Southeast Public Radio to Broadcast a New Season of ‘Radio Lab’ Series


Photo of the Radio Lab hosts.

Radio Lab is hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 25, 2008 — Southeast Public Radio announces plans to air five new programs in the “Radio Lab” series, an experiential investigation that explores themes and ideas through a patchwork of people, sounds and stories. In each episode, “Radio Lab” experiments with sound and style allowing science to fuse with culture and information to sound like music. “Radio Lab” will air Sunday mornings at 9 a.m., beginning on March 2.

Hosted by Jad Abumrad with co-host Robert Krulwich, “Radio Lab” is designed for listeners who demand skepticism but appreciate wonder; who are curious about the world, but also want to be moved and surprised.

LaughterMarch 2What is laughter for? Are we humans the only ones that do it? “Radio Lab” examines the purpose and power of the guffaw by tickling rats, listening in on a brand new baby’s first giggle, and travels to a remote village in Tanzania where, in 1962, an entire village erupted in an epidemic of contagious laughter.

DeceptionMarch 9Why do some people lie more than others? Maybe it’s not moral weakness so much as anatomical strength. “Radio Lab” talks with one researcher who has peered into the brains of pathological liars and found that certain parts of their lying brains are much bigger than those in truth-tellers. Also, the program looks at the joy of lying to one’s own self and new efforts to teach airport security how to spot liars using only their eyes.

War of the WorldsMarch 16This program explores one of the most controversial moments in broadcasting history — Orson Welles’ 1938 radio play about Martians invading New Jersey. Why did it fool people then? And why has it continued to fool people since? From Santiago, Chile to Buffalo, New York to a particularly disastrous evening in Quito, Ecuador, a look at the power of mass media to create panic.

(So Called) LifeMarch 23This program visits the place where the borders of life get blurry — between species, between life and non-life, even between selves. We meet one woman, who, according to her DNA, is actually two women. And we look back at a time, at the beginning of life on this planet, when organisms engaged in the rampant sharing of guts and body parts and everything else.

Pop MusicMarch 30Why do some songs mercilessly stick in our heads and repeat themselves over and over? What makes these hooks so hooky? And what happens when a song, or just a piece, really and truly won’t disappear from your head — for years? This program features nightmarish stories of musical hallucinations, ear-worms that won’t quit, and the triumphant return of the Elvis of Afghanistan.

Jad Abumrad is the host and producer of “Radio Lab.” Before “Radio Lab,” Abumrad was an independent reporter, producer and documentary-maker for a variety of local and national programs. He also was a member of the team that launched “The Next Big Thing.” Abumrad has written music for films and studied music composition and creative writing at Oberlin College.

Robert Krulwich specializes in making complicated news about anything — science, economics, politics — easy to grasp through visual and dramatic analogies. After getting his start reporting on Watergate for the Pacifica network, Krulwich became an NPR correspondent. From 1978-985, if you were listening to NPR, you heard all about business and economics from Robert Krulwich. After that, he moved to television, working for CBS, ABC and the PBS programs “Frontline” and “NOVA.” He is currently a science correspondent for NPR. “Radio Lab” marked his return to the network.

As the area’s source for diverse musical programming and award winning NPR news, Southeast Public Radio strives to continuously excel in providing the highest quality public radio programming to Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. Nearly 1.9 million people within the listening area have the opportunity to tune in to KRCU 90.9 FM which is a 6,500 watt station located in Cape Girardeau and KSEF 88.9 FM, a 9,500 watt repeater station located in Farmington. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day from the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. More information is available at