What if, out of nowhere, you started hearing a low-frequency rumble, like a truck idling right outside your home, in the middle of the night, every night for weeks and months on end -- and no one else could hear it?
While graffiti is seen by some as blight, and by others as art, the act of hiding in the shadows and stealthily scrawling your name on a wall is ultimately about being seen, rather than doing damage. This was definitely the case for a boy who went...
In this high tech world, you're never without a camera, and can take a picture anywhere you go. But do these images convey the feelings of awe, excitement, wonder and fear you had while you were in those places? Adam Katseff discovered a way...
If you look closely enough at this seemingly idyllic stretch of road, nestled between a lake and a steep hillside in Northern California, you'll notice it's not so idyllic — at least not for the newts and salamanders determined to cross to...
The black belt test at Studio Naga is a 48-hour ordeal with no sleep. By the second night, students are running on pure adrenaline when they arrive to an unknown location blindfolded in the dark. Then, it's time to fight.
Comfort turns to horror when the night becomes weaponized - used to terrorize and control. This is the most ominous embodiment of the night. Its most salient symbols are those of burning crosses, and the nightriders delivering their messages of terror.
The theme of this year’s KCRW 24-Hour Radio Race was “Where the Sun Don’t Shine”. One entry received the Nocturne Award. It’s called “The Telltale Arse” and it’s by producer Matt Livadary. The piece truly peers into the dusty...
Kristin’s daughter was just 16 years old when she began to struggle with drug addiction - methamphetamine, heroin, and more. It brought Kristin to her knees. Of all the painful challenges, the worst was not knowing where her daughter was in the...
There is a cave in southern France that contains some of the world’s most deeply hidden secrets. To get there you must crawl on your belly through a long tomb-like passage, with your only light held between your teeth.
There are over 3500 species of crickets and each has a different song. One man fills his apartment in Brooklyn with their music, and then takes them out in public to perform alongside them. And then he eats them.
Zoe and Sarah were young, free explorers on a spontaneous summer road trip. As darkness began to fall, the map on Zoe’s phone directed them to a short cut that would speed up their drive and get them to a safe place to spend the night. But that's...
Ever since he was a child, Clark Strand has awoken in the middle of the night and gone out walking. One night a voice spoke directly in his ear, saying, “Don’t go out tonight. Remain calm and be very very still.” His life has never been the same.
What is it about the night, about what happens in the darkness, when most people are asleep? Vanessa and radio host, Rod Quinn muse about this and much more, and hear from callers across Australia sharing their feelings and observations about the...
There’s really nothing else like late night call in shows on the radio – other humans, in real time, just chatting. It can bring comfort and normalcy to the hours that can feel like anything but comforting or normal.
Poetry and the night are some of the last remaining domains of “unknowing”; places where it’s acceptable to digest the world slowly and without conclusion, and where one can linger in, and traverse, experiences like solitude, impermanence, and...
What makes a place home? Is it a place that feels like a refuge? Is it somewhere you sleep really, really well? What if the place that feels like home is a secret apartment in the bowels of a giant mall?
This crazy thing happens in NYC as night approaches – as rush hour picks up and the streets get evermore hectic than normal, delivery men on bikes start racing through the streets to get people their restaurant food while it’s still hot.
The shift into the darkness of night triggers our bodies to relax. Perhaps this is why so many babies begin their journey into the world at night. That adds a whole new dimension when they're born at home. Read more →
Traveling at night as a passenger is an act of trust. As the sensations of movement lull you to the edge of sleep or beyond, you surrender to dislocation; disconnecting from place and time. The only constant is motion. As your consciousness bobs up into the present moment, in the darkness you could be anywhere, or nowhere at all. Read more →
There has never been a world without tragedy and heartache and injustice. But there has also never before been a time when human beings have had constant access to the breadth of human suffering. Our technology bathes us in this information, and it can be a challenge to not dissolve into a mass of emotion, or just go numb. Julia Scott found herself facing this dilemma, and intuitively creating a ritual for herself, the seeds of which were planted decades earlier. Read more →
Research in 2013 found a connection between night owls and those with a sinister constellation of personality traits, ominously labeled, “The Dark Triad”. The study got a lot of attention in the media, with headlines claiming that night owls are more likely to be psychopaths and narcissists. There was just one problem. Read more →
Malcolm Saunders is a fisherman in Cornwall, on the southern tip of the UK. While most of the old fishing ports have transformed into tourist attractions, there are still some working fishing boats, manned by seasoned weathered fisherman. They’re holding onto to an almost forgotten way of life – one that ties their livelihood to nature, with all of the thrill and hardship that goes along with it. Their lives are governed by tides, and weather, and time - A fisherman goes out where and when the fish are, day or night. There’s nothing else to it. Read more →
Hospitals are amazing places. They’re emblems of the modern medical technology that saves and improves our lives in countless ways every day. But if you’ve ever roamed the halls of a hospital in the middle of the night, with its shiny echoey surfaces, background hum of anxiety, and distant monitors chiming like beacons of peril, you’re in no rush to return. But if you must, you’ll want someone like Shoshana Ungerleider there keeping an eye on things, especially if there are zebras. Read more →
One of the things that changes instantly when you have a baby is your relationship to sleep. It usually becomes scarce and precious, and everyone has advice. Much less talked about is the continuing nighttime struggle between parents and their young kids. Because by the time your child is a year or two old, any competent parent has it under control, right? Kids go to sleep and parents get to have their night. Adam Mansbach drew back the curtain on this ridiculous fallacy. Read more →
Our relationship to the darkness can shift over time. One of the main ways that this happens is by walking into the dark, both literally and metaphorically. By walking toward the thing that scares us the most, or causes the most pain, we have the potential to almost magically transform it into something completely different.
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There’s a funny thing about Christmas in New York: In a city where most of the living trees are clumped together in just a few areas, right around Thanksgiving new clumps of trees start popping up all over this mostly concrete and asphalt setting. The tree stands sprinkled throughout the city create a festive air, but there’s another dimension to the world of Christmas trees in New York City at night. Read more →
Beverly D’Urso is a lucid dreaming celebrity. She was a subject of Stephen LaBerge’s research at the Stanford Sleep Lab in the 1980’s, has written numerous articles and given classes on lucid dreaming, and has been featured in multiple television programs and magazine articles. She’s done pretty much everything you can do in your dreams. But she’s decided to focus on being awake, instead. Read more →
The built environment consists of structures that humans make - including spaces where people live, work and play. For the most part, these places are inhabited during the day. But at night, new aspects of the built environment are revealed. Some people are drawn to explore these spaces, not to vandalize or create mischief - just to see and to appreciate. But society has a name for that – it’s called trespassing. Read more →
The Sleepless project is two things: It's a voicemail that people can call when they can't sleep, so they can talk about what's on their mind and hopefully get back to sleep. It’s also an art project where the creator of the project makes short videos to accompany the voice messages. She came to the project through her own sleepless nights. Read more →
On a beautiful day in April, Matthew Bryce went out to surf by himself off a remote beach in Scotland. Usually he goes out for 3 or 4 hours, and then goes about his life. This time was different. Read more →
In January I left my home for 6 months of wandering, and of course one of the main things I explored were the infinite shades of night in each new place. What I noticed more than ever is that every night is a finger print - each is unique, with no one the same as another. The sounds tell the stories. Read more →
Have you every woken up in the wee hours of the night to find that you’re gripped by fears and anxieties that just didn’t exist in the light of day?
You can lie there awake in bed, in your comfortable home, maybe even next to a loved one, and find your thoughts circling like persistent vultures. And then the morning rolls around, and it’s almost impossible to recreate the sense of foreboding that existed just a few hours earlier. Read more →
Lots of museums have regular evening hours or events, often lasting until 8 or 9pm. But I wonder - what do these worlds become in the wee hours, when the last visitor has heeded the call to leave, and the doors are locked? What transformations take place when no one is watching? Read more →
In that place where darkness and isolation meet, fear can take hold in a particularly visceral way. When you’re alone in the dark, every sense works overtime. It can feel like the darkness and the fear are interchangeable. One comes to represent the other. The darkness can paralyze you. Or you can walk straight into it.
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In September 2015 the full moon crossed into the Earth’s shadow and turned redish gold. It was the first blood moon, or total lunar eclipse of a super moon, in over 30 years, and it wouldn’t happen again for almost twenty more. The moon was old and strange, and we were seeing it in a form that occurs only very rarely. It was something we had to show up for, because it wasn’t available on demand. We had to come out of our homes and out of our routines.Also, the moon that night made us look up, away from ourselves and our immediate concerns. It reminded us of the real scale of things, at least for a little while. Read more →
The ethos of randonneuring emphasizes personal challenge and comraderie. Randonneurs share the goal of having everyone make it to the finish line. They take care of each other, because what they’re doing is kind of crazy and a little dangerous. Read more →
Picture it. You’re biking along a winding country road, 30 miles from the nearest town. The air is cool, there’s a slight wind, maybe a gentle mist. It’s three o’clock in the morning. You’ve been awake for 23 hours. Read more →
The police play an important role in civil society. Their first mandate is to serve and protect - the ultimate goal being the maintenance of social order. Often this is accomplished with out undue assaults on individual liberty. But many factors come into play in the tension between freedom and order. It can be a fine balancing act, without clear edges. And it only takes one dark night to color lasting impressions. Read more →
Some surveys suggest that up to a quarter of couples sleep in separate beds. Dave and Sue have both experienced the need to sleep alone, and while they miss things about sharing a bed all night, the arrangement seems tolerable to both of them. This is not the case for another couple I spoke to. Brooke and Bob have been struggling for years to find a solution to what seems like an insurmountable sleep impasse. Read more →
The night bus rolls through the city like a small enclosed world. You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll see. One night, Helen Zaltzman’s bus ride home from the movies took a dark turn. Read more →
Jade Walker hates the daylight so much that most of her neighbors have rarely seen her. The sun is a personal affront to her. But she’s not disconnected from life. In fact, she sees it all. And because of her, so do we. Read more →
Our dreams can allow us to experience things that are – impossible. Yeah, some dreams take us where we’d rather not go. But others invite us into a world filled with joy, and ease, and wonder. They connect us to a forgotten part of ourselves. It feels realer than real, this realm we can only inhabit when we’re sleeping. Read more →
Sometimes the world of our dreams can be unsettling; even terrifying. The fear can be like an echo or a shadow of true emotion; or it can be utterly real, even justified. At times the fearful experiences we have at night can introduce questions into the nature of reality, itself. Many explanations have been offered for some of the most terrifying intrusions into sleep, but questions are not always answered, phenomena are left unexplained, there is no resolution. (Please note: This episode includes things that could be triggering for people who have experienced sexual abuse.) Read more →
Picture it – It’s dusk. We’re on a small neighborhood corner, with a faint moon starting to peak through branches of trees overhead. Kent and I are sitting behind a large battered folding table, and there’s a jar on top of it. Stop by on this beautiful evening, throw some change in the jar, and enjoy “Johnny Bear”, a new piece… Read more →
Lynne Cox has spent her life swimming vast distances and pushing herself to the edges of possibility. Since the beginning, she has thrived on exploring uncharted territories, including the ocean at night. Read more →
The night can be like the great frontier to a kid; a forbidden zone; the perfect place to explore autonomy and independence. At first it might be tempting for parents to just lay down the law. But they're up against a lot. They're up against the best feeling in the world. Read more →
Sleep can serve as both refuge and captor. That’s the case for Monica, who’s blessed with the enviable ability to consistently sleep through the night, almost without fail, no matter what’s going on. During one of the most difficult times of her life, this gift became a painful liability. Read more →
The moon, the stars and the tides are through-lines connecting us to the beginning of life on our planet. These lines can flicker in and out of awareness in the glare of modern culture. But there are ancient creatures living among us, for whom every breath is a reflection of the moon on the water. One in a thousand hatchling sea turtles survive to make it back to the beach of their birth, lay their own eggs, and complete the cycle. There are a hundred ways for things to go wrong. Read more →
The blurred edges of the night can inspire excitement and transformation. The shroud of darkness emboldens some to reveal hidden aspects of their personality, sometimes with gleeful abandon. Read more →
The darkness of night offers rich opportunities to mine and explore our fears. When you choose to walk straight into the darkness you don’t know what you’ll find; both outside in the shadows, and deep inside yourself. Read more →
The stars are disappearing. We're losing natural darkness. It's happened rapidly, but just slowly enough that it's hard to notice. But once your eyes open to the vanishing dark, you see it everywhere. Can we bring back the night sky? Read more →
Al Wilkinson drove a big rig through the night for 28 years, and it was a new experience each time. The runs offered beautiful scenery and time to think, but one dark rainy night this peaceful solitude fell out from under him. Read more →
Amanda Gefter is nocturnal. Really. Being an extreme night owl works for her in a lot of ways, especially since she makes her living as a writer. But her normal patterns are being shaken up by a new love in her life – the first day-dwelling guy she’s ever been with. Since their schedules overlap very little, Amanda needs to figure out how much of her relationship with the night she can keep, and how much she needs to change for love. Read more →
While working at night in the wilds of the Marin Headlands, baker Eduardo Morell witnesses the struggle between life and death. This struggle plays out all around us all the time, in ways both large and small. Read more →