Word of Mouth
1:07 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

8.20.14: NASCAR's Concussion Problem, Artificial Wombs & The History And Future Of Clowns

Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

NASCAR drivers can reach speeds of 200 plus miles per hour. Remarkably, when wrecks occur, drivers overwhelmingly survive the accidents, but they don’t always walk away unscathed. On today’s show: concussions in NASCAR, and the challenges drivers face after the smoke clears. We'll also talk to a futurist about ectogenesis, or artificial wombs. Often referenced in science fiction, the idea of children being grown outside of a mother's body is inching closer to reality. Plus, earlier this year, the New York Daily News reported that the U.S. is in grave danger of a clown shortage. We head to a clown convention to find out why membership is down, but why clowns are unlikely to completely disappear. 

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


NASCAR Concussions

A Historic Look At Somnambulism or Sleepwalking

The Artificial Womb

  • Science fiction has long imagined babies gestating  – from conception to delivery – in a lab, and artificial wombs may soon become a reality. Zoltan Istvan is a futurist, philosopher, journalist and author. He wrote about the science and the ethics of artificial wombs – or ectogenesis, as the technology is formally called - for Motherboard.
  • His most recent book is "The Transhumanist Wager."

The Future of Clowns

  •  Is there any truth to the impending clown shortage? Leigh Cowart traveled to a clown convention to find out for herself. Her article “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Clowns” appeared in Buzzfeed
  • Leigh also spoke with us about the passing of Robin Williams.

The Day The Clowns Cried

  • Maureen Krekian shares a heartbreaking story via StoryCorps about the day she survived a tragic fire under the big top in Hartford, Connecticut.

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