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.


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014 Permalink

Radiolab: Stochasticity

M I T C H Ǝ L L / flickr / CC-BY-2.0

M I T C H Ǝ L L / flickr / CC-BY-2.0

Stochasticity (a wonderfully slippery and smarty-pants word for randomness), may be at the very foundation of our lives. To understand how big a role it plays, we look at chance and patterns in sports, lottery tickets, and even the cells in our own body.


Along the way, we talk to a woman suddenly consumed by a frenzied gambling addiction, meet two friends whose meeting seems to defy pure chance, and take a close look at some very noisy bacteria.


A Very Lucky Wind

Laura Buxton, an English girl just shy of ten years old, didn't realize the strange course her life would take after her red balloon was swept away into the sky. It drifted south over England, bearing a small label that said, "Please send back to Laura Buxton." 

Seeking Patterns

Fine. Randomness may govern the world around us, but does it guide US?? Jonah Lehrer joins us to examine one of the most skilled basketball teams ever, the '82 - '83 '76ers, and wonders whether or not the mythical "hot hand" actually exists. 

Random Rules

The business of life is the business of taking the disorder of the world, little bits of matter scattered here and there, and giving them shape, regularity, order.