Someone on Twitter called the 2006 show titled, "Musical Language" the single best episode of Radiolab ever. I don't know about that, but it is certainly very awesome.
And from a parent's perspective it is a must-listen. There's a bit about why every human in the world uses that sing-songy language to talk to babies. And then there's the part about how our kids could all have perfect pitch if only they were exposed at ages 6-12 months to a tonal language, like, say, Mandarin:
Here we have a faculty that had been thought to be confined to a few rare individuals who were thought to just be extraordinarily gifted, that might, in fact, be available to any individual, provided they're given the right exposure, at a critical period. And that raises the question of what other sorts of abilities could be brought out if we only knew just what to do. There may be much more human potential than we realized.When cultural historians trace the origins of Tribeca's Chinese-speaking nanny trend, they will find Jad Abumrad sitting there waiting for them with a Confucius-like smile on his face.