Current Weather
The Spy FM

If these walls could talk (a plumbing story from Radiolab)

Filed by KOSU News in Public Insight Network.
November 9, 2012

Sometimes journalists find story ideas in interesting places. Like the bottom of a bathtub.

Radiolab blogger Latif Nasser wrote a piece this week¬†– featuring a source from the Public Insight Network — that came about after a plumber snaked the tub in his small, one-bedroom apartment. While the plumber was at his house working, Nasser found he couldn’t stop himself from asking about the man’s job.

The plumber told him to think of his house as he would a person. It was moment of epiphany. “The structure I call home is also alive in its way,” he wrote, “and constantly pulsating with energy and flow.”

Here’s a snippet from Nasser’s post:

Think of a house like a person, he told me.

The wooden frame is the skeleton, and the water pump is the heart. The electrical wiring acts as nerves, the plumbing circulates, and the septic and waste lines flush out the system. Most importantly, though, are the pipes: the veins and arteries and capillaries. They’re the lifelines of the body.

So a blockage in one part of the house, this philosophizing pony-tailed plumber told me, is like a blood clot — a seemingly tiny problem that can wreak havoc on the entire system. Everything is connected. Which is why a blockage way off in the caverns between the buildings could affect me.

Radiolab is looking for interesting takes on other professions like this. You can share your ideas on their post, or email them to

Powered by WPeMatico

One Response to “If these walls could talk (a plumbing story from Radiolab)”

  1. Pipes are the lifeline of a home :-)

Leave a Reply

2PM to 3PM PRI's The World

PRI's The World

Get a fresh perspective of people, events and trends that shape our world. Host Lisa Mullins covers a wide range of topics, including science, business, technology, sports, art and music.

Listen Live Now!

3PM to 6PM All Things Considered

All Things Considered

For two hours every weekday, All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present the program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features.

View the program guide!

6PM to 7PM Marketplace


Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine of business and economics.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center