Prologue: Host Ira Glass talks with science writer Paul Hoffman about a mathematician named Frank Nelson Cole, who demonstrated a groundbreaking idea at a conference in 1903. Paul explains that in addition to their celebrated breakthroughs, many of the greatest thinkers in history have entertained some very crazy ideas. Paul is the author of many books including The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, and is director of the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey.
One day a successful cancer researcher named Jonathan Brody gave a talk at his alma mater, about how people in his field need to think outside the box if they're going to find a cure. Afterward Jonathan's old music teacher Anthony Holland shared an idea that was way out of the box: Killing cancer cells with sound waves. Gabriel Rhodes tells what happened next. Gabriel is also working on a documentary film version of this story, called The Cure.