Invisibilia

Thursdays 8-9 PM

NPR Illinois is airing a special run of Invisibilia.

Invisibilia is Latin for "invisible things." The program explores the unseen forces that shape human behavior -- things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions -- interweaving narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently. The show is co-hosted by a trio of NPR's award-winning journalists, Alix Spiegel, Lulu Miller and Hanna Rosin, who have roots at This American Life, Radiolab and The Atlantic.

Invisibilia shows us how science sheds light on what we individually experience and delves more often into how our lives are entwined, sometimes invisibly, with each other and the larger world.

Mike Marsella was a really competitive guy, a champion cross-country runner in high school. He got a running scholarship to college. Then a car hit him while he was riding a moped. He was left in a coma, with brain damage. And when his mind changed, his running changed, too.

Would he ever be Mike Marsella again? And would he ever run a four-minute mile?

A few weeks ago at a soccer game I was coaching, my team got trounced. They are 7 and they are not used to losing. As soon as I called the game and they realized what had just happened, two of the boys burst out crying.

When McDonald's came to the Soviet Union in 1990, the company insisted that workers smile. That didn't come easy. But customers grew to like it — and workers did, too. What happens when you change a norm?

Editors' note: Invisibilia's back! Each Friday for the next seven weeks, we'll feature an excerpt from the latest episode of the NPR podcast. We're also creating original features for Shots that explore the Invisibilia theme of the week. This Saturday, Hanna Rosin asks whether social norms have changed enough so that boys are no longer afraid to cry. On Sunday, we explore how the norms for sickness and health vary around the world.

Editor's note: This story first ran on Jan. 16, 2015, as part of NPR's Invisibilia podcast. It's about a man who decided he no longer wanted to be ruled by fear. Without realizing it, he used a standard tool of psychotherapy to help him stop dreading rejection.

How Can You See Without Seeing?

Nov 20, 2015

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Adaptation

About Daniel Kish's TED Talk

Daniel Kish has been blind since he was 13 months old, but has learned to "see" using a form of echolocation.

About Daniel Kish

When he was 13 months old, Daniel Kish lost both eyes to retinal cancer. He taught himself to navigate by clicking his tongue and listening for echoes — a method science calls echolocation, and that Kish calls flash sonar.

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