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.


Wednesday, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
on News Station

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Radiolab: Colors


To what extent is color a physical thing in the physical world, and to what extent is it created in our minds? We start with Sir Isaac Newton. Then, we meet a sea creature that sees a rainbow way beyond anything humans can experience, and we track down a woman who we're pretty sure can see thousands more colors than the rest of us. And we end with an age-old question: why is the sky blue?

Our world is saturated in color, from soft hues to violent stains. How does something so intangible pack such a visceral punch? This hour, in the name of science and poetry, Jad and Robert tear the rainbow to pieces.


Episode website


Rippin' the Rainbow a New One

Radiolab rips the rainbow a new one.

The Perfect Yellow

Jad and Robert wonder if maybe they could add to their color palette. Jay Neitzwondered the same thing, sort of. Take a monkey that can't see red, for example. Couldn't you just give them the red cones they were missing? So he took the human gene for red cones, ...


Why Isn't the Sky Blue?

What is the color of honey, and "faces pale with fear"? If you're Homer--one of the most influential poets in human history--that color is green. And the sea is "wine-dark," just like oxen...though sheep are violet. Which all sounds...well, really off. Producer Tim Howard introduces us to linguist Guy Deutscher, ...