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7/22/2021
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How animals make us smarter – we thought you might like to hear our brand new episode. It’s about a robotic arm inspired by an elephant’s trunk. For more, search for 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter wherever you get your podcasts. #30Animals Details
18:04
3/09/2020
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Jump on-board a doomed mission to the Moon. Apollo 13: the extraordinary story, told by the people who flew it and saved it. Search for 13 Minutes to the Moon wherever you get your podcasts. #13MinutestotheMoon Details
05:08
3/01/2020
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Johannes Gutenberg's printing press changed the course of human history. It created a new way of doing business, drastically reduced the cost and speed of making books, and enabled texts, ideas and arguments to spread further and faster than ever bef... Details
10:10
2/23/2020
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First developed by a toy company in the 1890s, slot machines have become one of the most profitable tools of the gambling trade - but many who play them say winning isn't the point. So why can't people pull themselves away? Tim Harford looks under th... Details
09:50
2/16/2020
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In 1997, Garry Kasparov, widely regarded as the world's greatest chess player, was defeated by Deep Blue, a computer. But how much did that reveal about the 'brainpower' of machines? Tim Harford explains by delving into the history of algorithms. The... Details
13:06
2/09/2020
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Are things only worth what people are willing to pay for them? Tim Harford explains why a method of buying and selling that originated in ancient times has endured to the present day, and is now underpinning the success of some of the internet's most... Details
09:51
2/02/2020
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From reliable water supplies to large-scale electricity generation, the benefits brought by dams can be huge. But so can the problems. Tim Harford explains how these massive structures have changed the world for many, but led to catastrophe for other... Details
09:51
1/26/2020
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In the 1630s, the Netherlands experienced 'tulip mania' - a surge in demand for tulips from wealthy buyers, with some individual bulbs costing twenty times more than a carpenter's annual salary. Then, in February 1637, the price suddenly crashed. It'... Details
11:34
1/19/2020
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In the early 20th Century, makers of sanitary towels had to find a way to sell an item that some people found too embarrassing to mention. In some parts of the world, that stigma still hasn't gone away. Tim Harford charts the controversial history of... Details
10:43
1/12/2020
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Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward's miniature greenhouses made it far easier to successfully transport plants, spreading them far beyond their native lands. But that led to major consequences that Ward hadn't foreseen. Tim Harford tells the story of how glass b... Details
10:13
1/05/2020
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There are more than 36,000 McDonald's restaurants around the world - but if the McDonald brothers had had their way, that might never have happened. Tim Harford tells the story of how milkshake-mixer salesman Ray Kroc turned their burger business int... Details
10:06
12/29/2019
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Surveillance cameras were invented so Nazi scientists could observe rocket launches from a safe distance. They've come a long way since then, and are gathering more data about us than ever before. But in a world where millions happily carry smartphon... Details
10:06
12/22/2019
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As populations age, pension systems around the world are coming under strain. Governments, employers and economists are searching for ways to alleviate the problem - but could traditional societies hold some valuable lessons? Details
13:06
12/15/2019
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Why does Father Christmas wear red and white? It's not for the reason you may think. In an updated version of an episode from 2018, Tim Harford tells the story of Christmas and consumerism. Details
16:07
12/08/2019
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Women's lives were transformed by sewing machines, which made a "never-ending, ever-beginning task" far less arduous and time-consuming. But Isaac Singer, who made his fortune from these devices, was far from a champion of women's rights. Tim Harford... Details
13:06
12/01/2019
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Data is a hugely profitable commodity - if you know how to process it. Tim Harford tells the story of Herman Hollerith, and how his 19th-century machine for processing census data laid the foundations for some of the world's most valuable companies. Details
10:08
11/24/2019
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In theory, stock options should motivate executives to perform better by tying their pay to their company's performance. So why do some argue the practice has just become a way for the highest earners to boost their salaries even further? Tim Harford... Details
10:05
11/17/2019
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Tim Harford goes back to the 1900s to tell the story of how charity fundraising became big business. But in the social media age, what's the most effective way to get people to give? Details
09:53
11/10/2019
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The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication - SWIFT - solved some big problems with international financial transfers, making them more secure and reliable than ever before. However, as Tim Harford explains, the global political c... Details
10:20
11/03/2019
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Josiah Wedgwood is arguably the best-known name in the history of pottery - but it's not just his pots that made their mark on history. Tim Harford explains how a business model Wedgwood devised in the 18th Century still underpins the modern fashion ... Details
09:38
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