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Throughline: Dare to Dissent

Radiolab

  • 190 views
  • 2 months ago
  • 42:01

Sometimes, the most dangerous and powerful thing a person can do is to stand up not against their enemies, but against their friends. As the United States heads into what will likely be another bitter and divided election year, there will be more and more pressure to stand with our in-groups rather than our consciences.So a group of us here at Throughline decided to tell some of the stories of people who have stood up to that kind of pressure. Some are names we know; others we likely never will. On today's episode: what those people did, what it cost them, and why they did it anyway.EPISODE CITATIONS:Books -Defying Hitler: the White Rose Pamphlet (https://zpr.io/wAXJuTzqFBvw), by Alexandra Lloyd, fellow by special election in German at the University of Oxford.King: A Life (https://zpr.io/iGAEggJJnFNE), by Johnathan Eig. Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Staph Retreat

Radiolab

  • 220 views
  • 3 months ago
  • 33:02

What happens when you combine an axe-wielding microbiologist and a disease-obsessed historian? A strange brew that's hard to resist, even for a modern day microbe.In the war on devilish microbes, our weapons are starting to fail us.  The antibiotics we once wielded like miraculous flaming swords seem more like lukewarm butter knives.But today we follow an odd couple to a storied land of elves and dragons. There, they uncover a 1000-year-old secret that makes us reconsider our most basic assumptions about human progress and wonder: What if the only way forward is backward?Reported by Latif Nasser. Produced by Matt Kielty and Soren Wheeler.Special thanks to Steve Diggle, Professor Roberta Frank, Alexandra Reider and Justin Park (our Old English readers), Gene Murrow from Gotham Early Music Scene, Marcia Young for her performance on the medieval harp and Collin Monro of Tadcaster and the rest of the Barony of Iron Bog.Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Breaking Newsve About Zoozve

Radiolab

  • 290 views
  • 4 months ago
  • 12:07

Less than two weeks since we released Zoozve, and we have BIG NEWS about our quest to name the first-ever quasi-moon! And that’s only the half of it! Listen to the episode “Zoozve” before you listen to this update! (https://radiolab.org/podcast/zoozve)EPISODE CREDITS -Reported by - Latif Nasserwith help from - Ekedi Fausther-KeeysProduced by - Sarah QariOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Sarah Qariwith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane Kelleyand Edited by  - Becca BresslerEPISODE CITATIONS - Official announcement about Zoozve is available here! (https://www.wgsbn-iau.org/files/Bulletins/V004/WGSBNBull_V004_002.pdf) If you’d like to see or sign up for the official asteroid naming bulletin that comes from the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group for Small Bodies Nomenclature, you can do so here (https://www.wgsbn-iau.org/).  If you’d like to buy (or even just look at) Alex Foster’s Solar System poster (featuring Zoozve of course), check it out here (https://zpr.io/dcqVEgHP43SJ). First 75 new annual sign-ups to our membership program The Lab get one free, autographed by Alex! Existing members of The Lab, look out for a discount code!Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Stochasticity

Radiolab

  • 540 views
  • 5 months ago
  • 51:40

First aired way back in 2009, this episode is all about a wonderfully slippery and smarty-pants word for randomness, Stochasticity, and how it may be at the very foundation of our lives. Along the way, we talk to a woman suddenly consumed by a frenzied gambling addiction, hear from two friends whose meeting seems to defy pure chance, and take a close look at some very noisy bacteria. EPISODE CITATIONS: Videos - Stochasticity Music Video (https://zpr.io/uZiH9j9ZU6be) Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.   Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Zeroworld

Radiolab

  • 770 views
  • 5 months ago
  • 34:35

Karim Ani dedicated his life to math. He studied it in school, got a degree in math education, even founded Citizen Math (www.citizenmath.com) to teach it to kids in a whole new way. But, this whole time, his whole life, almost, he had this question nagging at him. The question came in the form of a rule in math, NEVER divide by zero. But, why not? Cornell mathematician, and friend of the show, Steve Strogatz, chimes in with the historical context, citing examples of previous provocateurs looking to break the rules of math. And he offers Karim a warning, “In math we have creative freedom, we can do anything we want, as long as it’s logical.”Listen along as Karim’s thought exercise becomes an existential quest, taking us with him, as he delves deeper, and deeper, into Zeroworld. EPISODE CREDITS: Reported by - Lulu MillerProduced by - Matthew Kieltywith help from - Ekedi Fausther-Keys, Alyssa Jeong PerryOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Matthew Kieltywith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Diane Kellyand Edited by - Pat Walters Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org.   Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Numbers

Radiolab

  • 530 views
  • 5 months ago
  • 01:00:44

First aired back in 2009, this episode is all about one thing, or rather a collection of things. Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, chances are you rely on numbers every day of your life. Where do they come from, and what do they really do for us? This hour: stories of how numbers confuse us, connect us, and even reveal secrets about us.

Death Interrupted

Radiolab

  • 450 views
  • 5 months ago
  • 25:55

As a lifeguard, a paramedic, and then an ER doctor, Blair Bigham found his calling: saving lives. But when he started to work in the ICU, he slowly realized that sometimes keeping people (and their hopes) alive just prolongs the suffering. He wrote a book arguing that a too-late death is just as bad as a too-early one, and that physicians and the public alike need to get better at accepting the inevitability of death sooner.  As the book hit the bestseller list, Blair’s own father got diagnosed with a deadly case of pancreatic cancer. Blair’s every impulse was in direct contradiction of the book he just wrote. What should he do? And how can any of us know when to stop fighting death and when to start making peace with it?Special thanks to Lucie Howell and Heather Haley.EPISODE CREDITS:  Reported by - Latif NasserProduced by - Simon Adlerwith help from - Alyssa Jeong PerryOriginal music and sound design contributed by - Simon Adlerwith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Natalie Middletonand edited by - Pat Walters EPISODE CITATIONS: Books:  Blair Bigham, Death Interrupted: How Modern Medicine is Complicating the Way We Die (https://zpr.io/a33mEMW64X5h)   Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, X and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Shrink

Radiolab

  • 490 views
  • 6 months ago
  • 45:20

The definition of life is in flux, complexity is overrated, and humans are shrinking. Viruses are supposed to be sleek, pared-down, dead-eyed machines. But when one microbiologist stumbled upon a GIANT virus, hundreds of times bigger than any seen before, all that went out the window.  The discovery opened the door not only to a new cast of microscopic characters with names like Mimivirus, Mamavirus, and Megavirus, but also to basic questions: How did we miss these until now? Have they been around since the beginning? What if evolution could go … backwards? In this episode from 2015,  join former co-hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich as they grill Radiolab regular Carl Zimmer on these paradoxical viruses – they’re so big that they can get their own viruses! - and what they can tell us about the nature of life.  Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Interstitium

Radiolab

  • 460 views
  • 6 months ago
  • 55:07

In this episode we introduce you to a part of our bodies that was invisible to Western scientists until about five years ago; it’s called "the interstitium," a vast network of fluid channels inside the tissues around our organs that scientists have just begun to see, name, and understand. Along the way we look at how new technologies rub up against long-standing beliefs, and how millions of scientists and doctors failed to see what was right in front (and inside!) of their noses. We also find out how mapping the anatomy of this hidden infrastructure may help solve one of the fundamental mysteries of cancer, and perhaps provide a bridge between ancient and modern medicine.Special thanks to Aaron Wickenden, Jessica Clark, Mara Zepeda, Darryl Holliday, Dr. Amy Chang, Kate Sassoon, Guy Huntley, John Jacobson, Scotty G, and the Village Zendo EPISODE CREDITS -  Reported by - Lulu Miller and Jenn BrandelProduced by - Matt Kieltywith help from - Ekedi Fausther-Keeyswith mixing help from - Arianne WackFact-checking by - Natalie Middletonand Edited by  - Alex Neason EPISODE CITATIONS - Articles: Check out reporter Jenn Brandel’s companion essay to this episode in Orion magazine, titled, Invisible Landscapes (https://zpr.io/NKuxvYY84RvH), which argues that the discovery of the interstitium could challenge established practices of compartmentalizing in science and society.Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Funky Hand Jive

Radiolab

  • 430 views
  • 6 months ago
  • 27:36

Back when Robert was kid, he had a chance encounter with then President John F. Kennedy. The interaction began with a hello and ended with a handshake. And like many of us who have touched greatness, 14 year old Robert was left wondering if maybe some of Kennedy would stay with him. Back in 2017, when this episode first aired, Robert found himself still pondering that encounter and question. And so with the help of what was brand new science back then, and a helping hand from Neil Degrasse Tyson, he set out to satisfy this curiosity once and for all.EPISODE CREDITS:Produced by - Simon Adlerwith help from - Only Human: Amanda Aronczyk, Kenny Malone, Jillian Weinberger and Elaine Chen. EPISODE CITATIONS: Videos: The Handshake Experiment (https://zpr.io/buzgQeJJLqvY)Books: Neil deGrasse Tyson's newest book is called "Astrophysics for People in A Hurry." (https://zpr.io/idRcrMu3Kj8c) Ed Yong, “I Contain Multitudes.” (https://zpr.io/ff5imFP3kA6s) Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (https://radiolab.org/newsletter)!   Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab (https://members.radiolab.org/) today.   Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing radiolab@wnyc.org. Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  

What Up Holmes?

Radiolab

  • 3.4K views
  • about 3 years ago
  • 48:23

Love it or hate it, the freedom to say obnoxious and subversive things is the quintessence of what makes America America. But our say-almost-anything approach to free speech is actually relatively recent, and you can trace it back to one guy: a Supreme Court justice named Oliver Wendell Holmes. Even weirder, you can trace it back to one seemingly ordinary 8-month period in Holmes’s life when he seems to have done a logical U-turn on what should be say-able.  Why he changed his mind during those 8 months is one of the greatest mysteries in the history of the Supreme Court.  (Spoiler: the answer involves anarchists, a house of truth, and a cry for help from a dear friend.)  Join us as we investigate why he changed his mind, how that made the country change its mind, and whether it’s now time to change our minds again. This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and was produced by Sarah Qari. Special thanks to Jenny Lawton, Soren Shade, Kelsey Padgett, and Soroush Vosughi. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.      further reading: Thomas Healy’s book The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes CHanged His Mind - And Changed the History of Free Speech In America (the inspiration for this episode) plus his latest book Soul City: Race, Equality and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia. The Science article that Sinan Aral wrote in 2018, along with Soroush Vosughi and Deb Roy: “The Spread of True and False News Online” Sinan Aral’s recent book The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy and our Health - And How We Must Adapt Zeynep Tufekci’s newsletter “The Insight” plus her book Twitter and Teargas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest Nabiha Syed’s news website The Markup Trailer for “The Magnificent Yankee,” a 1950 biopic of Oliver Wendell Holmes Anthony Lewis, Freedom for the Thought that We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment

Elements

Radiolab

  • 3.2K views
  • about 3 years ago
  • 01:13:45

Scientists took about 300 years to lay out the Periodic Table into neat rows and columns. In one hour, we’re going to mess it all up.  This episode, we enlist journalists, poets, musicians, and even a physicist to help us tell stories of matter that matters. You’ll never look at that chart the same way again. Special thanks to Emotive Fruition for organizing poetry performances and to the mighty Sylvan Esso for composing 'Jaime's Song', both inspired by this episode. Thanks also to Sam Kean, Chris Howk, Brian Fields and to Paul Dresher and Ned Rothenberg for the use of their song "Untold Story:The Edge of Sleep".  Check out Jaime Lowe's book Mental: Lithium, Love and Losing My Mind Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.   

Escapescape

Radiolab

  • 2.1K views
  • about 3 years ago
  • 32:28

As we hit the one year mark since the first U.S. state (California) issued a stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we put out a call to see if any of you would take us to your secret escape spot and record audio there. And you astounded us with what you brought in.  In this soundrich, kaleidoscopic episode, we journey around the planet and then, quite literally, beyond it. Listen only if you want a boatload of fresh air, fields of wildflowers, stars, birds, frogs, and a riveting tale involving Isaac Newton and a calm beyond any calm you knew could exist. This episode was produced by Matt Kielty and Lulu Miller, with production support from Jonny Moens and Suzie Lechtenberg.  Special thanks to: Lynn Levy, who went on to host the space-a-licious series, The Habitat, and edit (among other things) the powerful and beautiful new podcast Resistance. Merav Opher, an astronomy professor at BU, who now directs the SHIELD DRIVE Science Center which is studying the data collected by the Voyagers at the edge of the heavens, or--err, the “heliosphere” as the scientists call it. Edward Dolnick, The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World Ann Druyan, one of the creators of the 1977 Golden Album traveling on the Voyager probe, has recently released a new series on National Geographic,  “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” A.J. Dungo, who submitted a postcard while surfing, is author of the mesmerizing graphic novel, In Waves, a memoir about surfing and grief. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.   

Dispatch 14: Covid Crystal Ball

Radiolab

  • 2.3K views
  • about 3 years ago
  • 27:14

Last summer, at a hospital in England, a man in his 70s being treated for complications with cancer tested positive for covid-19. He had lymphoma, and the disease plus his drugs weakened his immune system, making him particularly susceptible to the virus. He wasn’t too bad off, considering, and was sent home. That was Day 1. This is the story of what the doctors witnessed, over the course of his illness: the evolution of covid-19 inside his body. Before their eyes, they get a hint of what might be to come in the pandemic.  This episode was reported by Molly Webster.  Special thanks to Ravindra Gupta, Jonathan Li. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.      Want to learn more about some of the covid case studies? Here are a couple papers to get you started:The “U.K. Paper”, co-authored by Ravi Gupta, one of our sources for the episode: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03291-y A case study out of Boston, co-authored by Dr. Jonathan Li, one of our sources for the episode: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2031364 For more on immune suppression and covid-19, check out this amazing Scientific American article:  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/covid-variants-may-arise-in-people-with-compromised-immune-systems/

The Ceremony

Radiolab

  • 2.4K views
  • about 3 years ago
  • 47:13

Last November, journalist Morgen Peck showed up at her friend Molly Webster's apartment in Brooklyn, told her to take her battery out of her phone, and began to tell her about The Ceremony, a moment last fall when a group of, well, let's just call them wizards, came together in an undisclosed location to launch a new currency. It's an undertaking that involves some of the most elaborate security and cryptography ever done (so we've been told). And math. Lots of math. It was all going great until, in the middle of it, something started to behave a little...strangely. Reported by Molly Webster. Produced by Matt Kielty and Molly Webster. Denver Ceremony station recordings were created by media maker Nathaniel Kramer, with help from Daniel Cooper.  Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.

Red Herring

Radiolab

  • 3.7K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 35:26

It was the early 80s, the height of the Cold War, when something strange began happening off the coast of Sweden. The navy reported a mysterious sound deep below the surface of the ocean. Again, and again, and again they would hear it near their secret military bases, in their harbors, and up and down the Swedish coastline.  After thorough analysis the navy was certain. The sound was an invasion into their waters, an act of war, the opening salvos of a possible nuclear annihilation.  Or was it?  Today, Annie McEwen pulls us down into a deep-sea mystery, one of international intrigue that asks you to consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, your deepest beliefs could be as solid as...air. This episode was reported by Annie McEwen and produced by Annie McEwen, Matt Kielty, and Sarah Qari, with sound design by Jeremy Bloom.  Special thanks to Bosse Lindquist. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.   

Facebook's Supreme Court

Radiolab

  • 2.4K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 44:02

Since its inception, the perennial thorn in Facebook’s side has been content moderation. That is, deciding what you and I are allowed to post on the site and what we’re not. Missteps by Facebook in this area have fueled everything from a genocide in Myanmar to viral disinformation surrounding politics and the coronavirus. However, just this past year, conceding their failings, Facebook shifted its approach. They erected an independent body of twenty jurors that will make the final call on many of Facebook’s thorniest decisions. This body has been called: Facebook’s Supreme Court. So today, in collaboration with the New Yorker magazine and the New Yorker Radio Hour, we explore how this body came to be, what power it really has and how the consequences of its decisions will be nothing short of life or death. This episode was reported and produced by Simon Adler. To hear more about the court's origin, their rulings so far, and their upcoming docket, check out David Remnick and reporter Kate Klonick’s conversation in the New Yorker Radio Hour podcast feed. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.      

Smile My Ass

Radiolab

  • 1.9K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 35:41

Candid Camera is one of the most original – and one of the most mischievous – TV shows of all time.  Admirers hailed its creator Allen Funt as a poet of the everyday. Critics denounced him as a Peeping Tom.  Funt sought to capture people at their most unguarded, their most spontaneous, their most natural.  And he did. But as the show succeeded, it started to change the way we thought not only of reality television, but also of reality itself.  Looking back at the show now, a half century later, it’s hard NOT to see so many of our preoccupations – privacy, propriety, publicity, authenticity – through a funhouse mirror, darkly. This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and produced by Matt Kielty.  Special Thanks to: Bertram van Munster, Fred Nadis, Alexa Conway, the Eastern Airlines Employee Association and Eastern Airlines Radio, Rebecca Lemov, Anna McCarthy, Jill Lepore, Cullie Bogacki Willis III, Barbara Titus and the Funt family.  Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.    

Post Reports: Four Hours of Insurrection

Radiolab

  • 1.8K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 39:29

We’re all still processing what happened on January 6th. Despite the hours and hours of video circulating online, we still didn’t feel like we had a visceral, on-the-ground sense of what happened that day. Until we heard the piece we’re featuring today. The Washington Post’s daily podcast Post Reports built a minute-by-minute replay of that day, from the rally, to the invasion, to the aftermath, told through the voices of people who were in the building that day -- reporters, photojournalists, Congresspeople, police officers and more. It’s some of the most visceral reporting we’ve heard anywhere on this historic moment. Listen to their full episode here.  

More Money Less Problems

Radiolab

  • 1.7K views
  • over 3 years ago
  • 28:21

Back in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning and the shelter-in-place orders brought the economy to a screeching halt, a quirky-but-clever idea to save the economy made its way up to some of the highest levels of government. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib proposed an ambitious relief bill to keep the country’s metaphorical lights on: recurring payments to people to help them stay afloat during the crisis. And the way Congress would pay for it? By minting two platinum $1 trillion coins. (You read that right).  In this episode, we take a jaunt through the evolution of our currency, from the gold-backed bills of the 19th century, to the most powerful computer at the Federal Reserve. And we chase an idea that torpedoes what we thought was a fundamental law of economics. Can we actually just print more money?  This episode was reported by Becca Bressler and was produced by Becca Bressler and Simon Adler. Special thanks to Carlos Mucha, Warren Mosler, David Cay Johnston, Alex Goldmark, Bryant Urstadt, and Amanda Aronczyk.  To learn more about these ideas check out:  Stephanie Kelton's book The Deficit Myth Jacob Goldstein's book Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing and the Planet Money podcast Betsey Stevenson's podcast Think Like an Economist  And for a fun quick read, check out this WIRED article about the surprising origin of #MintTheCoin.