Making Curriculum Pop

I teach a late class this term. On my drive home the last couple days I've finally gotten a chance to sample NPR's science show RadioLab.  Most of you are probably hip to the show but if you aren't...

"Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we'll feed it with possibility."

The first full episode I caught was so compelling that I sat in the car for about 10 additional minutes to finish off the first story.

Our hour begins with a tale from Dr. Barbara Smuts. She recounts a classic bully story, but with a twist: her bully was a chimp.

Next up:
the haunting epic of Lucy the chimpanzee. When Lucy was only two days old, she was adopted by psychologist Dr. Maurice K. Temerlin and his wife Jane. The Temerlins wondered, if given the right environment, how human could Lucy become? We hear from Lucy's language tutor, Dr. Roger Fouts, Lucy's caretaker and eventual friend, Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, and Mr. Temerlin himself... or his words anyway, read by radio host David Garland. And writer Charles Siebert helps us to make sense of Lucy's story. Check out this slideshow of Lucy's life, including the photo snapped as Janis and Lucy hugged in Gambia:

Lucy from Radiolab on Vimeo.

This show was almost 100% teachable - sans the episode when Lucy is looking at Playgirl and masturbating.  It is a really exciting show. All the episodes are available as Podcasts or mp3 downloads. You can even subscribe to the show free via iTunes!

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