This hour we talk to Sydney Padua, author and illustrator of The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer (Pantheon, April 2015). In this graphic novel with lengthy, tongue-in-cheek footnotes, Padua reimagines the lives of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, who worked on prototypes for the first “computer” in the 1830s. Senior editor Kristen Majewski tells the story of the girl who posed for the famous Degas sculpture, Little Dancer, and staff writer Josh Hrala takes us on a tour of pranks throughout history. Plus, we hear a bird call that sounds like . . . a Star Wars laser gun?

Music this hour:

  • Elle va au Japon” by Nic Bommarito, from the album A Quiet Age
  • about u” by Jahzzar, from the album Sketches