Kai Ryssdal

Host and senior editor

SHORT BIO

I speak my native tongue into a microphone.

What was your first job?

Lifeguard. (Well, that and mowing lawns.)

What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?

Staying calm.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?

Don't think — just talk.

In your next life, what would your career be?

Helicopter pilot.

Latest Stories (5,406)

Using “queuing theory” to understand supply chain logjams

Nov 16, 2021
"We can use some fancy math to predict how long the line will get," Keely Croxton of Ohio State says, then apply it to related problems.
According to logistics expert Keely Croxton, the mathematical formulas that explain wait times at an ATM can be applied to global supply chains.
Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

Congress' budget gurus may slow down Biden’s Build Back Better plan

Nov 11, 2021
Zach Moller talks about what a Congressional Budget Office score is and how it affects legislation.
Democratic lawmakers are waiting for the Congressional Budget Office analysis of their proposal to expand the nation's social safety net.
Win McNamee via Getty Images

"We simply must pay our bills": Janet Yellen on debt, inflation, infrastructure and what the economy needs

Nov 9, 2021
The Treasury secretary doesn't see a 1970s-style inflation shock on the horizon. "The Federal Reserve wouldn’t permit that to happen."
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Glasgow, Scotland, last week for the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

What does it mean for a company to be "water-positive"?

Nov 5, 2021
Journalist Amanda Schupak explains how companies like PepsiCo are trying to put more water into the environment than they take out.
The Atchafalaya River in Louisiana is plagued by a buildup of dirt, sand and silt. As some water sources face stress, some companies have pledged to strengthen them.
Drew Angerer via Getty Images

He's growing his business during a labor shortage. "I'm optimistic."

Nov 3, 2021
R.G. Lamar of Stuckey's Corp. bought pecan-shelling and candymaking facilities in rural Georgia. There's demand, but not enough workers.
R.G. Lamar on his pecan farm in 2018.
Daisy Palacios/Marketplace

The origin of the U.S. debt ceiling

Nov 2, 2021
Congress is once again considering raising the debt limit. When did that start?
A sign at a Washington, D.C., bus stop showed the amount of the national debt on Oct. 25. The clock is ticking on another debt ceiling agreement to prevent a default.
Julie Chabanas/AFP via Getty Images

What will the clean energy transition look like?

Oct 28, 2021
The road to a clean, affordable and reliable power grid won’t be straightforward.
"If you look at where wind and solar need to be placed in this country, it's mainly in the Midwest, and your demand centers are on the coasts," said Gary Kruse, managing director of research at Arbo.
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

How a container storage yard fits into our global shipping crunch

Oct 27, 2021
Some containers have been sitting in storage for years. Experts say the problem has more to do with moving them to the right places than increasing the number in circulation.
Sales manager Carlos Carrillo at ConGlobal Industries' container storage depot. After unloading, he said, "they terminate here before they go out back to China or wherever it may be.”
Andie Corban/Marketplace

Is ESG investing really socially responsible?

Oct 25, 2021
Emily Stewart of Vox says some socially responsible investments might not be what investors think they are.
Emily Stewart, a senior reporter at Vox, argues that government regulation may be needed to ensure that ESG investments live up to their name.
DNY59 via Getty Images

Is racist housing policy the real villain in "Candyman"?

Oct 21, 2021
Brentin Mock of Bloomberg CityLab says Candyman represents what bad, racist housing policy created and what gentrification tries to erase.
A crew demolishes part of Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project in 2011. The site, which now hosts luxury apartments and high-end shops, is the setting for the horror film "Candyman."
Scott Olson via Getty Images