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Back in 2003, Bel­gium was hold­ing a nation­al elec­tion. One of their first where the votes would be cast and count­ed on com­put­ers. Thou­sands of hours of prepa­ra­tion went into mak­ing it unhack­able. And when the day of the vote came, every­thing seemed to have gone well. That was, until a cos­mic chain of events caused a sin­gle bit to flip and called the out­come into question.

Today on Radi­o­lab, we trav­el from a vot­ing booth in Brus­sels to the dri­ver’s seat of a run­away car in the Car­oli­na’s, explor­ing the mas­sive effects tiny bits of star­dust can have on us unwit­ting humans.