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July 2, 2020
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.
July 1, 2020
When we face challenges in life, we seek answers from people we believe can help us. When tragedy strikes an exclusive retreat with a self-help superstar, many people are left to wonder: how far is too far? James Arthur Ray was an Oprah-endorsed self-help teacher who achieved fame, fortune, and influence. But friends and family members of his followers questioned his unorthodox methods, and tried to stop him. From Wondery, the makers of “Dirty John,” “Dr. Death,” and “The Shrink Next Door,” comes a story about the dark side of enlightenment. Hosted by journalist Matt Stroud. Listen today at http://wondery.fm/innovations_guru.
June 30, 2020
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/id1478448344 Support us by supporting our sponsors!
June 25, 2020
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+ here Support us by supporting our sponsors! Policy Genius - policygenius.com Express VPN - expressvpn.com
June 23, 2020
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
June 18, 2020
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
June 17, 2020
It's February 2nd 1922, and all of Hollywood is about to wake up and learn that William Desmond Taylor, the most famous film director in town, was murdered in his home last night. The investigation will shine a light on some of Hollywood's most scandalous affairs, backroom deals, and underground drug dens. This real life Murder Mystery is one of the most iconic "whodunnit" cases of the 20th century that will leave you guessing and second guessing who killed William Desmond Taylor for weeks to come. Co-hosted by Tracy Pattin & James Remar Listen to Murder in Hollywoodland: wondery.fm/innovationsMiH.
June 16, 2020
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=Homepage Support us by supporting our sponsors!
June 11, 2020
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.com Express VPN - expressvpn.com/innovations
June 9, 2020
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
June 4, 2020
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. Lucas, 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.
June 3, 2020
This week on The Next Big Idea, author Steven Johnson speaks to Malcom Gladwell about the value of long term planning and how to make better decisions in your own life. Subscribe to The Next Big Idea today: http://wondery.fm/NextBigIdea_Johnson
June 3, 2020
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.
May 28, 2020
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 -
May 26, 2020
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.
May 21, 2020
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 find Steven’s book here or here. And get your Rufus fix at The Next Big Idea, currently launching season two.
May 19, 2020
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.
May 18, 2020
Everyone needs a reminder about just how good people can be. On Wondery’s new series The Daily Smile, host Nikki Boyer brings you stories that will make you feel good each weekday morning. With interviews, inspiring clips, and chats with special guests and passionate friends, The Daily Smile takes you on a journey into goodness, gives you all the feels, and will leave you with a smile on your face. Listen to the full episode: wondery.fm/dailysmileAI
May 14, 2020
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.
May 12, 2020
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.
May 7, 2020
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+ here Support us by supporting sponsors! SimpliSafe - For free shipping and a 60-day risk free trial go to simplisafe.com/innovations.
May 5, 2020
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.
April 28, 2020
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.
April 23, 2020
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.
April 21, 2020
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/.
April 16, 2020
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.
April 14, 2020
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/.
April 9, 2020
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?
April 7, 2020
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/
April 2, 2020
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.
March 31, 2020
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.
March 26, 2020
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.
March 24, 2020
Joe Exotic devoted his life to raising and breeding lions, tigers, and other exotic animals at his Oklahoma zoo. He croons ballads, shoots guns, and puts it all on YouTube. But he’s also made a lot of enemies. And the biggest of all is the owner of a big cat sanctuary in Florida named Carole Baskin. The feud between Joe Exotic and Carole gets messy, vicious, and outrageous -- until both of them are pushed far beyond their limits. From Wondery, comes ‘Joe Exotic: Tiger King’, the story about two people who want to save animals and destroy each other. For the full episode go to: wondery.fm/AIjoeexotic.
March 19, 2020
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.
March 18, 2020
Hey American Innovations listeners!  You might be wondering what happened to some of our older seasons. We’ve moved them to our new premium service, Wondery+, where you can listen ad-free and get access to more Wondery shows. For a limited time, we’re offering listeners of American Innovations a free week of Wondery+. Just go to wonderyplus.com/AI.
March 12, 2020
By the early 1960s, surgeons have proven that it's possible to transplant kidneys and lungs. Now, with heart disease still the leading cause of death, they've set their sights on performing the first human heart transplant. But first, they've got to overcome the ethical, legal, and surgical challenges of removing a donor's heart before it stops beating for good.
March 5, 2020
A century ago, organ transplants were the stuff of science fiction. But a handful of experimental surgeons believed that transplants were not just possible – they had the potential to save thousands of lives. Then, in 1954, a man agreed to donate his kidney to his twin brother – and one surgeon finally got his chance to prove the doubters wrong. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Wealthfront - Sign up for the Wealthfront Cash Account in less than 5 minutes by visiting wealthfront.com/AI. ZipRecruiter - To try ZipRecruiter for FREE, go to ZipRecruiter.com/AI.
March 2, 2020
A new podcast about politics, about policy, and the power that both have in shaping the lives of the American people. Into America is hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Trymaine Lee, and features the journalists of NBC News. For the first episode, Trymaine heads to East New York, a community that experienced more stops than any other part of New York City under Former Mayor Bloomberg’s stop and frisk policy. In order to have a real shot at the Democratic nomination, Bloomberg needs the support of Black voters. Days before announcing his candidacy, Bloomberg apologized for the policing tactic. But will his past decision to champion the use of stop and frisk hurt his chances?  Subscribe to Into America now: http://wondery.fm/intoamerica
February 20, 2020
Within 10 years of Valium’s introduction, people are starting to realize it’s not quite as harmless as they had been led to believe. Patients are building up a tolerance to it, taking stronger and stronger dosages, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they quit. Women, who have been prescribed Valium at twice the rates men have, spearhead the fight to increase regulation. When former First Lady Betty Ford announces her own addiction to Valium, the public outcry against the drug finally causes the government to act. They hold days of hearings and tighten up the rules around prescribing the medication, but more importantly, Valium’s reputation is severely damaged. But decades later, doctors start to wonder if the backlash went too far…. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Policy Genius - To compare life insurance policies, visit policygenius.com and see how much you could save. Peloton - Learn more about Peloton’s 30-Day Home Trial at onepeloton.com. You’ll also get $100 off accessories with the purchase of the Peloton Bike if you use promo code INNOVATIONS. SimpliSafe - Visit SimpliSafe.com/INNOVATIONS. You’ll get FREE shipping and a 60-day risk free trial.
February 13, 2020
With Miltown sweeping the nation, pharmaceutical companies around the country want in on the action and vie to create their own versions. At Hoffman La Roche, a brilliant scientist by the name of Leo Sternbach leads the charge.     While Roche executives want him to create a copycat drug, Sternbach has bigger ambitions: he wants to invent an entirely new class of tranquilizer. After Roche loses faith in his vision, Sternbach continues his work in secret – and lays the foundation for Valium, soon to become the most commonly prescribed drug in the United States. Support us by supporting our sponsors: Audible - Start your 30 day trial at audible.com/AI. Zip Recruiter - Try Zip Recruiter for FREE at ziprecruiter.com/AI.
February 6, 2020
Anxiety. It’s something everyone experiences at some point in their lives, but for centuries doctors had no effective way to treat it. They could send patients on rest cures, order them to do nothing at all, or prescribe barbiturates that depressed the central nervous system, easily leading to overdose and death. Finally, in the mid-1950s, chemists discovered a new class of drugs: the minor tranquilizers. The most famous of these was Valium, which would go on to become the most prescribed drug in the United States.   But Valium owes its success to its lesser known predecessor Miltown, which changed the way Americans thought about anxiety. Support us by supporting our sponsors: Policy Genius - policygenius.com can help you compare insurance quotes to find your best price. Wealthfront - When you visit wealthfront.com/ai to start earning 19 times more interest on your savings.
January 30, 2020
At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, television manufacturer LG debuted a TV set that rolls up like a poster. It's a far cry from our grandparents wooden boxes with black and white screens and bunny ear antennas. And despite impressive new television tech, many people these days are turning to phones and tablets to consume their favorite shows and moves. Today we conclude our series on the television with Susan Murray, Professor or Media, Culture and Communication at NYU. She joins us talk about the history and evolution of the television in our everyday life.
January 27, 2020
Chris Matthews and campaign veterans who have had front row seats to presidential history dive deep into the six most important lessons learned from presidential campaigns that win. Chris and his guests tap into their experience, historical insight, passion for electoral politics, and love for our country to explain why these lessons matter, and how they’ve separated winners from losers. Subscribe today: http://wondery.fm/SYWBP
January 23, 2020
While Philo Farnsworth was building gizmos out of a loft in San Francisco, the Radio Corporation of America was already plotting domination of the yet-to-be television industry under the leadership of a man named David Sarnoff. Sarnoff recognized television’s virtually limitless potential, and he was determined to bring it to the masses — with or without the help of Philo Farnsworth.  Sarnoff would rely on inventors like Vladimir Zworykin, who had also figured out how to transmit pictures electronically through his patented Iconoscope. At least, in theory. The missing piece wouldn’t fall into place until Zworykin visited Farnsworth’s lab — setting off a court battle to claim ownership of one of the most iconic inventions of the 20th century. Support us by supporting our sponsors. Policy Genius - Visit policygenius.com to compare rates today! Peloton - You can enjoy a 30 day home trial at onepeloton.com. Use the promo code: INNOVATIONS.
January 16, 2020
The invention of the electronic television was uniquely complicated for its time. So complicated, in fact, that the prevailing narrative is that it couldn’t have been invented by a single person -- let alone Philo Farnsworth.  After all, some of the most brilliant minds in the world spent the first quarter of the 20th century working on television systems -- and some even managed to transmit images. But none of those systems were ever able to deliver the quality of images they’d need to be commercially viable. None except Philo Farnsworth, a farm boy from Utah, who got the idea for television when he was fourteen years old.  Support us by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - Visit ZipRecruiter.com/AI to use ZipRecruiter for FREE. Wealthfront - Go to Wealthfront.com/AI to start earning more interest on your savings today. SimpliSafe - With SimpliSafe.com/AI to get FREE shipping on your order plus a 60 day money back guarantee.
January 9, 2020
It's a new year and a new decade, and that means a lot of new innovation and tech to look forward to. But, as we wonder what the future has in store, it's important to look back at the past year and what it has taught us. Author Clive Thompson joins us to talk about the innovations that caught his attention in 2019 and what he's looking forward to in 2020 and beyond.
December 12, 2019
After George Eastman cut ties with his chief emulsion-maker-turned-saboteur, Henry Reichenbach, the Kodak company started to falter. Some batches of film literally fell apart on the shelves. Others seemed fine, but yielded blurry, unprintable photos. Eastman had tried to find a suitable replacement for Reichbach, but no one was able to make a stable emulsion at the volume he needed. Eastman was starting to get desperate. He knew that if he didn’t fix his film fast, his Kodak cameras would never amount to more than a passing fad. Eastman wasn’t just looking to get rich and get out. He was after a legacy that would stand the test of time. In order to do that, Eastman would not only have to make his product reliable, he’d have to continually innovate — constantly turning out one new demographically-targeted product after another. In the end, this strategy would make Kodak a household name, and then doom it to obsolescence. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Policy Genius - If you need life insurance but aren’t sure where to start, why not start at Policygenius.com Peloton - For a limited time, get $100 off accessories when you purchase the Peloton Bike. Go to onepeloton.com and use promo code INNOVATIONS at checkout
December 5, 2019
George Eastman had made technological breakthroughs and forays into the photography market, but his images still weren’t good enough for professional photographers and the photographic process was still too complicated for recreational photographers.  Eastman needed to improve his product and simplify his process, but he couldn’t do it alone. His novice chemistry skills had already carried the company as far as they could go. So Eastman reached out to a gifted chemist for help, and made his company vulnerable in ways greater than he had feared. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Lutron Caseta - Learn more about Caseta at Lutron.com/AI
November 28, 2019
Today, if we want to take a photo, we unlock our phone, aim, and click.  It can be done on a whim, without a second thought. We document everything from new haircuts to latte art, cute cats to baby’s first smile.  But prior to the 1900s, photography was the exclusive domain of professionals and dedicated hobbyists -- people willing to learn complex skills and spend hours on the craft. Responsible for that shift was a man named George Eastman. Armed with a radical vision for what photography could be, and a cold-blooded business sense, Eastman delivered photography to the masses and altered the way most of us experience our lives over time. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Lutron Caseta - Get smart lighting the smart way with Caséta by Lutron smart switches. Learn more about Caseta at Lutron.com/AI
November 21, 2019
Today, if you or someone you know experiences a medical emergency, you dial 9-1-1 and a squad of trained medical professionals arrives at your door.  But just 55 years ago, that was not the case. Emergency calls were generally dispatched to funeral homes simply because their vehicles were suited to transporting bodies. You’d be lucky if the person transporting you had any first aid training at all. A soldier shot in Vietnam had a better chance of surviving than a housewife in a car accident  because the soldier in Vietnam got immediate trained medical care. Throughout the 1960s, volunteer rescue squads  began experimenting with different kinds of pre-hospital care. But in Pittsburgh, 20th century topography converged with the fates of a few individuals, and one ambitious vision, to spin a medical revolution into being. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Lutron Caseta - Get smart lighting the smart way with Caséta by Lutron smart switches. Learn more about Caseta at Lutron.com/AI
November 14, 2019
In October, Google announced in a paper in the journal Nature that it built a chip called "Sycamore" that achieved what is known as "quantum supremacy." It's being hailed as a massive step forward in the world of quantum computing. Quantum computing's principles lie in the fascinating world of quantum mechanics, and while it is extremely complicated to understand, the theoretical applications of a quantum computer could have a massive real-world impact. We'll talk with Scott Aaronson, the David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin, and director of its Quantum Information Center, about Google's discovery. Aaronson reviewed Google's paper before it was published and has worked for years on these complex problems. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Worried about finding the perfect gift this holiday season? Peloton is the gift they’re guaranteed to love. With its compact 4X2 size, the Peloton Bike can fit in virtually any space in your home, no matter how small. This holiday, give the gift of Peloton. For a limited time, get $100 off accessories when you purchase the Peloton Bike. Go to www.onepeloton.com and use promo code INNOVATIONS at checkout.
October 31, 2019
In the summer of 1888, just as the electric chair controversy was unfolding, Nikola Tesla moved to Pittsburgh to work for George Westinghouse, fulfilling a year-long commitment he made when Westinghouse purchased Tesla’s AC motor patents. The deal would make Tesla a millionaire, but it would ultimately threaten to topple Westinghouse’s business. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Policy Genius - Go to Policygenius.com to get quotes and apply in minutes
October 29, 2019
The City, USA Today’s critically acclaimed investigative podcast, is back with Season 2. This time, it shines a spotlight on Reno as the city transforms into an offshoot of Silicon Valley. Who decides what kind of city Reno becomes? What is lost and gained in the name of progress?  Start listening to The City: Reno today at: http://wondery.fm/TheCityReno
October 24, 2019
After his unceremonious departure from Edison Electric, Nikola Tesla found himself broke and dejected, but more determined than ever to share his alternating current system with the world. And thanks to the help of one man who really believes in his work -- a man with vision, money and power -- he’ll soon have his chance. Tesla has Edison in his sites, and the Current War is about to get deadly. Support us by supporting our sponsors! JustWorks - Try Justworks for yourself. Learn more at justworks.com/ai
October 17, 2019
On August 6, 1890, a prisoner named William Kemmler became the first man executed in the electric chair. It was designed to be a more humane form of execution, but the gruesome scene in the death chamber that day revealed the device to be anything but.  Still, the chair stuck around. And Kemmler’s execution proved to be a pivotal moment in the history of capital punishment. But if you pull back just slightly, you’ll see that the story of the electric chair was just one small chapter in another story — a much larger story — that would come to define the world we live in. This other story involved three titans of innovation—Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse — locked in a desperate fight for control of the future of electricity.  Their conflict would take lives, spark scientific advances and revolutionize human existence. And it would come to be called the War of the Currents.  Support us by supporting our sponsors! Justworks - Try Justworks for yourself. Learn more at justworks.com/ai
October 15, 2019
Ideas are coming at you every day from all directions. How can you process it all? You can start with The Next Big Idea. Host Rufus Griscom and legendary thought leaders Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Dan Pink, and Susan Cain, will be your personal “idea” curators. Open your mind and get ready for something big, because the right idea--at the right moment--has the power to transform your life. Listen now at http://wondery.fm/TNBIWondery
October 10, 2019
The resourcefulness of NASA’s engineers and Skylab’s first crew helped save the space station from near disaster. Now, as the station’s second crew settles into their fifty-nine day mission, another kind of crisis is about to threaten Skylab—one that has nothing to do with the hazards of space travel. In the fall of 1973, the United States is struggling. Gas prices are skyrocketing thanks to an oil embargo. The Vietnam War is dragging on, costing thousands of American lives and hundreds of millions of dollars. In the White House, Richard Nixon’s presidency is hanging by a thread, as details of the Watergate scandal leak out.  Against this backdrop, public interest in the U.S. space program is waning — and with it, Congress’s will to continue funding it. Now, faced with deep budget cuts, NASA may have no choice but to bring its space station program to a premature end. Support this show by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - Try ZipRecruiter for free and see why it's the best choice for all your hiring needs at ZipRecruiter.com/AI
October 4, 2019
Check out Lost at the Smithsonian, a new podcast from Stitcher! Comedian and pop culture fanatic Aasif Mandvi gets up close and personal with the most iconic artifacts at the National Museum of American History. Join Aasif and his guests as they explore how vintage clothing, ratty furniture, and mismatched shoes transformed into Fonzie's leather jacket, Archie Bunker's chair, and Dorothy's ruby slippers and became defining symbols of American culture along the way. Lost at the Smithsonian is out NOW — listen wherever you get your podcasts, or at smarturl.it/LostAtTheSmithsonian
October 3, 2019
Skylab was NASA’s underdog — a cobbled-together  program that lived in the shadow of the Apollo moon landings. But with the last of those moon landings completed in December of 1972, it was finally Skylab’s time to shine. That is, until launch. Now the eighty-ton space station is in orbit, but it’s badly damaged — possibly uninhabitable. And the timing couldn’t be worse. With America in the midst of a recession, politicians’ patience for NASA’s huge budgets is wearing thin. If Skylab turns out to be a two billion dollar boondoggle, it could set the entire American space program back decades. Support us by supporting our sponsors! JustWorks - For a limited time, you can get 2 free months when you go to justworks.com/ai Policy Genius - Go to Policygenius.com to get quotes and apply in minutes. Lutron Caseta -Get smart lighting the smart way with Caséta by Lutron smart switches. Learn more about Caseta at Lutron.com/AI
September 26, 2019
Fifty years ago, America’s space program achieved its greatest triumph, when Apollo Eleven put the first men on the moon. The Apollo program was a remarkable success story. But as NASA was sending men to the moon, they were engaged in another, less celebrated project — one even more important than the moon landings to humanity’s potential future in space. That project was called Skylab — America’s first space station. Chances are you’ve never heard of Skylab. If you know anything about it at all, you know that after it was launched into orbit, it came crashing back down to Earth. But before that crash, Skylab taught NASA more things about living and working in space than any program before it. So why did one of the engineers who worked on Skylab once call it “the little redheaded bastard out behind the barn”? Why do so many accounts of NASA’s achievements barely mention it? Why have most Americans never heard of America’s first space station? Support us by supporting our Sponsors! JustWorks - Try Justworks for yourself. For a limited time, you can get 2 free months when you go to justworks.com/ai
September 16, 2019
From Wondery and The Athletic, The Lead is the first daily sports podcast that will bring you one big story each day from The Athletic's all-star team of local and national sports reporters. Subscribe now to hear new episodes each weekday morning: http://wondery.fm/TheLeadED
September 12, 2019
We conclude our series on Corn Flakes with Howard Markel author of "The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek." Markel joins us to talk about how he discovered the Kellogg's story and how their innovations changed the world of medicine, business, and of course, what we eat for breakfast today.
September 6, 2019
If you’re a fan of all the pageantry and excitement that college football brings, then The Solid Verbal is the podcast for you. Join hosts Dan Rubenstein and Ty Hildenbrandt as they offer insights into each conference, game analysis, and plenty of commentary throughout the season and beyond. Start listening today at: http://wondery.fm/solidverbal
September 5, 2019
Now that Will has officially left the San, it would seem his days of servitude and humiliation are finally over. But John has no intention of leaving him in peace. As Will forges ahead with his groundbreaking cereal business, John resorts to desperate measures to make sure he’ll never have to share the spotlight with his brother. Even if it ends up costing him everything.  Support us by supporting our sponsors! Zip Recruiter - To try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE go to ZipRecruiter.com/AI
August 29, 2019
After missing the chance to buy the rights to Shredded Wheat, the Kellogg brothers are on a quest to make toasted wheat flakes the leader of the breakfast revolution. The cereal they make would change the culinary landscape of the country—and push their relationship to the breaking point.  Support us by supporting or sponsors! Lightstream - As a listener of American Innovations, you can apply now to get a special interest rate discount. The ONLY way to get this discount is to go to LIGHTSTREAM.COM/AI Titan -  Sign up for Titan today and get 25% off your advisory fees. Head totitanvest.com/ai to get started
August 22, 2019
For the first 150 years of American history, American citizens were plagued by gastrointestinal issues. Diarrhea, gastritis and dysentery were pretty much a way of life. Indigestion was such an immense problem, the poet Walt Whitman called it “the Great American Evil.”  All these stomach issues were thanks, in part, to breakfast—which looked very different than it does today.  Roast pork, pickled vegetables and thick gruel were common staples on the American breakfast table. That is, until two brothers — John Harvey and Will Keith Kellogg — invented a ready-to-eat dry cereal that changed American commerce, medicine, and the way we eat even as it locked the brothers in a vitriolic battle that would last their entire lives.  Support us by supporting our sponsors! Titan - Sign up for Titan today and get 25% off your advisory fees. Head to titanvest.com/ai to get started.
August 15, 2019
In the 1960s, choking was a national epidemic. In the United States alone, close to 4,000 people were dying from choking every year.  Lobster, ham, and hamburger were common culprits. But steak was by far the greatest offender.  Coroners called for a solution to these “Cafe Coronaries,” and the medical community responded with weird and dangerous gadgets: vacuum tubes and long tweezers. But Dr. Henry Heimlich knew this problem required something else; a simple technique that anyone can use to save the lives of choking victims—the Heimlich Maneuver.  The Heimlich Maneuver would save the lives of thousands of people, including Carrie Fisher, Cher, New York Mayor Ed Koch, and at least one American President. And yet, Dr. Heimlich would spend a decade fighting for the legitimacy of his life-saving maneuver.  Support us by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - And right now, listeners of American Innovations can try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at this exclusive web address: ZipRecruiter.com/AI Titan - Sign up for Titan today and get 25% off your advisory fees. Head to titanvest.com/ai to get started.
August 8, 2019
The first mass rollout of robots into mainstream life won’t be humanoid machines designed to clean our homes or mow our lawns. It will be our cars. That’s what author Jason Torchinsky argues in his book “Robot, Take the Wheel: The Road to Autonomous Cars and the Lost Art of Driving.” Torchinsky, senior editor at Jalopnik.com joins us to talk about why building truly autonomous vehicles is a lot more complicated than we think. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Mack Weldon - For 20% off your first order, visit mackweldon.com and enter promo code AI at checkout. Viima - For a free two month premium plan subscription with unlimited users visit viima.com/ai.
August 5, 2019
How big is our galaxy? Why do certain movies make us cry? And what exactly is string theory? Join Sean Carroll's Mindscape to dive deep into the biggest ideas in science, philosophy, culture and much more. Start listening today at http://wondery.fm/SCMindscape
August 1, 2019
The DeLorean was going to change the automotive industry. Designed to be fast, fuel-efficient, durable and affordable, it was going to be the first ethical sports car. It was going to break Detroit’s monopoly on car manufacturing and bring stability to Ireland’s fragile economy.  So what went wrong? And what can we learn from it? Support us by supporting our sponsors! LightStream - As a listener of American Innovations, you can apply now to get a special interest rate discount. The ONLY way to get this discount is to go to lightstream.com/ai Viima - To get a free two-month subscription to its Premium plan with unlimited users, go to viima.com/ai
July 25, 2019
Normally on American Innovations, we look at the history of the science and technology that transformed the world we live in. These stories teach us about the vision, grit, competition, and teamwork required to conquer new frontiers and forge new pathways to the future. But equally valuable, perhaps, are the stories of those visionary innovators who seemed poised for greatness, who aimed for the stars, and then fell, crashing spectacularly back to earth. In this series, we’ll examine one of the greatest failures in automotive history: the life and work of John DeLorean, the maverick engineer whose technical achievements seemed destined for the history books, among the likes of Henry Ford and Elon Musk. But instead, he became known for his dramatic demise.  Support us by supporting our sponsors! Viima - Go to viima.com/AI to get a free two-month Premium plan subscription with unlimited users. Zip Recruiter - To try Zip Recruiter for free, go to ziprecruiter.com/AI
July 4, 2019
Radioactive bugs, birds, and dogs: these are a few of biologist Timothy Mousseau’s favorite things. Though the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and neighboring Pripyat have sat largely abandoned for over 30 years, Mousseau has been back more than 50 times. Radiation levels vary inside the evacuation zone — perfect conditions he says to observe its effects on the creatures that call the area home. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Mack Weldon - For 20% off your first order, visit mackweldon.com and enter promo code AI at checkout Cayman Jack- Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
June 27, 2019
Since its launch, the birth control project had faced one obstacle after another. And over the year and a half that they’d been working, they had managed to solve all of their problems, except one: recruiting test subject for human trials. Birth control was still illegal in the US, so they couldn’t advertise the study, and if they couldn’t advertise, they couldn’t recruit subjects. At the time, the problem seemed insurmountable. But then, while on vacation, Dr. Gregory Pincus found the solution to his recruitment problem: Puerto Rico.  Birth control was legal on the island, and more importantly, the women were desperate for an answer to their population problem. There was no doubt in Pincus’s mind: these clinical trials would cement the project’s place in history. And he was right. The trials for the birth control pill would come to be known as one of the most controversial studies in the history of American medicine.  Support us by supporting our sponsors! LightStream - Apply to get a special interest rate discount, go to LIGHTSTREAM.COM/AI Cayman Jack- Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
June 20, 2019
In 1951, Dr. Gregory Pincus was on the verge of a breakthrough. He had successfully halted ovulation in rabbits and mice; now the project was finally ready for human trials. Only problem was, they had run out of money. Both Pincus and Margaret Sanger had tapped all of their respective resources. If there was any hope for the birth control pill, they'd need a big influx of cash—fast. That’s when Katharine McCormick entered the picture. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Zip Recruiter - The sooner you download the free ZipRecruiter Job Search app, the sooner it can help you find a better job Cayman Jack- Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
June 18, 2019
1865 starts with the moment Lincoln got shot and follows the journey of the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. Stanton continues to push through Lincoln’s progressive agenda while dealing with the nuances around the assassination. But the moral gravity of his actions, and his own secrets, threaten to consume him. Hosted by Lindsay Graham of American History Teller and American Scandal, 1865 is out today. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts at wondery.fm/1865
June 13, 2019
When Margaret Sanger opened her birth control clinic in 1916, she knew she was breaking the law. Distributing contraceptives, or even literature about birth control, was a jailable offense. But she didn’t care. As a nurse, Sanger had sworn to devote herself to the welfare of those in her community. And in the early 1900s, that meant doing something about the public health crisis caused by unplanned pregnancies. At the turn of the century, many women were having babies with no break in between pregnancies. It put them at risk for anemia, and uterine ruptures. Miscarriages were common. Of the children that were born, one in five died during the first five years of life. To Sanger, the solution was clear: a safe, effective, discrete contraceptive for women—a pill, no bigger than an aspirin. At the time, the idea seemed more radical than putting a man on the moon. And in some ways, developing it would be even more difficult. Support us by supporting our sponsors! The Art of Shaving - Visit The Art of Shaving at any of their 100 retail locations, or shop online at theartofshaving.com and use the code AI to get 15% off your first order Cayman Jack- Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
June 6, 2019
Molly Wood has spent two decades covering the tech industry. As the host of “Marketplace Tech,” she demystifies the digital economy and how the world of business and tech influences us in unexpected ways. She came on the show to talk about why she’s drawn to tech world, and the role of tech in one of the biggest issues we face today: climate change. Support us by supporting our sponsors! The Art of Shaving - Visit The Art of Shaving at any of their 100 retail locations, or shop online at theartofshaving.com and use the code AI to get 15% off your first order Cayman Jack- Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
May 30, 2019
By 1975, George Lucas knew exactly what he wanted Star Wars to look like, but what it would sound like was another story altogether. Lucas was tired of Sci-Fi’s typical synthetic and electronic cliches; he wanted a sonic world that felt organic and personal. So he hired a young sound designer named Ben Burtt, and sent him out into the world with a recorder and microphone. Burtt would need to blend and manipulate his recordings in order to achieve original sound designs, customized in every way to help bring the Skywalker saga to life. Like a detective, Burtt would have to hunt for the perfect buzz, bark, or hum to make Star Wars come alive. And in the process, he and Lucas would help to change the way audiences experience sound in films. Support us by supporting our sponsors! The Art of Shaving - Visit The Art of Shaving at any of their 100 retail locations, or shop online at theartofshaving.com and use the code AI to get 15% off your first order Cayman Jack- Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
May 29, 2019
In this bonus episode, Steven Johnson talks to Mark Ramsey (host of Inside Jaws, Inside Psycho) about his latest series, Inside Star Wars. If our series shines a light on the technical pioneers who transformed an impossible vision into a reality, Inside Star Wars delivers an intimate portrait of the iconic director behind that vision, George Lucas. Listen to the rest at wondery.fm/ISWED.
May 23, 2019
With the success of STAR WARS, George Lucas finally had the independence and power to make movies exactly the way he wanted to make them—which was critical, because the sequels he planned were going to be even bigger and more challenging than the original. The artists of Industrial Light and Magic had barely finished the first film, but now they’d have to top themselves--designing a snow planet, imperial walkers, tauntauns, asteroid fields, a Cloud City, and a 12-mile long Star Destroyer. From 1978 to 1983, ILM surged forward with the mandate to not only complete the original STAR WARS trilogy, but also expand the company itself. The ultimate mission: to push the edge of what visual effects could be, and ultimately lead cinema from its analogue origins, to its digital present. Support us by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - To try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI The Art of Shaving - Visit The Art of Shaving at any of their 100 retail locations, or shop online at theartofshaving.com and use the code AI to get 15% off your first order Cayman Jack- Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
May 16, 2019
When STAR WARS debuted in May 1977, it gave rise to a pop-cultural phenomenon unlike any the world had ever seen. The movie was so singular and iconic, and so technically ambitious -- that it almost never came to be. To bring Star Wars to the screen, new technology had to be invented and existing technology had to be utilized in ways never before imagined. None of the special effects companies in Hollywood could handle the blend of creativity and innovation necessary to bring director George Lucas’s vision to life. So Lucas built his own studio, and forever changed the way movies are made. Support us by supporting our sponsors! The Art of Shaving - Go to theartofshaving.com and enter promo code AI at checkout to get 15% off your first order Cayman Jack- Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
May 2, 2019
In 1913, the young aviation industry was in trouble. The Wright brothers’ broad proprietary claim on airplane technology—and their willingness to sue competitors—created a legal bottleneck that was stifling the airplane’s development. Their legal power over aviation stemmed from the idea that they were the first to build a plane capable of flying. But what if they weren’t the first? In early 1914, Glenn Curtiss was presented with the opportunity to test that idea. Ironically, the experiment would end up costing him his place in history. Support us by supporting our sponsors! The Art of Shaving - Listeners of American Innovations are invited to get 15% off their first order by using the promo code AI at checkout, online or at any The Art of Shaving stores. Cayman Jack - This Cinco de Mayo, take your celebration to the next level. Download Cayman Jack’s “How to Cinco Guide” at cinco.caymanjack.com.Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
April 25, 2019
Glenn Curtiss may have mastered the technical aspects of the airplane, but in September of 1909, Curtiss found himself painfully ill-equipped to handle the latest challenge before him: the Wright brothers were suing him for patent infringement., demanding he stop building, selling, and even flying his planes.  While Curtiss was the main target of the lawsuit, the outcome of the case would affect the industry as a whole. That’s because the question at hand focused on the interpretation and application of patent law. Specifically, could any one man--or in this case, two brothers--legally own the air. Support us by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - Listeners of American Innovations can try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at this exclusive web address: ZipRecruiter.com/AI Cayman Jack- Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
April 18, 2019
Think for a moment about some of the pioneering developments from the earliest days of American aviation: The first pilot’s licence; the first flight from one city to another; the first airplane sold commercially. More than a century later, most people attribute these milestones to the Wright brothers. But the Wright brothers were responsible for none of these firsts. In fact, all of these achievements belong to just one man: Glenn Hammond Curtiss, the father of modern aviation. So why is it that most Americans have never heard his name? Support us by supporting our sponsors! Cayman Jack - Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
April 11, 2019
Twitter, Facebook, Youtube. The past year has brought a backlash against these companies and others over data privacy and their treatment of speech. Tech visionary and critic Jaron Lanier discusses his take on social media and why he thinks you should delete yours. Read Jaron’s latest book: Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Right Now. Support our show by supporting our sponsors! Cayman Jack - Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
April 4, 2019
Glamour. Hollywood. Drama. Although she was known as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” Actress Hedy Lamarr’s greatest life work was far from the silver screen. At the height of her film career, and in the midst of a world war, Hedy invented the basis for all modern wireless communications: signal hopping. Part of a special series with Smithsonian Magazine highlighting the lives of women inventors to celebrate Women’s History Month. Head over to Smithsonian.com/Wondery to go deeper, or find us on Twitter @InnovationsPod. Support us by supporting our sponsors! Stitcher - You can find episodes of American Innovations, completely ad-free, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month, go to stitcherpremium.com/wondery and use promo code “WONDERY”.
March 28, 2019
A machine to mass produce paper bags. Seems unremarkable today, but in the 1800s, it was cutting edge. The technology would change everyday life, and maybe, the life of one inventor: Margaret Knight. That is if she could get people to believe she invented it. Part of a special series with Smithsonian Magazine highlighting the lives of women inventors to celebrate Women’s History Month. Head over to Smithsonian.com/Wondery to go deeper, or find us on Twitter @InnovationsPod. Support us by supporting our sponsors! The Art of Shaving - Go to theartofshaving.com and enter promo code AI at checkout to get 15% off your first order! ZipRecruiter - Right now, listeners of American Innovations can try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI
March 21, 2019
The first self-made female African American millionaire is how she’s known. But Madam C.J. Walker’s story is much more than a rags to riches tale of a cosmetics industry mogul. She was an inventor, an entrepreneur, and a philanthropist. Along the way, she faced challenges from inside her own community and found a way to transform them into successes. Part of a special series with Smithsonian Magazine highlighting the lives of women inventors to celebrate Women’s History Month. Head over to Smithsonian.com/Wondery to go deeper, or find us on Twitter @InnovationsPod. Support us by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - Right now, listeners of American Innovations can try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI
March 14, 2019
Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are preparing to land on the Moon. The whole world is watching live on television. But something is very wrong, their warning alarms are flashing and they don't know what it is. There’s only one woman who can fix it: MIT software engineer Margaret Hamilton. This is the first episode of a special series with Smithsonian Magazine highlighting the lives of women inventors to celebrate Women’s History Month. Head over to Smithsonian.com/Wondery to go deeper, or find us on Twitter @InnovationsPod. Support us by supporting our sponsors! The Art of Shaving - Go to theartofshaving.com and enter promo code AI at checkout to get 15% off your first order!
February 28, 2019
Things are really picking up for Coca-Cola, thanks to its industrious new—and most importantly, sober—owner, Asa Candler. Over the past year, Candler’s sold enough syrup to make half a million glasses of soda. The drink is loved by everyone who tries it, but on the business side, Candler is still just scraping by. To turn Coca-Cola into the sensation he knows it can be, he will have to battle a slew of imposters, take a massive marketing risk, and deal with one very problematic ingredient: cocaine. Support us by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - Right now, listeners of American Innovations can try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI The Art of Shaving - Go to theartofshaving.com and enter promo code AI at checkout to get 15% off your first order!
February 21, 2019
In the wake of the Civil War, Atlanta emerged as both the cultural capital of the New South, and the epicenter of its snake oil trade. A shell-shocked populace, haunted by poverty, hunger and disease sought salvation in the dubious cure-all tonics of the pharmacy trade. What they got instead would go on to become the most famous beverage in the world: Coca-Cola. Support us by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - Listeners of American Innovations can try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI
February 14, 2019
Malcolm Gladwell joins Steven Johnson to talk about innovation, writing, and Steven’s latest book “Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most.” The conversation was put on by the Next Big Idea Club. It’s a book club hand-curated by four legendary writers: Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Dan Pink and Adam Grant. You can sign up at NextBigIdeaClub.com/AI. Each season, you’ll get two books that will change the way you think and live. You’ll be introduced to essential ideas about productivity, business, psychology, and more. You’ll also get access to The Next Big Idea Club’s exclusive tools like online video insights, author interviews, and study guides to help you implement these life-changing concepts. They’ve also got an online forum where you can discuss the books and ideas with other passionate learners, Next Big Idea Club curators, and the authors themselves. Support us by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - Find your next great hire at ZipRecruiter.com/AI
February 7, 2019
Horace Day made a fortune off of the vulcanizing process Goodyear repeatedly went broke trying to develop. Now, with the help of the most famous attorney in the country, Secretary of State, Daniel Webster, Goodyear plans to make Day pay.
January 31, 2019
In 1839, Charles Goodyear accidentally discovered the key to rubber. Sulfur alone had proved too fragile, but when he combined it with heat? Durable, stable rubber. Finally Goodyear’s dreams were within his grasp. But that’s when he caught the eye of a New Jersey merchant named Horace Day, and things took a turn for the worse. Support us by supporting our sponsors!
January 24, 2019
In a world where materials were limited to wood, leather, metal, and cloth, rubber was something new: a substance that was strong, soft, flexible, and waterproof—but completely undependable. Then along came a 33 year-old hardware merchant named Charles Goodyear, who made it his personal mission to conquer rubber at any cost.
January 17, 2019
Bill Nye tell us how he became “The Science Guy,” why climate change is solvable, and what he thinks is the most important innovation of all time. He’ll talk his new Netflix show, “Bill Nye Saves the World” — which pretty much sums up what he’s trying to do these days. Plus, he shares his memories of Carl Sagan and how to combat today’s anti-science movement. Support us by supporting our sponsors! ZipRecruiter - Find your next great hire at ZipRecruiter.com/AI
December 27, 2018
Crypto woes, Facebook scandals, a Mars lander, and foldable phones. 2018 was a mixed bag for innovation. Journalists Devindra Hardawar, Engadget, and Clive Thompson, Wired & The New York Times Magazine, join Steven to talk about the year in science and technology - and what's to come in 2019. Support this show by supporting our sponsors! Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com Crowd Cow - Get $25 off your first order at CrowdCow.com/AI The Art of Shaving - The perfect shave is here. Get 15% off your first order by using the promo code "AI" at checkout online or in the store.
December 20, 2018
VR is dead. Then along comes a teenager with a vision and a headset and changes everything. Support us by supporting our sponsors! The Great Courses - Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AI for a special FREE MONTH TRIAL to The Great Courses Plus. Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com
December 13, 2018
Atari has assembled the best of the best. They look ready to get VR off the ground but then the company they make a colossal mistake. The mistake’s name is E.T. Support this show by supporting our sponsors! Wix - Create your very own professional website today at wix.com The Great Courses - Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/AI for a special FREE MONTH TRIAL to The Great Courses Plus.
December 6, 2018
In the 1960s a group of scientists and engineers had a vision: that one day people could put on a pair of goggles and enter a whole new world. Support this show by supporting our sponsors! Wix - Create your very own professional website today at wix.com Simplisafe - Protect your home and family today at simplisafe.com/innovations
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