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Latest episode: August 16, 2017 | 9:00 pm - Bad Medicine, Part 1: The Story of 98.6 (Rebroadcast)

413 episodes

Displaying episodes 413 through 393
Bad Medicine, Part 1: The Story of 98.6 (Rebroadcast) (44:02) August 16, 2017 | 9:00 pm
We tend to think of medicine as a science, but for most of human history it has been scientific-ish at best. In the first episode of a three-part series, we look at the grotesque mistakes produced by centuries of trial-and-error, and ask whether the new
What Are You Waiting For? (Rebroadcast) (36:19) August 09, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Standing in line represents a particularly sloppy — and frustrating — way for supply and demand to meet. Why haven't we found a better way to get what we want? Is it possible that we secretly enjoy waiting in line? And might it even be (gulp) good for us
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Money (But Were Afraid to Ask) (43:59) August 02, 2017 | 9:00 pm
The bad news: roughly 70 percent of Americans are financially illiterate. The good news: all the important stuff can fit on one index card. Here's how to become your own financial superhero.
The Stupidest Thing You Can Do With Your Money (48:00) July 26, 2017 | 9:00 pm
It's hard enough to save for a house, tuition, or retirement. So why are we willing to pay big fees for subpar investment returns? Enter the low-cost index fund. The revolution will not be monetized.
These Shoes Are Killing Me! (39:14) July 19, 2017 | 9:00 pm
The human foot is an evolutionary masterpiece, far more functional than we give it credit for. So why do we encase it in "a coffin" (as one foot scholar calls it) that stymies so much of its ability — and may create more problems than it solves?
When Helping Hurts (51:25) July 12, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Good intentions are nice, but with so many resources poured into social programs, wouldn't it be even nicer to know what actually works?
The Fracking Boom, a Baby Boom, and the Retreat From Marriage (43:54) July 05, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Over 40 percent of U.S. births are to unmarried mothers, and the numbers are especially high among the less-educated. Why? One argument is that the decline in good manufacturing jobs led to a decline in "marriageable" men. Surely the fracking boom revers
The Harvard President Will See You Now (Rebroadcast) (39:18) June 28, 2017 | 9:00 pm
How a pain-in-the-neck girl from rural Virginia came to run the most powerful university in the world. Help us meet the Freakonomics Radio listener challenge. If 500 of you become sustaining members at just $7/month before June 30th we'll unlock an addit
Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 2) (38:58) June 22, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Charles Koch, the mega-billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and half of the infamous political machine, sees himself as a classical liberal. So why do most Democrats hate him so much? In a rare series of interviews, he explains his political awakening, his
Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 1) (43:18) June 21, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Charles Koch, the mega-billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and half of the infamous political machine, sees himself as a classical liberal. So why do most Democrats hate him so much? In a rare series of interviews, he explains his political awakening, his
BONUS: "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" on the topic of Rivalry (61:39) June 19, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Steve Levitt, Scott Turow and Bridget Gainer are panelists. For the "Freakonomics" co-author, the attorney and novelist, and the Cook County commissioner it's "game on!" as they tackle competition of all kinds: athletic, sexual, geopolitical, and the lit
Evolution, Accelerated (35:40) June 14, 2017 | 9:00 pm
A breakthrough in genetic technology has given humans more power than ever to change nature. It could help eliminate hunger and disease; it could also lead to the sort of dystopia we used to only read about in sci-fi novels. So what happens next? Help us
He’s One of the Most Famous Political Operatives in America. America Just Doesn’t Know It Yet. (42:14) June 07, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Steve Hilton was the man behind David Cameron's push to remake British politics. Things didn't work out so well there. Now he's trying to launch a new political revolution – from sunny California.
How Stupid Is Our Obsession With Lawns? (27:59) May 31, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Nearly two percent of America is grassy green. Sure, lawns are beautiful and useful and they smell great. But are the costs — financial, environmental and otherwise — worth the benefits?
Are the Rich Really Less Generous Than the Poor? (43:55) May 24, 2017 | 9:00 pm
A series of academic studies suggest that the wealthy are, to put it bluntly, selfish jerks. It's an easy narrative to swallow — but is it true? A trio of economists set out to test the theory. All it took was a Dutch postal worker's uniform, some envelo
Hoopers! Hoopers! Hoopers! (39:21) May 17, 2017 | 9:00 pm
As CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer was famous for over-the-top enthusiasm. Now he's brought that same passion to the N.B.A. -- and to a pet project called USAFacts, which performs a sort of fiscal colonoscopy on the American government.
How Big is My Penis? (And Other Things We Ask Google) (34:01) May 10, 2017 | 9:00 pm
On the Internet, people say all kinds of things they'd never say aloud -- about sex and race, about their true wants and fears. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has spent years parsing the data. His conclusion: our online searches are the reflection of our true
Food + Science = Victory! (Rebroadcast) (36:43) May 03, 2017 | 9:00 pm
A kitchen wizard and a nutrition detective talk about the perfect hamburger, getting the most out of garlic, and why you should use vodka in just about everything.
There’s a War on Sugar. Is It Justified? (45:36) April 26, 2017 | 9:00 pm
Some people argue that sugar should be regulated, like alcohol and tobacco, on the grounds that it's addictive and toxic. How much sense does that make? We hear from a regulatory advocate, an evidence-based skeptic, a former FDA commissioner — and the or
Earth 2.0: Is Income Inequality Inevitable? (40:54) April 19, 2017 | 9:00 pm
In pursuit of a more perfect economy, we discuss the future of work; the toxic remnants of colonization; and whether giving everyone a basic income would be genius -- or maybe the worst idea ever.

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