of the skeleton system? Here's that same idea, updated and gently presented for kids, from a company called Tinybop. This time, the layers are cut from colored paper, exquisitely designed by Kelli Anderson. And this time (unlike that sadly frozen frog) it moves! Watch it eat a pizza slice ...

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:41 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

'Why This Compulsion To Run Long Distances?' A Runner's Beautiful Confession

From Racing the Antelope

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 12:50 pm

Biologist Bernd Heinrich was in Zimbabwe, in the field, eyes down, looking for beetles, when for no particular reason he looked up and saw ... well, at first he wasn't sure what it was, so he stepped closer, leaned in, and there, painted on the underside of large protruding rock, were five human figures "running in one direction, from left to right across the rock face." They weren't very detailed, just "small, sticklike human figures in clear running stride" painted by a Bushman, two, maybe three thousand years ago.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:23 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

How One Plus One Became Everything: A Puzzle of Life

Courtesy of Paolo Ceric

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 9:00 am

It's one of life's great mysteries ...

Four billion years ago, or thereabouts, organic chemicals in the sea somehow spun themselves into little homes, with insides and outsides. We call them cells.

They did this in different ways, but always keeping their insides in, protected from the outside world ...

... surrounded by walls or skins of different types ...

... but letting in essentials, nutrients. Some even learned to eat sunshine, capturing energy ...

... which gave them a pulse of their own ...

... so they could move ...

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:39 pm
Sat August 17, 2013

Is There A Giant Life Form Lurking In Our Solar System? Possibly, Say Scientists

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 10:29 am

What if — just maybe — we find extra-terrestrial life in the oceans of Europa, a little moon circling Jupiter? If we do, says writer Caspar Henderson, don't expect that oceanic alien to be very big. Or very scary. Or even very visible. Nothing like this ...

The "top predator" on Europa, Henderson reports, is likely to be "a fearsome creature with the mass of one gram." That's three one-hundredths of an ounce.

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:13 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

This Pulsing Earth

John Nelson IDV Solutions

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 11:00 am

It's breathing, he thought. "All of a sudden I see a thing with a heartbeat."

John Nelson is a designer, well known for tracing complex weather patterns or cultural information on maps, so considering what he usually does, this was easy. NASA's Visible Earth team publishes pictures of our planet every month of the year, so John thought, why not stitch them together, and see what the seasons look like from outer space?

So he stitched, and then looked.

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Krulwich Wonders...
2:20 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

'Stopp!' 'Schnell!' Cried The Nazis Before The Dinosaur Ate Them

Boulet

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 3:35 am

His name is "Boulet." Just Boulet. He's French. He's had a blog for years and what we have here, as you will no doubt notice, is a rough French-to-English translation, but the words don't matter that much. This is a fantastic voyage, one of the coolest I've seen on the Web.

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Krulwich Wonders...
2:07 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

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

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:20 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
3:04 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Watch Me Do Something Impossible In Three Totally Easy Steps

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 6:19 pm

Here's what the Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvard did. In 1934, he got himself a pen and paper and drew four cubes, like this.

Then he drew some more, like this.

And, then — and this is where he got mischievous — he drew one more set, like this.

He called this final version "Impossible Triangle of Opus 1 No. 293aa." I don't know what the "293aa" is about, but he was right about "impossible." An arrangement like this cannot take place in the physical universe as we know it.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:36 am
Thu August 8, 2013

The Subtle Mysteries Of Dinosaur Sex

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:33 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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