When confronted with trash piling up on a median in front of their home in Oakland, Dan and Lu Stevenson decided to try something unusual: they would install a statue of the Buddha to watch over the place. When asked by Criminal's Phoebe Judge why they chose this particular religious figure, Dan explained simply: "He's neutral."
This episode begins with a rant. This rant, in particular, comes from Dan Engber - a science writer who loves animals but despises animal intelligence research. Dan told us that so much of the way we study animals involves tests that we think show a human is smart ... not the animals we intend to study.
Dan's rant got us thinking: What is the smartest animal in the world? And if we threw out our human intelligence rubric, is there a fair way to figure it out?
Obviously, there is. And it's a live game show, judged by Jad, Robert ... and a dog.
For the last episode of G, Radiolab's miniseries on intelligence, we're sharing that game show with you. It was recorded as a live show back in May 2019 at the Greene Space in New York City. We invited two science writers, Dan Engber and Laurel Braitman, and two comedians, Tracy Clayton and Jordan Mendoza, to compete against one another to find the world's smartest animal. What resulted were a series of funny, delightful stories about unexpectedly smart animals and a shift in the way we think about intelligence across all the animals - including us.
Check out the video of our live event here!
This episode was produced by Rachael Cusick and Pat Walters, with help from Nora Keller and Suzie Lechtenberg. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris and Dorie Chevlin.
Special thanks to Bill Berloni and Macy (the dog) and everyone at The Greene Space.
Radiolab's "G" is supported in part by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science.
Two years ago, Helen Zaltzman and her husband, Martin Austwick, gave up their London apartment to travel the world. She paid the bills by continuing to produce her two podcasts, The Allusionist and Answer Me This, from the road. Things were going well until a visit to Tasmania, when Helen got a serious infection in her neck and had to be hospitalized. After nearly a month in intensive care, she was finally released. Helen was, of course, relieved to be alive. But she soon discovered that her brain no longer functioned the same way...and her work habits needed to change.
Season 4 of ZigZag is about examining the current culture of business and work, figuring out what needs to change, and experimenting with new ways to do it.
**Who You'll Hear: **@manoushz (Manoush Zomorodi, host of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @jpoyant (Jen Poyant, cohost of ZigZag and cofounder of Stable Genius Productions), @HelenZaltzman (Helen Zaltzman, Host and Creator of the Answer Me This and The Allusionist Podcasts)
Thank you for supporting us by using special offer codes from our sponsors, signing up for our free newsletter, and subscribing to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Overcast, Spotify, or Breaker.
Occasionally between Showcase series, we'll bring you surprise bonus episodes, like the one you're about to hear. It's a recording of a live conversation inspired by Ways of Hearing, the very first series we ever featured here on Showcase.
Since the series aired, writer, host, co-producer (and excellent musician) Damon Krukowski has taken the podcast to the page, with Ways of Hearing the book, published by MIT Press in May 2019.
The conversation was recorded live before a studio audience on April 9 at the PRX Podcast Garage in Allston, Massachusetts and was mixed by Ian Coss. It was led by Damon, with Radiotopia Executive Producer Julie Shapiro, Ian Coss, who co-produced and sound designed the podcast, Matt Browne, who edited the book, and James Goggin, who designed the book.
I don't know exactly when or where, but at some point in the past few years, I stopped putting punctuation at the end of sentences. Why? The internet made me do it! Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch, cohost of Lingthusiasm podcast and the author of the new book Because Internet, explains how the internet changes the rules of language.
Find out more at theallusionist.org/new-rules.
The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the finest podcasts on the interwaves. And it's our annual survey season! Could you do me a big ole favour and spend a few minutes filling in the Survlusionist at surveynerds.com/allusionist? I will, of course, be using your opinions and information for nothing but the most nefarious purposes (like, er, trying to make the show better for you).
In July 2019, the Allusionist is sponsored by:
o Squarespace, your one-stop shop for creating and running a good-looking and well-working website. Go to squarespace.com/allusion for a free trial, and use the code ALLUSION to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
o Bombas, socks that won't let you - or themselves - down. Buy your expertly engineered socks at bombas.com/allusionist and get 20% off your first purchase.
o Progressive. Get your car insurance quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
o Remember Reading, a new family podcast from HarperCollins about classic children's books. Find it on your podcast apps and at RememberReading.com.
I think we can all agree: It's high time we devoted a full episode to the music of San Quentin.
Thanks to all of the musicians who talked with us for this episode, and shared their songs. Find a full list of credits at earhustlesq.com, where you can also download and remix our theme song (do it!), sign up for our newsletter and order a T-shirt, sticker pack or mug. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.
Denzel Curry is a rapper from Miami. He started his career at age 16 as part of the hip hop collective Raider Klan. He released his first solo album while still in high school.
In May 2019 Denzel released his fourth album, ZUU. He made it with the Australian production duo FnZ, who have been collaborating with him since 2016. The album was named Best New Music by Pitchfork, and Denzel made his TV debut on The Tonight Show.
Joanna thought she was prepared for her new baby. But the baby has plans of her own.
Written by Marina Tempelsman
Performed by Ann Carr, Erica Schroeder, David Ebert, Katie Hartman, Louis Kornfeld, Leslie Meisel, Erica Hernandez, Ariel Gitlin, Boris Khaykin, and Tallie Medel.
A couple of years ago I wrote a story for the truth podcast, Radiotopia's one-of-a-kind audio fiction show. Part One ran on the Truth and Part Two ran here. Now that there are actual camps I believe this story warrants another listen.
Aisle upon aisle of fresh produce, cheap meat, and sugary cereal -- a delicious embodiment of free-market capitalism, right? Not quite. The supermarket was in fact the endpoint of the U.S. government's battle for agricultural abundance against the U.S.S.R. Our farm policies were built to dominate, not necessarily to nourish -- and we are still living with the consequences.