If you're a fan of This American Life (which you should be), it's time to check out one of their own favorites, Radiolab. Produced by WNYC, this radio show is like a science- and philosophy-oriented sister to TAL, using the same personal anecdote format to divulge further into certain themes. Hearing the words 'science' and 'philosophy' may throw some people off at first, but just as TAL is able to make the recession an interesting story, so can Radiolab with its own topics.
For example, Radiolab's show on "Numbers" followed a narrator to a convention of mathematicians, and focused on this peculiar way that these math geniuses identify themselves--by their Erdos number, or rather a sort of Six Degrees of Separation game played with a near-mythological mathematician named Paul Erdos as Kevin Bacon. There was also a show focusing on "Oops," which had hilarious stories about mistakes, minor and major, that people have made. And then there was "Words," which tried to imagine a world without words. Imagine! Radiolab tried. And they also had this fun video to go along with its podcast--can you 'see' all the words?:
Radiolab airs on KCRW on occasional Sundays (like if This American Life is in reruns), but to fully catch up on the episodes, download the podcasts or stream online at the Radiolab website. It's another great (and sadly, rare) example of what radio can do, so go out and support it!
-- Chau Tu
ps. Also, doesn't co-host Jad Abumrad sound like Ira Glass? Major plus.