Science

Science news

The average person has about 4,000 thoughts a day. Most are fleeting snippets, some are banal, and sometimes, they can be disruptive. But when most people question whether they left the coffee maker or imagine something bizarre like jumping out into traffic, they shake it off. A person with OCD though can’t let it go, and may spend as many as 6 hours a day obsessing over that one idea. Friday, Doug’s guest is the science writer David Adam. He’s written a book about OCD and his own life lost in thought. (Rebroadcast)

Why Men Fight

Jun 2, 2015
Gilberto Tadday

  When a mixed martial arts studio moved in across the street from literary scholar Jonathan Gottschall’s office, the timing couldn’t have been better. Gottschall was in a mid-life crisis; he was out of shape and his academic career was stalling. So joining the gym was personal, but he was also fascinated by these questions: Why do men fight and why do we like to watch? Tuesday, Gottschall joins Doug to talk about his experience in the cage, and about violence and the rituals that contain it.

Can everyone be creative? The psychologist James Kaufman says yes, with a caveat. Not many people are going to be a Mozart or a Frida Kahlo. But you can nurture your creative side, and research shows it can make you happier, funnier, and even sexier. Thursday, we’re kicking off a series of short #creativeutah challenges in partnership with the Utah Arts Festival. Kaufman will join us to explain what science says about our creative potential. (Hint: it does require follow-through and hard work.)

The New Wild

May 19, 2015
"Tamarisk Forest" by Rachel Zurer, CC via Flickr

  When journalist Fred Pearce set out to write a book about the role invasive species play in our environment, he imagined it would be about the havoc they cause. What he found surprised him though. He says the horror stories are overblown and that these resourceful plants and animals are often responding to the damage that humans have wrought. They push their way through concrete and thrive in pollution. Tuesday, Pearce joins Doug to explain why he says invasive species could be nature’s salvation.

Ray Troll, www.trollart.com

For centuries, wild salmon runs around the world have been disappearing, due largely to industrial development and dam construction. So when you see salmon on a restaurant menu, it’s likely the meat came from a fish farm. Filmmaker and fisherman Mark Titus went on a personal journey to learn what’s happening to America’s salmon and figure out what can be done to restore them and their waters to better health. He joins us Tuesday to talk about his new documentary about the future of wild salmon.

Vitamania

May 11, 2015
Rob via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/18Grio7

To many people, the term “vitamin” is shorthand for “health,” and so the more vitamins we consume, the healthier we’ll be. But what exactly do the 13 dietary chemicals we call vitamins actually do for our bodies? And how much of each vitamin do we need? The journalist Catherine Price went looking for answers to these basic questions. What she learned undermines much of what we thought we knew about nutrition. She joins us Monday to talk about our quest for better health through nutrition perfection.

Natural Born Heroes

May 7, 2015

  Thursday, our guest is journalist Christopher McDougall who wrote the book that kicked off the barefoot running movement. While he was writing, McDougall came across the story of a Greek foot messenger who accomplished remarkable athletic feats during World War II. It got him thinking about what makes a hero, and he learned it’s not chance and you don’t have to be superhuman. McDougall is in Utah and joins us to explore how normal people can develop their natural skills to be ready in a crisis.

Alpha God

Apr 28, 2015

  For some, God is a violent and fearsome deity. It's an idea used to justify atrocities and oppression committed in His name. The psychologist Hector Garcia says that we have created this God in our own image, and to understand Him, we first have to understand how our own psychology has evolved over eons. Tuesday, Garcia joins Doug to talk about the way humanity's quest for evolutionary success resulted in an "Alpha God" who is more a reflection of us than we are of Him.

In an online video, biomechanist Katy Bowman guides a tour of her home. It’s a lot of the usual stuff, but what’s missing is all the furniture. Katy and her family don’t have a couch or recliners or even chairs at the kitchen table. That’s so they have every possible opportunity for physical movement, which is a central idea of Bowman’s philosophy. She wants people to improve their health and their well being by exercising less and moving more and better. She joins us Monday to explain how and why.

Nature Needs Half

Apr 8, 2015

For centuries, humans have used technology to alter the planet, with dramatic consequences for the environment. Some think technology can also be used to manage our way out of these problems. It’s an approach that places humans at the center of everything. But conservationist Harvey Locke builds his work around a different idea: we do not control the world; we are part of it. Locke advocates a "wiser" relationship with nature, and Wednesday, he joins Doug in studio to talk about his goal to conserve half the world’s land and water.

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