446. “We Get All Our Great Stuff from Europe — Including Witch Hunting.”
Play • 40 min

We’ve collected some of our favorite moments from People I (Mostly) Admire, the latest show from the Freakonomics Radio Network. Host Steve Levitt seeks advice from scientists and inventors, memory wizards and basketball champions — even his fellow economists. He also asks about quitting, witch trials, and whether we need a Manhattan Project for climate change. 

The Daily
The Daily
The New York Times
Fate, Domestic Terrorism and the Nomination of Merrick Garland
Five years ago, Judge Merrick B. Garland became a high-profile casualty of Washington’s political dysfunction. President Barack Obama selected him to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but Senate Republicans blocked his nomination. In the process, Mr. Garland became known for the job he didn’t get. Now, after being nominated by the Biden administration to become the next attorney general, Mr. Garland is finding professional qualifications under scrutiny once again. In light of the attack on the Capitol, we explore how his career leading investigations into domestic terrorism prepared him for his Senate confirmation hearing. Guest: Mark Leibovich, the chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, who spoke with Judge Merrick B. Garland. Sign up here to get The Daily in your inbox each morning. And for an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. Background reading: * In his confirmation hearing this week, Mr. Garland said the United States now faced “a more dangerous period” from domestic extremists than at the time of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. * Here’s why Mr. Garland described his experience leading the Justice Department’s investigation into the 1995 bombing as “the most important thing I have ever done in my life.” For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.
26 min
99% Invisible
99% Invisible
Roman Mars
432- The Batman and the Bridge Builder
Mark Bloschock is an engineer from Texas, and in the late 1970s he got a job with the Texas Department of Transportation renovating the Congress Avenue Bridge. The bridge was a simple concrete arch bridge that spans Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. It needed to be rebuilt with more contemporary beams called “box beams.” The box beams sit below the road’s surface, and they needed to be spaced a certain distance apart. Bloschock and the other engineers decided that the gap should be somewhere between ¾ of an inch and an inch and a half, which didn’t seem like a particularly meaningful decision… until the bats moved in. A tale of bats and bridges and how the built environment and the natural environment don’t need to be at odds with one another. The Batman and the Bridge Builder Plus, we talk with Simon Doble, CEO of Solar Buddy. Light access (both day and night) is a basic need many people take for granted. SolarBuddy is an Australian charity uniting a global community with a big dream to gift six million solar lights to children living in energy poverty by 2030, to help them to study after dusk and improve their education outcomes. 99% Invisible’s Impact Design coverage is supported by Autodesk. The Autodesk Foundation supports the design and creation of innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. Learn more about these efforts on Autodesk’s Redshift, which tells stories about the future of making across architecture, engineering, infrastructure and manufacturing.
33 min
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