Radiolab may come across as This American Life's nerdier cousin, but the NPR show has a growing mainstream following, fueled by endorsements from the likes of Rachel McAdams and Ira Glass himself. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and former ABC correspondent Robert Krulwich, each episode focuses on a single topic at the border of science, philosophy and everyday life — such as “Fate & Fortune” or “Animal Minds” — and delves in with aural abandon, telling stories through unexpected vocal and sound effects tricks influenced by sonic pioneers like Orson Welles and German electronic-music composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. Arriving in L.A. is “Radiolab Live: Symmetry,” a live episode that will explore the concept via references to ancient Greece, the Oval Office and a Princeton University brain-scanning machine. Radiolab regular Zoe Keating provides a live soundtrack of avant-garde cello music.

Wed., March 23, 2011

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