Our favorite content of the week, wrapped up in one audio-licious program. This week, author Chuck Klosterman defines villainy, the Cronut craze catches a Harvard researcher's eye, head transplants are given an examination, robots roll into vinyards, and a pair of hard-partying vegetarians share their take on potato salad (spoiler alert: it's got Doritos in it!)
You know those individually wrapped chocolates that you find in office candy jars and Halloween sacks ? Turns out, the troublesome need to unwrap chocolates makes them hard to eat in certain settings, like the car, which is why some years back, Hershey released Reese’s Minis, small, resealable bags of candy designed to be snarfed on the go.
The growing emergence of self-portraits – “selfies” – shows no signs of stopping its domination of the social media sphere. By 2012, 86% of the U.S. population had a cell phone. Moreover, research indicates that six out of every ten women use their mobile devices to take self-portraits, most of which end up on Facebook. Narcissism, egotism and vanity are commonly associated with these snapshots – but our guest, Dr.Pamela Rutledge, argues that “selfies” are important, and expand on a rich history of self-portraiture. Pamela is the director of the Media Psychology Research Center.
The shock and horror of the Boston marathon explosions one week ago today gave way to an almost incomprehensible sequence of events leading to a dramatic day-long dragnet that shut a major American city and several surrounding neighborhoods down. Now, with one suspect dead and his younger brother in critical condition at a Boston hospital, citizens and media alike are grappling to fill in motivations and create narratives that we can understand. Among the most combed-over questions is whether 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev somehow radicalized his popular, athletic, seemingly well-adjusted 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar.
They may not be able to dream or feel emotion, but a recent study suggests that robots do a better job of getting accurate witness statements than their human counterparts. Cindy Bethel, is an assistant professor at Mississippi State University that specializes in human-robot interaction and the lead author of a study recently covered by The New Scientist. Also joining us is Deborah Eakin, the psychologist on the project.
Patrick Radden Keefe'sstunning investigation into mass shooter Amy Bishop's past has gone hyper-viral. The New Yorker writer joins us to talk about Bishop's 1986 shooting of her younger brother, and how family dynamics may have played into her 2010 murder of three colleagues at the University of Alabama.
Later this week 110 members of the New Hampshire Army National Guard will mobilize in support of combat operations in Afghanistan. The 237th Military Police Company will train in Texas for several months before departing to Khost Province.
77 of the soldiers are deploying for the first time. But others are on their second and third; one is one his fifth deployment.
It’s those repeated deployments that have been a signature of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – and a researcher at UNH, they could take a toll on servicemembers’ families.
The recent and somewhat controversial changes to the manual to diagnose mental illness, also known as the DSM-5, will become official later this spring. Edits to the manual are based around an evolving understanding of mental disorders, which historically, haven’t always been accurate. A shocking diagnosis took hold at the height of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s, when thousands of young black men were arrested at protests and sent to the Ionia State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Michigan, where they were systematically diagnosed with schizophrenia.
We spoke with Linda Rodriguez McRobbie about the history of boredom. Not surprisingly, scientists avoided studying the subject until the last century. Studies suggest that boredom can lead to depression and other adverse health conditions, even death.
Adjusted for inflation, the Bond series is the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, pulling in more than five billion dollars to date. Skyfall – 007’s 25th outing – took in 87.8- million dollars this past weekend ; it was the highest domestic opening ever for a Bond film.
In a new book, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores how we reach different moral judgments about the same issue. Haidt says we join groups to reinforce these judgments, and this "groupishness" contributed to the survival of our species, but it has also been cause for fierce divisiveness. Haidt says there’s another option: mutual understanding and respect.
In 1968, L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, declared as the result of a scientific experiment an unusual and disturbing notion: that tomatoes scream when sliced. However strange his declaration may have seemed, Hubbard is in good company when it comes to prodding garden produce in search of an emotional response.