The mind’s ability to envision more than what is physically present in the world is an astounding fact of life. We’re always imagining, thinking, and living in our heads. Our thoughts and our imaginations shape how we see the world, they shape our words and our actions. This is nothing new. We’ve been doing this for all our lives. as far as we can remember. But that’s why we take a closer look and ask the question: how do our imagined lives shape our reality? What happens day to day at the frontier between the worlds we imagine and the worlds we inhabit.


Host: Justine Beed

Producers: Justine Beed and Natacha Ruck with help from Louis Lafair, Amabel Stokes, Alec Glassford, Tamu Adumer, Joshua Hoyt, Austin Meyer, Claire Schoen, Christy Hartman, Will Rogers, Albert Gehami, Jonah Willihnganz, and Jake Warga

Featuring: John Rick, Tamu Adumer, Louis Lafair, Terry Root, Louie Psihoyos, WonGi Jung, Austin Meyer, Amabel Stokes, Alec Glassford, Max Whitmeyer, Nina Donaldson, Maria Doerr, Liam Bhajan, Jeffrey Abidor, Emma Fisher, Natacha Ruck, and Jackson Roach

Music and Sounds: Car Door Slam, Car Door Opening, Train Sound, Car Starting, Inside Car Raining, Car Horn, Start Engine, Truck Passing, Country Highway Ambience, Inside Car Ambience, Crossing Tracks, Rain on Pane 1, Jingling Keys, Changing Radio Stations, Turning on Car with Radio, Car Start, Radio DJ Jingle, Pure Imagination, Backing Out, Rain On Car, Light Rain, Waterfall, Radio Off, The Tallest man in Idaho Soundtrack, Snow, Birds in Park, Walking on Pavement, Car Horn, Parking the Car, Walking Alongside Road, Park, A Peaceful Day by The Kyoto Connection, Paris by Johnny Ripper, Paris Street Sounds, Stillness by Blue Dot Sessions, Weathervane by Blue Dot Sessions, Looks and Smiles

Image via Flickr

Release Date: 20 April 2016


Story 1: Birth of Imagination

The Acheulean Handaxe is the first record we have of humans using their minds to invent technology to shape their reality. Three million years ago our ancestors took a rock and imagined it could be something more. And then they made it. In this story, Tamu Adumer takes us on a trip through time with Stanford archaeology professor John Rick. This is as close as we can get to where imagination began.

Producers: Tamu Adumer and Natacha Ruck
Featuring: Professor John Rick

Image via Wikimedia


Story 2: One Quinoa Burger At A Time

We often think of imagination as a way to solve all the big problems. Stanford sophomore Louis Lafair tries to imagine his way through one the biggest problems of our time: climate change.

Producer: Louis Lafair
Featuring: Terry Root and Louie Psihoyos

Image via the Stanford Review


Story 3: My Imaginary Girlfriend

In this story, WonGi Jung travels the roads of Europe with an imaginary girlfriend. Find out what happens when he has to break up with her.

Producer: WonGi Jung with help from Justine Beed
Featuring: WonGi Jung

Image via StoryNight


Story 4: Double Banded Dream

This fiction piece explores one man’s failure to share his dreams. Sharing the products of our imagination, that is our dreams, hopes and fears, with others is one way to cope with our realities. What might happen, though, when we fail to share our dreams, particularly the nightmares?

Producers: Austin Meyer and Joshua Hoyt
Featuring: Austin Meyer
Music: “Nothing Lasts” by Alexandre Desplat and “Gnossienne No. 2: Avec étonnement” and “Gynopédie No. 1”by Erik Satie
Music: Original Scoring by Christina Galisatus

Image via Wikimedia


Story 5: The Periphery

In this fictional radio drama a people-watcher uses her imagination to meddle with reality. We all break down what we see in the world around us so that we can put it back together in our heads. Sometimes it doesn’t fit together easily. Sometimes it’s a puzzle. This last story is about someone trying to put together that puzzle. For better or for worse.

Producers: Amabel Stokes, Justine Beed
Writer: Amabel Stokes
Featuring: Amabel Stokes, Alec Glassford, Max Whitmeyer, Nina Donaldson, Maria Doerr, Justine Beed, Liam Bhajan, Jeffrey Abidor, Emma Fisher, and Jackson Roach
Music and Sounds: Room Tone Empty Classroom, Windy Room Tone, Door opening, Street Sounds, Sipping Coffee, Plates, Squeaky Chair, “Netherland” and “Three Colors” by Podington Bear, Fast steps, Sirens, City Sounds, Twinkle Toes, Chimes, Single Chime, Film Static, Whispers, Plate Sound Effects, People Mumbling 1 & 2, Menu Flip, Page turn, Café Boursalt, Walking Indoors-Waiter, “Wake Up” by Kai Engel, Glasses Clink, Laughter, Coins, Fast Walking, Chair Scrape, Chopping and Frying, Frying, Just Chopping, Sitting Down, Men Laughing, Plates, Chewing, Eating Eggs, Coffee Steamer, Running, Dialing, Hang Up, Car Door Slam, Gravel Walk, Short Police Siren, Coffee Steamer 1 & 2

Image via Unsplash


Teaching seems pretty straightforward: one person knows something better than someone else and teaches it to them. But there’s something important that happens to the teacher themselves. In this episode, a 3-year-old teaches his parents what he’s made of, a student defies expectations and becomes a teacher himself, teachers are surprised to learn what makes them tick, prehistoric people have to teach one of life’s hardest lessons (hint: there are llamas involved), a professor regrets a missed opportunity, and the cover of a Ghanaian newspaper does a whole lot of teaching. This week, we’re exploring how teaching shapes the teacher.


Host: Kate Nelson and Hadley Reid

Producers: Kate Nelson, Hadley Reid, Christy Hartman with help from Jake Warga, Will Rogers, Nina Foushee, Claire Schoen, Natacha Ruck, Joshua Hoyt, and Jonah Willihnganz

Featuring: Chris Andrews, Andrew Nelson, Gabe Lomeli, Madonna Riesenmy, John Kleiman, John Rick, Linda Paulson, and Emily Polk.

Music used during transitions: Nick Jaina, Podington Bear, Broke for Free, Alex Fitch, Gillicuddy

Image via Flickr

Release Date: 10 February 2016


Story 1: Training Wheels

When Kate’s parents set out to teach her and her brother how to ride bikes, they expected to take it step by step, using every precaution: helmets, kneepads, training wheels. What they didn’t expect was a lesson of their own.

Producer: Kate Nelson
Featuring: Chris Andrews and Andrew Nelson
Music: Podington Bear (Ice Cream Sandwich, Bit Rio), Alex Fitch

Image courtesy of Kate Nelson


Story 2: See Me After Class

Gabriel Lomeli didn’t look like your typical A+ student. Problem was, he was getting A+’s. In this story, we follow Gabe as he reconciles others’ expectations with his own ambitions and achievements.

Producers: Eileen Williams and Emmerich Anklam
Featuring: Gabriel Francisco Lomeli, Junior
Sounds: 76288__timbre__dramatic-violin-stab-long-decay
Music: Kai Engel; Broke for Free (Golden Hour, Heart Ache, Something Old, And And, Something Elated)

Image via Flickr


Story 3: The Power of Teaching

Professor Madonna Riesenmy was curious about what motivates teachers and decided to investigate. But other teachers weren’t too happy to hear about her findings. To be honest, we’re not quite sure how we feel about them, either.

Producer: Emma Heath with help from Christy Hartman, Hadley Reid, and Brian Cohen
Featuring: Jonathan Kleiman, Madonna Riesenmy
Music: Podington Bear (Caravan, Jettisoned), The Losers

Image via Flickr


Story 4: Expulsion of the Yearlings

Stanford Anthropologist John Rick takes us to the highlands of Peru to discuss the impact of teaching at it’s most fundamental level.

Producer: Jacob Wolf, Tamu Adumer, and Natacha Ruck with help from Hadley Reid
Featuring: John Rick
Sounds: blouhond, 15050_Francois, kurono01, damiananache, felix.blume, JohnsonBrandEditing, sardan1972
Music: Original Scoring by Christina Galisatus

Image via Wikimedia


Story 5: Tales from the RF Apartment

Linda Paulson is a Stanford faculty member who lives with eighty-eight teenagers in a freshman dorm. A late night knock at her door takes on new meaning years later.

Producer: Vanna Tran with help from Kate Nelson
Featuring: Linda Paulson
Music: Alex Fitch (We Call this Home, Secret Place), Chris Zabriskie (Cylinder Six, It’s Always Too Late to Start Over), Broke for Free (Love is Not)

Image courtesy of Kate Nelson


Story 6: Just a Little Bit of Sweat

Emily Polk went to Buduburam refugee camp to teach journalism. But one newspaper photo ended up teaching the most memorable lesson of all.

Producer: Hadley Reid
Featuring: Emily Polk
Music: Gillicuddy (Fudge, A Garden and a Rose ) Martin R, Original music by Man of Suit (Breathing Rhythm, Diagnosis)

Image courtesy of Emily Polk


When you lose something, there’s a hole where that something used to be, and you have to figure out how to live with that loss. The emptiness will always be there, but what can you gain from trying to fill it? What can be gained from losing? This episode has four stories about people who lose something, and then seek new things to fill the emptiness. A lifelong dream gets derailed by a butterfly knife, an athlete’s passion for her sport crumbles after an injury, a girl searches for something she isn’t really sure she wants to find, and a woman slowly loses her ability to hear.


Host: Jackson Roach

Producers: Jackson Roach, with help from Jonathan Kleiman, Will Rogers, Nina Foushee, Jake Warga, Christy Hartman, Claire Schoen and Jonah Willihnganz

Featuring: Owen O Súilleabháin, Gabriel Lomeli, Amabel Stokes, Julia Berkson, Mitch Berkson, Olivia Berkson, Claire Richards, Daniela Roop, Jody Louise

Music: All music in this episode originally composed by Owen Ó Súilleabháin

Image via Flickr

Release Date: 20 January 2016


Story 1: Hole-Hearted

When a policeman stopped Gabe Lomeli on the street, he thought he had nothing to hide, but that one interaction would shift the course of his dreams.

Producer: Maddie Chang with help from Will Rogers

Featuring: Gabriel Lomeli

Image via Flickr


Story 2: Getting Off Track

As a successful track athlete, Amabel Stokes has crossed many finish lines. In this story, she learns to move beyond the red tape.

Producer: Justine Beed

Featuring: Amabel Stokes

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Story 3: An Eventful Brunch

A lovely meal in a small mountain villa is interrupted by a stumbling man with his hand tight against his stomach. Everyone spends the rest of the morning frantically searching for something they’re not sure they want to find.

Producer: Maddy Berkson with help from Nina Foushee, Jackson Roach, and Jonathan Kleiman

Featuring: Julia Berkson, Mitch Berkson, Olivia Berkson, Claire Richards, Daniela Roop

Image via Flickr


Story 4: Forgiveness

Dr. Fred Luskin, founder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, shares his story of loss, and how he learned to move forward.

Producers: Jake Warga, Emma Heath, Jon Kleiman

Featuring: Dr. Fred Luskin

Image via Geograph


Story 5: Sound by Sound

In her twenties, Jody Louise started to lose her hearing, and her doctors couldn’t figure out why.

Producer: Jackson Roach with help from Maya Lorey

Featuring: Jody Louise

Image via Wikimedia Commons