Podcast of the Week: “On the Edge” by Radiolab

If you ask a lot of people what Radiolab is about (including many commenters on the Radiolab website) they’ll say “science.”  But I think what the show is really about is curiosity.  Jad Abumrad, Robert Krulwich, and the rest of Radiolab staff have an amazing ability to ask questions no one else would, and that mixed with amazing sound design makes for a show unlike anything on the radio or in a podcast.

The most recent episode “On the Edge” is ostensibly about sports.  It’s the story of Surya Bonaly, a French figure skater who was among the top skaters in Europe in the 1990s.  The show elucidates the debate between artistry and technical brilliance, let’s us listen to the sound of a skate blade on the ice, reveals the moment to moment calculations within a skater’s brain, and discusses uncomfortable issues of a black skater in a predominantly white sport.

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