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American Innovations

DNA science. Artificial intelligence. Smartphones and 3D printers. Science and technology have transformed the world we live in. But how did we get here? It wasn’t by accident. Well, sometimes it was. It was also the result of hard work, teamwork, and competition. And incredibly surprising moments.Hosted by bestselling author Steven Johnson (“How We Got To Now”), American Innovations uses immersive scenes to tell the stories of the scientists, engineers, and ordinary people behind the greatest discoveries of the past century. From Wondery, the network behind Business Wars, American History Tellers, and Dirty John.

Tous les épisodes

  • 22.10.2020
    40 MB
    42:18
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    The Fight Against AIDS | The Gay Plague | 1

    In the early 1980s, a mysterious new disease spread like wildfire through the gay communities of major U.S. cities. Before it even had a name, AIDS had already killed over half its victims. Public response was hampered by ignorance, fear, and homophobia. This is the story of the doctors, scientists and activists who risked everything to lead the fight against AIDS.Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/innovationsSupport us by supporting our sponsors! Policy Genius - So if you need life insurance, head to policygenius.com right now to get started. You could save 50% or more by comparing quotes.

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  • 15.10.2020
    39 MB
    41:12
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    Encore: Thinking Machines | Passing For Human | 5

    Can a computer pass for human? And more importantly, can a computer beat a human at Jeopardy? It’s all fun and games until we start putting life-changing decisions in the hands of machines.Note: This episode originally aired in September 2018. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Masterworks - So if you're ready to invest like a billionaire, head to masterworks.io - and use promo code AI to skip the 25,000 person waitlist.

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  • 08.10.2020
    36 MB
    38:09
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    Encore: Thinking Machines | I Learn, Therefore I Am | 4

    A leap in the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence causes concern about the dangers ahead. Note: This episode originally aired in September 2018. Support us by supporting our sponsors!Fundrise - Get started at fundrise.com/AI to have your first NINETY days of advisory fees waived.Masterworks - As a listener of our show, you can get special access by going to masterworks.io and using promo code AI to skip the 25,000-person waitlist.

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  • 05.10.2020
    6 MB
    06:19
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    Wondery presents Kamala: Next In Line

    Subscribe today: http://wondery.fm/KamalaNextInLineIf she wins in November, Kamala Harris would become Vice President after one of the most consequential and tumultuous elections in American history. Harris would be the most significant player to help Joe Biden manage a country in crisis. So who is she?Kamala: Next in Line goes inside the cross-cultural journey that led Harris from her humble roots to become the first African-American woman to represent California in the Senate and now the first African-American woman to be the Vice Presidential nominee for a major party. Hosted by MSNBC’s Joy Reid, the show features exclusive interviews with those who know her best, painting a picture of a woman who has fought her way to the top at every turn. From Oakland to Howard University, California to Washington DC, experience her story as it has never been told before. This is an intimate and immersive dive into who Kamala is, what her critics say about her, and how she arrived at this moment.

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  • 01.10.2020
    35 MB
    37:04
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    Encore: Thinking Machines | Siri-ous Business | 3

    The development of smartphone Artificial Intelligence from early government research funding and the first experimental robot in Silicon Valley to the rise of the personal assistant known as Siri.Note: This episode originally aired in September 2018. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Policy Genius - Head to policygenius.com and you could save 50% or more by comparing quotes.Peloton - Try out Peloton Bike Plus for yourself with Peloton’s 30 Day Home Trial. If you decide it’s not for you within 30 days, you’ll get free pickup and a full refund. Visit onepeloton.com for more information.

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  • 24.09.2020
    36 MB
    38:22
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    Encore: Thinking Machines | How Do You Make A Computer Blink? | 2

    With six different kinds of pieces, 64 squares to move in, and billions of possible combinations of moves, chess is a good test for a computer. The number of distinct 40-move games is far greater than the number of electrons in the visible universe. For all intents and purposes: almost infinite.Gary Kasparov is the world’s best chess player. Deep Blue is a computer. It’s humanity v machine. There’s a lot at stake and things turn controversial fast with accusations of cheating, a very human meltdown and a computer that hallucinates. Note: This episode originally aired in September 2018. Support us by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - Try it now for free at ziprecruiter.com/ai.Fundrise - Get started at fundrise.com/AI to have your first NINETY days of advisory fees waived.

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  • 17.09.2020
    39 MB
    40:53
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    Encore: Thinking Machines | Artificial Intelligence | 1

    Artificial Intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction. And it’s about to get much more powerful: machines that can reason, create, predict the future, even dream. AI is likely to be one of the most transformative technologies of the 21st century.This is the first in our four-episode series about the rise of artificial intelligence and humanity's quest to breathe intellectual life into computers. In this episode, we're going to meet the mavericks who first dreamed of a world where machines are capable of being smarter than the people who created them.And what better way for smart machines and their creators to face off in a battle of wits ... than by playing chess? Note: This episode originally aired in August 2018. Support us by supporting our sponsors!Policy Genius - Head to policygenius.com right now to get started. You could save $1500 or more a year.

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  • 10.09.2020
    31 MB
    33:03
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    Keeping Cool | The Air Conditioning Trap | 3

    As the Earth heats up, air conditioning is quickly shifting from a luxury to a necessity. But our reliance on ACs is also speeding up the pace of global warming. It’s the “air conditioning trap.” On this episode, Steven asks Guardian science writer Stephen Buranyi how – and if – we can escape it.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Peloton - Visit onepeloton.com to learn more.Zip Recruiter - Try it now for FREE at ziprecruiter.com/ai.

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  • 08.09.2020
    25 MB
    26:39
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    Fighting Coronavirus | Larry Brilliant on Why We Need a Global Covid Response | 19

    There are few people who have thought more about pandemics than epidemiologist Larry Brilliant. He worked with the World Health Organization to eradicate smallpox. He’s fought polio and blindness in India. And, in his 2006 TED Prize talk, he warned the audience that a pandemic was coming “within your children or your grandchildren's lifetime.”He was right. What he couldn’t predict, though, was how mismanaged our response would be – and how quickly we’d set aside the lessons we learned defeating smallpox. As Larry tells Steven, “We have to work together… and we're not doing it so far.”Watch Larry’s Ted Prize acceptance speech: https://www.ted.com/talks/larry_brilliant_my_wish_help_me_stop_pandemics?language=enSupport us by supporting our sponsors! Great Courses Plus - Get unlimited access to the entire at thegreatcoursesplus.com/fightingcv.UV Clean - You can enjoy 15% off plus free shipping on your order of two or more when you visit getuvclean.com and use promo code FIGHTING CV.

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  • 03.09.2020
    38 MB
    40:36
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    Keeping Cool | It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity | 2

    Summer blockbusters. Phoenix, Arizona. President Ronald Reagan. What do all these things have in common? They might never have happened if not for AC.On this episode, AC finally hits the big time – and changes America forever.

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  • 27.08.2020
    37 MB
    38:53
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    Keeping Cool | A Chilly Reception | 1

    Muggy. Sticky. Miserable. For eons, that’s just what summer was. In fact, when air conditioning first became available, few people took advantage of it. Wasn’t summer supposed to be uncomfortable? This is the story of how people finally warmed up to the idea of keeping cool.Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Fundrise - Get started at fundrise.com/AI to have your first NINETY days of advisory fees waived.

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  • 20.08.2020
    36 MB
    38:20
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    Video Games | Game Designer Ian Bogost on the Past and Future of Gaming | 4

    The video game industry has certainly matured over the years. But does it still have the sense of open-ended innovation that it did in the early golden era of Spacewar and Pong?To get a better sense of how today’s game breakthroughs compare to the heyday of Atari, Steven speaks with one of the most thoughtful observers of the video game industry, Ian Bogost. Bogost is a game designer and the author of Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games. More recently, he’s written about Animal Crossing and Untitled Goose Game for The Atlantic.Read more about Ian and his work here:http://bogost.com/https://www.theatlantic.com/author/ian-bogost/Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Policy Genius - Head to policygenius.com to compare rates and save up to $1,500 dollars.

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  • 18.08.2020
    21 MB
    22:10
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    Fighting Coronavirus | Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Vaccines (But Were Afraid to Ask) | 18

    The coronavirus has put our lives on pause, but it’s kicked the science behind vaccines into hyperdrive. Science writer Carl Zimmer walks Steven through some of the radical new approaches to making vaccines – and gives his best-case/worst-case scenarios for when a vaccine will be ready. Also: we get answers, kind of, about what’s up with Russia. And Steven drops a Taylor Swift reference. Read Carl’s latest on the vaccine race in the New York Times:https://www.nytimes.com/by/carl-zimmer

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  • 13.08.2020
    41 MB
    43:12
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    Video Games | Home Invasion | 3

    It's 1975 and Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell is setting his sights on the next frontier in video games: the home.But convincing people to bring video games into their homes won't be easy. Bushnell’s going to need a lot of cash, a couple perfectly timed technological breakthroughs, and a killer business plan. Oh, and he’ll also have to teach the world what a “game console” is.Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here.Support us by supporting our sponsors!ZipRecruiter - Try it for FREE at ziprecruiter.com/ai.

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  • 06.08.2020
    38 MB
    39:43
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    Video Games | Ping-Pong | 2

    Nolan Bushnell's Computer Space was the world's first commercial video game, but it failed to win over the masses. Now Bushnell’s plotting his comeback … and his comeback has a name: Atari.

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  • 30.07.2020
    37 MB
    38:56
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    Video Games | Electric Dreams | 1

    Call of Duty, Fortnite, Animal Crossing.... The video game industry generates billions of dollars each year. But not so long ago, video games were mostly played by the programmers who made them. On our new season, we’re telling the story of how video games broke out of university computer labs and found their way straight to the heart of popular culture.Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here.

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  • 28.07.2020
    18 MB
    18:47
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    Fighting Coronavirus | Back to School | 17

    Back-to-school season is here, but students across the country aren’t going anywhere. Anya Kamenetz, NPR’s education correspondent, returns to the show to shed light on the greatest educational crisis of our time. How can we safely reopen schools? And what can we learn from countries that have tried – and failed?Listen to Anya’s stories for NPR at https://www.npr.org/people/302894536/anya-kamenetz.

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  • 23.07.2020
    28 MB
    29:56
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    Radar | The Superpowers of Modern Radar | 4

    Since World War II, scientists have continued to use radar to explore what we can’t see or hear ourselves. And their uses have become increasingly creative. On this episode, we’re talking to three people involved in some of the most fascinating applications of radar today.First up, Steven talks to Sara Kiley Watson about ground-penetrating radar, which provides archaeologists with breathtakingly clear pictures of underground cities. Next, Dr. Jyotika Virmani tells Steven about what oceanographers are learning as radar helps them plumb the mysteries of the ocean floor. And finally, engineering professor Youngwook Kim shares a surprising new way radar can aid in search and rescue missions. Read Sara Kiley Watson’s article in Popular Science, “Scientists explored a buried Roman city without digging up an ounce of soil”: https://www.popsci.com/story/science/falerii-novi/View radar images of Falerii Novi, a buried Roman city: https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/sacred-topography-0013831Lean more about the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s efforts to map the ocean floor: https://schmidtocean.org/cruise-log-post/mapping-earths-ocean-seafloor/Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Policy Genius - Find the best rate at policygenius.com.Keeps - Get your first month FREE at keeps.com/ai.

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  • 16.07.2020
    34 MB
    36:27
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    Radar | The Rad Lab | 3

    As German bombers raze England’s cities, American scientists race to build the world’s first air-to-air radar system. But building the system is only half the challenge. If the scientists succeed, they’ll also have to fit the world’s most cutting-edge technology inside the nose of a B-18 – a space that’s smaller than a shoe box.

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  • 09.07.2020
    37 MB
    38:35
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    Radar | Mr. Bowen Goes to Washington | 2

    As World War II rages on, American and English scientists race to develop a microwave radar system. But both sets of scientists have something the other team needs to cross the finish line.

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  • 07.07.2020
    25 MB
    26:03
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    Fighting Coronavirus | How We Can Still Win | 16

    When National Geographic science editor Nsikan Akpan began researching his latest article on the coronavirus, he asked every scientist he talked to the same question: Has the U.S. already lost? Every scientist said no – but we need a better game plan. On this week’s episode, Nsikan tells Steven what we’ve been getting wrong – and what the new game plan should look like. You can find Nsikan Akpan’s articles, including “Here’s How To Stop The Coronavirus From Winning,” at natgeo.com/coronavirus.

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  • 02.07.2020
    32 MB
    34:05
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    Radar | Welcome to Tuxedo Park | 1

    What technology won WWII? Most people would say the atomic bomb, but the real answer is radar.As a small island country, vulnerable to aerial attacks, England took the lead in developing radar in the 1930s. But the early radar systems were too massive to fit into planes, where they would be of most use in the fight against the Germans. At the heart of the problem was a technological catch-22. Smaller radar systems were, by definition, less powerful.Or so everyone thought, until a mismatched pair of brothers in Northern California decided to take a crack at creating a new kind of radar...This is episode one of our three-part series on radar, “Welcome to Tuxedo Park.”Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here.

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  • 30.06.2020
    24 MB
    25:41
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    Fighting Coronavirus | Inside the NBA Bubble | 15

    Back in March, the NBA pressed pause on its 2019-20 season. Now, the league wants to pick up where it left off – but with Covid-19 rates on the rise, it’s not going to be easy.This week, Kavitha Davidson, host of The Lead, walks us through the NBA’s plan to move 16 teams into a “bubble” at the Disney World Resort. What rules will players have to follow? And will the risks to players’ health be worth it?Check out The Lead, Wondery’s daily sports podcast, at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-lead/id1478448344Support us by supporting our sponsors!

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  • 25.06.2020
    37 MB
    39:33
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    Encore: The Polio Vaccine | The Fight Goes On | 3

    In 1955, the world received its first viable polio vaccine, courtesy of Jonas Salk. He was hailed as a hero until kids started to fall sick with polio. A bad batch of vaccines was thought to be the culprit. But it was also an opening for a scientist with a competing vision. Albert Sabin warned of the dangers of Salk’s vaccine from the start. The final clash between the two vaccines, and the two scientists, is the true story of how polio was conquered. Note: This episode originally ran in October 2018. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ hereSupport us by supporting our sponsors!Policy Genius - policygenius.comExpress VPN - expressvpn.com

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  • 23.06.2020
    26 MB
    27:37
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    Fighting Coronavirus | Forest Fires, Memes, & Covid-19 | 14

    Forest fires. Ant colonies. Internet memes.On the surface, they have nothing in common. But, according to network scientist Samuel Scarpino, they’re all complex systems that spread. Sam’s job is to crack the rules underlying their spread, and then apply them to epidemics such as Covid-19. Read more about Sam’s work in Steven’s New York Times Magazine article, “How Data Became One of the Most Powerful Tools to Fight an Epidemic”: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/10/magazine/covid-data.html

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  • 23.06.2020
    42 MB
    44:33
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    Encore: The Polio Vaccine | Can You Patent The Sun? | 2

    Pressure mounts to release a vaccine for polio, but a rushed vaccine could have disastrous results. After all, vaccines contain benign samples of the viruses they’re designed to protect against. If a flawed polio vaccine were to be tested on humans, it wouldn’t cure the disease – it would help spread it. Note: This episode originally ran in October 2018. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Athletic Greens - athleticgreens.com/ai to get 20 free daily packs with your first package. Express VPN - expressvpn.com/innovations

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  • 23.06.2020
    25 MB
    26:25
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    Fighting Coronavirus | Can We Ditch the Office Forever? | 13

    Most CEOs hated the idea of employees working from home. But when the coronavirus hit, they didn’t have a choice. They sent their white-collar workers home before they’d even learned how to mute themselves on Zoom. What happened next surprised everyone. Productivity shot through the roof. Now, companies don’t know whether they should bring workers back to the office, even if they can do it safely.We’ve invited Clive Thompson, fresh off his piece for The New York Times Magazine about remote work, to talk us through this rapid culture shift. What, exactly, makes remote work so productive? What do we lose when we work in isolation? What new technology will emerge from this moment? And how many of us will ever voluntarily do the 9-to-5 again?Links: Clive Thompson, “What if Working From Home Goes On … Forever?”, New York Times Magazine:https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/09/magazine/remote-work-covid.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=HomepageAnd check out Clive's interview on The Next Big Idea about his book "Coders": https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/coders-the-invisible-architects-that-shape-our-lives/id1482067226?i=1000455369916Support us by supporting our sponsors!

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  • 23.06.2020
    33 MB
    34:35
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    Encore: The Polio Vaccine | Marching Toward A Cure | 1

    The virus spread invisibly and without warning. Person to person. Through contaminated food, shared possessions, and unwashed hands.Mid-century Americans lived in fear of one disease: polio. But the story of the polio vaccine is not just a scientific story – it’s a political and financial story, too. One that played out across the corner offices of New York City, the sound booths of Hollywood, and the back rooms of Washington D.C..Note: This episode originally ran in October 2018. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Policy Genius - policygenius.comExpress VPN - expressvpn.com/innovations

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  • 23.06.2020
    26 MB
    27:36
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    Fighting Coronavirus | Why Covid-19 Disproportionately Kills Black Americans | 12

    There’s a saying in public health circles: “When white America sneezes, black America gets pneumonia.” When the coronavirus hit, health care experts knew that black Americans would be the hardest hit. But the numbers were still shocking. Black people make up 12.7% of the U.S. population but have so far made up 22% of its Covid-19-related deaths.On this episode, Steven talks to reporter Linda Villarosa about the reasons behind those numbers, and her quest to give them a human face in her New York Times Magazine article, “A Terrible Price: The Deadly Racial Disparities of Covid-19 in America.” Along the way, she offers hope that we might be able to turn this current crisis into a call for action.Articles by Linda Villarosa:“A Terrible Price: The Deadly Racial Disparities of Covid-19 in America,” New York Times Magazine: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/29/magazine/racial-disparities-covid-19.html“How False Beliefs in Physical Racial Difference Still Live in Medicine Today,” New York Times Magazine: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/racial-differences-doctors.html“Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies are in a Life-or-Death Crisis,” New York Times Magazine: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/magazine/black-mothers-babies-death-maternal-mortality.html

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  • 05.06.2020
    28 MB
    29:20
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    Ferris Wheel | Scott A. Lukas and the History of Theme Parks | 2

    George Ferris aspired to build a structure for the 1893 World's Fair that could rival Paris's Eiffel Tower. And when the Ferris wheel debuted, newspapers hailed it as the eighth wonder of the world. The grandeur and success of the Ferris wheel paved the way for future theme parks. These fantastical spaces have become symbols of leisure and fun throughout the United States and offered innovators like George Ferris a chance to showcase attractions that pushed the boundaries of what's possible. On this episode, Steven speaks with Scott A. Lukas, an anthropologist, theme park consultant, and author of the books “Theme Park” and “The Immersive Worlds Handbook: Designing Theme Parks and Consumer Spaces.” Steven and Scott discuss the uniquely American history of theme parks and the ways they’ve influenced all kinds of public spaces.Here are some of the parks and rides – old and new – mentioned in this conversation: Coney Island, NY: https://theweek.com/captured/624918/vintage-photos-from-coney-island-yesteryearKennywood Park, West Mifflin, PA: https://www.wtae.com/article/in-photos-kennywood-park-then-and-now/7403416#The Void, Las Vegas, NV: https://www.thevoid.com/Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here.Support us by supporting our sponsors!ExpressVPN - Head to expressvpn.com/innovations and get an extra three months free with your first year.Athletic Greens - Get 20 free daily packs with your first package at athleticgreens.com/ai.

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  • 05.06.2020
    21 MB
    22:52
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    Fighting Coronavirus | Can Your Smartwatch Detect Covid-19? | 11

    These days, watches don’t just tell time. Smartwatches like Apple Watch and Fitbit measure your heart rate, count your steps, and track your sleep schedule. According to Dr. Michael Snyder, they can also tell you when you’re getting sick – and potentially spot Covid-19 before you’re even symptomatic.On this episode, Steven talks to Dr. Snyder, who runs the Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine at Stanford, about his new study on whether wearables can predict the onset of Covid-19. What has the study learned so far, and what else can your wearables be trained to detect?To participate in Dr. Snyder’s study, visit https://innovations.stanford.edu/wearables.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Express VPN - Visit expressvpn.com/fightingcv to get three FREE months a one year package.

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  • 05.06.2020
    40 MB
    41:46
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    Ferris Wheel | Wheel in the Sky | 1

    The 1889 World’s Fair in Paris dazzles attendees with the Eiffel Tower. So, when plans begin for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, the mandate is clear: beat the Tower. America’s architects and engineers compete to win the job – but every proposal they submit is more outlandish and dangerous than the last. And the most dangerous of all? Well, that might be a ride that resembles a twenty-story bicycle wheel, submitted by a young man named George Ferris….Support us by supporting our sponsors! Peloton - Keeps -

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  • 05.06.2020
    22 MB
    23:01
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    Fighting Coronavirus | Stopping the Spread of Bad Information | 10

    According to the World Health Organization, we’re not just in the midst of a pandemic. We’re living through an “infodemic,” where misinformation is more readily available than facts.On this episode, Steven talks to Joan Donovan, who studies misinformation in her role as the Director of the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard Kennedy’s Shorenstein Center. Joan shares how conspiracy theories spread and how each of us can practice good information hygiene. It’s not as easy as wearing a mask … but it’s close.

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  • 05.06.2020
    34 MB
    36:19
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    Enemy of All Mankind | A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History's First Global Manhunt | 1

    On September 11th, 1695, two ships confronted each other in the middle of the Indian Ocean: one an enormous treasure ship owned by the Grand Mughal of India, and the other a much smaller British pirate ship led by Henry Every. What happened next changed the world. Every and his crew took off with $100 million in loot and sparked the world’s first global manhunt. They also inadvertently set off a chain of events that led to the rise of globalization, the tabloid press, and even democracy itself.All of that, and more, is the subject of Steven Johnson’s latest book, Enemy of All Mankind. We borrow Rufus Griscom from Wondery’s The Next Big Idea podcast to talk with Steven about Every and the surprising ways a single confrontation on the high seas shaped life as we know it.You can read more about Steven’s book here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/545158/enemy-of-all-mankind-by-steven-johnson/And check out The Next Big Idea, currently launching season two.

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  • 05.06.2020
    22 MB
    23:24
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    Fighting Coronavirus | Will We Remember 2020 A Century From Now? | 9

    While the U.S. has countless WWI memorials, it has almost none dedicated to the 1918 flu pandemic – even though the pandemic claimed six times as many American lives.On this episode, Steven talks to historian Nancy Bristow, author of American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, about the blind spot in America’s collective memory. Why did we forget the 1918 pandemic? And how well will future generations remember this one?New episodes of “Fighting Coronavirus” will publish here every Tuesday, or you can listen and subscribe at https://wondery.com/shows/fighting-coronavirus/. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Keeps - Get your first month free when you go to keeps.com/fightingcv.

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  • 05.06.2020
    39 MB
    41:33
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    Chewing Gum | The Champion of Chewers | 2

    It’s the early 1890s and thanks to the adoption of chicle, chewing gum is bigger than ever. But it’s still a niche American habit. Men still shun it in favor of tobacco, and women who chew it in public are frowned upon. But that’s all about to change thanks to the newest face on the gum scene. He’s name is William Wrigley Junior and he’s going to teach the world to chew.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Policy Genius - Head to policygenius.com to find the best life insurance rate today.Express VPN - Protect you online activity with expressvpn.com/innovations.

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  • 05.06.2020
    21 MB
    22:44
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    Fighting Coronavirus | We’re More United Than You Think | 8

    Communication and cooperation across our society are as important as they’ve ever been. This week, Steven talks with Andy Slavitt, the former Medicare and Medicaid chief, who has emerged as one of the most effective communicators during this crisis. Andy and Steven discuss the future of healthcare, how to find trustworthy news sources, and how to make the most of your child’s senior year in isolation. (Hint: Start a podcast together!)Check out Andy Slavitt’s podcast In the Bubble. You can learn more about his new healthcare nonprofit, the United States of Care, here.

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  • 05.06.2020
    31 MB
    33:17
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    Chewing Gum: Snapping and Stretching | 1

    It’s the mid-1800s and in Maine, John Bacon Curtis is back from clearing the spruce forests with a crazy idea. He’s going to sell ready-to-chew gum.But his bold plan is only the start of what will become a decades-long search for the ideal chew. It’s a search that will see the nascent gum business butt heads with newspaper tycoons, strike an alliance with oil refineries, and get a helping hand from the self-styled Napoleon of the West.Listen ad-free on Wondery+ hereSupport us by supporting sponsors!SimpliSafe - For free shipping and a 60-day risk free trial go to simplisafe.com/innovations.

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  • 05.06.2020
    23 MB
    24:16
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    Fighting Coronavirus: Is Social Distancing Enough? | 7

    If we really want to reopen our economy, we need to do more than just flatten the curve. In the words of Dr. Jim Kim, the former president of the World Bank, we need to “start coming down the mountain.” And to do that, Dr. Kim says there is only one valid solution: “contact tracing,” one of the most low-tech and labor-intensive weapons in our public health arsenal.On this week’s episode, Steven talks to Dr. Kim about how he convinced Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to invest in contact tracing when other governors wouldn’t even return his calls, and why contact tracing is the best way to contain the spread of Covid-19.New episodes of “Fighting Coronavirus” will publish here every Tuesday, or you can listen and subscribe at https://wondery.com/shows/fighting-coronavirus/. Listen ad-free on Wondery+ here.

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Fighting Coronavirus: Pandemic DIY | 6

    When health care workers began running out of protective equipment, makers around the world powered up their 3D printers and got to work. This week, Steven talks to journalist Clive Thompson about the maker movement, an informal network of sewers, tinkerers, and engineers whose ingenuity is bridging supply gaps and increasing the pace of technological innovation, sometimes in a very retro way. Read Clive Thompson’s article, “When Government Fails, Makers Come to the Rescue,” on Wired.com.Download Budmen Industry’s templates for 3D face shields.Enter the CoVent-19 Challenge.

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Dynamite: Audrey Kurth Cronin on New Technology and Terrorism | 4

    Alfred Nobel worked on dynamite in distinctly unglamorous labs, but his ambitions were as grand as his labs were small. He envisioned dynamite transforming cityscapes and connecting rail lines across Europe. When Alfred finally got dynamite right, it did exactly that – but it also led to new and terrifying forms of political violence.On the last episode of our dynamite series, Steven Johnson talks to security expert Audrey Kurth Cronin, author of “Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow's Terrorists.” Cronin argues that Nobel’s story is also the story of our times: once again, backyard inventors are spearheading new technology but not always thinking through the technology’s consequences.Support us by supporting our sponsors!SimpliSafe - Head to simplisafe.com/innovations for FREE shipping and a 60 day risk free trial. Express VPN - When you go to expressvpn.com/innovations to get an extra three months FREE for your first year.

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Fighting Coronavirus: Are Our Kids Alright? | 5

    Let’s face it: we’re worried about our kids. How can we protect their mental health? Should the normal rules around screen time still apply? What will school look like come September? This week, Steven talks with Anya Kamenetz, an education correspondent for NPR and author of the book The Art of Screen Time, to get some answers.New episodes of “Fighting Coronavirus” will publish here every Tuesday, or you can listen and subscribe at https://wondery.com/shows/fighting-coronavirus/.

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Dynamite: The Merchant of Death is Dead | 3

    How did Alfred Nobel, the “Merchant of Death,” go from inventing dynamite to establishing the Nobel Peace Prize? The answer lies in a personal ad, a poorly vetted obituary, and a surprising new use for nitroglycerine.

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Fighting Coronavirus: How Can Data Save Lives? | 4

    Where are new cases being detected? How many beds are available in local hospitals? What’s the growth rate of ICU admissions? These are some of the most urgent questions in the world right now, and they’re being answered by data pioneers like Dr. John Brownstein, the Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Brownstein talks to host Steven Johnson about his new crowdsourced website, CovidNearYou.org, and how public health data doesn’t just track deaths, but helps prevent them.New episodes of “Fighting Coronavirus” will publish here every Tuesday, or you can listen and subscribe at https://wondery.com/shows/fighting-coronavirus/Contribute to Dr. John Brownstein’s live map of Covid-19 symptoms at https://covidnearyou.org/.

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Dynamite: The Loneliest Millionaire | 2

    Alfred Nobel had solved the critical problem of detonating nitroglycerine reliably, but his efforts to turn his new "blasting oil" into a successful commercial product create new challenges. An explosion in his Stockholm lab leads to personal tragedy, and draws the ire of local authorities. And a wave of industrial accidents involving nitroglycerine around the globe has critics accusing Alfred of murder. Alfred knows that if his "blasting oil" is ever going to realize its potential, he's going to have to figure out a way to keep it from accidentally exploding during storage and transport. Nitroglycerine is clearly the most powerful explosive known to man. The question is: can Alfred's customers actually use the stuff without blowing themselves up in the process?

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Fighting Coronavirus: When Will the Lockdown End? | 3

    Reading the forecast models that track and predict the spread of the coronavirus can feel like a glimpse into the future. And epidemiologists – the scientists behind these models – have suddenly become the most important figures in this fight. Dr. Tara Smith, an epidemiologist and professor at the Kent State University College of Public Health, talks with Steven about what most people misunderstand about these models, whether there’s an end in sight for social distancing, and why the public health sector is our “invisible shield.”New episodes of “Fighting Coronavirus” will publish here every Tuesday, or you can listen and subscribe at https://wondery.com/shows/fighting-coronavirus/

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Dynamite: The Controlled Explosion | 1

    In 1846, an Italian chemist discovered the volatile compound nitroglycerine, the first major breakthrough in creating man-made explosions since the invention of gunpowder a thousand years earlier. But almost everyone who experiments with the compound thinks it’s too dangerous for any commercial application–everyone except for one brooding, obsessed young Swedish inventor named Alfred Nobel. Nobel dreams of harnessing the chemical’s power to ignite an engineering revolution: blasting railway tunnels, digging out mines and canals…. But as Nobel’s quest to tame nitroglycerine becomes increasingly central to his family’s livelihood, it also repeatedly puts his own life in danger.

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Fighting Coronavirus: How Can We Protect City Life? | 2

    When public health is threatened on a mass scale, we have a long history of working together to take on the challenge. On this new weekly series, Steven will speak with experts from the worlds of health and technology about how the current moment compares with past pandemics, and what the coming months might look like. On this episode, Steven talks with Richard Florida, a bestselling author on cities and urban rebirth. The population density of cities has always been key to driving new ideas, new collaborations, and new social movements. But today, as the coronavirus spreads, that density is creating danger. How can cities protect their way of life, and how they can come out of this crisis even stronger than before?New episodes of “Fighting Coronavirus” will publish here every Tuesday, or you can listen and subscribe at https://wondery.com/shows/fighting-coronavirus/Read Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo’s 10-Point Preparedness Plan for Cities.

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Fighting Coronavirus: Bruce Gellin On How COVID-19 Could Change Vaccine Development | 1

    As the first in a series on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Steven Johnson speaks with Dr. Bruce Gellin, president of Global Immunization at the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington D.C.. Dr. Gellin is also a former director of the National Vaccine Program at the Department of Health and Human Services, and led the creation of HHS’s first pandemic influenza preparedness and response plan. They talk about a very new and pressing challenge: how to speed up vaccine development for COVID-19.Support us by supporting our sponsors!ZipRecruiter - Try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE, at ZipRecruiter.com/AI.

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  • 05.06.2020
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    Organ Transplant: The Heart Race | 3

    In 1967, an unlikely surgeon performs the first human heart transplant – and shocks the world. As others race to replicate his achievement, one surgical team makes a mistake that could spell the end of organ transplants in the United States.Support our sponsors! Policy Genius - In just a few minutes you can find your best price and apply at Policygenius.com.Peloton - Learn more about Peloton’s 30-Day Home Trial at onepeloton.com.SimpliSafe - Go to SimpliSafe.com/INNOVATIONS and you’ll get FREE shipping and a 60-day risk free trial.

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