20 Episode results for "Lindsey Lazar"

Why We Exercise

The Pulse

48:44 min | 10 months ago

Why We Exercise

"Major funding for the pulses provided by leadership. Gift from the Sutherland family. The Sutherland support. WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve improve our quality of life. This this is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of Health and science. I'm Mike and Scott a couple of years ago. I talked to this Guy Steve Clark. After he finished dead last in America on it took him seven hours and twenty minutes. I guess it was pretty clear early on that. He wasn't wasn't the fastest runner. I see this guy with a sign reads two knee replacements on his back because he passing in front of me. So I get a little demoralized. But but he kept going. He fell so far behind the other runners that for the last long stretch of the race he was basically just limping ahead of the street sweepers. His friend had told him to take on. A mantra purrs with something like my heart is strong. My mind is strong my body strong and I just kept saying to myself. Just just. Let's get there. Just don't die you know God. Don't let me die. That's pretty much be in every single exercise class. I ever take I'm thinking. Don't let me die on this map on this bike or a treadmill or whatever I just WanNa finish because being done is the part that feels good. Would I exercise because I think I have to to stay strong and so I can still shoes when I'm eighty but some people seem to genuinely you love exercise like this crew here. They are part of the November project. It's these big groups workouts. That happen all over the country. Type feel free to jump in and it's free for everybody in Philadelphia. They meet early in the morning by the art museum. You we know famous rocky steps about one. Hundred people are running up and down the steps all sizes all ages. They stopped for pushups or Burke's is there slapping each other high fives. It's a little bit chaotic. Some people bring their dogs but seems like everybody's having a ball so I ask people. Why do you do this? Mental Health for me anxiety really. It helps absolutely greet since a community in a fun way to start the day. It feels great. You know what keeps me young. I like working out with people ought ages from all different parts of the city mood agility Liddy pals strengths and let's face it maybe a dose of Vanity on this episode. We explore why we exercise why we should work out and how to do it best. Let's start with running. Maybe you like to get on a treadmill and just zone out. I liked the treadmill because it allows for solitary exercise. Yeah you could put your headphones folds closure is and you can just go for it or maybe you prefer to run outside in nature either way. It seems like you have to really work hard to become A good runner but when jets Lehman looked into running as exercise he found that we humans are perhaps really born to run whose faster man or horse. That was the topic of discussion at a hotel in Wales in this town called. And how do you say that name again. The name of the town. The town Samuel stood wells. It's tiny a main road surrounded by stone cottages surrounded by mountains only about eight hundred residents. Mike Thomas is is one of them and he tells me the story. There was a discussion debate arguments in the local hotel between the landlord and the concern about whether a man on foot could be quicker than amount on horseback over the very wild terrain of the southern Cumbrian Mountains there these lush rolling hills and ridges of green and darker green along Lord Fallacy Amman to run a horse because of the difficulty of the terrain announcement. Huntsman said. The no way host would win every time they decided to put into the chest that was in one thousand nine hundred eighty today. Thousands flocked to the town's annual man man versus Horse Marathon. Mike helps organize it. Similar competitions have since sprung up. All over. Dan Lieberman ran one in Prescott Arizona a few two years ago he just started running and he was worried he would end up breaking a promise. I have to tell you I was pretty depressed. I had promised my daughter I would like beat at least one in horse. That was my goal and yeah right away. That didn't seem so likely because in the first few miles the horses quickly pass all the humans and and you think this it is impossible. There's no way I'm ever GONNA catch up to those horses because they disappear rapidly into the distant. Dan Isn't some Olympic athlete. And and I'm not a great runner. I'm I'm an okay render but nobody. I've never won anything you know. I'm not a middle-aged professor a middle aged Harvard professor of paleoanthropology running is actually his focus. The way we've run and why we've come to run that way. The Arizona Race is a twenty two mile trail. Run Up and over a mountain fountain. I think they were forty. One runs in fifty three horses. We all start together. I mean they start the humans in the horses. A little bit They don't seem quite the same time so that the don't get trampled by horses in the forty some years since man I faced Horse in Wales a human has run faster than the fastest horse. Only only twice both times were with elite athletes but remember. Dan didn't promise to beat the fastest horse. Just any old horse. As the morning went on on it got hotter and hotter and I got up and up and up and up at about mile nineteen or so he came up on a horse then. I passed it after what happened next next. Daniel can't fully explain when I when I passed that first horse there was some some switch got flipped in my brain and I didn't know even existed and tonight there were some. I just had to beat those horses running downhill. He passed more of them on the flat open plane in the final stretch. It was a dead heat between him and two horses. He took the lead then. They took it back. He'd dig deep and catch up. All three were exhausted. Ten legs between Wean Them. He approached the finish line and crossed. I I think I was the I think I beat all thirteen of the horses. which you know made? I've never been so happy in my entire life. Particularly fast horse took first place but Daniel left others in the dust and really. He shouldn't have been so surprised. He's studied human running for years so intellectually he knows us. Humans are actually among the best distance runners in the world we have features that are literally from our heads to our toes that enable humans to be really good runners. So what is it about our bodies that makes us these really good runners. What's going non? I reached out to David Rue the AC I may sports medicine physician. I have a special interest in taking care of endurance athletes especially runners. He he works with the University of Virginia's speed clinic. He says first off. We're natural born runners. People have their best running form when they're younger and and our kids. And then things these things kind of go downhill as they get older. We pick up bad habits over time and that might not matter if you only run to catch the bus but for athletes looking looking for perfection. DISPEAT- clinic has advanced treadmill with pressure sensors surrounded by Three D. imaging. David isn't all that surprised. Humans the even middle aged academic type. Humans can beat horses in a long distance race. He breaks it down for me. Humans actually have a longer stride than horses so we get longer distance per step. If that doesn't sound right to you don't think seabiscuit at full gallop. The stride seems super wide when you think about the gap between the front legs and the back instead. Think dressage here is the host of talking about the nine year old that weird the course dancing sport where riders have their horses. Take these elegant steps and skips usually to music look at the space between the a two front legs the space between their two back legs. There's actually not much of a gap horses. Just have four legs and they they have shorter quicker strides but but the longer strive makes us a little bit more efficient. So they've done. Studies and courses can run at seven point seven meters per second kind of top speed for about ten minutes and then they have to slow down to about five point. Eight meters per second whereas elite marathoners can jog at six meters per second for hours. First and then there's the way we breeze most running mammals have the cycle of basically run a step. You take breathy run a step you take a breath. He says it's not very efficient whereas humans we typically we have a wide variety of of how we breathe when we run but typically were at the two to one strides to breath ratio. You can stretch out that breath to stride ratio pretty far far enough to see remember. Remember the scene from full metal jacket as marines run in formation. David says it's partly a product of the way we run on two legs upright. Most animals. Don't have that going for them. Take the Humble Cheetah they are the fastest mammal on earth And and for example when they run their internal organs all kind of slosh around and they tend to slam forward against their lungs. Each breath So each time they their front foot hits the ground their internal organs hit their lungs and they a force out air out of their lungs. There's two other really important. Bits of equipment. We have other animals. Don't I long Achilles tendons. It's basically could be a rubber band or a spring. So as as we as we land that tends to shorten and store up kinetic energy and then as we start to push off off during our running form it it releases that energy and propels us forward and then there's our big old butts. Big Gluteus Maximus Mrs so big butts. We derive an enormous amount of power from our butts. You can feel this inaction when you run if you want but you'll look kind of weird doing I mean what I what I would tell people as you know. Put your hand on your but when you walk in and see if you feel it. Activating mostly most often the not you. It's not really firing while you're walking but when you run it starts to kick on and stabilize our hips. There's the feet that dissipates energy. Our Big Toe that helps anchor and Dr but at least as important as mechanical advantages is the way we cool off which is uniquely human and tied to our skin. One of the the most obvious things that makes humans different is that we are skin looks very different rights. You can very easily distinguish a human from a chimp. That's Yana Camber. Number of. She's a geneticist who folks onto specific human traits human sweaty mess and for our listeners. She's also a big fan of these human against course distance running competitions. Have you seen a little bit. Yeah well actually I was really proud of I was really. We just amazed it or our potential because I always imagined that you know in the natural world. We just sucked it. Everything think we don't have claws or Gills. We can't fly a horse hands down. I have no chance turns out though I can just keep going. Oh the race long enough. Yana will have a chance for one. Because the horse will get overheated faster than she will will. Yana doesn't have any for getting in the way of air flow to the skin and she's got a great many of a certain type of sweat gland throughout her skin. Chimps are close relatives. I have them too. But the density of glands is ten times lower in any essentially regionally the body than it is in humans they have the same density of those glances macaque which is a vastly really small primate macaques. Are Those screechy little things with pink faces. They're only about twenty inches tall. Yana is trying to find the genetic root uh of our furnace and are sweaty nece. What mutation or mutations wear in our history caused what she says she's actually getting pretty close to figuring it out but really really? We don't know for certain why humans are the way we are not just with skin and sweat but with many of our great running features. Dan Our our Harvard Paleo anthropologist who is faster than at least some horses has an idea. You know I've I've spent years trying to think of alternative explanations explanations and and none of them hold any water other than that. It has something to do with hunting. There is a competing hypothesis that are running. Ability is what's called an emergent phenomenon that all these running attributes evolved individually for other purposes. And it just turns out when you combine big butts and Sweat Sweat Glands and Standing Upright Whoa you get a marathoner just as a lucky bonus. But Dan doesn't buy that. How did we? How do we become come come carnivores without being able to run right? We're not like pythons. That can kill. Kill animals by with Venom. We can't jump out of trees You know and kill kill things a running. Dan says there's evidence we were somehow killing and eating big animals around two million years ago and we did it without any real technology so the bow and Arrow was invented. Like one hundred thousand years ago Just putting a point on the end of spear like stone point that was invented anted less than five hundred thousand years ago instead of bow and Arrow hunting. He says we had what's called persistence hunting. So what happens is that you chase the animal it heats up and hides and then and then you have to track it and find it again if you can find it and start chasing it again before it's cooled down. You can start to close the distance eventually over time and and it usually seems to take at least in the Kalahari for example it takes between thirteen to twenty five kilometers savings on average. So it's like a half marathon distance Mr. There's actually documentary footage of this hunt happening in modern times at the end. The animal just kind of sits down completely spent it's close Cadet Speth row now discussing more than a symbolic gesture. That kind of hunting was recently outlawed to protect game. Amy and Dan says he doesn't know of anywhere else where pure persistence. Hunting is still done these days. A lot of US actually live pretty sedentary lives. We don't run to survive anymore. So what do we do with this superpower. I'd probably never ran more than five miles in my life until we published that paper. And then I. I started getting invited to go to marathon conferences. And he's talking about his first big paper on human running and the adaptations behind it and I caught the bug and and and and since then I've become a really addicted Runner Dan discovered running. Even if it's not to catch our next meal can be just plain fun five. I've really come to love it and just now part of who I am from our big toes to our big butts running maybe a part of who all of us are for for the pulse jet slamming. We're talking about exercise. Why do we do who it I recently went to event were six of the Apollo astronaut spoke Buzz Aldrin? They were all well over eighty and it was just amazing to see how fit. They were climbing up on stage walking with ease sending coming up straight. That's how we want to age right but often life seems to get in the way. I talked to Tony Reid. He's a sports medicine physician at Temple University University. It's seemingly we wake up one morning. Saying are mid Seventy S and when we been down to tire shoes. We get dizzy and wobbly. We're we find that we can't reach our feet anymore. Tie Shoes while it seems like that happened overnight that stuff that builds up slowly over time after the age of thirty eighty we start to lose lean tissue the body fat percentage usually rises muscles atrophy. Bones lose some of their minerals and can get weaker leaker. Our balance gets worse. Blood vessels and arteries stiffen. The heart has to work harder. Tony says regular exercise can help reduce or prevent many of these issues maintaining your flexibility. Either through something like Yoga Pilates Tai Chi or even just simple core stabilization exercises where maintaining muscle strength early on and beginning the process early in your thirties forties fifties to be able to maintain that muscle mass and just remaining active the earlier in life. We do all of that the less likely we are to have that happen suddenly in our mid Seventies. But even if you're already in your sixties even if you're already in your seventies frankly even if you're already in nineties it's never too late so I guess a lot of times. When younger we focus on the beach body for the season and and losing a couple of pounds and this and that? But it's really the long game we're playing. It's a little bit of everything. Yes there are people out there that focus on the short gain and Those same people are going to have some long term benefits from that naturally without even being focused there there are others that focus on shortly long game and not so worried about what they look like in a bathing suit today but more worried about what they look like alive and healthy in their sixties and seventies. What's a good plan if I want want to exercise with an eye toward aging well and being strong being able to tie my shoes what do I do? What I'll say now is particularly geared towards the ageing and the elderly but it applies to everyone moving more throughout the day and sitting less hundred fifty minutes of exercise At a minimum per week of moderate intensity exercise now moderate intensity is if you think about you know zero to ten scale of how hard you're working it's about six it is. I can talk in sentences maybe short sentences. But I can't sing. You WanNA spread that over a couple of times a week You you also want to add in strength training at least twice a week and you want to add a little bit of flexibility training flexibility. Focus daily if you can now the most modern recommendations on that is that you WANNA do women at least ten minute increments so when you get up and walk you get up and run you get up and do whatever exercise exercise. You're doing do it for at least ten minutes. What's the importance of weightlifting for women? I hear a lot about that but I don't see a lot of women in the Jim doing the weights honestly. Yeah and it's really important from a calcium perspective bone loss happens in women more quickly than a dozen men particularly after menopause. And when you start to have that calcium depletion and that bone loss you start to get a weakness of the bones more likelihood of Broken bones fractures. Doing the strength training helps replenish the calcium. Because it causes increased resistance in the bones that causes calcium to come in and lay down it also makes the muscles stronger to help support the bones more than what they would if they were weaker And so we see it in booth sexist both men and women but we see it more in women in part because of the physiologic changes that occur in women getting into the habit of exercising can be challenging. I think I started doing a regular practice of exercising. Let's say six or seven years ago and still every we day. I'm like Oh do I have to do this have to do. I really have to do this all the time. It's never become something where I'm like Yay. I'm going to exercise. So what helps people like me. Who really have to drag themselves out? There were and I'll give you an analogy. A lot of people feel that way about work And I have a feeling that what we do. Is We equate. Exercise to work in that is not something that we necessarily always want want to do. It's something that we have to my suggestion to. People is always defined the activity. That you enjoy And so we talk about swimming a lot. It's really one of the most recommended activities just because of all the benefits. It's a total body workout. It's a weightless environment armament great exercise. Unless you hate swimming then it becomes work and in those cases that I recommend people that they do cycling or some form of an herb growing growing kind of thing. If they don't like those we move onto something different and we were always looking for. What is it that you enjoy? And there's something out there for everyone. It's it's just a matter of finding the right one and it will pay off absolutely. Tony Reed is chief medical officer at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. Oh and he's also a sports medicine physician. I Mike Can Scott. Were talking about exercise why we work out and why we should. What do you do for Exercise Margie? Ferris a mom of three likes to punch the heavy bag at Moi Thai class in West Philadelphia. Her four month old daughter usually comes along. Takes a nap in a carrier nearby. And Margie alternates between rounds of Midland kicks and Jabs or just to get it out at the end of the day and punch stuff. He's really good I like that I can turn off my brain and let my body go and just I think think just by ninety do it has to do this. Kind of exercise for women like kickboxing or crawfish or weightlifting. Even just exercising sizing in a public place would have been unthinkable not that long ago. Lindsey Lazar ski takes a look at the history of women's fitness picture. This it was the nineteen forties and a new kind of salon was popping up not for your hair but for your body in lowering and women across America it. It seems that I feel helped to win the war. You'll still have another battle on your hands. Makes things the battle of the budget and here are some of the Litas mechanized units on maneuvers maneuver. These places were called reducing salons and figure spas where contraptions whittled away women's waistlines were smoothed smoothed out. Those unsightly lumps dimples their machines. And you see women standing in them in high heels. Natalia Melman Petrella she's a self described gym rat and historian at the new school in New York City. You want to look like a CNN. You'll bald the stream liner and away you go to health unhappiness cubs Iraq Natalia. Tally is working on a new book. About exercise culture. In America she says at the time exercise was inextricably tied to beauty. Fitness was about how you look not not about what you could do. They were predicated on the idea. That what you wanted to do was yes work on your body. So that's something. We still have with us today but the ads all said things like relaxing luxurious comfort. No sweating whatsoever and the idea was through technology that women I'm in could still be ladies and not be like grunting and sweating you. And they could relax and have their bodies kind of worked on Basically like passive of exercise and next to beauty salons early group fitness classes sprang up. We're women did stretching and light circulation exercises by the nineteen fifties. These there was a cultural shift. It was the Cold War. Americans were moving to the suburbs and enjoying modern comforts. Like big cars drive. throughs washing machines an strollers but worthies new luxuries making Americans Chubby or week what. JFK called the soft American. The soft American is is flabby of body and thus of mind and thus as a citizen and so you see this big initiative by the federal government beginning with Eisenhower but it really really picks up with Kennedy to kind of make exercise normal make exercise desirable make exercise be part of being a full all citizen and a full person in a way that absolutely had not before and that included women in the Nineteen Fifties California bodybuilder capitalized at that moment. Now here's a man who will show you how to build better look better Jack Blow Lane before Jacqueline Lane invented. The power juicer or became an infomercial regular. He was known as the Godfather of fitness. Jack Llewellyn started like really the first exercise television show and he funded out of his own pocket because nobody believed anybody would watch exercise on TV. They were soon very surprised. How would you like a good movement to help to firm up the the right along in here Would you put your hands on the hips. I'll take your left leg extended right out of the side. Ready Begin one two three four one two three at the end of the things that Jacqueline did is. He created an an exercise program for women that actually required them to put away whatever they were doing at home their chores and to do exercise with him and that sounds like a minor thing but it was kind of. I would say the beginning of like exercises me time for women and that's still very much relevant today that it wasn't just TV. They'd watch while they were iron or washing the dishes but rather it's dedicated kidded time for them shows like this ushered in the age of workout videos. DVD's and fitness gurus who had become celebrities in their own right and then by the late sixty s there was a new craze town. Cardio the introduction of the idea that cardio was not only a good form of exercise but that people bulls should be doing this for their heart health for their appearance. That really changed the game. In terms of exercise the idea came from Kenneth Cooper he was a physician and colonel in the Air Force. He coined the term aerobics and wrote a book of the same name that became an international sensation. If you have a fitbit and are aiming for those ten thousand steps every day. That's Cooper his book people to throw on a pair of rubber soled shoes and Jog as kind of easy it is to just go outside and go go jogging. I don't WanNA underplay how weird it was and you see. Articles like newspaper articles talking about like joggers spotted on the street. which should we do about this awesome? There's like a few towns who want to issue tickets if you're seeing jogging or should you need a permit to go jogging. And so it really did look strange especially for women win but soon another option emerged around the same time. A young dance instructor in Chicago noticed something that sparked an idea. Judy Shepard Cassatt saw all these women who would watch their daughters have dance class and was like they could be doing something to judy created jazzercise. An upbeat beat workout. That mixes dance and aerobics with a lot of spunk. Get up and Boogie with this. Yeah you gotTa find that joke. The things SPANDEX leotards. And leg warmers. After all exercise was supposed to be fun right now take it to the solvent and she moves out to southern California a very body conscious place where there already was kind of health and wellness culture percolating in the nineteen seventies and then from there on out her big turning point is she decides to franchise the business and get a lot of military wives who then got reassigned. They got certified it and then started these franchises all over the world and so there that kind of spreads by the mid Eighties Jazzercise was the second fastest growing franchise in America behind. Domino's pizza under those leotards. And leg warmers. A new concept was beginning to surface and women's fitness empowerment are. Are you ready to do the workout. For example Jane Fonda with her workout book she found exercise because she had had an eating disorder and it allowed her to finally let go of those disempowering beauty standards and to do something that made her strong and empowered the large muscles and your thighs and hips or forcing greater volumes of blood to your heart. which in turn strengthens the heart muscle? And that's why these exercises are cardiovascular cardio-vascular. It's important to keep breathing from where we sit today. Jane Fonda may seem like just another Hollywood icon but at the time she helped exercise become of parliament's public lives where it's okay to sweat and where it might even be viewed as sexy and where you begin to see women him in calling themselves feminists both rejecting the narrow vision of like what exercise for women is and should be like this is not about out reducing yourself away but they're building on some of the same ideas like yeah women's should work on their bodies. Women's should have time for themselves. Women's should go to the gym. But they're using those ideas to say but this is about bodily self-determination this is about You know liberation from those norms rather than and about conforming to them and I think that kicks off a whole like Strand of women's exercise which is still with us today. Sure there's there's still tons of exercise that's geared toward getting that tiny bikini body to slim firm and tone but for many women today regular exercises. It's about caring for the body they have now like for Margie. The kickboxing mom of three. I like to push and see what's next asked. What can I do the more I show up and do the work the stronger and fitter I can get and it's really empowering? I love that feeling of being strong seal to lift my kids by. Yeah you know plus the groceries all that stuff. Remember to keep breathing. That's that story. was reported by Lindsey Lazar Scheme. I've noticed a shift lately when I'm watching watching fitness videos or yoga videos in the kind of language instructors are using they say stuff like you look really strong or feel. He'll how hard your muscles are working. They seem to focus on strength. Rather than looks. This sequence is all about just getting into your own body finding your strength within and remembering that you are self confident all the time no matter what obstacle no matter where you are. That's Yoga Instructor Jessica Stanley. She's really only big on body acceptance. The language is changing but societal concepts of women's bodies and beauty. What we're quote supposed to look like all of that remains really tangled up in exercise for many women? Our next story illustrates that complicated relationship exercised sized changed martyr raw sex life. It helped her lose weight and feel better but really accepting her body and herself took a lot more than that Sharman. Yakov mccaw caught up with Marta on a walk very fast by problem. Physical activity is a daily the only thing for Marta now but that's a somewhat recent change in her life. She struggled with her weight for years. I started to get heavy about the time of high school. You know you're surrounded by good things to eat. It's a crutch if something's not going well it's the support of something is going really great but by the time I got to college and now Mardo. You're on your own I had access to all this food pizza tacos. Snacks sweets food was a reward and crutch to get through tough times. Marta put it on more pounds. How did your weight do you think? Influence interactions that you had with other people. My confidence took a pretty big hit. So as a consequence I really didn't start dating until long after I'd gotten out of college I'd always had guy friends and so Martin wasn't feeling great about herself. Plus US started to get a pain in my side and we suspected that it might be kidney stones and someone has said you know common causes of or common characteristics of somebody that has kidney stones. Women usually get them. It's women over forty and women who are overweight so fat female forty and I had to out of the three which didn't bode well. She never confirmed the kidney stones but at two hundred eighteen pounds. She knew something should change. It had to change. I don't like working out. Marta is also a lifelong asthma sufferer which didn't help. My mother would always say you know. My daughter has asthma. She really shouldn't be engaged in physical collectively I don't want her. You know get overrun. And I don't want her to get over excited but Marta determined to do something about her weight. Does that offer recumbent bike from from the basement got on and started pedaling. How do you feel like at the end of fifteen minutes that I wanted to die? I I like my heart is like why are you doing this to me. I thought we were friends. Change came slowly and Marta wasn't even the first to notice it. Definitely three other people were the ones to let me know. Hey there's something different here and was nice in the beginning. It was Are you doing okay are you. Sick is something wrong. They didn't realize well. I've taken the initiative and decided that I don't want to be two hundred eighteen pounds anymore so I they asked if you were if you were doing okay. And then there were some more positive kinds of comments. I'll absolutely. Hey you look really good. Have you done something done something different with your hair. People were more free with the comments. Once they realized. Oh this isn't like serious illness. That's causing you to lose the weight. This was a definite choice. I think they felt more comfortable. You say well Matt Case Oh my goodness you look so good good. Mark joined a gym and started to upper effort as she did that she started to get compliments. Hey you look really good. So she put in more time and got noticed. Have you done something different with your hair. More effort more compliments. Oh my goodness you looks so good. Mortar took up spin slowly at first but she got better and better her asthma disappeared. She wasn't just losing weight. She was becoming an athlete. There is definitely more muscle tone I became a lot more flexible. which was great and at the same time that this was going on? You're changing changing your diet. Also exactly because you're only as good as the food that you're putting in so were you were counting calories. Yeah at this point Marta. It was a completely different person from when she started. She was thin buff and flexible. She'd gone from a size sixteen to I was pretty small. I think I was a size for my smallest analyst. That's when things got weird. When do the catcalls start? The catcalls started you know small enough so you know used to work for the apple store and the guys that were working around me while she looks really good looking over here people and you'd like wow. She's changed a lot but then started to become catcalls like people on the bus people walking around the city. Would you mind just kind of telling me some of the comments that she got from people back that thing up you know looking good baby things of that nature and I like teeny waste there. Those are the milder milder ones. I've heard ones that I. I definitely wouldn't want to repeat on the airwaves. How did you feel like how did that? This is a very different kind of getting at first at first. I you're Kinda like oh well. A stranger is on the street or telling me I look good. I must be doing something right but As a feminist you kind of wonder later on what was wrong with me before was was I not beautiful. Was I not worthy of your attention when I was two hundred eighteen pounds because what was wrong with me before that when I got on the bus two hundred eighteen pounds you so you were happy to say. Move your fat ass eventually. Marta joined the Peace Corps and spent a year in the Gambia. Their food was about joy and community but she realized that keeping a diet would be a challenge. There's either a lot of bread a lot of different grains or there's a lot of rice so that was tough because is that was. A huge way to build community was to eat several meals a day with your family. If you're traveling people would say oh company with us so you know. I always had a spoon tune in my bag. For those occasions I could just chow down. Wherever I went her stay in Africa? And her experiences there transformed martyrs relationship with food it wasn't just about Una splurge and have a place cheesecake it was about. I'm going to go enjoy a meal with my friends and it was definitely more of a bonding experience carrion and it was a it was a relationship that was transformed and her attitude toward fitness and her body has changed too. It's no longer about what other people say to her or think of her last week. When I was in North Carolina I met a woman named Ruby and she gave me this affirmation that she says I want you to? Just say this to yourself at least once today you know when you wake up in the morning when you go to sleep at night I am totally an absolutely in love with myself. And that's really what it's become about. There are are always going to be people who say you're not good enough or you can take totally totally could've taken that further. You could put in fifteen more minutes of working out but it really doesn't matter. I don't answer to any of those people at the end of the day it's about. I am totally an unbelievably in love with myself. That story was reported by Chaib. Alcohol Brecqhou Crystal Ball. Maybe this is the pulse. I Mike his God. We're talking about exercise. Why we work out why we should remember gym class? All right ladies. Let's pick teams for dodgeball. Ghani would you like to be a Captain Sarah. I take everyone except meg go all right. That's from family guy but a a lot of people have somewhat similar memories of Gym Class. We asked about this online and here are some of the things we heard back. Lee Goldenberg told us about doing gymnastics in fifth grade and our teachers rolled out mats and put us all in lines and said okay. The first thing we're going to do our cart wheels. I felt pretty confident confidence in my abilities and so I went. I and I did my very best cartwheel immediately. The teacher announced to the whole class. Lee just demonstrated A great baby cartwheel. So if you can't do a regular car we'll just do a baby cart wheel. That's fine too. I think that was the last time I ever attempted a take. My Name Is Ronny Jetta and I am recording. My memory of gym class. A Rooney was in a new school in seventh grade playing handball. Somebody passed turn the ball for the first time ever in team handball. You either have to pass the ball to someone else or dribble it. But I was so excited to have gotten the ball that I just grabbed it and ran all the way down to the other end of the gym as only dimly aware that all the other kids at stop running and were math on the other side staring at me a Rooney says that was the last time anybody ever passed her. The ball in any game bad visit classes can make students dislike school altogether they they can leave a lasting impression that makes people less physically active. So there's actually a lot riding on gym classes Alan you reports that some teachers are trying mind to make them better. When Aisha Sultan was in school she hated gym class and she particularly disliked running outside because it was such a forced I activity and sometimes they had to do it as punishment if somebody had done something wrong or the teacher was just like in a bad mood? We were out there reading labs outside in the heat beat in Texas. I was under good at any. Sports led me to believe that I was not athletic and terrible physical activity but she's always been physically active. She likes hiking and took a chance and cardio classes in college. She's now a columnist. Based at the Saint Louis Post dispatch and in two thousand fourteen eighteen almost twenty years after her loss gym class. She did what she hated in-school she ran outside as able to run half marathons and I I ran a marathon but you would never have known that if you had seen me in my misery in gym class on. She stayed physically active despite her negative experiences of gym class. But the research shows not everyone does data a study of more than a thousand people across the US found that bad had memories of gym class. Especially memories of not being chosen I for teams could be linked to being less physically active as adults in other words the the effects of gym class stay with you and when we talk about gym class there is one activity that has become the defining trope and the white line by. I'm standing safely to the side of a dodgeball. Game at Constitution in high school in the Philadelphia. The students hurl the polls at each other hard and fast. They jump sidestep in town on their feet. The whole time to avoid getting hit the players are very into this. Most people say it's not a very subject but definitely more time. Felton is a senior. He's toll foss awesome. And if you're playing dodgeball you want him on your team. I'm kind of like a exercise. Free Vaccine Fit. You know staying Santa Sheep but and how I do that when I don't get a chance to work out. He plays football basketball. Volleyball runs track and cross country and works out five days a week. And and that's the issue critics of physical education class point to. It's great if you're already fit and good at whatever the class is about but not everyone starts out that way. Here's Andrew Rohan a high school senior at Moorestown friends school. I'm not the most athletic student of the bunch. And you've got these star basketball the ball players who are actually on the Varsity High School Basketball Team and then like me and some of my friends who are like struggling to not get knocked over as people are dunking on the basket it and if pe class just reinforces existing differences the athletic kids get better and everyone else is embarrassed or miserable Robert Moore for the PE teacher at Constitution. High School knows this so sometimes. That's the students choose what they want as long as they fulfil the goal of the class. Sometimes we're doing our cardio day. We do steps. We do the steps up from the basement to the six fleur up and down for fifteen minutes. Some kids could be walking doing stairs. Cardio jumping rope as long as you're doing something active you get a for the day and he's open to taking a backseat and letting a student lead the class. I have a girl and one of my classes. She's he's really into Yoga. She has all the stretches all the poses and I let her kind of dictate the rest of the class jumps in you know and they're participating in trying their best and for Robert. That's the point of gym clothes. China get them more active as the idea of trying to get kids who do lead an active lifestyle to find things that they continue to. I have fun doing into college and Beyond P. E. teachers nationwide are trying to pull off this reinvention of gym class. Michelle Carter is a senior program. John Manager at shape America a professional group for health and PE teachers. She was a teacher herself sexiest and she knows it will not be easy to change people's minds I've meet up with friends and we will do You know go out for dinner or happy hour other young professionals. And you know sharing you know what do you do and I would tell them that have a pe teacher. And I think the most to common things that I did hear it was like oh I couldn't stand p. e. or they would ask oh. Do you still play dodgeball. She says if you think about any high school p. e. teacher in a TV show or movie that's an example of what not to do old-school p that we are really trying really hard to change. There are no federally mandated standards for P. E. Class but Michelle says most states adopt OPPA standards from her organization. or You something that's very similar. Michelle says hoops wants. Pe Teachers to design classes so students can learn at their level. Maybe the Stop Box will play complete basketball. Well the kids who need to learn simply house a pass and catch able can do that. She says the whole point is for sooner to learn skills running jumping throwing catching so they can find a physical activity that they like to do to stay active as adults also Michelle. A show says students should not have to stress about getting picked for teams and where they stand in the social hierarchy find someone who is wearing the same enclosed shirt. is you or find someone whose birthday is the same month. Find someone whose name starts with the state level same letter so it's not friends trying to get with friends or are people feeling left out when it's something that's more random and allows for different people to work together. That story was reported by Alan. You and here's here's one more bad gym class memory. This one comes from Helen. Been Yes so maybe twelve mad awkward with a crush on Stephen Martinez artnews class heartthrob the gym. Teacher Calls dodgeball where I struggled to get his attention. But not get tagged Stephen Martinez clocks me straight straight in the face and my nose starts bleeding. Kids Laugh and I learned love hurts. That's our show for this week. The pulses of production of whyy. Oh You H. Y.. Y in Philadelphia our health and science reporters are Alan. You list on jets Leyland and Steph. We had production assistance from Julian Harris. Charlie Collier is our engineer. Lindsey Lazar Ski is our producer. I'm Mike and Scott. Thank you for listening in Behavioral Health Reporting on. The pulse is supported by the Thomas Scattered Good Behavioral Health Foundation an organization action that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare. whyy's health and science reporting is supported by generous grant grant from the Public Health Management Corporations Public Health Fund Ph M._C. Gladly supports W._h._y._y.. And its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

Gym Class America Mike Philadelphia Marta Dan Mike Can Scott Yana Camber High School David Rue WHYY Wales Health and science Margie Alan Lindsey Lazar Ski Michelle Carter US Mike Thomas
Why We Exercise

The Pulse

48:55 min | 1 year ago

Why We Exercise

"This and every podcast brought to you by WHYY is made possible by support from listeners like you take a minute of your time and chip in what you can at WHYY dot org to support the programs you love. It'll feel good. Thanks major funding for the pulses provided by leadership gift from the Sutherland family, the Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science. I'm Mike and Scott a couple of years ago, I talked to this guy Steve Clark after he finished dead last in a marathon, it took him seven hours and twenty minutes. I guess it was pretty clear early on that he wasn't the fastest runner. I see this guy with a sign reads, two knee replacements on his back because he passing in front of me. So you get a little demoralized but, but he kept going, he fell so far behind the other runners that for the last long stretch of the race he was basically just limping ahead of the street. Sweepers. His friend had told him to take on a mantra hers with something like my heart is strong. My mind is strong, my body strong, and I just kept saying to myself, just just get there, just don't die. God don't let me die. That's pretty much me in every single exercise class. I ever take. I'm thinking, don't let me die on this map on this bike or treadmill or whatever I just wanna finish because being done is the part that feels good, I exercise because they think I have to, to stay strong, and so I can still tie, my shoes when I'm eighty, but some people seem to genuinely love exercise. Like this crew here they are part of the November project. It's these big group workouts that happen all over the country Bill for you to jump in and it's free for everybody. In philadelphia. They meet early in the morning by the art museum. You know, the payments, rocky steps about one hundred people are running up and down the steps, all sizes all ages. They stopped for pushups or herpes there slapping, each other high fives. It's a little bit chaotic some people bring their dogs but seems like everybody's having a ball. So I ask people why do you do this for me anxiety really it helps? Yeah. Absolutely. How about you agreed since a community of fun way to start the day if great. Keeps me young. I like working out with people of all ages from all different parts of the city. Mood agility pals, sprang, and let's face it, maybe a dose of vanity on this episode. We explore why we exercise why we should work out and how to do it. Best. Let's start with running. Maybe you like to get on a treadmill and just zone out. I liked the treadmill because it allows for solitary exercise. Yeah. You could put your headphones and you close your eyes, and you can just go forward or maybe you prefer to run outside in nature. Either way, it seems like you have to really work hard to become a good runner. But when Jad Slayman looked into running as exercise he found that we are, perhaps really born to run whose faster man or horse. That was the topic of discussion at a hotel in Wales in this town called. And how do you say that name again the name of the town? Slam your state wells, it's tiny a main road surrounded by stone cottages surrounded by mountains only about eight hundred residents. Mike Thomas is one of them, and he tells me the story, it was a discussion, a debate or, and all went in little go hotel between the landlord and the instinct about whether a man on foot could be quicker than amount on horseback over this, but he wild terrain of the southern Cumbrian mountains there. These lush rolling hills and ridges of green and darker green overseas a landlord felty among to run a hose because of the difficulty of the terrain announcement said that no way hosts would win every time they decided to put into the chest that was in one thousand nine hundred eighty today. Thousands flocked to the town's annual man versus horse marathon. Mike helps organize it similar competitions have since sprung up all over Dan Lieberman, ran one in. Prescott Arizona a few years ago. He just started running. And he was worried he would end up breaking a promise. I have to tell you. I was pretty depressed. I'd premise my daughter. I would like beat at least one horse that was my goal and. Yeah right away. That didn't seem so likely because in the first few miles the horses quickly pass all humans. And, and you think this is impossible. There's no way I'm ever going to catch up to those horses because they disappear rapidly into the distance. Dan, isn't some Olympic athlete. And I'm not a great runner. I'm going, okay Renner, but I'm nobody. I've never won anything. I'm not a middle aged professor a middle aged Harvard professor of Paleoanthropology running is actually his focus the way we've run and why we've come to run that way. The era Zona race is a twenty two mile trail, run up and over a mountain. I think they were forty one runners and fifty three horses. We all start together. I mean they, they start the humans in the horses a little bit. They don't send quite the same time so that the, you know, we don't get trampled by horses in the forty some years since man, I faced horse in Wales a human has run faster than the fastest horse only twice both times were with elite athletes, but remember Dan, didn't promise to beat the fastest horse. Just any old horse as the morning went on got hotter and hotter. And, and we gone up and up and up and up at about mile nineteen or so he came up on a horse. Then I he passed it after what happened next Daniel can't fully explain. When I when I passed that first horse there was some switch got flipped in my brain. I didn't know even existed and I I there was some I just had to beat those horses. Running downhill he passed more of them on the flat open plane in the final stretch. It was a dead heat between him and two horses. He took the lead then they took it back. He'd dig deep and catch up all three were exhausted. Ten legs between them. He approached the finish line and crossed. I, I think I was the I think I beat all, but thirteen of the horses, which, you know, made I've never been so happy in my entire life. A particularly fast horse took first place, but Daniel left others in the dust. And really he shouldn't have been so surprised he's studied human running for years, so intellectually, he knows us humans are actually among the best distance runners in the world. We have features that are literally from our heads to our toes that enable humans to be really good runners. So what is it about our bodies? That makes us these really good runners, what's going on. I reached out to David Rubini AC. Kyw may sports medicine physician, I have a special interest in taking care of endurance, athletes, especially runners, he works with the university of Virginia's speed clinic. He says, first off, we're natural born runners, people have their best running form when they're younger and, and our kids, and then things things kind of go downhill as they get older. We pick up bad habits over time. And that might not matter if you only run to catch the bus, but for athletes looking for perfection the speed clinic has this advanced treadmill with pressure. Sensors surrounded by three D imaging. David isn't all that surprised? Humans even middle aged academic type humans can beat horses in a long distance race. He breaks it down for me. Humans actually have a longer stride than horses. So we get a longer distance per step if that doesn't sound right to you. Don't think seabiscuit at full gallop, the stride seems super wide when you think about the gap between the front legs and the back instead. Ted think dressage here is the whole, we'd be talking about that nine year old that weird dancing, sport, where riders have their horses take these elegant steps and skips usually to music, look at the space between their two front legs, the space between their two back legs. There's actually not much of a gap horses. Just have four legs. And they, they have shorter quicker strides. But the longer stride makes us a little bit more efficient. So, you know, they've done studies and courses can run it seven point seven meters per second kind of top speed for about ten minutes. And then they have to slow down to about five point eight meters per second. Whereas elite marathoners can jog at six meters per second for hours. And then there's the way we breeze. Most running mammals have the cycle of basically run a step. You take breathy run a step. You take a breath. He says, not very efficient whereas humans. We typically we have a wide variety of, of how we breathe when we run. But typically were at the two to one strides to breath ratio. You can stretch out that breath to stride ratio. Pretty far far enough to see. Remember this scene from full metal jacket as marines run in formation. David says it's partly a product of the way we run onto legs, upright, most animals. Don't have that going for them take the humble cheetah, they are the fastest man on earth, and, for example, when they run their internal organs, all kind of slosh around, and they tend to slam forward against their lungs each breath. So each time they their front foot hits the ground their internal organs hit their lungs and they force out air out of their lungs. There's two other really important bits of equipment. We have that other animals, don't I long achilles tendons. It's basically a rubber band or a spring. So as as we as we land that tends to shorten and store up kinetic energy, and then as we start to push off during our running form. It, it releases that energy and propels us forward. And then there's. Our big old butts biglou Tius Maximus. So big butts, we derive an enormous amount of power from our butts, you can feel this inaction when you run if you want, but you'll look kind of weird doing it. I mean, what I what I would tell people is, you know, put your hand on your but when you're walking and, and see if you feel it activating, mostly most often the not you, it's not really firing while you're walking. But when you run it starts to kick on, and stabilize our hips. There's the arc in our feet that dissipates energy, our big toe that helps anchor and drive, but at least as important as these mechanical advantages is the way we cool off, which is uniquely human and tied to our skin. One of the most obvious things that makes humans different is that we are skin looks very different rights. You can very easily distinguish human from a chimp that's Yana camera of she's a geneticist, who focuses on, onto specific human traits human sweaty nece and for listening. She's also a big fan of these human against horse distance running competitions. Have you seen a little bit? Yeah. Well, I actually I was really proud of I was really just amazed at it or our potential because, you know, I always imagined that, you know, in the natural world, we just sucked it everything we don't have claws or gills. We can't fly a horse hands down. I have no chance turns out, though. I can just keep going. So if the race is long enough, you know, Yana will have a chance for one because the horse will get overheated faster than she will Yana doesn't have any for getting in the way of air flow to the skin, and she's got a great many of a certain type of sweat gland throughout her skin chimps are close relatives have them, too. But the density of those glands is ten times lower in any essentially regional the body than it is in humans. They have the same density of those glances on macaque, which is a, vastly smaller, primate macaques are those screechy little things with pink faces. They're only about twenty inches tall. Yana is trying to find the genetic root of our furlough snus and are sweating what mutation or mutations wear and our history caused what she says she's actually getting pretty close to figuring it out, but really we don't know for certain. Why us humans are the way we are not just with skin and sweat. But with many of our great running features, Dan. Our Harvard paleo, anthropologist who is faster than at least some horses has an idea. I've, I've spent years trying to think of alternative explanations. And none of them hold any water other than that, it has something to do with hunting. There is a competing hypothesis that are running ability is what's called an emergent phenomenon that all these running attributes evolved individually for other purposes, and it just turns out when you combine big butts, and sweat, glands, and standing upright whoa, you get a marathoner just as a lucky bonus. But. Dan doesn't buy that. How did we how do we become carnivores without being able to run? Right. We're not like pythons that can kill kill animals by with venom, and we can't jump out of trees, you know, and kill things. I it's it's running. Dan, says there's evidence we were somehow killing and eating big animals around two million years ago. And we did it without any real technology. So the bow and arrow was invented, like one hundred thousand years ago, just putting a point on the end of spear, like a like a stone point that was invented less than five hundred thousand years ago, instead of Bowen, arrow hunting. He says, we had what's called persistence hunting. So what happens is that the chase the animal it heats up, and then hides and then and then you have to track it, and find it again, if you can find it and start chasing it again before it's cooled down. You can start to close the distance eventually over time, and it usually seems to take, you know, at least in the Kalahari, for example, it takes between thirteen to twenty five. That same on average so like a half marathon distance. There's actually documentary footage of this hunt happening in modern times at the end the animal just kind of sits down completely spent. It's close to death. Is v o now discussing more than a symbolic gesture that kind of hunting was recently outlawed to protect the game. And Dan says he doesn't know of anywhere else where pure persistence hunting is still done, these days, a lot of us actually live pretty sedentary lives. We don't run to survive anymore. So what do we do with this? Superpower, I'd probably never ran more than five miles in my life until we published that paper. And then I started getting invited to go to marathon conferences, and he's talking about his first big paper on human running, and the adaptation behind it and I caught the bug. And, and, and since then I come a really addicted runner, Dan discovered running, even if it's not to catch our next meal can be just plain fun. I've really come to love it, and just, just, it's now part of who I am from our big toes to our big butts running. Maybe a part of who all of us are for the pulse. I'm. Jets lemon. We're talking about exercise. Why do we do it? I recently went to an event were six of the Apollo astronaut spoke. I give you Buzz Aldrin. They were all well over eighty and it was just amazing to see how fit they were climbing up on stage walking with ease sending up straight. That's how we want to age. Right. But often life seems to get in the way I talked to Tony read. He's a sports medicine physician at temple university. It's seemingly we wake up one morning saying are mid seventies. And when we been down to, tire shoes, we get dizzy and wobbly or we find that we can't reach our feet anymore to tie shoes, while it seems like that happened overnight that stuff that builds up slowly over time after the age of thirty we start to lose lean tissue, the body, fat, percentage, usually rises muscles, atrophy bones lose some of their minerals and can get weaker. Our balanced gets worse, blood vessels, arteries stiffen, the heart has to work harder. Tony says regular exercise. Can help reduce or prevent many of these issues are maintaining your flexibility, either through something like yoga Pilates, Tai Chi, or even just simple core stabilization exercises where maintaining muscle strength early on and beginning the process or early in your thirties forties. Fifties to be able to maintain that muscle mass and just remaining active the earlier in life. We do all of that the less likely we are to have that happen suddenly in our mid seventies. But even if you're already in your sixties, even if you're already in your seventies frankly, even if you're already in your nineties, it's never too late. So I guess a lot of times when, what younger, we focus on the beach body for this season and losing a couple of pounds and this, and that, but it's really the long game we're playing. It's a little bit of everything. Yes, there are people out there that focus on the short gain, those same people are going to have some long term benefits from that naturally without even being focused there. There are others that focus on. Purely long game. And not so worried about what they look like in a bathing suit today, but more worried about what they look like alive and healthy in their sixties. And seventies. What's it? Good plan, if I want to exercise with an eye toward aging, well, and being strong being able to tie shoes. What do I do? What I'll say now is particularly geared towards the ageing and the elderly, but it applies to everyone moving more throughout the day and sitting less hundred fifty minutes of exercise at a minimum per week of moderate intensity exercise. Now, moderate intensity is if you think about, you know, zero to ten scale of how hard you're working, it's about a six it is. I can talk in sentences, maybe short sentences, but I can't sing you wanna spread that over a couple of times a week, you also want to add in strength training, at least twice a week and you wanna add in a little bit of flexibility, training flexibility. Focus daily. If you can now the most modern recommendations on that is that you wanna do at least ten minute increments. So when you get up and walk you get up and run you get up and do whatever exercise you're doing. Do it for at least ten minutes. What's the importance of late lifting for women? I hear a lot about that. But I don't see a lot of women in the gym doing the weights. Honestly. Yeah. And it's really important from calcium perspective. Bone loss happens in women more quickly than it doesn't men, particularly after menopause. And when you start to have that calcium depletion, and that bone loss you start to get a weakness of the bones. More likelihood of broken bones fractures doing the strength training, helps replenish the calcium because it causes increased resistance in the bones that causes calcium to come in and lay down. It also makes the muscles stronger to help support the bones more than what they would if they were weak. Her. And so we see it in both sexes, both men and women. But we see more in women in part because of the physiologic changes that occur in women getting into the habit of exercising can be challenging. I think I started doing a regular practice of exercising. Let's say six or seven years ago and still every day, I'm like, oh, do have to do as one have to do this. I really have to do this all the time. It's never become something where I'm like, I'm going to exercise. So what helps people like me who really have to drag themselves out there and give you an analogy a lot of people feel that way about work, and I have a feeling that what we do is we acquaint exercise to work in that is not something that we necessarily always want to do. It's something that we have to do my suggestion to people is always defined the active. That you enjoy. And so we talk about swimming a lot. It's really one of the most recommended activities just because of all the benefits. It's a total body workout. It's a wait list and environment great exercise, unless you hate swimming, then it becomes work. And in those cases, then I recommend to people that they do cycling or some form of an erg rowing, kind of thing if they don't like those, we move onto something different. And we were always looking for what is it that you enjoy? And there's something out there for everyone. It's just a matter of finding the right one, and it will pay off. Absolutely. Tony Reed is chief medical officer at temple university hospital in Philadelphia. And he's also a sports medicine physician, what do you do for exercise Margie ferris, a mom of three likes to punch, the heavy bag at Moi Thai class in west Philadelphia? Her four month old daughter, usually comes along takes in that in a carrier nearby and Margie all. Alternates between rounds of mid-line kicks and jabs. To get it out at the end of the day and punch stuff kills really good. I like that, I can just turn off my brain and let my body go and just not think just let my mighty do it has to do this kind of exercise for women, like kickboxing, or cross fit or weightlifting, even just exercising in a public place would have been unthinkable. Not that long ago. Lindsey Lazar ski takes a look at the history of women's fitness picture. This it was the nineteen forties. And in new kind of salon, was popping up not for your hair, but for your body, and lowering and women across America. It seems that you helped to win the wall. You'll still have another hand things. The battle of the budget, and he had some of the mechanized units on maneuvers. Women who've. These places were called reducing salons and figure spas where contraptions whittled away women's waistlines for smoothed out those unsightly lumps dimples, their machines. And you see women standing in them in high heels. That's an Italian Melman Petrella. She's a self-described gym rat and historian at the new school in New York City look like CNN. Look like all the streamline and away. You go to health unhappiness cubs, you right tallies. Working on a new book about exercise culture in America. She says, at the time exercise was inextricably tied to beauty fitness was about how you look not about what you could do. They were predicated on the idea that what you wanted to do was, yes. Work on your body. So that's something we still have with us today. But the ads all said things like relaxing, luxurious comfort. No sweating whatsoever. And the idea was through technology that women could still be ladies and I'll be like grunting and sweating. And they could relax and have their bodies kind of worked on, basically, like passive exercise and next to beauty. Salons early group fitness classes sprang up. We're women did stretching and light circulation exercises by the nineteen fifties. There was a cultural shift. It was the Cold War. Americans were moving to the suburbs, and enjoying modern comforts like big cars drive, throughs washing machines and strollers but were these new luxuries making Americans chubby or week? What JFK called the soft American, the soft American is flabby of body and us of mind and thus as a citizen, and so you see this big initiative by the federal government, beginning with Eisenhower. But it really picks up with Kennedy to kind of make exercise normal make exercise desirable. Make exercise be part of being like a full citizen and a full person in a way that absolutely had not before and that included women in the nineteen fifties, a California bodybuilder capitalized on that moment. Now here's a man who will show you how to feel better better. Jack blowing before Jacqueline invented. The power juicer or became an infomercial regular. He was known as the godfather of fitness jock. Lean started like, really the first exercise television show, and he funded out of his own pocket because nobody believed anybody would watch exercise on TV. They were soon very surprised. Now, how would you like a good movement to help to firm up the five right along in here? Would you put your hands on the hips? I'll take your left leg and just it right. Out of the side. Ready begin one two, three four one two and three the things Jacqueline lane did is that he created an exercise program for women that actually required them to put away, whatever they were doing at home, their chores, and to do exercise with him. And that sounds like a minor thing, but it was kind of I would say the beginning of exercises me time for women and that's still very much relevant today that it wasn't just TV they'd watch while they were hiring or washing the dishes, but rather it's dedicated time for them shows like this ushered in the age of. Of workout videos, DVD's, and fitness gurus, who would become celebrities in their own, right? And then by the late sixties there was a new craze in town cardio. The introduction of the idea that cardio was not only good form of exercise, but that people should be doing this for their heart health for their appearance that really changed the game in terms of exercise. The idea came from Kenneth Cooper, he was a physician and Colonel in the air force. He coined the term aerobics and wrote a book of the same name that became an international sensation if you have a Fitbit, and are aiming for those ten thousand steps every day that's Cooper, his book got people to throw on a pair of rubber soled shoes and jog as kind of easy. It is to just go outside and go jogging. I don't wanna underplay how weird it was. And you see articles like newspaper articles talking about like joggers spotted on the street, which should we do about this? And there's like a few towns who want to issue tickets. If. You're seeing jogging or should you need a permit to go jogging and so it really did look strange, especially for women. But soon another option emerged around the same time, again, dance instructor in Chicago, notice something that sparked an idea Judy Shepard the sat saw all these women who would watch their daughters have dance class and was like they could be doing something to Judy created Jazzercise, an upbeat workout that mixes dance and aerobics with a lot of spunk get up and boogie with this. Yeah. Yeah. You gotta find that Jogi. Yup. Thinks, spandex leotards and leg warmers after all exercise was supposed to be fun, right? Lint. She moves out to southern California a very body conscious place where there already was kind of health and wellness culture, percolating in the nineteen seventies. And then, from there on out, her big turning point is she decides to franchise, the business jet a lot of military wives who then got reassigned? They got certified and then started these franchises all over the world. And so there that kind of spreads by the mid eighties, Jazzercise was the second fastest growing franchise in America behind, Domino's pizza, under those leotards, and leg warmers. A new concept was beginning to surface and women's fitness empowerment. Are you ready to do the workout? For example, Jane Fonda with her workout book. She found exercise because she had an eating disorder. It allowed her to finally let go of those disempowering beauty standards and to do something that made her strong and empowered. Touched large muscles, and your thighs and hips, or forcing greater volumes of blood to your heart, which in turn strengthens the heart muscle. And that's why these exercises are cardiovascular. It's important to keep breathing from where we sit today. Jane Fonda may seem like just another Polly would icon, but at the time she helped exercise, become part of women's public lives, where it's okay to sweat, and where it might even be viewed as sexy and where you begin to see women calling themselves, feminists, both rejecting the narrow vision of what exercise for women is and should be, like this is not about reducing yourself away, but they're building on some of the same ideas like yeah. Women's should work on their bodies. Women's should have time for themselves women's shit. Go to the gym, but they're using those ideas to say, but this is about bodily self determination. This is about, you know liberation from those norm. Rather than about conforming to them. And I think that kicks off a whole like strand of women's exercise, which is still with us today. Sure. There's still tons of exercise that's geared toward getting that tiny bikini body to slim firm in tone. But for many women today, regular exercise is about caring for the body. They have now like for Margie the kickboxing mom of three. Liked to push and see what's nice like what can I do? The more I show up and do the work the stronger and the fitter I can get. And it's really impairing. I love that feeling of being strong seal to lift my kids by, you know, plus the groceries all that stuff. Keep breathing. That's that story was reported by injury. Misersky. I've noticed shift lately, when I'm watching fitness videos or yoga videos, in the kind of language, the instructors are using, they say, stuff like you look, really strong or feel how hard your muscles are working. They seem to focus on strength rather than looks this sequence is all about just getting into your own body. Finding your strength within and remembering that you are self confident all the time. No matter what up stickle, no matter where you are. That's yoga instructor. Jessica stanley. She's really big on body acceptance. The language is changing, but societal concepts of women's bodies and beauty, what we're quote supposed to look like all of that remains really tangled up an exercise for many women. Our next story illustrates that complicated relationship exercise changed, Marta Wessex life. It helped her lose weight and feel better. But really accepting her body and herself took a lot more than that been Yakov caught up with Marta on walk. No other today. Physical activity is a daily thing for Marta now. But that's a somewhat recent change in her life. She struggled with her weight for years, I started to get heavy about the time of high school. You know you're surrounded by good things to eat. It's a crutch if something's not going. Well, it's a support of something is going really great. The by the time I got to college. Now Mardo you're on your own. I had access to all this food pizza tacos snack, sweets. Food was a reward and a crutch to get through tough times. Marta, put on more pounds. How did your weight do you think influence interactions that you had with other people confidence to a pretty big hit? So as a consequence, I really didn't start dating until long after I'd gotten out of college. I always had guy friends and so- Marta. Wasn't feeling great about herself, plus started to get a pain in my side. And we suspected that it might be kidney stones. And someone has said, you know, common causes of were common characteristics of somebody has kidney stones, women, usually get them. It's women over forty and women who are overweight, so fat female forty, and I had to out of the three which didn't bode. Well, she never confirmed the kidney stones, but at two hundred eighteen pounds, she knew something should change. It had to change. I don't like working out. Marta is also a lifelong as sufferer which didn't help my mother would always say, you know, my daughter has asthma. She really shouldn't be engaged in physical activity. I don't want her to, you know, get overrun and I don't want her to get overexcited, but Marta, determined to do something about her weight dust off a recumbent bike from the basement, got on and started. Pedaling. How do you feel like at the end of fifteen minutes that first week? Died just like my heart is like, why are you doing this to me? I thought we were friends change came slowly and Marta wasn't even the first to notice it. Definitely other people were the ones to let me know. Hey, there's something different here. And what's nice is in the beginning. It was are you doing? Okay. Are you? Sick is something wrong. They didn't realize, well, I've taken the initiative and decided that I don't want to be two hundred eighteen pounds anymore. So I they asked if you were if you were doing okay. And then there were some more positive kinds of comments absolately. Hey, you look really good. Have you done done something different with your hair people were more free with the comments? Once they realized, oh, this isn't like a serious illness. That's causing you to lose the way this was a definite choice. I think they felt more comfortable. You say will that case? Oh my goodness. You look so good. Marta? Join a gym and started to up her effort as she did that. She started to get compliments. Hey, you look really good. So she put in more time and got noticed have you done something different with your hair? More effort more compliments. Oh my goodness. You look so good. Mortar took up spin, slowly at first, but she got better and better, her asthma disappeared. She wasn't just losing weight. She was becoming an athlete, there was definitely more muscle tone became a lot more flexible, which was great. And at the same time that this was going on. You were changing your diet also xactly, because you're only as good as the food that you're putting in so you were counting calories. Yeah. At this point Marta was a completely different person from when she started. She was thin buff. And flexible, she'd gone from a size sixteen to I was pretty small, I think I was a size for it. My smallest that's when things got weird. When do the catcalls start? The catcalls started, you know, small enough, you know, used to work for the apple store, and the guys that were working round while she looks really good. Like you'd overhear people and you'd like, wow, she's changed a lot. But then started to become catcalls like people on the bus people walking around the city, would you mind, just telling me some of the comments she got from people that, that thing up? You know, looking good baby things of that nature and. I like teeny ways there. This is the milder ones, I've heard ones that I definitely wouldn't want to repeat on the airwaves pudgy fueled like how did that. This is a very different kind of. Yeah, we're getting at I I, you're kinda like oh, wow. Strangers on the street. Are telling me I look good. I must be doing something right? But as a feminist e kind of wonder later on what was wrong with me, before, was I not beautiful. Was I not worthy of your attention? When I was two hundred eighteen pounds because what was wrong with me before that, you know, when I got on a step to bus, two hundred eighteen pounds you were happy to say, move your fat ass, eventually Marta, joined the peace corps and spent a year in the Gambia their food was about joy and community. But she realized that keeping a diet would be a challenge. There's either a lot of bread, a lot of different grains, or there's a lot of rice. So that was tough because that was a huge way to build community was to eat several meals a day with your family. If you traveling people would say, oh company with us, so, you know, I always had a spoon in my bag for those occasions that I could just Chow down wherever I won her stay in Africa. Enter. Experiences there transformed martyrs. Relationship with food. It wasn't just about. I'm going to splurge have a place cheesecake, it was about. I'm gonna go enjoy a meal with my friends, and it was definitely more of a bonding experience. And it was a it was a relationship that was transformed enter editor toward fitness, and her body has changed too. It's no longer about what other people say to her or think of her last week when I was in North Carolina. I met a woman named ruby and she gave me this affirmation that she says, I want you to just say this to yourself, at least once a day when you wake up in the morning when you go to sleep at night. I am totally an absolutely in love with myself, and that's really what it's become about. They're always going to be people who say, you're not good enough. Or you could take totally totally could've taken that further you could've put in fifteen more minutes of working out, but it really doesn't matter. I don't answer to any of those people at the end of the day. It's the bell. I am totally an unbelievably in love with myself. That story was reported by Chaib. Christa. This is the pulse. I'm Mike Scott. We're talking about exercise. Why we work out why we should remember gym class. Ladies. Let's pick teams for dodgeball Ghani would you like to be a captain share pick? Everyone except Meg fair enough. Go. All right. That's from family guy, but a lot of people have somewhat similar memories of gym class. We asked about this online, and here's some of the things we heard back. Lee. Goldenberg told us about doing gymnastics in fifth grade, and our teachers rolled out, mats, and put us all in lines and said, okay, the first thing we're going to do our cart wheels, I felt pretty confident in my abilities. And so I went I and I did my very best cartwheel immediately. The teacher announced to the whole class lead just demonstrated a great baby cart wheel. So if you can't do regular car, we'll just do a baby cart wheel. That's fine too. I think that was the last time I ever attempted a cartwheel. My name is Ronny giant look and I am recording my memory of gym class. A Rooney was in the new school in seventh grade playing handball somebody passed her the ball for the first time ever and team handball you either have to pass the ball someone else or driven. But I was so excited to have gotten the ball that I just grabbed it and ran all the way down to the other end of the gym as only dimly aware that all the other kids, stop running. And we're back on the other side staring at me. A Rooney says that was the last time anybody ever passed her the ball in any game bad. Visit classes can make students dislike school altogether. They can leave a lasting impression that makes people less physically active. So there's actually a lot riding on gym classes, Alan. You reports that some teachers are trying to make them better. When I should Sultan was in school she hated gym class, and she particularly. This liked running outside because it was such a forced activity in sometimes to do it as punishment. If somebody had done something wrong, or the teacher was just like in a bad mood. We were out there reading labs outside in the heat in Texas. I was under good at any sports led me to belief that I was not athletic and terrible at physical activity, but she's always been physically active. She likes hiking and Catania and cardio classes in college. She's now, a columnist based at the Saint Louis post this patch and in twenty fourteen almost twenty years off to her loss gym class. She did what she hated in school. She ran outside able to run half marathons Iran marathon, but you would never have known that if you had stayed me in my misery in, gym class on should stayed physically active the Spiderman negative experiences of gym class. But the research shows not everyone does that a study of. More than a thousand people across the US found that that memories of gym class, especially memories of not being chosen. I for teams could be linked to being less physically active as thoughts. In other words, the effects of gym class state with you. And when we talk about gym class, there is one activity that has become the defining trope. Behind the white line whenever I. I'm standing safely. So the sign of thought bowl game at constitution high school in the Philadelphia, the students hurled polls at each other hard and funds. They jump sidestep and found their feet, the whole time to avoid getting hit the players are very into this mostly was as not the very subject. But a definitely time Mia. Felton is a senior. He's toll FOSS. And if you're playing dodgeball, you want him on your team, I'm kind of like a exercise, like say fit, you know. You know, staying Santa sheet. But how do that. When I don't get a chance to work out. He plays football basketball, volleyball runs, track and cross country and works out, five days a week. And that's the issue critics of physical education class point to it's great if you already fit and good at whatever the clause is about, but not everyone starts out that way, he was Andrew Rohan, a high school senior at Moorestown friends school. I'm not the most athletic student of the bunch. And you've got these star basketball players who are actually on the varsity, high school basketball team. And then, like me and some of my friends who are like struggling to not get knocked over as people are dunking on the basket. And if pe- Kloss just reinforces existing differences, the F let kids get Besse, and everyone else is embarrassed or miserable role, but more the P teacher at constitution high school knows this. So sometimes he that's the students choose what they want as. As long as they fulfil, the goal of the class, sometimes we're doing our cardio day, we do steps, we do the steps up from the basement to the sixth floor up and down for fifteen minutes. Some kids could be walking doing stairs, cardio jumping rope. As long as you're doing something active. You get a for the day, and he's open to taking a back seat. And letting a student lead the class, I have a girl and one of my classes, she's really into yoga. She has all the stretches, and all the poses, and I let her kind of dictate and the rest of the class jumps in and that, you know, participating in trying their best and for Robin. That's the point of gym clothes, China, get them. More active as the idea ain't trying to get kids. Do lead an active lifestyle to find things that they continue to have fun doing into college and beyond P, E, teachers nationwide are trying to pull off this reinvention of gym class. Michelle Konta is a senior program manager at shape America professional group for health and PE teachers, she was a teacher herself. Six years. And she knows it will not be easy to change people's minds. I've made up with friends and we would do you know go out for dinner or happy hour at other young professionals in, we're sharing what do you do? And I would tell them that have a PE teacher. I think the most to common things that I did hear it was like, oh, I couldn't stand, P E, or they would ask my own. Do you still play dodgeball? She says, if you think about any high school, P E teacher in a TV show or movie, that's an example of what not to do. That's old school P that we are really trying really hard to change. There are new federally mandated stand this for P E clause. But Michaud says most states thought this tennis from Hoboken position or you something, that's very similar. Michelle says hoc groups once P teaches to design classes, socialists, can learn at their level, maybe the stop off school play is complete basket bowl, while the kids who need to learn simply how to pass and catch Abe. Apple can do that. She says the whole point is for students to learn skills running jumping throwing catching so they can find a fiscal activity that they like, and we'll do to stay active as adults also Michelle says shoot should not have to stress about getting picked for teams and where they stand in the social hierarchy find someone who is wearing the same color shirt as you or find someone whose birthday is in the same month. Find someone whose name starts with the same letter so into not friends trying to get with friends or people feeling left out, but it's something that's more random and allows for different people to work together. That story was reported by Alan, you. And here's one more bad, gym class memory, this one comes from Helen been. Yes. So I maybe twelve mad awkward with a crush on Stephen Martinez class heartthrob. The gym teacher calls, dodgeball where I struggled to get his attention. But not get tagged. Stephen Martinez, clocks me straight in the face, and my nose starts bleeding kids laugh, and I learned love hurts. That's our show for this week, the pulses of production off WHYY in Philadelphia. Our health and science reporters are Alan Ube list hung jets, Leyland, and Steph van Andrea's copes is our intern. We had production assistance from Julian Harris, Charlie. Kyler is our engineer Lindsey Lazar ski is our producer. I'm Mike and Scott. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare, WHYY's, health, and science reporting is supported by generous grant from the public health management corporations public health fund PH MC gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

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Ep 15: Inmate #NN7687

Cosby Unraveled

00:0-1 sec | 2 years ago

Ep 15: Inmate #NN7687

"Doesn't it make? Seem kind of put that celebrity aside. He's getting treated just like every other inmate. We're with Susan not a major Gina Clark at state Correctional Institution. Phoenix about thirty miles north west Philadelphia. It's the prison where Bill Cosby eighty one and legally blind has started serving his three ten year sentence for sexual assault. He's Mr. Cosby, he's not Dr huxtable. He's not the celebrity that the media swarmed around lark has worked in corrections for eighteen years mcnaughton has handled communications for over thirty. They've seen a lot and not much impresses them. We've had legislators we've had high profile killers iron horn has been in our system. The boot Jamal is in our system. John dupont. Jerry sandusky. You name it. You know, we pretty much had it Cosby is the most high profile prisoner yet. But to them he's just inmate in in seven six eight seven there's no walking out the door getting in your car and driving anywhere. We're watching you. There's no like free roaming around this institution. There's a purpose. And we're watching you, and we're telling you you have to go back to yourself or account. Now, you have to go to meal now you have to go to class now I have to go to program now. Sure paternity to go to yard when we tell you. You can't. That's what prison life is like. From WHYY in Philadelphia. This is Cosby unraveled. I'm your host and that John Hall. Fallen angel suffer. Most those were the words from judge Steven O'Neill during the sentencing hearing Bill Cosby, and indeed what we witnessed was history. A stunning fall from grace various. The man wants beloved as America's dead rolled up the sleeves of his Chris white dress shirt move just watch and was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. It was a scene that left America speechless while. What do you say? You know, this is a man is was mentioning the Bill Cosby in handcuffs being led away to jail. A scene. Millions of Americans never ever ever would have imagined. About a mile away at saviors hall as the rain poured down some of Cosby's victims gathered to share their truth. Thirty two years for the space. Hope in my ears will go away. Upright everyday Mr. Bill Cosby will go to prison Jewish ties and find payers Shalon Lhasa testified against Cosby in his second drive. But he must finally start taking possible. In nineteen eighty six. She was looking to get her foot in the door in the entertainment industry and to expand her budding modeling career, that's when she met Cosby one afternoon Cosby invited Lhasa to his Las Vegas hotel that Elvis Presley sweet she had a cold and remembers Cosby offering her what he said was an antihistamine. That's when he drugged and assaulted. Did not care. I was seventeen years old was should he receive worse? Just because he is eighty four in the first trial which ended in a hung jury. Only one other accuser was allowed to testify, but then came metoo Lascaux and for other witnesses were allowed to testify in the second trial without them. Cosby may have never been convicted the courts message was loud and clear. Women can come forward years later and be credible. Justice has been done. For many survivors. It seemed like a major victory a turning point for victims of abuse. But that metoo moment was short lived and here today. Not because I want to be I am terrified I'm here. Because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett cabin. And I were in high school, Dr Christine Blasi Ford sat before the US Senate Judiciary committee accusing then supreme court nominee brick Cavanaugh of sexual assault. Senator Patrick layhee a democrat from Vermont ask for what was her strongest memory of the incident the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two and they're having fun at my expense that same suspicion and doubt that had been cast on survivors of sexual abuse. News, including Cosby's accusers was used to discredit for. She really doesn't wanna touch the fi. Because when she does she's going to look like the loon that she is. She may very well believe everything she saying, and that is one of the signs of lunacy, believing something that isn't real why wouldn't come out earlier to him putting his hand or mouth of tempted rape as if they know what that is. We're not even close to that. The terms of the facts that are. These allegations ninety nine percent of the time or just absolutely advocate people on the Republican sides. Oh, she deserves to be heard. She deserves to be heard. I don't think she deserves to be hurt. Even President Donald Trump weighed in at a rally in Mississippi. I had one beer. Right. I had one. Well, you think there was one beer good. How did you get home? I don't remember. How'd you get there? Remember where is the place? I don't remember how many years ago was that. I don't know. I don't know. What neighborhood was it? And I don't know where's the house? Upstairs downstairs, where was I don't know. But I had one beer. That's the only thing. I remem-. I do think that with Kavanagh. You saw backlash Imani Perry is a professor of African American studies at Princeton University and author Vecsey thing on gender and liberation. There's a backlash against this movement. And then some of it is just evidence of I think of how much we aren't where we say, we are culturally, we do tend to make a lot of excuses for abusive male behavior. Men and women Perry says like it or not sexual violence is ingrained in our culture, and it's going to take more than a celebrity trial or a supreme court nomination to change it this problem of sexual harassment and sexual violence is so broad that we cannot resolve the issue with trials, right? I mean, we have to shift the culture. The Cosby trial is just one victory for survivors. Perry says what? Happened at the Cavanaugh hearing is a wakeup call. The reality is the vast majority of people who rast who are salt who rape put Beuys do so with no consequences. And so until we decide that in our day to day lives that's going to change. There's no trial in the world that will will have impact of preventing people from doing that is a hard hard truth. So where do we go from here to move forward? Perry says we have to figure out a way to deal with abusers and are hurt disappointment and sadness connected to them. How do we deal with the fact that there are so many people in our midst who have done things that are abusive? How do we make space for them to transform because the reality is that we are not going to throw away everybody in our families, and our communities people we love if we're going to make space for redemption, we have to take into account Cosby's legacy. He left us with so much and to some of us Cosby was a part of our family, and the people we asked they're struggling to make sense of it all fat Albert cartoons. And the Cosby show. I looked up to that. Man. I looked up to like millions of Americans did, and I was so. So upset what he had done in. When he got caught for. I actually saw him once in concert. I see him once Radio City way back, and he was brilliant enough kinda how I remembered him. So it's disappointing to see what happened now. You remember it came down to sing an old baby. Thing. And he was still a good guy the meat. They got a raw deal mean, but be across steel icon. I thought he was the perfect bother and Representative for African Americans, and it was very disappointing to see inside. Just very sad. I'm sixty seven and he doesn't sparred me as a whole to become better professional. Let's Cosby show is he was into jazz. I'm into jazz. You know, the whole thing I could relate to and I just thought that it just represented that whole middle class educated person of color, and there there are many of us out here, you know, but it's not it's not talked about how you view Cosby may depend on. What generation you're in? It's complicated. I think for some folks especially for folks who maybe have had a parallel path to their coming of age and Bill Cosby's brise. I don't know that I have that same experience Maya France. This is a social media strategist and culture writer in her early thirties. One of the things I think that have been important for me at least growing up watching the show is kisha Knight, Pullman character and how much when I was a little girl. We kinda favored each other in terms of the way, our hair was styled, seeing that she was a Brown child on TV, you know, my you you do kind of look like roof. For my and others in her generation the connection to Cosby began and ended with the Cosby kids. Sandra Denise feel Vanessa and the youngest Rudy. It's kind of interesting to come back to what his legacy now means while acknowledging the millions of dollars in charitable contributions Cosby has made in hindsight Maya season alterior motive, one of the things that I think in Nabl his predatory behavior is the fact that he was able to present himself as America's dad so that the console to speak is nailed by the fact that you don't consider that you're being conned, right? Because you know, KYW's is this person who is charitable who is the jello guy who has great relationships with kids that his public persona is. Is soft and wholesome. And so that enables those incidents of predatory behavior that sets the trap, and it was a trap that almost everyone fell into now for my the con- overshadows the comedy in my app survey Shen post conviction just seeing folks be okay with saying, you know, what I don't need the Cosby show at this point. I don't need that legacy. The students in David B in coolies TV history class don't want to have anything to do with. Cosby there too uncomfortable with what Cosby is accused of and now in part convicted of doing and they do not find anything about him remotely funny being Cooley. As a professor at ruin university guest host of WHYY's fresh air, and he's also founder of the website TV worth watching as a TV historian and curator. I would always argue that the work should be able to stand separately for being Cooley Cosby's influences too important to discard or ignore personally. Because I'm so old. I was a little kid when his albums were coming out. And I thought they were some of the funniest albums, and then he had a couple of TV shows in the sixties, including one I spy where he was the first African American star or co star of a drama series. And that's hugely significant in TV history. And then twenty years later with the Cosby show, he revives the sitcom and sort of changed TV twice. And that's where be in Cooley says it gets really really complicated for him. And for anybody who ever loved Cosby personally, I feel betrayed just because as a fan as. Critic as an interviewer as an author I trusted him and responded to him. And I feel like he let me down to like, I'm like way down on the on the on the list of people that you know, anybody should be concerned about in terms of Bill. Cosby, but there are probably millions who feel the way I do Cosby was a master of allusion. But in the end he created and starred in his own sword. It reality show. Special. Thanks to news. Tony trove and Mike be this to engineers, Diana Martinez. Al-bank Charlie Chire, Adam stem, chefs Mike, billers and Babol. Santa Clark has WHYY's vice president of news and civic Diallo. Cosby unravel was produced by Ginette woods and Lindsey Lazar sqi. I'm John Hall.

Cooley Cosby Cosby Bill Cosby Imani Perry Philadelphia John dupont WHYY Jerry sandusky John Hall America assault Phoenix rape brick Cavanaugh Santa Clark mcnaughton Jamal Steven O'Neill Dr huxtable President Donald Trump
Failing Better

The Pulse

49:23 min | 1 year ago

Failing Better

"Support for this WHYY podcast comes from the Philadelphia speaker series, presented by Thomas Jefferson university. It's next season of diverse ideas and world perspectives at the Kimmel center features. Bob, Woodward, Seinfeld. Jason Alexander and others Philadelphia. Speakers dot org, supporting WHYY Penn Orthopaedics with advanced treatments for hip and knee arthritis and a personal patient. Navigation team the Penn Orthopaedics approach to joint pain is designed to help get you back to enjoying life. Again. More at Penn medicine dot ORG slash joints. Major funding for the pulse is provided by a leadership gift from the Sutherland family charitable fund. The Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science I Mike and Scott when you are a Nobel laureate, aka a super successful. Scientist people will often ask you, how did you make your discovery they want you to get the exciting part? You know, don't tell me about all of the time. You spend rolling that boulder up the hill cut to the chase. You can't say to them. Will you see I was working for many years on an animal that was transparent Columbia neuroscientist, Martin Chaffee says this long version matters. So here it goes he was studying the sense of touch using tiny translucent worms which meant because it's only a millimeter long that I took an eyebrow hair glued to a toothpick and tickled the worms. Eventually he got mutant worms that couldn't sense touch. Ric loan those jeans. That's a whole big story of how we did that. All right. We're not getting. Get into that. But after working on worms for about a decade. He attended a seminar on bio luminescent organisms think jellyfish and he heard about what makes them glow green fluorescent protein and it hit him. He could use these proteins get them into his worms and light up some of the processes he was trying to study. I'm going to see where those genes are activists can be in our transparent animal, and that's what he eventually got the Nobel prize for in chemistry together with Assam Oshima Mora and Raja sin for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein usually Martin sums up the whole story. More like this reported into the worms and it worked. But he says by jumping right to the success. You're leaving out. What came before which includes failure lots of failures? We don't talk about how people work out things. How to prob. Himself. How to keep going when you're feeling totally defeated or how to ask for help. It paints a wrong picture of how science works Martin says as young undergrad at Harvard working in a lab, he thought that scientists never failed our head this idea that I needed to prove myself improving myself meant not asking for help and not asking questions all of his experiments failed miserably, and I took that as an absolute indication that I should not be a scientist because scientists are the people succeeded these things it made me abandoned the idea completely after graduating Martin started working as a teacher. It was only by total chance through a summer job that he returned to a lab there. He had some good experiences, and he went back to grad school, and now from his Nobel laureate perch, he wants to spread the gospel of failure in. Science and life failure is both a stumbling block and building block. We lows fear and avoid failure. We feel ashamed when it happens, but it's also often unnecessary learning experience on today's episode failure. How we talk about it and cope with it. More and more colleges are starting conversations about failure. I met up with Martin Chelsea right after he gave a big talk on this issue at Columbia's teachers, college it was a kickoff for a whole series and universities all over the country are doing events like that where people share their struggles and epic fails and how they got back up and moved on. It's part of an effort to get students to ask for help. Rather than give up when failures happen Allen. You has more mentally Balkan was a PHD student. Earning her talked with emphasis in consumer behavior. But standing in her way was statistics. I was feeling really confident about the exam. And then when I got in there, I just broke down in the middle of the exam and just started screaming by this is not what was on. This is not what I study. I just started crying in the middle of the exam. I ended up getting D on it like a high D. And I was like oh my gosh. I'm going to get thrown out of my PHD program, and is gonna be because I can't seem to conquer the statistics in the middle of worries about the future. She shared her fears, she talks to her friends who understood the physics and spend time with them outside clause. And that's how she got help. Here's Angeles on those story. She'd played feud Haughey since seventh grade she loved it and made it onto her college team practiced for hours five days a week. But then got it was like era saying on this team for two years while I might not good enough. Now, it was awful. I it's like hard to describe. But the feeling was is so memorable to me. And then all of a sudden it was like, oh, I don't fit with you at dinner anymore. Like, we would sit every night after practice. Dinner together. Like, we get a table. It'd be the feel architectural, and that's what every sports team kind of did. But now she wasn't on a sports team anymore. Angela felt lost. She called her parents. She called her high school coach in those moments like just following. It was really painful and really hard to talk about and not something I really wanted to acknowledge. But that's what helped him move on. I think I felt better about it rather than letting it just kinda hideaway or be something that was like eating at me a couple of years off to those failures. Both of them aren't doing fine. Natalie. Welcome is now Dr Natalie poke him a professor of marketing Angela found the passion for public health. She's now a health promotion specialist they both shit their experiences onstage and Bentley University in Massachusetts just outside Boston. You're going to have the opportunity to hear from some amazing panelists who are willing to be vulnerable and share their stories of failure. The whole event celebrated failure it's part of that movement to encourage students to get comfortable talking about failures as they happen. And ultimately to get people help when they really need it. There's a similar push in the science world to share recent failures biologist and science up Mariam. Zeroing Hellum is making that log humint. Ho failure story starts a few years ago when she was a molecular biology students she had this big idea for her PHD. How is it that all the cells in body have the same DNA blueprint yet turn out so different the lab work could get pretty tedious and my computer writing code growing up sells like billions and billions of cells billions and billion basically looks like these leader flasks of red fluid extract all of their are in a from that send it off in a vile. She did this five to six days a week in two thousand thirteen her third year. Of doing this work something happened. She came home from thinner and sat down to read a scientific journal as I'm reading I start to notice. Hey, this is exactly what it was that. I wanted to study my advisor sent me an Email and said, oh, no. And they'll the scientist had beat her to it. Her adviser was reading the exact same paper Mariam was reading. She was also panicking it meant that I was kind of out of a research project and had to regroup three years into my PHD that was really upsetting because I'd put three years at that point into trying to into trying to ask this question seemed like somebody else had answered it already and had answered it quite well that was difficult to accept. I had a really hard time getting out of bed. I had a really hard time. Trying to read the research papers that I should have been reading to get more ideas. I didn't see my. Friends very much, but her advisor stepped in and told Maryam to take some time off to regroup. My adviser said that I wasn't going to come up with any new and good ideas when I was really sad. And when I was kind of kicking myself for not being faster a few months later. She went back to work. She came up with a new plan to build on the work that the other research teams had thumb and suggested improvements moat, quite the big boldly facades. She had envisioned but still a step Fullwood. She submitted and gone her PHD. She says talking about failure back then in that low moment was really valuable and she thinks there's value beyond just the person it can help people get a clear and accurate picture of what scientists do. And what they go through scientists aren't used to talking about our emotions and our vulnerability. It's a space. That's very different for us because your emotions don't. Get you grant money, your emotions don't get you funders, your emotions don't get you. Your next publication. Mariam says failure is Paul of science. It's part of the nature of what you do and talking about it would only be an improvement for the field. And I think that we're really doing ourselves into services. Scientists by not talking about those fresh failures because I think that people start to see out devastated. A scientist can be after a failure. But that because they love science so much because we're so passionate about the questions that were asking we will eventually come back with the optimism that the next time. We do an experiment it might work out. That story was reported by Alan you and Allen failure is sort of having a moment right now, they are these universities that are starting up conversations about failure. And also scientists are trying to bring more attention to the fact that mistakes happen. Even in science and also in research publications, right? Yes. So one example of something called the loss of confidence project, which group of psychologists started, and the idea is for them to take a look at the old work and tell people, you know, this doesn't really hold up anymore. And he speaks to the idea that the whole point of science is to learn new things I told to call native scientists Chris Shaprio he's behind that project. Scientist you are known and judged on your body of published work so admitting that there are cracks or flaws in it might be difficult especially for for some people. So we really wanted to sort of provide a social impetus to show people that it's, you know, it's okay. Chris shed one of his early research papers, where he that something that scientists coal p hacking, basically, it means you crunch the numbers until you get the results that you want and his team collected ten more examples from researchers who are willing to take a look at that old. Work more critically and not all of them, a tenured professors with secure jobs. So is the thinking, you know, if we get some people to share mistakes they've made and discuss them publicly, maybe others will follow suit best. Right. And so his vision is that maybe the science journals will have a section for something like this kind of a full room where researchers can learn from each other's mistakes sooner. We didn't want her deathbed confessions. We wanted active researchers to talk about this and to say what they had lost confidence in and the hope is that this will bring about a different process. One west scientists few free to say, you know, I don't think this result really holds up. Thank you, Allen Franks, Mike. Generally, speaking, scientists publicly reviewing their own work finding their own mistakes that doesn't happen. Very few people want to shine a giant spotlight on their own failures. So who's out there looking for bad science, meet a guy who's been nicknamed the data thug James Heather's or come across is sufficiently intimidating to live up to that. Yes. You sound. You sound very intimidating. Oh, thank you very much for saying James is a bio signals researcher at Northeastern University in Boston in the computational behavioral science lab that's his day job. But in his spare time together with other scientists James looks for mistakes and inconsistencies in research. Studies. Can you venture a guess how much of the research that were consuming on a daily basis has prob? Uh-huh. In it. But really depends on what you mean by problems if you mean really serious problems not that much estimates for all forms of serious misconduct and for serious mistakes ole somewhere in the low single figures four normal inconsistencies, it's a lot higher. But it's also a lot harder to determine normal inconsistencies are things like human and machine errors old equipment. Breaking down files being lost mistakes. Made when measurements are taken or coded all of which leads to having incomplete or incorrect data as for major problems. Here's an example, the people James collaborates with found many of them in some research that came out of Cornell University from a really successful and popular scientists, Brian one sink. They didn't find one or two they found one hundred fifty and this is a scientist who has done a lot of research. On nutrition right on the size of plates and the color of plates, and where your toaster is located that kind of stuff, you absolutely toast. A location dynamics we had Brian wanting on the pulse of few years ago. Hey, good morning. Good morning. Good. Born in Philadelphia. Yeah. Yeah. Cool cool and sure enough we talked about toasters mixture. There was no toast, your counter, we did this really cool study called the Syracuse study because we went into two hundred and thirty households and circus, and took pictures of everything they had and weighed the family we found that the average family that has toaster sitting out anywhere in the kitchen. The male of the household will wait will wait eight pounds more than the daddy next door. Why? Well, I think it's largely because it makes breads so attractive. It's like, you know, it wasn't really thinking of bread toast. You know, that's a different story since then seventeen of Brian wanting papers have been retracted he no longer teaches at Cornell. But he says he stands by his work. I s James Heather is how this kind of thing happens. I'm wondering though, how does the scientific community failed to detect such errors the? These papers were published. They got a lot of attention. It seemed legit right? Well, he's a he's a very good presente. And I think he's extremely personable. When he speaks about his research with a lot more dynamism than I can usually must. It's it's on on face value. I think it's it's very interesting to people. You question was like how did this thrive? Yes. And the answer is really simple. Peer review is not designed to detect whether or not numbers exist in the first place. I give you a marvelous example of this. If if we we have children in the room when we give them all twenty jelly beans, and they all eat an average of eight the average of what is left behind his twelve. It's massachu- linen primers. Go those numbers in this paper were the of of that level of simplicity. None of the numbers were consistent. Now when I found that piper one thousand one hundred people had down. Unloaded on read that paper over a period of about a decade. And no one pointed out the fact that the primary school maths didn't add up that is how and said ical to accuracy, the peer review in what we can co post publication review convey think these mistakes happen in the first place because I don't think and I don't want to assume that people said out to do bad science and to put shoddy workout there. I think in general there are an enormous amount of people in science who swimming furiously upstream just trying to keep body and soul together as they are turning their work into publications and turning their publications into careers. It's very hard to be incredibly accurate incredibly fast and science increasingly as a profession demands speed. So is there a way that the field? Of science could embrace the concept of failures more as part of the process, the good and the bad, and and all the mishaps and mistakes that happen or would up -solutely love that. I think it should be okay to say either publish something on top of my paper that expresses concern or retract my paper until I can fix it or help me change this. I would like it. If you could put a note on your own paper that says I've lost confidence in this result will someone come and help me actually solve the problem. You absolutely should be allowed to make a mistake, and then go out owner and fix it. But the idea of Anita put as many published items in order as possible. Is not really congruent with son James Heather's is a bio signals researcher at Northeastern University in Boston. And in his free time. He tracks down mistakes in studies and papers. So I moved my toaster for nothing. I think you should probably go and put that toast back. We're talking about failure. How we deal with it. What we can learn from it medical school is tough competitive exhausting and expensive. Which means the stakes are high list tongue has the story of a student who faced failure and came up with an innovative solution. It was the second round of med school applications for Percy Tachiki hit applied to a dozen schools the year before and didn't get into any of them. So in the spring of two thousand seventeen when he got an Email from one of the schools, he applied to he was expecting a big fat. No. And I'm reading the words, and I'm seeing all positive worries all sorts of gray worries. I'm like, wait. Hold on like gonna accept me in at the bottom. They're like oh years the award package, and I was in disbelief. I started crying tears of joy, it was a huge moment for Percy it decided in college that he wanted to be a doctor. It's sort of a family business. His brother's a doctor his mom, a nurse, and he liked the idea of service. But there was something else. Driving Percy a few years before while Percy was still in college. His mom had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer Percy's has visiting his mom the hospital during the last year of her life helped cement his drive to become a doctor got to see different physicians who would care for her. And I saw some really great ones, and I saw some really bad ones. And I think just seeing that while like a low these people are doctors, not every doctor's great doctor. You know, I wanna be able to go into this field, and how Rusape it or kind of help change the landscape, even after perseus mom died that determination stuck with him. It kept him going through a whole extra year of pre-med classes, and then two more years of working full-time while studying for his m cats, the notoriously tough admissions test for medical students all the way to the fall of twenty seventeen. Which is when Percy started his first year at P, calm, the Philadelphia college of osteopathic medicine Percy says he went in confident well sort of I was good. I'll be honest. I was scared. But I did think I was just gonna come in and kill it Percy had always been a smart guy, and he knew how to work hard. But like a lot of med students. He wasn't prepared for this year volume of material. He had to learn each and every week this analogy that medical school is like taking a fire hose sticking in their mouth and his turn on full blast. That's almost information. You're getting that first trimester Percy had three main classes, he was doing well in the first two, but the third one, and anatomy course, was just so much information. They got tested on every two weeks which was daunting enough. But there was something else that made this class, especially scary. If you do not pass it then unfortunately, you have to retake do over the whole year. Let me repeat that this. Class is so important that if you fail you essentially have to drop out for the rest of the year and start over from scratch the following fall. It only took a couple exams for Percy to realize that failing the class was a real risk hit never had to learn this much stuff in his life. It was completely overwhelming. But Percy Denness for help. He felt like he had to figure this out on his own and the worst. He did the more isolated he became kinda felt like it was you know, like a snowball rolling down a hill. And the keeps building up. It was just it was just downhill, and it was it was it was hard for me to come back from the whole that Doug myself in soon Percy's fear of failure started affecting his studies. And it would just keep coming into my head was going to happen. If I don't pass. What would he do if he failed? How would he tell people? I didn't know what what what will life was going to be like after I didn't pass, you know, even just having a conversation in the hallways. You see people people are prepping for this class. Like, oh, you know disability. No identity pass. This course, there was also a more practical concern Percy had paid for his tuition along with this housing. His bills textbooks using financial aid money, and he knew that loan money with contingent on his being enrolled in school. Didn't even know how all this going to live where it was gonna live out. I was going to have money for that. And I was scared not knowing how to approach have conversations with professors to not seem as though I had given up for Percy. That's how taboo, the idea of failing was he needed help. But he couldn't bring himself to discuss the possibility with his professors, even at the risk of facing potential homelessness are think a lot of they're still shame associated with with struggle Stewart Slavin's whole job is to study well being among med students. He used to be a med school. Dean and now works at the accreditation. Council for graduate medical education that organization responsible for crediting med schools. And Stuart says. Medical students are especially vulnerable to this. Shame and stigma associated with academic failure. If you reveal to others that you're struggling people will think you're weak that that you're not as tough as everybody else. Stuart says that competitiveness and the intense fear of failure that it brings is part of the culture medical school. He says that's partly because a lot of programs have unrealistic expectations, and partly because of the students themselves, they view performance as identity many of them, right? So so they don't see themselves as oh, I got this test score is I am this test score. What makes things worse is that according to Stewart, those thoughts can lead to some really serious problems. Studies show that medical students have depression and anxiety at rates as much as three to five times higher than the general public and that can lead to a vicious cycle. Fear of failure leads to anxiety and depression, anxiety and depression can disrupt students lives leading to actually fail. So how'd you break this cycle to find out? I turned to Angela Duckworth. She's a psychology researcher at the university of Pennsylvania, better known as the author of the book grit. You know, what I notice about gritty women and men across a different fields is that there is a kind of underlying confidence about what they are going to be capable of at some point. I don't think it's the same thing as era Gance about what they are currently capable of today. In fact, I think actually knowing what you can't do is important because with gritty individuals that are just always learning and improving its what psychologists call a growth mindset, basically the belief that you can get better smarter more skilled by challenging yourself. It's opposite is the fixed mindset would says ability is eight either have it or you don't would distinguish the two is how they react to failure people with fixed. Mindsets see as evidence that they don't have what it takes and never will people with growth mindsets on the other hand are more likely to embrace. Failure to see it as an opportunity to learn and improve Angela says it helps to think of your life as a story your narrative. The idea is not to tell perfect story. The idea is not even to tell like the best possible, sir. Just to tell east story one possible. So that you can be proud of. And if I were a medical student who had just failed my first year. I would certainly say this is a really grim chapter. Right. It's a low point in the narrative like let's not kid ourselves. But I would think about it as like, okay? What happens next in the story, and we've all read enough stories and listen to enough stories to know that you know, the greatest people alive have had those chapters for Percy that chapter became real. When he received his grades for the first trimester. It was the moment of truth had he passed his anatomy class or not ended up with a sixty percent. And you needed a seventy two points off. It was pretty tough to take. But it wasn't a disaster. Percy had thought it would be he found out. He could hold onto his financial aid by continuing to take supplementary classes until fall arrived. And he was able to start his first year over again, it could have been a grim nine months, but instead Percy decided to make something productive out of it. He started working out reconnected with friends figured out which study methods worked best for him. And he even started thinking about failure differently in order to get to where we want to get to or going to have failures. They your lead us into success. That's how Percy decided to launch his own podcast behind the white coat failure and perce e v Ren's get it was going on. Folks feels great to be back man this past trimester was rough one so far Percy's Moseley interviewed other med students. He talks about his failures. They talk about there's and then when I took step probably my darkest time medical school because. Because that was how they dealt with it what they learned from it. And how they eventually muddled through to the other side Percy says hearing other people's stories and thinking about his own has already helped and hope that when people started to see the. Oh, wow. All these people who are doing all of these wonderful things they went through a whole bunch of trials and tribulations, you know, they had a whole bunch of failures, and they would allow other people to open up and share their stories, and you make other people not discourage the keep pushing forward that's all Percy imagines his own story will go he went back to school in the fall of twenty eighteen back to his first trimester. And the anatomy class that he didn't pass and this time he confronted his weaknesses head on. For instance, e figured out that flash cards helped him target the material he knew the least and that living a balanced life was ultimately better for his academics than all night. Cram sessions so far it seems to have worked he passed that anatomy class and now he's in his third trimester. But he says. School is still really hard and his fear of failure hasn't gone away, the differences now instead of imagining every detail of his own failure. He tries to keep the faith that eventually hill succeed for the pulse. I'm Liz tongue. Van the white hope filled. You impressing be rinsed. Do one from. Pass them by from just the willingness to the sky now take this journey with student doctor personally, fear. We're talking about failure. How we cope with it? And how we can learn from it a new documentary called right to fail looks at an ambitious effort to give New Yorkers with severe mental illness the chance to live independently in what's called supported housing. It was a landmark Warwick Rosen's of New Yorkers with severe mental illness had a right to live on their own. It was a huge question about whether people that have been institutionalized can live successfully in the community and the right to scissors taught me than zoo apartment prep line and propublica examined the challenges and the risks. My brother was found. Totally naked was he taking his medication. We'll see not taking many Asian. What was going on? Steph yin looked into right to fail and some of the issues around supported housing that are covered in the documentary. And she's here now to talk more haste of hey, Mike. So steph. What is supported housing? And ideally, what should it look like? So how it works is that people would get their own apartment and someone from a social service agency was supposed to come check on them a few times a week. But for the most part people had the freedom to run their own errands, cook their own meals and go about their days as they wanted. So it was supposed to be less restrictive, but people still had support. Yes. In theory. So what happened? So what the investigation found was that for many people this setup worked just fine. Some people even flourished, they built their own lives and their own friends networks, but there were other people for which the setup didn't work. So well, I talked to Joaquin Sapien who investigated this for propublica. Many of these people had lived in institutions for decades for their entire adult life. It never lived on their own and they became accustomed to. To having a lot of things done for them laundry being fed calls to take your medication things like that. So canes team looked into what happened to some of the people who moved out of adult homes into their own apartments, and they found more than two dozen cases where the system totally fell through and people ended up getting seriously hurt or even dying one of the people that we focused on in. Our story is a guy named Abraham Clemente who lived in his own apartment for less than a year, and it really devolved very quickly into a squalid situation. I mean, the whole apartment was alive with insects. Abraham also accidentally started to fires in its kitchen. And ultimately, he ended up back in the group home. So this didn't work out for him. And for others. I looked at the documentary, and they. Also talked to a man name Nestor bunch. Yes, Nestor has severe schizophrenia. He has trouble telling his hallucinations from reality. And he's pretty much lived under some form of supervision his entire adult life. He moved into one apartment wound up having a suicide attempt was then moved in with a roommate who his caregivers thought might be able to take care of him. He found that roommate naked in dead in the foyer of their shared apartment building. So that roommate had died of hypothermia and what happened to Nestor after that? So Nestor was really traumatized by that afterwards. He moved a couple more times Emma's alternately found in another apartment injured with an inch of his life. His doctor suspected he had been brutally beaten up possibly by his roommate and even after all of that state wanted to keep him in his own place in. So what we saw was that. There was an effort to kind of key. Keep people in their own apartments once I'd moved no matter what. So they were dust. There were injuries this documentary is called right to fail. Why this title why not just straight up failure right to fail is a term used by advocates and people working in the field of supported housing to convey that these people should have the freedom to live like anyone else in the least restrictive setting with adequate supports and that includes the freedom to try things that might lead to failure. So I talked about that with Tony laszewski executive director of the association for community living most of us in the mental health world believe that people should be giving enough space to take risks. Because after all nobody really moves vote in their lives unless they take some risk. Tony represents nonprofits from around New York state that provides supported housing to people with mental illness. They're called housing providers. When somebody moves out of there. Parents home. They're taking a risk when they change jobs. They take a risk when somebody moves out of an institutional setting into an independent apartment. They're taking a risk. There's no doubt about it. And a person with a serious mental illness is probably feeling more anxious than most about a step like that. But it doesn't mean that we shouldn't allow them to do it. And we shouldn't support them in doing it. Tony says that the vast majority of people who move out of adult homes into supported housing do just fine. But she acknowledges that there are people who fall through the cracks. She thinks this system needs better ways to detect when someone's illness starts to deteriorate. So what are they gonna do better in New York? How would they catch somebody before they totally deteriorate? Yes. So one of the things that stood out to the reporter Joaquin was that there are so many players involved in this system. You have the state the housing provider the social service agencies the individual workers who are underpaid and. Burnt out and the lines of communication and accountability between these people aren't very clear until recently, the state didn't even have an incident tracking system all that leads to people pointing fingers instead of taking action when something goes wrong, part of the solution seems to be just consolidating and clarifying who's responsible for what has there been any reaction on a government level to this documentary at all, yes. After the documentary, aired a federal judge ordered an investigation of the quality controls of supported housing. So everyone's waiting for those results now and both Joaquin Antoni agree that the entire system is totally underfunded and desperately needs more money to work properly. Thank you. So if the documentary is called right to fail. It's a collaboration between frontline and propublica, and we'll put a link on our website, WHYY dot org slash the pulse. So what makes a failure a failure? I guess it depends on who you ask. And what metric you're using in your evaluation money popularity scientific achievement. Sometimes you get one. But not the other Lindsey Lazar ski has this example from the world of technology. Have you ever heard of the RCA videodisc know, that's fine. Most people haven't now what's that? Oh, no, no. What? Or C as a recording company. All right. Here's the back story. The RCA video disc was a short lived entertainment format developed by the Radio Corporation of America. And it was essentially a way to store a video on a record on a vinyl record. That's technology. Historian. Ben Grosse from the Linda hall library in Kansas City. He is a collection of these things and brought one with him the one that's in my hand right now is a movie called Star Wars. You might have heard of it. So about the size of a regular L P, and it's encased in a protective sleeve if you were to play this. You would not actually take the record out yourself with your hands. Because the groups are so small that you might end up getting dirt or dust or something else into them. And then the record wouldn't play right? The disk is encased in a protective sleeve and can only be removed by the player to your hands and never touch it and it won't be damaged. So instead, you would put it into your video disc player, which you'd have hooked up to your TV kind of like a DVD player or a VCR. You would kind of. Slide it in. It would click you pull out the sleeve and the disc would stay inside the player and ring not to found but found and pictures, clear beautiful pictures right into your living room to build this analog system. Engineers had to figure out a way to cram all the information of a feature length film sound images color into the grooves of a record. And you would read it with a needle in this case a diamond stylus with metal electrode at the bottom. Each side of the disc could hold an hour of a movie, and then you had to flip it to the other side engineers, and scientists are CA began developing this technology in the nineteen sixties after color television had become a hit. At that time. The only way to watch a film in the comfort of your own home was if you had a projector in screen RCA was always interested in coming up with the next big electronic breakthrough. So they started thinking to themselves. What sort of thing would be a good follow up product and one technology that jumped out was some sort of home video player engineers had a couple of different technologies that could serve as the basis for this system magnetic tape like in a VCR or Eliezer based system in DVD's, but they ended up going with what they knew vinyl. It was easy to mass produce them. They had a lot of experience making records, and they could stamp them out pretty quickly. Once they figured out how to actually encode the information inside the grooves. Then it was a relatively straightforward compared to making a tape based system, and it was less expensive than something that used lasers RCA released. The video disc in nineteen eighty one with a splash why from NBC. Studios in New York City. Arm CA presents a year with our name on it. But evening and welcome to NBC studio. Eight h I'm Tom Brokaw. NBC news tonight. We are going to be part of an story event in the home entertainment industry. Chairman at good Griffiths said the company invested more in the videodisc than it had in black and white or color television in our judgment. This will be the most dramatic and important consumer product since the introduction of color, but it wasn't. It was a massive flop. There were several problems with the video disc. The biggest one being the timing of its release by the time. The video disc was released VH s was already on the market, and it could do something video disc couldn't record your favorite program or sports game. And watch it later laser discs were also entering the field. Then there was a new and emerging business model that are CA had an anticipated rentals. The company assumed that people would have video disc elections just like they did record collections today. Many of us have VCR's and DVD players collecting dust in our basements, not video displays they just never took off. Well, that is one of the most tragic parts of the story is that RCA spent an enormous amount of money to make this happen in the end when they decided in nineteen Eighty-four to kind of wind down video production. The total loss was calculated at around five hundred eighty million dollars. It was a significant enough loss that the company was put into financial peril and by nineteen Eighty-six. They were bought out by General Electric. This was the last great consumer electronics product that RCA ever tried to release, but despite its commercial defeat, then says the ingenuity of the video disc is a reminder that the line between success and failure isn't always. So. Cut from a technical perspective. The video disc is a remarkable technology. Right. Figuring out how to take all of the video and audio information from a two hour long movie and put it within the grooves of a vinyl record. That is a very difficult technical achievement. And the fact that RCA scientists and engineers were able to figure out how to do that. And not only how to do that. But how to turn it into a commercially viable product is extremely impressive at the same time technical brilliance doesn't necessarily translate into commercial success. So here was a technology that was for a variety of reasons not able to eke out a market share. And ultimately was consigned to oblivion. That science historian Ben Grosse and Lindsey Lazar ski reported that story. So failure is in the eye of the beholder the framework matters a few years ago, I hung out with some very special Uman's who don't care if they failed. In fact, that's pretty much all they do all day long. And they seem to be undeterred by it. Let's listen back. How? Ten months old Henry Bechtel ones. Nothing more than to put his little hands on my microphone, but he just can't get there. Try as he might to stand Saltzman is a year and a half. And she's having a terrible time. Trying to put colorful rings on wooden stakes. There goes the whole thing falling on the floor. Olivia. And I were also experiencing a pretty serious failure to communicate. Crash, but that pay. Finally, she holds up a tiny crested object which belongs to one of Princess dolls crash. Oh, purse, and she just doesn't seem to care. That's because at this precious age from birth to about eighteen months kids, only feel the primary emotions joy, and sadness, and anger and fear and disgust and one other which is surprise Catherine dolls guard is a psychologist at the children's hospital of Philadelphia. And she says that limited range of emotions means blissful. Ignorance children are busy busy busy in the first year of life trying to learn how to talk and how to walk and how to use fine and gross motor skills, and how to have their movements correspond to what their brain is saying to do. So basically the first year of life is about learning literally learning to walk the walk and talk the talk. So they don't have time or the capacity to know how they are in relation to others to judge. Themselves in relation to others. All of those things think about it. How would you learn to crawl stand walk or talk? If you were secretly wondering, why Hudson over there can already get up the steps, even though he was born two months after you or why little Ella? With her. Perfect hair is already forming three word sentences show off dolls guard says that all of those more complex emotions envy jealousy pride. The baggage. Perhaps all that comes later around two years of age, they are called the social emotions, it means that the child has developed the capacity to understand herself in relation to others. And once kids understand the concept of achievement and failure on a more complex level. Parents play an important role in framing how they deal with setbacks and dolls guard says many overdo it big time krone ups are bylabatry mounts a child fails. And it's oh, it's okay. It's okay. It's okay. Don't were. It's just a mistake. Oh, it's okay. If it's not perfect. We can we can give you new piece of paper. Look you can drought. Again, the did. And the message that children get from. That is oh my gosh. My failure has made my mother anxious look at how much she is trying to correct it or fix it. Or sue that? It must be a big deal instead dolls guard encourages parents to allow failure to happen. And if nobody's heard give your child space to deal with it feeling distress is a normal an important part of growing up and being able to deal with that distress and move on dolls guard says that's what's going to count in the long run. There's a lot of research that says the better you are regulating your emotions the th the ability to soothe yourself the ability to put the painful event that just happened to you into perspective. And then shoes how to express your motions about? That is one of the main predictors of adult success, so dealing with kids failure is yet another thing parents can fail it. And that's not all researchers have. I also found that how parents praise their children's successes impacts. How kids will deal with future challenges praising behaviors rather than making glowing blanket statements, so nice work drawing that elephant rather than? Oh, wow. You're the best artists ever that seems to help kids develop a healthy attitude toward learning new skills and potential failure. Moment happy when? That's our show for this week. The pulses a production of WHYY in Philadelphia. Our health and science reporters are Alan you list. Hung jets Lehman and Steph yet Julian Harris is our intern. We had helped producing this week's episode from Joseph Redman Charlie Kyler is our engineer Lindsey Lazar ski is our producer Tanya English is our editorial director, I'm Mike. Instead. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare WHYY's health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund, P H, M C gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

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The Science of Staying Cool

The Pulse

48:28 min | 5 months ago

The Science of Staying Cool

"Major funding for the pulses provided by leadership. Gift from the Sutherland family. The Sutherland support. Whyy and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of Health and science. I Mike and Scott. We're headed into June and in most places in the. Us temperatures are rising cool down our houses. Our offices stores but imagine summer for a moment without air conditioning without fans without electricity. If opening the windows doesn't cool things down. You're pretty much out of options. Says Rhett Elaine? He's a physicist at southeastern Louisiana State. Fontham GonNa make something colder. It's pretty impossible. He says by comparison creating warm surround. You is relatively easy. Light a fire. Boil some water. Rub Your Hands Together. I mean if you WANNA mechanically setup or engineer or something to make things hot. I mean it's trivial. Read says creating cold eluded humans for far longer. It's a great question. Why is it easier to go? One Way? He thinks up increase the temperature. And it's not so easy to decrease the temperature understanding how to lower temperatures matters for our comfort and help but so much more. Our food supply medical equipment and treatments energy production computing. All of that depends on the power to chill sings on today's episode. The science of staying cool smart buildings battling heat islands and cooling our bodies and minds first up understanding the mechanics of cool why is cooling harder than heating jets. Lehman has more so at the most basic to cool something. You can use something cool. Obviously here's physicist Rhett Allain again when ever put to objects of different temperatures in contact then will transfer energy from the hotter object to the Cooler Object Ice Cubes in Soda. Warm Soda chills. Got It but think about it. There's a bit of a catch twenty two buried in there. You need an initial cold thing to cool the second warm thing that speaks to why cavemen had fire ages ago and we've only had fridges at home for some one hundred years. If you want to understand why cool is complicated you May. I have to forget what you think you know about heat. You know we talk about heat in ways that makes it seem like it's an actual substance that flows from one place to the other and we even say heat flow but it's not the average high this time of year hovers around ninety in rats corner of Louisiana still. He doesn't really believe in heat. At least not the same way. A lot of us think of it. He calls it a four letter word. Heat isn't is a leftover term. Heat is a term from the early days of science. When we didn't really have a good grasp vowed everything worked. We didn't really understand the quantum mechanical properties of matter. Instead he thinks of heat and cold as the transfer of energy gives me this. Try at home experiment to dispel the whole heat as a substance or flow thing idea take to water bottles and hot fill them with hot water and then cover one of them with how soaked in hot water which bottle cools off faster. The one you added a hot thing to or the other that she left alone. It turns out the one with a wet towel. Even it's like a hot wet towel is going to pull off faster than the other one. Think energy transfer not heat flow. So the water in that. Tau transitioned from liquid state to gas state which takes energy and words get that energy from it gets from the water bottle. The fact is how sweat cools us. The Fan you have lasting in your face only really works if you're sweaty if there's something to evaporate into all that air another type of cooling is the fundamental behind. How are fridge is work again? You can try this at home So this one. You just take a rubber band and you stretch it and you hold it out stretched and when you and when you do that you put it up against your your lip because your lobster since band will feel warm because the polymers. These large molecules that make up. The rubber band are getting distorted and that generates heat. If You keep holding it stretched out eventually goes back to room temperature transferring energy to the air around it and now once it reached room temperature you let it go back to his natural vision and you know what happens it gets cold and it's so awesome because you can stretch over. Banfield. I tried to and it works. The rubber band had cooled off in the stretched out state where it was supposed to be warmer. Now that it's back in its relaxed state. It gets even colder than normal because the universe still demands that energy transfer so this energy transfer happens and has a cooling effect. But how do you capture it now? You may be closer to understanding why it took so long to make a refrigerator. Your Fridge uses gas to do this. It gets compressed which heats it up all the atoms bunched up bouncing off each other but even the compressed gas like the stretched rubber band eventually cools to normal. Then it's decompressed and goes down. Even further the normal to fridge temperature or freezer. It does seem like a magic trick. And that's so awesome about it. But Still Cooling and heating seemed to be based off the same principle energy transfer in and out of something so why is one direction so much harder than the other. It probably has something to do with entropy but I don't think I've really wrap my head around that whole problem here. I reached out to a low temperature physicist to help me wrap my head around. My Name is Roberto Ramos. I'm a professor at the University of the Sciences. I M low temperature physicist and what I do is cool matter Devices materials to study their quantum properties. He told me about entropy it's a thermodynamics term it means disorder randomness and everything in nature gravitates toward it more time passes more entropy messier and Messier and cool needs order. Cool things means to put them in ordered form and that takes work and that's why it's harder go things than warm in any universe ruled by entropy. It's harder to cool something in sort of the same way. It's harder to put an egg back together rather than crack one. And when Roberto says cool he means really really cool. Most of his research takes place below four Kelvin. Kelvin is a temperature scale with no negative stopping at zero at the bottom of temperature. Zero Kelvin is like negative four hundred and Sixty Fahrenheit from the visual point of view. One were to try to imagine at Jiggling back and forth by breathing back and forth. It was natural to assume that when being stopped by braiding that would be the bottom. The bottom absolutely no jiggling all is called zero and it's theoretically impossible thanks to something called the. Heisenberg uncertainty principle but reverted tells me about ways to get close. A very common route is liquid. Helium like the same stuff. That's in birthday balloons as a gas. You find it an MRI machines they need. Something called superconductivity when certain materials get very very cold their electrical resistance drops away resistance by the way is what causes stuff to heat up when you run electricity through it. We know aluminum when you were its temperature to about one degree. Kelvin. All of that resistance disappears and it's not just resistance becoming less and less at one degree. Calvin all the systems vanishes that's important because amb are is magnetic. Resonance imagers used incredibly powerful magnetic fields which take a lot of electricity if there were normal. Non Superconducting Resistance at play. They cook patients rather than help. Treat them but perhaps the most exciting thing and cold. These days is what it can do for quantum computers. These things dwarf the power of current supercomputers using atomic particles to do computation instead of digital ones and Zeros. Those quantum bits though are very sensitive. Any little thing can throw them off. You have to isolate the physical quantum system from the universe and one way to do. That is using cryogenics basically ultra low temperature physics techniques. I ask Roberto about how cold. He's been going recently in his lab. So right now in my lab. We have a small cry a cooler that when the plugged in the electrical outlet it can go to about two degrees Kelvin in about one and a half hours so that say that we're actually colder than outer space and we can do that in about an hour and a half colder than Outer Space. But that lab isn't even the coldest there's a bunch that go way lower. Sometimes it's a bit mind boggling. Yes you start. Think that maybe there are some under intention beings and and they have produced in lower temperatures. Perhaps that's Hakone party at the low temperature lab in Helsinki in one thousand nine hundred ninety nine. They set the cold world record possibly. Actually the cold known universe record smallest temperature that we have reached is around one hundred People Kelvin. And that's one of billions of degree. That's like zero point nine zero and then won. The process starts with liquid helium to get down to a few Kelvin and then it gets pretty complicated. Basically the apply and then remove powerful magnetic fields which. There's a lot of math to it but it causes a temperature drop in certain materials in this case some bits of this medal rhodium. It's not very small. I mean it's two grams of metal. It's a decades of work to get those two grams of metal that cold years to even measure it after it was achieved and there's other labs always striving to colder to add another zero after the decimal point. But it's not like these. Scientists are out here freezing things just for the sake of announcing unimpressively small number. You always want to have some kind of physical question that he want to test in the experiments and the the record temperatures. They are by products of the research when things get very cold at the subatomic level petry says a kind of mask falls away so if you do research trump temperature then many things amassed by the film motion of atoms but when you go to temperatures then you get rid of this December motion and you can really study the basic properties of material. The more scientists learn about cold the lower they can go the more they can uncover about the fundamental nature of everything. It's pretty cool for the pulse. I'm Chad Sulaiman. Staying cool comes down to a science not just in theory not just in some lab but in our everyday lives in cities controlling temperatures is connected to design the more asphalt concrete and sauced from cars the more cities trap heat which can create health issues like asthma or stroke for residents. Many cities are looking for solutions. Let's listen back to this story from Irena Zhukov. Who reported on how Philadelphia is tackling heat? It was hot the day I met. Ledeen durant an air conditioner. Blew cold air in the living room but we made our way to the second floor of her North Philadelphia House. To See Birdie baby is a blues town and lives in a little room next to the beans bedroom there are no windows on the sides of Ledeen House and he rises and gets trapped on the top floor. Birdie is a tropical parakeet so hot in London's row house Birdie couldn't handle it. She kind of gasping for air. And you know I spray her but you could just see her pay in like the law. Tango Ledeen has asthma and she had a hard time breathing to. If it's like ninety five outside it will feel like maybe anywhere from one. Hundred degrees maybe. One hundred overheated homes likely. Deans are a common problem in Philadelphia to see where he'd concentrates in the city. I sat down with the city planning professor at the University of Pennsylvania. My name is Ken Staife. Can you satellite data from July Day in two thousand sixteen when temperatures were in the nineties to map the temperatures around the city? He found he pockets. We can see that. There are certain areas certain hot spots that are hotter than others. He zooms in on some black route. Warehouses North Philly black absorbs heat and can turn a building into a kind of solar oven on the map. The warehouses glow bright red indicating surface temperatures around one hundred fifteen degrees ditto with vast parking. Lots that surround the sports stadiums in south philly temperatures in the low one hundred's spread out across the dense downtown like an orange bruise on the map. Conversely if you look in my neighborhood in West philly around the Woodland Cemetery in Clark Park you can see. It's much cooler. West Philly is less dense and has a lot of trees a large park in the western part of the city and the rivers appear as a nice cool green on the map around seventy five degrees living vegetation air conditioning system at brings water up out of the ground and then it evaporates it into the tree canopy. And so that has sort of a natural cooling effect. That's mark inhofe scientist with NASA. He says if you zoom out across the region the whole city glows hotter on the map then the suburbs and surrounding rural areas. This is called the heat island effect. I perceived in London during the industrial revolution. When when London was growing very rapidly people realize that it seemed to be much warmer in the city than it was in the outlying areas. This is certainly true in Philly. This city was carved long ago into what used to be forest today blocks and blocks of row houses face off along asphalt streets and cement sidewalks. It's an old city where houses are not well. Insulated and many people can't afford to pay for air conditioning. Parts affiliate notably treeless can staife the city. Planning professor says in one neighborhood settled by Italians. People like to be able to see the bustle on the street and check on their neighbors out their windows. So trees didn't fit the culture. A lot of these things came to ahead in the nineties. When there was a series of heat waves our top story a brutal and potentially dangerous heatwave are a hundred people died many of them were elderly back then. Ideas AROUND HEALTHIER GREENER. Cities were relatively new to city planning. This was before philly developed a heat warning system a tree planting program and gotTa Sustainability Officer. Virtually every roof in the city was black but the deadly heat waves drove change and mark the NASA scientist says there are things you can do to combat the heat island effect in addition to adding greenery different building materials. Different roofing types will ameliorate urban heat. Islands in two thousand ten city passed an ordinance requiring cool roofs for New Construction and nonprofit called the Energy Coordinating Agency started tackling existing. Older houses were homeowners. Couldn't afford to pay for the costly retrofits. Those repairs can run anywhere between eight to ten thousand dollars. Remember Ledeen Durant and Birdie. The agency installed a cool roof on her house last year. Now is pretty comfortable for me. I was there as the nonprofit tackled block not far from Ledeen House. The block has just a couple of trees on it. Lots of cement workers were rehabbing two rooms. Ricardo Araujo is one of the residents. Who's getting help? I visit him in the morning but the thermometer already reads ninety three degrees. There's no air inside. He tells me and ask how he and his wife deal with. Yama in the summers the shower two three times per day. He's wearing a tank top. Anpac sweat dripping down his face a surgery. Sky peeks out of his shirt off he's had heart surgery the heat agitates him. He needs fresh air. He says I leave Ricardo and climb a ladder to the top of his house. Couple of roofers or finishing up the first layer of the cool roof coating rubberized paint. But importantly it's white which means that reflects heat rather than absorbing it just dip your Roller and the material and he smeared it on the live. Fine even layers. That's Frank Zimmerman. His boss Rob Often works with the energy nonprofit with you do not want to be cheap with this so nice even coat and you don't scrub it. You just keep dipping. Haiku Make Cover. All the Black Rob looks out over the neighborhood. Most of the routes here are still black but around the city about forty percent of roofs are now reflective. Rob Says. He just bought a new house and apply to cool roof. His wife is happy with it. Do you notice that our bedroom was cooler. Told me that he the difference and she's going through hot. Flashes scored the Energy Coordinating Agency estimates if the city can get to sixty or seventy percent reflective roofs that will help cool the whole city and drive down health risks and costs for residents back on my desk. I pulled a satellite image of Philadelphia in some neighborhoods black roofs still dominate and others. White roofs spread across blocks with black. Just here and there the area of us make the streets look like piano keys. Irena Zora reporting. We're talking about the science of staying cool so you can retrofit buildings to reduce temperatures doing things like adding white roofs or you can plan them differently right from the start. The first thing that we have to keep in mind is obviously climate where executive building is located. That's ISLA academia. She is associated professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Massachusetts. Amherst ISLA works. On high performance. Buildings homes hospitals schools office buildings that drastically reduce energy consumption and also improve comfort for those inside. She says careful. Planning and design can take a lot of heat out of a building orienting building to respond to the sewer position using shading devices on the building envelope to try to reduce sore. He'd gained using sort of the MASSINC and volume of the building to provide self shading when needed. The materials used during construction. Also play a big role. For example on Era Gel. Insulation is highly efficient insulating material. Gel is an ultra lightweight material. That sometimes called solid cloud is was developed by NASA and consists mostly of air so ninety percent of Euro Gel is air and a beautiful sort of aspect of this material is that it can be clue included in opaque facade systems but also glazed so glazed facade systems windows or curtain. Walls are the poorest performing wall systems so by integrating era for example in curtain walling skyscrapers. That mostly are made out of glass facade systems it can drastically improve thermal performance of that system which Dan Reduces energy consumption. You can design a place to stay cool but then you'll probably still need something to make it cooler yet. The air conditioner was invented in Nineteen. O Two by Willis carrier and most of the units. That cool buildings now still rely on the same principle of blowing out cold air. It uses a very large scale air handling unit that's installed typically on a rooftop of the building or in the basement to look at and then air distribution system that's used distribute cold air to the inside of the spaces or heated air and that system is not energy efficient at all. Islas. There's a different way to cool buildings. That doesn't rely on pumping cold air around be called them. Radiant systems. The benefit of radiant system is better than using air to distribute are cooling or heating. You're actually irradiating cooling or heating so the benefits of Radio Systems. First of all using the different medium we're actually cooling surfaces around the person rather than pumping air radiant systems include radiant panels that can be used for heating or cooling nuttier sort of example of a radiant system especially before calling are called chilled beams and these systems basically have water circulating so they they almost look like lighting fixtures so. I actually have one installed in my office at Umass so when people come into my office. They're like This is an interesting lighting fixture. But it's not inside it has water piping and how it works is basically hot air rises. Cool water is being circulated chill beans and as the air around the water piping is being cooled down it basically just by kind of natural stack effect. It's be pushed down to my desk for example. And that's how it's kind of circulates and cools air where it's needed. Oh I mean obviously I've thought about this in terms of he'd because you can have like a brick of coal or a big like glowing ember and it gives off warmth but I never thought about it for some reason in terms of cooling that it gives off the cool. Yeah and they're much more energy efficient than V. A. B. Systems that I mentioned earlier but I think we can do a better job. This is still not a predominant building system. That's used for calling but it should be. Can they achieve the same level of cooling that a traditional air conditioning system does yes even better because again they rely on radiant system which the research over the last thirty years has shown in terms of thermal comfort? Radiant systems are always better then air system because it's not like cold air is blowing on my neck or something. Yes surfaces around. You are cool. Cool down better than air being pumped. Isla show is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We're talking about the science of staying cool. I sweat a lot in the summer. Three shower days are not unusual along with complete outfit changes it gets really annoying and I think a lot of people would love to limit how much they sweat or not sweat at all but without it we would be in really bad shape. Lindsey Lazar sqi explains why it was somewhere in the desert on the road between Jerusalem and a lot when the air conditioning broke down on the bus or told Desert Roads C. Can Imagine how hot it was in the desert in Israel in July. It was hot. Everyone was hot but for Dan. Got Leap Heat can be especially lethal. Because I'm a quadriplegic. I don't sweat very much in order to cool off by buddy. Dan Is Dr Dan a well-known psychologist in New Jersey and a former radio host. He was in a car accident about forty years ago. That left him paralyzed. Happens is my body is almost reptilian. I absorbed the heat so my body temperature was going higher and higher. You See. My spinal cord is severed at the fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae which means I am paralyzed from the Depe- aligned down so below that. I don't perspire. Dan was taking this trip with people from synagogue. He was about two hours away from paradise. A resort town on the Red Sea at the southern most point of Israel picture beaches palm trees and the mountains of Jordan as a backdrop in July average temperatures in a lot can range from eighty to one hundred three degrees so minutes after the. Ac conked out. Dan knew he was in danger. Was perspiring in this ungodly heat in my neck and head but it wasn't enough to call off by body people on the bus new. I was in trouble I was endangering. They were fanning me and doing the best they could but it didn't help standing would not do the trick. Dan Needed to sweat sweat as as the Elixir of life. Or at least the Elixir of survival. That's Monty Lyman. A physician in the Oxford region of the UK. An author of the remarkable life of the skin. He says no matter how hot it gets outside our bodies need to tread an inner tight rope between ninety six point eight and one hundred and four degrees when our bodies core temperature becomes too hot. Maybe it's after a workout or being stuck on a bus in the desert our brain detects that in the hypothalamus. And that is sort of the commander in chief of the body's hormonal and regulations system that the environmental temperature is to hot and her body. Start to heat up the hypothalamus text. That and tells the skin von nurse in your heating Let's get some sweat out there and get some heat out into the atmosphere. Cool body down those nerves activated by the hypothalamus fires signals to our Akron sweat glands and they kick into gear shaped like Spaghetti. We've about four million of these sweat glands in our skin and they have the ability to pump out buckets of sweat per day. We're talking six to eight leaders when sweat which is mostly water evaporates on our skin. Heat molecules are removed cooling the body down Monte says the ability to sweat is key to our survival on many levels if you all agree with people what they thought was the most unique or important thing about the human body that differentiates humans from the mammals and animals people might think opposable thumbs. A large CORTEX large brain but actually human nakedness and sweating. This is unique and incredible. Okay that might sound a little far fetched right but think about what happens when the body is trying to fight off a nasty flu and this is pretty rather than the time facing a a once in a century pandemic without sweat. There's some evidence to say that humans wouldn't be able to survive enormous pandemics and fend off immunological and parasitic and viral and bacterial threats. We sweat during a fever. When our body's temperature is rising to defeat a virus or bacteria? And what happens when people are stressed out or facing down an enemy? The fighter flight response is triggered and they begin to sweat. They wouldn't have been able to fight all grip onto things will climb trees all use weapons without the grip. The sweat enables humans though counterintuitive. The sweat on our palms and feet actually increases grip. And if you're thinking about early. Humans to migrate from place to place. They needed sweat. Without sweating humankind wouldn't have spread across the world because of being able to regulate heat and walking long distances for people who have spinal cord injuries. The ability to sweat is disrupted. Here's Chris Formal a physician at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia to me. It's analogous to having the Thermostat in a house. Being separated from the air conditioning system the air conditioning system can still run just not not hooked up to anything regarding the temperature. So the sweat. Glands are still active. You may be able to sweat if your stress or need to fend off an infection or a virus but when it comes to too hot or too cold. There's a disconnect back on that bus in Israel in the desert with no. Ac Dan GOTTLIEB's core temperature was rising higher and higher. He thinks he may have spiked at one or two. But that's really just a guess or body was in crisis two predominant feelings just flat out fear because life was in danger and I knew it after about a half hour of being stuck in the heat with no relief in sight. The group pulled over to a convenience store and the guide went inside in search of ice or something. At first they said No. They couldn't do without their. He insisted store was willing to part with about six bags of ice to cool. Down are honestly. Don't know what would have happened to me if we hadn't out so Monte physician and sweat enthusiast says it's time for us to get comfortable in our own sweat hit the people leave this embracing this wet. I think that's the key to embrace the sweat and to and to love it. I think it's grossly pushing it. Almost Underrated bodily fluid. That story was reported by. Lindsey Lazar skied in Western medicine. We think of heat as a symptom an indication that a body is under stress in Chinese medicine. There's a concept called internal heat list hung looked into that awhile bag and Liz. You had some experience with internal heat. Yes so I lived in China for a few years and while I was there I had it happen again. And again the Chinese Co workers and friends would come up to me and forbid me from eating drinking certain things because they said it would increase my internal heat like what. What were you not supposed to eat? So for example people would freak out if they saw me drinking ice water That paradoxically increases your internal heat Or if I had a cold people would tell me like oh you have to have some pears and apples because it'll soothe and cool down your body. Did you ever figure out what exactly internal heat is or does I never figured it out? But I recently visited a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner here in Philadelphia. Her name's Cara Frank. She was exposed to traditional Chinese medicine. Back in the seventies when an acupuncture has helped treat her colitis and later on she went to China and studied at herself. So what did she tell you about internal heat? So the idea behind internal heat is that it's like a state of being out of whack. Where the hot and cold forces in your body get out of balance And that in turn can cause a whole bunch of different symptoms so care. Let me sit in on a session with a new patient who has been suffering from all these stomach problems. That doctors say is your edible Bowel Syndrome but just hasn't been getting better no matter what she does And Cara suspects she suffering from internal questions. Ask You so thirty. Two and twenty five. You go butter. Which is young and three months? Later I had my exte- now past two years I've had horrendous diarrhea nausea. Why life is has stopped and the fact that every doctor's me it's just. Ibs You have to deal with it. Here's another pill I can't do it anymore. Western medicine is based on Deduction and reduction might you. You know you have a symptom and you do all this diagnostic work and then you treat this symptom but none of it is looking at this unifying what's happening underneath so in Chinese medicine. Were viewing this much more holistically and in an integrated way so her picture involves innings Zaidi nausea diarrhea and abdominal pain. There's a lot of inflammation that means. We know there's heat already information so now the real key is. Let's take a look at your tongue when somebody comes to my office as a lot of questions on. I listen to her story and examined their tongue in their pulse. All of this factors into our diagnosis which is establishing a pattern. This tongue is a little to read and it's got a really thick coating also very dry. So that tongue reflects a lot of heat inflammation and also even fluid retention. Which internal heat is one of the most ancient concepts in Chinese medicine and it's based in the relationship of Yin and Yang when his unit on formed? The minute is sell. I divides conception young the part of us that is warming dynamic from the heavens and scoops down and creates this warmth in our body and the bottom. This is like our furnace. Then Yan from the Earth food is transformed into energy right and that keeps US alive but this relationship gets screwed up in lots of ways Stress is one of the biggest factors Eating too fast. All those conditions can cause different kinds of heat. There can be foment or excessive heat. Sometimes heat comes from stagnation and then there's summer heat heat heat that is from an infectious disease impede heat that can affect the joints causing inflammation deficiency heat. That can exacerbate insomnia anxiety PM. As so. That's a lot of heat. Each one is going to get a different treatment at a different formula because it's affecting different parts of their body but like in the case of this woman her her medical history. It's a big mess but I don't have to tease apart a symptom. I'm treating it's like a gestalt. This is her experience of her life and it manifests in a particular way. So what I what? I have to understand to get her better. As I have to understand overall pattern in the key is balanced not just clearing heat. It's creating harmony Cara. Frank is an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. Liz Tom Produce that peace support for the pulse comes from select Greater Philadelphia with over thirty cell gene therapy. Developing Companies Greater Philadelphia is where the field started in continues to thrive more at discovery starts here DOT com. This is the pulse. I Mike and Scott were talking about staying cool as temperatures heat up out doors over Memorial Day weekend is a great American tradition and all were in the middle of a pandemic this year. That didn't stop people from hitting the beaches and parks last weekend in an effort to beat the heat or get away from their houses and apartments. A lot of people have felt very claustrophobic and their homes and we all need a mental health break and being outside is a great way to have that happen. So in many ways opening our parks and beaches feels like a great way to beyond the world. That's Jodi guest. She is a professor of epidemiology at Emory University's role in school of Public Health in Atlanta. Jodi says keeping your distance is still important even outside to stay. Socially distanced appropriately at least six feet apart from people who you've not been with in your home. That part often doesn't happen. Lots of videos. Show people crowding boardwalks those lakes beaches from Florida to South Carolina and New Jersey. So we went to have very fast reaction to this feels too crowded and maybe today is not the day we should be there and see. You need to be willing to go home. If you get there and see a crowded situation you know how people tend to land grab. They come out early in the morning with all kinds of chairs and blankets and umbrellas right now. That may be the right idea. You WanNa make sure you set yourself up city have enough space between you and the people who are next to you. Jodi says there have been no documented cases of the corona virus spreading through bodies of water but again distance is key masks are going to be really important as well and the outdoors is not a place that we typically want to put a lot of things over our face. People are interested in getting out into the sun and so Mouser of a new part of our society and we're going to need to ask people to wear them when they get within succeed of each other. Yeah I'm just thinking about all the funny ten lines we're going to have on our faces exactly. I can't imagine wanting to go out and the beach and sit out in the sun all day long and have a mask on. So you're going to want to be separated from some other groups that you could take your mouth scoff. Jody guests is a professor of epidemiology at emory university. In Atlanta Nature offers an escape for us a place to breathe and feel at peace. That's true especially right now. I talked about that with Jay drew. Lanham he is a professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University in South Carolina. An avid burder and a poet drew talk to me from shack in his backyard. In Edgefield. Call this little this little shack a thicket because it's it's thick with with bird books and Art Work and all the things that make me me and it's raining on the tin roof right now. So listeners are probably hearing the flip flop of raindrops on tin roof. Which is very comforting to me. Takes me back to my boyhood doing this. Time of quarantine drew has been spending a lot of time in the thickets watching the birds wealth. The great the great flush of migrants Have mostly passed through but just a week ago. There were rose-breasted gross beats in the backyard and Baltimore Orioles and starlet Tanger- Carolina Chicken and tufted. Tit My and American gold finches and House benches and House wrens and Carolina Renan's so there's no shortage of birds in my backyard right now. Drew lives in a rural area. A lot of time outside so social distancing. Something he's used to but when someone says stay at home And don't leave then. It becomes a dick for an ordeal and so psychologically first thing that sort of had to overcome was Because I'm on the road a lot especially this time of year really following the bird's talking about migration and being migratory individual myself so the birds that come through the backyard that starlet tanger- that was that the top of of my mulberry. Tree brings the Peruvian Amazon to me. Those rose-breasted grow speaks and great crested flycatcher and the Red Eye. They're all bringing. You know the tropics and subtropics here to the Piedmont of South Carolina's do says this connection to nature is important for us especially during these tough times when we're not only fighting an infectious disease but also what he calls. An infection of the mind having a mandate really is what I think it is sort of a a social mandate to isolate creates a different sort of stress this sudden stress that we have to deal with an I. I often equate it to what birds do when they meet a head wind. Or there's a sudden storm that interferes with how they are migrating and they have to adapt on the wing and we had to adapt on the wing mentally with with how we cope with how we deal with one another talking to one another little boxes that illuminates when we're speaking learning how to let the distance between us. Settle before we break into another's words with masks when we are out not being able to read someone's mouth whether they are smiling or Grimacing so that that puts a different sort of stress. Sitton stress on on all of us. And then you know dealing with some of the social issues that that persists in this in this country and around the world. That's a different sort of infection that that I have to fight. I think that many of us have to fight in different ways. We're all dealing. I think with multiple in infections. Not just the threat of COVID. I'm imagining you are spending quite a bit of time outside as you usually do and nature plays a very big part in your life but for many people nature during this pandemic was cut off like people who live in urban areas who had parks that were closed and beaches that were closed really taking those outdoor spaces away and I'm wondering what your take is on that on the importance of being in nature right now and what happens when that is is being taken away world. That's a that's a great question. I think well my grandmother used to quote the old saying you don't miss the water till the well runs dry and hen. This is one of those circumstances right the the questions of access again in missing that that water in the well run dry suddenly is is a whole different issue because these are issues that have been there quite frankly especially core for for people who have been limited by station in in in wife or bias as through racism Or redlining and straight out denial for people to recognize that. This is a jest. They sudden issue that it's it's been building for a while and so my hope. Is that for those people wake in the morning to another day of four walls and in Sameness without being able to go out or have access to those places that they make a pact with themselves and those that they know say you know what when we come back to this. It's not gonNA be the same. We don't want old Mormon. What we want is better. We want more green space. We want more access to green space. I don't want what was I want better than what was the end. I think for for folks who've been denied and underserved by raced by place by by economic station in life. We not want the same such that people can't claim their their places in the sun. Jae Drew is a professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University and the poet laureate of Edgefield South Carolina. That's our show for this week. The pulses of production of whyy in Philadelphia. You can find US wherever you get your podcast. Our Health and science reporters are Alan. You list tongue and jets Lehman Charlie. Kyler is our engineer. Your Lopez is our associate producer. Lindsay Lazar Ski is our producer. I'm Mike and Scott. Thank you for listening. Behavioral Health Reporting on. The pulse is supported by the Thomas Gathered Behavioral Health Foundation an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare. Whyy's has and science reporting is supported by a generous grant from the Public Health Management Corporation Public Health Fund Ph. MCI Gladly Supports Whyy and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

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Why do we need the wild?

The Pulse

48:41 min | 1 year ago

Why do we need the wild?

"Supporting WHYY Lynn, cloud hosting offering high speed, scalable hosting solutions for small, medium and enterprise businesses. Learn more at Lynn owed dot com, that's L I N O D E dot com. Supporting WHYY, the heart team at Penn medicine now offering a risk assessment at Penn medicine dot org slash free heart score where you'll learn your heart age, your long-term, heart risk and your top risk factors. It's one more reason why your life is worth Penn medicine. Major funding for the pulse is provided by a leadership gift from the Sutherland family charitable fund, the Sutherland's support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science, I Mike and Scott. The New Jersey shore is a very quiet place in the winter, restaurants cafes and ice cream. Shops closed vacation homes are locked up. The beach is deserted. With a crust of sandy snow. The water listens in the sun. It is windy and cold and beautiful. I'm visiting four size national wildlife refuge on a crystal clear day, and I'm walking behind Virginia. Radic she manages the refuge wanted to be on the wilderness. We could do is tuck into June or son. Yup. I've come here to be in the official wild. This part of the refuge is also designated as federal wilderness. It has doubled the protections wilderness. Act was created in one thousand nine sixty four. So basically people woke up to the impact of urban sprawl and industrialization, and they wanted to protect remaining large parcels of wild federal lands from future development to keep them as places where man himself is a visitor. It says in the act all across the country any piece of land that was bigger than five thousand acres and not yet developed was supposed to be reviewed. So that's what happened here. So essentially there was a process that would occurred back in the mid nineteen seventies to identify this area. And to deter determined to make a determination if it should be included in the wilderness system and so throughout the country. There are many wilderness areas. From Tanna Alaska down in Arizona. There are now more than seven hundred federal wilderness areas, the one I'm exploring is a patchwork of marshland barrier islands and beachfront all kinds of protections are in place here. No building, of course, no motorized vehicles. And this beach is completely closed to all visitors in the summer months to protect the nesting grounds of the endangered piping plover. So even though we can see the casino from where we're standing. We can see beautiful beach homes on the other side, we are in the wilderness. That's correct. That's weird. Do you ever think about us? I mean, it is strange. Isn't it what I like to do is sometimes just find the right spot where you don't see any buildings and you can once in a while just get that little angle, and you go. Wow, that's wilderness. Wow. Is something we crave. I think one of the underlying ideas is that wilderness has a restorative effect that it's good for us to reconnect with nature, but to protect these spaces and get the chance to hang out in the wild. Requires a careful dance on today's show. We'll explore wilderness. What it is why we need it. And how we will keep it around for future generations. One big reason for preserving wild areas is to protect animals from us humans, but the motivation is also selfish. We love to observe animals to be around them for over a century. People have been trying to bring different animals back to places where they once lived animals like the white tailed deer bald eagles and grey wolves were all re introduced, but when animals return, they don't always bring back a wilderness, often what results is more like the feeling of the wild. That's what happened with elk in Kentucky. Irena Giora reports in nineteen Ninety-seven thousands of school children gathered an eastern Kentucky to watch as the governor unlocked. The gates of a cattle trailer and released seven elk back into the wild. The animals had been caught in Kansas and truck across the country. They darted out the hood spanking against the metal trailer. Then paused. Talk grass regal and attentive. Over the next five years fifteen hundred elk were shipped in from six states in the west and given a new home here in a designated managed elk zone. Remember, we went up on this. No. And we looked down on this valley. And there were about three hundred health standing in this valley, that's trinity shepherd. He's an Atra list and gives elk viewing tours in Kentucky. I mean, there were just a oak abra word just interacting, and they would just in their own environment. Seeing these animals here on in Kentucky without drought going all the way out west just like while. Chances are if you're listening to this anywhere in the United States, elk once lived nearby on planes now seated with crops, and then valleys in swamps that have been drained oak were found in all but five states, historically. That's Tom Thomann. I'm the director of science and planning for the Rocky Mountain note foundation when European started coming across the continent, they destroyed and fragmented wildlife habitat, they also hunted. Lots. Oh by the time the early nineteen hundreds late eighteen hundreds nineteen hundreds we had gone from an estimated ten million Elkin North America to less than a hundred thousand. People still love to hunt and eat elk. But by the early nineteen hundreds people started thinking of the animals as more than just dinner, an average male bolt wastes seven hundred pounds and wears a giant rack of Antlers, which he sheds and regrows each year during mating season, elk bugle, the really strange sound of the most wonderful sounds in in nature. They do it to attract mates Ferch with a real low guttural sound and goes really high pick sound incomes down off of what they call a chuckle at the end where you can actually see the belly of the bowl expanding and contracting. They make that sounds. They animals inspire. Awe. I grew up in Wyoming as a child help found typically in the mountains, and that's always kind of a romantic place to go. We had to go to special places to seize a special critters. Think of those kinds of places as wilderness, they may not meet the legal definition, but they're wild and spirit in the past few decades. There's been a push to reintroduce elk in the eastern US. Tom who lives in Montana says it's part guilt part growing. Conservation ethos hunters had tried this in the past without much success. But now armed with science and modern habitat management. It's working. I think it is people trying to get back to as close to possible as what they're the wildlife natural history of of their particular state really is. But the result is not quite wilderness. I meet up with naturalist trinity shepherd on a still dark winter morning. In eastern Kentucky. We drive to where he thinks we can spot some elk hunters cross out this morning my slipping, but no they're up early today is the morning light turns mov, we come upon a heard. This came out. I don't know where they came from. They much brass along the road were on. It's a few dozen cows and calves just a handful of bowls. They're Brown necks and cream colored bodies still as we pass we're not the only ones watching them a white SUV is also parked nearby. So it's. At work over here every morning, Deborah Prater from prisons Burke, Kentucky, it this is like your morning ritual is that he has distract from point to point bay. And just take pictures of them dislike wildlife. I take pictures of cowbys take pictures of what tail but the AL Q there. So majestic especially the bulls got hundreds of pictures of the elk. She hones camera to show me a picture. Wow. All of this is nothing to God when Debbie leaves to take her photos. Trinity says that a couple of decades ago it was a good day few spotted a regular old deer or found the Turkey. Feather the change makes his imagination. Soar are always trying to match myself as Daniel bone. Come through the Cumberland gap over into Kentucky in different times or whatever looking around this rugged Wilders, but trinity and I are parked in an industrial park the land under us was mind by mountaintop removal, where instead of going underground whole mountains are raised to get at the valuable seams of coal when companies finished mining. They literally reshaped the landscape or wants that steep craggy mountains with swampy hollows now role gentle hills those lands provide a open grazing areas of for AOL. And of course, these animals being grazers like they are they need a lot of open land to be able to do that. So that's what I reclaim surface. Mine lands provide. When I first heard people wanted to put Elkin Kentucky, nearly lost my mind but out foundation, again, he's from Big Sky country in originally heating, get how l could live in a densely populated eastern US. But when we were looking into the area in Kentucky that had these re-claim coal mines was actually larger than Yellowstone National Park with almost no farming. You know, a few gardens not very many people here in eastern Kentucky about seven percent of the four million acre elk zone is made up of reclaimed grassy plots. Trinity says without the reclaimed mine lands, there'd be no place for the elk and Kentucky's modern landscape. What's here is here? You know, we can't jump in the travel machine. Go back and change, whatever. We're here today. At the end of story apart, and as you look around, you know, you see a lot of concrete blacktop steel, mantle whatever you don't think of this as as a as a Wheeler as it isn't environment. But it helium thank you. This is a wilderness zone are more remote more wild. But much of this habitat needs people to manage it that can include mowing meadows to keep pastor tender for the elk planting diverse grasses, like clover and orchard grass the state thins forest and does controlled burns. It's a lot of work for a wild animal. But the elks seem to appreciate it. There are now about ten thousand of them in Kentucky. Jeff Larkin a biologist who studied the Kentucky Elkins should've says reintroduction also need to work for people. And what I mean by that is certainly if if an individual takes a hike on a late September day, they will have that sense of being in a wild place. Right. Probably much more wilder than than where they live. And I would argue that the sense of wilderness would be greatly enhanced by that person experiencing. You know, the sudden. Is he watches ever? Karen that experience could make people care about conservation and preserving true wilderness in that since the return of the species to a landscape is perhaps more important than the ecological role that it plays in preserving or if we want to say, recreating some sense of wild places. Trinity. And I make one more stop at a local airport manager. Gary Cox says he was initially against the elk reintroduction. He was already having problems with the growing deer population. Flats avid literally have to chase the deer off the runway or for aircraft landed here that which was pretty troublesome. And then they dumped about six hundred elk not two miles from the airport is and I was thinking, you know, I'm way of his major problem. And learn that the elk once lived in the area that warmed him to the animals. He says he knows what it feels like to be from place. Most people who move away from eastern Kentucky when they die. They want to be buried in eastern Kentucky. There's a strong tradition of people coming back to eastern Kentucky. It has pull on you that it's it's just home to you. If it's possible, you ought to return. He says the landscape here is a big part of people's identities and the elk are now part of it again. That was Irena Joe Roff reporting. There is land. We're talking about wilderness today, how people impact the wild. And why we need these untamed spaces ornithologist drew Lanham grew up on his family's farm in South Carolina in a small town called Edgefield where like to say white tailed deer and wild turkeys outnumber the number of humans, and they still do he says wilderness has always meant happiness and freedom to him. But it also makes him remember the painful history that same land holds as a kid. I always wanted to fly. I thought that I was the one who would be able to make wily coyotes dreams, actually work. So I built wings out of cardboard. I jumped out of trees off of buildings in these vain attempts to defeat gravity, it didn't work, and and I always gravity always one. And I always came back and gloriously to earth and without much injury other than a broken collarbone but birds never came back to earth unless they wanted to they seem to be able to defy gravity. That mystery of flight and inquire birds went the birds that I would see in the summertime. Scarlet Tanner's, for example. When they disappeared in the winter where did they go? The birds that appeared in the winter white throated sparrows. Where did they come from? And so it was this fascination with flight and with with wanderlust really for me that sort of captured me in his brought me to this point of being an ornithologist and and a bird or. What's your relationship with with wilderness? I'd like to think that my relationship with wilderness is that I grew up in it. And this was before I had any idea of any sort of legal designation of wilderness. I just knew that it was wild. I just knew that there were these places that I could venture into as a kid wandering that home place in feel that I could venture and it was wild. It was unkempt. There were opportunities to see things there that I wouldn't ordinarily see what's that relationship? Like now when you spend a lot of your time, teaching probably sitting in front of a computer like the rest of us Wendy us seek out the wilderness, and what does it do for you? You know, you take on this business of conservation and of being a college professor, I sit in front of my computer a lot doing the things that professors do or in my lecture hall lecturing to students. But I feel like it's important. It's a critical thing that I be able to relate what I feel not only the data that that I might have collected in some research project. But what I feel wildness and wilderness is an so daily, you know, there might be a detour that I take on the way to work. Visit some wild place that the places that I visit aren't often far off the beaten path, you know, for me wildness might be peregrine falcon perched on a wolf tree in the middle of a pastor. Fat that peregrine falcon represents some other place. It represents maybe the Arctic where it may have bread and then flown here for the winter. And so for me. Try to find some aspect of wildness every day and for me. It's essential. It's it's like a it's like a multivitamin. The I mean, really the days that I don't get it. It's not good. A lot also about you being a black man and your relationship to nature, and what it what it means to you. And I I just want you to basically describe a bit about how you think about that. And how you write about it. You know in the world of conservation the world in which I work at least in North America. You find very few people who look like me who do what I do. And so that means at professional meetings, and even in discussions about what wilderness is and what nature means to us from a conservation perspective that I feel like they're often. There's a perspective that's left out and as a black southerner, especially being surrounded and haunted by the ghosts of enslavement and Jim crow and in all of that. That evil really that that existed in still in some ways persists culturally there, there are conflicts, Mike, and to be honest about it, you know, when you're in the South Carolina, low country, and you're looking at all of these beautiful birds that might be an old rice field. I can remember seeing wood storks just the failings of wood storks just marching, you know, ankle deep across this Marsh. And their bills or clattering as sweeping back and forth. Trying to to find by field their meal and their these beautiful. Rosie it spoon bills that are there that are also sweeping back and forth and feasts spoon. Like bills trying to capture their dinner and. The sun is just at that point where it's the golden hour. And it's the most beautiful thing. You can imagine alligators are floating amongst them. They're just all of this beauty. And then you think about how impart that beauty got there. You're in an old rice field, and that ricefield was created by enslaved peoples and so in that plus mud buried in that plus Mudd is the pain of the past and as as a black man, I can't ignore that. And I don't want others. No matter what color to ignore that to understand that the birds that they see now as wild is. That place may seem. That place was in part created by human beings who were forced who were who were pulled up by the route from their home place likely west Africa brought to North America because of this skill this ability to move water and to grow rice and to grow rice here in a way that made people unimaginably wealthy. But then hundreds of years later, you know, what we're looking at. We're looking at the result of what they accomplished. And so as a black southerner, I try to tell those stories, and I try to tell those stories so that people understand that what we see in wildness has often been impacted by humans before us. I think we I think at to my ancestors is a black man to not look past their pain at the birds that are there. And so again when I when I do a bird walk anywhere. One of my first imperatives is to understand the culture understand the history. So that I'm not stepping across it. But rather that I'm stopping to honor. What that is. To Len is professor of wildlife ecology at Clemson university, and some of the recorded bird sounds you heard this piece came from the Cornell lab of ornithology. The near. Rated would Becker. Becomes only. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science I Mike and Scott we're talking about wilderness today what it means. And why we need it. What a love about the wild is the quiet. That's Diane balance. She is a sound artist based in Portland Maine, and because of the quiet specific sounds kanobi heard the crack of a stick the breath of the wind in the trees, the trickling of a wild mountain stream into sixteen. Diane did a residency in Shannon, doa national park in Virginia and recorded the wild birds nights ounce. Rivers streams, waterfalls I recorded this on the rose river trail, I call it. Rose river stream five very clinical title for such a wild, rich and delicious recording. This is the kind of sound we have in mind when we think of wilderness, right? Definitely not the roar of chainsaws. But in the Ozark mountains of southern Missouri Allagany operation, something we often associate with destroying nature is seeking a balance between creating timber jobs and conserving the forest. Zach dia reports for years. This is what callers would here when they dial the office number of pioneer forest. Forest, please leave your name and number. I'll try to get back to you before I've been tours. Thank you. That little joke was recorded by Leo dry. Leo's timber business pioneer forest owned more than two hundred square miles of Missouri force. But Leo was better known for conserving. Forests than cutting them down. I visited the forest Leo managed for years on a cold December morning shift a little over. A little over. Most of the trees are bare the forest floor is covered in Brown. Crunchy leaves this team of loggers has been at work since chief forester, Brandon Coon is with them. Yeah. This particular STAN has a lot of black oak in it. And it also has a lot of pine pioneers. Founder Leo dry passed away in two thousand fifteen at the age of ninety eight but before he died, he transferred his forest land to a foundation, he created the idea behind that was so that the force would continue to be productive in wild to my train die. At least it looks. Like, he succeeded were always out here with logging crews, and there's there's equipment around and things like that. So maybe doesn't feel as as wild to some. But it certainly is cows marking timber on Monday this week, and I had an eight point buck just walk right up to me that buck would have been a rare sight by the. Timeliest started his timber business. The Ozarks were in rough shape clearcutting from the turn of the twentieth century devastated. Much of southern Missouri's. Virgin forests whole forests shortly. Pine and oak were reduced to stumps Leo dreamed of regenerating this lost wilderness. And he came across the surprising way to do it logging. But conservation driven logging, the cutting of the trees, I don't think ever was something Leo is very much interesting. My name is Kay dry in. I got married to Leo in nineteen fifty five I spoke with K at their home in Saint Louis, but I think he got into this this whole field because he loved woods in the out of doors may realize that he could both preserve land. And yet also have have. Way. People could earn a living K told me how Leo started buying up overcut land for cheap back in the early nineteen. Fifties by nineteen fifty six he was the largest private landowner in Missouri. Leo decided that the best thing to do if he wanted to protect his land in the long run was to put it to work, but only in the limited capacity his approach focused on selecting individual trees for removal, while preserving the rest of the woods. This kind of forestry is called uneven age management. This is a good example that tree has blue paint on it back in the woods pioneer forest, chief forester, Brandon Coon has been using paint gun to Mark trees that are to be cut down. And if you look at the crown just how poor it looks got a lot of vines in it just kind of a poor quality cheery. And then you've got this. Big shortly pine nice big full crown so long live species. So we choose to take that tree and leave this one. Foresters like Brandon check on stands of trees every twenty years or so to choose which ones to be cut down the rest of that part of the forest is left. Untouched. If if we have a say a scarlet oak, if I know that trees, roughly eighty years old, I need to take that tree. Now, if I wanna get paid for that treats, see, I think that's interesting. I think a lot of people kind of think of a tree is something that just grows forever. But like you said, there's a lifespans. Yeah. Leo dries dedication to uneven age management at pioneer forest had its share of skeptics over the years the prevailing wisdom for decades. Was that clear cutting was the best way to return these scraggly woods to their former glory. Others just thought Leah would never turn a profit and what have to sell the land. But studies from the university of Missouri. And other institutions have shown the pioneer forest. Land has recovered from the clearcutting of the early nineteen hundreds and the company sells more timber now than ever before. So that's just proof that you can. You can manage your timber. You can generate income from your forest and actively manage in still. Increased volumes in and have a a healthier more vigorous forest than you did in the past this slow and steady approach to forestry gives loggers like Tommy Fisk. Peace of mind, I spoke with Tommy for a few minutes while he was taking a coffee break. How important is is logging to this part of the state. It's the bread and butter for pretty much everything Tommy says almost everyone in his small town works in the lumber industry in some capacity. He's been working in the woods himself since he was fourteen skid from there. Tommy, revs up his chainsaw. Which means one thing that tree is coming down. Plea new forest isn't wilderness. If you're thinking about a place untouched by people that was something that was lost a long time ago here, but there is still something wild about this place pioneer, founder, Leo dries vision for this land help turn hillsides full of stumps into this towering forest. The only cost is that they have to cut down some of these trees. No-one yell timber. For the pulse. I'm Jack Dyer. Wilderness today and people seem to love the concept of spaces untouched by humans Noda velopment. No roads. No tourism, no law gang. But where do you go to find these places that are untrammelled by men as it says in the federal wilderness act? Let's take a trip to the bottom of the ocean to see if we can find that kind of pristine environment. There are tour guide is deep-sea ecologist, Andrew Thaler. He has been part of many missions to the depths of the sea, sending vessels as deep as three point seven miles the process of sending a robot down to the bottom of the ocean. It's it's it's the process of of patients interjected with just very brief moments of sublime discovery. So it takes it takes several hours for a robot to get down to the floor. So there'll be two three four hours where you're just looking at the water column, and everyone sits there and looks because there's always a chat. Yes, you'll see something. Incredible. A sperm whale goes by or thresher shark attacks. Your your robot which has happened or a swordfish accidentally Rams into the side of it, which has also happened. So there are there are strange things that can happen during the dive, and as it gets darker and darker darker you start seeing the bioluminescence organisms the tiny plankton jellyfish that are floating by and then you get down. And all of a sudden, it goes from just just vast blue void that you've been staring at for hours to there is a geyser on the seafloor. And it's it's it's viewing this massive plume of chemical energy out and surrounded by animals, and you never know what you're going to see because every time we dive on one of these ecosystems, we find something new it. Always sounds a bit like space exploration and sitting in the NASA control room. It absolutely is like space exploration. The only difference is we get to find aliens. It might seem like the bottom of the ocean would be untouched wilderness. But Andrew says that's not. Right. So we go down when we look at the deep sea when we send down robots or send on summer civils almost invariably on every single dive. We do on every single research expedition, the first thing we find is trash we'll go down to the bottom of the Mariana trench, and we'll find a Coca Cola can or will be going to the mid Cayman spreading center where the deepest hydrothermal vents in the world art six thousand meters. And we'll find a can of spam. So you know, our garbage really sort of precedes us into the deep sea. I'm wondering if you could describe that landscape for us other than the can of spam. What what would I see down there the systems that I specialize in our called deep sea hydrothermal vents? So they're these massive essentially, they're underwater volcanoes where there's a geyser of super heated water coming out and Hotson lots and lots of very specialized animals like to live around these guys hydrothermal vents and the animals that live there can take energy directly out of. The hydrothermal vent plume coming up from a crack in the earth. So they're one of the few ecosystems that we really know about that are really independent of sunlight, what kind of animals are we talking about describe one for me. So if you're in the northeastern Pacific, you might find fields of to worms rift Lia poughkeepsie low, which are these enormous are the fastest growing in vertebrate on the planet. They're one of the biggest in terms of length invertebrates on the planet. How long how long are we talking about? They can get up to six or eight meters long. Wow. Beautiful. It's not. So they have these nice wonderful correctness tubes that they build and they build around their bodies. And then the animal itself only comes out at the very top. What comes out of this very top is beautiful bright red feathery plume, and that feathery plume is what's kind of wafting near the hydrothermal vent and pooling the chemical energy out of this cracking earth. That's crazy. Where do you think is the most pristine wilderness on the ocean floor, there are places in the ocean? That we now think of as a Representative of what a pristine wilderness looks like they're actually some of the most altered places on the planet. So the example that always comes to mind for me is bikini atoll. So bikini atoll is of course, the island where we developed and tested the hydrogen bomb. It's essentially an island that we've nuked fifteen or twenty times it is by any objective metric, probably the most altered landscape on the planet, but we stopped testing atomic weapons there in the seventies. And because of the radiation people couldn't live there. And so human haven't really been president Kenia toll for fifty years, and because of the hat the ecosystems around became. Atoll have tremendously recovered over the last half century. They are if you go to a coral reef and people do go and dive in bikini atoll. Now, the Layton radiation is has decreased enough that it safe to visit. It's it's not really safe to to spend too much time there long-term. But if you go, and you dive there, you'll find coral reefs that looked like coral reefs from before we started heavily overfishing. Andrew sailor is deep sea ecologist and the C E O of black beard biologic. They are science and environmental advisers. This is the pulse stories about the people places at the heart of health and science, I'm Mike and Scott our show today is about wilderness, how being in the wild changes us, and how we have changed the wild at Banfield national park in the Canadian Rockies US Super busy highway the trans Canada cuts through the rugged mountainous landscape. The park is also home to to towns and three ski hills. So, you know, people are doing they're saying on skis on foot and in cars, and that means the animals traveling into and through band like grizzly bears have to deal with a lot. But there are some design solutions that help them make it safely across the highway. Molly Siegel reports. Me here. Aaron jacob. And I walk along a trail in the rocky mountains just east of Banff as a kid. I remember seeing road kill and thinking it was how colossally unfair it was. So it's no surprise that today. Aaron is a biologist we're on our way to look at a pathway designed for animals to safely cross the trans Canada highway. The trail. We're on is popular with mountain bikers dog walkers and wild animals as we near a clearing errands stops to look at some scat. I actually usually can't help pass without picking up a stick in Flickinger apart. But it's a little hard to tell. So there's some seeds in it. It's clearly not from a deer or Anelka and looking closely. She thinks maybe it's a black pairs. But there are about fifty species of animals in Banff national park, many of them travel through here, so whatever critter left. This Scott could have been on its way to the highway crossing Aaron and I are looking for a little clearing. And then the underpass is clearing off the trail. We can see the underpass underpass. It's as if the dirt has been scooped out from under the highway which passes over the indent like a bridge. We should say a fairly good distance away where about thirty meters from it right now, we make sure we don't get too close to this animal throughway, a huge amount of this depends on people and on our willingness to let animals move the way they need to naturally for some animal. Nls having a mountain biker come through here. Having people running that can really affect their behavior dedicated pathways like the one we're looking at keep animals moving through a landscape fractured with highways and development that's important both to keep them from becoming roadkill and to maintain ecosystems having animals be able to to mate so having healthy diverse populations of animals meeting. It also means having them move through landscape at landscapes and dispersed nutrients. So an animal like a bear is really important because they help to disperse nutrients from rivers up into the forests and vice versa. That's what he called. You is all about it's having this interconnected ecosystem. I go for a ride with another biologist, Tony cleven journo. These structures are designed to be really site-specific while Gordo ours. We know that he's showing some of the other crossing designs hidden throughout band. Over a wildlife fence, which looks like oversized chicken wire and down a steep embankment. We could see just around here. There's a lot of different critters pine Martens. There's read scrolls underpass dark and narrow along tunnel underneath a highway when you look through here, you could imagine you prey species. Maybe not being so keen about going through something like this. The visibility is not real good. Now. A lot of light, you know, that small medium size critters will have a hard time going through these. Because it's you know, it's completely bare on the bottom. There's no cover for them to get through. This is one of the first crossing spilt in Banff in the mid nineteen eighties until Tony started monitoring them in nineteen Ninety-seven. No, one knew for sure what species were using these pathways across the highway when or even how often using hair traps animal tracks and eventually remote cameras allowed him to. See that. Yes, animals were using these structures but use varied by species as people we have our favorite travel routes. Maybe it's the scenic highway on a road trip or a standby commute home animals due to use all different structure ties, but there are certain preferences. Tony's research showed Cougars black bears like these narrow and dark culverts that run under the highway, but he says Gillet species like elk deer and moose generally prefer to use crossings with more light and visibility. It's important to think about the other physical aspects of the underpaid to you how how high it is. And and how why did it is and how much light and things like cover leading up to. So when Banff national park built more wildlife crossings, Tony suggested modifications from them monitoring. We're able to design structures on this last of highway that meet the needs of the species that are out there. Now Banff has a few dozen underpasses the designs are different shapes heights widths and lengths, and then there are the overpasses these overpasses now twenty years old, and they look like tree-lined bridges these big structures are by far the most important that's because their data revealed that while male grizzlies used any route possible to cross highways. Breeding females moms with cubs almost exclusively used the bridges to maintain genetic diversity and the future of grizzly bear populations. Those breeding females need to feel safe crossing high weights. These are very wide structures have good visibility. You know, the the most natural type structure, some people call these landscape bridges because they look just like the landscape Tony has taken what he's learned here in Banff across North America and the world. So if you find yourself cruising through an area like Ben think of another world of animal commuters, taking the bridges across and the underpasses below. For the pulse. I'm Molly Seco. Our desire to experience wilderness, and to protected at the same time, it's a delicate balance, and sometimes we upset it that happened to wildlife photographer Nick Nichols. He's perhaps best known for his portraits of large cats where he uses photo traps. He sets a camera up with motion sensor and leaves it in the wild for months to take pictures of the animals that walk into its pass that was the plan during a trip to central India Nick wanted to capture photos off a tiger mom all the locals called Sita. So with C to enter kkob's ahead in my head that I should put a camera trip where she had the cooks in the den nNcholas traveling by elephant with guides called Mahfuz in search of the tiger. And we're tracking her. And guess what we find her? She's watching us watching me put this camera trip down. In a hole where the cubs are hidden under Iraq in hindsight. What I should have done is taken a few pictures of the cubs and left and forgot about it. But I thought oh, no I'm gonna make these glorious pictures of his Tigers carefully taking care of her cubs. So I go down in this whole light. And every time the mo- hoots thinks she's going to charge. They tell me she's coming, and I try to climb out of the whole a fall back on the rocks. I keep getting myself injured. It's taking Louis takes probably a couple of hours to do the work that I wanted to do. And we leave with cameras set up with three flashes pointed at we're she would bring the cubs out to nurse them all of this in my magic nation. When we go back the next day. Everything is destroyed cameras are bitten through boxes or bitten through cables or in. I feel this incredible. Shame that and she's moved the cups. And I'm thinking what have I done? What what divide done try to do this? But my colleague non Doron from Nepal says, look if we don't continue to try to find her again, we're never going to see these cubs again, let's continue to track her. And that was my mistake. I think was to continue instead of just saying, okay? We put too much pressure on our list. Forget this. And so we we decide we'll follow her. And they start tracking. That's to mahood 's so two Indian men Nepalese man in me, and we go into bamboo thicket. She attacks stick and all I remember if you if you've ever seen an angry cat there. Here's go back in the head stretches. And there's this intense flame in the eyes and the teeth and claws. It's all it's like you've been attacked by great white shark on land. When I came to my clothes with torn. I was in shock. I was bleeding. But I didn't have any tiger wounds on me. What really happened is the Touma hoots ran over me running away. All she wanted to do is get us to go away. That's that's the lesson. She was just protecting her cubs in her investment. Nick learned that Sita was so aggressive during his attempt to photograph her because she had made it with a rival off her usual mate. Nick Nichols returned a few months later and found Sita with new cobs this time, she was much more relaxed and allowed him to take photos that wound up on the cover of National Geographic. You can see his pictures and read more about him in the book a wildlife. That's our show for this week. The pulses a production of WHYY in Philadelphia. Our health and science reporters are Alan you, Liz tongue and jets Lehman. Charlie Kyler is our engineer segments for this week's episode where produced by page Pfleger Alana, Gordon, and Alex turn Lindsey Lazar. Ski is our producer Tanya English is our editorial director. Let's. Close with one more recording from sound artists. Diane Balan, here's the wind swelling through the trees at Shenandoah national park at night. You can find us on I tunes or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Mike and Scott. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare WHYY's health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund, P H, M MC gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

Kentucky elks Mike Scott Leo North America cubs WHYY Missouri United States Banff Virginia pioneer forest WHYY Lynn New Jersey South Carolina Nick Nichols Andrew Thaler Tigers professor
When Disaster Strikes

The Pulse

48:56 min | 1 year ago

When Disaster Strikes

"This podcast is supported by Arden theatre company, presenting August Wilson's gem of the ocean. The first play in Wilson's American century cycle. Playing now through March thirty first tickets at Arden theatre dot org or two one five nine two two one one two to this podcast is supported by PICO. Every year PICO empowers thousands of organizations to make a positive impact on our community from aiding those in need to creating new opportunities for growth in our region. Details at PICO dot com slash PICO powers supporting WHYY Penn medicine, if you've been told you need back or neck surgery specialists at the Penn spine center can offer you a second opinion. Learn more at Penn medicine dot org slash spine. That's Penn medicine dot org slash spine. Major funding for the pulse is provided by a leadership gift from the Sutherland family charitable fund. The Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science I might consider what steps Pete salmon is an ER doctor. But today, he's traded his scrubs for parka and the hospital for a nature. Reserve in New Jersey right now, I am in a snow covered field with sixteen fourth year medical students. Pete is teaching a course on disaster medicine, and the med students are camping out here for a whole week to learn in an immersive setting. So last night we had them organized into two teams and create shelters that they would sleep in where they would sleep with no tent, no sleeping bag, no matches. No, nothing. And it was about thirty eight degrees and raining all night. And they did very very well. So burned a hole in the top of the ten p tells me, it's not a tent just a tarp. They've strung up between tree branches. But it's okay. Cheap tarp. The did they did burn a hole in that all week long, the students braved the elements and do different exercises. Learn how to make stretchers and splints out of sticks. Make a fire without lighter. They are dropped into different emergency scenarios with volunteer fake patients need to look at her back. She's got some briefing on the abdomen. I'm gonna have to very carefully. If I can have basically they learn how to care for patients in less than ideal conditions with very few resources. It's preparation should they ever find themselves responding to a fire an earthquake a mass shooting pitas. Also, the head of disaster preparedness at Penn medicine in Philadelphia a big hospital system, he says being out in the field is just a small aspect of getting ready for serious emergencies. It's not sexy exciting drills with people wearing has met suits. And really it boils down to a few people sitting in a room writing out plans. And thinking through scenarios for hospital being prepared means doctors, nurses, administrators building engineers, they all have to come around the table, together and know their roles the guy who can keep the generators working is just as important as the surgeon who can stitch up wounds, those different professionals getting together in the same room and talking developing a personal relationship first name basis, they also have to think about how a community or hospital can become more resilient making sure that your staff has all gotten the flu that scene making sure that you have more than one vendor for critical supplies and infrastructure pizza's, the best you can do is make general plans that could work in variety of situations. So that everything clicks into gear disaster, planning and disaster response is truly a team sport. Today's episode is about emergencies and disastrous how we prepare for them. And what we do when they strike. ABC seven traffic map feed fog advisory is covering all ally county, including the coastal that I've four or five there's roughly a fifty percent chance that the Los Angeles region will be hit by a major earthquake sometime in the next thirty years. A new podcast called the big one is all about how a massive quake would affect the ten million people who live in that area. The show is produced by KPCC southern California Public radio in one episode. They explore how hospitals will handle an onslaught of injured people host Jacob Margolis spoke with an emergency room physician who has some experience with that. He lived through a big one already the last major quake to strike the L A region which happened in nineteen ninety four. It's four thirty in the morning and Dr Greg Moran's doing some paperwork at his desk. He's wrapping up his overnight shift to the emergency department at Northridge hospital when all of a sudden. The north ridge quake hits. Initially felt a little shake. So I just kind of reflexively stood up and got in the doorway that was right next to me. Just a couple of feet away from me. And as I right as I got in the doorway, then a very violent shake happened. I mean, it felt like everything moved a couple of feet in to one side. Very suddenly. And then there is a lot of noise. And when that big shake happened all of the lights went out. We we lost our power. I I really I I realized I was pretty helpless. There wasn't really anything. I could do other than stand there and hope that the entire hospital building was not going to collapse on top of me. The shaking finally stops the lights come back on. And it's chaos. Computers are on the floor carts have tipped over water's pouring out of the ceiling. And there's a thick cloud of dust in the air. The room that I had been sitting in this very small. Doctor's office was a couple of rooms away from the outside of the hospital. But the wall opened up the wall of the room that I was sitting in split open by about six inches, and I could look through into the room next to it which was the waiting room and then through that entire room in. There was another wall on the outside that had also cracked open. So I could see through two rooms to the outside of the building. Because the the very hospital cracked, you know, the the building itself cracked and split. Rand checks on his colleagues, and luckily everyone's ok they have no idea. Just how bad things are. There is an information blackout at first we didn't we didn't know what the extent of it was as it turned out. We were pretty much at the epicenter or very near the epicenter of the earthquake. It took a while before we even got any reliable information about what was going on. It wasn't until a little bit later as we started to seeing some police in first responders coming in that we got at least some second hand information about the extent of it where it was located. What was the extent of the devastation in the city? They know a bunch of people are gonna show up at the hospital, but their emergency department is completely ruined. There's no way they're going to be able to treat people in there. So they had outside to work on people in the parking lot. And as we were setting it up. We already were seeing some of that initial wave of the walking wounded come in. And I do remember it was dark. It was nighttime. And I I have this image in my head of almost a, you know, zombie apocalypse type scenario just seeing the people who were kind of injured and kind of slowly lumbering out of the of the dark to to come into the parking lot where we were assessing them. So then we we basically just started to work. There were a few critical people that we saw coming in. I remember one of the very first patients that we saw was poor guy who worked in a Donut shop and had gone in early to open up the Donut shop, and as all the shaking happened the hot oil for the doughnuts splashed him, and he had pretty extensive bad burns over a good part of his body. And so he was one of the early ones that showed up. He was one of the sicker early ones that showed up. Most people aren't nearly as hurt as him. Most common injury Miran sees is people that need help getting glass out of their feet. And that was because the time this happened for three people are in bed of the shaking starts. They get thrown out of bed. They, you know, here everything crashing in shaking. They kind of freak out. And what's their first instinct run outside and often they're running outside through broken around broken glass? Sliding doors broken windows things like that. There's stuff shattered. It's four thirty in the morning. They're in bed there barefoot. And so they're running through their house in stepping on broken glass or stepping on broken glasses. They get outside. We spent a lot of time digging little pieces of glass out of the bottoms of people's feet, the hospitals overwhelmed, but Greg Greg totally focused. He's treating as many people as he can. But to his surprise there all these people showing up who aren't hurt. There's just freaking out. I remember there was this one relatively young guy, and he'd he'd had a prior spinal injury. He was in a wheelchair from prior spinal injury who he was paraplegic and he didn't have any injuries. There are no new injuries from the earthquake. But he was just freaking out. I mean, he just lost it and what he was saying. He was just saying he was just saying no you need to take care of me. You need help me need to. I'm you know. And you know, I did an assessment of him. He had no physical injuries. But he was just, you know, basically screaming carrying on at one. Remember, he liked threw himself down on the floor out of his wheelchair and was just screaming that we needed to help him and. I didn't know what to do. I mean other than you know, give him some sedatives which we did. And just try to put him back in his wheelchair. But I the one reason that one particularly stands out was that he was actually kind of interfering with us taking care of other people who were injured was he okay, once he's okay. Okay. When the big one hits hospitals across southern California are gonna be overwhelmed. They're going to be about fifty thousand people that need help some hospitals themselves are going to be damaged some won't. Even be usable. The reality is right now in America in emergency medicine. We sometimes struggle day to day just to keep up with the regular float if you've ever been doing emergency room, you know, that it can take forever to get treated when this happens that weight's going to be even longer especially if you're not that badly hurt. But even if you do have a serious injury. Well, do you feel like more people will die from serious injuries that could have been treated door during a normal normal time versus when the big one hits and hospitals are overwhelmed. Yes. But we expect that will happen. Yes. That story was reported by Jacob goal is for a new podcast called the big one. It explores earthquake science and asks just how disaster ready. We all are in California earthquake preparation is really important and each episode ends with practical survival tips from lead producer Michel of. She's here now to share some of those tips with us. Hey me show. Hi makin. So what do we do what what will give me the best chance of of doing? Okay. After a big earthquake. I think the most important thing is to prepare beforehand. The most commonly heard wisdom from seismologists and people in the emergency preparedness sector is that as soon as the shaking starts you're supposed to drop cover and hold on. So let's say I'm sitting at my desk drop under the desk. What do I hold onto? Yes. So if you're sitting at your desk, I would get under the desk and hold onto one of the side pillars or the top. And the reason that holding on is important is because when the ground is shaking, even if you're under something, and you're covered you're likely to get thrown all over the place. So just holding on makes sure that you're still protected and safe. So that's better than trying to get out of the building. Yes. Because the buildings in California, especially but most of the United States are safer than buildings and other parts of the world and the running out of the building wisdom comes from places where the building is likely to collapse, but our buildings here in southern California are built so that people can at least crawl out of them alive. And if you try to run when the shaking is happening, you're going to likely hurt your legs. Maybe break your foot. You know, things are gonna fall all over the place. You might get some glass in your feet. And so the injuries are only going to keep you from getting outside of. The building. And if you're trapped or something falls on you, then that's more dangerous than having some sort of cover above your head. That's protecting your body. What else should I do? How do I get in touch with people? How do I communicate that? I'm still alive. I'm here. I'm under my desk. Yeah. So, you know, if you're gotta beyond the concert, for example, a lot of times you can't get through to your friends who might be outside or who you're waiting for. And that's because the bandwidth is stretched really thin a lot of people are making calls or texting at the same time. So you have a better chance of texting than calling. If you're a super prepa, you probably have a walkie talkie on you at that point and can reach people through that probably not. That's next level chef but shooting a quick taxed, or if you feel that you're trapped in a building saving your voice and making rhythmic noises with an object that you're able to find nearby is much more likely to help in the long run because then you can use your voice when people are actually nearby and guide them to where you are rather than losing your voice by that point. What about food and water depending on how long one get stuck? Yes. Oh, seismologist Dr Lucie. Jones says however, much water, you have get more the recommendation is one gallon per person per day or animal also. So you wanna have about a gallon of water for a week or two weeks per person stored in your like primary location like your home, and then having a water bottle in your purse at all times a water bottle in your car at your desk. Those are like the apps. Minimums and then same with food. You wanna have enough food for three days to a week at least for each person and animal in your family. And then you want to have some sort of snack bar or any kind of food at your desk in your car and your bag wherever you might find yourself. That's producer Michel USA from the podcast the big one. And here's some more advice. If you live in a place like California, make sure you have shoes under your bed. So your feet won't get cut. If you have to walk over broken glass or on debris and be short where pajamas when you go to sleep because he don't want to have to run out of your house naked. Let's talk about some of the people who are in the first line of defense. When emergencies happen EMT's paramedics, if you've ever had to be transported in an ambulance. It was probably a really scary moment who are the people that are coming to our rescue. How much do we really know about them what their jobs are like when you call nine one one you might expect that the ambulance from your city or county shows up, but actually in many instances, it's private for profit companies that answer that call and some of those who work for those private companies say they are stretched way too thin jets. Lehman looked into the situation in the state of California, a California paramedic sets the scene, or the thing is we all know, it's messed up. He asked me not to use his name to protect his job. Everybody who's worked in privacy a mess for more than a couple years. Get somewhat jaded about it. You know, there's just this expectation of I'm gonna get screwed. And that's just the way it is. He works for AM our American Medical response. It's the nation's largest for profit ambulance company with more than six thousand ambulances in forty one states. He tells me about his first day when he went into sort his schedule and the person to whom I talked to was like, oh, but you know, if you work these kind of schedules, you can pick up a lot of overtime because you work nights. And then you can pick up the days, and if you are trying to actually make a living doing this, you work a lot of overtime working twelve hour shifts. He says you may get some downtime here. And there but often it's relentless, you know, if we're run in ten twelve thirteen fourteen calls, it, they they might be trying to pull you from the hospital and you're getting beginning paged. Hey, can you clear we need you to clear we have a call? He seeing he's still dropping off one patient in the Yar, but dispatch has another one he needs to get to they might even just dispatch you without even asking. And then you have to go. Try to get your paperwork signed and back to the truck and run and run the next call. He spends almost his entire shifts on the road when he gets time to go to the bathroom. It's at a convenience store or behind a Bush, and there's no telling exactly when his shift will end he's supposed to get off at ten, but maybe a call comes in at nine forty five. It's called a holdover and it can stretch your twelve hour tour out to fourteen or fifteen hours. You almost always work multiple consecutive days. Which means if you do get held over two or four hours, it's it's impossible to get sleep. I've had partners over I'm like, no, man. Pull over this is not safe. You can't do this that lake call could be easy a rolled ankle or it could be a pedestrian struck at high speed. You know, I mean more than once it's been like, okay, I'm on our thirteen fourteen. And and now I have a traumatic code, you know, and this person's only chance of surviving is me doing my job. Right. A couple years ago. It looked. Like life might be getting a bit better for ambulance workers like him. It had to do with break times. They're mandated by California law, but ambulance workers don't really get breaks the same way a barista might EMS workers never know when the next call will come in that heart attack or that kid with asthma. So they have to be at the ambulance monitoring the radio ready to respond immediately at all times are paramedic says the closest thing he gets to what you might consider a break is calling in something called a code seven. We don't really get breaks. Those don't really exist anymore. They still use the term code seven. But it usually just means I'm going to stop at a gas station on my way from point a to point B, and I'm just telling you that's what I'm doing in two thousand sixteen the California Supreme Court ruled on call breaks are illegal when it comes to security guards. The court said basically these guards there on the radio during their breaks. They're on duty. That's not a real break. And how you define. Break is important state law says if you don't get one you get paid an extra hours, wages, EMT's and medics hope this ruling would apply to them to they'd filed similar lawsuits in the past the the idea of, wow, we're supposed to get a break was was pretty powerful. I think till out of people the idea of like, you know, the law actually does do something for us. Any moons workers told me this wasn't just about breaks. It was about what real breaks could lead to better staffing and better pay. Medics told me they figured private companies would have to hire more people to cover for units on break. Keep more ambulances in service per shift. They'd have to stop getting by with what workers say feels like the bare minimum the paramedic. I spoke with says he hoped companies would have to dole out that missed break. Pay more often, it's pay. He says he's never gotten. They're going to actually have to there's going to be a lot of back pay people were excited about that. And then about what it might mean moving forward. But then AM are. That big private company. He works for pushed back. They funded a ballot initiative called proposition eleven it would let ambulance companies continue to keep ambulance workers on duty during quote unquote, breaks, we asked AMR about its break policies and working conditions. The company wouldn't talk to us on tape for this. But in a statement, a spokesperson said workers have plenty of downtime and the company supported prop eleven out of concern for patients that concern was the line in their commercials to in an emergency Minhaj. Gimme the difference between life and death proposition. Eleven saves lives by insuring medical care is not delayed in an emergency vote. Yes. On to ensure nine one one emergency care is there when you or your loved one needed. The message voters heard was you have a heart attack without proper Levin. The closest ambulance crew could be unavailable because they're on break. Their radio off. This could cost you your life. Spots like that blanketed the Airways ahead of the vote. The company spent nearly thirty million dollars pushing prop eleven Ken Jacobs is a labor specialist at the university of California Berkeley, he did a deep dive into the private EMS industry. Had I not done any of the the research in the work in advance. I would have heard heard these prop eleven commercials like everybody else and thought, oh, that's terrible. Of course. People can can't have a break while I'm waiting to get my ambulance service, Kansas. Instead, he found prop eleven wasn't really about keeping response times as low as possible. It was about keeping labor costs down. Private-sector EMT's barely make minimum wage in parts of California. A third of the MS workers earn less than thirteen sixty three in our overall median hourly wage was sixteen fifty nine in the state. So we're talking about low wages. And that those wages have been falling Ken says these low wages contribute to a serious retention problem. He found the average private ambulance worker stays with a company only four years one of the common sort of job trek trajectories is go in get trained get some experience and then use that as the basis for applying for firefighter job. And so lots of people are going in with the hopes of getting out and getting into a into a better pay job. Elsewhere by elsewhere. He means public EMS operations, usually your fire department. The pay can be up to forty percent higher there and workers get the comfort of having a firehouse. If you look at a city like San Jose. They all have fire stations to go to. That's Jason Berlian e a union leader for private EMS workers full kitchens bathrooms sleep rooms, which is starkly different than private sector. Him us techs and medics employed by private companies, typically just have their trucks. And street corners Jason says every time the fire departments have openings when the public system opens up recruitment. This happens. There's a max mass exodus from the private side to the public side. And so we'll go through these periods where staffing is so low that we ended up getting forced back toward he sing text and medics at private companies get called in on their days off because so many others have quit to go public. You know, I don't blame him for jumping ship. You know? I mean, it's it's very hard, mentally and physically to make a career on the private side, unimportant note, it's private ambulances that are the ones responding to most of the nine one one calls in California about seventy five percent of them decades of consolidation mean a handful of companies control the lines share of private ambulances kens research focused on California, but he says working conditions. There are reflected nationally private EMS offers. Towns a cheaper alternative to the public system and they operate in rural areas. No one else covers but industry experts say there's a cost tougher working conditions lower pay and the higher turnover. The union guy Jason described he says it all adds up to a system that's making it more likely the medic responding to your emergency is going to be exhausted and a rookie when I started your average provider that showed up on your on at your house had anywhere from fifteen to twenty five years experience that was a couple of decades ago now with this turnover we're lucky if it's eight a lot of this was missing from the proper Levin debate. In fact, there wasn't much of a debate at all by voting day, nearly every major California newspaper head endorsed prop eleven the called it sensible public safety in the end, it was a landslide nearly sixty percent. Yes. Prop eleven past confirming that on duty breaks. Our legal for EMS workers medics and text I spoke with weren't exactly surprised. I mean, you could teach us semester course, on all of the Incas intricacies of an EMS system. And how things work that's Jason Berlin e again, the union leader. But you know, it's very easy to boil down to thirty second soundbite grandma's gonna have a heart attack. And there's not going to be an ambulance to respond because they're taking a break scary commercials. The state supreme court and the ballot box aside something else really troubled the ambulance workers. I spoke with there were people lots of them that believed EMT's and medics would put their coffee breaks over the call of duty. There's not one provider that I represent that would say, no, I'm not responding to that call 'cause I need to eat not one. Remember, our AM are paramedic the one we met at the beginning. He says people know they need men and women like him. But they don't really know much about them. They just they just wanna see the flashy lights when they need help. So ass. Did this whole thing. Change the way he looks at his patients, these voters who passed prop eleven I never let it affect kind of the way that I view them or treat them you. Stop cursing. You put on your gloves, and you go. So what's going on today? that story was reported by jets Lehman. We're talking about emergencies and crises right now focusing on the people who deal with disasters on regular basis for their jobs from paramedics to a scientist who uses math to combat epidemics in twenty fourteen. A major Imola outbreak hit west Africa. The worst outbreak in history. But according to dump with the needing medical open is Asian Iberia. It's also the first time the virus has spread to other areas. And you numbers this morning show. Another spike in victims of west Africa's death the full time. The outbreak was under control more than twenty eight thousand cases were reported and eleven thousand deaths were confirmed in Guinea Liberia and Sierra Leone Adam could shar ski is a researcher at the London School of hygiene and Tropical Medicine, he bills mathematical models that can illustrate how infectious diseases spread and what could help stop them recently. He built a model that measured the impact of treatment facilities and hospital beds. That were added in Sierra Leone, those F investment going into that. But then those who criticism the claims that maybe this is too late. Maybe it didn't have much reality. And so all analysis essentially taught to reconstruct the. Outbreak with the beds in place, we produce the outbreak as it happened. And then once we've done that take away the beds and see what would have happened if this had been in place when they were, and we estimates it the probably about sixty thousand cases were prevented as a direct effect of those beds, having these treatment beds meant that patients could be isolated and were less likely to transmit the disease to family members and others in their community. And that was really in many of these areas, the facts are the the control the outbreak early stages you'd have someone in the community for maybe eight nine days and having the custody in place to to shorten that period was really key to controlling. It's do we know anything about had treatment beds been in place earlier, how many deaths could have been prevented or could be prevented in the future. We once we had this setup that we could add beds, remove beds from this this modeling framework. We look to what happened if the same sponsored happened woman earlier, and we found the the outright would have been half the size. So really illustrated the particular in the early stages of an outbreak where you this rapidly. Increasing numbers of cases, the every week delay can make a massive difference. Are we getting better in terms of predicting outbreaks and epidemics, or is part of the nature of it? This element of surprise that it will pop up and and get a head start on us. I think we were going much predicting certain elements for something like flu, infections example. We've now go fairly good sense of house ocean to actions might drive infection to be into a smooth and others with helping veterans Sundays of spatial movements will go travel patterns and web. Virus might go by think working out when wed Neva pop up is she me if I think possibly even be impossible to to really pin down this line of work ever freak you out. It's all abstract until it isn't it don't I think the have been some outbreaks historically, we look at someone like a major flu pandemic with with a high fatality. That's very hard to envision how a modern society would respond to that. But in in other circumstances, though outbreaks where you see a low of hysteria, and perhaps concern whether doesn't necessarily have to be placed in that way. And in that regard. I think having a better understanding outbreaks what can committee help going to focus all concerned on things that we should be worrying about maybe not dwell too much on the things that the ultimate own going to be a major problem. Adam Kucharski is a researcher at the London School of hygiene and Tropical Medicine, he builds mathematical models that can illustrate and track this spread of infectious diseases. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science, I'm Mike, and Scott, we're talking about emergencies how we deal with them. And what to do when they happen. Kyu-chol? Japan has suffered many major disasters earthquakes, Nahmias typhoons volcano eruptions and two atomic bombs. So this country takes being prepared for disasters. Very seriously training for worst case scenarios is part of the culture there. Even disaster seem parks were visitors can learn how to best get through a catastrophe. Susan Phillips visited one in Tokyo. So I have to put this tablet on. I've come to the Tokyo public Bayshore disaster prevention park to learn how to survive in a world without electricity running water heat or air conditioning for seventy two hours. I'm looking at the screen in my hands for my next clues. Choose English after choosing a language. I get to choose my disaster in this case an earth. True story to story. Okay. It's six PM December you're on the cinema floor on the tenth floor of the station department store building on the tenth floor a woman in orange jacket directs me toward an elevator. I jump on with a Chilean tourist, my Japanese translator hero, Sasso and his wife. Mary sessile a British expats. Okay. I one. So this is the start in venit begins. Well, this is the earthquake. All right. I'm going to press. Everyone do after the simulated earthquake shakes the elevator and announcer tells us to stay home become. The elevator door is not opening right away. Which is unnerved ING, even though I know this is just practice. So it opened I pressed every button. Okay. It's dark. All right. I'm getting out of here. We all stumble out into a dark hallway exit lights, got my tablet tells me, there's a blackout. I come to a giant space. It looks like a movie set for post apocalyptic urban streetscape lights are blinking broken. Glass. Lines the sidewalks overturned electrical poles dangled precariously overhead and crumbling buildings. Block the path before we can move on the tablet computer asks me, multiple choice questions. Like, what to do if you see a fire right answer shout fire? First priority for the months that east that I to the outside the rescue team is ready to provide any to the questions in tour continue past crumbled buildings some apartment windows show full in furniture. But the apartments were the residents had prepared for this moment have secured. All their heavy furniture to the wall, I answered most of the survival questions correctly, but I made some mistakes and end up with a broken leg on the scoreboard next. I walked past shelters made out of cardboard boxes instructions show me how to make stoves out of tin cans and signs urge me to stockpile food now. So if quick up right now, they will take you to the right place to acute still love the disaster park. Also has board games to teach children how to survive and how to use loose paper to make origami plates and cups like every theme park. There's a gift store, and this one includes everything you would need a disaster. Wow. There's hello. Kitty, solar-powered lanterns freeze dried food water that can be stored for five years even safety themed rice crackers in the shape of a man with a helmet. And of course, your very own crash helmet kit. You can assemble from cardboard and plastic you can Ford it. But. But my translator hero at his wife. Mary Schumi around the store, wait emergency toilet. What is that? What it's more just that. It's shock hole that you can put down the toilet. So why would you do that? Because you can't flush the tweeted. So it's a normal you use your normal toilet use the use the charcoal chocolate. And then you also in the kit have this blanket. Yes. Yes. Thank blanket team. Toy tin toy ten of toilet. Yes. It says you wear that. While you're on the to keep it in their storage in okay or the put in which case, you take it as time of emergency. I'm still not sure what the blanket has to do with toilet. Okay. That's amazing use it. So so it's got emergency toilet this blanket blanket. And what is this species a prosthetic bag, you know, just put underneath a toilet. Okay. Then after you've done the work job. Then you can put this. Oh, the powder so make this smoothing tight up. So you're basically going in a plastic bag is just doing it. Oil it. Yeah. Toilet it. But using proc- bag the Japanese seem prepared for everything on the tour. I met Patrizio Winkler. He's a civil engineer and professor from Chile who specializes in earthquakes and soon nominees have victim between Quila and Japan earthquakes. Now, do they have anything like this in Chile where people can come and learn no this kind of facilities. No. It's a PD. They're really small visiting centers or something. But not something like, this Patrizio says disaster preparation is part of Japanese culture is what you're gonna see like in many tales details in the subway. For example, those always some kind of safety books, it's kind of embedded in the everyday life. It's something that we don't have at least I know that in the US it's not like that either. No. It's not like that. Strange. Let's take a selfie being super prepared. Doesn't seem strange to my translator hero and his wife. Mary they know the long history of disasters that have struck Japan. And I think also the Japanese that was than the F cake would be a breakdown of civilization vide-. And so what's important is to hold up civilized values. Because I think that's what would scare me more. The sessoms. No Tokyo is overdue for a large earthquake some of their European friends are urging them to leave Tokyo or Japan. Together, we been here for many is. Things could help them. The. We very about two. It's so we we did with it. Well, you're prepared and even more. So since the massive two thousand eleven earthquake soon NAMI and subsequent nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, everyone in Japan knows where they were on March eleventh two thousand eleven the earthquake and soon NAMI killed close to sixteen thousand people and devastated the country's northeastern region so in such a vulnerable country. It makes sense to be prepared. That was Susan Phillips. Her story was reported with support from the international center for journalists. You're listening to the pulse. I Mike and Scott were talking about emergencies and disasters how communities prepare and respond. I was working in Oklahoma City in nineteen ninety five at the medical center there, that's psychologist Robyn Gurvich and back then she was working with kids with behavior problems. But then on the morning of April nineteenth her life changed. Car bomb exploded outside of a large federal building downtown Oklahoma City shattering that building killing children, killing federal employees, military, men and civilians a rental truck packed with explosives detonated in front of the Alfred P Murrah federal building and the bombing took place about a mile from my office. We actually felt the building shake Robin rushed over to the site of the bombing. As volunteer with the American Red Cross a hundred and sixty eight people were killed, including nineteen children Robin met with the families whose children died that day she helped to identify their bodies. I spent the next many many many days and months, doing direct service conducting research developing guidance and finding out everything I could know about the impact of these events on children and families the explosion changed her career. And today she continues to work with children. Who've experienced traumatic events. What are some of the immediate things that you see with children after a disaster after an emergency. One of the biggest reactions that children have after these events is worries about their own safety about the safety and security of the people that they care about. And they love and concerns about 'em. I going to be okay. Is this going to happen again? We know that worry is there. Some of the things that we see in children to is difficulties with sleep staying asleep falling asleep. Nightmares? Kids. Also may have trouble concentrating at school their grades could take a dip with teenagers preteens Robin says there's often an increase in high risk behavior set jazz driving fast substance use alcohol, use promiscuity school absenteeism. So we really do need to be. She cognizant in the first few weeks two month after disaster. Some of these reactions are gonna be quite prevalent, and then they will for most people begin to dissipate. What helps kids during that? First more immediate phase, what kind of messages help them. How can the community rally around them? The biggest thing is to make sure that they're connected with others with their support systems with their caregivers. Parents grandparents aunts uncles. That's one of the things that so nice about schools coming back online quickly after disasters is there's school personnel that they may feel safe and secure with they see their friends they can get back intact titties that gave him that support. So being there being supportive is huge and adults have to find ways to talk to kids about what happened. No matter what their ages. We can put it in in Lang. Which they can understand. But if I don't talk directly to my child about it. I may inadvertently give the message that this is so horrible that we can't even talk about it. There's been this event. This is what happened tell me what you know. So we can hear from children themselves where do they start? We can hear what they understand. And the big message to give is I am doing everything I know how to do to keep you safe. Robin gurwitch is a psychologist and professor at Duke University school of medicine. We're talking about disasters and emergencies. How we prepare for them. What to do when they happen? Ranchers in the Bush country of southern Australia all have fire stories to tell the land can get very dry and very hot fires ripped through the forests of eucalyptus and gum trees, scorching homes, and livestock, and knowing just what to do when a fire is raging can save lives and homes. Ashley, a Hearn brings us the story. Charlie Lubbock is the fifth generation of love to raise cows here. His fire story takes place back in two thousand six it was a bad year for fires and the Bush was burning ten miles away. From Charlie's ranch we had one twin, and we had one wish and and and the thority sign we'll it's in the bushes now worries with now if it gets in below us on the river system, it'll take us because it'll change come through so far as a mischievous thing. It works at added to stuff or Ricken Charlie has a gray beard and bright blue eyes. With a roguish twinkle. He's lived here in the hawk wha- hills all his life, and he knows this land and the unique weather patterns here better than just about anyone. So lo and behold, yes, the far did goat sale safe west. And when you was coming you could hear it, and you could see glower every not which it around in place in you could say the local authorities told Charlie in his family to evacuate. They said if they stayed no one would come to save them. But he in some of his close, friends and neighbors decided to defend their properties. Charlie's ranch sits in a little valley surrounded by forested hills before hit this high point all away ran dear on all Araya. Randy it was a complete Red Front coming away and weary abaya. So the local authorities left a couple of bulldozers, Charlie and his neighbors cleared strips of bare land called firebreaks around their properties. But they had no idea if that would make a difference. They watched the fire anxiously until nightfall knowing it could start to move down the hill. Side and destroy their homes. And then Charlie saw his chance about one o'clock in the morning for remember. And it'd that we call the country got a little bit damp and bit Dowie. So it wasn't doing so strong. And that was a great opportunity for us to go hit the for what he means is he saw an opportunity to use fire to fight fire, Charlie and his friends and neighbors walked through the forest below the encroaching fire using torches to light a separate fire. The hope was that their fire would burn up the valley walls, and rob the big fire of its fuel. It's called back burning, but it's going to be done. Right. If it's if the whether Petain's wrong, why you're gonna love to foreign it's going to burn you now to be clear, Charlie broke the law when he started lighting the forest on fire. But he knew there wasn't time to ask permission with a small wind of a Janati and Boone bushman you grab that straightaway. Guinot, and we waited for the to come down those ranges up. They're gotta bet. A third of the. Dan, we thought Neff we don't law at this. It made the foul betas. So when need to lauded it, but Tiki tomes how it can burn back and snuff that far at a bit halfway down, the Rhine and wick perfectly. Did you cheer? When when you saw that your plan planted worked. Oh, what when you? It was a wig. Okay. That must have been really cool moment. If you could see the fire on the ridge line, and you could see your back burn doing its job. I think it was the younger people that hadn't seen something like that happened before though just amazed have bloody simple. It was if you do at the ROY white the raw tone. So that took an an to clock who sitting down on the right way, we it. And we had a coupla Colby's as you would. Ashley, a Hearn reported that story from Victoria, Australia. That's our show for this week the pulses of production of WHYY in Philadelphia, our health and science reporters. Alan you list, hung and jets Lehman Julian Harris, our intern we had some production. Help from Joanna broder. Charlie Kyra is our engineer. Lindsey Lazar ski is our producer Tanya English. Our editorial director, I'm Mike and Scott. Thank you for listening behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare WHYY's health and science reporting is supported via generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund, P H, M C gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

California London School of hygiene and T Japan United States Lehman Julian Harris producer Mary Schumi Ricken Charlie flu Jacob Margolis Mike Tokyo WHYY Bush Philadelphia Robin gurwitch Scott New Jersey Penn medicine
Marijuana Now

The Pulse

48:52 min | 1 year ago

Marijuana Now

"Support for this podcast comes from Wells Fargo, which donated more than nine million dollars to Pennsylvania nonprofits last year, including the enterprise centre to help grow local divers owned small businesses. More at stories dot W, F dot com slash Pennsylvania. Supporting WHYY Penn Orthopaedics with advanced treatments for hip and knee arthritis and a personal patient. Navigation team the Penn Orthopaedics approach to joint pain is designed to help get you back to enjoying life. Again. More at Penn medicine dot org slash joints. Major funding for the pulse is provided by a leadership gift from the Sutherland family charitable fund. The Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at heartfelt and science, I Mike and Scott the small town of Hanes Alaska is a popular destination for cruise ships tourists. Love the views of snow covered mountain, peaks and sparkling blue waters. You can spot bears eagles and moose and last year. The town added a new attraction a shop called winter greens. Inside the walls are painted bright green and the shelves are lined with bonds and buds winter greens is marijuana store customers or picking out pre rolled joints much like you. Choose lunch meat at the deli counter. Nocco Poku goal. In a sugar Mongolia. Recreational marijuana has been legal in Alaska for a few years now, but the customers here say they're still adjusting to this new normal. People were totally against my. I mean, it was dead wrong. I got Trump when nineteen eighty over marijuana. That's Jeff Taylor. He says marijuana helps him control pain another customer carry kinison agrees. It's seen as a medicinal product. Now, which I think is great and people don't have to hide. And you know, you gotta pain you can go take care of it. Now and natural homeopathic way. Think about it. That's a pretty stunning transformation from being seen as dangerous substance. It's a fact pot hurt to benign healing potion times of change greatly till now, it's unbelievable. The change. And with all of this have come new issues states are sorting out their legal approach to marijuana dispensaries are opening up all over the country. Some researchers are worried that we are underestimating the potential harm marijuana could do society has jumped very very very far ahead of science on today's episode will look into marijuana and the new normal and some of the questions that are popping up along the way. Let's start with medical marijuana, which is now legal in thirty four of the fifty states. What does the move from illicit substance to legit treatment looked like on the ground list tongue? Went to find out in Philadelphia. Word dispensaries are still pretty new. I'm standing on the sidewalk in front of beyond too low. It's one of the most popular marijuana dispensaries and from the outside. It looks kind of like an upscale spa like frosted glass. Storefront really easy to miss. It's supposed to be my introduction to this shiny new world of medical marijuana goes waiting. Over except for one problem. Do you? Do you have to have your ID or something to? Medical marijuana cartoon a dispensary. I'm not allowed inside despite a very gracious invitation from beyond Hello. The Pennsylvania department of health says that no one without a medical marijuana card, including journalists is allowed inside dispensaries. I get it. This is all new stuff. They're still figuring out access. So a scrap my dispensary plan and decide to go for the next best thing, you're at Filiasi. This is the Philadelphia Tempur Pedic cannabis is a culmination of many years of thoughts and kind of hopes that's Patrick Duff. He's the co owner affiliated see it's a kind of combination head shop and cafe that caters to people who use medical marijuana to be clear. Philly TC doesn't sell cannabis. They don't dispense it for medical or any other purposes as co owner, Raymond Bunga says more of patients consumption lounge and CBD consumption lounge and and Sacramento holy place for for the use of cannabis as a. A Sacramento and or medicine customers can do that sitting at one of their diner? Style booths that they have in the back either using their own setups or the shops vaporisers until they called rigs. This is a kind of a tall one that I like to use to vaporize the rake resembles a small sleek water Bong except that instead of a lighter Patrick's using what he calls an herb iron. It's like a pen with a heated ceramic, and I'm gonna use that tip to kind of just dance on the top of this. So I don't really fully ignite it like lighter woods. So there's no real combustion in Pennsylvania. You're technically not supposed to smoke medical marijuana because of the health risks. You're supposed to keep it. Which is what Patrick is demonstrating right now. So that was. Patrick and Riemann open the shop a few months back. They operated out of three room storefront that sits between kind of gentrified hipster neighborhood and Kensington the struggling area that as reman points out is best known as the heart of Philadelphia's opioid epidemic, Ohio. I'm happy to be a part of the change and just bring in better vibes to this neighborhood. It's the only establishment of its kind in the area and kind of the perfect embodiment of where things are right now with medical marijuana, which is to say in the gray in between. It's not exactly legal in the sense that establishments. Like, this are so new they aren't yet regulated. But it's not illegal either. It's out in the open. They have a sign out on the sidewalk. But it also offers privacy a safe space for people who can't consume at home because they have kids or because they live in government subsidized housing, and then they're the owners themselves. Raymond loves talk. About counter cultural heroes who helped advance our understanding of cannabis when it wasn't legal. Well, Patrick spent years out in LA running other cannabis churches places that he says basically acted like underground dispensaries. An even got busted by the authorities. If you times, but both of them are also very much invested in medical marijuana, shiny new completely establishment future all of which puts Philly teach seat in a unique position as a link between marijuana's past and its future. We provide a different service than anybody else provide right now. And what is that service? How would you define educational service number one showing people how they can sign up to be a patient. But more importantly once they become a patient. They can come in here and ask questions about the medicine. They're like the spirit guide for all these brand new medical marijuana patients. Many of whom started out having no idea what they were doing. They actually helped me a lot of learned a lot even from coming here. Megan M is one of. They're regulars. She asked that we only use her first name because of the stigma against marijuana Megan's in her late thirties, just long hair and a wooden cane and she sitting in one of the booth here showing me what she's learned this is a rig this is a traditional rig. So you put the product in the slope here, you only need about the size of a green of rice get that in there. So that it melts. And. That that's pretty much it. That's that's how you medicate. This has become a daily routine for Meghan. She got her medical marijuana card a little over a year ago. And she says it's changed her life for the better after five years of pain and struggle, it all started back in twenty thirteen Meghan was thirty three and working at a corporate supply for a large energy company had recently bought her own home own all life was good. And and exactly where I thought it would be at that time. But in January twenty thirteen Meghan got sick the flu. And in a kind of freak medical occurrence the flu virus attacked her heart causing her to suffer three strokes Megan's life was saved, but she spent months in and out of the hospital and another year recovery and basic life functions. I had to through you know, therapies and exercises. Retrain, my body how to pretty much do everything again, right again, walk again, you know, different. You know through occupational therapy, different tasks. Home. Even you know, maintaining yourself in the daily activities of life. Megan had hoped that once she recovered, those basic functions should be able to go back to work. But there was an even bigger problem damage to our nervous system, which resulted in ongoing and unbearable pain. My understanding of is that my brain is just constantly sending pain signals out. And it's because it's basically got fried rain gets a little bit. So I feel pain. It's just stiffness. It's just aching pain. It's burning. It's kind of unbearable to like, you don't even want move Megan's. Doctors ended up prescribing various opioids to treat the pain. They did the job. But Megan hated the side effects. She felt like the opioids clouded her thinking the affected her sleep and her mood. But there was no alternative until February twenty eighteen when medical marijuana I became accessible to patients like Megan by this time Megan had been on painkillers for five years. And she was more than ready for a change again. When you're kind of stuck in the rut frustrated, you want to try anything and everything, you know, seeing people being able to either completely get off some of these narcotics, or at least decrease the amount they need that was something. I was highly interested in it so Meghan gave it a shot. She got her medical marijuana certification. And then she headed out to a dispensary. She's gone to a few of them now. And she says it really does kind of feel like going to a pharmacy with one key difference since this is still federally illegal. It cannot be technically prescribed. So it's recommended by a physician that's a mandate coats. He's a pharmacist at the dispensary beyond too low before that she spent ten years as a conventional pharmacist a switch, which by the way, she says required. Shockingly little training will also with this program. We have to four hour course to get your training certificates to become a practitioner within the medical marijuana program. Anyway, as a pharmacist Amanda has lots of experience working with patients, which is good because she says a big part of her job is walking new patients through their options. Like as a pharmacist a lot of the patients that are coming to me have never even tried cannabis in the past. So we're starting with cannabis patients. It's her job to help them figure out which stream to take. And how often what are they should vape or tinctures capsules end, of course, their dosage it's a little bit about what their comfort level is starting low and slow is like our mantra, Amanda says it's really important for dispensary staff to get to know their patients because unlike with other drugs, she can't just look up some study about how ex tincture affects pain related to Huntington's because a lot of those studies haven't happened yet. She has to take into account the disease the profile of different marijuana, strains the form they're taking along with patients using credit concerns. For example, Amanda says a lot of patients don't wanna get high. They see you for you. Is a very unwanted side effect. We're trying to get in that sweet spot where they're getting symptom relief, but they're not really feeling about euphoric feeling, but striking that balance can be tough for patients. Like, megan. She says for her controlling her chronic pain was a matter of trial and error, for example. She started out vaping the cannabis flower itself. Now, she uses a couple different concentrates essence of cannabis if you will which she says works a lot better. They feel later and the leaf affects remediate more media than any other form for me months. Leader Meghan says she's mostly fine tuned her approach which concentrate she uses and how often dosage and how to balance it with other meds. But it still isn't 'perfect. She's still experiences pain and still has to take opioids una pretty regular basis, and she still isn't comfortable using medical marijuana out in the open. The stigma is real I am own experience. That is just kind of better to be. A pick and choose. So you know, when when and where to share she says, she plans on keeping it that way at least for a while until going to the dispensary is open and easy as a trip to the pharmacy. That was Liz tongue reporting. And I was surprised by something the pharmacist in the dispensary said that it took only four hours of additional training to get this new job at doesn't seem like a whole lot right to work with marijuana exclusively to discuss with people what strands to use for what? And that got me thinking about healthcare professionals in general, you know, when you go to your doctor's office or the hospital. They'll usually ask you about marijuana use because maybe it could interact with medicines, you're taking or cost health issues. And I'm sure sometimes patients will want to ask their physicians about medical marijuana. How much do doctors really know about this? I I went to medical school not that long ago. And I don't know if I fell asleep during his class or they just breezed through it. But I actually really don't have a good understanding of how marijuana. To work, that's emergency room, physician and regular pulse. Contributor, Avia Meacham. He wanted to get a better sense of what THC and CBD do in our bodies. He went to visit Margaret Haney. She is marijuana researcher. What I often say is this is an old old drug, but a new science. She's also a professor of neurobiology at Columbia University. It's not surprising to me, you haven't learned a lot about it. I think in medical school. They don't teach a lot about substance use disorders in general, let alone their neurobiology lemme start then from the beginning someone lights a joint takes a hit. What happened? So smoking is a very very effective drug delivery system. The the chemicals in the plant get go goes through the lungs directly to the brain. Okay, in what are these chemicals? Exactly. We know there's a hundred or so chemicals in the cannabis plant that are unique to the cannabis plant there called collaborates, and we understand one of them delta nine THC fairly well because delta ninety h c is the chemical that really produces the classic marijuana affects scientists call it delta nine THC, but most of us just call it THC. That's what defines potency, you know, when you're trying to buy the most potent marijuana, you want the highest level of delta nine THC. And that's how it's described now in order for this THC to have an effect inside you it has to attach to receptors that are patiently waiting in your brain they discovered in the nineties this receptor canal receptor just a protein in the brain. And it's everywhere in the brain the cabin receptor also called the CB receptor is like a lock THC. Is the key and the door that's opened. Well, that's the high the alteration in sensory experience changes in time perception, the munchies the intoxicating all of that does that mean that our brains are wired to receive marijuana or I asking this in a weird way. But but why do we have these can yourself? Why do we have these receptors for canal, which are from a plant? You know, like most drugs of abuse that the the drugs, we abuse mimic, the chemicals in our brain already. And so there are chemicals liked THC that our body produces and play an important role in brain development in brain function. And so just by happenstance, delta nineteen in the plant also binds to that senior center. So it's so what sei sampling all these different plants over over millennia. We've discovered the ones that can kind of trick our brain. It turns out we make our own Endo cabinets chemicals that bind to those Kavanag receptors their purposes still. Kind of a mystery. But they may be involved in modulating stress, memory and pain. All right. So delta THC a K THC. That's something that we've known about since the nineties, but to me, it's only recently that I've been hearing about CBD's, what are CBD's can dial is another cannabinoid president in the cannabis plant very very different than delta. Ninety eight see at doesn't bind to the same receptor. Its mechanism of action is is pretty poorly. Understood so far, it's not getting you high and there's been great hope in its medical potential. There is now an FDA approved form of canal dial for severe forms of childhood epilepsy. For example, CBD or canal? Dial is everywhere. Now, you can buy oil at the corner store, and you can eat it. You can use it in your cooking or on your skin people use it for anxiety pain, or lifting your mood. But there's almost no scientific evidence behind any of this. There are other areas that are very very, exciting and intriguing. To study for Kappa. Dial, but society has jumped very very much very far ahead of science. So cannot be dial has promised for certain indications, but the data is very sparse. And it's been hard to do carefully controlled studies. So as a scientist, it's very distressing to for me to see how ubiquitous it is throughout the country, and how people are using it in all different forms and shapes and doses, basically, just the wild west, right? It is. And it's it's it's worse than that in that in lieu of data. It's really marketers and people selling Cabot I'll making money from it that at our informing the public about its its effects, it's medical benefit. And that's that's not good for anyone. I guess is what happens when you listen to Facebook too. You told me about THC and CBD are there other compounds that are like actively doing things to us when when we smoke it. So that it we don't know of the one hundred or so canal. We know a decent amount about THC a teeny bit about CBD. And as for all the rest, we don't now. And the reality is most of them are in VR. There's there there in low concentrations in the plants that people have been smoking for a long time. But there is the potential right there. These other compounds may do amazing things or they may do terrible things. We just don't know. The problem is even though some states have legalized marijuana. It's still federally classified as a schedule. One drug. That's the designation given to the most unsafe drugs known to man that designation makes it really hard for scientists to get their hands on it. So I can get at the Bodega. But if I want to study, you can't do I can't get it that was emergency room physician of Metra on a quest to learn. Learn more about THC and CBD we're talking about the new normal with marijuana smoking weed is becoming more and more accepted in a no big deal. Kind of way. Nick, Missy a self-described pothead says that way of looking at we'd no longer works for him this drummers grove in prospect park in Brooklyn, New York. It's right by my house now used to come here lot. But when I quit smoking, we've started to stay away drum circles pot are frequent companions. But here's the thing about this city. We'd is everywhere. I smell it all the time. And sometimes it's no big deal. But other times, it's really triggering. See? I'm an addict a pothead addicted to weed you might not take that seriously. But I'm going to make the case that you should a quick recap had a big heartbreak in school. We'd helped dropped out of college. We helped arrested for dealing smoked before court. Got a slap on the wrist celebrated with joint crashed my car broke my neck toss the weed right out the window. None of that made me want to quit that came years later one day. I just noticed. I was paranoid. All the time. Rushing home every night after work to smoke alone. But when I tried to stop I couldn't cold Turkey. Didn't work therapy didn't help neither did antidepressants. And every time I thought about checking out a recovery program. I think of half baked that cults donor flick starring comedian, Dave Chapelle, his character is a pothead, and he tries to quit smoking to my name is Thurgood. He standing on a stage addressing all the other addicts. I'm here today because I'm a dictated to marijuana. Marijuana. Marijuana's is not a drug food this, man. Home. Larry's, but some experts aren't laughing anymore climate. I'm a policy analyst by training. Mark works at New York University. He's written a few books on marijuana policy in the United States. How many people like me are there? How many people are there? Do we know that dentistry has potheads who wanna stop something like four million, man? Yeah. Looks like about a third of the people who use every day or almost every day meet the diagnostic criteria. Forget it was used as order the criteria. According to Mark trying to cut back in failing. At it. Knowing marijuana is messing with your life goals and still getting high all the same. He says there's a growing number of people in the US like me people who wanna cut down or stop altogether. He thinks maybe it's because the weed itself is more potent these days anything less than fifteen percent THC is a rip off the back in the nineteen seventies. It was three to six percent THC harder to get addicted to less dangerous certain dangerous compared to uncle the drugs changed. In the meantime, do you think? We ever underestimated. The issue of problem users when we started examining issues around legalization. I don't know. But we sure noted he says about thirty years ago when they looked at people who had used marijuana in the past month. Only eleven percent of them were daily users today Mark says that number is more like thirty five percent again about a third of them report. The symptoms of cannabis users order and those heavy users account for about eighty five percent of the week consumes one of these things that I encounter all the time are people who like to tell me that. I can't be an addict, what do I say to these people? I mean, I know what I'd say them. But I can't say on the air. I talked to Dr J Michael Bostick. He's a professor of psychiatry at the mayo clinic who specializes in addiction counseling, I told him the same thing. How people like to tell me that I couldn't possibly be addicted to weed that that is complete garbage. But again, if you go with the definition that there's a problem as a result of you use whether you're meeting your goals is the family member or as a. Apparent or as a spouse as an adult or whether potential your substance uses interfering with your progress. And it doesn't much matter. What other people say? So I tell him about how I started breaking promises to myself smoking earlier and earlier every day, for example, since it is psychoactive, I would say that you probably liked the way that it made you feel and on one level wanted to feel that way all the time. But on the other level may have felt I don't know you'll have to speak to this uncomfortable when you weren't high when you got up in the morning, I did feel that way. And as it went on I began to feel more and more uncomfortable all the time, and you probably increased your the amount that you were taking in. I sure did which is almost an exact description of any kind of addictive substance or practice. Anyway, that's how smoking everyday me feel, but I also wanted to know what it was doing to my brain. So for that I reached out to Dr Susan Weiss. A psychologist and senior science adviser at the National Institute of drug abuse. Hannah-beth is a very interesting drug because there is an entire signaling system called the Endo cabinet system. She told me the system goes through different parts of your brain and body. There's a hit the campus which is an area of the brain that's important for memory. And we know that marijuana impairs memory. There's also court ical areas which have to do with judgment and sensory areas. So people may find that things taste different or better. I didn't know it. But I was with this system multiple times a day. And when you do that if you do it repeatedly, then the system itself will start to down regulate, which means it starts to become less sensitive. And so you're you're affecting some of the normal physiological processes that this system is involved in and that's how addiction starts to develop. So these experts all tell me that the addiction can be real. But at the same time legalization is on the March, Washington, Colorado, California and many. More on the horizon. So I thought it would be good to talk to some guys in the field. Who argue for legalisation. I expected them to be like, hey, man. Calm down. Relax. It's a plant. But what they said surprised me normal not here can make the case that cannabis is on the harmless or innocuous because it isn't that's Paul Armand Tano, and he's the deputy director of normal appro legalisation group fact is if we are going to acknowledge that cannabis poses some potential risks. Then it only follows that those risks are best mitigated by legalisation regulation in public education in Paul's view. It's not that we'd is harmless. It's that jailing people for it is a lot more harmful, especially when the laws are used to put away people of color at a disproportionate rate. So Paul says, let's legalize it stopped the mass incarceration. And then we can focus on responsible public policy to address the risks. In the meantime, what are you supposed to do? If you like me, let me tell you how I quit. I finally found a support group for people like me people addicted to marijuana back in two thousand fourteen and nobody tried to tell me that we'd wasn't a drug or that. I wasn't an addict. Instead, I heard stories like mine smoking pot was. The one nice thing in my horrible life, and I had smoked and then I'd be super depressed and super anxious. I hear these success stories, and I wanted that for myself when you wake up in the morning, you know, for sure that you're not going to have to depend on something that will surely run out to be happy. I feel brave now I feel confident I still listen to stories like these I share mind to sharing listening. It all helps me stay sober. I don't know if this will help you or not I just want you to know there are people out here who take this seriously that aren't going to boo you, I know I won't. That was Nick Mercedes' telling us his story of quitting marijuana. Nick says we'd is everywhere. It's a way of life. There's a whole culture bonded. It's about community. And our next story speaks to that aspect. Here's Randy Scott Carroll with more. I'm in west Philly in a big mansion style row home. There's a million crowd of young people in live music in the basement. Mostly Philly rap. Someone's home. But I'm not sure who's I'm here to meet up with edibles maker Vicky who's here for an underground vegan. We'd event. When I arrived. The air is thick with that distinctive smell upstairs. Their vendors with tables filled with baked goods candies infused drinks, Mason jars full of fresh blood in all sorts of pre rolled joints. Vicki is selling her strawberry. Irish Sea must ice cream with a blue Burien fig sauce and a black bean, brownie crumble, all vegan in all infused with wheat. I I really enjoyed the feedback. When that after the event speaking I catch up by her car didn't as soon as they put it in mouth, they blue eyes lit up, and that makes me happy is that I light up. So it was great joy in it. Vicky whose business is off the grid asked me not to use her last. Name her usual clientele is more of an older crowd. She says they love the idea of relaxing without having to smoke. And so what she really loves this cooking full meals with cannabis oils out lakey, some soup out poison t just come spend a little time with me. That's all I'm asking. She invites me to replace to see how she makes her infused oils butter and tinctures in where she's turned his love of cooking into a healthy side. Also client stop by sit down. Enjoy some conversation and have a good meal and people pay twenty five thirty dollars a plate. I want to eat in dull healthy seasonal meal on want my food to taste like the season. You know, I want butternut squash soup with some kale in some came on. And I wouldn't mind having the aroma of a lovely. Kush come off that. The key is fifty years old with short hair, dyed gold in radiates, this inviting energy is she welcomes me into the kitchen. So I put an ounce about plus some other love bonuses in there to get things started. She tosses a bowl of fresh lead straight into this sort of crock pot looking thing on her countertop along with unrefined. Coconut oil. I don't have to do any work with this wonderful little device. It's called the magical butter machine it grind, stirs heats and chops infusing everything with just the press of a few buttons. It's literally called magical butter. About an hour later with adjoining their hand, the key scoops out the oil with a spatula scrapes it into the strain or smell nice. Well, it's sweet. Yeah. It just most like cleaner like it, smells like cleaners. Some of the residue from the we'd gets through this trainer. But she says she kind of likes that. I like it. Because when I cook when regular foods that gets in there kinda just use it as what do you call this stuff seasoning? So it blends in seasoning. I'm many Vicky says we'd was always an accepted part of her life growing up her father made a jug of tincture that he stored under the bed. Herodotus would also indulge. If only picnics Vicky says, she was always drawn to that side of the party. Everyone was laughing and chuckling, but that's what made the barbecue better. You know? That's what made the barbecue. Petr? I don't ever remember not being around in. Just remember my today. Vicky says her infused oils edibles are wave continuing the same sense of community from her younger days. It's never really been about the money. You know, if someone is hungry, they're in a little discomfort and pain, I can feed you and make you feel good. Vicky says everyone is welcome in her kitchen because we need some place just to take a break just the minute. I just need a minute IMP. Asides? Aren't we all special enough that somebody should take care of us? Like that for a moment. Like come on. That story was reported by Randy Scott Carroll. We're talking about the new normal when it comes to marijuana. Our attitudes of changed. The law has changed in many states. There are so many new questions and issues that are coming up, for example is cannabis safe during pregnancy. Michelle Illinois spoke with women about this in Los Angeles. Where marijuana is legal across the board. Let's start with the perspective from the medical community, which is pretty unequivocal don't vape. It don't smoke. It don't dab it. And don't eat it. That's the message from too big. Doctor's groups, the academy of pediatrics and the college of obstetricians and gynecologists they say there's just not enough data on how cannabis effects a developing child's brain clinical psychologist, Kelly young wolf does that kind of research. There hasn't been any evidence yet that indicates marijuana use in pregnancy is safe Kelly's research shows that despite the messaging from the medical world more women in California are opting to use marijuana. Anyway over. Over a seven-year period. The number of moms to be who tested positive for cannabis nearly doubled from four to seven percent. The rate was closer to twenty percent among younger moms, and this was before the state legalized recreational sales. We do know that perceived approval marijuana's increasing that people's perception of the risks associated marijuana are decreasing and this is true, particularly among young people, given how easy it is to get marijuana. These days Kelly says doctors should do more to warn their patients of the potential risks. The American Academy of pediatrics says research increasingly suggests smoking marijuana can affect how a baby's brain develops using during pregnancy has been tied to lower birth weights and could hinder skills that kids develop later in life like the ability to concentrate and control their impulses. But some women say they also have complications with their health to think about imagine throwing up. As many as four times a day in your first trimester. I would be driving, and I was just vomit out the window and hit a stop sign. Yeah. Vomit out the window keepdriving that's thirty three year old from Los Angeles. She asked us not to use her name because there's still a stigma around this issue and marijuana is illegal at the federal level. She planned to quit using cannabis when she found out she was pregnant, I stopped doing everything everything that I was putting into my body. I was thinking about my kid, but she was losing weight not sleeping and feeling stressed in worried. She was hurting her baby because she couldn't keep any food down. She went online found some of the same. Studies about marijuana that show risks for kids later in life. But decided there was some wiggle room. In some of those studies, researchers didn't control from others who were also using alcohol or smoking or the results were based on a small group of women she occasionally while she was pregnant. Her baby was born healthy and hasn't had any problems looking back on her pregnancy. This woman said she felt like she was on her own to figure out how to cope with her symptoms because she didn't connect with her doctor. I don't know. I just felt like she didn't hear me. I felt like she her concerns were medical. And so her mindset was what can we do to solve this medically where as I? Am a whole person with a life. And I felt like she had blinders on obstetrician Lena Nathan says she wants to be a listening ear. She seeing more pregnant women who are considering cannabis. The most common reason I see that women want to use marijuana during pregnancies for nausea or issues with appetite especially in the first trimester Lena is with university of California, Los Angeles health. She says patients ask her questions about the safety of edibles, CBD lotions and all sorts of other products Californians can buy now, she says current research hasn't even taken into account the higher potency levels. We're seeing now or the different ways people can ingest cannabis in the absence of solid data. Lena says she has to tell her patients to stay away from it all to be honest. Most patients will still continue it by me telling them that. But I think they're so miserable that they're looking for anything that can help them feel a little better. But while dot. Doctors are telling their patients to abstain a lot of women are turning to each other for advice both in person and on social media. Another woman I spoke with lives in West Hollywood. I'm calling her S for her first initial she recently gave birth to her second child s runs an anonymous Instagram account where she writes about cannabis and being a mom, her posts, usually get hundreds of likes and comments. There's so many women who have sent me direct messages in who have emailed me and told me that late. I smoked weed for like, both my pregnancies and my kids are join just fine and they're seven and nine now while that's not clinical research for these women. It's a community where they don't feel judged for me. It's just like, well, why would you lie about that? Because like, I wouldn't tell anybody that especially if you're not in a state, whereas legal be uncertainty around the galaxy makes research and answering safety questions hard Daniel Piomelli as a professor at university of California Irvine and directs the school. New center for the study of cannabis. I think what we need to understand is if there is a level above which kind of is becomes seriously problematic and the result before which kind of is still not problematic. Danielle says to be clear he also wouldn't recommend that women used any kind of marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding, but he also says researchers like him have a duty to find out if women are going to use are there, safer ways. Those are questions he hopes to answer. This is a harm reduction aptitude that I think has really lacked in the past because what prevailed in still I think a little bit psychologically prevails is the idea of say no Danielle says any definitive answers are still potentially decades away. That's Michelle Loy. She's a reporter at KCRW. Her story was produced as a project for the USC Annenberg center for health journalism twenty eighteen California. Fellowship. We're talking about marijuana all of the new questions and issues that are popping up as attitudes and laws are changing at a rapid pace. I think there are some idea out there that because we're legalizing it. It means that it faith when we we really don't know. That's the case. That's Karen Wilson. She's a professor of pediatrics at the Icahn school of medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She's been researching the health impacts of secondhand tobacco smoke on children for years. We noticed that more and more parents were saying, oh, no, I don't smoke tobacco anymore just marijuana because it's natural. And at that point, we all realize that marijuana was becoming normalized even more so than tobacco, and we are quite concerned that as we moved into legalization that would mean that more children would be exposed to second hand marijuana smoke. Karen says at this point we still don't know very much about the health impacts of second hand marijuana smoke on chill. Children does it irritate their lungs. Could it affect issues like asthma in one study? She found almost half of children whose parents smoke marijuana tested positive for lower levels of THC and some of those kids would have tested positive in a drug test. And what does that mean does that mean that they felt the psychoactive effects of marijuana? Or does it just mean that they were in the presence of it? It just means they were in the presence of it. We really don't know anything about how they are experiencing this. We don't know if children are more susceptible to the influences, or maybe they're less susceptible to the influences. There is no data on that part of what has made this difficult is that in many cases being exposed to marijuana smoke is still reportable to child protective services, and so doing research and being able to identify families where this is occurring can. Can be really problematic and in all of the cases when we've studied this. We've done this anonymously. So we can't go back and link those results with any specific patient, which makes it much much harder to do the kind of long term follow up studies that we would need to do to be able to understand the true effects of this children. Karen Wilson is a professor of pediatrics at the Icahn school of medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Medical marijuana is becoming so much more available, but many of the ground rules are still unclear who benefits from it who should take it. And for what does it have a role at all in pediatrics back in two thousand nine Marie Myung Oakley noticed a change in her son. He has autism and his tantrums suddenly started to escalate after he turned nine he was having a lot of violence. He was hitting people. He was hitting himself. He would be destructive in her house. He destroyed a lot of things, you know, towel bars were bent walls had dents in. And he also most disturbingly started to eat his clothing. This is an eating disorder called pica where people eat things that are not food. Jason's paiko was so severe. That he would eat basically his entire shirt on his bus, ride home. So by the time, he got home he would come off the bus bare-chested, and that also caused more digestive problems. And then he wasn't eating his much in that attitude. This behavioral spiral Jason was also aggressive at school biting spitting headbutting somedays, his teachers counted three hundred aggressions he is mostly non verbal so marine knew that talk therapy was not an option for her son. She consulted Jason's doctor looked into all kinds of medication options and their side effects. And then she started to think about cannabis that with cannabis maybe we could do a bunch of things at once, you know, he had anxiety. He had sensory overload. He might have got pain. A lot of times when he would do very extreme self harm like hitting his head on our cast, iron bathtub. I just felt really it wasn't a behavior. I just felt instinctively that he was a lot of pain. And I kind of felt if I was in a lot of pain, and no one was helping me what would I do? And I almost felt like this is what I would do, you know, I would try to hurt someone to get their tension or add hurt myself to distract myself. But Maria was still not a hundred percent convinced that this was the right way to go. I was thinking how crazy this seemed at the time. Also, you know working as a professor and trying to be apparent in. Here. I'm contemplating giving my son marijuana. She talked to medical marijuana patients worked with Jason's doctor and eventually Jason became the youngest person in Rhode Island registered in the states medical marijuana program, but Maria still needed to figure out the best drain. She experiment. Rented trying different kinds making cookies and tinctures the first time he had any kind of cannabis he stopped eating his clothes. So that was one of the sort of big shots in the arm. We got right away that was very motivating to try to continue and figure out like how do we do this eventually after about a year of trial and error? They landed on a strand called white Russian. It's a favourite with cancer patients with extreme pain. And there was something about Jason system that came into balance because it wasn't as you have. He was high at all it was just he suddenly wasn't in pain, and we hadn't seen him smiling for at least a year. And so suddenly he's smiling. Again, he was finally able to learn to ride a bike. Jason started doing better in school his aggressions went way down, but he's still struggled during mealtimes. He would throw his food around when we were probably about six. Six months into our cannabis journey. I decided I was going to try to give him this Korean soup that used to love, and it's called ten John to get Marie was worried that Jason fling the bowl across the room. But she wanted to give him a chance. She left the kitchen and let Jason eat his soup by himself. My husband, and I were kind of huddling waiting, and we just heard little ding ding, ding noises from his spoon hitting the ball. And then we heard just some weird other clattering noises water we didn't kind of understand what was going on. So then when he came out of the kitchen, we went in and saw that he'd not only eaten his soup, but he'd rinsed his pole, and he put the ball in the dishwasher, and this this entire time. We were realizing, you know, we've never had him do that or shown him. How this is what you do after you eat. But that even in his worst times when he was having tantrums. He must have seen. That's what you do when you're done eating. And I have to say that was one of the highlights of being a parent seeing how wonderful was that. He has been observing us all this time and had and does want to be helpful in that moment. I just felt so much that I was seeing my son and that he loves me. And that he he wanted to clean up after sort of show me, look, mommy, I know how to do this recess cannabis isn't a miracle cure. But it did help balance Roussin than a way that allowed him to function better Jason is nineteen now and cannabis isn't as central to his therapies anymore. But Marie says he's still overall a happy kid. That's our show for this week the pulses of production of WHYY in Philadelphia. Our health and science reporters are Allen you Liz tongue jet sleigh meant and Steph yen. We had production assistance from Julian Harris and Claire struggle from K H NS in Haines, Alaska. Charlie Kyler is our engineer Lindsey Lazar ski is our producer. I'm Tanya English is our editorial director, I'm Mike and Scott. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare WHYY's health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund, P H M gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

marijuana cannabis Randy Scott Carroll Philadelphia Pennsylvania professor Megan M California Meghan Raymond Bunga Alaska Patrick Duff knee arthritis Pennsylvania department of hea Filiasi Philly Vicky WHYY Mark Penn Orthopaedics
Who Do You Think You Are?

The Pulse

48:42 min | 1 year ago

Who Do You Think You Are?

"Major funding for the pulses provided by leadership gift from the Sutherland family the Sutherland support. WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heartfelt and science. I Mike and Scott you don't look to ish people said that to Dan you Sapiro all the time when she was little Danny grew up in the Jersey suburbs of New York. Her parents were Orthodox Jews. She's blonde with Blue Blue Eyes. I did look so different. I always felt there was a secret but I didn't know the secret was me. Danny kept hip thinking a lot about family and upbringing as she got older she wrote several memoirs one about trying to reconnect to her family's Jewish faith she had poor dreads threads off our ancestors hanging on her. Wald's them a couple of years ago. Danny's husband got interested in genealogy ancestry dot com and he said Hey why don't you try this so danny spit into the vile more as a joke and she got her results back. She looked them over and she was startled startled. Okay wait a minute. This is showing that I'm fifty two percent eastern European Ashkenazi and the rest is this smattering of Western European countries. She you thought you would be a hundred percent. Ashkenazi then she got a notice from ancestry dot com. You have a first cousin who's also on the site here their initials. I knew all my first cousins. Hazan's and here was this first cousin had unfamiliar initials. It was a complete stranger to me. Danny was getting suspicious. Something wasn't right so she we reached out to her half sister from her father's previous marriage that half sister had also done a DNA test a couple of years earlier. She sent her her results. We compared the two kits and we're not sisters. Danny was not who she thought she was her whole life she had felt really connected to her ancestors and suddenly suddenly. I wasn't herself identity had been shattered. who was she now so that was this kind of profound loss? It was like losing an entire half of me in some way it was a rootlessness our identities have lots of components from DNA to looks our communities communities. Ethnic backgrounds are professional affiliations to our religious beliefs. It's a big part of our personal narrative on this episode. So do we explore how our sense of identity defines who we are and what happens when that identity is challenged mm-hmm so Danny Shapiro has just found out. She is not who she thought she was. Her parents are both dead. Nobody else in her family seems is to know anything. She racks her memory for any clues and she remembers a conversation. She had with her mother. In the nineteen eighties. Danny was twenty-five then and she had taken her mom to an event at her graduate school near New York City. She introduced her mom to one of her friends. My mother said Rachel Very Nice Nice to meet you. Where are you from and Rachel said Philadelphia and my mother responded by saying Oh. My daughter was conceived in Philadelphia Danny said what are you talking about mom. I never heard that and her mom said Oh you don't want to know. It's not a pretty story later that night. When Danny was driving driving her mother home she kept asking her her mother said only a few things she told me that there was a world famous institute in Philadelphia and that there was a doctor who ran that institute who was famous for having pioneered a method by which rich a woman could pinpoint precisely when she was ovulating and that she and my father had trouble conceiving me and they had gone to this institute that my father had slow sperm that was the phrase she used and that it was the day that they did as she referred to it the procedure the procedure was was artificial insemination still a somewhat new frontier in the nineteen sixties. When Danny was born she said I would call your father in New York City where he worked and he would come racing to Philadelphia in order to do the procedure now deadliest thinking about this long ago conversation trying to digest the new genetic take information. She has just gotten she's trying to figure it. All Out Philadelphia the institute the procedure she hops online well it was he's just a couple of Google strokes really It took very very little time op comes the Ferris Institute for Parenthood which was run by Edmund Ferris Harris a scientist who did a lot of work ovulation and who specialized in male infertility scientists and doctors started experimenting with artificial official insemination in the nineteenth century but male infertility was very much a taboo topic since masculinity virility and fertility were ought to go hand in hat. The idea is that if you were capable of having sex if you were man you were fertile. Margaret Marshes a historian and she co authored three books about the history of fertility medicine with her sister Wanda Rauner who's an OBGYN very controversial virtual. They had the technology to do it. Microscopes look at the sperm but even up until the nineteen thirties. There were some infertility specialist who said Oh no men are rarely the cause of infertility physicians who were doing artificial insemination at the time try to concentrate a man's sperm if that didn't work if they needed donor sperm. It was usually kept quiet. There were some doctors who advised women not to even tell their husbands really why yes because the the fear was that the husband would reject the baby. Margaret says that was more the exception most doctors did tell both parents and made it clear that donor sperm would be used list but they did try to create ambiguity they mix sperm from the husband and a donor to introduce uncertainty and they use donors who resembled the husbands but there never were any questions raised about wow. Is this child going to be caring who his or her genetic father was. Many of the donors were Med students or Grad students working in a lab a lot of times. The doctors didn't even keep records later records of who the donors were. Danny Shapiro is learning all of this as she the researchers her mother's fertility procedure. She sees the euphemistic language that doctors are using talking about treatment boosting chances of having a child child if the procedure was successful the advice to women or couples was pretty much forget that it had ever happened and the donors no big deal. Will you helping a family have a child. You're making a couple of bucks. There was guaranteed anonymity the thought that there might be a future in which you know people could fit into plastic vials and send them off through the mail and get their DNA mapped and be identifiable to each other and with breath this thing called the Internet all this would have been pure science fiction. Danny realizes that the donor who is responsible for half of her DNA same probably was a med student. It only took me thirty six hours to zero in on my biological father just with a few clues. The most important clue is is the first cousin that popped up on her ancestry page. Danny finds him on facebook at leads her to his mother's obituary which mentioned two surviving brothers one of them is a physician who went to med school in Philadelphia. She watches a video of him on Youtube. Her husband recognizes gestures. Yes and facial expressions. It's all completely overwhelming. Danny starts typing out an email to the stranger. I recently took a DNA test as nothing in more than a Lark. I have always believed my parents to be my biological parents but now I have reason to believe that you may be my biological father. I'm going to send and she had emailed the right man. When he receives the email his in shock he had donated sperm all those years ago as a very young man and then he just never thought about it again he hits delete. Danny reaches out again and eventually he writes back. He tells Danny any honestly the thought that I had other biological children out there weaning other than the children that he and his wife raised honestly never occurred to me. He says he doesn't I WANNA meet then reconsiders. Finally they get together for launch with both of their spouses present. Danny UNDIS- man look at each other. There's some recognition when when I met him the feeling that I had about him was that he was very familiar to me that that that expression cut from the same cloth I felt that they talk for hours and decide to stay in touch and the man. She called father her entire entire life. I believe that my dad knew in her research. She found that both parents sign papers at the Ferris Institute that we're clear you're about using donor sperm and that I was born and looked nothing like my dad or his family. Danny says discovering her history that biological part of herself answered lots of questions about her identity and that nagging feeling of being different but it doesn't change and how she feels about her father. My Dad loved me and I loved him and I think that's why I'm sitting here. After she pieced together this whole history Danny goes to visit her father's sister and she tells on everything all the clues the pieces and finally says dad isn't my biological father her and hand grabs her hand and reassures her. She says you take something that isn't your own and breathe life into it. You create it and it becomes does your creation. Danny says her story is an example of how complicated identity really is and that's an issue. She says persists it's with reproductive medicine. Today is the desire to simplify something. That is actually really complex. It's a wonderful thing that there's ought to sorts of different ways that all different kinds of of couples can make families. It's wonderful it. Just also is complex. Shapiro wrote a book about out her experience. It's called inheritance a memoir of genealogy paternity and love historian Margaret. Mars latest book is the pursuit suit of parenthood You're listening to the pulse I Mike and Scott and we're talking about identity what happens when our sense of self is challenged when you do a DNA test. Ask you get a percentage breakdown of your ancestry. Sometimes they even include a map of where in the world you might have ancestors it paints. It's a more nuanced picture than the boxes we check on the census or for Job Applications White Hispanic African American Asian just having having the insight to our DNA the recipe of what makes us human gives us a whole different sense because it connects us in a way that we hadn't been connected before that's Anita Fomin. She's a professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania where she started an initiative called the DNA discussion project. I I mean we all have DNA and while we place ourselves in these discreet little boxes are DNA is ninety nine point nine percent the same and so we start from the sense of of a human identity genetically we are ninety nine point nine percent the same but yet we focus so much on what makes us different. Anita Yeah says ancestry is often a better way to speak about our differences than race or ethnicity. I've done diversity training over the last thirty five years and I cannot tell you how many times you get called in because some awful thing has happened. Somebody called somebody a name. Somebody did something insensitive and you go into diversity training winning and everybody is coming in kicking and screaming when we approach this with the ancestry. DNA were coming in with an entirely different attitude. Were we're coming in talking about inclusiveness and we're coming in with a level playing field and so it's just such a much more exciting way to talk talk about a variety. Give me an example of how a DNA test turns into a classroom discussion. Okay one one of the things that we do is have everybody at tested. At the beginning of the semester we have lots of discussions about race and social construction and all of that and then the results come back. I had a a young man in my class who identified as white and he said there'd been a story and his family that is great. Great Grandmother was black and had given up her child so the child to have a better life and he found three percent African ancestry and so that story was really verified. I had another student my class who said that her family said a lot of negative things about Asians and then she turned up with like thirteen a significant chunk of Asian and her background and we think that maybe some of that prejudice was covering for the prejudices around them and and trying to pass and so there's lots of discussion among and between students about what it means and it's just so exciting then compared to what's going on in society conversations about race so it just builds and builds. Do you think our overall discussions have changed. ENJ- though given his knowledge that we really understand that the categories that I'm checking on the census that all of us check that are used in the research that we use every single day those categories really don't make a lot of sense one of the first things that we found that we were exploring in it is that people do not change their identification because of DNA tests. You'll test somebody and they find something that is totally unexpected and then they just doubled down on their identity. I had a young man who identifies Irish Irish. Irish and his background came up as British and he said Yeah I'm testing. Let's get rid of that and and so we actually find that people do not however they do add this information to their narratives over time. Anita is not saying that at the identities or boxes. We check our meaningless if you were talking about mass incarceration if you're talking about income inequality you you need to talk about race in some particular ways that are socially constructed. If you're talking about medicine and how you target medicine you need to talk about race. He's in a different way and so when we talk about social construction we are saying how useful is this definition. Does it help us and when it helps us I gain insight and understanding. We should use it if it is not helping us. If it's limiting us then we need to reconstruct it in different ways. The world just is so we have to construct it through language or whatever but we need to continually revisit how we constructed. Anita says looking at DNA and ancestry those those percentages and where the world your ancestors came from it could give us more appreciation of our shared human history of suffering and migration nation. I think we are joined as human beings in that human history as Grizzly people. Don't leave a place because if everything was great there's a lot of famine and poverty already in the war and I think having that conversation that connects us is important and I think it helps us realise that we have to make choices about moving forward in positive ways. Anita Fomin leads the DNA discussion project at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. There's the aspect of how we think about our own identity and ancestry and then how others view us the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia recently hosted a workshop titled Claiming Your Identity. Where people could have an open honest conversation about who they are. You know it's it's really really tricky. And how do you put it in nutshells. Michelle Fujii is the CO founder of Unit Soju a drum performance. That's true from Portland Oregon. She says it's tricky because identity has so many components I could give adjectives of my own character I could. It also talk about my horoscope. The fact I'm an only child family structures define who we are also geographic you know I'm I'm a west coast girl well for me. This idea of otherness has weighed heavily upon me. I'm a Japanese American. Fourth Generation Michelle's grandparents were interned during World War. Two and she says that experience shaped her family for generations so I didn't grow up speaking Japanese not out from choice but because they were too afraid going back to Japan I of course was super. Clumsy was speaking Japanese. Were just like what's wrong with you. You you look Japanese and trying to explain like all that historian you can't do that. There's a longer tail that can't be told old in buying soap pick. We're talking about identity how our sense of self defines us for many of us what we do for a living is a big part of our identity. Eddie so what happens when an outside force threatens that I learned from the Bureau of Meteorology where he with an update on the ongoing heat wave and elevated defy conditions severe heat wave conditions are continuing today over a large part of New South Wales extending into Australia is no stranger to drought but the weather weather has been extreme in recent years with record temperatures and prolonged dry periods scientists warned that severe heatwaves could strike much more frequently by the end of the century climate change presents an economic threat to farmers in Australia but it's also threatening their mental health and how the farmers murs view themselves. Ashley her brings us this story from farm country in the state of Victoria. I visited Australia at the end of a long long hot summer. The landscape was Brown and farmers were anxiously waiting for rain. Nabet if you'll talk in the farm as they're all talking about water water calling this autumn brightly Shiro and a lot of people hanging on for that loss drawer Nick James is one of those farmers were standing next to a dusty pasture on his sheep farm about two hours north of Melbourne Knicks thirty two with the beard broad shoulders and a warm quick quick laugh but he says these days he's had a hard time staying positive you say everyday mentally in people and any cell phone. I've dealt with it before when you when you just that far in and you done what you do when you go to Cape Town. It's pretty driving soda stuff. A deep drought took hold in Australia in the late nineties people refer to it as the millenium drought and things haven't really gotten back to normal since then at least not in the southeastern part of the country where I traveled over these past two decades. The region has seen significantly less rainfall than historic averages sixty percent of the dairy farms here have gone out of business since the drought began and water has become so expensive that some farmers have had to kill their animals because they can't afford to keep them alive. Nick had to cut back the size of his flock and changed the way he manages his sheep back. When water was affordable he'd irrigated fields and lead a sheep out to graze freely now he keeps them in a confined lot and feeds them? Hey which also costs more than it used to do the drought and all the stress that has come with it has affected knicks mental health a few years ago. He was in a really dark place he and his wife Georgie were pouring everything they had into raising their kids and running the farm but nick was feeling a lot of pressure as the water disappeared and the debt piled up the jail just sorta becoming so not by inside positive while normally pretty positive about paid fellow wise looking forward and not sorta just lost mystique. Thank God had enough an authoritarian Mama's against me but yeah I think that's when I realized that he wrote about something inside positive and yeah definitely drinking a lot a lot of alcohol and trouble Spin Bitam in middle. Thank 'cause just Dan Dan and talked to a lot of farmers when I was in Australia. There are tough bunch who are used to figuring stuff out on their own. They don't like to ask for help but the drought has made many of them feel helpless and out of control and that's taking a toll on mental health. Anthony Hogan was part of a team team that surveyed the social and economic impacts of the millenium drought on formers across Australia. He's an honorary professor of sociology. At the University of Sydney. Anthony says has the to understand how climate change affects mental health and Australian farmers. You need a bit of historical context when state was founded as English prison colony and very early on Nice nearly stopped because the ships from England took Ceylon Common Guy with stock and supplies and they didn't have family country and so far as quickly became central control to to the nation and in Australia we have a long culture about the STOIC farmer who's inherited the family from generation to generation who maintains nine times the FEMME feeds the country in hands on a good asset to the next generation but farming today isn't the same as it used to be farming communities. are shrinking as more people moved to cities. The global market has made for steeper competition and smaller farms are getting bought up by larger companies now at climate change in the form form of more extreme weather events like long dry periods or floods and the accumulation of shocks the breakdown in you'll sense of self that you. I suppose to be able to manage all these you are supposed to hold together. You are supposed to be able to produce through tough times and hand on the legacy those precious mound and typically. I think we have what we all. I often call a convergence of factors and somehow they intersect and that's the window in which people I think to see suicide as as an option as the decision. I've I've always thought of climate. Change is a threat to livelihood and you're telling me it's a threat to identity or absolutely identity is performed. I understand who I am by what I do and who who I do it with how I do it. We then importantly that I'm good at it. Climate just destroys all that research on Australian farmers found a fifteen percent increase increase in suicide among men between the age of thirty to forty nine years old during periods of drought but Anthony says the numbers may be higher because suicide isn't always listed as the cause of death. The leading cause of this in-app extra is land transport accidents which code for single vehicle accidents Lonzo up with a tray with three full lodge petrol cans in the back of the with the lead off and as you read hit the trail of the secret in the back there the condo scenario we talk about in the in the figures of their and their undeniable in this Stein if a farmer can make his suicide seem like an accident. His family can collect life insurance. It's it's a sort of final fatal attempts to provide for his loved ones what I know from people I've worked with. Who've attempted suicide numerous times. Is that mentally mentally. They think there's no other option. Sometimes that'd be thinking families Bitta off without me. The better off with the insurance pat or I am such Shefali. A- I am not worth living on this planet. Jenny O'CONNELL is a clinical social worker and therapist in Shepperton Victoria. It's a small urban hub amidst the farming country north of Melbourne. She's lived in the community for fifty years. Her husband's sold real estate and they raised their two daughters here and that really matters when it comes to therapy. Jenny says rural people can NB skeptical about getting help from people who are not from their community. They weren't they went. Ask for help because they're very proud and independent and you know Coughlin. When there are some sort of catastrophic event people come from outside? There are lots of services thrown money in services a thrown at the eerie short short term but they won't trust and they certainly won't be buying fully to the support that's available and any work with farmers has to be somehow in the community and somehow born of them as the millenium drought were on. Jenny knew she was in a position to help the farmers in her community. She and her husband Patrick started a program called leading from within the brought together. Small groups just four to six people usually to talk about trauma and Suicide Prevention Jenny would hear about farmers who are struggling and invite them personally often couples would attend together. They meet regularly over a period of a year or more and genuine Patrick would conduct doc the sessions together. Patrick always talk about things that you know. He knows common with men and he will say things like you know. We pretty hopeless bugs. Aren't we a you know we we always cover a feelings and we pretend we don't have him with strong in the Lebanese said sometimes. You don't feel like that do we. You know the guys will find that much easier to relate to and often then start to. She really deep stuff. Jenny says farmers are often very connected. They share local news information contacts but opening up and being vulnerable with one another is a bigger ask there are times when we've run sessions and we just come away absolutely humbled absolutely in awe of the carriage that people have shown to express this deepest stuff you get to see the real humanity and then they can heal but taking that first step working up the courage to get in your pickup and go sit down with a stranger and share things that aren't often talked about can be the hardest part. It certainly was for Nick James Sheep farmer. We met earlier. He's one of Jimmy's clients when he was struggling drinking a lot and staying in bed for days at a time it was his wife Georgie Gee who urged him to get help Giorgis pretty stubborn. She didn't really give me an option. She said that will we're going to have to do something about this. You know and was it hard for you to decide to you. Go See Jenny body was how did the first two trips didn't walk at all. Just didn't feel comfortable that wasn't may I think probably the worst thing is you think the value thing and go what am I doing you know on bigger than this home grind man but yeah I think when you when you get yourself in design and you and you listen to what the experts got the CY and you sell fraud. It's the best thing you can ever do yourself. There's still stigma attached to mental illness. No one in a small town wants people to see their pickup truck parked outside the therapist's office. Yes when Nick I started driving into shepherd into see Jenny. He didn't tell anyone about it now. I really don't give a buzz to put it. Frankly rather tell someone on that. I'm I'm I'm going to say counselor or therapist and it's a Wilda Goodstein May and still is doing me and hopefully that won't change someone. Someone else has more on that's listening. That's gone through Taunt Knicks still worried about the drought any thinks about climate change and what does it mean for his daughters if they want to be farmers when they grow up. Is this the new normal he wonders what if the rain patterns never returned to what they once were at least now he feels more prepared mentally to face those challenges as if they come for the pulse. I'm Ashley a hearn in Shepperton Victoria. That story was made possible. Thanks to a reporting grand from the Scotto Good Foundation. You're listening to the pulse I Mike and Scott talking about identity and what happens winds were. Our sense of self is challenged. Ellen sacks hid a major part of her identity for many years in many situations she was was a law student at Yale in the nineteen eighties. When she experienced a major psychotic break she had to be hospitalized. It was a traumatic experience dance. She was forced to take medications. She was physically restrained tied to her bed. So my first two days I was in restraints like twenty hours a day then for the next three weeks five to fifteen hours a day. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her doctors told her she would never be able to hold down a demanding manning job. They warned that law school would be way too stressful. Despite that she went back and then she decided to write for her law school the Journal about restraints and basically actually went to see a professor of mine who was a psychiatrist as well as a law professor and I said you know writing my note about restraints. AINSI says I said they must be very degrading and painful. He's oil and you don't understand. These people are psychotic. They're not like you and me. They don't experience restraints as we would. I did not have the courage in that moment to say. No we do experience them in that way but it's by uttering people that we allow things to be done to them that we were one done to ourselves. Sir Our Families Ellen managed to stay out of hospitals to control her symptoms and to have a very successful law career through a lot of therapy team five times a week and also medication which for a long time she fought against. Why did you want to get off the medication. What the the medication symbolized to you. I mean I think there are all sorts of reasons that I try and that other people try to get off medication side effects yeah but I think the big thing is what we call the business the narcissistic injury of having a mental illness and needing care so for me. I was like trying trying to prove that I wasn't really elevate. Get off meds and do okay that would mean that I didn't have this illness and it's a shame that drives people to get off care because basically for someone who needs medicine being at the medicine is what helps you go forward in your life. put the illness to the side instead of having it be front and center all the time fighting against fighting with the meds. How does your illness manifest now. You know I have a friend. WHO's a bipolar alert lawyer practice anymore and writer and we talk about quote. Passing is normal which I think I you know I do so I don't. I think I can be quite ill and people cannot know about it on my Jew confide in my closest friends and my husband and the way it shows itself I guess when I am open from with other people as I'm having crazy and scary ideas so that's that's how it manifests itself but for the most part I able to to hide it which is actually an asset because Chris means you can certainly navigate in the world without getting in too much trouble gene. Also you know I always know enough to know who that even if I think like my thoughts are true other people they're crazy and I don't want to appear crazy so I just don't say them out loud. If I feel like I can't not say them out. Loud uh-huh grow you know not be around people in two thousand seven. Allan Saxe published a memoir. The center cannot hold it became a bestseller what what was your motivation for writing the book and to sort of go public in a huge way. Why didn't know how huge it was. It's going to be forced. I you know I wanted you know as I say the kind of Pat Line but it's true I wanted to give hope to those who suffer with schizophrenia Frisia and understanding to those who don't Ellen says what helps her stay well in addition to therapy. Medications is simple connect with people and more hard. That's that's what that's what does it for Mary. Ellen sex is a professor of law at the University of Southern California. Eh Supporting the pulse climate twenty twenty a new podcast cast on climate change as the key issue of the twenty twenty election researchers and journalists Chris Hayes explain where candidates stand on the issue and their climate proposals available on Apple Apple podcasts or climate twenty twenty dot com. I'm Mike and Scott were talking about identity how we see ourselves how others see us and and what happens when our sense of identity is challenged. Dating can be nerve racking. You're trying to have a nice time to have a good conversation but do you feel comfortable with this person. How much do you really want to share about yourself. It can get complicated. Jets Lehman has more music good-looking twentysomethings Red Solo Cups. It's a house party past the bathroom and a string of Christmas lights is Isaac Tall all dark and handsome. He's chatting up so FIA smokey is with a red halter top and hoop earrings and it's obvious they're feeling each other. The party is is running out of booze. They're deciding what to do. Next and Isaac has an idea. I got my place. Why don't we hear the little crowded here. Let me think about it so fear heads to the bathroom with with her reflection in the mirror the debate begins. Just tell him get it over with. You are smart and funny and Beautiful Awful Nas. Maybe maybe he actually likes you. Spears up these these are the opening scenes to Naveh Maoz short film Waking Hour. She's a trans woman and she plays Sophia who also trans. I think we all kind of understand that sometimes people meet at parties and they go home together. They have sex NAVA Alva- spoke to me from Houston and it's possibly it's an experience that maybe a Lotta people take for granted dating hooking up meeting. Somebody it can be a tricky for pretty much. Everyone but Nava says that's especially true for transpeople. NAVA draws from her own experiences in the film and says dating was always difficult difficult. I've I've dealt with loneliness my whole life. I grew up being very feminine and people just read me as queer then I'd hides identified as Gender Queer. Dating structures just weren't built for me and frankly I just really didn't date anybody. Gender Queer individuals don't express traditional male or female genders when she was twenty three. NAVA says she realized she was a woman and decided to transition. She was hopeful in a way at each stage of my transition. I have kind of wondered if like Oh maybe now finally really dating will be more accessible to me but according to a recent study as a Trans Woman Navas dating life is even more complicated now now Karen Blair a researcher at Saint Francis Xavier University looked into trans dating almost by accident. They were just saying hypothetically. Who of any of these would you consider. Please check all that apply. She was actually studying how peer and parental approval affect dating and as a first step she wanted to know who participants might date as it turns out very few check the Trans Male Trans female boxes to think the actual number was eighty seven point five percent of our sample which was was just under a thousand people. said that they they wouldn't date any transpeople Trans Women in particular. Karen found or the most excluded and Novice Film Sofia Decides to Disclose Trans on the Uber Ride back to Isaac's house album but wow I am a trans woman. There's a long pause. Isaac doesn't look happy happy. I'm not cool that Sophia gets out of the car by I guess Nava says the Way Sophia Discloses while She's still in the car before she gets to Isaac's. It's strategic the the anxiety around having to disclose them. Trans are tied to my safety. They're they're tied I to concerns about whether or not I will survive the night in the car. Sofia's got the driver right there. She's not alone in the house with Isaac Isaac. She doesn't know if he's dangerous. There's a level of safety planning that. We have to to practice in our daily lives and especially in situations like this in a lot of this novices. She had to basically learn on her own. There's no handbook for dating while Trans in the film. Isaac eventually pulls back around in the car and the pair continued to his place but he acts differently. He's not charming or funny anymore. He's a jerk. He's aggressive. NAVA A has lived the scene in her real life dating. I I've experienced many times after I disclose that men will see me purely as a sexual object or reveal that those were his intentions in the first place in the end. Sophia decides she's had enough. She gets up and walks out the door. I'm proud of you never for says it was important to show a trans person doing the decision making. I think one of the reasons that I've remained single and have not ended up in very many relationships is because I'm choosing to only accept intimate experiences and romantic relationships relationships where I'm respected where I feel valued and feel genuine even if her potential dating pool maybe a smaller one. She's not going to compromise otherwise I say no thank you and I ex it much like Sophia as in in the film Karen the researcher says yeah things can be tough but her data isn't all doom and gloom. There are very few transpeople. Maybe maybe one in two hundred Americans identifies Trans and Karen says that probably contributes to dating exclusion many of those surveyed who excluded trans is people may have never met a trans person it really just you know. They don't really understand what it means to be trans. She says for some people it may just be a question in of exposure or education and their survey answers would likely flip to include transpeople and Nava says despite house officials night went good dates are still very possible for Trans Folks Navas been on a few herself. She tells me about some she had in Oakland California so I was there for this party the dance party because I'm there to dance on her way out super q and just very charming arming and so we exchanged numbers a few days later Brunch a baseball game. NAVA says a familiar anxiety came back back. He wanted to take things to the bedroom. She wanted to disclose. She was Trans and inbetween kisses. I just blurted it out and he he looked at me. He said I already know should drop some clues earlier dates without really thinking about it saying in how she used to look way different went through some big changes in her life he just figured it out at some point it was such a relief and and and then like I had the best sex I've ever had my life. That story was reported by jets. Lehman a this is the hulst were talking about identity and what happens when our sense of self is challenged. Alan you introduces us to somebody who has two distinct the identity that seemed to complement each other in surprising ways. Federico Bianco has her long black hair tied back into braids. She's lean and quick on her feet dodging punches and hitting back at her opponent and there's something about the competition in the ring and being in the ring is very sort of meditative. unnaturally calm is the right word but it's a place very much focus and it's very liberating because narrows down the things are thinking of you kind of had to be just thinking about the person that is is trying to punch you and how not to get punched and how to punch them inside. Being a professional boxer takes a lot of training. Let's let's keep rope for about three rounds just a warm up and then. I will chatterbox for me before rounds and they don't hit the bag probably do six rounds at the restaurant heavy bags and and then I'll just do some uncut things like that. That are very known exciting inc but you kind of just have to do this hour. Our long workout is the bare minimum for her daily routine. If she has a fight coming up she spends even more time training and sparring. She just is came back from the Ted Conference in Vancouver because she has another full time job. She's an astrophysicist. Bucks are always surprised which is intriguing because because there are boxers all over the spectrum photographers performance artists writers I don't. I'm not sure why astrophysicist would stick out but it does invent then other people are surprised. She's willing to take a punch and a lot of people that don't really when I talk to them. Say Like unto worried that you are. GonNa hurt your brain boxing you know obviously. I really don't want to downplaying the seriousness of brain injuries in impact sports but also I don't. I think that's a problem that only scientists have if you have a brain injury and reduce your mental capacity is a problem that you have as scientists or as any other the person that has any other job I think in fact she does see some similarities between boxing and astrophysics. I think there is something to being in a male dominated me neither sport or enemy dominated activity the must speak to me because I do both physics and boxing and they're both obviously very male dominated fields. I don't like being told that I cannot canelo things that I kind of want to react to that by showing that I can. I was won by a doctor that he had troubles imagining somebody that looked like me doing doing something as difficult as astrophysics. He told her this while he was stitching her hands that she had caught while cooking one hand. I didn't really want him to poke my hand. Through on the other. I thought that was really enraging content and then there are people in the boxing world who think women shouldn't be boxes. Federico says female boxes are paid nowhere near as well as their male counterparts. There are managers who just don't work with women women's Boxing Anthony Become an Olympic sport until twenty twelve and in an awfully specific way there are also scientists who think she shouldn't be fighting at all meaning that they they think about boxing very violence for their may not see there and on the same ethical level as something as noble science but but most of her colleagues are supportive they generally appreciate the breaking the stereotypes type of things that you know to show that scientists are not not just lab rats but also have lives and interests and wall possible passions including combat sports. It's ridiculous to think that they would think about science one hundred percent of the time we'll make for a very bad scientist. I think she says boxing actually makes her a better scientist. They're both problem-solving problem problem solving Timothy's. When you're boxing you really face the puzzle and skill is to not get overwhelmed and to see what the other person does wrong so that you can take advantage of that that is a puzzle and so is science right? You're faced with a problem and you had to figure out what is the right strategy tool to address. I think they're doing multiple things. Improves use your ability to think about a problem for multiple angles and so improves creativity ultimately what thing that boxing really improved for me is my self confidence my ability to withstand stress and to think about problems calmly and loosen leakers. That's really all that boxing is about so as a warning signs increase my confidence increased my self esteem and that is just priceless alright Allen. You reported that story. That's all for this week. The pulse is a production of whyy in Philadelphia. Our Health and science reporters are Allen. You List Tongue jets lame and insteps Kim. We had production assistance from Julian Harris Andreas. Hope is our intern Charlie higher. Our engineer Lindsey Lazar Ski is our a producer. I might in Scott. Thank you for listening knew him. Behavioral Health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas Scatter Good Behavioral Health Foundation an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare. whyy's health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from the Public Health Management Corporations Sion's Public Health Fund P. H. M. C. Gladly Supports W._h._y._y. and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life?

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Destination Moon

The Pulse

48:09 min | 1 year ago

Destination Moon

"Major funding for the pulses provided by leadership gift from the Sutherland family the Sutherland Support W._h._y._y.. And its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is destination moon a special production from the Pulse Marking The fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing. I'm Mike and Scott. It's July twentieth nineteen eighteen sixty nine. I'm fourteen years old. I'm one of seven kids. I'm like so excited that this is going to happen. Katie Hunt is sitting on her neighbors. Couch in Bronxville New York with a dachshund named Hilda. Everybody everybody else has gone to bed but she is way too excited to sleep. I just kept running to the window looking out going. Oh my God. They're so far away. I can't see them. Oh my God I have to watch the T._V.. Ignition and thirteen minutes Selangor these unbelievable that we were actually going to do this derrick pitts was also fourteen years old that summer living in Philadelphia he is an astronomer now but even back then he was obsessed with all things space I remember being at home in our mother's bedroom where she had a black and white television and by brother and I watched as this took place as the astronauts came out of the lunar module went down the ladder and stepped out onto the surface career coming down the ladder now it was a grainy image on television and you could hear the conversation back and forth you could hear the astronauts speaking from the moon through there with that that sort of radio radio transmission voice that broke up every now and then that really told you that it was live and happening for man I had CSLB ups just watching that and loosening Sheila Oliver was watching the moon landing in Dallas Texas and I can remember we would walk outside during the course of that and look up and see the moon and it just could we could not even get our brain around the fact that there were actually two men from the the United States walking on that moon up there the moon landing was an incredible feat of science and technology the will and effort of thousands of people coming together in one mission on this episode will explore how we got to the Moon the challenges along the way and the promise of future space travel ignition sequence start six five four three two one zero all engine running. We have thirty minutes past the hour on Apollo eleven seeing a man rocket into space to get to the moon land and come back to Earth. All of it was a major risk trip to the moon is such a long and fragile daisy chain of events. That's Apollo Eleven astronaut Michael Collins speaking got a panel hosted by the Explorers Club earlier this year any little link in the chain breaks and that's the end of it and there are so many those events along the way President Nixon had prepared a backup backups speech in case the moon landing failed. Here's an actor reading the first few lines fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace these brave men Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin know that there is no hope for their recovery. Nixon didn't have to give that speech but it's clear why he was prepared. Spaceflight was so demanding and so unforgiving even even if you're talking about the prelaunch preparations for emission that any misstep any carelessness whatsoever can have terrible consequences. That's Andrew Shaken a space journalist who's written books about the the Apollo Program and just a couple of years before the moon landing those terrible consequences had become real. It was all over in one stunned horrifying second Apollo one which was supposed to be a first manned mission to reach lower orbit caught fire during a test simulation killing the three astronauts who were trapped inside the flames enveloped Apollo one burning the couches charring the spacesuits crewmen never had a chance the fire there was a disaster that was brought on by kind of blindness in which NASA was really amazingly unaware of the danger they had been putting the astronauts into and that was that awareness was seared into NASA by the Apollo fire the tragedy led to a new level of care and precision safety became a top concern the question what if haunted every simulation but still they knew that plenty could could go wrong especially when it came to their most ambitious mission yet Liz tongue talked with Andrew about one part of Apollo eleven were failure was just seconds away in the last interview that Neil Armstrong every gave he revealed his greatest fear going into the moon landing mission. I should say that <hes> I thought we had a ninety percent chance of getting back safely to Earth on that flight but only a fifty fifty chance of making a the successful landing on the first first attempt. There's so many unknowns I'm sorry that was famous for being a crack pilot but landing on the moon is not like Landon Honors According to Andrew Chacon it required a unique approach the landing on on the moon basically called for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in their Lunar Lander to carry out what you could really call a controlled fall out of lunar orbit the idea was to fly low enough down out of orbit for the Moon's gravity grab them and pull them down to the surface. The problem was unlike the earth the moon has almost no atmosphere which means nothing to slow down their descent instead once they've gotten low enough they would fire their engine and use the upward thrust to put on the brakes and ideally es themselves down to the surface. It really was a very unforgiving procedure and the thing that made it the most difficult we're sit. There was only enough fuel in the Lunar Lander for one try. The lunar module better known as the Eagle needed to be as light as possible for them to get back off the moon which meant just enough fuel for one perfect try. I Follow Eleven Apollo Eleven that morning from the block dame the lunar landing was scheduled for the Fifth Day of the mission July Twentieth Nineteen Sixty Nine Apollo eleven's three crew members Neil Armstrong Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins Collins began their day together on the missions mothership the Columbia outdoor having breakfast the crew will have a rather busy day to day in day Armstrong and all jen cram themselves into the lunar module sealed the hatch and undocked themselves. From Columbia looking good for separating your goal for separation Columbia over Eagle separated from Columbia and at that point came the first rocket firing that would begin the descent to the Moon from a scheduled time for the decide orbit insertion over a quick thirty second engine blast designed to push them down out of orbit for deal it went well but there was a problem the communications kept coming in and out again over and this was a distraction to the astronauts and it was tremendous worry too gene Kranz the flight director and his team of controllers in Mission Control. They had to have communications to know if it was okay to continue with the descent even begin the dissent justice the reached fifty thousand feet mission control figured out a fix to Clear Communications Eagle we have unity read over Roger with Armstrong and all joined the go ahead for their final descent ego hits. Can we make an accurate goal for P._D.. Over this the start of the breaking phase the Eagle was falling thousands of miles an hour firing their engine would create just enough upward thrust to slow down their descent. If perfectly timed the engine burn would carry them down to the exact landing site that NASA had spent two years choosing a patch of flat land surrounded by mountains and craters but as they descended Neil Armstrong notice something he knew exactly which landmarks he should be the scene based on the timing of their dissent and what he was seeing wasn't quite right and he realized that they were about two seconds early and that translated into two miles of error error in their landing point so at that point he told mission control we are probably going to land long. They barely had time to process this realization when another problem POPs up an alarm about the do they didn't know what the alarm meant it all they saw on their computer display with the number twelve o two Armstrong and Aldrin had seen plenty of alarms in their flight simulations and they almost always meant according the mission but never heard of a twelve oaks as it turned out neither had mission control after a few minutes of scrambling the hunted down the Computer Guy Jack Garman who had a master list with all the alarm codes written on it so Jack Carbon looks at his crib sheet and he sees that it is a type of Lawrence called an executive overflow which in common language means the computer is saying look guys. You've given me too many tasks. I've got too much on my to do list but I want you to. I know that if the alarm keeps coming up I'm going to abort the mission. It was nerve wracking but garment knew that if the alarm didn't keep on recurring if it was just a one off they'd be okay so at this point they're hurtling towards the moons rocky surface too fast in at the wrong angle with an alarm sounding that could potentially shut down the whole system the same system that was right now actually piloting the eagles descent that prompted Neil Armstrong to test out his options. He briefly checked put his <hes> control stick to see that the craft was responsive in case he needed to take over a semi manual control later on the surface of the man was growing brighter by now. They're getting really close and Armstrong among his attention to this point has really been diverted but now that the alarms have been resolved he looks out the window again and he sees that the computer is steering them towards an enormous crater. It's the size of football stadium and it's ring by Boulder's which are as big as small cards and he in typical test pilot fashion understated fashion. He says to Aldrin over the Intercom Pretty Rocky area the whole reason for the computer to control their descent was because it was supposed to be more precise but at this moment it was steering them toward a crash landing in a crater so Armstrong made a decision at that moment when he flipped a switch which allowed him to take semi manual control of Eagle and so they sped over the crater and began hunting for a safer spot in the meantime Aldrin had started reading out there altitude student speed all the instrument readings that Armstrong couldn't see his eyes trained out the window end of the forty degree Raggio. Di whizzed just above the surface of the moon looking for a place as to land conscious of the fact that every extra second eat up more of their limited fuel and a half down nine forward if they ran out of fuel before finding a landing spot it was an automatic aboard five good down a half forward finally Armstrong founded landing spot but it forty feet above the surface a bunch of dust had picked up an Armstrong started losing his bearings. He couldn't judge judge accurately his motion over the moon whether he was going sideways or not or perhaps drifting backwards or forward or forward grip into the right level have thirty seconds of fuel left these sink down lower and lower waiting for the jolt of their landing and then suddenly a little blue light on their console lit up then they settled to the ground so gently that neither of them felt the impact they shut off the engine they just outside the window Armstrong notice something different and strange and he saw these dust particles streaking away in all directions in the vacuum of space and the Moon's went six gravity and then suddenly everything was still and he talked about that years later is something that just was absolutely amazing to see of course no human being ever seen in dust blowing because of a rocket engine on the surface of an airless world like the moon so the sat there for a second and then Armstrong radio down to Mission Control Quality Base here the Eagle has landed ragged twain tranquility. We copy Liane aground. You've got to buy the guy about Marylou. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot <music>. This reported that story. You're listening to destination moon where we're marking the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing talking about what got us to the moon and the challenges along the way this daring mission had people all around the globe on the edge of their seats following along wondering wondering if it would all work out and we wanted to hear from all of you. How do you remember the moon landing? My name is Kenneth Lack Lavera. I was eight years old when I watched the alarm strong and Buzz Aldrin Walk on the moon and it it really left an indelible impression in my young mind and it it still me with hope fill me with desire to get out there and explore and I felt like I would grow up in a new age in in the space age. Coach and I did and it's been amazing for me and a lot of scientists that are my age. That was the moment that really led us into exploration and this desire to discover what's out there. Ken Did discover what's what's out there. He went on to become a paleontologist and he discovered the remains of one of the biggest dinosaurs to ever walk the Earth dreadnought Gis. Here's another moon memory from Jodi Oreo. He's in Nashville Tennessee. He was thirteen eighteen years old that summer on a cross country road trip with his family and he watched the moon landing in a cheap motel room in Zanesville Ohio that day was the culmination of nine our five hundred and forty mile drive by my father over he and mom were exhausted and just wanted my sister and I had to shut off the television there on the moon. Okay now turn it off. Mom said good times science got us to the moon and back you know it was a remarkable engineering achievement. I would say the greatest engineering achievement of the twentieth century but Eric Word from the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City says don't forget about the science that happened on the moon and and then back on earth after the missions were over the Apollo astronauts you know there were there were six successful lunar landing missions the latter three missions had science as a priority. The Apollo astronauts brought back around eight hundred little over eight hundred forty eighty pounds of lunar rock and soil sample Eric's library has one of those moon rocks on display right now. It's a volcanic bugasalt that is approximately three point eight billion years old. How what does it look like? How big is it bigger than a marble smaller than a golf ball? It's dark dark gray kind of Brownish Reddish dark gray. Why do you think it's so important to have a sample like this you to put your eyeballs on a piece of the moon up close? It makes it real it makes the Apollo missions and the science that was done during those missions it just brings it to life. You know one minute. I'm looking at <hes> you know a little rock that we have in our exhibition and then later that night there I look at the moon and think about what a journey that rock has taken it was up on the moon for three point eight billion years until someone from Earth just happened to walk by strike it with a hammer and pick it up and bring it back to Earth. It's just incredible to me to think about what have scientists been able to learn from those samples. What have they focused? Don In their studies. Probably the biggest science legacy that come from Paulo and the study of the sample has been a new hypothesis on the origin of the moon and this new hypothesis emerged in the mid nineteen eighteen seventies by planetary scientists William Hartman and Donald Davis and they proposed that a Mars sized asteroid impacted earth around four point billion years ago and the ejected debris aggregated in Earth orbit but to foreign the moon and the giant impact scenario has for the most part gained widespread acceptance. The samples collected on the moon allowed scientists to study similarities with Earth and differences and it turns out the moon is a great place to study. What happened a long long time ago? Here's Jackie Failure di. She's an astronomer at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. We've got this beautiful thick atmosphere that allows us to breathe the moon doesn't have that and so stretched across the surface is this almost mummified version of what happened in the solar system because without an atmosphere it means that everything that hit it got preserved so it it's gotten pummeled by things just look at the side of it and so we use the moon in some ways to get an idea of the history of the solar system in general and that's why Jackie thinks it's so important that we continue to learn more about the moon but she says is really not that far away. I mean if you think about it. Some people have two hundred and fifty thousand miles on their car. You know like when you have an old car. That's how many miles it is. The Moon you're listening to destination moon a special edition of the Pulse Marking The fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo Eleven mission the expiration of space where the we join in it or not one of the big objectives with all of this was to beat the Russians to the mood Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted an American flag on the moon. It was a way to show the world that Americans pickens got their first but it did not mean that the U._S. could now lay claim to the moon itself. So who's moon is it anyway. Edwards Saakashvili looked into this about five years ago. Sam grubs from Leicester Kingland got a birthday gift from a Collie Brown a five called box Mrs One acre of land on the mood one Acre of land on the Moon Sam opened the box and inside there was the certificate says lunatic read this document represents the transfer of one acre of land on the surface of the Moon from Dennis m hope the land had been sold by a man called Dennis hope the alleged owner of the entire moon and so sam wondered who's Denison Jason. How did he become the owner of the mood good question so I tracked down his hopes Real Estate Company? It's called a lunar embassy there the world's top sellers of land on the moon. I'm my name's Christopher Maher and the C._E._O.. Of Ramsey and the acting president President Galactic government so why do they say they own the moon well in one thousand nine hundred eighty. Dennis hope sent a letter to the U._N.. Stating that he was now the owner of the moon the U._N.. Never responded so Dennis just started selling the land. If you send twenty four dollars and ninety nine cents to lunar embassy they will send you a certificate for one Acre of land on the moon but Chris Lamar says some people have bought a lot more. They've paid over twenty five thousand dollars for city sized sized plots. Does that seem like a little bit too much. Does it seem fair to make somebody pay that much will yes most definitely needs that. She was property in the whole sources cheap. Maybe but legally it's not possible apple to own a piece of the moon. That's Clara Finkelstein. She's a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert and international law. I showed her the Lunar Embassy website and she was horrified. This is a very strange claim. They can't be anything but fraudulent most space law experts agree Clara cites the nineteen sixty seven space treaty article too <hes> says that outer space including the moon and other celestial bodies elise is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty by means of use or occupation or by any other means basically the treaty says pace belongs to everyone it's Global Commons and because governments can't control landed the moon individuals can't own land on the moon. You need the government to recognize land ownership so even if you have lots of certificates from the lunar embassy or other similar sites those claims will never be recognized so that should settle the question. Nobody owns the moon but what Claire told me is that this idea that the moon and space belongs to everybody. It's increasingly endanger not from shady real. Rotate companies but from governments there are serious threats on the part of countries to appropriate outer space space as coming up in politics once again we are going to have the air force and we are going to have the space force to move to militarize face militarization of space concerns of a celestial arms race must have American dominance in space and so we will countries like the U._S. and China are wrapping up their interests than the moon and space again for commercial and military reasons. If some of those ambitions turned into reality clarifies the Outer Space Treaty could collapse it is a concern it is a concern certain and if the treaty collapses Lunar Land Ownership could become a thing but that would be done by governments and big corporations not the lunar embassy the lunar embassy is not a real embassy for the pulse. I'm Edward Saakashvili <music>. This is destination. Moon were marking the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing and Apollo eleven and we wanted to hear from all of you. What's your memory of that event? Watching watching the footage on television Elizabeth Frazier watched with her brothers and her father he was a mathematician her mother had made cinnamon rolls for them all and one of the things that I remember is she had gotten these cool little cocktail L. toothpicks to head little flags on them so we could kind of plant a flag on our cinnamon roll the way that they were going to plant a flag on the moon. I remember my father trying to explain their trajectories. Jason How all worked and I have to admit my brothers and I did not pay a great deal of attention to his scientific explanations but we all found it very exciting and a moment in history. It's funny. What leaves an impression in your mind when you're a kid right were those little paper? Flags are pretty much just as cool as the moon lending itself how do kids today think about the moon landing and what might be next in space exploration exploration Gail delattre went to find out she started by chatting with second graders who live in this backyard Houston Texas. The students are imagining what it would be like if they could make the trip themselves. The plan begins begins with a moon base built from legos. evangeline Santana came up with a tiny rover that she says she used to transport any alien creatures they might find on the moon. If there is life forms in it or if it's water it gets it gives it to this guy to put in the water section of his body over Angelina. Tim's Elementary School on the campus of the University of Houston carries as food in here mostly what he gets his McDonald's okay. Where do you get McDonald's on the moon is going to be McDonald's on the moon someday now because it goes back to Earth in goes goes sing it McDonald's and then he goes and gets feel that plan needs a little more work but teacher Susan Lockwood says dreaming big as a good way to introduce kids to the realities of space travel when they have hands on things to do like building ending the the moon with Legos they they learn a lot better and then they come up with questions next I went to the harmony school of endeavoured to hear from some middle schoolers? Gary Gordon is fourteen. He's lived his entire life in the digital age. He says it's pretty daunting to think about going to the moon with tech from the nineteen sixties the computers will take open entire room but they had smaller data capacity than a regular phone so they had to really you know just how many stuff they could do with that the little data the astronauts dealt with a lot of unknowns. That's what grab Michelle my they can't they can do like s Cheney as they want to do but nothing really prepare them for the real thing Michelle's not sure if she would have handled it well yeah I would have cried our like I would have been very stressed and I would have taken it out on people you know because it's like it's so much responsibility and everyone's depending on you me wallets explorers bravery that impresses Vanessa toppy ah I think it was very scary for the astronauts and everyone thought it was impossible which makes me think that anything is possible because everyone you're saying that no one could help so many conflicts but they overcame all of those and they still got to go and everything went right. Thankfully that story was reported by Gail delattre people all over the world watched as the astronauts made their way toward the moon as they got there and we wanted to hear from all of you. How do you remember this Hi? This is nenet in July of Nineteen sixty-nine. I was a Peace Corps volunteer and here in Libya Net had been in a car crash in Libya and suffered serious injuries. She was eventually taken to an American hospital. Just outside of Tripoli. She recuperated they are together with wounded. Soldiers flown in from from Vietnam a combined group of bruised and battered Americans gathered around a black and white T._v.. To Watch the moon landing and Neil Armstrong's historic step. I couldn't join the cheers because my broken jaw was wired shut but I fully shared the feelings feelings of pride and emotion of the moment everybody we asked about their mood memories mentioned television those grainy black and white images and just being able to see this in real time C._B._S.. News presents man on the moon the epic journey of Apollo Eleven here from C._B._S.. News Apollo headquarters at Kennedy Space Center correspondent Walter Cronkite good morning it's t minus one hour twenty nine minutes and three seconds and counting and just an hour and a half out six hundred million people around the world tuned in Ingrid Awkard Study Science and the media at Science History Institute in Philadelphia and she says NASA understood the power of television television. Was this wonderful I into the whole process of exploration for the viewer at home it was really important to continue you to have the input and the by of an audience to help propel the current mission and keep emissions going so they added a camera to the Eagle even though that meant extra weight so what you had was a black and white camera that was attached attached to the outside of the lunar module and that was only going to be turned on when Armstrong and Aldrin. We're actually walking. That's not a whole lot of footage from the actual mission but the networks had hours of broadcast cast to fill NASA was beaming the audio back and forward and they had thirty hours worth of audio but TV. You can't have audio not have a visual so C._B._S.. And A._B._C. actually paid a considerable amount of money to have the props of an actual full scale model of the lunar modules and the surface of the moon. Actually we're going to attempt to give our audience an idea typographically on C._B._S.. A._B._C. hired actors to wear astronaut not costumes and in real time recreate what it would look like inside the lunar module donor module cutting itself free from the command module beginning the maneuvers which should place it on the surface of the moon. And they hired special effects artists who had worked with Kubrick for Space Odyssey two thousand one and animators worked with Disney on the earlier men in search of space series to come up with animations of what the descent would look like AAC and this was on television during this was on television and so what would happen was <hes> when they were showing these visuals on screen C._B._S.. A._B._C. would have some words on screen that would say this is a simulation. This is not real and some historians of science. I have speculated that this confusion between the simulated images of men on the moon and the actual footage of man on the moon is part of the reason that following the broadcast of course there were stories that there was a hoax Armstrong is on the move thirty eight year old American standing on the surface of the moon how much did television and the way in which this enormous event was broadcast podcasts influence our perception of it our memory of it. I think it would not be the same if we didn't have the footage and I would say it wouldn't be the same if we hadn't had the medium in the moment that we had the media <hes> if we think about the ways that people watch TV in the nineteen sixties we have a culture where people are all tuning in and watching T._v.. At the same time and to watch the same thing and and I think it was a a shared positive feeling at a point where a lot of people were scared about what what's going to happen and they were looking for something positive to focus on. Let's Ingrid Awkard from the Science History Institute attitude in Philadelphia for thousands of years. Now it's been man's dream to walk on the Moon Right now. After seeing happened knowing that it happened it still seems like a dream the president of the race to get to the moon brought together others the brightest minds in science engineering technology but the spark that really started this great mission was politics. Space Exploration and politics have had a long and complicated relationship Alan. You has more landing on the Moon seemed like the pinnacle of human achievement and to this day people want them if we went to the moon in the sixties and created this moment that united all of humanity. Why is it taking this long to go back MAC vice president Mike Pence posed this question earlier this year at a meeting of the National Space Council Ladies and Gentlemen please welcome the vice president of the United? He was wondering why NASA had told him it would take to twenty twenty ninety eight to get back to the moon. It took US eight years to get to the moon the first time fifty years ago when we had never done it before and it shouldn't take us eleven years to get back. We don't have the political. Will that provides the money to do. It's not much more complicated than that. That's Casey Dryer. His official title is Senior Space Policy Advisor and chief advocate at the Planetary Society a foundation that promotes space science and exploration but really he's the biggest space fan and his shop is to get people excited about space space. It's also really important to remember why Apollo happened in the first place wasn't because of some idealistic soaring vision of exploration we remembered the Apollo missions. We've remember Neil Armstrong Buzz Aldrin Michael Collins and this legendary speech from President John F Kennedy we choose to go to the moon we choose to go the move we choose to go to the moon and this and do the other thing not because they are easy but because they are hard and Kennedy was ready to spend a lot of money on this this this year space budget is three times what it was in January nineteen sixty one and it is greater than the space budget of the previous eight years combined that budget now stands at five billion million four hundred million dollars a year that was nine thousand nine hundred sixties money. It would be more than forty five billion dollars now. The reason why Kennedy put the money in wasn't because he was a big space fan he is on record as saying he couldn't care that much less about space. You send like if I could have done this big spectacular thing and salt water desalination. I would've done that instead of Apollo. The only reason he committed the resources to Apollo that he did was that he saw Paulo as a front in the Cold War that we pay any price there any burden me any hardship any brand this is war by another means any fall the Bible and the success of limiting it remains that it was seen as a national security prerogative and it was funded as such in terms of how much money was spent and how quickly you really don't see expenditures like that happen except for warfare in democracies the bake spending boost that NASA got wins away not long often the Armstrong and the other astronauts came back President Richard Nixon welcomed Armstrong and the Apollo Eleven crew back in one thousand nine hundred sixty nine and there were six more Apollo missions but by the very next year in one thousand nine hundred seventy he cut Nasr's budget by huge amount and no longer said that NASA was a special program would just wasn't worth the effort that human spaceflight would be a regular part of government and it would compete for government resources like every other aspect poppy North Cup worked at mission control during the Apollo Program. It's a pleasant memory. There's no doubt about that but also sort of sad and bittersweet to she says Nassir already had plans for more ambitious missions to the moon and laws and she wishes they could have done those two in Congress his mind and perhaps in the public mind as well <hes> they viewed it as a race a race with the Russians and once the race with the Russians was one. There's not anything anything more to do so the government cuts NAS budget and it stayed low for decades and KNOSSOS crewed space missions state in low earth orbit ever since which is about one thousand of the way from here to the moon hello from the international space playstation so it's kind of like going few blocks instead of traveling across the country then in two thousand three the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed above Earth's atmosphere. All seven crew members died their mission was almost complete complete and we lost them so close to home author that disaster it provided a moment for the White House and a lot of other folks government in Congress to reflect on. Why do we send humans into space? Why why are they risking their lives? What are they going to achieve out of it? Columbia's last mission was to carry equipment for science experiments on spaceflight and microgravity after that massive setback George W. Bush came up with a new fold mission for NASA. Perhaps with the thought that if we go to put lives at risk of space exploration we might as well shoot for the moon or third goal is to return to the moon by twenty twenty as the launching. Watching point for missions beyond they called the program constellation the idea was to go back to the moon live and work on the lunar surface and eventually go further with the experience and knowledge gained on the moon. We will then be ready to take the next steps of space exploration human missions to Mars and two worlds beyond Constellation was the program to return to the moon it was variously described as Apollo on steroids or going back to the moon to stay the people at NASA also work on a bigger rocket a lunar lander three times bigger than the one for the Apollo missions. Newell Amazon was on the move for a few hours this one would stay a full week NASA built a life sized markup for testing. They had a three step design process. The land has to do the most basic job get to the moon and back back and it has to keep the astronauts safe and only then do they think about what do we add that would help the astronauts succeed in their missions in two thousand eight Eugene Cernan the last astronaut to walk on the moon came to visit guys this gene Cernan high <hes> Muslim had gotten so far in the design process that this was his advice to Cathy Larini the project manager for the Lunar Landon. Hey make sure you provide coffee when you're on these missions. You're far away from Earth. You're you're roughing it up. You're a great place to sleep. It's hard to go to the bathroom would really have been nice was to be able to wake up in the morning and have a nice hot cup of coffee. This sounds kind of funny now but Cathy says it actually tells US people had spent a lot of time on the lander when we got to the point of what do we need to do to ensure the mission is successful. You know there were still people on my team. That said you know we can't afford the massive coffee maker and others like myself who said come on. We have to find a couple of kilograms to be able to launch a coffee maker so they were really far along. It came as a total shock to them when the Obama Administration Cancelled Constellation in twenty not ten. There's this moment in the press conference with Charles Bolden the NAS administrates at the time when you can hear his voice crack and he is visibly holding back tears <hes> to people who are working on these programs. This is like a death in the family so you know everybody needs to understand that and we need to give them time to grieve and then we need to give them time to recover a new president can mean different priorities for the human spaceflight program at NASA every four or eight years Casey Dryer says that can be incredibly frustrating because we have to start a new every couple of years and we lose the effort momentum that we've had George W Bush promised and Apollo Apollo sized program but he could not pair it with Apollo sized funding the political support for that initiative never really materialized and by the time the Obama Administration came in they were looking at a program that was billions of dollars <music> over budget years behind schedule and it was unclear what level of success they could expect out of that and win off to that Casey says nossikov smart. We're building a big rocket. We're building a crew cab so they can stay day out in space for a long time NAS at decided to build things that would kind of work regardless of whether the next president wants to go yeah you can send it to the moon you can probably send it to an asteroid. Maybe some modifications you can send things to Mars but you don't need to start over every four years years. You're seeing actually quite a bit of this with the Obama to trump transition where even though the destination changed from asteroid slash Mars to to moon none of the actual programs themselves at NASA were cancelled because of that and there's something else NASA doesn't like to talk about because it removes the romance of Space Travel the human spaceflight program is a giant job creation program and that is what politicians care about. There's a reason that the the <hes> Apollo testing grounds for giant rockets were down in Mississippi because the one of the senators of Mississippi was on the Appropriations Committee in the Senate paid for this program to happen at the time of the Nineteen Sixties Casey says Lhasa and the space industry create create jobs. They shouldn't be shy about it. It's part of the big picture and it's how we can pay for space exploration. This is the system that we have in the United States. How do you work in that system to advance things that aren't really ambitious this an idealistic and and frankly beautiful and what other government agency has fans like this <hes> you don't see the Department of Agriculture having people call themselves agriculture fanatics people by NASA t shirts? It's an pins and hats because space exploration is cool. That's why we make movie after movie about the astronauts the gripping human drama life and death stakes but we don't watch movies about the politics of paying for that <unk> stuff. NASA is one of the purest expressions of human curiosity that we see in the entire world. That story was reported by Alan you what if the people we heard from in Allen Story is retired rocket scientists poppy north cuts. She is featured in the new American experience documentary chasing the Moon on P._B._S.. I just remember looking around at this guy's thinking. I think I might Matt be able to do what these guys are doing. They're making a whole lot more money than I am and their job seems more interesting poppy says given that we were ready to start working on getting to Mars in the nineteen seventies. We have to get back out there to the moon and beyond and if somebody said to you why you know they're all these other problems that we need to solve on earth hunger climate change a thousand things why why why space what would you say to them. I would say there will always be all of those problems and also that we as human beings have always been it's it's in our D._N._A.. To explore and to try to find out what we don't know to go into the unknown and going into the unknown and doing that expiration has always ended up being pretty beneficial overall so we as human beings have a longing hunger hunger to explore but we also have a need to explore because as we explore we develop more technology and better technology doing this expiration. Maybe the we may find the answer to our climate problems as we do more exploration astronaut Buzz Aldrin wants us to get to Mars and he puts his hopes for future space exploration in four simple words to land and stay Eh. You've been listening to destination moon a special production of the pulse at W._h._y._y.. You can find us on Itunes or wherever you get your podcast Rabbit Rabbit reported our reporters are Alan euless tongue jets Lehman and Steph he in we had production assistance from Julian Harris of your metro contributed to our reporting Tanya English edited stories for for this show. Now we've got Charlie. Kyler is our engineer Lindsey. Lazar Ski is our producer. I'm Mike and Scott. Thank you for listening.

Neil Armstrong NASA Edwin Aldrin Apollo United States Apollo missions Eagle Mike Pence president President Nixon Casey Dryer Apollo Program Michael Collins Collins Texas Columbia Edwards Saakashvili Lunar Embassy derrick pitts Lunar Lander
Separate: Black Health in America

The Pulse

48:45 min | 1 year ago

Separate: Black Health in America

"This podcast is supported by PICO. Every year PICO empowers thousands of organizations to make a positive impact on our community from aiding those in need to creating new opportunities for growth in our region. Details at PICO dot com slash PICO powers, supporting WHYY Penn medicine Penn. Medicines immuno revolution is dedicated to the day when the body itself can defeat Parkinson's Alzheimer's, multiple, sclerosis and cancer. Learn more at immuno revolution dot org. Major funding for the pulse is provided by a leadership gift from the Sutherland family charitable fund, the Sutherland's support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. Pure Johnson grew up on the south side of Chicago in the nineteen eighties. A lot of his early experiences with health care will bad. I can remember as a seven eight year old kids sitting in hot clinics in the summertime just waiting for hours to be care for everybody was treated like a number, and you can feel that is very palpable. When he was nine years old, his mother was pregnant and Pierre came along to one of her, prenatal appointments. The OBGYN was the first black doctor appear ever met. He treated my mom like a family member. Like, he would his own sister. In the way, he talked to us in a way, he talks to my mom. No, he treated, my mom was very different from anything that I experience it was much more down to earth. Peer says this was the moment when he decided he wanted to be an OBGYN too. And he wanted to make this kind of care available to more people put some low fire in me, the you know, I want to change this. I want to do something about this. I Mike in Scott, and this is separate black Helton America a special production from the pulse at WHYY in Philadelphia during this hour. We'll explore the forces that often lead to unequal care and poorer health for African Americans and will make a distinction between segregation. Segregation kills it. Shortens lives. It makes people less healthy and choosing separate spaces having that experience of being a black environment be very powerful, and they're very affirming. Our first story starts at a time. When segregated healthcare was the norm. Black people were forced to go to hospitals that only tweeted African Americans or some hospitals had segregated wings. There was a colored insurance. And there was an entrance for whites. There were colored waiting rooms and white waiting rooms. But then all of that changed and quickly Alana, Gordon brings us the story. Brenda Armstrong grew up in rocky mount a rural town in North Carolina. Cheer members help black patients were treated unequally in hospitals. They waited a longer time in the emergency room to be seen. They were addressed and demeaning ways, Brenda is sixty nine now, and an outspoken, Dr herself. But when she was just a little girl she had an experience that she could not shake that would fuel her. Russian and her lifelong work, she was six or so and her mom was pregnant with her baby brother brenda's, dad was a doctor and knew her mom, and the baby were endanger that mom needed a C section because she was a petite woman, and the baby was big debt reached out to the town's hospital that could handle this. But that hospital was for whites only my dad, he was a very proud, man. And he asked, you know, if they would make an exception, and they said, no in nineteen fifty-six brenda's, baby, brother. Wiley was born at home without a c section. And I remember my dad coming to pick me up at school to tell me what happened and was difficult. He could not. Tell me at that. He was gonna tell me, my mom and dad, and he she hadn't died, but my brother was in trouble. And we just didn't know what was going to happen. Wiley had had a stroke. His left side is permanently damaged hours. Angering. I still am that's stroke. She says probably could have been prevented had her mother not been turned away from the nearby local hospital the white one for a c section. This denial of care was standard practice back then. But by the fifties, a movement was growing to challenge the status quo to fight back against the segregation from restaurants at inst- bus boycotts. The civil rights movement was gaining momentum. And in Greensboro, North Carolina. A group of black doctors and patients set the foundation for the changes in healthcare. Gwen blunt, Adolf is the daughter of one of those doctors Alvin blunt, I know that one of the things that chess bothered my dad and his peers was that they could not treat patients in the hospital. The had the better facilities those facilities were for white people. It wasn't about the better quality of the doctors. But it was about equal access to quality facilities when the patient of one of Alvin colleagues needed to be hospitalized for an abscessed molar and was. Refused to be seen at the white hospital. They'd had enough. The group reached out to the legal defense fund, really important part of the civil rights movement. Michael mouse Sner took up their complaint are was a one lawyer at the legal defense fund who handled health cases, what they did was challenged the federal status quo and a law that actually allowed hospitals to get federal funding. Even if they were for whites only the case went through the legal ringer. But it came on the heels of the landmark Brown versus board of education ruling that overturned the notion that separate was equal in schools, the black doctors from Greensboro argued the same thing for publicly funded hospitals. They won this principle that separate is unequal was then adopted into the Civil Rights Act it clarified, plain and simple that hospitals could not discriminate if they wanted federal money which on the face of it should have ended the racial policies of about six thousand. Southern health facilities hospitals clinics. And the like that was the theory. But really almost nothing happened. At that time, those southern hospitals didn't heavily rely on federal money and without any major penalties. They didn't have any big motivation to change to let black patients or doctors through their doors. Until. No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine in then along came and the gift was Medicare no longer will illness crush president Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law on July thirtieth nineteen sixty five might enjoy dignity and their later years. This was the new healthcare program that would cover seniors those with disabilities. Millions of people the government would now. Generously. Pay hospitals to care for this new Medicare funding had the potential to change everything to tear down hospital segregation. But that would require more than just a rule on the books at tiny unit took on that responsibility. It was going to be a David versus Goliath fight. My name is Peter. Bossie Frank pita Abbassi. But it'd be one knows me as Peter the bossy. Peter Lavazza led that unit inside the department of health education and welfare or HEW. I talked to him by phone from his retirement, home in Connecticut. Peter's little civil rights unit of just six people was tasked with creating an enforcing the rules. That hospitals would need to follow to be eligible for these lucrative new Medicare funds and I'm talking about twenty five percent of their income. They will hoping to get from HEW that year. The core rule was that no hospital would get any funding until they were completely integrated. No ifs, ands, or buts, but let black patients be treated in the same way. And in the same rooms as the white patients. Early on Peter remembers reporting the push back to one of the higher ups in his office. He said Pete tell me what's up how you doing. And I said, oh, we're doing fine Joe. And he said, what do you mean? Well, I said, you should know that there isn't a hospital in the south. That's desegregated. So no one will be eligible for any of the HEW new money. He said, why did you say you're out of your mind, but the government got behind Peter's efforts? It was a game changer. When the federal government decides to act and there's urgency about it. Gosh, it's fantastic. People all around the country began to organize visitation teams Peters unit. Remember was small just six people. They needed help and help they got people from all over the government stepped up doctors from the public health service bench. Scientists men and women black and white who wanted to see these changes in healthcare through they were divided into teams of three made up of someone who specialized in medicine a government worker from the local community and someone who knew the law. These teams went out to investigate the hospitals in person on the ground to ensure that hospitals would not get any money not a dime until they were actually fully integrated deuce was going to recur eighteen hour days threats on their lives. David Smith is a professor who's written a book about this called the power to heal? He's interviewed some of those team members retraced by the clan windshields. Be shot out crosses would be burned on their lawns. And most of the people that volunteer to David says everybody had a story. One black. Doctor went in as part of a three person team to Marshall county Texas to see if he could put pressure on the local hospital, the administrator told them to go to hell did there would never integrate so the physicians it, okay? But you just lost. Five million dollars in funding for next year for your hospital. And left. Three days later that physician is called by the chairman of the board. Who says? We just fired the administrator us what we have to do to get the money. Sometimes they tried to cheat. And they tried to fool us. They dry. It was ridiculous. But the three Pepe teams said we this is not desegregation when you put one black person in one bed up here. We mean to desegregate the whole hospital. Don't you understand the whole place has to be disease or you're not going to get the money? Local constituents complained and word got up to their congressman. So while those teams were on the ground Peterson a lot of his time testifying and defending their efforts in DC. But within a few months, they've more or less succeeded. Ninety eight percent of hospitals had integrated in July of nineteen sixty six one year after Medicare passed the program was ready to go. The money was ready to flow. So my grandmother was one of the first people to get a Medicare card because he could apply for it in January if you had already pasture sixty fifth birthday Edith Mitchell grew up in Brownsville, Tennessee, did you saw this transition when her grandmother needed help? She got admitted to the hospital and cheap into the hospital before note that was her first time ever in a hospital Hobo, she she was sixty five. It was a good experience. A few years later. Edith was on her way to becoming a doctor herself. She's an colleges now leading efforts to reduce racial disparities in cancer, and as young med student in for Jinya. She got to see the changes from the inside nursing staff were integrated. So that nurses could work on any floor. Wars black doctors were given medical privileges. So that they could admit and take care of their patients in those hospitals. It was just amazing. She says in the years right after Medicare took effect fewer black babies died health improved which brings us back to North Carolina. Where we started this whole story. It wasn't until I came back to Duke in the seventies to do my residency and fellowship training that I could tell a big change we met Brenda Armstrong at the beginning her baby brother had a likely preventable stroke when he was born because he was refused care at the local hospital. The whites only hospital Brenda has kept that experience close to her heart. She became a pediatric cardiologists and a dean at dukes medical school being dean of admissions for the medical school gave me a chance to challenge dupe to do the right thing when Brenda I started out. Decades ago. She says too, many, really smart and qualified African American students got turned away. That's been changing Duke is them better than almost everybody in the country and the recruitment of women and students of color. Now black students make up nearly one fifth of the Mets school. For the posts. I'm Alana, Gordon. I Mike and Scott. You're listening to separate black house in America. We would just hearing about the number of black students in dukes medical school, and one reason people are paying attention to this number is because they say it's tied to quality care health care for black Americans remain subpar in many ways, for example, in a recent poll almost a quarter of African American said they avoided going to the doctor because of fear of discrimination. So having more black doctors could fight that. But increasing the number of black physicians has been challenging a few years ago. There was a statistic that got a lot of attention in twenty fourteen. There were fewer black men enrolled in med school than in the late nineteen seventies. I was like that's insane. How could that be? That's Nicole Hannah Jones. She's a staff writer for the New York Times magazine and her work has just earned her a MacArthur fellowship people often call it a g. Grande. So she started to look into the low numbers of black students in med school. And that research brought her back to something. She covers all the time. Segregation in schools K through twelve Nicole says systemic racism has led to lower quality education for generations of black children in America. This is how it has always been. I started my education as schools, most of the schools in my hometown have always been segregated Nicole from Waterloo, Iowa, I grew up on the east side of the cedar river, which is the dividing line in my town between where most of the black people live, and where most of the white people live in. I lived on the black side of town when she was in second grade in the eighties. Her mother, enrolled her in the district's voluntary desegregation program, and he calls started going to school in the white section of town. Things seemed to get nicer the whiter the community God and the school that I was bused to had a lot more resources. So it was having the experience of being able to leave my side of town and Ritter watch the change through the windows of the bus that really got me to see the disparities. But also wondering why we're things like that. She says when we talk about school, segregation, we typically talk about test scores and the achievement gap. But the impact of segregation goes far beyond that it is embedded in the fabric fabric in fibre of every institution in this country. It is in every part of the system, and this is what people I think often don't get about the push for integration. It is not that black folks are just dying to be in the presence of white Americans at every moment of the day. Everyone wants to be around people who they're comfortable with but people have their own cultural institutions they and they like that and enjoy that. But it is understanding that that separation means a separation from the same services and opportunities that white Americans are insured, for example. She says many black students arriving at college have not had enough science classes. And so for most kids that means they will never be a doctor not because they didn't want it now because they're not smart enough. Not because they didn't want to work. Hard enough. But simply they are part of our segregated unequal to -cational system that simply doesn't give a lot of kids the opportunity. One of the people Nicole interviewed was peer Johnson, the physician from Chicago we met earlier he was nine years old when he met his first black doctor, and he decided to become an OBGYN Pierre told me he was one of the top students in its high school. But once he arrived at college things got rough, you know, never had any any detail, biology or chemistry. So everything was brand new to me, and you know, about to about two months into school. I was out struggling, but he was attending Xavier university in New Orleans. It's a historically black college. That was ready for students like him, the fostered a atmosphere of commodity and atmosphere of looking after one of each other and to push each other to do your absolute best. He. Study buddies two men who became his best friends in a library studying, you know, hours upon hours and hours a day. Each one of us got pushed to the brink of like, you know, an of questioning ourselves, can we really do this have you, and we all were each other backbone through those bad times after his Avia what peer went on to medical school, which was mostly white. The difference was startling a fill like a man on the island. I, you know, I really just had to navigate things on on my own and didn't have study groups, and you know, people, you know, picking me up and helped me learn information. It was just you know, getting it all on my own. It was almost depressing at times just kind of filling alone Pierre Johnson made it through and together with his two friends from savior. He has written a book about the experience. It's called the pulse of perseverance. We're talking about the forces that impact the health of African Americans and the care they received housing segregated is a major driving factor in bad health outcomes. So we're going to spend some time exploring this issue. Rickie Powell's family moved to the Smithfield neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama in nineteen sixty one. So it was a wonderful neighborhood one of community ranch style, brick homes trees, everybody looked out for each other. They were teachers and doctors and lawyers and architects in judges I felt safe in the neighborhood. We can walk. My mother would be up planning flowers and stuff, but his family had moved across the color line in Birmingham. They were taking on Jim crow laws, and they were now living on the west side of center street were once only white set lived, Jeff drew grew up there too. And he says this drew the rage and violence of racists. This house was not bombed, but it was built to take a bar. The the wall out front that faces center street now was designed to stop the throwing of dynamite and to. Stop the shooting the neighborhood became known as dynamite. Help clan would call my father in mid day. And and tell him that they were going to bomb this house tonight. And my dad would would rebut by saying, well, why did you call me you idiot you count? Why don't you just come now? Dynamite hill was an important hub for the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King junior held meetings at Jeff jerus- house, and despite the violence, and the bombings the residents state they continued to fight to integrate their city our purpose. Our purpose was far too strong. We want to be denied a lot of people think of southern cities when it comes to housing segregation families being met with violence. But today more than fifty years later, many American towns and cities remain mostly segregated by raise. That's because there's a whole system that reinforces. Segregation, Tanya English has more. Housing. Segregation didn't just happen by chance as early as the eighteen hundreds local laws blocked off entire neighborhoods that became off limits to black families later when it became a legal for city governments to use race-based zoning. That's when individual homeowners brokered private contracts with perspective homebuyers to keep the neighborhood, white a typical Lynn contract sounded something like this hereafter, no part of said property or any portion thereof shall be occupied by any person. Not of the Caucasian race it Mr. tip covenants were extremely common. One magazine article from the nineteen forties suggested that in Los Angeles and Chicago, for example, eighty percent of property was reserved for white people only neighborhood improvement associations work to keep it that way. But there were also federal programs propped up by racist ideas, that drove segregated in cities part of this has to do with very kind of arcane and. Somewhat absurd. Notions coming out of sociology in the early part of the twentieth century that basically said that the way that you create so called stable communities is by making sure that their racially. Homogeneous historian Nathan Connolly teaches at Johns Hopkins University. There was a sense that racial violence that occurred in cities like Chicago in nineteen nineteen or in other parts of the country in the wake of the great migration seemed to prove that the only way to really make sure that communities could be stable was if in fact, they were racially segregated. This folk knowledge has Nathan calls it became federal policy in the thirties. The US government started guaranteeing mortgages. And in the process officials drew up maps that marked black neighborhoods as a bad investment, and the government didn't back loans in those communities that so called redlining made it harder for black people to buy a home, which is one of the fundamental ways that Americans build wealth. You know, how far your payable go and buying a house? That may surprise you to learn that you can become a homeowner even on a small, Sal REI with the national housing act insured monkey while many white families had the privilege of subsidized housing in. Federally backed mortgages black families were forced into neighborhoods with crumbling infrastructure and old often unhealthy housing. Stuck in nineteen sixty eight the fair housing act banned racial discrimination. When people go to rent a place by a home or look for financing. But Nathan says by then the housing industry had internalized the idea that property values are inextricably tied to race the entire industry was taking these federal segregation guidelines as basically the gold standard. There was a foundational. Commonsense that remained in place. If you have too much mixing, and too many people of color, concentrating that ends up being a bad business model for some people and a really profitable somewhat. Predatory business model for other people. Individuals also internalized that thinking once a neighborhood moves to about thirty percent black the people in that neighborhood who aren't black perceived that their neighborhood is going going downhill, they perceive that their property values will be diminished, and so they begin the process of trying to rapidly sell off their homes and see if they can leave the community with as much of their initial investment as possible Nathan's. His white flight the hurry divest man from a neighborhood left. Parts of cities to stabilized and under resourced today. The forces that drive housing segregation are more subtle when a real estate agent steers all of her clients to one neighborhood that's illegal, but Nathan says it happens, and he and his wife felt that push in twenty ten when they were shopping for a home in Baltimore. We were being directed to neighborhoods that were absolutely deplorable. Most African Americans who say make a hundred thousand dollars a year live in the same quality neighborhood in terms of schools in terms of villa -bility of fresh food and so forth as whites who make thirty thousand dollars a year. That's Nathan Connolly. He is one of the hosts of the podcast backstory. He is a historian at Johns Hopkins University Tanya English brought us the story. This sharp segregation in housing has had a massive impact on health, and it's taking years off lives in black neighborhoods. Reporter Jake J Smith has more see how she looks here. She looks healthy. We're in Chilanga Cooper's home looking at a wall covered with family photos. Chalan is showing me an old picture of her mom when Dora the colors of washed out over the years when doors hair as tall and curly, a stylish sixties look the glow in her skiing, everything she looks healthy look at the glow in her face. When mom's help star failing was down here. She points to another photo taken about twenty years later after when Dora had been diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. She's in her thirties her eyes look sick. They don't look as bright as they used to look we're door herself sitting in a recliner a few feet away, a stroke a few years ago left her unable to speak. But she smiles as her daughter tells me about her life, and when you. Hear about doors life. You might have seen it all coming. You might have predicted the diabetes and the high blood pressure and even the stroke that eventually resulted from them there was when Dora's family history. Danny he was that bad if he had heart set, a stroke. There are the foods indoor liked at a lot of chicken not to tell you that much. And there's the fact that when Dora and her whole family just didn't know that much about health. If we knew then what we know. Now, my mom would be healthier Abba leave that. Now, if I were to ask you who's responsible for her stroke? You might say when Dora knowing her family history, she could've learned more about diabetes. She might have eaten differently or exercised more. But when doors Dr David Ansell thinks that answer MRs the deeper underlying cause the poor segregated neighborhood where when door lived for much of her life at the heart of was driving illness in these neighborhoods. A history of oppression in that oppression gets under the skin and get some body distresses, hypertension. I has diabetes. Money. Frigid January day David is driving me through west Garfield park. Here's a liquor store. A cellphone store, it's a poor almost entirely black neighborhood similar to the place where when Dora grew up empty lot empty lot empty lot empty lot. There's a lot of crime and people who can't find work as we Dr David tells me what he's thinking this is sixty nine right here. Look at this neighborhood, sixty nine life expectancy the life expectancy and Garfield park is like the life expectancy in Iraq. David is kind of obsessed with life expectancies, and what's most striking to him is how quickly they can change. For instance, if you keep driving five miles northeast to the wealthy white river north neighborhood life expectancies skyrockets to eighty five neces- sixteen year, gap that gap is bigger than the gap between Haiti and the United States and its seven L stops away. Intellectually wrote a book about this disparity called the death gap. So what's driving this enormous gap? First let's look at river north today. It's a safe prosperous area. Residents are twice as likely to have a college degree as the average ACOG Owen. They can pick up fresh produce at the farmer's market. Every week now compare that to wear when Dora Cooper spent much of her life near the cabrini-green housing projects when when doors family moved there from the south in the early sixties, they found themselves living in one of the most famously poor and segregated parts of the city as her daughter Chalan recalls, fruits and vegetables were hard to come by. If you go to our stores, you're not gonna see apple in orange. You see but said, it's ships, candy bars. And there was the violence Chalan to one saw a man gets shot in die right outside of her window. That's stayed in my mind a whole year. And I know that that affected me that affected my sleep. And you. You know, I'm sure it affected everybody in house. And finally there was healthcare when Dora met Dr David and sell at Cook County in a Torius Lee dilapidated public hospital where she was his patient Cook County treated people from all around Chicago who couldn't afford private healthcare. But it was perpetually short staffed and David often had to make do without critical equipment like cat scan machines. It had a smell to it. It was like sweat and desperation and rusted pipes today this concoction, poor food options, the stress of living in a dangerous place and subpar healthcare. This is what oppression looks like in the way, he sees it. It all comes back to segregation. When white people fled the neighborhood opportunities for a healthy life did too. And that didn't just make when doors stroke more likely compared to white people. Black people all across icago are lot more likely to die of cancer, stroke or diabetes. So what's David salute? Listen to this. What if we intentionally invest purchase higher Craig career paths? We can't do anything about historical injustices things that have happened already. But we don't have to perpetuate them. Of course, that's a long term fix one that requires money and commitments from hospitals businesses in city government, but for families like windows living in a neighborhood that's dragging down their health. There's a much more immediate solution. Leave. In one thousand nine hundred eighty eight the Cooper's bought a house in Humboldt park. A Latino neighborhood on the northwest side life expectancy in Humboldt park is seventy five still below the city average but higher than where when Dora lived when doors granddaughter nyah liked growing up there. We have a park right up the street, and so like whereas ear problems skirts bills their part, just like, hey, everyone. Let's go to the park. So we were probably a lot more active than they were too. Because he went to the park, and we did the monkey bars we jumped on swing and play basketball. Well, we moved over here. It was the best thing we could ever did fine. For the pulse. I'm Jay Jay Smith. Going to the park playing ball people find ways to boost their health and mental wellbeing. And sometimes that will being comes from being around people who get you and support you for peer Johnson, the Chicago doctor we were talking to earlier the barbershop was a place like that where he could relax and recharge he worked in one before met school. As far as barbershop concern was is some of the most fun times. I think that and some of the most enlightening times, I think I've had is having conversations here. Now, people laughing talking, you know, gift rushing that's about it. You know, look good cheat. You know, this is all about. We joked joked joked on all. It was encouraging. It was nobody doubted me. Nobody say, oh, no. You can't do that. It was just nothing. But support that it was the sky sky was the limit pretty much what we do here. You know? We'll get positively when you come into chairs. You know, you're going to fill welcomes the laughter that we get the conversations we have the combined ary it all love hair. All of the barbershop was a therapy. For a lot of people. People didn't even really need haircuts at the time. They come in just to to have conversations till their problems and get advice Barbara's, not just cutting. Here's. Got counseling, you know, advise, and you know, you give friendships, you know, you get a lot of different things going on barbershop. We had some voices from south St. Barbara's in Philadelphia. Thanks to owner Willard Mack for letting us be there and peer Johnson says some of his barbershop skills have made it into his practice of medicine. Rossio patient is sad. Or obviously depressed when they're talking to me. You know, I'll stop talking about you know, what physical ailment they have. And I'll start asking them about you know, what's going on at home and having that conversation allows me to be able to help them in all aspects of their life a little bit better. This is separate black health in America, a special production from the pulse at WHYY in Philadelphia. I'm Mike, and Scott, we're talking about some of the forces that shape, the health of African Americans and the care they receive some of the negative impact on health is related to segregation. But some people seek out separation because they say it can have a positive impact. I talked to New York Times magazine, right or Nicole Hannah Jones about this distinction separation is it is more of a choice having that experience of being in black environment can be very powerful, very, affirming. Many people find that kind of experience in church. This is Sunday morning service at mother vessel and African Methodist episcopal congregating in Philadelphia. Mark kelly. Tyler is the pastor here separate black spaces become places that are crucial not only for leadership development, but for self esteem for Southworth for the building and repairing of people who have been torn down in many ways through larger society today, for example, a pastoral out of people who work in corporate America and be an African American corporate America's especially as you rise higher very often. Those members are the only black person there in board meetings. Having to argue about why using a particular image in an advertisement is a bad. Look, the only black voice in then they feel like and I hear this. I'm telling you, I hear this from so many members that, you know, they get tired of being the person who has to always defend. Black people. And so it's good for them then to come here. And it's well, at least I can just know that that's one fight at don't have to do here. This is one of those places where in addition to having your spirit fed, your culture, the cultural aspect is also fed and all of these things feed into good mental health, in my opinion. So church ins with what we call the benediction. And so the choir singing, as we kind of recess out the clergy, and sometimes our choir just doesn't know when to stop. So they'll keep singing while that's all happening. People are again, greeting the neighbors. There's always align kind of shake the hand of the pastors one of the traditions that we do and that that's also one of those moments, whereas a pastor allowed of like trauma related kind of care happens. So sometimes, you know, set of people call and make an appointment to come in and talk to you. They'll kinda just you know, dump things right there in that moment. And it's you know, you're almost had like these little private conversations. And sometimes requires a follow up of the times. It's like, you know, I'm gonna pray with you right now. Mike kelly. Tyler is the senior pastor at mother Bethel AME influence. Comfort support feeling understood all of those things are important for our mental health, and they play a role in good health care when it comes to improving the health of African Americans one of the things that keeps coming up is the importance of black doctors Sasha and Simon's has this story of finding care that feels right and why it matters. So I got on my computer one day last year looking for a new doctor for my kids. We had moved to Washington DC about a week before. And after getting my hands on the health insurance information at my job. I wanted to set things up right away. I clicked where it said pediatrics, then I typed in my zip code and hit search voila. There was a list of pediatricians in my area, a scroll down the webpage passed a bunch of headshots brightly smiling faces and I thought I'm sure they're all lovely people and highly skilled physicians, but will I be able to find someone who my daughters would feel comfortable with possibly even admire or perhaps a black female doctor who looked like them. I went ahead and clicked on Dr Dakin because her skin is Brown and will though I'm not one hundred percent short. She's black. She was close enough. Yes. I looked specifically for a black doctor to care for my black children. That's a thing. I'm not even completely. Sure why. Or if it's true, but in my heart, I felt like it would make a difference to my girls health, and the fact that it was more like a hunt than a quick search that feels like a thing to. I talked about it with their stepdad, my fiance. Matthew Pfeiffer, we sat on the couch. One morning watching the channel nine news in those quiet minutes around six am before we had to wake the kids. What's the? With ice Matthews a mental health counselor at his last job he worked with people battling addiction. He was the only male staffer and the only person of color and that made him pretty popular, especially among black clients. If someone knew that knew that there was white man their mail there. They would specifically request Matthew says it felt good that they could trust him. He remembers one man in particular who had been ordered by the courts to get therapy after police officer found some weed in his pockets the man was involved in an altercation in his neighborhood. And the officers searched him Matthew says the client had been passed around between counselors until he took over the file. And that's when the client finally started to open up in their conversations got deep, you mentioned certain things that he had never shared in the previous three years with with other counselors flat out because he felt like a I was listening be he didn't have to backtrack. Matthew knows exactly what it's like. Be a black man in America. He's been randomly approached by police officers. So the client didn't have to explain that part of his experience or is culture or some of his reactions when he faced a similar situation. Matthew, just got it. It's not clear how much of the racial differences in care can be explained by bias either from the healthcare system itself or the people who give care, but some studies show that when the race or ethnicity of physician and patient are matched a black. Doctor caring for a black patient, for instance. The patient's overall satisfaction and sense of trust are higher and some health providers. Like, Mary Dexin say they've seen that sense of trust. Translate to better follow through on doctor's orders to Decem is discrimination onto Luke everybody. We Decem lens discrimination. Mary a retired counselor educator who spent years teaching grad students, she's originally from Nigeria and has lived in the Washington DC area for a long time. Understanding another person's culture is about more than just building. Repore Mary says it can protect clients from being misdiagnosed with more severe mental health problems. She says what one therapist sees as depression can be. Mistaken schizophrenia when you're unfamiliar with cultural differences, for instance, a study by the national medical association found black people are three times as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia Mary says she connected differently with clients during a short stint at a correctional facility the mostly African American prisoners saw her more as a mother figure. I'm very stunned lady, Mary help them kick, addiction and anger issues. When I say one something don't I want to done on video tenting on new Dutt? OBGYN department Ellen de on the third floor of the hospital. Here. Since the eighteen sixties black people in Washington have had a place to call their own when it comes to medical care today. It's called Howard University hospital. It's very quiet. Well, the hospital is supposed to be quiet. I walked through the wide hallways with chief medical officer, Shelley MacDonald Pinkett. There was artwork inspired by African culture hanging in the waiting areas. A popular Maya Angelou phrase was painted on another wall. People forget what you said people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them. Feel Shelly points to a large framed photo, depicting black doctors and nurses in training centuries ago and pauses to give me a little history lesson Howard is the only teaching hospital in the country that sits on the campus of a historically black university. It first opened under a different name Friedman's hospital and catered mostly to treating black Americans recently released from slavery the hospital remains focused on underserved groups, including the large African American community in DC. One of the unfortunate legacies of living separately. Is that healthcare is not always equal accessible for those who are apart. Shelly says the more than three hundred medical staff at Howard are mostly black, but come from all different, countries and backgrounds. Sure. Getting Dr with the same skin color is a good starting point. But that doesn't knock down all the barriers pediatrician Kiana. Knicks who's originally from Jamaica says just last week she struggled to care for a sick newborn whose parents refused the treatment plan, she suggested candidate note at the time, but the families decision was based on their religious beliefs. She says the ordeal was an eye opener. When patients do not understand what is going on revaluate myself. And I wonder a my getting across to them in the right way. A my breaking down my online search for the kids did not lead to a black doctor in a white coat, the doctor, we did find is great and kind of funny. But there was something missing. I've seen the way my girls light up when they see a black woman. Reading the news on TV, a war that time my older one was pleasantly surprised to tell me her fourth grade teacher was a black man. I mean, we'll definitely give Dr Dakin a chance to prove that she knows how to fully connect with our children. But ultimately, I want them to feel that same spark at the doctor's office. Plus, it just might be really good for their health for the pulse. I'm Sasha an Simon's. You've been listening to separate black house in America. Especial production from the pulse at WHYY in Philadelphia. You can find us on itunes or wherever you get your podcast music. For this episode is from seek Burs we have production help from Sherrel Wheeler Stewart at NPR member station. WB gem in Birmingham, and Darryl. See Murphy in Philadelphia, our health and science reporters are Alan you list. Hung and jets Lehman Julian Harris is our intern. Charlie Kyler is our engineer and this week we had engineering help from Adam Stanishev sqi Lindsey Lazar ski is our producer, Tanya English is our editorial director, I'm Mike and Scott. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare WHYY's health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund, P H, M MC gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

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Facing Our Fears

The Pulse

49:07 min | 2 years ago

Facing Our Fears

"Major funding for the pulse is provided by leadership gift from the Sutherland family charitable fund. The Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science I Mike and Scott this time of year when the days are getting so noticeably shorter and darkness seems to be setting in all around me. I feel sort of naturally creeped out ill at ease add to that all of the Halloween decorations. My neighbors are putting up the skulls and spiders and ghosts who gets to me. Halloween comes from the Celts who thought that the connection between our world and the world of ghosts and spirits got really thin around this time of year. So they had festivals to appease those ghosts. And to put them in a good mood so to speak. So I guess the thinking is you embrace that which scares you. And in that spirit on today's show. We're going to explore things that are creepy stuff that freaks us out. Alana Gordon is here now to start us off without first story. And Alana your story is really a story about facing your worst fears. It is so Mike. What's your worst, fear? Well, I'm afraid of most things because I really hate scary things. Right. And I hate to be startled. I absolutely despise it. But I recently went to check out this massive haunted house type thing it's on the campus of a former state institution. So they are crumbling old buildings all around. It's very dark, and I you have to walk through the stretch of woods to get there. So creepy. So. You sound like you're having the time of your life. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So I was freaked out just being on the campus. Right. But then I pushed myself to go into one of the haunted buildings. It's totally dark inside. There is fog everywhere and Strobe light. So you can't see sudden loud noises, and then people with gory makeup jump out and scream at you. What is he? It was awful. And I actually asked to be escorted out the back door after three minutes. And I hated it. I hated every member of it, so Mike, and what if I told you that you had to face that fear to do that you have to go back in that house, and like you have to keep going back in that house for hours and hours and hours a day for several weeks. I would have a really hard time with that. And it kind of sounds like I guess exposure therapy. That's what they're up his do with people who have let's say a fear of heights or fear of elevators, you just gradually expose people until they can take it. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. But imagine now that that fear or that thing that makes you most uncomfortable is within you imagine that it's pain what kind of pain a really really debilitating kind that consumes your thoughts your actions, for example, if I were to lightly touch you like here are my hand. Yeah. Just rubbing my finger on your hand. What does that feel like like a finger on my hand? Right. Well for savannah Fleming of mount Vernon Iowa. It's totally different. It's kind of hard to describe it. It was sort of like being stabbed almost just that little tiny touch on her hand. Yeah. I talked to another teen with this kind of pain condition. Mary Kelly, Chevron of Kansas City, Missouri. And for her even the slightest touch on her feet, especially it can feel like a blue torch. It's almost like if you had like, a really awful bruise or really awful, burn. But just your entire body is that everything that touches you like clothes sheets it shouldn't hurt. And you know, it shouldn't hurt. But it does for both of these teens the pain got so debilitating that it completely consumed them by the time they were in high school. I Vanna the pain worsened to the point that it put her in a wheelchair now gone from school so much and struggling to keep up. And what's so hard is that there wasn't some like outside trigger that everyone can say, oh this caused this. And there wasn't even some sort of like direct. Test where doctors could be like, oh, you have this. I can see this pain. It doesn't work that way. But both Mary Kelly and savanna were leader diagnosed with some form of amplified, musculoskeletal pain syndrome or amps, it's an umbrella term, but many also refer to these particular conditions as complex regional pain syndrome, and for people who develop it like, I was saying the pain is excruciating. What's so striking about this to me, Mike is that the way to treat? It can be really tough too because involves facing that pain and all the fears that come with it head on how so what do they do? So I recently went to check this out at this controversial clinic in Philadelphia at the children's hospital that treats patients with this syndrome for the day. I went there. I walk through a colorful exercise area. When patients on a treadmill? Another's rubbing a stick of heights all over their feet. We exposed to lots of different textures. Sensations that we bother Dr David Sherry runs the program. He's a rheumatologist and he has been studying and treating this pain for over three decades. David stands out, even in this bright room with his long white beard, zany ties ridiculous jokes and Chuck Taylor kicks. High top always black David says, what makes this condition different from other types of chronic and acute pain. Like when you break a bone is that in this case, the pain takes on a life of its own a pill or an operation won't work. Instead, you override the pain signals to reset them. And you do that by stimulating the pain over and over and over until it settles down in recent. So if light bothers you sit in a bright room work on a computer if a slight brush of air on your skin feels like a blowtorch. Step in front of this high-powered fan. Or if a small bump bothers you like when you're in a car and a highway well lucky for you next to that fan is a total body vibrator. What I tell the kids shakes the qisas out of you. So if I can I get on this. This is a lot of abrasion. This is not your typical physical therapy approach sack. Rasual it's not about avoiding or easing into that pain. The in clinic treatment part of this last about a month, savannah. One of the teams I talked to went to one in Kansas City. That's modeled off of David's there about eight like it around the country. I I was begging not to have to go back, and I was crying, and I was trying to stall all kinds of stuff to try to avoid going back. She puked all over the dashboard on the drive home. After the first day. It was heartbreaking. I think for both of us. It was very very difficult. That's savannah's. Mom, Amy robots. She wasn't allowed in during the day. None of the parents are and as hard as this was she encouraged the Vanna to stick with it. If we couldn't make it through this program if this program didn't work for us. I was afraid that this was the best her life was ever going to be. And that was not okay with me. Back inside the Philadelphia clinic a couple of patients are in gym clothes. They're sweating. And they're in a wide hallway. It's painted green. With line markers. Like a mini football field. Physical therapists encourage them from sidelines as they do animal. This involves putting weight on a hand or foot that bothers the most almost there it appears to be a real strain for one of them. Rheumatologist David Sherry says how these kids experienced pain is different their nerve signals got caught in the loop. That was then amplified after an initial stimulus that might have been as trivial as a minor sprain from dancing or playing a sport. He likes what happens to win a microphone gets placed next to a speaker. In high school. Well, that's a very soft sounded goes into the microphone, but then it comes out the speaker goes in the microphone comes out the speakers in their micro. And it becomes so painful, you have to leave the auditory him. They can't turn it off. Same thing with these kids, you this is just a light touch. Trump. Just barely touching your skin or, you know, your hair brushing on your back that can't possibly hurt. Yes. It can just like a very soft sound in the microphone if it's too close to the speaker can make you leave the auditory. For some people this amplification results in physical signs blood vessels, constrict turning a hand or foot blue either way, this is where desensitization comes in like when you put your hand in a sink full of hot water or jumping really cold pool. I that might seem unbearable, but the ideas you get used to it because pain usually means damage, and so what we have to retrain these kids to think that the pain is not damaging their body. And so they need to work through that fear to retrain, the nerves the exact cause and trigger of this pain isn't clear, it's a rare condition and the research is ongoing David and other suspect genetics play a big role in combination with the environment, and psychological stressors. It's often misdiagnosed, but to pediatric pain specialist. Dr Eliot crane, this condition represents an important window into pain itself. It captures so much. What pain is it captures? The actual physiology of pain. It encompasses the modulation of pain either the amplification or the minimization of pain. It captures the psychological response to pain all the anticipatory, Zaidi and fear and depression that chronic pain causes crane is director of pain management at Stanford's children's hospital in California where he treats this condition to he says, no question intense, physical therapy and desensitization is a critical part of the process, but he worries that a hardcore bootcamp approach can be too much for some kids if it's trialed that can be a very traumatic experience, very traumatic. Elliott's concerned that could induce more trauma even fee tea estate. It's not necessary for somebody to feel the pain to get better. It's not true that no pain means no gain, two lines. Just two lines. Fifty two. David Sherry at the Philadelphia clinic disagrees. I think that to tell them, oh, you know. Don't worry. You know, you know, poor baby. You know, just do this. We'll call you bring your long graduate. I is a disservice to them. He admits this approach isn't for everyone, depending on someone's anxiety levels and other factors for that reason if beefed up their safety in psychological protocols and supports throughout but David says patients have to be pushed to get better. So they learn to stop letting the pain control them. Here's the van again completed a similar program in Kansas City, before I honestly thought pain was just part of life. It was part of who. I was even if I hated that it just seems like it never was possible for it to truly go away for me. And now, it's gone Savannah's seventeen. Now, she no longer needs the wheelchair. She still has to maintain a therapy routine. Both physical and mental. But she's taking college classes now, she's volunteering she's excelling and living a full life. That's totally weird. And totally crazy. But in like, this amazing mind blowing Raqi Lous way for Mary Kelly, the other teen I talked to who went through that same program her pain. It's just as pervasive as it was before if not more. But she says still the clinic experience changed everything. Yeah. The pain is the worst it's ever been. But it doesn't define me or control. What I do. It's really good to feel that way to like have something that controlled you for so long, and the definetely be free of that is really an incredible feeling. She says now she seeks out everyday teen activities. She dances. She's deeter. She's active and engaged and unlike before she doesn't fold back. Alana Gordon reported the story. We're talking about facing our fears and sometimes the stuff were scared off turns up our dreams and our nightmares. The most vivid dreams happen during a specific stage of sleep. Remm sleep. Your heart rate is elevated your blood pressure rises, and you have all this neural activity going on in your brain. That's neuroscientist Balon Jalal. He says that during REM sleep your lying in bed. Your heart is beating and all of these neurons firing the part of your brain that processes emotion, the limbic system lights up so much that it looks the same as when you're awake. Some scientists think that the reason we dream is to make sense of all those random, emotional fireworks. Other parts of our brain turn totally off during REM sleep like the part that controls logic. That's probably why dreams so often don't make a lot of sense, and then the preset and at that point you have to get down and grovel. And I said, you mean get down on the floor and grovel, and he said, yes, it was in this really creepy church. And it was Doug. There's lightning flushes outside. I remember like realizing that I had been possessed, and I was going to do something horrific, by the way. There's no real difference between a dream and nightmare a nightmare is basically just a dream that stresses you out. So do the crazy dreams that we have doing Rhames sleep have a purpose here as neuroscientist Balon Jalal again. So one theory for why we dream or even have nightmares that it has a survival mechanism. So if you in your dream see yourself, I don't know like wrestling with a bear something that is gonna make you more likely when you encountered that in real life be able to deal with a situation like that. I don't dream about bears, but I do dream about being late for work or not being able to finish the project on time. And it's. Always stressful. But there's another kind of nightmare. That sounds a lot worse than that. You're completely paralyzed. And you're half awake. The feeling like I'm about to wake up. But then I realized that I can't move. I knew the bathtub was overflowing and most of the time, it's like someone extending of your bad who's gonna murder you. I often feel that there are people with me in the room. And I also knew that there was a stranger wandering around the house. The best way I can sum. It up is like a feeling of suffocating couldn't move to hide or defend myself against the stranger. And I couldn't get up to turn off the bath water. We've really is like may consciousness stuck under water. Sometimes I can wake myself up I screaming, this inability to move the feeling of presence in the room or pressure on your chest. It's called sleep paralysis. It's a glitch that happens during the rim sleep phase. When you're having intense. We're. Dreams. And during that phase all of us are paralyzed to stop us from acting out our dreams, maybe jumping out of a window. If you're dreaming that you can fly part of the brain in the brain stem, totally paralyzed during REM sleep, but the people who get these horrifying nightmares. They are partially awake during Rhames leap and their body is still unable to move. The first thing you do is like my God one get out of here. Right. So you start sending all these command neurons down to your body to your arms. Two legs move. Right. Move move, your brain and your body are out of sync. So your brain is trying to construct some kind of narrative around what's happening to you. Maybe you'll hallucinate and think there is a presence in the room, your brain is free to freak you out in any way. It knows how so what can you do to make it stop belonged is studying that now his advice, don't panic. Stay calm and. Tell yourself that sleep paralysis like most everything else can be explained by science Balon Joel is a neuroscientist at Cambridge University. Think about the last scary movie you saw and what it really was about that movie that freaked to out. Yes, it was probably the plot. But I'm sure it was also the music because so often, that's what's really unsettling a alone piano playing dissonant notes in the distance or kind of drumbeat that lets. You know, something terrible is about to happen. But why do these tune scare us so much? Max green reports it's a dark and stormy night. Your home alone. Ready to watch a scary movie. You turn off the lights and settle in with a bowl of popcorn the opening credits flash on the screen. After a few minutes, you're in grossed. But suddenly thinking, maybe this wasn't such a good idea. You're looking over your shoulder every few moments, and you're hyper aware of the sounds around. You a tree branch tapping softly at the window, a creaking floorboard a metal gate swinging back and forth outside you're on edge. But nothing scary is actually happened yet onscreen. So why is the hair on your next ending up? It may be all the cues your ears or picking up on your eyes haven't sound cues that till you tension is rising and something is probably going to happen soon. The ear in general has a far more direct line to your emotional response. That's kublai owner he teaches music composition for the screen at Columbia college. Kogyo? He says in scary movies the year plays a big role in creating fear. I think it has to do with the fact that it's always on you can't close your years. And it's the only thing that can look behind. That's one of the reasons why it play such a big role in scaring people in movies Kubilay says composers can use sound design and music to make viewer feel unsettled. Basically what you're trying to do is somehow take away the sense of safety and control from the audience. But when it comes to music context is key notes and combinations of notes aren't objectively creepy sounding rather horror movies have given us a kind of language that's taught us to fear. Certain tones kubla uses a piano in his classroom to explain complicated, intervals can sound what we commonly called dissonant, and they can be employed to be scary. So you have something like this. And out of context that sounds a little scarier than. But take that same dissonant chord. And at a few notes in the middle. I can make kind of pretty and more like a question. Mark music. Composers have lots of strategies at their disposal to facilitate different kinds of scares take Alfred Hitchcock classics psycho, for example, where it's just horrifying employing almost a physical gesture though screechy violence that keep coming. We meet we it's really just painting the movement of somebody with a knife stabbing. And you have that high sound which suggests metal and then there are brooding low tones what you might expect to hear looking down a dark hallway or across open water like the incessant rumble in jaws and common one. These days. The twisted reality scare distorting to expectations something that should be nothing. But good turns into the opposite. A good example is the lullaby fem- from one of my favorite or flakes Rosemary's baby. You have these many primal ways of scaring, people acoustically, and I think it has to do with function that we're used to using our ears as Larne mechanisms science tells us kublai theory isn't far off from the truth all of those elements. He mentioned scarce for a reason, it's why we use words like primal or visceral to describe fear. Scary sounds act as a stimulus and voca biological response. From our bodies Daniel blunt Stein studies evolution and biology at the university of California in Los Angeles. And he's curious about why certain sounds vote this fear response in people, but he's not a fan of horror movies would got him thinking about this was much cuter marmots marmots are kind of like big squirrels and through a certain deputies experience. I had I was holding baby marmot and suddenly it screamed, and I had this emotional response. And I wondered why I'm having a motion response to a rodent, you know, screaming and just for reference. This is what a screaming baby mar. It sounds like. Daniel says when he heard that his body reacted his heart. Skipped a beat. And he started thinking, maybe there's a general principle at play. That can help us understand why we respond certain ways to certain types of music, and and certain types of soundtracks. So we started looking at the screams on spectrums. That's kind of a visual representation or voiceprint of different sound components, and what was striking about marmot screams is the illustrated things that bioacoustics would call non linear at his known linear areas in sound occur. When a system like vocal cords in a moment or speakers stereo are overblown. Think of those jarring noisy squeals, and distortions that come out of broken speaker. Raspy staticky some of these may be rapid frequency up shifts and rapid frequency downshifts, which might come across his wobbles. He found that noisy sorts of sounds naturally produced by vocal cords in alarming circumstances, make us feel afraid. I think the people that have been making films music have implicitly known this. But what our work has shown is sort of the reason why this I officers links us to our ancestors, not just our human ancestors, but our non human ancestors Kubilay owner, the music professor says that makes sense to him as a film composer. He plays with the timeless tools that help spook audiences. But he says cultural context changes over time music that scared people one hundred years ago. Like this Bach Takada, which might conjure images of Dracula sounds a bit kitschy today. One of the problems that you have as a composer. Is that everything that works tends to lose potency? And so you have to reinvent the wheel with some regularity. So remember people like him are out there right now trying to scare you in biology is on their side. For the pulse. I'm xtreme. Len move scared watching those movies or just listening to max green talk in that scary voice. Our body goes on high alert our heart rate speeds up and so does our breathing. And it's not just what you're feeling other people can pick up on those signals too big is raised browse, and this little grimace our bodies will get tensor, they'll often sort of shrink down a little bit. We've been smell different Mona frightens that psychologists Abigail Marsh. Her book is the fear factor. And she's been researching an interesting correlation between the ability to detect fear in others and to polar opposite posts analogy types, what she's found is that people who are very Auschwitz take or benevolent are really good at detecting other people's fear psychopaths on the other hand are terrible at reading this emotion. That's right. So I. Another researchers as well have studied people who are psychopathic and have found that they're really bad at detecting other people are afraid, so if you show them what to most people would look like a really, vivid fearful facial expression. They have a lot of trouble detecting. What it is. In fact, one of my colleagues in England tells a great story of psychopathic felon that she was interviewing and she had showed him a whole series of facial expression than he'd missed every single fearful expression. And he got the last one and he knew he was doing badly. And and said when he saw it, you know, I don't know about that expression is called. But I know that's what people look like right before you stabbed him. So he knew he'd seen this expression before and he could even come up with where he'd it. But he he couldn't link it to an emotion, but why does that lack of recognition lead to psychopathic behavior while the idea is that if you can't recognize what somebody else's feeling that's an index for the fan. That you can't really understand emotion and other people and part of the problem with people who are psychopathic is that they don't experience fear strongly themselves. And so they're literally having trouble empathizing with that emotion and other people, and so because of that they don't really understand why it's even bad to make people feel frightens we use the term psychopaths sort of loosely in our society. But how is it defined for your work? What is this? I ca- path. That's a great question. Yeah. The worst hang path has come to meet a lot of different things. People who study psychopathy usually boil it down, this sort of central thing that makes people who were psychopathic different is there in sensitivity to other people's distrust or suffering, but that goes along with a number of other things that are common and people were psychopathic including being manipulative holidays in trouble with impulse control and engaging in lots of different kinds of social behavior. Including aggression. That's not the result of frustration or fit of rage. But that's sort of Cooley deliberately planned out to hurt other people and on the other side of that coin because you have found that people who are very altruistic are better at recognizing fear. Does that mean when we see fearing another person there is a mechanism that makes us care and help that person perhaps? Yeah, it seems like what happens when we see somebody else who's afraid is it kicks off this amazing little chain-reaction inside our Brehm that ultimately leads us to care for the way that person is feeling and that chain reaction depends fundamentally on processes with any magdala. So somehow the Bill Abel's us to probably stimulate what that person's feeling create a little sort of internal shadow of what the feeling if you're feels like. And then in addition probably with the help of this little hormone oxytocin that is active in him. I love it also stimulates in a the desire to want to help the person who's feeling frightened as well. And depending on the person how strong motive to carries really varies a lot between people. What does all of this mean, your findings in terms of what we need to know about fear? How we relate to others. What are the big takeaway points? One of the things. I hope people realize about fear is what do useful emotion, it is not just from self-preservation standpoint. But because our own ability to feel this motion, which I think some people wish they didn't have, you know, it seems like it'd be a nice thing to go through life. Fearless. And yet our ability to feel emotion allows us to connect with that same emotion and other people and leads us to care about other people who are in trouble on. So I think hopefully, people will come away with the new appreciation for this sort of amazing motion. That's like holidays Abigail Marsh. Book is the fear factor. Just said fear is an amazing emotion. And I think part of that is because it's so nuanced it warns us, but it can also challenge us in different ways facing your fears can be liberating or even thrilling. That's why people love rollercoasters, right? Take a listen to this a while back. We sent reporter Joe Hernandez to try a ride at six flags New Jersey. It's called zoom on gyro, the drop of doom. I wait in line. Maybe get strapped in ready. Get all take the slow road to the top of the tower. Pause and enjoy the view now, I think I was not the peo- myself at that. And then the drop. About two hundred and fifty feet of free fall at ninety miles an hour. Five seconds barreling straight down go everything just to test. I didn't think my stomach was going to stop. It's not quite floating. But it it's kind of a scary floating. So people love it. They hated they definitely get a kick out of this experience. Many of us seek out things that push our limits skydiving mountain climbing, but some choose edgier extremes page Pfleger reports on a practice that might look scary. But those who do it say it releases a lot of bottled up emotions inside a windowless warehouse Kirsten Janna chef skis lying on her back on a massage table. She's wearing a bra and bike shorts and has dots of black marker all over her body on her collar bones ribs, her thighs, her kneecaps and her shins five people are standing around her with rubber gloves and surgical face masks on their each holding a large metal hook about the size of a coat hanger would good. Each of them pinches, Christian skin and lines the hook up with the dots of marker from. Then they drive the folks through her flesh at the same time. Her eyes are closed, and she shaking show Kirsten is here to do body suspension. Basically Tang from the ceiling by those hooks and her skin people run because it's an adrenaline endorphin rush. You know releases those those good feelings suspension does the same kind of thing. It's all those same kind of internal drug natural drugs that happened with it. Sometimes she suspends as a celebration something good going on in her life and other times like this one she suspending because things have been really hard lately, the suspension definitely helps start that movement that, you know, more of a positive mental attitude helps clear all that kind of negative emotions that I have going on. She compares it to going to therapy, which would make this guy her therapist. My name's Jeremy my last name, smart, we up so too stupid. I'm actually the team leader. I gonna spotty suspension Jeremy Kim across body suspension years ago during a difficult time in his life. He's a veteran and was struggling with post traumatic stress. So he decided to try it out. He remembers the first time when the hooks went in, and they started lifting him when my before like a nuclear bomb went off inside man average, just like all everything just pushed out at like the speed of light. And I was just like just blown away by it and matter of minutes, my eyes were or wider than ever been before. Then I felt completely rejuvinated and completely new and like a totally different human being. He was well hooked these days every other weekend. He and his team needed the warehouse and facilitate suspensions for other people for all sorts of reasons could be loss of a family member. It could be a relationship, you know, could be loss of child the birth of a child. Nothing feels as good as being able to provide individuals with the means. Do kind of challenge themselves overcome a lot of fears all that negativity. That's balled up and sits on your shoulders. It's like just letting the weight loose minnow defy gravity for a minute. Nothing matters. There hasn't been any research on the impact of bodies expansion on the mind or the body guy tried to peruse the medical literature. If there is any comment or anything about and there wasn't really much that I could find that's term apologised tools lip off. So I wouldn't want to overstate the risks. I wouldn't want to say, you definitely can't ever do this but medically I can't really recommend it. He has one main where about bodies expansion anytime. There's a penetrating injury into the skin or any part of the body. There certainly is primarily risk of infection. So even in the most sterile environments like when we do surgeries or cut things out of the skin still sometimes they're infections in risks back at the wear. House Kirsten chefs skis ready to go the hooks are dealing from her skin before she goes up. She's taking a quick smoke break. I don't necessarily feel strong as what I normally do. So this one's definitely make me nervous. But I know one's what's up. It's going to prove to me again that I'm stronger than I'm feeling she climbs back onto the table and assumes the position for her suspension leaning back one leg bent in the other straightened, Jeremy carefully loops of rope through the hooks criss crossing back and forth forming a web between Kirsten and the rig hanging from the ceiling above her the room is tense as the rig is raised slowly pulling the hooks and stretching Kirsten skit. Beautiful. Your body leaves the table, suddenly she's floating in the air Jeremy steps away admiring Kirsten, like a piece of artwork. He's just created. She beings leading her body, relax. She hangs there for about fifteen minutes, and Jeremy gently swings her the way apparent what a child on swing set. She asked to come back down the moment. Her body hits the table. She begins to crack. Jeremy kneels next to the table and holds her hands encouraging her to let go. Thank you. Very much. Thank you for making me crazy. I needed it. Now that feeling that you get after like a massage refill really really late. Yeah. That's what you feel like that's what I feel. Just feels like my body's weight lifts right now toss them. Page Pfleger reported the story. At this wonderfully colorful to fake of her. This stupid cupboards called small st- coming up what's up with these? I don't know creepy videos of people whispering. Eventually my whole scalp. Feels like it's lit up like there's this electric sort of very low volt charge that sort of ripples across the whole thing. That's next on the pulse door. It's so soft and so comfortable, even sounds comfortable, supporting the pulse. The coryell institute for medical research, enabling scientific discovery around the world through turnout collections of cell lines and DNA from the National Institute on aging and National Institute for general Medical Sciences. Learn more at coryell dot org today. We're talking about stuff that scares us and creeps us out a while ago. I started noticing these weird videos online where you watch people do a mundane task and often somebody is whispering along narrating. What's happening? The key term here is A M R it stands for autonomous sensory. Meridian response. We don't know how common this is. But people who experience this phenomenon report getting pleasant brain tingles when they are watching these videos, accompanied by a sense of Welby. Being. So we wondered is there any science to explain what's going on. Molly Siegel found some emerging research. But her reporting started close to home with her boyfriend when I got the Email from Devon I was confused. He sent me a link to a YouTube video. In it. We see a close up of someone handling parcel, and then unwrapping it. The sound sharp emphasizing each crinkle to me, it's boring. But my boyfriend says when he puts headphones on to listen to those kind of sounds their cure lis-, the sound sort of will start in mice, for example, my radio and that sort of translates into almost like this electric feeling that ripples across my scalp for him. It's a trigger video. It's starts those brain tangles slowly sounds sort of start to culminate until eventually my whole scalp. Feels like it's lit up. Like, there's this electric sort of. Char's that sort of ripples across the whole thing. And then it puts me into this, very relaxed state. That s on boxing video has more than one hundred thousand views in there are lots of different trigger videos out that a click of lenses during refraction test at the eye. Doctor the sound of scissors around your head at a barbershop soft whispering in your ear. But what's happening in your brain? To ask I visited the memory disorders clinic at Saint Michael's hospital in Toronto. Louis Fornos Ari. He's in urologist who studies cognition, memory and behavior, but clear that is in the Navia that is feeling then in the stages. Lewis hasn't conducted his own studies on S Amar. But he does see some similarities between AS Amar and sinister Shia and urological phenomenon that crosses connections in your brain people with since the since things differently. They might experience number as a color, for example, Lewis thinks AS Amar is similar is sensory experience that if it insensitive seamless getting totally different responses, so someone with Cynthia might experience, a taste when I experience a color or sound my boyfriend feels tingling in his scalp and his brain when he watches and listens to the mar trigger videos, but when I watch one nothing neurologist, Stephen Smith also sees similarities between. And sinister Shia he teaches at the university of Winnipeg in Canada. So my research looks at the neuroscience of motion and emotion captures our attention and influence how we move. There isn't a lot of research on SM are yet. But Stevens team is one of the few with peer reviewed and published research into the phenomenon in their first study, they scan the brains of twenty two people half of them experience Amar and the other half don't to map the differences between the two groups. The scientists started with baseline brain scans while the subjects were awake. But not focusing on anything in particular, even that kind of doing nothing state a team of neurons firing in your brain. Let's call them team. The scientists found that in the brains of people who experience as'more not only where the team Anyar ons firing the neurons associated with attention and vision were also active that's called crosstalk for people with ASO Amar. There's a much greater. Lending those networks, so they're not quite as distinct would be on the rest of us since then Stephen and his team surveyed five hundred eighty people half of them experiencing some are within the relatively small sample. The scientists discovered that people experiencing AS Amar had certain personality traits. They were generally more open to new experiences Stephen thinks that could explain why individuals feel Asom are in the first place. Their minds may be more open to those unusual brain tangles. The scientists also found people who experience some are prone to neuroticism and more likely to have anxiety or depression. There are a lot more ups and downs for people with some are. And they have to find some way to deal with it. And that might be why so many people use Esa Mars, relax because they're trying to find some way to cope with the ups and downs that they're experiencing. Meanwhile, could someone like me someone who hasn't experienced in response ever. This feeling I gave it one last shot and got my boyfriend to play me one of his favorite videos. I put headphones on I closed my eyes. The guy has a bar of soap with some plastic packaging, and he some moving it in front of a round special microphone. I don't think this is going to do anything for me. Yep. Nothing for the pulse. I'm Molly Siegel. So the research on AS Amar, and why some people enjoy these videos is still very new. But there is a lot of science on fear. And why people sometimes enjoy the feeling of being scared? It can give people a natural high of sorts the chemicals that are released during fighter flight when are sympathetic nervous system is activated. They're the same that are released when we're excited or surprised or happy. That's Margie Kerr associates who studies fear, and she says our enjoyment of this emotion has a lot to do with context. It's all about how we interpret the rush of endorphins, you can even see it. When somebody's watching scary move. You're going through one hundred house they scream, but then within milliseconds there, smiling laughing, and it's you can see how they've you know, kind of remembered I'm gonna save place. I'm not really endanger and all of that energy all of that excitement that went into the. Cream is now going into the laughing. But sometimes fund scary turns into actually scary as in legitimately terrified. So I ask people on Facebook. What movie put you over the edge, the horror film that has left the most lasting impact on me his nightmare on elm street? The exorcist is the scariest movie I've ever seen. All eight away the entire terrified. My sister actually took our ouija board and throw it in the dumpster across the street from our house. I think I still may need some therapy to this day. I can't say freddy's full name. I can't look at pictures of him. I can't think about the movie in any detail for two months after I had to move a light into the corner that I could see for my bed or I wouldn't be able to sleep on frigging myself out right now who is going to be scarred by which movie depends on the person. But sociologists Margie curses kids are especially vulnerable for really young kids kids who haven't reached the stage of development where the understand what is fake, and what is real. So you know, they may see a person in a a witch costume and believe that they're really going to hurt them. So that's you know, two young at the. At that age too. We are remembering things that are scary. Really? Well, and that becomes the thing of huger nightmares. That kind of thing happened to listener Alex Schmidt. She had a really scary experience in a haunted. Maze. When she was a kid. She had a panic attack employees had to pull her out through an emergency exit. But as an adult she was able to get over that I decided to face my fears a couple years ago at an event called the great horror campout in Los Angeles where you camp out in tents overnight and monsters kind of common drag you out of your tent and do all these really scary things to you and believe it or not it actually worked after several hours of being in this situation. The monsters got kind of old, and I got used to them, and I had seen all of them multiple times. And I was like, I know you're deal. You're not scaring me anymore, and it actually kind of cured me. And now. I sort of like haunted houses, and I sort of like scary movies. So trying your fears. It actually might cure you probably to Alex. But I have to say when I was done going through that haunted house visited I could not wait to leave a never come back. Best noise ever. That's our show for this week the post production of WHYY in Philadelphia, you can find us on itunes, or whatever you get your podcast. Julian Harris is our intern our health and science reporters LSU list, hung and jets Lehman Charlie is our engineer. Lindsey Lazar ski producer, Alex turn the associate producer tiny English is our editorial director. I might can Scott. Thank you for the snake. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare WHYY's health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund, ph AMC gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

Dr David Sherry ASO Amar Mike Kirsten Janna WHYY Kansas City Alana Gordon Jeremy Kim Mary Kelly savannah Los Angeles Scott Philadelphia acute pain Molly Siegel Sutherland complex regional pain syndrome
Becoming a Mother

The Pulse

48:27 min | 1 year ago

Becoming a Mother

"Support for this WHYY podcast comes from the Philadelphia speaker series, presented by Thomas Jefferson university returning to the Kimmel center for seven evenings, featuring Seinfeld. Jason Alexander, John Kerry, Bob Woodward and others Philadelphia. Speakers dot org, supporting WHYY Penn Orthopaedics with advanced treatments for hip and knee arthritis and a personal patient. Navigation team the Penn Orthopaedics approach to joint pain is designed to help get you back to enjoying life. Again. More at Penn medicine dot org slash joints. Major funding for the pulse is provided by a leadership gift from the Sutherland family charitable fund. The Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science, I Mike and Scott motherhood is still very new for Elisa Ericsson. Yes. Nine nine and a half weeks now nine weeks. Yeah. So who do you have on your lap? So this is another Mike in everyone in Philadelphia's very excited, but there's another Mike in. So Mike and Fe. She was born January twelfth. Mike and is not happy. She. No, I can can I feed her. That's what you want. We're going to give the authentic new mom experience. The baby starts to nurse. And I ask Elisa how she's been feeling since becoming a mom her health. I was really surprised at kind of how much emphasis I think there is on being healthy during pregnancy and kind of not enough focus on what the physical recovery is like and your body is like super ravaged after birth. I really had to learn to give my body time to heal in a way that I haven't done in the past. So you know, I was home from the hospital and day to I wanted to take my dog for a walk, and it was really really hard to face. The fact that I couldn't do things like that. I think kind of mentally and emotionally you learn also very quickly that your body is in your own anymore. You don't have the luxury necessarily of being on your own schedule with your own ownership anymore, which again is. Super amazing. But also, I think has it's has it's tough like frustrating. Pain points. Elisa says overall, she's definitely taking very good care of herself. Now, I need to be the best version of myself. So I can be the best version of her mom, how about the joy of being a mom where there any elements of it that have surprised you so far. Yes. Basically, the whole thing has praised me just generally like how happy she has made me and how it is super fulfilling to be a mom. I also got to beat elisas mom, and Mike grandmother, Amy Pollock. She shared this memory very shortly. After I found out I was pregnant I started wearing a seatbelt, and I had never worn a seatbelt regularly until that time. And I think that it was the beginning of a mind shift that I was now responsible for another human being. Pregnancy and motherhood changes your lifestyle and your body in major ways as a society, we often focus on looks the ridiculous notion that you should immediately. Get your prepregnancy body back and show off your perfect, Avs. But they're all of these internal changes long lasting effects of motherhood that women have to get used to. I had knee problems after I had him feet problems. Mangsee definitely got worse because I was able to get anxious for both myself and for an about my son. I would get anxious about his nursing his eating taking him places. I had shingles I had hives and I had the flu. I remember being very tired. All the time on today's episode will dig into the impact of birth and motherhood on women's health. Let's start in the maternity ward. With those first few moments and days of motherhood, how moms and babies spend that time has changed a lot in recent decades. Newborns used to be separated from their mothers almost right away and sent to the hospital nursery, you've probably seen pictures of those rows of little bassinet s- behind viewing glass. But now more and more nurseries are empty and hospitals are keeping moms and babies together as much as possible jets Lehman looked into why. Baby Cala has the hiccups. It's the day after she was born mom Maria Mkhori is holding her in the hospital bed. She was with us for an hour before they even waiter, and then we wield up to the rim together, and she's been in here ever since she left at all for Maria. It's a comfort keeping her daughter close. It's definitely exhausting. But I'm glad she's here. I mean, I'm breastfeeding her. So it's nice to be able to to have a right here with me that makes it a lot easier. But yeah, I also can have that paranoid new mom thing. Even though she's our third, right? When I make sure she's breathing constantly, so keeping mom and baby together instead of using the nursery it's part of an initiative called baby friendly hospital. It's an international program that promotes breastfeeding. It's been adopted by hundreds of American birthing hospitals over the past decade for the Macoris. It was a blessing. But it's not so blissful for everyone. Julie kesselman. Became a mom a few months ago, it was a complicated birth and she ended up having a C section her baby was healthy. But mom wasn't. I was just incredibly sick. I developed a fever. I was vomiting and her newborn son was right there in the room with her. I remember feeling so distraught because I was just looking at him in the bassinet next to me, and I didn't even have the strength to pick him up in hold him. Her husband was there, but he was exhausted to and couldn't really move around. Because of a knee injury. Julie wanted to be there for her baby. But she says she didn't feel physically up to it. There were times that I would just start crying. Uncontrollably. And I think those were the moments that I really thought oh my gosh. I just sh I wish someone would just take him for an hour. Julia says sending her baby to the nursery didn't seem like it was even an option the hospital, she delivered in like at least one sixth of all American birthing hospitals is babe. Friendly designated baby friendly comes from W H O, and UNICEF it's aimed at increasing exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old that means no formula unless medically necessary. It calls for rooming in keeping mom and baby together as much as possible. So that when baby's hungry moms right there at breastfeed. I don't think anyone ever said, you know, the baby's going to be in the room with you the whole time. It's because we're baby-friendly. Julia says being together meant staying awake hour after hour all night all day. I heard a similar story from another mom who delivered at a different baby friendly hospital. I did the math, and I slept only five hours, and I think like four days she didn't want us to use her name because she felt humiliated by her experience her delivery was relatively smooth. But dad was working in another city. So mom was alone with her son. But I definitely got my second third and even ten wind while I was in there because I knew I had to be up and take care of him. Every time her baby went in the bassinet. He cried when he slept with her in the bed, nurses came in woke her up saying sleeping together was dangerous. Staff were coming and going performing tests on her baby. She wasn't producing much milk and wasn't given any formula. Basically. She couldn't catch a break. Okay. I don't know if you wanna put it in. It's kinda graphic. But there was one point where. I really had to go to the bathroom. But I didn't know what to do with the baby. I I was just freaking out and he was freaking out. So she relieved herself on the floor. I he no like, I don't have enough hands. Breastfeeding is important to lots of moms doctors agree. It's the best thing for moms and babies, but rooming in these sleepless nights right after delivery is that necessary and doctors are starting to worry about how safe all of this is couldn't exhausted mom fall asleep accidentally smother a baby or drop one, for example, one of the requirements is that eighty percent of the babies needs to be at least twenty three hours of the day with the mall. That's neonatologist and Ricky Gomez Pomare. He was struck by how strict baby-friendly policies seemed when they came to his hospital system in Meridian Mississippi in two thousand sixteen what happened when you have a mother that had a C station or what happened when you have a mother that was. Laboring for today's any success -ted on she wants to rest on show on somebody to help with baby on a duck points. She doesn't have a a significant other or she doesn't have somebody that can help in the room. I tell him week about those two moms we heard earlier and others. I talked to who had similar difficult experiences. He says these stories are common because giving moms a break taking healthy babies to the nursery is a ding against the baby friendly designation on the various refunder on their numbers on if you'll for example, debate demand said she wants to rest, then you take the baby to the nursery end in that case, I shouldn't things hospitals. All right. So baby-friendly what is it where did it come from? And why this focus on breastfeeding? On Trish McEnroe. I'm the chief executive officer of baby-friendly say there are a nonprofit in charge of implement. The international baby-friendly program in the United States. The go to hospitals train them in these ten steps to successful breastfeeding in exchange for a fee, it's a three year process in it's about approximately twelve thousand dollars for that three year period of time a baby friendly team goes to a hospital and make sure they're having mom's room in make sure the hospital isn't advertising commercial formula? And in general is really promoting the benefits of breastfeeding. And teaching moms had to do it. There's annual recertification, you know, old practices die hard. So even into syllogies that have gone through our process and have made the transformation even post designation. We asked them to continue to monitor their practices. So that they don't act side. I bring up with those moms told me how badly they just wanted to sleep. And the doctors concerns an ask basically, why not just offer up the nursery more make it feel more like an okay choice. The. -ality of mothers and babies being exhausted. May not the best answer may not always be separation. Mothers babies that might be one solution in that certainly should be used if necessary sometimes it is inviting the mother to have a support person alongside of her to help in through speed vigilant and be supportive than if the mom nods off that we can that support person can, you know, gently take the baby and put it back into a bassinet. So there's many many different solutions. She says really important bonding happens in those first hours after delivery mom start learning. How to be moms? How to listen to feeding cues from their babies if a baby doesn't start to breastfeed mom might not be able to produce milk later, if you just whisk the baby away give them formula while mom sleeps. You miss out on that. There's also anxiety lots of new moms dread being separated from their babies. Their mothers had reported that when their babies were in the Merced nursery, they'd hear crying down the home. They wondered if it was there. Baby. Plus formula costs about thirty dollars a week, while breast milk is free and always at the right temperature. Breastfeeding can also help moms lose the baby weight all of this is a complete one eighty from. How things were just a few decades ago babies were just taken away checked into the nursery automatically. No, one asked moms what they wanted and formula seemed like a gift from science into decent supreme day to day. The only formula designed for baby brain development compared to that. Breastfeeding was considered almost backward. For a lot of women. It wasn't even really a choice. It was just sort of you have your baby in the hospital, and then the nurses taken away to the nursery. They give it a bottle of formula. That's just go more through cheese. She's a researcher at the science history institute in Philadelphia and author of back to Brest it's about how breastfeeding has made a comeback in the United States. Jessica attracts baby friendly's origins to the fifties. And. A group called LA Leche league. A grassroots group of moms that pushed back against formula by the late seventies. They were well respected internationally known formula was still king in wealthy countries. But then major companies started marketing in the developing world that raised some major red flags if an area doesn't have access to clean water, for example. Like if it to ask people to buy formula that you need to mix with water that could then make their babies sick, UNICEF the WHO were holding meetings. Amid all this the league was there. We ended up with the ten steps to successful breastfeeding. The basis of baby-friendly it officially launched in nineteen Ninety-one and spread across the world. But it didn't catch on in the US at first, here's Trish, again, baby friendly's CEO, I would say that things really started to take off in in around two thousand and ten and that really. Came about because there was a recognition about the relationship between breastfeeding end childhood obesity prevention, and as this country really braced taking on that challenge in recognizing how the best one of the key strategies for addressing obesity prevention is getting infant feeding off to a really good start. When I ask WHO, UNICEF. Why exclusive breastfeeding is so important in the United States? They also bring up long-term benefits. Dozens of studies have shown breastfeeding linked to lower rates of obesity and a wide range of other diseases diabetes cancer, asthma. Some even seemed to find that breast milk makes kids smarter. A larger study finds a longer that a baby is nurse the higher their I q education and income when they grow up her about enough of these and breast milk can seem kind of magic. But with all these studies, you never have a true control group. You can't take a group of moms and. Randomly tell some to breastfeed and others not to without the control. You don't know if it's breast milk that's behind the benefits or angry, like mother's education and family income. That's Cynthia Colin a population health researcher at Ohio State University. She says researchers try to control for these differences. They call them confound IRS to minimize them. Her team looked for siblings in families where one kid was breastfed, and the other wasn't they found nearly eighteen hundred cases like this. What we found is that for the most part there were no association between breastfeeding and any of that out. There was no real difference between breast and formula fed when the kids were in the same family. I also spoke with social epidemiologist, Michael Kramer. He's been working on a massive breastfeeding study in eastern Europe, they randomized thirty one hospitals at some the implemented baby-friendly protocols, the others. They left alone. Initial breastfeeding rates were already high, but at the baby friendly, hospitals exclusive breastfeeding continued at seven times the rate of the control hospitals, more moms were breastfeeding. And for much longer a big part of baby-friendly is exclusive breastfeeding for a full six months. The study continued for two decades tracking these babies as they became teenagers. Here's what they found or more like what they didn't find we did not find any protective effect against obesity. We found no protective effect against allergic disease against high blood pressure or any metabolic indicators, which might be considered as precursors of type two diabetes. So what explains the benefits all those other studies found? Well, no, one knows for sure. But both the researchers say something else must be a play when it comes to breastfeeding that we don't understand yet. Maybe something more than what's in the milk, still every single mom. I spoke. Spoke with for the story even those opposed to baby friendly, they all have one thing in common. I am breastfeeding. And I still am aggressive at all four of my children progress beating which I am as well all of them breastfed. That's whether they believed breast milk was magic or only marginally better than formula. They say it's because they wanted to provide the absolute best for their babies. One of those new moms. We heard from earlier said that didn't mean she wasn't gonna use formula here, and there one of the nurse practitioners at OBGYN said to me formula fed babies, go to college too. So, you know, I'm all right with it. That's a good. Jets Lehman reported that story. Women are more open about postpartum depression, these days famous actresses and singers have been sharing their experiences. There's even a new drug to treat this issue. Even so not enough women are getting help when they're struggling and some women of color, say stereotypes, they face me. And they don't feel safe asking for help. Aneri Patani has the story. Arial Dickey always wanted to be a mom REO is twenty-seven and lives in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood with her partner and their daughter Oma. She's so sweet nurturing will like she sees me. Little Sach say what's wrong. Actual grab my face in kiss. It almost two. Green. Thinking back arial says when maternity leave ended and she had to go back to work. The separation was overwhelming at my job. I remembered walk like sometimes I would be with my by talking to my boss and things and I would have this impulse. I quit, you know, just because to me inet moments might time here isn't worth maybe away from her the feeling continued for months nice to have breakdowns in the bathroom about it. It was more than seperation anxiety. But REO says she didn't dare utter the words postpartum depression. She was afraid of what people would think. Oh, wait, postponing the pressure that me might wanna harm yourself in a baby. You know, like that whole thing. I was scared because it's just like what if they think I'm a danger to us. She felt like as a black woman. She might not get a second chance. She worried child welfare would. Soom? She's a bad mom, and what if they took OMO way is something that I've seen happen. Like seeing grownup Karen stories of moms that you know, they had their kid in the most loving home in fittest lightest thing now under investigation now yearly you know, just didn't seem like a risk. I was willing to take eventually the situation got so bad. She told her boss and they helped her get therapy. Many women don't have that type of support research shows women of color are up to three times more likely to suffer postpartum, depression, but less likely to get treatment. Alfie Brill noble is a psychiatrist at Georgetown, University Medical Center. She says it makes sense that black women worry about being judged more quickly and harshly women of color, what they're experiencing what they're reporting is either lived experience or these people they know or people in the neighborhood or people in the community, she researches depression in minority communities and the evidence is out there. Studies at the state and national level have found child welfare workers judge black mothers as unfit at a higher rate than white mothers. Even when they have the same -education, an income level this threat, just the idea that that might be leveraged me, having depression might be leveraged for someone to take my child from me, you know, I wouldn't be the one to be the person who takes the chance that fear can lead some women to hide their symptoms would got me into this line of work is just my passion for helping others in giving them a voice. That's I Asia. She works for a nonprofit in Philadelphia called the maternity care coalition. She does home visits with women who have a high risk pregnancy and screens them looking for signs of depression. The questionnaire includes statements like I've been able to laugh in the past seven days or I've been so unhappy, I have difficulty sleeping. I just client score. Each statement. A score above ten means. The woman might need mental health services. I should remember one client scored twenty two on the screening when she was pregnant. But after that same woman had the baby she scored zero like there were no problems at all. And I always see like a trend with a lot of my clients where if I did the screening before they had the baby they're they're truthful with a lot of their answers. But after they have the baby they're a little more afraid in little more timid about a month later Isha went to visit that mom again. She kind of broke down and was crying during our whole entire home visages because she's like I was lying to you. The first time you came out that really didn't need services, and I just didn't want to admit it to you and myself maternal health experts say under reporting postpartum depression is a huge problem. Psychiatrist Phibro noble adds, it would help for doctors. To learn more about a patient's cultural background and provide more personalized care. But there's another challenge the screening tools doctors use may not work as well for women of color. There were very few people of color or women of color in. Samples that helped us develop tools. And so what we're stuck with is tools that weren't necessarily developed with these cultural nuances in mind, they often have key words, like, depression or exile exiled, but different communities, use different language. So they'll say I have the blues in my feelings. I don't feel right something feels off. We have this old saying in in among southern African Americans where people will say net Nate wrong. But something right. You know, what I mean, it's just this uneasiness? So those are the kinds of things I've encountered with people with we'll sort of talk around depression. But nobody really wants to say that what they have is a mental illness like depression. Studies evaluating screening tools used for low income African American mothers found they don't catch as many women as they should researchers say it'd be better to use lower cutoff scores for women of color. So they don't fall through the cracks Porsches myth was one of those women who should have been identified and linked to help. She had her daughter. Ellie nineteen years ago. I really didn't have a connection with her. I didn't want to it was a time. When there weren't clear recommendations, directing doctors to screen all new mothers for depression, Porsche was eighteen then living away from her family for the first time, an inter relationship with an abusive partner, and I could not imagine in a million years while will breastfeed this baby. It was no way because we have to have a connected to me. And I just at the time being eighteen years old. I just didn't want that she'd always been told being a mom was a magical experience. But it didn't feel that way. She found herself crying more than the baby. She's crying all day me to bow frying together. It took Porsche six months to work up the courage to see care the when she did the doctor dismissed her symptoms as normal. I'm looking at him like is six months. Six seven months ahead. This baby is just not getting any better determined. She tried another clinic there, she finally got Medicaid. And counseling, slowly, she started feeling better. And soon she was connecting with Nelly. Today Porsche and her teenage daughter Nellie do their makeup together. It's a big production right lighting arrays swivel chair a black Cape. Like, the ones used at hair salons and at the end of it. They take rounds of self fees was Blake. I always make us be together a brunch AFA movie. I don't care what it is. I make sure that we have that connection. Now that she has it. She never wants to lose it again. That's Filadelfia inquirer reporter Aneri Patani. The story is part of a report in collaboration with the inquirer. For more information. Visit our website at WHYY dot org. Pregnancy and motherhood impact women's bodies and their health. And we wanted to hear your take on that. Here are some of the things women sent back to us. My name is Kuna I live in Washington DC. My cats are almost eleven months old and two and a half. That because my children are so young becoming a mother has affected my health in a bad way. I went for about nine months street without having a single full night's sleep in. That's just recently tapering off. And I did the same thing for about a year with my daughter and in between that I was pregnant so sleep was difficult. I've been tired, but I can see that. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. I also pick up more germs than I used to. So when my kids get sick, I tend to not get sick until the moment, they get better. And then I get laid out pretty significantly, for example, when my son was three months old I had shingles I had hives, and I had the flu all on top of each other the same time. So that's not normal for me. I'm usually really healthy. We asked women about the health effects of motherhood. Here's another recording we received. My name is Maureen Mooney. He is five months old, and he's sweet and happy and really awesome. I think the becoming a mother has made me healthier. First of all, I think I just don't have as much time to be unhealthy because our day to day has changed so much and rather than going out to dinner meeting up with friends all the time. You know, we're at home, and we're spending time as a family and hang out with the baby and any extra time that we have prioritized sleep more than anything else. So by default. I think that I'm a little bit healthier. Because of that. Hi, I'm Jen. Her tig. I'm a mom and a marketer. I've a son who's almost to his name is Sam we call him clam and he's pretty chill. Most of the time. I think that the biggest change for me was that you obviously don't have time to do anything for yourself because you're just so focused on like your child and their wellbeing a lot of things take a back seat. But they're still this like intense pressure. Whether it's from yourself or the media, and kind of these standards that we have in life in our culture in the US. But there's just this kind of intense pressure to like do all the things and to do all of them. Really? Well, so I'm a working mom. My husband also has a demanding fulltime job. Whereas he felt like he had to get up every day and go to work and work long hours. I felt like I had to do that. But also get up in the middle of the night with the baby and get up early and continue to breastfeed and figure out how to make that work with the demanding travel schedule for work, and I just don't think that that same pressure exists for fathers, and whether we do it to ourselves and kind of internalized that or it comes from the outside. It's still there. But then I think that there's something really magical special when you're able to kind of like look at your child and really appreciate everything they bring into your life. And and I think it makes you realize like nobody's perfect. You can't do every single thing. You just try your best. Est-? And maybe all of that, you know, like, although sleepless nights and the hard times are kind of worth it. We're talking about the different ways motherhood affects women's health. Let's take a look at a group of moms facing a lot of additional pressures women who give birth while incarcerated for them birth. And the hours afterwards are a brief moment of time to connect with their babies before they are separated. There's a new study from Johns Hopkins University that tracked pregnancies and pregnancy outcomes in more than half of the US prison system in one year of the study seven hundred and fifty three babies were born to incarcerated women here in Philadelphia. One jail is trying to ease the stress of separation by offering a program that keeps one part of the connection between mother and baby going Malcolm Burley has more on the warden's does their family mementos and placard. That means I'm not bossy Abbass Nancy Janetta as head of rivers. Correctional facility that's a county jail in Philadelphia with an inmate population of more than four hundred all of them. Wouldn't walks down empty corridor and through a series of security doors before entering unit g. As soon as she enters the chatter. Quiets nothing happens here without the warden's. Go ahead and she helped get the program up and running. The wooden marks of the back of the unit and a lots of room about the size of a large. Walk-in closet inside meets here. Jackson. Thank you. Serious twenty-seven has four kids. That's the sounded for pumping milk for her youngest a new baby girl. She's a cloth draped over her chest. And she's wearing a black job and fresh whites. Sneakers. In September zero delivered her baby at the hospital. She gave birth to a healthy daughter. But there was a bench warrant out for series rest stemming from an assault charge. And that's when reality set in. She knew she was headed to jail. When I was in a hospital. I was sold the press like I didn't want to eat or like sleep because they told me there. I was being taken away from her with so depressed going to pull sporran because I didn't know like how I would see my baby at the hospital corrections officer told Sierra about a program inside the jail that let's mom's supply breast milk to their babies at riverside. You're enrolled and became one of six nursing mothers in the program. It's one of the first of its kind in the country inside a county jail. Program when I come in here and light a clear loan grows. And then like big off the three times a day. In the program about a dozen jails nationwide now allow women to pump breast milk behind bars, the ideas to prevent painful gorge, Mond or swelling breasts. In other words, a policy of pump and dump not riverside here. Mothers taught breastfeeding education. They're allowed hand pumps and storage bags in their selves. There's an onsite nurse and Dula for consultation. And here's the big difference. The refrigerator milk is transported to the babies on the outside the program encourages a healthy start for the children, and it's about the physical and psychological wellbeing of the moms. And then also they provide a lot of feedback when they get back to the jail take pictures of the baby and the caregiver, and they'll talk about the baby and kind of them no end. Maybe there their other children that are in the home. So it really helps the mother feel like in some way, she's participating in that whole process of getting the milk to her baby. Which is kind of cool. That's click green from them attorney Kirk. In Philadelphia women who breastfeed are less likely to develop certain cancers and moms who breastfeed hope their child's immune system to better fight off. Respiratory digestive problems clip believes the bond between mother and child can be strengthened even when mom's physically apart behind bars jail. Actinium programs can also introduce the practice to women who perhaps never considered its benefits before they get that information. They really respond very positively really want. What's best for their child? That's true for the mom we met Sierra Jackson. She didn't breastfeed her first three children. But now she's asking a nurse to Google the price of breast pumps for. I would still have some type of connection with Mondo. We were still as the connection through the night milk. I never wanted to. The number of incarcerated women who participated in lactation programs is small, but researchers are trying to study the long term impact of breastfeeding. A recent study involved almost one hundred forty new mothers nurse, their children behind bars. When researchers checked in over three years, those women were fifty percent less likely to return to incarceration, that's compared to women released from the general prison population for warden Nancy G Annetta who helped put the program plays the data suggests there's an incentive for correctional departments to keep moms connected to their babies. These programs that are done here within that prison system itself are geared towards outside living outside the walls that they can continue on the right path with out on the street moms, we'll take these habits into their lives after jail. Syra Jackson was released from riverside January shortly after I met her and she still pumping for her daughter. I was Makame Burnley. He reports on women's health and economic insecurity for the fuller project for international reporting. We're talking about the impact of motherhood on women's health when hurricane Maria hit in September twenty seventeen the healthcare system and Puerto Rico fell apart many of the hospitals were not prepared for a disaster like this, and they either closed their doors entirely or the head to limit services. They offered to patients imagine giving birth as all of this is happening now one doctor wants to prepare pregnant women in case they go into labor during a storm. Irene as of brings us this story from Puerto Rico, you hire Melina Perez was eight months pregnant when hurricane Maria hit in her town of Cedra down trees and electric lines made roads impassable after the storm. You Harry says she wasn't too worried. She wasn't due for weeks, but just in case her husband role model. Avait Koto Hoon's landscaping business took his front loader and started to clear the debris Luminol of together. Now your. Forsee? So at least the hospitals would be accessible if an emergency occurred you hire a plan to deliver in a hospital in San Juan about forty five minutes away. She figured storm cleanup would be done by then then five days after the storm. She started having contractions the trip to sun one took twice as long as usual because the roads were such a mess, but who spoke on the jail. But as soon as we arrive, I see the whole first floor full of Sam because the hospitals unquote is near the beach. It's full of San I see broken glass clam the stews because they later is damaged on the floor attending to pregnant women was dark and the nurses had their pants and sleeved roll up because there was no air conditioning VI the hospital was only attending to emergencies. And you hire out wasn't quite ready to give birth role new hire drove home to see drug there. They stopped that you hire is mom's house and higher. Water broke job inside out. I was thinking. Wow. I did not prepare for this. I never even considered giving birth at home. There were no phones, no communication, but a Dula they'd worked with live nearby. And she came over someone fetched pediatrician cousin rolls through the grapevine. They heard an obstetrician lived in the neighborhood and knocked on his door. He brought his wife a nurse, Donald any. I'm expedient. Fickle. Didn't have my medical file. With me words, if at any point the doctor asked me something about my condition. I didn't know what to tell him there -mergency generator roared, another reminder of the chaos outside it all made her anxious. You'll get thou they meal, I was dealing out of fear. I wasn't yelling because of Bain yelled from fear. But this is a happy story after a brief labor. Rowley? Andro was born healthy it held under phone-in. You throw Landau us along awaited. A child we waited for him to us and look how he arrived the one and a half year old is squirming in his father's arms, and pointing into the lush jungle that grows just beyond the family's hilltop house. Book. Where's the bomb? Cat has father asks the bomb? Cannon question is not a large cat, but the front loader role used to clear the roads after the storm you hire says, it's her sons most favorite thing in the world. That this toddler was one of the unplanned home births that happened in the aftermath of hurricane Maria obstetrician and gynecologist Carmen zodiac says she heard several stories about babies born outside the hospital and that worried her for these women these was too stressful situation. So that was my opening experience Carmen works at the main public hospital in son Juan about six years ago. She introduced an untraditional approach to care for women with risk pregnancies the first of its kind and Puerto Rico, the model relies on group prenatal appointments rather than one on ones. It's called centering pregnancy. Hurricane Maria disrupted, many things on the island and the program was on hiatus. But Carman is restarting the sessions and thinks they can be adapted to teach hurricane preparedness. At a recent appointment nine pregnant women each with support person file into a small room in the hospital day. Komen day, wait themselves, della nurse. Okay. My way these they take their own blood pressure with a monitor so they are taking care of their own health. Right. Then by waiting themselves and telling the nurse their weight. So they are empowered. They are involving their care today. The group is discussing common irritations during pregnancy. As the facilitator Dion Qasir Vega, hands out cards each with a different anchor Vatian written on it. She tells them to act them out charade style. One of the women. Let's out an angry. Grunt? Morning mood swings. Dan confirms after the women guests. I get them. One woman says I can't even stand myself they act out headaches Woan feed aching backs constipation Dion Carmen, explain the science of what's happening to their bodies. It's an form the women are engaged and friendly. That's of w-what they gain and being part of a group their social support initially gynecologist Carmen soda introduced group appointments to Puerto Rico because the island has very high rates of babies born too early and underweight studies show when mom's participate in group appointments more babies are born closer to their due dates and at healthier weights. No, one knows exactly how the groups work. But Carman thinks they reduce stress which can hurt both moms and babies as this storm season approaches chill use the model to teach hurricane preparedness. And in that session. We're gonna discuss cases on we're gonna talk about how do you prepare for on plant home delivery, while do you cut the cord what things could you have like clean towels? Extra medication water. The women won't practice. Calming breathing. Exercises. Each expectant mom will receive a copy of her files in case. She finds herself delivering outside her regular hospital. They is to give the women practical know, how as well as the confidence to stay calm. If say a storm barrels toward the islands that goes of group Renita Carey's, basically, you're in control of your health and having formation of what to do with an emergency, labor and delivery. I think you've sim peace of mind Carmen did something similar during the height of the islands Zeka democ. She put all the diagnosed women together in a group and worked to address their concerns something she thinks helped moms cope. Yeah. Issue Aroha is one of the women in today's group. This is her second pregnancy and she's doing Tober hurricane season. She's all in on those value. One should always take precautions. Perhaps there's a hurricane, and there aren't many hospitals open. There's traffic. That's what this is important. She's all four getting pregnant women ready for an emergency. But OBGYN Carmen soda does. Not support scheduled home births. She thinks her dangerous, but she acknowledges that even the hospitals struggled after hurricane Maria Carmen was on duty in the labor room after the storm. There was no water, and she only had three sterile C-section kids because of the experiences with Maria the experience was in grain into our psyche. And I say that we have like community DST now that we leave. No, just huricane, but the aftermath the. Complete disruption of the power greed. Everybody's concerned. And a now we know that we need to be ready for these. That story was reported by Irena genre. And it was made possible in part by the fund for environmental journalism of the society of environmental journalists. Our episode is about the impact of pregnancy and motherhood on women's health. And we asked all of you to share your thoughts on this topic. Here's another recording. We received. Hello. My name is Joanna footmen age thirty eight. Yes, I'm thirty eight. I'm a mom and a wife, but I am a mom of two. Sweet boys aged six and sixteen month old was my first one. I'm early thirties averages raring to go ahead energy. And then my husband, and I we waited a little bit longer until we had our second, son. Say hi. My youngest Jeremiah a high. Jeremiah was a difficult pregnancy. And he was harder. My body. He was also heavier than his brother, but I know after head Jeremiah, I think Tron adept having kids and keeping up with my six year old son and trying to be a mom to infant even though you have all the help in the world kids. Look, the mommy, and both my kids are very attached to their mother, which is a blessing and curse things such a blessing. Are you a blessing? Say yes. Plastic. So it's still taking me. I mean, he's almost two and I'm still trying to found. I'm having him almost two years ago. I had knee problems after I had him feet problems, and generally a healthy person. But it took my body a little bit longer to heal because with my boys. I keep them their motivations for me. My husband get up in the morning, even if they are the ones looking at us interface and standing on her head or screaming into monitor the point of it is. Yes, as if it hasn't affected me, of course. But there's a stop me no way because I am a mother, and that's what I'm here for. That's show for this week. The pulse is a production of WHYY in Philadelphia. Our health and science reporters are Alan you bliss tongue jets Lehman and Steph yet, Jillian Harris is our intern. Charlie higher is our engineer. Lindsey Lazar skis. Our producer, Tanya English is our editorial director, I Mike and Scott. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare WHYY health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund, P H, M C gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

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The Impact of Isolation

The Pulse

49:00 min | 1 year ago

The Impact of Isolation

"This podcast is supported by PICO. Every year PICO empowers thousands of organizations to make a positive impact on our community from aiding those in need to creating new opportunities for growth in our region. Details at PICO dot com slash PICO powers. This podcast is supported by ardent theatre company, presenting seventy four seconds to judgment by Philadelphia. Playwright cash goings in this powerful and provocative new work. A jury has been deadlocked for over a week as they struggle to decide. What is justifiable homicide now through March third tickets at Arden theatre dot org or two one five nine two two one one two two major funding for the pulse is provided by a leadership gift from the Sutherland family charitable fund, the Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science I Mike and scotch in the eighteen hundreds people charged with crimes were locked up in large holding tax men women kids urge errors or petty Seve's. Everybody was together in one place. They were violent. They were disease ridden, they're awful, awful places. A group of Philadelphia advocates kept pushing for reform a more you main way to confine prisoners. They believe that people are good. They they were influenced by the Quaker belief in an inner light a sense of right and wrong that they believe all people carry. And so this building was an attempt to bring out the best character in every person. This building is eastern state penitentiary in Philadelphia it opened its doors in eighteen twenty nine I'm walking around with Sean Kelly. He's in charge of exhibits and tours here the things I think is most interesting about parts of the building. Like this. The prison has long been closed to museum now were in cellblock to there's a long hallway with a vaulted ceiling and skylights small crumbling cells on both sides, and you can see old iron beds in some each Sal at eastern state had a toilet at a time. When indoor plumbing was mostly unheard of. So this was supposed to be the good place. As was supposed to be the good place. It's up for debate. Whether it was the idea was to give inmates. Space to reflect on their lives, their choices in solitude. So they would take people who've been convicted of crimes and put them in solitary confinement with the belief. They would spend that time looking into their hearts, and they would become penitent. This is the world's first true penitentiary, but their their strategy was total isolation for the entire length of the sentence. Every single prisoner was isolated in a small cell all day long. And then for half an hour each morning and a half an hour each afternoon. They would open that door in the back of the cell and the folks could go outside into their own personal exercise yard, no contact or conversation with other inmates. They couldn't even see each other. No visitors. No newspapers nothing. They federalized. Silence. In this building to the point where the officers literally wore socks over there shoes. So there footsteps wouldn't ring in these hallways as he walked down the hallways. The prison had about a thousand cells and staff brought food to eat. Each inmate on cards and even that happened without a sound the role these carts down the corridors were standing in. And they covered the wheels the cart leathers will silently gun the gun the corridors and the inmates. They pushed back against the silence against the isolation. The loneliness it's an unnatural way to live and people rejected this there. There's this need that all of us have to communicate with other people to be heard inmates went to great lengths to connect with each other to make contact with someone like literally putting your face into a toilet bowl and yelling down directly into the sewer. So your voice could be heard in sells nearby. That's what people were driven to hear from this need to communicate the prison. Wardens kept logbooks and their entries speak to that desperation January twenty seven eighteen thirty five discover that six prisoners have been talking through holes made alongside of the hot water pipes may fourteen eighteen thirty seven earlier this. Morning and made six to nine and attempting to talk from the top of his room fell and broke his leg. Above the ankle punishments for trying to communicate word for Conan prisoners were beaten doused with cold water in the winter confined in total darkness tied to chairs gagged some died June twenty-seventh eighteen thirty three number one. Oh to having on several occasions got the men next to him talking and being detected in the act last evening. I ordered the straitjacket and the gag this. I saw put on about eight o'clock about nine o'clock. I was informed. They had found him in a lifeless state. I immediately went to him and found him warm, but with no pulse. We tried to bleed him and use a Monja and many other things but life was extinct. Despite the risks from the time the prison open to the time, it solitary model was abandoned in nineteen thirteen inmates. Never stopped trying to make their voices heard to break out of their isolation. People hate it. They can't stand. It. Humans are social animals. We are hard wired for connection we need social interaction. Much light. We need food and water to survive. On today's episode. We look into 'isolation and loneliness and how they impact our mental and physical health. All right. We're going to stay with this issue of 'isolation and prisons for awhile because prisons today still use solitary confinement about eighty thousand inmates in the US are held in solitary Claire shown talk to nine former prisoners about that experience. What we're about to here is an excerpt from documentary, she created with the American friends service committee. The whole week called the whole. The bucket became the box the van the chiller lock Maxine Maxine shoe, solitary confinement, solitary confinement, one person one sale. Basile that I lived in most term with six feet wide about nine feet long, the showers, probably like maybe seven feet maybe nine feet long, maybe nine by six five by nine. The cell was a windless sail. The wolves worse in the block cement the bed is concrete does a small concrete slab that says is your table and the floor. It was concrete. It was the sync with no stopper and a toilet. Everything is concrete and steel metal cement that was it. Solitary confinement is not a punishment handed down by judge or a jury. It's made by the warden or a prison board at their discretion. Once a convict is inside. There was a big door that closed in. You didn't hear anything outside of the door? And the first night that I was there hot so quiet, but very quickly the quiet becomes oppressive. Mostly what you're gonna hear your own breathing. You know, you might hear your heart rate pumping up. You could hear punks. What you hear is? Nothing other. There is no sound here. Solitary can create sensory deprivation he had nothing in their own. But you this. She a lonely body in a cell. This empty is hard to describe nothing emptiness. That's what solitary confinement is at the same time. It can overwhelm the senses coming onto the tear. It's a heavy steel door and it opens electrically which made you hit. They step in. And they just let it slam shut. All right. They walked on a tier they could comment boots hitting concrete and all the guards carry clubs hanging TOMS when they have a nice fakes against the wall. You hear banging Middel guys? Do this Bank screaming and yelling crying, Cobb reading constant threats. Crying bigly or believes the tree fluttering in the wind. You don't hear any of these sounds at all? A new confined to sell twenty three hours a day and twenty three hours and lock up. I was twenty four hours a day. I've spent seven and a half years in the control unit may be about twelve years in lockdown out of two hundred nine years in. It happens in Kentucky, Louisiana, California, New York. Every state in America uses solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is just as real as real could be it plays on your big time. And it could it could wipe the mind. What does it do to a person to be locked up in a nine by six room for weeks, months years alone? A life. Like that damage. You psychologically, you know, because human beings need to interact what each other are could hardly sleeve had insomnia waking up at night in the sweat panic attacks. I lost track of time does Lukasz turn it. Locked up this week at a witness. That's in the madness in between. I distrust, it a lot of my own perceptions. Begin to voices begin to see things. You. She sorta like something moved in yourself that there was somebody there. And you never knew what it was. And is nobody there. You know, I would try to hear things try to hear human voices. And sometimes I would imagine that I was hearing noises Moyes and some. You start hearing things it's not even safe and j yeah. Yeah. What nobody chancery? You wonder what he whispered about doing something to you? Where you say you Google crates? Tannoy sets in so just begins to collapse a new and what happens is K off insane. That story was produced by player show to hear more of her work. Check out her latest podcasts stepping up. We heard the voices of Hakeem Shaheed. Laura Whitehorn, Robert de LA low below so Nina, leave Manera Elba Mani Ray, Lukla served Tommy s car Siga Diano king ark Angel Rodriguez and Robert king Wilkerson. For years advocates have argued that solitary confinement should be completely banned in the US. They say it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment as described in the eighth amendment. So far federal courts have not been on their side. They acknowledged that solitary confinement can cost like logical harm. But they've essentially said it doesn't rise to the level of cruel and unusual punishment, but new research on the neurological effects of 'isolation could tip the balance Liz tongue has more. It's a Sunday afternoon and thousands of neuro scientists are mulling around the San Diego convention center. It's day three at this -ociety for neurosciences annual conference in competition for crowds is fierce. But on this Sunday one event has clearly grabbed the spotlight around table called solitary confinement, psychological and euro biological insights into ice. Solution. So I'm very happy to see you here. Their isolation is a critical issue in the United States. It's it's largely invisible that's Zygmunt. He's retired now but spent decades as neurology researcher and professor at the university of Pittsburgh. It was actually an amazing experience for us the room only held two hundred and fifty people and people were lined up outside waiting to get in. It was an improbable turnout for what kind of been an improbable project. Michael spent most of his multi decade career studying neuro degeneration caused by Parkinson's but about four years ago, he switched to a new mission investigating extreme isolation and its effects on the brain. Specifically, mouse brains, which Michael says a lot of people, especially potential funders. Do not seem to get essentially been told we're not interested. Fid what you're doing is totally irrelevant to the conditions of solitary confinement. You're studying laboratory animals we're talking about humans. There's no connection experiments involving mice are often a first step in research. But of course, in this case, they're probably will never be human subjects to be experimented on most people would never consent to being locked up for years on end. So that we could study their brains. Also, this wasn't the kind of research, we could just use brain scans the experiment required. Something a little more gruesome required to to take the brains out and few humans want to donate their brains while they're living. That's Michael's research partner. Richard SMI, he's a neuroscientist at Jefferson university in Philadelphia. The team have known each other for a while. But for Richard. This was not exactly an easy sell. I had no interest in this. Michael was persistent. He showed Richard all the research about what the most extreme version of 'isolation. Solitary confinement. Does to people psychologically, I often say that Michael Zygmunt is my social conscience and his passion really brought me into this. And and now we're spending a lot of time doing this since then it's become something of a passion project for Michael and Richard. They've kept it afloat by working in their spare time and enlisting graduate students for help. Now for years later. They're invading the fruits of their labours the biggest neuro science conference in the world and not only that they're sharing their data with everyone before they've had a chance to publish which Richard calls. Really unusual. You generally don't discuss your results with others ahead of time. Partly because researchers wanna be completely sure about their findings. But it's also because they don't want some other scientists to swipe their findings before they've had a chance to publish. But in this case, Richard and Michael had decided to make an exception. Because even though their work is far from done what they have found seems urgent. Eighty thousand people today are sitting in solitary confinement. And if our findings suggest that we are causing a physical problem, I find it sort of morally repugnant to hold that information, which could be used to alter something negative that we're doing to people because Michael Richard say that information could help answer the question of whether or not solitary confinement causes irreversible physical damage to the brain. If he answers. Yes, it could be the key to change in the court's opinion on solitary confinement. The final puzzle piece that shows it is in fact, cruel and unusual punishment. Now, I promise we will get to those findings. But first let's rewind bit and take a look at what exactly convinced these two neuro-scientists already decades into their careers to change their professional trajectories in favor of research. That you might even call activism. It all started about seven years ago at a California prison pelican bay about one hundred demonstrators gathered to show support for inmates at pelican bay state prison the prison hunger strike is to protest conditions in the states employment of a term solitary confinement policies. It was the state's first supermax, which means that used solitary confinement, not as temporary punishment. But basically as their main method of incarceration for some inmates that many years even decades in solitary in twenty twelve one of those inmates a guy named Todd Ashqar decided to file a lawsuit. So he wrote a letter to the center for constitutional rights, a nonprofit that fights for social change to the courts is letter arrived on the desk of the group's president university of Pittsburgh law. Professor duels, low bell. A key thing it said is that we're here on hunger strike, and we could really use a lawyer to turn this into a class action, solitary confinement was an issue that jewels had been working on for years, and my view then and now is to put people in this situation for any substantial period of time is cruel punishments. Just, you know, a basic assault on Uman dignity in the Uman person. But that's not how the court. Saw it for them damage has to be physical to be considered cool and unusual which gave gills and his client's idea. Why don't we try to approach this from a newer neural size perspective? Namely, what's the effect of this on a physical organ, then we the brain enlisted, a group of neuroscientists as expert witnesses who could testify to the fact that social connection isn't just something we enjoy it's a basic human need and depriving people of it can do physical harm. It was the first time. This kind of argument had ever been made a solitary confinement case, and it seems to have had an impact shortly after sending the briefs to pelican Bay's lawyers jewels got word they were ready to settle a big step toward ending long-term solitary confinement in California's prisons, the state has agreed to end the practice as it was a major victory in the legal fight against solitary confinement. But it was also important in another way. It connected like minded neuroscientist sparked. Kind of activist movement among them to use their research as a weapon against solitary confinement. One of those neuroscientist was Michael's Zigmund. So Michael roped in his buddy, Richard smeeting, and the two of them launched on this ambitious mouse research project, we've been hearing about their goal was simple to document the effects of isolation on the brain in a way that mimics the human experience of solitary confinement. Here's how the experiment works. They take a whole bunch of baby mice and raise them in a fun social environment, complete with toys and other baby mice to play with. Then once they reach adulthood a portion of the mice. The experimental group are removed to an isolated tank. The rest of them stay in their little mouse community there the control group after period of one two three months mice from both groups are youth and their brains compared under the microscope Richard and one of his students gave me a look at the slides at his lab in Philadelphia. So what are we looking at right now? So. This one is a new role in layoff. I of the motor cortex, that's Richards. PHD student v bull home he's sitting in front of a computer screen, tracing a blown up version of a single neurons, and you can see here we can rotated in three, and that's how we can see all the different processes as you go through any zoom in and out. So how long will this analysis take two day? Oh city days, and how many are you doing? So if we have five regions of the brain, he has to analyze five hundred cells to get one aunt too, and that's just for one time point, it's painstaking work. But by the fall of twenty eighteen the finish their nalysts. And we're ready to present it, which leads us back to that big society for neuroscience meeting. It was there in this room packed with two hundred fifty plus people that Richard got up and revealed what they had found which was that in the sensory and motor parts of the of the cortex of the mouse one month of isolating caused the neurons to shrink by about. Twenty percent neurons are basically the building blocks of the brain and communication between them is how our brains and nervous system function. So if you if a cell is smaller has less possibilities of interacting with its neighbors, which in turn could make brain function worse. More to. Richard says it's a real physical defect that's been caused by the isolation. If we put someone into prison, and we took off twenty percent of their arm. And and that's just a natural consequence of you having to be there. People would be outraged and say you can't do that. That's that's torture. But if we are putting people into the situation and their neurons these which is a structural part of the brain are shrinking twenty percent. You can't see that from the outside. And even though this was mouse research and the findings are preliminary. It was an argument that one over the crowd at the conference Michael says at the end, they got a standing ovation from the crowd. It was really incredible. And it was very clear that we had literally touched a nerve in people who saw that the kind of work that we were doing and that they could infants will be doing as well had some immediate social implications. This was not simply. Theoretical work. This is something that could affect humans today with easy radical how it will play out as part of a larger legal argument against solitary confinement for now the courts don't accept animal research as evidence for facts on humans, but Michael and Richard are hoping that'll change. Loose tongue reported that story. So we've heard from researchers we've heard from former inmates and heard from activists who are opposed to 'isolation, but many prisoner ficials say they need solitary confinement and 'isolation cells to keep staff and inmates safe in often violent prison settings. And they say it's an effective way to discipline prisoners. Surely more Smeal is the executive deputy secretary for the Pennsylvania department of corrections in her more than thirty years in the department. She's seen a shift to move away from solitary confinement. But she says it remains a fundamental part of the correctional system. I do believe that it's a necessary part of being in prison. I believe that to say that restrictive housing is not needed in prisons is same as saying that, you know, correctional facilities are not needed in society. There's always going to be a need to confine some people at a higher degree. Than others. And that's for the greater good of everybody for the safety and security of everybody. So I can see a reduction in the us. There's definitely a movement towards that. But totally limitation. Am not. So sure that that's where we would get to anytime soon. That's surely Moore's meal from the Pennsylvania department of corrections. And these conversations about the use of solitary confinement are happening all over the country. Many states are reducing the use of solitary confinement or considering it especially among juvenile inmates or inmates with mental health issues. talking about the impact off loneliness. So far we've been hearing about 'isolation and prison. But now, let's turn to feeling lonely or isolated at home, and you relationship in your life your motion pet and Ted Davis have been married for more than fifty years. But recently, an illness has changed Ted. And now Pat finds herself in a marriage. She doesn't recognize Martine show. Sorry has their story. But they've is is preparing breakfast for her husband Ted normally by the time. They sit down to eat the newspaper has come. It gives them something to talk about. But today the papers late. Let's see. Well, we can talk about the grandchildren. But even that this not much that hoses interest anymore not much. He wants to talk about. He was always a quiet person. But at least you could engage him in conversation. Now, it's it's it's almost like, you're still alone. When when you with him, do you remember when we started dating? Yes. Seniors in high school, universities, right? We were Pat and Ted have been married for fifty three years. Now, they raised three children made it through thick and thin. But after Ted retired their relationship changed. Actually, Pat says Ted changed I could see this look on his face. He'd be someplace far away. And he would be so sad looking that was just. It just made me feel so horrible in so helpless to do anything for him later on Pat noticed something else about Ted's behavior. It wasn't just as mood. I would come home and doors would be left open in the wintertime outdoors. You know, and he would not realize that he had left a door open one day he showed up at the hospital where Pat was a medical library. And he said, why aren't you home? And I said, no, I'm not supposed to be home yet. He's just you are and that really upset him and that really upset me. So that was sort of like the defining thing. Pat realized the problem was much bigger than simple, forgetful, nece, they saw psychiatrists and Psychopharmacologists. And it took time today knows Ted. But all the changes Pat had observed there were early signs of dementia. Everything is new to him everything you tell him is new. You know, you asked me what can get me down. Oh my God. When you sing the same thing. Ten times list. Than twenty minutes is like what day is what time is it. What are we doing today? Dementia has now settled in with patent Ted for good it lives in their house. It's right there on the tablet showing the day of the week and time of day to keep Ted oriented when Pat leaves the house, she writes, notes, Ted. So he knows where she's gone Ted can still walk the dog by himself. He just might do it multiple times in a row because he forgets he's already done it. It's been over ten years since the signs of dementia showed up in their lives. But once in a while the old Ted is still present and clever like with puns like yesterday. I said, oh, would you put this bracelet on it took the bracelet and put it on the top of my hand? He said we put it on. Oh, jeez. Pet says becoming a caregiver has been a series of just moments not just in their home. But in their marriage to I'm the cultural director, I'm the for. I'm the the chef I get to do it all and the person suddenly goes from non only taking care of whatever their regular demands were. But now they have to make all the decisions for someone else. Psychologists Donna Jackson runs programs for families dealing with dementia in Massachusetts. We're patented live part of the reason I got into the work overtime when I heard that people just weren't enjoying themselves anymore. They weren't getting out into their community. But they're they're real reasons. Why people don't go out there stigma their loved one may become more anxious? If the environment is too loud or too stimulating or they're too many demands on them does her best to maintain her social life. She voluntee-. Here's at her church and of the public library and twice a month. Pat, intead go to the local senior center together Ted meets with other dementia. Patients for facilitated group discussion. Meanwhile, Pat heads to the caregiver support group. At first Pat says she felt out of place. She didn't think she needed outside help. But now she has friends here. The understand how much marriage has to change. We try to help each other with work arounds, and those are probably called fits the talk a lot about fillets strategies that don't harm but can keep Titcombe and safe like that day. He wanted to drive his truck I'd say to him which let me drive the truck. He said why I I don't drive stickshift anymore, and I have to keep up my skills. Well, that wasn't true. Ted ended up letting her drive the truck, but for caregivers. It can be hard to get used to the white lights for years. They'd be in the marriages would norms and rules. They developed together as a couple now the caregivers around their own people grieve in deal with trauma best in a community. That's psychologist. Don jackson. Again, you see that. When people go through, you know, natural disasters in war. They he'll better when they have naturalistic community supports, and that is what might still be missing for many caregivers. The ability to socialize normally in ways that feel more natural than support groups because the end of the day for pot. The words are still few and far between it's just like dragging words out of him. And it's just easier. One of the things I've done is instead of our eating dinner at the dinner table, I'll put up TV tables, and we'll watch the news, but it would be nice to be able to have a conversation with somebody. So sometimes I feel like I'm a motormouth like right now because I just somebody's willing to listen some of the bowling to have a conversation with me loneliness still finds its way into the smallest nooks and crevices left by silence. Even when you've had a full day. Even when you're keeping busy, I feel alone. Because I'm thinking, you know, I'm here with somebody else. It's like being alone, you know, and especially now goes to bed seven or eight at night every night after the dinner in front of the TV that helps her husband get ready for bed. Sometimes I'm not sure it's loneliness. I feel it's like way to all the years. Go. Now read a point where it's it's not going to get better. It's just only gonna keep going down. You know, like how much more do? I wanna know. I've got here. Do I wanna know how much time is left? I've lived two thirds of my life. If I lived to be hundred. So the best is behind me, or is it is they're going to be anything in the future. That story was reported by Martine show. Art. sometimes salaciously is imposed by an illness. Sick person has to be kept away from other people to avoid infections contagion in twenty fifteen. Kate O'Brien had a cough. She just couldn't shake she was feeling awful. And then she started to cough up blood. She was also pregnant at the time, and she had a toddler at home. So she was exhausted test after test revealed nothing and she was losing weight. But Kate and her doctor were reluctant to do a chest. X Ray may concern is always the baby the baby the baby eventually her symptoms. Got so bad. She ended up in the hospital and turns out she had to book your low ses a contagious lung disease, suddenly doctors and nurses were rushing around. And wearing masks and gloves, and they told cage she had to move into a different area of the hospital away from everybody they use the term 'isolation more than quarantine. But quarantine is exactly what it is. I knew that Bricusse infectious. I knew that this was like a disease that was airborne the movie into this room in the middle of the ICU that was like all glass to says doors, I could not see the hallway I couldn't see other people like if felt like a jail cell to chunk chunk a felt really removed because it was removed. My very aired that I was breathing was being taken out a different way and everybody else's air. You know? Oh my gosh. It was so boring. So the problem isn't really that feeling of the walls closing in and having to stay in bed because I wanted to stay in bed. Anyway, it was really crushing loneliness. Like that was the hardest part. I'm sure there's introverts out there that might have been okay with that. But I am not one of them. I love people people people people love them. But one thing too that was that was kind of heartbreaking and heart for me was watching the ear doctors and staff just come in the morning and take off their coats and take up gloves, hats and coffee with them. And they were just talking to each other. And I wanted that so bad. I just wanted to complain about the weather, and I just wanted to like high five someone touch someone and have a Camry about a shared experience instead of experience where I was nobody do it was like, I was so totally. Alone. Kate did have visitors but only the people closest to her and they have to wear masks, my husband, and my parents were saints through this process and came to visit me constantly my sisters came to visit me constantly, but I didn't see my son for the entire the entire treatment from January to table. I went in when he was two and a half. And that was it was it was it was terrible. It was terribly terribly hard. I didn't feel right about him coming into visit me, I just looked so terrible. I looked like a giant spider like my arms and legs were so skinny and thin, and I had cords going all through my body. And my belly was this huge abdomen. I didn't want him seeing me like that. That was an amazing day the day that I was gonna wanna potatoes. Everybody came in the room without masks on they open both doors. It was like a movie, and I could cry just telling you about it. I heard so much noise. It was so much louder just hearing the hallway and just seeing everybody's chin was like amazing. And I just kept crying. The more people came in every was more beautiful than the next a whole season changed when I was in the hospital. I went in January and it came out in April day got to leave. It was beautiful out. It was spring. My son was in the lobby waiting for me. And it was it was just amazing. He was right there. And and I was so worried he was my son wasn't gonna recognize me or something. I don't know had some weird. I told my dad and my husband, not take pictures or video when he was there because I was afraid it wouldn't be a nice reaction, and I would cry and I wouldn't want video of it. But they knew me, and they didn't listen to me. And so we have a video of him just like running. And this to you. I missed so much mommy's all better. I look at it all the time. With. A few weeks after Kate O'Brien was released she gave birth to her second child a healthy baby boy in the same hospital where she was quarantined Jen Kinney produced her story. Historically, medical quarantine has also been used on a broad scale as a preemptive measure to keep entire communities safe history. Professor Alan crowd says this practice came into being long before people really understood how illnesses spread where knew anything about germs and viruses. One of the things that people thought they observed was that when individuals came from other parts of the world, and we're turning after a trip that illness often came with them and so- speculation began that you really have to do something in order to protect the community from what what might be coming from other places Allen teaches at American University in Washington DC. He says the practice of quarantining people started during the times of the black death the plague which wiped out about a third of the European population. Well, the idea was you separated those who are returning from the native. Born population for a period of time you kept people separated for forty days in talian quarantine ah in the hopes that they would not show symptoms of illness. And if they didn't show those symptoms, you could admit them to the community. So if you were in dead or really sick after forty days, you are ok p were judged. Okay. That's right over the course of history quarantine has also been away to single out. Certain people are to blame them for for outbreaks. Give me some examples of that show, for example in the eighteen thirties. There's a cholera epidemic that sweeps across the east coast of the United States. The Irish are blamed for that in nineteen sixteen. There's a polio epidemic Italian immigrants are named the cause of that. To Berkeley, Los is regularly called either the Taylor's disease with Jewish. Z's? And so one of the ways of expressing nativist perspective is to Marshall a scientific or medical explanation for why folks shouldn't be admitted your community. What are some other examples? I'm thinking, for example, about the way Canada quarantine people in response to SARS in two thousand three or how some countries we reacted to the aids epidemic will acts right? I mean, one of the things that happened in in the course of the aids epidemic is that. There was an effort to quarantine individuals some Haitians they were quarantine deck one Konamabaye to prevent them from coming to the United States because the centers for disease control in Atlanta. Classified Haitians is a high risk group for HIV aids. And that high risk categorization was rescinded in nineteen ninety five but not before there was a tremendous amount of stigmatization and a bad treatment of the Haitians in general quarantine was one of the instruments that were used because individuals were being stigmatized for those diseases whether or not there was evidence that they had contracted any diseases. Alan crowd is a professor of history at American University in Washington DC. You're listening to the pulse. We've been talking about loneliness, and how the lack of social contact affects us imagine, you're on another planet, slowly, climbing up the side of a mountain for years with nothing, but dust and rocks for company. That's what life is like for one robot. Its name is curiosity, and it's one of the robots with wheels. That NASA calls Rovers. This is a lonely Rover. Not the lost Rover. We've heard so much about recently, Allah, new brings us this story of curiosity, and it's Uman fans. One year off the curiosity arrived on malls the team at NASA marked the occasion by having the Rover play a song. I didn't think that people would attention to. Florence ten eight deputy chief technologist at NASA. She came up with the idea, but it wasn't quite received. Like the team fault. People would talking about poor prorogue is anyone else crying? That's the saddest birthday song. I ever heard the YouTube video got more than one point two million views, and this is how lots of the comments felt happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. I'm so very lonely. Happy birthday to me. That's awesome. Win the Sava the project scientist for curiosity. I asked him to read some of the reactions that so depressing singing to self and it only hear the music echoing through the empty Martian landscape. And then there was this one. It's literally inanimate object. Why am I still crying OSH win says he kind of gets where people are coming from? It's gotta be pretty lonely where curiosity is in this vast crater. Her with absolutely nothing, except the you know, the sound of the wind and dust blowing around. That's a recording of Moshen wind Naza changed. It a little to make it. Audible sure, it's desolate on laws, but often says we shouldn't be too worried the humans at NAS they in touch with curiosity. We say hi to it every morning, and and give it some productive things to do. So it's got some friends, but they're just not, you know, directly you're around it technologist Florence ten says, she does have an emotional reaction when she sees curiosity. But the her that emotion is pride when I look at curiousity. I look at it as you know, I put that on Mars. You know, I did that. And it's it's great and we're getting great science in. And it's also encouraging the Knicks group of of young people to be excited. Right. It's giving people a sense of I could do this to there's an interesting backstory. So how the Rover came to play a song? And even that is really out the robot's core function. Of doing science curiosities studies. What chemicals are on laws? The Rufus scoops up a little bit of Moshen thirt- burns. It's vapor then sends the puts various senses inside it. That's how you found out. Moss has some ancient chemical ingredients for life like nitrogen and common the team prepared for all sorts of problems. Like what if the Moshen third clogs pipes to avoid that scientists programs the robot? So the contain is holding the shake that way that doesn't get stuck solve with -veloping. Tom Nolan had to test the Shaka by having vibrate. And for a little extra fund. He had not just viper but vibrate rhythmically. It's doing what the shaker was designed to do. But doing an kind of an unexpected way. Thome is phone says husband, and they made it play twinkle twinkle little stop and Beethoven's fur Elise. As a test in their lab. Everybody was just bent over laughing. They thought this was the most areas thing piece of play space flight hardware that was playing a little song. I guess it's engineer humor. And that's how curiosity was able to play birthdays onto itself. Planetary scientists. Tony Harrison says people may have had a strong reaction. So that lonely song because Rovers have eyes and arms. You can think of it as something that is alive in some way. And it's acting as this emissary for us as humans on Mars. We can't get there ourselves. Just yet. She worked on the previous malls Rover for also. And she says an emotional connection can be good lost you when the most Rover opportunity lost contact with earth. The public rallied behind the little Rover to get off to save it a lot of effort for NASA in terms of funding in what they decide to do really hinges on what the public is interested in gauged and lost week. She was when awesome made one lost efforts to try and get in touch with paternity. Everybody went silent. N just waited watched the little screen where you would see a blip come up if we had. Heard something from the Rover kind of like, you know, watching for a heartbeat on a heart monitor or something like that. It didn't come. The lost message opportunity sent Bak was cold hot data on celebratory power readings. But the general public imprint eight different interpretation my battery is low and it's getting dark. The fact that people took that and tried to turn it into something very poetic coming from this machine on another planet. I think shows how much we're moaning with it. And were you know, embodying it with motions Masa? The European Space Agency in China our own planning to send new Rovers to moss curiosity might not be all alone on the red planet for much Longa. Reported that story. That's our show for this week the pulses production of WHYY in Philadelphia. Our health and science reporters are Allen, you list, hung and jets Lehman Julian Harris is our intern. We had help producing this week show from gen Kinney. Charlie higher is our engineer Lindsey Lazar scales. Our producer, Tanya English is our editorial director, I Mike and Scott. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare WHYY's health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund, P H, M C gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

Ted Davis Pat United States Michael Philadelphia Michael Richard Rovers Kate O'Brien NASA WHYY California PICO university of Pittsburgh Mike Richards PICO dot professor Professor Alan crowd American University Washington DC
Identity

The Pulse

48:42 min | 1 year ago

Identity

"Supporting WHYY Wells Fargo celebrating national homeownership month and the thousands of Hispanic and African American families who've become homeowners through the banks minority homeownership commitment. More at stories dot W, F dot com. Major funding for the pulses provided by leadership gift from the Sutherland family, the Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heartfelt and science. I Mike and Scott, you don't look to ish, people set that to Danny Shapiro all the time when she was little Danny grew up in the jersey suburbs of New York, her parents were orthodox Jews, she's blonde with blue eyes. I did look so different. I always felt there was a secret but I didn't know the secret was me. Danny kept thinking a lot about family and upbringing as she got older. She wrote several memoirs one about trying to reconnect to her family's Jewish faith. She had portrait's offer ancestors hanging on her Wald's then a couple of years ago. Danny's husband got interested in genealogy ancestry dot com. And he said, hey, why don't you try this? So Danny split into the vile more as a joke, and she got her results back. She looked them over and she was startled. Okay. Wait a minute. This is showing that I'm fifty two percent eastern European Ashkenazi, and the rest is this smattering of western European countries. She thought she would be a hundred percent. He then she got a notice from ancestry dot com. You have a first cousin who's also on the site here their initials. I knew all my first cousins, and here was this first cousin who had unfamiliar initials. It was a complete stranger to me. Danny was getting suspicious. Something wasn't right. So she reached out to her half sister from her father's previous marriage that half sister had also done a DNA test a couple of years earlier. She sent her her results we compared the two kits and we were not sisters, Danny was not who she thought she was her whole life. She had felt really connected to her ancestors. And suddenly, I wasn't her sense of identity had been shattered who was. She now. So that was this kind of profound loss. It was like losing an entire half of me. In some way, it was a rootlessness. Our identities. Have lots of components from DNA to looks our communities, ethnic backgrounds are professional affiliations to our religious beliefs. It's a big part of our personal narrative on this episode we explore how our sense of identity defines, who we are. And what happens when that identity is challenged? So Danny Shapiro has just found out. She is not who she thought she was her. Parents are both dead. Nobody else in her family's seems to know anything she racks, her memory for any clues and she remembers a conversation. She had with her mother in the nineteen eighties. Danny was twenty-five them, and she had taken her mom to an event at her graduate school near New York City. She introduced her mom to one of her friends. My mother said, oh, Rachel very nice to meet you. Where are you from and Rachel said Philadelphia and my mother responded by saying, oh my daughter was conceived in Philadelphia. Danny said, what are you talking about mom? I never heard that. And her mom said, oh, you don't wanna know. It's not a pretty story later, that night when Danny was driving her mother home. She kept asking her. Her mother said, only a few things. She told me that there was a. A world famous institute in Philadelphia. And that there was a doctor who ran that institute, who was famous for having pioneered, a method by which a woman could pinpoint precisely when she was obviating, and that she and my father had trouble conceiving me. And they had gone to this institute that my father had slow sperm that was the phrase, she used and that it was there that they did as she referred to it. The procedure the procedure was artificial insemination, still a somewhat new frontier in the nineteen sixties when Danny was born. She said, I would call your father in New York City where he worked, and he would come racing to Philadelphia in order to do the procedure. Now, Danny is thinking about this long ago, conversation trying to digest the new genetic information she has just gotten. She's trying to figure it all out Philadelphia, the institute the procedure. She. She hops online. Well, it was just a couple of Google strokes, really. It took very very little time. I'll comes the ferris institute for parenthood which was run by Edmund ferris a scientist, who did a lot of work on off relation and who specialized in male infertility, scientists and doctors started experimenting with artificial insemination in the nineteenth century, but male infertility was very much a tub topic since masculinity virility and fertility were thought to go hand in hat the idea is that if you were capable of having sex if you were man you were fertile Margaret marshes a historian, and she co authored three books about the history of fragility medicine with her sister, Wanda Rauner, who's an OBGYN was very controversial. They had the technology to do it. Microscopes look at the sperm, but even up until the nineteen thirties. There were some infertility specialists who said, oh, no men are rarely the cause of infertility physicians who were doing artificial insemination at the time tried to concentrate immense sperm. If that didn't work if they needed donor sperm. It was usually kept quiet. There were some doctors who advised women not to even tell their husbands. Really, why? Yes. Because the, the fear was that the husband would reject the baby. Margaret says that was more the exception. Most doctors did tell both parents and made it clear that donor sperm would be used, but they did try to create ambiguity. They mix sperm from the husband and a donor to introduce uncertainty. And they used donors who resembled the husbands. But there never were any questions raised about. Wow. Is this child couldn't be? Caring who his or her genetic father was many of the donors were med students or grad students working in a lab. A lot of times the doctors didn't even keep records later records of who the donors were Danny. Shapiro is learning all of this as she researchers her mother's fertility procedure. She sees the euphemistic language that doctors are using talking about treatment boosting chances of having a child. If the procedure was successful the advice to women or couples was pretty much forget that had ever happened and the donors, no big deal you helping a family have a child, you're making a couple of bucks, there was guaranteed anonymity. The thought that there might be a future in which, you know, people could spit into plastic vials, and send them off through the mail, and get their DNA mapped and be identifiable to each other. And with this thing called the internet. I mean, all of this would have been pure science fiction. Danny realizes that the donor who is responsible for half of her DNA probably was a med student. It only took me thirty six hours to zero in on my biological. Father, just with a few clues. The most important clue is the first cousin that popped up on her ancestry page. Danny finds him on Facebook ad leads her to his mother's obituary, which mentioned to survive in brothers. One of them is a physician who went to med school in Philadelphia. She watches a video of him on YouTube, her husband recognizes gestures and facial expressions. It's all completely overwhelming. Danny starts typing out an Email to the stranger. I recently took a DNA test as nothing more than a lark. I have always believed my parents to be my biological parents. But now, I have reason to believe that you may be my biological. Father. I'm going to send you. She had emailed, the right man when he receives the Email his in shock he had donated sperm all those years ago as a very young man. And then he just never thought about it again. He hits delete Danny reaches out again. And eventually, he writes back, he tells Danny, honestly, the thought that I had other biological children out there, meaning other than the children that he and his wife raised honestly, never occurred to me. He says he doesn't wanna meet then reconsiders finally, they get together for launch with both of their spouses present Danny. And this man look at each other there's some recognition when when I met him the feeling that I had about him was that he was very familiar to me that, that expression cut from the same cloth. I felt that they talk for hours and decide to stay in touch, and the man she called fath. Further her entire life. I believe that my dad knew in her research. She found that both parents signed papers at the ferris institute that were clear about using donor sperm, and that I was born and looked nothing. Like my dad or his family, Danny says discovering her history that biological part of herself answered lots of questions about her identity, and that nagging feeling of being different but it doesn't change how she feels about her father. My dad loved me and I loved him. And I think that's why I'm sitting here after she pieced together. This whole history Danny goes to visit her father sister, and she tells her aunt everything all the clues the pieces, and finally says, dad, isn't my biological father her, and grabs her hand and reassures her. She says you take something that isn't your own and breathe life into it. You create it. And it becomes your creation. Danny says her story is an example of how complicated identity really is. And that's an issue, she says persists with reproductive medicine today. It is the desire to simplify something that is actually really complex. It's a wonderful thing that there's all sorts of different ways that all different kinds of, of couples can make families. It's wonderful. It just also is complex. Shapiro wrote a book about her experience. It's called inheritance. A memoir of genealogy paternity and love historian. Margaret Mars latest book is the pursuit of parenthood. You're listening to the pulse. I Mike in Scott end we're talking about identity. What happens when our sense of self is challenged when you do a DNA test, you get a percentage breakdown of your ancestry. Sometimes they even include a map of where in the world, you might have ancestors. It paints a more nuanced picture than the boxes. We check on the census or for job applications white Hispanic African American Asian. Just having the insight to our DNA the recipe of what makes us human gives us a whole different sense, because it connects us in a way that we hadn't been connected before, that's of Fomin, she's a professor at West Chester university in Pennsylvania, where she started an initiative called the DNA discussion project. I mean we all have DNA and while we place ourselves in these, discreet little boxes are DNA is ninety nine point nine percent. The same and so. We start from the sense of human identity. Genetically, we are ninety nine point nine percent the same. But yet, we focus so much on what makes us different. Anita's ancestry, is often a better way to speak about our differences than race or ethnicity aren't done diversity training over the last thirty five years. And I cannot tell you how many times you get called in, because some awful thing has happened somebody call somebody, a name, somebody did something insensitive, and you go into diversity training and everybody is coming in kicking and screaming. When we approach this with the ancestry DNA we're coming in with an entirely different attitude. We're coming in talking about inclusiveness and we're coming in with a level playing field. And so it's just such a much more exciting way to talk about a variety. Give me an example of how a DNA test turns into a classroom discussion. Okay. One of the things that we do is have everybody at tested at beginning of the semester. We have lots of discussions about race and social construction and all of that. And then the results come back by had a young man in my class identified, as white, and he said there'd been a story and his family that is great, great grandmother, was black and had given up her child, so the child to have a better life and he found three percent African ancestry. And so that story was really verified. I had another student in my class who said that her family said a lot of negative things about Asians. And then she turned up with, like thirteen a significant chunk of Asian and her background. And we think that maybe some of that prejudice was covering for the prejudices around them and, and trying to pass. And so there's lots of discussion among and between students about what it means. And it's just so exciting and then compare it to what's going on in society and conversations about race. So it just builds and builds do you think our overall? Russians have changed though given this knowledge that we really understand that the categories that I'm checking on the census that all of us check that are used in research that we use every single day, those categories, really don't make a lot of sense. One of the first things that we found that we were exploring and it is that people do not change their identification because of the tests, you'll test somebody, and they find something that is totally unexpected. And then they just down in their identity. I had a young man who identifies as Irish Irish Irish and his background came up as British. And he said, yeah, I'm testing. Let's get rid of that. And so we actually find that people do not how ever they do. Add this information to their narratives over time and Nita is not saying that the identities or boxes, we check our meaningless. If you were talking about mass incarceration, if you were talking about income. Mhm inequality. You need to talk about race in some particular ways that are socially constructed if you were talking about medicine and how you target medicine you need to talk about race in a different way. And so, when we talk about social construction, we're saying, how useful is this definition, does it help us, and when it helps us gain insight and understanding, we should use it. If it is not helping us if it's limiting us than we need to reconstruct it in different ways the world, just is, so we have to construct it through language or whatever, but we need to continually revisit how we constructed and Nita says looking at DNA and ancestry those percentages, and where the world, your ancestors came from it could give us more appreciation of our shared human history of suffering, and Mike ration-. I think we are joined as human beings in that human history as grizzly people don't leave a place because if everything was great, there's a lot. Of famine and poverty and war. And I think having that conversation that connects us is important. And I think it helps us realise that we have to make choices about moving forward in, in positive ways, and Nita Fohmann leads the DNA discussion project at West Chester university in Pennsylvania. There's the aspect of how we think about our own identity and ancestry. And then how others view us the Asian arts initiative in Philadelphia recently hosted a workshop titled claiming your identity, where people could have an open, and honest conversation about who they are. You know, it's, it's really, really tricky. And how do you put it in chills? Michelle Fuji's the co founder of unit. Zo Jew a drum performance troupe from Portland, Oregon. She says it's tricky because identity has so many components. You know, I could give adjectives of my own character. I could also talk about my horoscope. The fact I'm an only child family structures, define who we are. Also geographic, you know, I'm, I'm a west coast, girl for me. This idea of otherness has weighed heavily upon the I'm a Japanese American fourth generation, Michelle's grandpa. Parents were interned during World War Two, and she says that experience shaped her family for generations. So I didn't grow up speaking Japanese not from choice, but because they were too afraid going back to Japan. I, of course, was super clumsy with speaking Japanese were just like what's wrong with you. You look Japanese and trying to explain like all that history. And you can't do that there's a longer tail that can't be told in buying soap. We're talking about identity, how our sense of self defines us for many of us what we do for a living is a big part of our identity. So what happens when an outside force threatens that I learned from the bureau of meteorology, where here with an update on the ongoing wave and elevated fi conditions survey. Wave conditions are continuing today over lodge pot of New South Wales extending into South Australia is no stranger to drought. But the weather has been extreme in recent years with record temperatures and prolonged dry periods. Scientists warned that severe heatwaves could strike much more frequently by the end of the century climate change presents an economic threat to farmers in Australia, but it's also threatening their mental health and how the farmers view themselves. Ashley, a Hearn brings us this story from farm country in the state of Victoria. I visited Australia at the end of a long hot summer. The landscape was Brown and farmers were anxiously waiting for rain when you're at the bet. If you'll Tolkien the farm as they're all talking to be at war, the talking to been called. We need this Oldham break this year way pocket. And a lot of people I hanging on for that loss drawer. Nick James is one of those farmers were standing next to a dusty pasture on his sheep farm about two hours, north of Melbourne Knicks thirty two with a beard broad shoulders, and a warm quick laugh, but he says these days, he's had a hard time staying positive. You say everyday mentally in people and myself, while I've dealt with it before you, when you when you just that far in and you don't know what you go to do when you go to Cape count. It's pretty draining soda stuff. A deep drought took hold in Australia in the late ninety s people refer to it as the millenium drought, and things haven't really gotten back to normal since then at least, not in the southeastern part of the country where I traveled over these past two decades. The region has seen significantly less rainfall than historic averages. Sixty percent of the dairy farms here have gone out of business since the drought began and water has become so expensive that some farmers have had to kill their animals because they can't afford to keep them alive. Nick had to cut back the size of his flock, and changed the way he manages his sheep back when water was affordable. He'd irrigators fields and let us sheep out to graze freely. Now he keeps them in a confined lot and feeds them. Hey, which also costs more than it used to the drought, and all the stress that has come with it has affected Knicks mental health. Both of you years ago. He was a really dark place. He and his wife Georgie were pouring everything they had into raising their kids and running the farm, but Nick was feeling a lot of pressure as the water disappeared and the debt piled up. But I'll just sorta become soda not buying side positive. While normally a pretty positive about paid fella. Will wise looking full wouldn't not soda just lost mysterious. Thank God had enough, and I'll fold everyone was against me. But yeah, I think that's when I realize that he wrote vote out so pay inside positive and. Yeah, I was definitely drinking a lot, a lot of alcohol and probably spend in a bid at home in Biddle think, 'cause just Dan on, Dan. And am I talked to a lot of farmers when I was in Australia, there are tough bunch? We're used to figuring stuff out on their own. They don't like to ask for help, but the drought has made many of them feel helpless and out of control a Matt's taking a toll on mental health. Anthony HOGAN was part of a team that surveyed the social and economic impacts of the millenium drought on farmers across Australia. He's an honorary professor of sociology at the university of Sydney. Anthony says that to understand how climate change affects mental health and Australian farmers you need a bit of historical context when stri was founded as English prison colony and very early on. Nice really stopped because the ships. From England took so long to come and guy with stock and supplies. And they didn't know how to find the country and so far as quickly became central to to the nation, and in a we have a long culture about the stoic pharma, who's inherited the family from generation to generation, who maintains the farm feeds the country in hands on a good asset to the next generation. But farming today isn't the same as it used to be farming communities are shrinking as more people moved to cities, the global market has made for steeper competition and smaller farms are getting bought up by larger companies now add climate change in the form of more extreme weather events like long dry periods or floods and the accumulation of shocks the breakdown in you'll sense of self that you are supposed to be able to mend until this, you are supposed to hold this together. You all supposed to be able to put juice through tough times and hand on the legacy. Those precious mount and typically I think we have what we all I often. Call a convergence effect is and somehow into sake and. That's the window, which people, I think, see suicide as, as an option as a decision. I've always thought of climate changes at threat to livelihood. And you're telling me it's a threat to identity. Oh, absolutely density is performed live. I understand who I am by what I do. And who I do it with how I do it. We then importantly that. I'm good at it. Climate just destroys all that research on Austrailian farmers found a fifteen percent increase in suicide among men between the age of thirty to forty nine years old during periods of drought, but Anthony says the numbers may be higher because suicide isn't always listed as the cause of death, the bleeding Cool's of deaths in epic. Australia is land transport accidents, and which is code for single vehicle accidents, Lonzo up with a tray with three or four lodge petrol cans in the back of the with the lead off, and as you're about hit the tracer of the secret in the back. The, the condo scenarios. We talk about in the in the figures of their and their undeniable in this sustained, if a former can make his suicide seem like an accident. His family can collect life insurance. It's a sort of final fatal attempt to provide for his loved ones. What I know from people have worked with who've attempted suicide numerous times is that mentally. They think there's no other option. Sometimes that'd be thinking my family's bitterly without me. The bitter with the insurance Pat, or I am such a failure. I am not worth living on this planet Jenny. O'connell is a clinical social worker and therapist in shepherds in Victoria. It's a small urban hub amidst the farming country north of Melbourne. She's lived in the community for fifty years, her husband's sold real estate, and they raised their two daughters here, and that really matters when it comes to therapy, Jenny says, rural people can be skeptical about getting help from people who are not from their community. They weren't the when ask the hope because they're very proud and independent. And, you know, quite often when there are some sort of catastrophic event. People come from outside. You know, there are lots of services thrown at money in sieves is thrown at the short term, but they won't trust. And they certainly won't be buying fully to the support that's available and any work with farmers has to be somehow in the community and somehow Boone of them, as the millenium drought were on Jenny knew she was in a position to help the former's in her community. She and her husband Patrick started a program called leading from within the brought together, small groups, just four to six people usually to talk about trauma, and suicide prevention, Jenny would hear about farmers who were struggling and invite them, personally often couples would attend together. They meet regularly over a period of a year, or more and genuine, Patrick would conduct the sessions together Petric can always talk about things that, you know, he knows common with men and he will say things like you know, we pretty hopeless bug, aren't we, you know, we, we always cover feelings, and we pretend we don't have him with. Throwing the let but he said sometimes, don't feel like that. Do you know the guys will find that much easier to relate to and often then start to she really deep stuff Jenny says farmers are often very connected. They share. Local news information contacts, but opening up and being vulnerable with one. Another is a bigger ask. There are times when we've run Citians, and we just come away absolutely humbled. Absolutely in all of the carriage that people have shown to express the deepest stuff. You get to say the real humidity, and then they can heal but taking that first step working up the courage to get in your pickup and go sit down with a stranger and share things that aren't often talked about can be the hardest part. It certainly was for Nick James, the sheep farmer, we met earlier. He's one of Johnny's clients when he was struggling drinking a lot and staying in bed for days at a time. It was his wife Georgie who urged him to get help Giorgis pretty stubborn. And she didn't really. Give me an option. She said that will we're going to have to do something about this. You know, and was it hard for you to decide to go? See, Jenny body was oh, how did the first two trips didn't walk at all? I just didn't feel comfortable. That wasn't may. Oh, I think it probably the worst thing is you think you're a bit of a foul. You can go doing it, you know, on bigger than this Oma grind, man. But the I think when you when you get yourself in the line, and you and you listen to what the experts have got the Cy and you self role. I it's the best thing you can do for yourself. There's still stigma attached to mental illness. No one in a small town wants people to see their pickup truck parked outside the therapist's office. When Nick I started driving into shepherd and into see Jenny. He didn't tell anyone about it now I really give it tell spas to put it frankly, rather tell someone that on on going to say cancer, or therapist, they will too good. It stunned me and still is doing me, and hopefully that won't change someone else's more on that's loosening. That's gone through a hot taunt mix still worried about the drought. I mean thinks about climate change often, what does it mean for his daughters? If they wanna be farmers when they grow up, is this the new normal, he wonders what if the rain patterns never return to what they once were at least now he feels more prepared men. Italy to face those challenges as they come for the pulse. I'm Ashley a her in Shepperton Victoria. That story was made possible. Thanks to a reporting grant from the Scotto good foundation. You're listening to the pulse. I Mike and Scott, we're talking about identity, and what happens when our sense of self is challenged Ellen, sex hid a major part of her identity for many years in many situations. She was a law student at Yale in the nineteen eighties, when she experienced a major psychotic break, she had to be hospitalized. It was a traumatic experience. She was forced to take medications. She was physically restrained tied to her bed. So my first two days, I was in restraints like twenty hours a day, then for the next three weeks five to fifteen hours a day. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia, her doctors told her she would never be able to hold down a demanding job. The warned that law school would be way, too stressful, despite that she went back, and then she decided to write for her law school journal about restraints, and basically, actually went to see. A professor of mine who was a psychiatrist as well as a law, professor. And I said, you know, writing my note about restraints. He says, I said they must be very degrading and painful. He's oh, l and you don't understand these people are psychotic. They're not like you and me. They don't experience restraints as we would. I did not have the courage in that moment to say, no, we do experience them in that way. But it's by uttering people that we allow things to be done to them that we wouldn't want done to ourselves or our families. Ellen manage to stay out of hospitals to control her symptoms and to have a very successful law career through a lot of therapy five times a week, and also medication which four longtime she fought against? Why did you want to get off the medication? Let's at the medication symbolize to you. I mean, I think there are all sorts of reasons that I try and that other people try to get off medication side effects. But I think the big thing is what we call them the business. The Norse assistant. Injury of having a mental illness and needing care. So for me, I was like trying to prove that I wasn't really ill if I get off meds and do. Okay. That would mean that I didn't have this illness, and it's a shame that drives people to get off care, because basically for someone who needs medicine being on the medicine is, what helps you go forward in your life, put the illness to the side, instead of having it be front and center all the time fighting against a fighting with the meds. How does your illness manifest now, you know, I have a friend who's a bipolar lawyer on writing? She has a practice anymore writer. And we talk about, quote, passing as normal, which I think I, you know, I do so I don't I think I can be quite ill. And people cannot know about my Jew confide in my closest friends and my husband and, you know, the way it shows it self, I guess, when I am open with other people as I'm having crazy and scary ideas. So that's. That's how it manifests itself. But for the most part, I, I may be able to, to hide it, which is actually an asset because it means you can sort of navigate in the world without again getting into much trouble. Also, you know, I always know, enough to know that even if I think my thoughts are true. Other will people will think they're crazy. And I don't want to appear crazy. So I just don't say them out loud, if I feel like I can't not say them out loud, alcohol, you know, and not be around people in two thousand seven Ellen sex published a memoir, the center cannot hold it became a bestseller. What was your motivation for writing the book and to sort of go public in a huge way? Why didn't know how huge it was going to be forced? I, I wanted, you know, as I say the kind of Pat line, but it's true as I wanted to give hope to those who suffer with schizophrenia and understanding to those who don't Ellen says, what helps her stay. Well, in addition to therapy, and medications and simple connect with people and more hard. That's, that's what that's what does it for me? Ellen sex is a professor of law at the university of southern California. Talking about identity how we see ourselves how others see us. And what happens when our sense of identity is challenged dating can be nerve racking. You're trying to have a nice time to have a good conversation. But do you feel comfortable with this person? How much do you really want to share about yourself? It can get complicated. Jets Lehman has more. Music, good-looking, twentysomethings, red solo cups. It's a house party past the bathroom, and a string of Christmas lights is Isaac tall dark and handsome. He's chatting up, so FIA smokey is with a red halter top, and hoop earrings. And it's obvious. They're feeling each other. The party is running out of booze, they're deciding what to do next and Isaac has an idea. I got my place. Why don't we hit there? A little crowded here. Let me think about Sophia heads to the bathroom with her reflection in the mirror. The debate begins. Get it over with you. Are smart and funny and beautiful. Who knows? Maybe. Maybe he actually likes you just be yourself. These are the opening scenes to Naveh miles short film waking hour. She's a trans woman, and she plays Sophia who is also trans, I think we all kind of understand that sometimes people meet at parties, and they go home together. They have sex Nava spoke to me from Houston, and it's possibly. It's an experience that maybe a lot of people take for granted dating hooking. Up meeting somebody, it can be tricky for pretty much everyone, but says, that's especially true for trans people Nava draws from her own experiences in the film and says, dating was always difficult. I've, I've dealt with loneliness my whole life. I grew up being very feminine people just read me as queer than I when I had done a fight as gender queer dating structures just weren't built for me, and frankly, I just really didn't date anybody gender queer individuals, don't express traditional male or female genders when she was twenty three Navas. She realized she was a woman and decided to transition. She was hopeful in a way at each stage of my transition. I have kind of wondered. If like oh, maybe now finally dating will be more accessible to me. But according to a recent study as a trans woman, Navas dating life is even more complicated. Now. Karen Blair, a researcher at Saint Francis. Xavier university looked into translating almost by accident. We were just saying hypothetically, who of any of these, would you consider? Please check all that apply. She was actually studying, how peer and parental approval affect dating and as a first step, she wanted to know who participants might date as it turns out, very few check the trans male trans female boxes to I think the actual number was eighty seven point five percent of our sample, which was just under a thousand people said that they, they wouldn't date, any transpeople trans women in particular, Karen, found or the most excluded and novice film Sofia, decides to disclose. She's trans on the Uber ride back to Isaac's house. But. Wow. I am a trans woman. There's a long. Pause Isaac doesn't look happy. You know, I'm not cool with that. So FIA gets out of the car by I guess. Nava says the waste of fear discloses, while she's still in the car before she gets to Isaac's. It's strategic the cities around having to disclose them. Trans are tied to my safety. They're, they're tied to concerns about whether or not. I will survive the night in the car. So fear's got the driver right there. She's not alone in the house with Isaac. She doesn't know if he's dangerous. There's a level of safety planning, that we have to, to practice in our daily lives, and especially in situations like this, a lot of this novices. She had to basically learn on her own, there's no handbook for dating while trans in the film, Isaac, eventually pulls back around in the car and the pair continued to his place, but he acts differently. He's not charming or funny anymore. He's a jerk. He's aggressive ne. Never has lived the scene in her real life, dating. I, I've experienced many times after I disclose that men will see me purely as a sexual object or reveal that those were his intentions in the first place in the end. So FIU decides she's had enough. She gets up and walks out the door. I'm proud of you. Nava says it was important to show a trans person doing the decision making, I think one of the reasons that I've remained single n have not ended up in very many relationships is because I'm choosing to only accept intimate experiences and romantic relationships where I'm respected where I feel valued and feel genuine, even if her potential dating pool maybe a smaller one, she's not going to compromise. Otherwise, I say no. Thank you. And, and I it much like Sophia as in, in the film, Karen. The researcher says yeah, things can be tough. But her data is an all doom and gloom. There are very few transpeople, maybe one in two hundred Americans identifies trans and Karen says that probably contribution to dating. Exclusion. Many of those surveyed who excluded transpeople may have never met a transportation, it really just, you know, they don't really understand what it means to be trans, she says, for some people, it may just be a question of exposure or education, and their survey answers would likely flip to include transpeople a novice says, despite how Sophia's night went good dates are still very possible for trans folks. Navas been on a few herself. She tells me about some she had in Oakland, California. So I was there for this party this dance party, I'm there to dance, but on her way out super q, and just very charming. And so we exchanged numbers a few dates later brunch. A baseball game Nava says a familiar exiled he came back. He wanted to take things to the bedroom. She wanted to disclose. She was trans and in-between. Queen kisses. I just blurted it out. And he, he looked at me. He said, I already know should drop some clues earlier dates without really thinking about it saying how she used to look way different went through some big changes in her life. He just figured it out. At some point, it was such a relief and, and them like I had the best sex, I've ever had in my life. That story was reported by jets slamming. This is the pulse. We're talking about identity and what happens when our sense of self is challenged. Alan you introduces us to somebody who has two distinct identities that seemed to complement each other in surprising ways. For the Rica Bianco has her laws, lack hair tied back into braids. She's lean and quick on her feet. Dodging punches and hitting back at her opponent. There's something about the competition in the ring and being in the ring. There is very sort of meditative. I'm not sure that call me the right word but it's a place very much focus, and it's very liberating because narrows down the things that you're thinking of you kind of had to be just thinking about the person there is trying to punch you and how not to get punched and how to punch them inside being a professional boxer takes a lot of training. Let's keep rope for about three rounds just to warm up. And then I will try for four rounds. And then on kid the bag probably do six rounds at the regular heavy bags. And, and then I'll just do some cuts tiny like. Things like that, that are very known exciting but you kind of just have to do if you want. This hour long workout is the bare minimum for her daily routine if she has a fight coming up. She spends even more time training in sparring. She just came back from the Ted conference in Vancouver because she has an the fulltime job. She's an astrophysicist about cities that are always surprised which is intriguing because there are boxers all over the spectrum photographers performance artist writers, so I don't I'm not sure why astrophysicist would stick out, but it does. And then all the people are surprised she's willing to take a punch, and a lot of people that generally, when I talk to them, say like onto worried that you are gonna hurt your brain. Boxing, you know of the I really don't want to downplay the seriousness of brain injuries in impact sports. But also, I don't think that's a problem that only scientists have if you have a brain injury, and you reduce your mental capacity the. Is a problem that you have as scientists or as any other person that has any other job? I think in fact, she does she some similarities between boxing and astrophysics. I find that it's something to being in a male dominated sport or enemy dominate activity, the must speak to me because I do both physics and boxing, and they're both obviously very male dominated fields. I don't like being told that I cannot do things that I kind of want to react to that by showing that I can, I said once by doctor that he had troubles imagining somebody that looked like me doing something as difficult as Astro physics. He told her this while he was stitching her hands that she had caught while cooking on one hand, I didn't really want him to. Poke my hand through on the other end. I thought that was really an raging content. And then there are people in the boxing world who think women shouldn't be boxes. Federico says female boxers are paid nowhere near as well as the may counterparts. There are managers who just don't work with women women's boxing, thin. Become an Olympic sport until twenty twelve and in an awfully specific way. There are also scientists who think she shouldn't be fighting at all meaning that they, they think about boxing, a very violence for they may not see that as on the same ethical level as something as noble science. But most of her colleagues are supportive they generally appreciate the break in the stereotypes type of things that, you know, to show that scientists are not just lab. Rats, but also have lives and interests and all possible passions including combat sport. It's ridiculous. To say that they would think about science one hundred percent of the time. We'll make photo Vati bet scientist I think she says boxing, actually makes her a better scientist that both problem-solving problem solving Timothy's. When you're boxing, you really faced with a puzzle and skill is to not get overwhelmed and to see what the other person does wrong so that you can take advantage of that. That is a puzzle and so is science right? You're faced with the problem you had figure out, what is the right strategy to, to address it. I think the do multiple things. Improves your ability to think about a problem for multiple angles and so improves your creativity, ultimately, what thing that boxing really improved for me is myself confidence, my ability to withstand stress and to think about problems calmly, and lucidly 'cause that's really old. Boxing, is about. So as one in science, it increased my confidence increased myself esteem, and that is just priceless. Any of the sounds. Allen June reported that story. That's all show for this week. The post is a production of WHYY in Philadelphia our health and science. Reporters are Allen. You list tongue jets laymen and step in, we had production assistance from Julian Harris, Andreas cope is our intern Charlie Cairo is our engineer Lindsey Lazar ski is our producer. I'm Mike God. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare, WHYY's, health, and science reporting is supported by generous grant from the public health management corporations public health fund. P H, M C gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

Danny Shapiro Philadelphia scientist Mike New York City Australia Isaac ferris institute Jenny Scott Nick James boxing Melbourne Nava WHYY West Chester university Ellen Sophia
Why We Play

The Pulse

48:42 min | 1 year ago

Why We Play

"Major funding for the pulses provided by leadership gift from the sutherland family the sutherland support w._h._y._y. And its commitment to the production of programs that improve prove our quality of life this this is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science. I mike can scott. I got a question from a listener that i thought was really interesting. I hi mike this is scott. Our motto and here's what's scott wanted to know i was watching the scores outside my house and it dawned on me that they were playing. Dogs and cats play horses this album. This hurts birds bees. Why do we play. It's a good question right. I mean i i never really thought about why animals play and which ones do it so we started to look around for some answers which you grieve octopuses play that that is play researcher. Kathy hirsh pasok <hes> something about that plays everywhere. I remember when my kids were born. I was surprised surprised how soon they started to play. They were just tiny baby is they would get the idea of simple games like peekaboo and they would play along and i started looking around in my old videos and i found one where my son is about a year old and i'm asking him to imitate a peacock. I don't remember why we probably saw at the zoo. I'm speaking german was him and when i say how does the peacock job. He's making a silly noise because he realizes it's making me laugh even just hearing. This makes me feel happy but but it doesn't answer the question. Why do we do this. Why do we play. Maybe it's one of those behaviors that we are evolutionary prepared to to do another play researcher. Gary chick agrees with cassie. He thinks we are hard wired to play. We have in fact bread ourselves. It'll be playful so that we like other people who are playful and we like the more than people who are not playful play is connected to brain development to learning to emotional wellbeing there are lots of ways to play social play playing with toys dramatic physical rough and tumble kind of play lake and also there are lots of definitions. Here's how kathy defines it generally. We believe that it has to be something <music>. You're active not passive where you're engaged. Joy full iterative that means you keep on trying and keep on trying and often often though not always it's socially interactive on today's episode. We'll explore play in different settings. Why we play who plays an unharmed. Our first story gets into the importance of play even for adults adults and it's told by somebody who says she doesn't know how to play our own list time. We sent her out to see. If play is something you can relearn learn so here's why say i don't play everyone. I know has their thing video games soccer game nights with friends everyone except for me. I've always been kind of an indoor kid. I'm not good at sports. I never got into video games and i'm not super craftsy. So what exactly am i doing with my free time on andrei alexei shen <hes> that's my husband willie for for the record he enjoys tinkering playing music and doing the occasional jigsaw puzzle though not with me when we do jigsaw together i tend to <hes> <hes> bill find the pieces and put them in the right places and you just get annoyed because i'm putting pieces in any any anyway. I asked willie how he sees the unwinding ending on a daily basis. I think a lot of time for fun you. I the browse read it's what's x-files all aw <hes> go window shopping on amazon and other sites so i this is sadly true which is not to say. I haven't tried other things when i started reading about how important play is actually googled. How do you play as an adult and they tried some of the suggestions a jump rope you double swing. I got a coloring book and crayons. I went back to some of the computer games i liked. His kit. Just lost all my rings his speech so good at this for the most part. It just felt like a chore which got me wondering. Is this something i could change. Is it something i should change to answer those questions. I turn to the undisputed king of play research stewart brown and i told him. I don't think i know how to play oh. That's too bad well. Maybe we can remedy that stewart's in his eighties now and he's been studying play in some former other for about fifty years. The story of how he first got interested in this research is actually pretty dark. It all started back in nineteen sixty six with a grizzly shooting at the university of texas one of history's worst mass murders occurring here in austin today. The killer was a twenty five year old veteran named charles whitman who that day climb to the top of the tower and shot dozens of people sniper-style killing fourteen it was one of america's america's first big mass shootings and what made it even scarier was that whitman was well liked and had no known history of criminal violence so the the state of texas put together a commission of doctors and researchers to find out what went wrong back then stewart was a young doctor also a psychiatrist chris and clinical researcher who had experience with violent offenders so they recruited him to help the commission figure out what had happened. Why this young man without without a record of violence perpetrated this horrible crime the ended up doing a really deep dive they interviewed whitman's family and friends and the conclusion they came to was a highly disturbed on my presence father had suppressed from the beginning of his his life all efforts on whitman's park to play today. Stuart says there were probably other factors going on but he was so taken again with this idea that he ended up dedicating the next fifty plus years of his life to studying play and what he concluded was that play isn't just a the thing that we do. It's <hes> kind of a state of being in which you're engaged in an activity for its own sake <hes> it it produces a sense of usually joyfulness or fulfillment and it takes you out of a sense of self or times stuart says his research is taught him the state of being this engagement is a lot deeper than most people think then you begin to see that this natural phenomenon play is it is deeply embedded in nature. It's there and it is definable and it is it's a different state from all others. Others gets his different biologically from my standpoint from normal consciousness as sleep and dreams are <hes> it also from normal consciousness just different and like sleep research has shown that play offer some important benefits as children. It helps us develop physically and mentally it. Nurture is creativity improves. Our social skills builds confidence and homes plenty of other important skills but what about for adults that's according to stewart. Place still occupies a crucial role after we grow up. I think the first thing you get is a sense of lightning of mood food. You know what you're doing engages you. If it's true play it done for its own sake. We get more optimistic about life. We are open to making new connections and search seeking out novelty going without it by contrast can be bad news for your emotional health. What you see is a kind of a smoldering. <hes> depression lose the ability to enjoy things find the smaller pleasures in life stewart explorers all of this in a book he published about ten years ago called play how it shapes the brain opens the imagination and invigorates the soul. The book is about why human beings play like wh why did we evolve to play. That's charlie hone. He's an author filmmaker maker and marketing strategist says he i stumbled across stewart's book during a tough time in his life so place this essential ingredient in life that's just as important asleep and i learned that from the book and i started laughing when i was reading the book because i realized oh my god. I've been depriving myself of play for years back. Then at charlie was in his mid twenties and burning the candle at both ends is career was on the fast track but the constant work <unk> stress and anxiety was burning him out his hand started to shake yet panic attacks and his heart felt like it was beating out of his chest if felt like i was he's very sick in that. I was either going crazy or that. I was dying. It got so serious. That charlie eventually ended up quitting his job to focus is on trying to get his health back months went by and nothing seemed to be working until he came across stewart brown's book and had this revelation. Maybe this is what i need to do. Maybe i just need to allow myself to play so the next time someone contacted charlie for coffee. Meeting charlie suggested hey why don't we go go to the park and play catch. Instead guys like sheriff sounds like a blast so they do and when i came back and started working again i noticed the sensation in my body that i hadn't felt in years which was joy in lightness and my work came easily. I was i was is more able to get things done quicker that was enough to convince charlie that he was on the right track. He signed up for a couple of team. Sports even started an improv improv class and he says for him it was like a kind of active meditation way for him to go with the flow and enjoy it instead of trying to control everything around him mm-hmm today charlie help other people go through that process and he says the first step is looking at your play history. That's an idea he got from stuart brown. Who's taken he can play histories of countless patients over the years and stored says it's a pretty in depth process for example. <hes> show me pictures of yourself when you were an infant anthony. What do you see what your natural tendency. Do you like visual things auditory things <hes> tactical. Can you remember member <hes>. What were you told your initial temperament personality. Where like answering those questions was my first assignment in my mission to rediscover play so i decided to go straight to the source. I know my parents sukey out there. We started with my baby album. And what do i look like as a baby. You have a really big head and <hes> kind of a ruddy complexion. We're leaving through pictures which cover birth up until i'm three or four and according to my parents my predilection mm for sitting on my ass goes all the way back to the beginning you were very placid in fact you would fall asleep while you were feeding and and i would have to kind of flip the bottom of your feet with my fingers to get you more alert but when i got old enough to start playing my parents it said i had a very specific focus so that i think that's what i remember. Most about your preschool. Play years is that there was a lot of pretend and there is a lot of imagination. My sister and i had a stuffed animal family. The random books the whole back story and little houses built in our closets resits as we got older that creative energy evolved into something more like improv it was like you were always writing <hes> extemporised using skits with each other with with these sort of imaginary characters and that dialogue would go on and on and on or not according to my parents. I also had a fondness for doing impersonations. Bill clinton was my specialty and for addressing cat up in costume jewelry. They said the common common thread was improvisation silliness whimsey and what you didn't do was play much toys. You weren't in different but you were fascinated. Either which kind of explains why my adult attempts at playing mostly fell flat puzzles jump rope coloring in books. Just wasn't my thing because i never really liked doing that. Stuff what i did like with storytelling pretend foreseen my parents to listen while well. I read from an old joke book from the nineteen fifties. The question is how does that impulse translate into adult play for one thing according to longtime. I'm play researcher. Gary chick play doesn't have to involve other people. No no it does not have to be socially what it does need to be is fun engaging and not performed for any other purpose other than your own enjoyment which when i think about it is kind of what i do for my job. Of course i do the work work because it's work because i need a paycheck at the end of the day but all this reflecting made me think. Could it be that in a way. My job counts as play. It seemed totally counter intuitive but if you ask gary it isn't at least not necessarily asked him what he does play. He's retired now but but this is what he said mostly what i do in this may sound awful but <hes> i get a kick out of doing research. That's my play and dan seriously and i play the people really going to think what kind of a lunatic is this guy doing statistics and computer programming. I find to be playful. I was encouraged by that because that means. I don't need to stress myself out rediscovering how to play. It's already a part of my life. I just had to rethink what exactly play meant for me for the pulse tongue <music> that was list on her quest to rediscover how to you play is important to humans. That's the big takeaway point from liz's story right and when you look at kids it seems like play comes totally naturally to them. They can create entire worlds with next to nothing nothing. A cardboard box becomes ship a carpet and ocean. It's fun to watch but what exactly is played doing for them for their brains. How does play foster development during different stages of childhood reporter. Melanie peoples looked into this and has the story <music>. A little girl named ellie and her grandmother are playing together after snack time. This is a game of make believe believe where a character named luna girl has turned the world outside unbearably hot good out in the hat uh-huh. Okay go for it gator. Did you get did you get yeah sure no turns out. That didn't work l. E. can still see luna girl bay. Oh uh-huh gotcha see her. What did they do in your line i can do maybe windu. How the is it working galina glue who'll away with out luna bubble so let's play a little bit differently. This grandmother isn't just any grandmother her. She's kathy hirsh pasic a professor of psychology at temple university in philadelphia and one of the leading experts on the importance of play. It's not just most frivolous. It's not just joyful. It actually is a vehicle for achieving pretty powerful learning turning the building blocks of intelligence and social development for the entire human race. You could say for starters learning to get along with others. She had had to get along with my character and together. We had to fight against the bad now. The good and bad stuff is very paganistic but boy does is it work with little kids and innocence. It's building their own sense of morality and then when ellie introduced the concept of wind wind. She showed some pretty important flexible problem solving skills that was her idea there. She knew the properties of wind and head cooling properties so she's a little scientists working together with someone else to solve a very real problem. Ellie is four and and there's a lot going on at this magical age. Were children really start to master the art of working together before this point a lot of what toddlers do is called parallel play away so it occurs side by side kind no there there but not really you're just doing your thing you might fight over train or truck and then go back to ignoring in each other and before parallel play. We can go even younger. What's the first thing you put in his hands. Rattle or a toy and a baby knows exactly what to do with it. Oh it's their biological nature of play bill. Klem is a professor of neuroscience. It's at texas am university actually nature's way of trending brain in a <hes> age appropriate developmental way and its reward based when we're playing our brains get an extra dose of dopamine the chemical that makes us feel good so we do again and again which is a really brilliant dan system to reward learning the thing we must do in order to survive as a species so what would happen if we didn't play since no one would ever do this kind of experimenting germany with humans scientist turned to animals to test this theory like rats and animal. I don't normally think of as playing because you're not around around rats very often. I bet but i am i do studies on rats and i've seen him play when researchers kept rats from playing with other rats rats were less able to solve mental tasks. They became anxious and couldn't interact properly with other rats without happen with humans if they didn't play well it'd be similar sort of thing they would be probably have anxiety may be prone to depression. They certainly wouldn't <hes> interact socially in expected ways in ways that other people would would expect them to it. Turns out play is so important because an order to grow our brains need a specific type of stimulation. A lot of neurotransmitter systems get get get altered if if they're not <hes> activated in normal ways but windows parts of the brain are activated normal ways like by playing the brain grows does well not an actual like size but inside the brain with an increased number of synapses and increased efficiency in those synapses in other words when we play the brain is learning how to learn which is why bill says that when we let kids play more and more with electronic screens the human race is already involved in a science experiment and i have some concerns about our our society we in the age of electronics we kids the instead of playing with each other play where they're gizmos and and maybe they're not learning how to interact with people as much as kids in order generations bill worries that even organiz play like baseball and football may not offer enough of the kind creative play. Our species has had historically. Unfortunately it'll be years before. Scientists know what the effect if any of playtime versus screen time has been that was melanie peoples reporting the so far we've focused on newman's but other animals play to we know what that it looks like with pets like cats or dogs one of our listeners christine does a video of her dog nelson. She's spraying the garden hose at him and he's biting the water. I think the audio gives you an idea of what's happening when she stops saying he barks as if to say spray brea megan's rae guest but what about other animals animals that don't seem seem to express their emotions to us as clearly as our pet mammals. How do you think about the internal lives of say birds or spiders what counts as s. play for them alan. You looked into this. Today is a big day. In the life of mo a black headed. He's a small parrot. Monastery is a pigeon with green wings a white belly and a black and yellow head. Mo has lots of space. He lives by himself inside a large cage at the brand new ones you in wilmington delaware and today he's going to get a lot of new toys. Mohd zaki got one in here already. We're gonna get him gonna have ooh. That's lead animal. Kifah caitlyn views that this is a new way for him <hes>. It's basically just like a wicker tunnel so anything that's new can be a little scary for any animal. Once caitlyn spunk putting an older new toys she hide small bits of food all around and steps out seems like he's going to be distracted by food and not play details being very brave. Though you're going into your tunnel bud good job mu crows inside the wicker tunnel and finds the tiny konno's news of coin inside this is entertaining to watch but why would the zookeepers put so much effort into keeping a small parrot entertained eighteen so we give them things that are going to encourage natural behaviors <hes> so for these guys they'd be foraging lot constantly looking for food we so we find places to hide their food. <hes> spread their food out so that takes more time to eat their food just so it's not always presented in like a bowl. This is cold and richmond a kind of play and it's important important work for zoos. Here's assistant curator mandy fisher. There's some species were plays very important so a lot of our primate species for baby animals in particular play is how they learn some of those life skills that they'll need <hes> for hunting or for breeding behaviors or caring for a young can all be done through play <hes> some of our animals though is it is purely exercise are built for speed or built for strength were there hunters and so we can use those natural behaviors and design enrichment that will allow that to show play is about learning for some animals and the workout for others so do all animals play. If you want to study that you have to think about play from animals points of view says psychologist gordon burkhart workouts. It wasn't that many years ago several decades ago that it was thought that birds didn't play of course we know at least one who would disagree. They are sort of biases. I think that inhibited us from looking at other animals from less anthropomorphic viewpoint antsy hansi. That's something like play is really deeply embedded into our biological roots. Our evolutionary heritage golden has become one one of the experts on animal play. He recently came up with a more rigorous definition of play to try and break free of the limits of our human centered perspective to make it very simple. He says something counselors played for an animal if they do it voluntarily over and over again only when they're not stress and it's it's somehow different than a more serious version of that behavior. It's not serious fighting for instance. If you see animal play wrestling one particular type of spider ashley play at having sex when they're not mature yet. It's play in not real sex because the females house are far less likely to eat the mayo's afterwards when animals don't have opportunities to play it can have serious consequences golden says i think about how zoos used to be built in the past zoos for very sterile that design philosophy was all about making it easy for humans to clean leanne lyons might be in a tile concrete type of closure that could be hosed down every day and there was virtually nothing in it of course i i would hinder <hes> if in cleaning well that might have made the animals <hes> housing more sterile <hes> but also oh completely <hes> interesting and <hes> would have psychological consequences similar to keeping people in jail cells versus in richer richard environment both caged animals can develop ticks like pacing or bar biting another good example of this ravens some of the enclosures that were walking by <hes>. We have a fifty foot flight cage. Rebecca mission is that the wrecks of wildlife rehabilitation at the skuas the center for environmental education. She nurses injured wild animals back to health before release in the previous job. She worked with a lot of ravens ravens and she says that while ravens are healing. They still need stimulation keeping them. Entertained is really challenging because they're so intelligent that that they need changes to their environment on a regular basis they need mental challenges to keep them entertained and keep them busy otherwise they'll actually start self harming out of boredom. Unhappiness rebecca says bold and stressed out ravens will peck at their own feathers or even beat their wings against the side of occasions occasion so hard that they can become seriously injured. Boredom is an important issue for research animals to mice and rats and labs half the live enclosed spaces and researches take cancer give them tubes to crawl inside and sticks to chew on terror. Martin is a veterinarian at the university the of michigan she says research animals are bought and stressed. That's bad for the animals but it's also bad for science. Any animal that lives in a barren environment men is a pretty stressed animal. It can affect hormones within their body. It can affect their immune system <hes> it can certainly affect brain development and when you have all of those effects they all can act as confounds on your research or they can alter the results of your research. That story was reported by alan do and we asked all of you to share your favorite stories about animals playing. We heard from valentina who told us about a horse. She used to care for lucky. She says they played tag. He'd wolf next to me and then all of a sudden lights are running and he would run after me and then he bumps into back. When i stopped just started slow walking away too i call them again and then i started running again and they spent back and forth for a while. We had great refund with that and here's another one we got hi. My name's shannon patrick on the owner of the puppy palace doggy daycare in bethlehem pennsylvania. The dogs play in little baby. Maybe pools they have lots of toys but probably the favorite activity of the day would be the bubbles because they love to jump in the air like crazy monkeys. Thank you for sending these as we love to hear from you. You can find us on facebook look for w._h._y._y. The pulse or follow me on twitter at my can start. You're listening listening to the pulse. We're talking about play now. Back to humans games are often tryouts for human interactions. You learn how to lose is with grace how to strategize how to read other people. There's a really popular card game called werewolf. It's also known as mafia and it traces traces its roots to the psychology department of moscow state university where it was developed as a way to study human behavior. You have to point point to who we think it isn't. Here's a basics there. The two teams one team is the villagers with a bunch of supporting characters and the other team the wearables who's who is decided by the card you draw and the object of the game is for the villagers to either eliminate all the werewolves or for the where wolves to kill off the villagers once the where wolves are exposed or they're more wearables than villagers. The game ends once the cards have been dealt. A facilitator will tell everybody to go to sleep. There's is an app you can download your eyes and look for other where woods so only the where wolves will open their eyes for a moment everybody else's eyes are closed indo peaking the wearables that know who's others are so they know who they are but the villagers do not know who the charles r wake up and then the great debate begins. This is david eaves. He's a lecturer in public policy at the harvard kennedy school of government in his day job. He's an expert on government and technology but by night. He's an avid wearable player. He's written articles about what the game can teach us about trust and collaboration in the game players start to ask each other questions. The wolves lie about who they are of course chris and eventually players have to vote. Who's a wolff. Who's a villager. You begin to realize there's real method. You have to be listening to what everybody says watching how people are behaving him watching how they're voting looking for towels and you very quickly realized it's not a game of lock. There's real skill in being an effective where we'll for being ineffective villager alexander and you can tell the odds and the favor one or the other if you are a good player makes me think that they're both where wills and he's trying to find a way to cover for rick and not say we'll richer wolf because then he loses to lower definitely not vote for why i was not aware when i started then why did he turn because you're the werewolf. I'm not the david. I began playing where wolf at technology conferences. He says the game is really popular. In that crowd one thing that does is it teaches you how well your friends lie and some people are just terrible where we'll players and everybody knows they're lying and it's kind defined right. You're just a terrible liar and then other people are quite sophisticated and you're not really used to having your friends lied to you especially in such like open up front front way and sort of have a game where now you're trying to figure out who's telling the truth and who's lying and what are the tells they have. There's a lot of fun. I think that's in that but it can be a little unsettling because you sometimes people have this ease with which they lie and you're like daw ugh dude what was that this is what makes it so much fun. You're like you. The person who you thought was great and dan super loyal always be relied on super trustworthy and then all of a sudden. They're an amazing where we'll player and the their ability to fool fool you allow you have to revisit all your assumptions about somebody and what are the lessons that we take away from from playing in this game. Does it ultimately mean that we will trust people less because we've now witnessed how great they can lie. I actually feel it's the opposite. There's a few things that i've taken away from where i one is is. Actually you get better at telling who's lying. It is possible to identify people even really good liars over time. I have seen people as they get more experience at the game can tell who's lying better actually as a life skill. That's probably a pretty good the skill to build <hes> so actually a lot of encouragement of that that actually gets easier and easier unify liars. The other thing that that i take away from the game is people learn how to work together as a team like the village really needs to work together as a as a team and in order for the village to win. You actually have to be in some ways selfless. You have to be prepared to die because actually your death may advance the cause of the village and so the the villagers start to work really well together are the ones who figured out the rules. Anna figured out how to work together in order to defeat the where wolves working together means you have to get people to talk and this is a common mistake that people playing where we'll often make aac especially when they they first play everybody's silent. Nobody wants to say anything or worse the village kind of jumps on whoever speaks first and immediately kills them and the way that you went. Where wolf is you actually want data and the data you want is people telling stories people talking. That's how the tells komo. If everybody's quiet is very hard to spot oughta tell and and it kind of reminds me a police interrogation with the police want us. They want you talking a lot. Because the more you talk and the more you share the more information you have and the more like you might contradict introduced something you said earlier or say something that doesn't make sense. I'm with what's going on in the game so what you really want us to get lots and lots of data onto the table so you want people talking king and and then you look for the inconsistencies in those stories you look for this light towels like them looking up or them looking shifty. That's what you're looking for. Dave's is a lecturer at the harvard kennedy school of government and he uses where both with his students. He says it teaches them how to cope in new and difficult situations coming up when the only place to play nearby is a parking lot. It's all concrete. All it takes is one foale and you know hopefully god it won't be nobody's hey that's next on the pulse. Get the inside story of america's public schools on a new season of schooled from w._h._y._y. U._h. y y about a swashbuckling for these youth. I'll fight for these youth because i know they have a raw deal when they go home. New episodes drop every wednesday in august wherever you find your podcasts this this is the pulse i mike and scott were talking about play why we play and playing does for us having a place to runaround get creative and let off steam is really important for kids but lots of them don't have places where they can play. That's especially only true in cities. A survey of public elementary schools in philadelphia showed that only one third of them have playgrounds in their school yards kids at oh schools play on cracked concrete and in parking lots nina feldman reported on this issue and visited one school yard and one family in the dead of winter winter. Today is the winter solstice the shortest day of the year you make cookies break geico we had <hes> had cocoa kenzi barnes and her big brother. Maurice are really excited. It's the first day of winter break my four that she'd let me get a break. You get a break but look come back. You still love me first grade. The evening is warm for this time of of year close to sixty degrees so even though it's already dark maurice mackenzie wanna play outside magazine wanna play football. Their mom gives the okay and the family heads across the street to play on the lot outside local elementary school. Why didn't they put that jacket on for maurice and his mom flake catch while mackenzie and the little sister me run around nearby. Malia is a toddler in the truest sense of the word she chases her sister up and down a delivery ramp alongside the school wall and a face plant into the concrete seems inevitable. The kids grandmother antoinette reynolds looks looks on from her usual post on the family front porch door museum that window you know keep an eye out on all of them not just mine but all the the kids that go there using him yelling about. Hey no don't do that often. Don't touch that go back into the school yard. Reynolds says she worries someone will get hurt she. She watches as maurice dives for wobbly football and takes a bad spill. It's all concrete. All it takes is one foale and you know hope for god. It won't be nobody's head administrators that lower elementary call this the school yard but it's also the parking lot. The kids play while teachers offers load into their cars and head home for reynolds says kids are always sneaking out through holes in the fence and running around the neighborhood so if you put a playground in their monkey bars ours and things that they can climb on play on it a keep amendment. She says she doesn't remember having this problem. When she was growing up every school i went to that we hit a nice play area that we were able to play in. Do you think happened. <hes> i guess the funds we definitely in leaner. Your time's stepped away from playground projects. That's danielle floyd chief operating officer at the philadelphia school district. Her office puts out an annual budget call to ask what they need about. Half of all elementary schools ask for playgrounds each year. I'm sure it will come as no surprise to you. Is one of the most heavily requested items that we and get from schools but here's the problem. The district has no dedicated budget for playground improvements. Private foundations pay for some renovations but there's no formal process assessed to decide who gets that help floyd guesses. The district completes about eight to ten playgrounds a year with philanthropic funds but kids in philly need books. Two buildings need upkeep. Teachers need to be paid should play grounds really be a priority. The answer to that is that it solves more than one problem at a time this. This is sharon. Thanks an environmental planner who advocates for green school yards around the country. Our budgets are very silo and we think about solving the health problem or the education asian attainment problem or the environment problem. Dank says schoolyards can do all of fat so we should be thinking about them. More like public parks playgrounds little oh pockets of public land scattered throughout the city but the infrastructure hasn't been developed with that perspective it is our most well use public parkland completely undeveloped kids are already using these spaces every day and if we did develop the land by building jungle gyms swing sets and sports fields kids would use it even more research shows kids are the most active on playground equipment and on grass in contrast to what do you see happen to maurice if he doesn't get to run around <hes> he's bouncing off the walls. Antoinette reynolds maurice's grandmother tries is to find a way for him to run around no matter what she lets them play in the parking lot at night like on that first day of break or she gives them a ride to a nearby park. If she has time she won't have to soon enough. That's because lowell. Elementary is one of the lucky ones it's getting a new playground which maurice mackenzie emily we'll all be able to enjoy the story was was reported by nina feldman and it was part of a w._h._y._y. Series called uneven play. You're listening to the pulse. We're talking about why we play. Hey how here's a game that only requires a flat surface and jump ropes double dutch where jumpers navigate too long ropes that are swinging in opposite directions. When i double dutch i feel free to no one to jump in gives me a a lot of energy and makes me spend my mind for different things when jumping you know like you you try to do do your best and if somebody likes to chew that means that they're just they're just kinda mad that you actually tried and i feel i feel bravery. When i jump into the role the reverend melinda lee whitney loved double dutch as a kid growing up in harlem lim she's in her seventies now and she still jumps and she runs a youth development program called double dutch dreams in harlem and all around new york city. She says jumping contributes to her overall wellbeing exercising her heart balancing her body recently some of her young jumpers got to ask her about her passion for dutch. Why do you like double dutch so much. Will i love it for what i see. It brings out of the young people that i work with and i really enjoy it because i know it's a great way to exercise and it's a wonderful way to make friends friends and it gives you an opportunity to test your skills and be confident. The heart is racing. You're excited <hes> uh-huh. You feel like everything is working for you. You know the feeder moving the correct way. You're maintaining rhythm very very often. You being watched somewhere either by your friends <hes> if it happens to be on stage that encourages you so you feel good about yourself. You have abbas sensible congressman when when you had boys on and doing double d. Did you ever yeah the crusher minute them. I was wondering when this was going to get personal. Well one one of the things that i can tell you if you were jumping in the community like in front of your building. You put your best jump on when and you saw someone that you raise your. Why did you choose to work with youth and teach children. I think working with children is something that i inherited from my mother because she also not only took care of me but she also took care of children in the neighborhood and especially helped mothers who needed to work needed someone to care in a loving way now there is a lot of seriousness going on the world and i think you can use sport and play as a means of being able to house a change the course of ideas audiences in double dutch program one primary part of what we do is under the umbrella of social justice so we we write rhymes that address issues of racism sexism and all the other 'isms hello human rights civil rights he and just so <hes> using games as an approach is a way to get young people involved and look what it yields games can help like oh you're doing that. I wanna do it to can you show me how you know. Cooperative learning through games is a wonderful way to help a child grow up it invites people <music> of all cultures or backgrounds. All sizes are roads. Don't discriminate. There are other ways to involve <hes>. I've worked with the deaf community for example and if one does have some physical limitations we can find some kind of way that they can participate. Come on get gotcha. Jump on you can if if the needs continue to work. I think i'll be doing it until hundred the three three days. Just follow me follow me. Come on jump off in the story was recorded at the sugarhill children's museum of art and storytelling in new york city and produced by rachel bongino gano and clara ibarra for the grandparents story lab and intergenerational project. That's our show for this week. The pulse is a production of w._h._y._y. In philadelphia you can find does wherever you get your podcasts. Our health and science reporters are allen you list tongue jets lehman and steph yet we have production assistance from julian harris chris and also entry as cope's charlie. Kyler is our engineer lindsey. Lazar ski is our producer. I'm mike and scott. Thank you for listening. <music> behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the thomas scattered good behavioral health foundation an organization that is committed to thinking doing and dan supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare. W._h._y._y.'s health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from the public health management corporation public health fund p. h. M. c. gladly supports w._h._y._y. And its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

researcher stewart brown maurice mackenzie charlie philadelphia mike scott antoinette reynolds Gary chick stuart brown football ellie Bill clinton charles whitman america Melanie peoples harvard kennedy school of gove ravens chris
Shifting Gears

The Pulse

48:44 min | 1 year ago

Shifting Gears

"Supporting WHYY. Penn medicines transplant institute performing kidney liver heart lung and pancreas transplants for more than fifty years. Learn more at Penn medicine dot org slash transplant or eight hundred seven eight nine pen. Support for this podcast comes from Wells Fargo which donated nine point four million dollars to Pennsylvania nonprofits last year, including the enterprise centre to help grow diverse owned small businesses in the Philadelphia area. More at stories that WF dot com slash Pennsylvania. Major funding for the pulses provided by leadership gift from the Sutherland family, the Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science. I Mike and Scott. Michael, Balabagn and Rafael Orlov spend their days thinking about cars, they drive lots of different cars and write about them for the automotive website, Jellab, Nick. So it makes sense that even though they live in New York City, they both own cars. Cool wants to Rafa has a nineteen seventy four walks back and Beadle in an unusual color somewhere between a seafoam and a Robin's egg blue and Michael's ride is almost a collector's item. I have a two thousand two Lexus station wagon which they did make I promise. They made it briefly and I really like it because, you know, it's a wagon but it's also sporty little car. Beyond taking us from point eight point beam for lots of people cars are a way to make a statement about yourself your way of life. So what do these cars say about them Rafael with the ancient VW goes? I says, I'm a wistful idiot who is optimistic probably to a fault, it tells people that I think I can probably figure out whatever horrible problem is just around the corner and Michael your Lexus station wagon. What does that tell me about you? Oh, gosh, it probably tells people that I'm desperately trying to prove to people that are interesting. This is what I find so interesting. It's just a normal blue station wagon accept it isn't. It's got. It's very, very rare here. It's a station wagon. So it is practical, but it's front engine rear wheel drive. So it's fun. But these signifier 's they mattered. You see them more than. Ninety percent of the people on the street. Oh, god. Yeah. These little details matter for lots of car owners they form bonds with these cars. They name their cars cars can also be a major source of stress like the time, the check engine light came on in Michael station. Wagon for no apparent reason. My check engine light was sitting there. Glowing orange staring at me as it were night and day night and day, just dreams. Telling me telling me something was wrong in my life with you right with me, and even if there was nothing that was really wrong. The car was running great. It was just one of those computer faults it. Drove me insane because something in my life was wrong. And it would always be wrong until I can fix it. It can feel like cars play an outsized role in our lives. Right. But think about it, they've changed most aspects of modern life where we live work shop. How we spend our free time with dependent on them. They cost a lot of money. And their presence has had an impact on our health and stress levels. There's air pollution, noise traffic, accidents, freeways and roads are carving up green spaces on today's show. We'll explore how cars continue to affect our lives. And which aspects may be changing. All of the negatives that are associated with cars. The congestion the pollution, noise, they feel more noticeable and grading and cities car exhaust has been linked to childhood, asthma many. Researchers have pointed to cars as a culprit in rising, obesity, rates, the asphalt of streets and parking lots creates rainwater runoff still cars have been king of the road for decades. But there is some pushback dad's Lehman has more. Kids skate around dirt back and forth, playing tag and soccer. The scream for no apparent reason. It feels like a playground at recess, but it's a city street, seventy eighth street to be exact in Jackson. Heights, New York City, almost a whole block of it has been closed to car traffic since twenty eleven eight year old Alexandra and her friends pass around the volleyball. This is her favourite part of the neighborhood. It's large atten also, like I get to have space to play soccer. Another defense sports Jackson. Heights is a diverse densely packed part of queens. It's got far less park space than almost every other city neighborhood, Alexandra's cousin Sarah is old enough to remember playing on this block before the closure, it wasn't really much, and it was kinda hard because like with the cars passing by no, like I was kind of scared because let's say of all, like flew over now at it didn't want to be in the traffic when the city blocked off the street for the first time. Sarah says it was weird because like we're not used to it because I was so used to cars passing by. Yeah, it was a good kind of locals don't think it's weird anymore. In fact, they want more of the street. They're fighting for it. Officials had promised to close the whole block eventually standing in their way. Now of all things is a car dealership at one end the open last year and wanna keep cars flowing in and out of a service entrance, but locals refused to back down. A group of activists, I started working on closing the street more than a decade ago. And there was a lot of pushback with fear that we going to lose parking places. There was fear that we were going to cause traffic on Jason streets. There was fear that there was going to be all of a sudden, even though there's not really problems gang activity in this park that all of a sudden there's going to be like gang turf battles in the streets. That's Donovan thin and urban planning professor who's part of the push and lived in the neighborhood gatekeepers, as he calls them. City officials community board members thought he was nuts. There's something about when you tell people you're going to close a piece of street it, I think it just creates this in the situation in their mind, what they just can't fathom it. They just they just seemed so unlikely that you could turn a street into a public space that they just can't imagine it. The thing is Donovan was waging, a kind of insurgency in a war cars had one decades ago. It was a battle over who the streets were four and about one hundred years. Ago it was life and death. The automobiles were killing people at an incredible rate. That's Peter Norton technology historian, and author of fighting traffic a book about how cars made their way into our cities in the first place. And in cities, the people getting killed were overwhelmingly pedestrians. Many of them were children back then cars were seen as these pleasure machines reserved for the reckless and the ultra rich and people had different ideas about what a street was supposed to be in the nineteen tens. If you had taken a satellite photo of an older city back then Peter says you would see a lot of the same grid patterns. We see today, but at street level, it was a different world. There were no lanes no center lines. No line markings people could stroll where they wanted, and that I think it would have given you the impression of being something like a busy small public Park, New York's museum of modern art has black and white footage of Manhattan streets shot in nineteen eleven. The first thing you know. Notice is everyone is wearing a fancy hat of some kind, even the kids and the second thing, the streets are filled with people. There's the streetcars or model TS. But no one looks out for them or even makes an effort to get out of their way, probably because early traffic laws made cars super slow in the eight or ten mile an hour range. I mean, extremely slow by our standards. If you can just outrun a car, you're not going to buy one. So a couple of things started happening. I car companies lobbied against laws restricting automobiles and four laws restricting pedestrians. We get jaywalking Kansas City, tried strict enforcement in one thousand nine hundred twelve people used to owning the streets were offended angry. There's one episode where women struck police officers with their parasols for being told not to walk in the street. So Peter says officials added an element of public shaming. Here's how one Los Angeles official went about it. He. Even recommended that if it was a woman, Jay Walker that the police officers should pick her up and carry her back to the curb, because he said this would be so humiliating that it would prevent her from jaywalking ever, again, at the same time electric streetcar networks were in decline, as coal prices. Rose, it became cheaper to ride in a jitney, a low cost unofficial taxi think Uber before Uber and cars, got cheaper to the private automobile, even though still relatively few people were driving their own car to work. It didn't take very many of such people to get in the way of the streetcars public transit was getting stuck in traffic and becoming less convenient in the fifties lawmakers subsidized thousands of miles of highway, the interstate highway system, forty one thousand mile network of our most important roads. It was tied to defense the ability to move tanks quickly in case of invasion, but the final victory for car. Ars Peter says was a psychological one that started with the kids by the mid twenties. The top funder of public school safety education was the American automobile association triple eight, they took over the safety patrols guided the children to school and help them cross the street safely. And they are message to children was streets are for automobiles when these kids grew into adults that was ingrained in them, they simply new, the streets were for cars, and the rest is history. Peter isn't a big fan of cars. I expected him to bike to the office he works in this sprawling college town. But no, he backs out of his driveway in a four wheel internal combustion automobile. And I think that quite arguably makes me a total hypocrite, but my answer is that like other people I have to live in the world. We've got cars one. That's the world we live in Peter says public investment in cars has come at the detriment of other ways to get around millions like him have no train. They can walk to no reliable bus. They can't pedal along a freeway from the suburbs. In big cities, public transit is often underfunded and struggling, but have cars one for good somewhere around two thousand three two thousand four I began to notice that people were driving a little less than New York City, and soon, I began to notice driving less in cities, around the country. That's Sam Schwartz. Aka gridlock Sam. He's the New York urban planner who coined the term gridlock driving had dipped before during the great depression, or wars, but always recovered and grew very quickly driving also decrease during the latest recession which Sam says was expected. But then after the recovery when you'd expect rates to shoot right back up. They didn't and that hadn't happened before millennials driving twenty to twenty five percent fewer miles, not just one or two percent. Which is when you see shifts, they usually very gradual, this was a quantum jump. Federal data shows rates continued to drop except among the poorest millennials Sam says that tells him younger Americans are rethinking their relationship. With cars cars are not part of the American dream for them and cities are thinking about reducing cars to and not just the usual suspects. The New York's in Chicago's smaller cities are reaching out to him fog. Oh, North Dakota noisy. Own Iowa in Rapids, Michigan. They wanna know how to get by with fewer cars Sam knows a thing or two about that in the seventies, he tried and almost succeeded in getting cars out of a huge chunk of midtown Manhattan. Some sixty blocks all cars were going to be banned from eleven AM to four PM. He got so far as stamping out the signs, but a new mayor scrapped it last minute hotel owners pushed back, and really, it was just too radical instead only Madison Avenue closed and only temporarily starting on Earth Day and all the mad men and women of the early nineteen seventies came out during lunchtime with sandwiches picnic spot of wine and enjoyed the fresh air on Madison Avenue that probably hadn't been seen in nearly a century, the picnics came and went, but Sam says his ideas aren't so radical anymore. It's not a car ban, but in April New York officials announced congestion pricing was coming to Manhattan. New York City is set to become the very first city in the nation to Levy a congestion tax on drivers shop this down my throat just like you shove, the bicycle lanes down my throat. And now you want me to pay for it would be charged roughly ten bucks driving into the city anywhere between sixtieth street, where we are now down to the tip of Manhattan. The most the fees go to public transit. The idea is less car traffic in urban centers, and it's worked in Singapore in London American cities, are watching New York's experiment. And with good reason in big downtown's cars are slowing to a crawl the average speed in midtown Manhattan last year four point seven miles per hour that's slower than your average jogger experts point to the influx of lifts and Uber's more solo car trips. So Sam tells me, we're at a crossroads younger generations, aren't as in love with cars as their parents, and we can't pave. Our way out of congestion anymore over forty now almost fifty years, what we've seen as the failure of trying to build more roads. If we go to Houston where they kept widening the Katy freeway to the point, where now it has twenty six lanes and the traffic is worse. It didn't work it opened in two thousand eight and it's likely still the world's widest freeway traffic better at first, but eventually slowed back down if you build it, they will come and clog it right back up union up in the morning. And you're like see God I get to go sit in my car for an hour in traffic. That's Lynn Richards, president of the congress for new urbanism. Nobody wants out his an outcome there, a collective of engineers policy wonks. And scientists, they fret over what cars have done to our cities and bike stench in our health and environment. But they're not anti-car exactly. They just oppose prioritizing them over other kinds of transport putting highways. For rail lines parking over bike lanes. I'm not asking you to give up your car. I have a car. I like my car. I drive my car. I also love the fact that I can bid to work faster on my bike than any other mode of transportation. So we're talking about creating choices on how to get around. She says public fear is the biggest obstacle to reclaiming streets from cars going to be like gang turf battles in the street. Yeah. Linda's one way around that get tactical all tactical urbanism, start with small car free spaces and make it temporary. So no-one freaks out if you wanted to narrow street in downtown area, instead of, oh my gosh. What happens to the parking, etc? Etc. You use hay bales, and temporary seating and paint to transform the streets, seventy eighth street in queens. That actually started as a temporary thing to couple weekends in the summer than the whole summer, then. One out the whole year very quickly. You know, kids are learning to ride bikes here, people were having birthday parties for their kids. That's Donovan again, one of the activists behind the seventy eighth street closure. We were having picnics on this asphalt. It's not really that inviting but before doing it just because of the linear shape of people were setting up soccer goals at each end and having, you know, having soccer games the most encouraging thing to him the kids on seventy eighth street who have never thought of it as a street to them. This is just how it is. And how it would always be these kids are growing up learning. At least one St. isn't for cars. It's for them. Jets Lamond reportedly. Much of what makes cars dangerous comes from us driver error doing things like speeding driving drunk driving super tired, or using our phones. Jackie tears lost her daughter, Danielle in a car crash. He had been on Snapchat and texting at the time of the accident. Danielle rear ended a truck at about seventy miles an hour. She didn't break she. Never even saw it. It was just a huge blow after Daniel's death. Jackie started a campaign called dude for Danielle. Jackie does a lot of public speaking at schools where she shares facts like this one. It takes approximately four point six seconds to read or send a text message and in four point six seconds at seventy miles an hour, your car can travel the distance of a football field and a half. We all know that texting in the car getting on Snapchat post. Getting on Instagram is a terrible idea full stop. We know it can have deadly consequences. So why can't we stop? Why do so many drivers still use their phones? Anyway. Steph yin looked into this. But I she has a confession to make. I'm not proud of it, but I use my phone pretty often while driving, I talk, oh, between podcasts music and audio books. I serve social media make calls. I've even Britain emails, I know the facts like one in every four car, accidents, involved cell phones. So why am I making such bad choices to find out, I talked to kit Delgado an emergency physician and professor at the university of Pennsylvania? He's interested in what's called behavioral economics the factors that go into our flawed decision making. There's present bias, meaning we give more weight to benefits in the present moment. People tend to. Respond to immediate gratification, rather than delaying things so that, you know, to prevent crashes in the future, then there's overconfidence bias, the Oscar room of one hundred drivers how they compared to other drivers in terms of their driving safety ninety percent and we'll say that they're safer than other drivers and recency bias. You're just completed hundreds of trips without getting into a crash you probably used your phone for some of them. So when that phone pain goes off. You're not even calculating that risk of get into crash because you've never experienced it before, there, lots of efforts to get us to think, straight when driving high schools now run programming around phone use while driving. There are media campaigns to shift cultural attitude. Text is worth the risk it can win. And currently forty eight states ban texting and driving by law kits working on the technology side with an app company called true motion that tracks driving behaviors like texting and. Other distractions. Their idea is to pair good driving with incentives like discounts on insurance or cash rewards. I decided to try one of two motions apps myself driving, and using my phone as I normally would me go to true motion family app. Get started on this. Dr. But after about two weeks using their family app. I got an a plus a perfect score for avoiding distraction. How is it possible? I hopped on a call with true motion to ask about it. I'm Ruffy Feingold. And I'm VP of loyalty in behavior. You're at true motion. I, I asked RAFI how exactly how this works and short. They're using the motion sensors in your phone, which are extremely sensitive and can sample data up to one hundred times a second, accelerometer, gyroscope magnetometer. And then in kind of post processing, we run a bunch of algorithms, those algorithms to do when you're typing or browsing or playing on your phone. Chew motion doesn't know what content you're looking at or what apps you're on. But from your phone's operating system they can see when you're making a call. And whether your screen is unlocked broth showed me that true motion did in fact register my phone us, but they didn't count it because they considered it passive use. I was tapping and. Keeping my phone, but in amount, not in my hand, and that was kind of a U X decision that we, we made because we didn't want, ding people for behaviors that they considered to be safe. Having your phone in amount is probably safer than interacting with your phone in the hand still Rossi told me that I drove about thirteen hours and used my phone in the mount almost thirty percent of the time that percentage seemed high to me. If you asked me to give myself a grade, I probably give myself as C. I felt distracted RAFI says true motions planning to come out with a mounted tap detection, feature this year which should account for some of my concerns. But to be real my concern goes beyond how well an app can track my driving? What truly worries me is that might impulse to use my phone while driving was really strong. Even though I was aware of the consequences, so this is a deeper problem. The worst offenders, the drivers that are distracted under phone almost thirty San time. We call these folks phone edits. That's Yonathan Matthews the CEO of Zan drive a company that studies driving behavior through data analytics last month, Zandro published their yearly report based on more than one hundred sixty billion miles of driver data. If found that one in every twelve drivers is a phone addict uses Arjun rations drunk driving. We are conditioned who have these devices next to us six feet or less throughout the day, and we become dependent on them, and it's increasingly difficult to think of the time on the road is time that should not be experienced to, to smartphone says smartphones are hacking into reward systems in our brains. Notifications of the experiences on the phone work is day trigger some of the new row chemistry in Europe. Sheena rates was created to help us survive in the wild dopamine serotonin. Those, those neurotransmitters are very, very important in regulating pleasure in attention. He suggests one of the best things you can do to reduce phone use. While driving is to practice leaving your phone behind in daily life in the fridge go out for strolled around the block, and took to our neighbors took to some, some strangers Kucan meal. Enjoy the weather, we can also rewire our circuits by reframing. What makes us feel good? Make it a goal to drive without using your phone and reward yourself, if you succeed, here's one super easy thing to help iphones have a setting called do not disturb while driving, and androids have a similar mode. It takes ten seconds to set up the setting prevents calls and messages from coming in unless the center says it's an emergency, which removes the temptation to respond to that message from your boss, or your new crush, and it'll send an auto reply. Anyone who tries to contact you. So you don't have to worry about leaving people hanging kit. The researchers studying incentives at the university of Pennsylvania thinks if this setting comes as the default on new phones, or people just start using it across the board. It will simply become a new social norm. And people can customize their away, messages have fun with it blew. I'm right behind you. Just kidding drive with do not disturb driving turned on, I'll see your message wanna get where I'm going. I set this up on my phone, too and should you text me? While I drive. Here's what you'll get. Hey there, I'm driving and not trying to get caught right in dirty, I'm working on cutting down my phone use while driving. Join me by going to settings and turning on do not disturb while driving. I'll see your message when I get to my destination, which is hopefully the woods or the beach. That's Steffi in reporting. Cars have gotten safer over the decades. They are designed differently. They have air bags and all of those design changes were tested extensively on crash. Test dummies. But here's the thing, the dummies themselves, may need some improvement Noam Osmond has more. The year is nineteen Eighty-four only fourteen percent of Americans regularly were seat belts, and the department of transportation wants to change that they decide to make a commercial to convince people to buckle up of what we tried to do something humorous that never been done before, with public service advertising. That's Jim Ferguson, one of the co creators of this public service announcement, their idea these crash dummies day after day have been crashing. These cars without seatbelts on it had to be terrible job. The ads rolled out in one thousand nine hundred five starring to dummies Vince. Israeli another windshield taste test count me out the old pro beckon down from a motorhome. Each commercial ended with their memorable tagline. You learn a lot from a dummy buckle. Your safety belt the ads became an immediate success, a cultural phenomenon within a few years seat, belt usage, more than tripled dummies are now a staple of automobile testing, but they actually got their start in the military jet safety, basically that's leaving zal assistant professor of science technology and society at Virginia Tech, it was about fighter jets and pilots in the nineteen forties. The American air force was designing the first planes that could break the speed of sound. And this led to some important questions. What happens to the body when it moves at supersonic speeds, and what happens to the body, when the plane slows down Lee says a Colonel named John stap ran much of the early testing. And he typically tested. It on himself in one test. He was going like nearly six hundred miles an hour and came to a stop in less than, you know, in a second in his eyes turned into giant bruises. He couldn't see for like a day. This wasn't sustainable. So the air force started making dummies in nineteen forty nine they created Sierra Sam often called the first test. Dummy. It was five foot ten the size of ninety fifth percentile male, meaning it was taller than ninety five percent of American men after all the dummies weren't designed with wider public in mind. Most of those pilots would have been white males. Right. So in, in a lotta ways the early science that undergirds auto safety was very biased. In a kind of white male direction in the nineteen fifties car manufacturers began their own crash testing at first they used male and female dummies but by the nineteen seventies own. Only male, dummies were used federal car, crash testing didn't mandate female, dummies until twenty eleven and even then female dummies are almost never in the driver's seat for front, crash tests that give cars their safety ratings. Moreover, the dummies themselves aren't ideal. This is not actually, an three pa- metrically, correct female. Crushed Stomas just to scale down male dummy. That's Caroline, creo Peres, author of the new book, invisible women, exposing data bias in a world designed for men and of course, women on just scaled down men, we differ in various ways behalf different pelvises. We have different muscle mass distribution. And there's a real pressing need for better data about female drivers women seventeen percent more likely to die than a man, if they're in a car, crash and forty seven percent. More likely to be seriously injured. And in fact, the number one coups, if fetal death. From trauma is caulk rushes as we have designed to seat belt that accounts for pregnancy. These other vehicles we've got here. This is from a very special crash test, which I went to visit the insurance institute of highway safety, a nonprofit crash tester founded and funded by auto insurance companies you've seen their safety rankings TV commercials. Their tests center rotates between twenty three different dummies dummies are expensive, two hundred thousand dollars a pop, and obviously they need a lot of maintenance this morning. A team finalizes preparation for a front impact research test. It takes two days to set up the car. There's an average size male in the driver's seat along with another average size mail, and small female and back. The institute began using female, dummies for side crash testing in the late nineteen ninety s but they too also only use mail dummies in the driver seat for front crash testing. Here's Mike Chak own senior director of crash worthiness evaluations. We added more tests scenarios more crash type scenarios, but we haven't changed the, the dummies do you guys use them pregnant dummies. No, we have not used pregnant dummies, we have used children that we do have child dummies. I head to the other end of the six hundred foot one way to watch a perfectly fine twenty nineteen Parola meet untimely on at forty miles an hour. The smashed up car comes to rest and the team quickly swarms around the vehicles, emergency response gives the proceedings a gentle soundtrack as Mike and others take detailed notes. That's the driver in the sky probably, which that Rahul are belies is the vice president of the institute, and I asked him why females aren't used as drivers in front crash testing. We believe that, that there are some optimizations that can probably be made. But what we're finding overall is that improvements that have been made for midsize male dummies have also helped females. There's another reason why researchers are reluctant to change. They worry about the impact on data analysis. We want to compare every vehicle using the same test mode and impact points. And even the way we positioned the dummies if we were to change things now it is very difficult to compare the overall risk of vehicle five years from now. From vehicle several years before because we, we again have lost that, that correlation. Caroline, who writes about bias in design is not convinced. I've had that, so often it's a massive excuse that comes up in the medical world that, while we've not tested or women, the boss, that we can't start now because we have comparable data having been sexist in the post and causing women to die as a result is not a reason to carry on being sexist human mimics, America's only crash test. Dummy manufacturer is currently developing a new dummy, the Thor series, this newer series will more accurately depict female body structure. That is to say Thor will have an anatomically correct female pelvis. That's Noam Osmond. Reporting. You're listening to the pulse. I Mike and Scott, we're talking about cars, how they impact our lives were safety and health. When you drive a lot, you end up seeing quite a bit of wildlife, but sadly, many times it's roadkill like the first time I ever saw record. When I came to the United States, it was dead on the side of the road animals, trying to get across roads or highways can also be dangerous, or even deadly for drivers ecologists Kevin mclain brings us this story about tracking and reducing road. Kill in California, a few years ago, I was driving at night. Chatting with my in laws on a small state highway two lanes each direction, huge grassy, median in the middle. I wasn't speeding but definitely a little bit distracted. I glanced over and there was a raccoon crawling out of the grass. It didn't look at me. No, I shine it just jumped straight into the beam of my headlights. I heard it hit the front of the car. Felt it bounce once under our feet and once more at the back, it was jarring, and I felt a little guilty, but my college brain kicks in and it's not like a hit a panda or something, you know, reckons aren't endangered their fine. But that sound stuck with me. It's what I'm thinking about while I ride with Catherine herald. It's Saturday just after five AM Catherine is one of hundreds of citizen, scientists throughout California, who helped document roadkill were out looking for dead animals. If you're looking, there's also a high amount of. Tire marks or people veering suddenly out of the lane. She cruises down highway two eighty one of the main freeways that connects San Francisco to San Jose. We're in Katherine small tan four door sedan with no one else on the road. She's got her high beams on, and she keeps her eyes moving scanning left to right searching, you get kind of use to how to spot them some deer their legs will stick up a lot in the grasses. So you look for the different shape. Bright, the stretch of highway two eighty that Catherine takes day after day is among the very worst in the state for roadkill. There's a lot of undeveloped land. It's great habitat for animals except that they have to frogger their way across eight lanes of traffic. There's no fence there. Just gonna walk right from the dirt onto the concrete, Catherine works nights at a bar. She commutes just after nightfall when most animals get hit, but before cleanup crews pickup. The carcasses if a dead animal in the road, looks like it could be a hazard drivers. She calls it into highway patrol on having to eighty. I'm going southbound. I'm about one mile north of Bunker Hill. Drive. It's a dead buck in the fast lane. Married. Make sure she has a dash. Cam fixed on the road in front of her. She drives up close and describes the scene to the camera. Direct, and there was a squirrel, both flat, Roku. Roku looked to be eating size. Angled buzzard doing its job. Catherine enters each animal into the California roadkill observation system. It's a crowd source database that maps road kill all over the state wanna know where you're most likely to hit a skunk. There's a map for that mountain lions Porgy pines even elephants. He'll have been hit on California roads. There are more than sixty thousand roadkill entries complete with some pretty gruesome photos. These collisions can be dangerous for drivers to and some people instinctually swerve. And then when you're going, sixty five to eighty miles an hour, and you just get your real fifteen degrees, you're gonna fly off the road and a lot of people do, and they died and all this gets expensive to the cleanup property damage injuries, and even death. The university of California Davis, crunched the numbers based on insurance claims. The researchers estimate that in one year roadkill in California costs more than three hundred million dollars. It doesn't tell us about the ecological or conservation impacts, it tells us just about the impacts to people to society. But often that's the thing that gets the government to respond. That's Frazier schilling the director of the road ecology center at Davis. He manages the road kill database to make the road, safer Frazier recommends building special bridges and tunnels just for animals giving salamanders and coyotes away to avoid traffic in some states, those structures have reduced roadkill by up to ninety six percent citizen scientists, Catherine Herridge. Gerald is trying to convince the California Department of transportation that the stretch of highway, she monitors has a safety problem. So she's been going through highway patrol records looking for any mention of animals hit or drivers swerving. And she's noted some deaths linked to this route like it seriously hard, reading, people's obituaries. It's totally brutal. Sorry, it's really emotional. Like it really is sad. You know, it's just it's, so it's fixable, which is even more part of the painful of it. She says pushing for change has been slow and frustrating, but Katherine plans to keep her dashcam running for the animal safety, and for ours. That's Kevin McLean. He first reported the story for KLW radio in San Francisco. Driving can be infuriating traffic red lights other drivers. And suddenly you're honking and cursing doesn't happen all that often. But when it does, I'm usually rushing somewhere hustle. Lisa Feldman Barrett. Usually there's time pressure. Somebody cuts me off or gets in my way, and then I want to chase the person down and let them know that they've really pissed me off Lisa's a psychology professor at Northeastern University, and she's written a book called how emotions are made which is all about how the brain constructs emotions. So when she's getting mad in her car, she has a good handle on what's going on. You're flush with arousal. You have a jittery feeling a jolt of energy, you're prepared to act in a particular way that's going to deal with the situation deal with it may be by speeding up trying to catch up. With the other driver. Maybe you want to cut them off to your taking risks being reckless, Lisa says cars can provide us with a false sense of invincibility cars are designed so that you don't have the sensory experiences that would lead your brain to predict danger. You can drive in a car. Usually the sound is muffled the vibration is muffled. You don't actually have a strong sense of how fast you're going. But Lisa says you don't necessarily have to feel the rate it doesn't serve you and it doesn't serve the other driver. So you can you can make a different kind of emotion, or different experience with that increase in arousal. You can make curiosity you can make excitement or you can just you can just experience it as an increase in arousal, because your brain, just protected you from danger. Lisa tries to guide her mind toward q. Curiosity. What is this other person? This bad driver up to that person could him or herself be rushing to a sick kid in a hospital to a dear friend in need. I think the other thing that you can do is, you can reduce the arousal you can take some deep breaths, measured. Deep breaths, are one of the ways that you can grab a hold of your preference service system in comment down. It's really the only way. What if our cars were designed in a way to help us stay cool in these situations when we're getting stressed out of your Hernandez is a scientist at the MIT media lab. And he's we search ING ways in which technology and artificial intelligence could monitor stuff like drivers heart rates to get a sense of their education. For example, we have studied the sensus o on the seat belt common us the money for your facial expressions, your heart rate, yours petition anything really any emotional bread. Cram the you leave in the car, but in silicon be used to capture those things, and if you're freaking out, your car could respond. So let's say, for example, you have a thirty minute drive, and we can design the perfect place to get you from very aroused and excited to a more subdued focuses state, which might be better for driving. Your dashboard could change colors when you're getting really worked up as a warning to tell you. Hey calm down. Have you this kind of research will also be important with driverless cars, because even though you won't be behind the wheel yourself. You could still feel road rage. So your car should be able to react to that. For example, it could pull up your calendar information and let all of your contacts. No, if you're running behind for a meeting. How do you cope with the stress of driving when you drive a lot more than four million people in the US travel, at least an hour and a half to get to work, and many of them make that commute either entirely, or partially by car, Daryl see Murphy tagged along with one driver, who commutes sixty miles each way, but has learned to find moments of then on the highway. Yeah. I meet Mike Lynch in center city, Philadelphia where he works as an IT director for an engineering firm. He's a tall grey haired, white guy in his early sixties and active sixties, and his demeanor is very, you know. Commute here every day from his home in a rural Pennsylvania community called upper black Eddy. He's done this for almost two decades. Well, I mean, there's, you know, there's the practical sense that the jobs are down here and the, the salaries higher down here, Mike navigates his Prius, down, crowded city streets. He often listened to the news, all things considered Todd casts, audio books, or music, feeling music mood. You know. Anwar. A we merge onto ninety five north major highway in traffic is at a crawl. How do you deal with this? We are looking at what three four lanes of traffic. How do you how do you get through this? You know what age helps a whole lot? The wisdom. I know exactly where along ninety five all the dead spots will be except for the occasional time where you have an accident or something. There's a rhythm to it and get to know it. So it's like you know, I expect us I mean when I, I was doing it right. I'm tearing my hair out outing you it didn't take too long for me. To learn. And but that still didn't tamp down the emotions. But you'll have to do it for nineteen years. The oh, I know what to expect for the most part. I, I budget for, you know, time was nyc seems relaxed the whole time we're on the highway, he doesn't get mad or frustrated at other drivers. He says that is key to making this all work out. It's almost honestly, it reminds me I like to ride a bike ride a lot, I like to hike and this may sound like heresy, but it's kind of the same thing. You know, you're you get into groove. And I can think of other things I can let my mind wander and roam. Right. You know what they need to get these driverless cars going. You know, it's like. Oh, it's like. How would that change things a few times a week might take the train instead of the car, even though it takes longer free time to sit and bright? And it's kind of a perfect little cocoon, you know, just cruising through the, the suburbs. My little metal tube, you know. After about an hour on the highway, our exit comes into view. And here we are getting off ninety five right? Yeah. You drive along country roads toward Mike home, the converted carriage house, on green three acre property. He's lived here with his wife for about thirty years. A cool place. It's really nice to come back to. And these trees that Nash tree there. Pretty big tree. Yeah. That's that's you know about, you know hundred seven hundred eighty feet tall probably, you know, one hundred fifty years old. Oh man. Not a stretch too. It's beautiful here and so quiet. Darrow C Murphy reported that story. No traffic here that. That's our show for this week, the pulses a production of WHYY in Philadelphia our health and science reporters are Allen, you Liz tongue jets Lehman and Steph yen. We have production assistance from Julian Harris, Joseph Friedman, contributed reporting to this week's episode. Charlie Kyler is our engineer Lindsey Lazar ski is our producer this week. We say goodbye to our editorial director Tanya, English Tanya was with the pulse from the start. I as a reporter, then as the editor, and we thank our all that she's done for the show. I'm Mike instead. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare, WHYY's, health, and science reporting is supported by generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund. P H, M C gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

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Science and Thanksgiving

The Pulse

49:00 min | 1 year ago

Science and Thanksgiving

"Major funding for the pulses provided by leadership. Gift from the Sutherland family. The Sutherland support. WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve prove our quality of life. This this is science and Thanksgiving a special production from the pulse at whyy. I'm Mike and Scott Thanksgiving usually means we're going big big way over the top true Turkey's my mother insists on bringing additional Turkey. Turkey like piled high and should that somehow not be enough meat. Ham wore side dishes than the table. Hold cuter frames. Stuffing's mashed potatoes always fried rice. Regular Rice always brown rice green beans. It's Mac and cheese and of course seven different pies. We travel great distances to see our families and friends. We hug we eat. We argue we nap. But now look at these festivities with the eyes of a scientist and what you get our questions. Lots of questions of always wondered if Turkey's he's really are as dumb as everyone says there or wondering what the psychology behind gratitude was. What's the science of cranberry bogs? What happens is in her stomach when we overeat on this episode? We're going to look at Thanksgiving under a microscope and answer some of those questions So let the meal begin. I we gather around the table the and mentioned a few things. We're grateful for after all gratitude is supposed to play a starring role on Thanksgiving feeling. Thankful reminding yourself south of all. That's good in your life in two thousand thirteen Glenn Fox was feeling none of that. He just lost his mom in the days leading up to Thanksgiving giving and he was reeling from the loss. I remember the day after going down to get starbucks coffee. And some some pastries you know was was was like the most intense experience ever it. I just thought how even GonNa get through this. How are you going to order at the time Glenn was getting his PhD in neuroscience and he was studying gratitude of all things and how this emotion can impact people's health and positive ways? His gratitude has become a bit of a hash tag emotion over the years. We post a picture of our salad and profess to be blessed but gratitude. Gratitude is a growing area in science for example a lot of researchers say expressing. It can improve your mental health. So sitting there with his coffee Glenn was wondering if gratitude could help him recover from his loss. You know I really need to put this into action like I don't. I WANNA be flattened by this forever. I want us to define me. He had seen the benefits of gratitude in the lab but could as research hold up in this real life situation relation reporter. Liz Tongue picks up the story from here on this Thanksgiving a few years ago Glenn Fox kept thinking about the last months of his mom's life. If you know I was very close to my mom she was she was. She was a legend seed for ovarian cancer had meant surgeries treatments hospitalizations. But she still wanted to know all about Glenn Research and I told her about all the different things you can do to write down. What makes you grateful to focus on Glenn's lenses? His mom developed a real practice. She kept a journal. Wrote thank you notes and continued to count your blessings. Even as things got worse she was dying and yet she would still write down things that she was grateful for. It might be simple things like being able to eat a piece of chocolate or might be found like a blood transfusion and she. She was in tears over the gratitude. She felt for the person who provided her that blood so if gratitude had helped his mom this much during her final the months could it help Glenn cope with his grief. Everything had read and Grad school seemed to suggest yes grateful. People tend to recover cover faster from trauma and injury. They tend to have better and closer personal relationships. And may even you just have have improved health overall. All this research had made an impact on Glenn he says gratitude was sort of part of his overall mindset but would hit never done. Was this thing that all the studies recommend gratitude journaling. I don't think I really knew the extent to which gratitude could work when you actually wrote things down. Glen Glenn Started His gratitude Journal in Twenty Fourteen asked him to read me some of his early entries of. There's some funny ones in here like tacos on the sidewalk and and didn't drink too much. He's got a lot of entries like that. Oh I made a cutting board said cutting board is holding up very well. It seemed almost silly writing stuff down. Could it really help Glenn get better. Get over his deep grief to answer that question. We have to take a closer look at the emotion of gratitude itself for that. I turn to Emiliana Simon Thomas. She heads Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center and she says gratitude at least in the way it functions is basically a social emotion ocean and it creates this bond. This enduring sense of connection with with another person. It's emotion that rewards cooperation between humans. And of course that is essential for survival is a species bats. Would it's four and humans. Have it from a very early time. As a as a way data create these social relationships that are so important for our Evolutionary Success Emiliana says gratitude is also tied to other emotions connect humans gratitude scaffolds other emotional experiences for instance love they're certainly a relationship between gratitude attitude and interpersonal trust so gratitude supports our relationships supports the feelings that binds us together and like Glenn said studies have shown it offers plenty anti of benefits. It can make us happier and more resilient in some studies. It's even been shown to improve our immune systems blood pressure and heart function. So the big question the Glenn and other researchers have been trying to figure out is why what is it about gratitude that could be leading to this whole host of positive benefits to find doubt. Glenn did an experiment where they put subjects in fm or I machines and mapped which circuits in the brain were activated when they felt grateful so we saw that the participants ratings of gratitude correlated with actively in a set of brain regions associated with interpersonal. Oh bonding and with relief from stress. This is where Glenn thinks the benefit lies for one thing you've got the reporting feeling of social l.. Interaction the regions associated with gratitude are part of the larger networks that are involved when we socialize and experience. Pleasure the also happen to be connected with with stress relief you know. The feeling of relief is itself quite rewarding. We call that reward from relief which feels good and is good for us because says as it turns out stress is super toxic and so anything we can do to relieve stress will probably lead to health benefits somewhere along the line why specifically stress relief has been shown to reduce pain physical and emotion. All which of course is exactly what Glenn wanted so in twenty fourteen. The year after his mom's death Glenn decided to try and find relief in gratitude. journaling it I entries were Pretty Mundane. Let's see night out with friends. Ends up early feels better good lunch. Free Hotel Room. Good Day ahead comma chance to be productive. Like easy. Commute comes up a lot if I had a nice easy drive whereas able able to maintain my composure driving through Los Angeles pretty short pretty short entry so not super profound here Glenn kept with it. But he says the entries didn't really change changed the way he felt at least not at first and and it wasn't the gratitude made me feel good about it didn't make me feel like Oh everything is great because gratitude is in a synonym for happiness gratitude. Got Me in. That moment wasn't that I didn't feel any pain far from it. In fact it may have even made that that sense of pain more acute but it made me aware of it in a way that I felt I could manage it. So of gratitude wasn't delivering a quick hit of relief. How how exactly was it helping Josh Brown at Indiana University Bloomington looked into this? He says the benefits of gratitude build up over time he knows does this. From a steady they did in which they had subjects write letters of gratitude than they did brain scans and track their subjects mental health. What they found was that the practice of writing these letters seemed to actually rewire their brains making their gratitude centers more active over time? So what does that mean it. It seems that the act of expressing gratitude caused a long lasting change in the sensitivity of the brain to gratitude that that to me is one of the most striking results of what we did and so it seems that the act of expressing gratitude can have these remarkably lasting changes on the brain. Now we can't say for sure that one thing led to the other but we do know that in studies gratitude has been correlated with improved mental health and it appears based on this study that gratitude exercises increase our ability to feel gratitude in the first place. Here again. Is Glenn Fox. I think that gratitude can be much more like a muscle like trained response or a skill that we can develop over time as we've learned to recognize abundance and gifts and things that we didn't previously notice as being important Glenn says this doesn't mean that you're just falling all in over with gratitude all the time it means you become more attuned to the full range of gratitude whether somebody's holding a door for you or giving you a kidney we we actually increase our resolution of gratitude meaning we see it in high fidelity it's like hd gratitude. It's something Glen sees in his own. Gratitude attitude journaling when he compares his entries from five years ago to his entries now. So I'm looking here at the more. Recent ones are much more specific a brisk spring spring morning walk in a new book sunshine through the Windows during meditation. Let's see warm Sun at the pond by new niece giggling during a trip to North Carolina Allina getting even super long or elaborate. But they're much more specific and I think that's really where you get the HD gratitude from is the practice of seeing and looking looking for the small things that that you can count on to feel better about what Glenn emphasizes that none of this has been a magic bullet. It didn't save him from the grief of losing his mother or the daily frustrations of La traffic or things like breaking his foot but slowly over time time. It's made a difference you know it's like water cutting rock through a canyon. It's not done all at once and it's just steady practice in. It's not meant to make sure you never feel pain again. I really think that's one of the things in especially with gratitude where people just think. Oh just wait and then I'll just something bad happens. I'll just find a way to be grateful in. That will make the pain go away and I don't I think you shift your perspective to sort of being grateful for the pain grateful for the chance to have a sense. It's of putting the pain in perspective. It in that to me is a skill and that's why the journaling has been so important. The story was reported accorded finalist. Tom Listening to science and Thanksgiving. We're looking at this national holiday through a Scientific Lens if gratitude is the starring emotion at Thanksgiving Turkey is starring dish. We seem divided on the taste of this bird from delicious to dry bland but that aside many people seem to think that Turkey's are relieved. Lead dumb is that true reporter Ellen. You went to a farm to find out. Took farm an hour outside of Philadelphia to talk Turkey Turkey with oxo Lindy. He's been raising Turkeys for the past twelve years and yes customers do ask him. If Turkey's are dumb you'll never see a Turkey circus because they're not trainable that way. But his thirty on white domesticated turkeys can learn patents. For example. Would they know that oxo. Plus bucket means feeding time. We tried to start them out. Training them by bringing the same buckets out all the time. They kind of the buckets when we go out to the pasture with pickup trucks. They recognize the truck. And come right to it. And you don't mean to train all of them. The Turkeys stay together in the flock and learn from each other one of them will figure figure out where the water is an interesting follow. If one of them finds a whole defense then they'll find it following it also says Turkeys might have gone the reputation as dummies because of one specific behavior. When it rains sumter? He's look up at the sky. Dr With that Beaks Open here is retired animal sciences professor. Tom Savage think it was the reader's Digest. I'm not completely sure there would be articles in the air and they would move small captions and say Turkey's are dumb quote. They will stand out in a field look straight while it's raining and drown that that is inaccurate. Tom Is very passionate about righting that wrong. He has studied and raised Turkeys for years. He says Turkeys do not Traum Because they look up at the sky and this funny looking. Posture is the result of the saw. Them what we found was that this was a genetic disorder sort will be called to Tick Tokala spasms Aka stargazing and it's not permanent the burden of this condition. We'll put the heads back down author about a minute now. These ULTA masticated Turkeys wild ones are a little different. Mary Jo Castellina is the wild took it with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. She is hunted watcher. He's for years extremely witty and extremely wary. How their surroundings for example they react much quicker than humans do? We kind of like are moving in slow motion is fired. As the attorney I would perceive she says a row thirteen years ago she was watching a wild Turkey perfectly still in the bushes and camouflaged gun at the ready but it turned its head ahead spotted her and ran away. She says that while Turkey soul her because they can see light spectrum that humans can't in fact there is is so so good that she has to use a different laundry detergent for hunting cloves. I realized that the laundry detergent that was using my clothes were emitting mm-hmm ultra-violet light now some people might say that's just instinct and not addressed the matter of intelligence we can charge animal cognition in a variety. Seo ways whether animals can use tools solve problems find food that they've buried and so on but show a math and says whether Turkey's are dumb is is not the right question to ask. He's an associate professor of animal behavior at the University of Exeter in the UK. Instead he says what we should ask ask is whether Turkey's are smart enough to survive and reproduce in their surroundings trump in English studies. vaas wine cons they. They do charging animals by human measure of intelligence makes about as much sense as asking why shocks con fly intelligence Mathis for humans humans but for other animals it doesn't play the same role. Joel Studies Pheasants which are in the same family of birds. As Turkey's he really found that that learning quickly could even be this advantage. In some circumstances he said what he calls a reverse learning task pheasant. Chicks learned that packing checking into a bloop and gets them mice worm a green been gets them nothing. After a while he reversed to now green bins have worms and bloop and stones. Some quickly realized the bins had changed others. Took longer bench will release them into the wild to deal where foxes birds of prey. You might think that I picked up on the change. Sooner are small author. What we found was most likely to survive? We're actually that is was slowest to reverse things instead of being criminally flexible. In that one thing stick to it so the person that US humans wants with coal smarter were less likely to survive in the wild and in the end suvival is what matters that was Allen. You reporting cranberries have to be on the table for Thanksgiving right no matter how you feel about them it just is is there. I just show up at my house. And it's just like in a dish cranberries. I prefer cranberry sauce. When it's not like the you know the little fruits and I like it to be like smooth it's good it's gross? The cane cranberry sauce. I can't stand but like homemade. cranberry sauce is really good. So how do these varies make their way to our tables. You've probably seen those. cranberry commercials were two farmers wearing waders. Stand waist deep in a sea of Red Berries. The refreshing Ocean Spray cranberry doing harvest. Farmers Flood there bogs and the berries float to the top. So growing cranberries requires clever engineering but also a very special type of environment and a lot of water. Growers have to walk a careful line between keeping production up and keeping their land. Healthy Steph Yin reports from the New Jersey. Pine Barrens were cranberry growing is is a multi generational tradition for many families time. Barron's are a spread of dense coastal forest in South Jersey. A million acres stretching over more than a fifth of the state here you'll find a history of outlaws and smugglers and many ghost story from sandy acidic soil. The locals call sugar sand spout rare orchids carnivorous plants and pygmy pitch pines with twisted branches and multiple trunks per tree rivers and streams flow with. What looks like T? The water died Reddish Brown from cedar trees this is home to a rich agricultural community to commercial. cranberry farming started here in the mid eighteen hundreds. The farmers bought large tracts of land for cheap started cultivating the berries that were growing there. Naturally they consider themselves stewards of a rare and remarkable ecosystem. We look at cranberries as part of a ludacris system around the bogs. That's Steve Louis. A fifth generation Pine Barrens cranberry farmer. He says cranberries grow wild all over here ear canoe down any local river and you might be able to collect the fruit right off the riverbed he belong and wetlands if you find cranberry vine growing and the New Jersey pilots the definition you are in a wetland and we've learned to live in harmony with the wetlands a large part of that has to do with water. It's a popular misconception. That cranberry bogs are always underwater. But it's true that water is important. Crucial really to cranberry farming. It's hard to pick cranberries from vines on the ground so to make harvest easier most cranberry growers flood. There bogs in the fall. The berries float to the surface then growers use harvesting machines called Egg beaters to knock them off the vine in the winter. The boxers flooded again this time. The water insulates the plants camps from frost underlying the Pine barrens is a natural aquifer seventeen trillion gallons of bacteria Sarel Sam filtered water that scientists have compared to melted glacial ice. So we get a floodgate years. The farmer's divert water from nearby streams and rivers to a flat it's an interconnected system that allows them to share and cycle water between one another neighbor to the north the lease and our neighbors out the Sui we you gotta work with them a km sending some your way A. We need some mortar. That's my canes. He and his sister Steph are giving me a tour of their farm. W Mike and Steph are fifth generation growers and they help run their family business. The Pine Island cranberry company. They sell their cranberries through ocean. Spray which it is a private co op of some seven hundred cranberry farms ocean spray dominates the US market the co-op takes berries grown by farmers markets them and processes them into products like juice craisins or the cranberry sauce. You might be having for Thanksgiving Steph. Says Water is central to their the operation. If we don't do not have clean abundant water supply then where we don't get anywhere. Their grandfather built the family business accordingly. He was one who understood. Uh the importance of farming for not him not for himself now for his generation nodding for the next generation but for my generation. A lot of what we're doing now is built upon what he was doing back in the forties and fifties to ensure clean water. You need to control a lot of land. In the Pine Lind's growers follow this. This general rule of thumb for every one acre of producing cranberry bog they maintain nine acres of supporting woodland to protect the watershed but cranberry farming can pose a major threat to waterways because of pesticide and fertilizer runoff. Think of the settings cranberries thrive in moist waist. Swampy it's the kind of situation insects. Fungi parasites and we'd love. The vast majority of farms use a range of synthetic chemicals articles which get discharged into local water bodies and can be harmful and it doesn't help that regulation is murky. A legal loophole makes runoff from cranberry bogs exempt from the federal clean water. ACT THE NEW JERSEY. Farmers say they use fertilizers sparingly. Hit or miss very calculated but in reducing pesticides. Farmers have to keep a watchful eye on one specific pest. The one is leave. Auburn leafhopper leaf hundred. Komo News we've the blunt nosed leafhopper. It transmits a FIDO plasma or bacteria that causes something called false blossom disease in the nineteen twenties and thirties. That disease nearly eradicated cranberry farming in New Jersey over the last decade farmers and researchers have noticed. I that leaf hoppers are starting to return just down the road. From Steve Lease and Stephan Mike. Kansas Farms is the Rutgers University Marucci Center Center for Blueberry and cranberry resear- our you. I tried to drive into the four year. Researchers like Cesar Rodriguez sonal are trying to find and ways to fight back in a sustainable way was that are infected. non-impact says are is looking for alternatives to chemicals that might be bursting. The natural defenses plants have or encouraging populations of natural enemies predators. cranberry pests for instance. versity I was that attack. The eggs of leap hoppers researchers are also trying to figure out how and if ecosystems bounced back after years. There's of cranberry growing. My last stop is to a former bog with head. Dennis Gar any college at Monmouth University in New Jersey. I'm here with him and other members of his lab and we're trying to find a trace of what once was trying to see if I can find a surviving cranberry one. We found some last time. Yeah they're usually really little they look more like if you it didn't know this was once a thriving cranberry bog. You wouldn't guess it. It feels like Oh wild ecosystem. We're surrounded by trees some as tall as thirty or forty feet. There's a layer of pine needles underfoot. Overhead bluejays are calling trying to shoo us from territory. Not Turn to says half a century go. Instead of trees cranberry vines covered vert this area visiting abandoned Boggs across the Pine Lynn's he found. It doesn't take long for these sites to unravel back into a wild state states together. We go to bog. That's been neglected for just a few years already. There are saplings. Woody shrubs sprouting up little baby red maples. Apple's like that usually those are spot treated with herbicides to get rid of them by Paul Yeah and then the transition to that and they they like wet soil so so they're part of the process of transitioning back to four system. cranberry bogs swiftly returning to nature decades of heavy agriculture forgiven. This isn't really what I was expecting to find. I ask about it. Started this with the idea that we were gonna find some really scary things instead. Head was surprised. Surprised to find that. The effects of intensive cranberry agriculture seemed minimum at least with some time but he says while nature seems robust here here. It's still crucial to pay attention to the immediate short term impacts of cranberry farming more of a testament of the pilots. Just being very resilient. That story was reported by Steph Year. You're listening to science and Thanksgiving. I'm Mike and Scott. Our digestive system works overtime on Thanksgiving. The moment you start smelling the food it is kicking into gear. It is that Turkey Avenue smelling just playing with your emotions and playing with their digestive system. That's where we start to increase saliva production. That's Earl Campbell the third. He is a gastroenterologist Corologis at Yale University once we the food actually enters our mouth and we chewing the food saliva helps to break down the food. We then swallow the food food and some people will say that swallowing in his true up until defecation is the last voluntary component of digestion. So once you swallow there's no going going back. The food moves through the sophists almost as if someone squeezing toothpaste out of a two into the stomach. The stomach crushes the food. mixes also secretes acid. That helps to break down the food by the time the food leaves the stomach. It's a pace light material cereal and it's passed into the small intestines from there. The food breaks down even more nutrients are absorbed all along the way until it exits the body body but on Thanksgiving we eat way more than usual. So what happens when we over eat. How does this affect the process that you just laid out for us? Yes Oh the stomach. You know that that muscular bag akin on average hold about a leader but it you can expand the constructs up to about four leaders. That's bigger than a gallon. Jug of milk. Imagine that filled with mashed potatoes and gravy sloshing around inside side of you pressing up against your organs. Wow it can really blow up like a balloon then and that's not good probably yeah. It's there to help us out but you know we don't need to necessarily Push our stomach to the limits especially on a regular basis listening. You know we can on days like Thanksgiving but we will pay the price in terms of you know. We will feel uncomfortable in our body has to work harder. And you may feel a little bit tired weird after your meal or sluggish because your body's then directing a lot of energy just into trying to break down that meal what about sometimes when I've really overdone it in terms of food. My harness racing. I'm just feeling like wool. I'm running but I'm not. I'm just laying on the couch. You know what is why is your heart beating more. So that's a part of the body revving up the metabolism your gut needs more blood flow needs more oxygen region to supply the gut so that it can absorb so that the stomach and breakdown so your heart has to increase salutes production to help out the digestive track why do we overeat so much. It seems like sometimes we keep eating and eating and then suddenly it's like oh no now now if way overdone it but we don't know it until it's too late. Our body secretes different hormones that makes us feel full or makes us hungry and so the there's a fine balance between those hormones the hormones that make us hungry those don't drop to its lowest point until about thirty to sixty minutes after a meal and the hormone they make us feel full and satisfied. Those don't peak peak until about thirty to sixty minutes after a meal so it's very easy for us to eat a meal and actually have a full stomach but not yet feel full. The what helps with this. I mean sometimes I feel like we we go through the meal pretty quickly use spend hours cooking it but then we don eating in like half an hour so does slowing down. Help definitely one of the things I'd strongly advises just taking our time in ensuring our food And you no longer take into to chew and eat our food you know where pacing ourselves and then unit gives your your body time to let you know that it's full after you finish eating you know probably sit around wait twenty to thirty minutes and just ask yourself you know. How am I still hungry? Rather than just going immediately back for more after you finish Earl Campbell. The third is a gastroenterologist corologis at Yale University You're listening to science and Thanksgiving. I'm Mike and Scott even if you go back back for seconds or thirds leftovers are basically unavoidable on Thanksgiving and a lots of them that wants delicious now aging casserole stroll will stare back at you until December unless you throw it away. A lot of the abundance of Thanksgiving ends up in the trash but food waste is the year round problem jets Lehman looked into how and why we waste so much food and how some people are trying to stop this problem. Amy McCormick they call her daughters downstairs. It's time to get groceries. Mom Dad and twin girls climb into the car. I follow tune all supermarket. A few miles away in Burlington New Jersey. The family pull right past the parking lot and stop around back and the family piles out. You have made it to our favorite dumpster for the McCormack's virtually all their grocery shopping happens behind the grocery grocery store in whatever. Dumpster isn't locked. Yeah this is a gift fishing gaff for big things like gallon gallons balance of milk or big bags taking grabbed the handle. That's Dad dwayne McCormick. He's got a little step stool. He climbs up on. Hema has one of those long grabber Aber Arms. The smell that bad dwayne sees some familiar blue packaging. God tell me this isn't like this is the way. The universe works ice cream sandwiches. It's hard to find solid ice cream. Duan's one complaint about dumpster inventory. Well I'm I'm halfway tempted as he turns the box some cream no longer iced dribbles out knowing that amy move some bags with grabber and some produce rolls around elected was looking at everything she uses her grabber to open tied up black trash bag and Peter Stephan. We have sweet potato chips. Alot of read another of Bradbury's margarine at all looks and smells like it's in perfect condition. We started really shopping when all of a sudden. I'm sorry what was that. It's a store employee. She's got more trash two toss and we are in the way she. She says she can call the cops. Amy tells the employees. It's not illegal but they leave anyway. Dwayne says these confrontations are rare and nothing a new but still they sort of sting I could. I could just tell they were judging saying what are you doing in my trash for a brief second I guess so you think. What am I doing in somebody else's trash I don't know because I am? They're doing that. The dumpster diving is I'm now lower more socially it bothers amy considerably less. There are well off well educated middle aged couple with young kids. The dumpster dumpster diving for them is about avoiding food waste. I wanted to meet them because they buck. A very UN thanksgiving food reality abundance and waste go hand in hand Brian. Lipinski broke it down for me. I am a food. Waste analyst with the World Resources Institute. Globally speaking he says about a third of all food produced is never eaten for different reasons in the developing world places bike sub Saharan Africa South and Southeast Asia. It's because of what's called food. Loss pasts eat crops in the field harvest spoils and transit. Basically product never even makes it to the market but in the developed twirled as incomes rise. You see it starts shifting towards the downstream retail and consumer levels to what's called food waste. It was grown and harvested or raised in butchered. It was processed packaged and shipped all without a hitch made it to our stores and kitchens but ultimately it was thrown away in fact forty three percent of all waste. The lion's share happens in our own homes. It's much more about human behavior. That's actually pretty challenging. Because getting people to change the way they behave is very difficult. This worries Brian because globally the middle class is growing and quickly. The world's poorest are getting richer and that's great but there's a chance there relationship to food will end up eventually like ours wasteful. We'll be producing more food than ever and also throwing away more than ever. You need land to grow food and right now where already maxing out on the amount of agricultural land and we can have on the planet without you know just completely demolishing our atmosphere with greenhouse gases. So how did we become so wasteful wasteful. Brian Rowe an economist with Ohio State. University's food waste collaborative. Says it starts. With President Lincoln Lincoln major advancements in the agricultural sector developing land grant universities developing the extension service that really ramped up the transfer of technology from Universities to the General Population Lincoln signed into law a bill creating our department of Agriculture and the Twentieth Century Rosa's public outrage at food production scandals and two world wars forced advancements in preservation and packaging. We got better at growing food better at keeping it fresh so it got cheaper. It's simple economics when you have a lot of something. Typically the price is going to be low. And we're not quite as a vigilance about wasting things. That are inexpensive for cheap and we are blessed with an abundance of food. There's an argument for easing agriculture. Subsidies producing less surplus era plus essentially making food cost what it truly costs especially in terms of environmental damage. But then yeah and then exacerbates the issue on that. When seven food insecure in the country that are hoping that food prices will stay low and go even a little bit lower amid all all this waste there? Are Americans going to bed hungry every night so human behavior it is. Experts say it's on us as individuals but but it's complicated Mia. Farrow marketing researcher at the Catholic University in the old France says public awareness. Campaigns can actually backfire. I if we just tell people how much they waste so most of them said one third of the food is wasted than we may think one third of the food. That's a lot so if everybody's nobody's doing it but for sure I'm not wasting that much so that's sort of makes you feel good about yourself and you just think that you're not wasting that much research search though also shows people vastly underestimate how much food they actually waste and even if they do own up to it will feel bad if we keep on blaming damn at some point. We're just GONNA be so tired of feeling bad that which is gonNa just not going to think about it anymore anymore folks just tune it out but just to make a point about blame all the experts I talked to mentioned. There's a great deal working against the average person looking to waste less. There's arbitrary sell by dates. Bulk Item Marketing. Me tells me even the size of our fridges makes it easy to just toss stuff in there and forget about She purposely keeps her fridge nearly empty. So what's in your kids right now. Why some cheese and yogurt? Yeah so what could work. Brian Rowe The economist tells me some cities like Seoul. South Korea actually tax household food. Waste food waste and and other organics are have separate disposal and you have to pay. Basically by the pound to dispose of that or he says increased the cost of food while also increasing recent food assistance for the poor things like snap mea solution is less grandiose just be positive positive You can do it you can change it. You're good at AIDS. Look how good others are doing. Of course you can do to get people excited about conceiving food. I was pretty skeptical hearing that but then I mean just listened to Dwayne and amy saving groceries from the trash. This is my God ice cream sandwiches. Ashes when's the last time we were that excited on Grocery Day on any day if only the rest of US could look at leftover Turkey and stuffing the same way. dwayne looks at melting ice cream in a dumpster for the pulse. I'm Jed slam coming up the love and bonds that keep so many of us coming home for Thanksgiving. There is a sense of duty that I felt. Did you like be in this place at this time. That's next. This is science and Thanksgiving a special production from the pulse. I'm Mike and Scott when we gather around the Thanksgiving table especially when we live far away from our families the passage of time often becomes visible new family members take their spot in their little baby. ABC's getting their first taste of mashed potatoes. Empty Chair is mark the absence of those who are no longer with us. It's a chance to remember things we've been through food to tell stories and to celebrate what we have in this moment reporter Nina Feldman meets up with a group of friends every year at this time. They they all come home for Thanksgiving and this gathering holds a special importance to them. There were six of us who went to high school together. We met at community high a small public school in Ann Arbor Michigan. It has a reputation as a place freaks artists and kids who don't want a traditional education. There are no oh bells. Teachers go by their first names and students can pitch their own classes and earn credit from experts. Outside of school anywhere else. My friends and I would have been considered misfits misfits even rebellious but in a school of five hundred Weirdos. We bonded over being kind of normal. We did most of that bonding in my friend Marie Garage. Gosh we had like a TV out there. A little mini fridge and It was just like a hangout area. That's Marie the garage stood alone just feet from her parents house and it was a win win. Our parents liked it because they felt like we were technically under supervision. We liked it because we felt like we technically warped we could be like louder water and smoke more weed in there than we would have been able to. If it had been actually in their home we spent hours in there. We drank a lot of Roman coke for some reason danced developed. Crushes argued changed our minds. We tried on different personalities. Use each other as sounding boards and became the people we are today. I got grounded once because you're part of this. This is Anna another friend from the group. I told my parents get your house when we went to a party at Lisa's sister's house us. But then I got. I wasn't able to wasn't allowed to sleep over anywhere for like a month and a half and I just remember like melting down telling my parents that they were ruining my life because If I missed a moment then I missed everything. It's true. We really spent all our time together after high school. Well most of us left town for College. We'd come home for Thanksgiving break like lots of kids do. We'd go out the night before Thanksgiving meet up with old classmates a lot of times. We'd end up in the stark crowded basement bar downtown in Arbor called babs. It was sloppy and fun but after a few years it started to get old. Here's another buddy of mind. Jake I just remember being there. That was sort of the cutoff for the next year. We were like everyone's going to babs but what. We didn't go to Babs what what if we do that. I think that's the point. When a lot of people lose contact with their friends from growing up high school slips into a bygone era people people get more serious partners in jobs? It's expensive to travel at Thanksgiving. You miss a year. Maybe it becomes a pattern. We could have fizzled out. But but then Ethan died Ethan was one of our crew. He was brilliant and adventurous and an amazing cutler. He died in a rock climbing accident when he was twenty. Eight in October. Of Two Thousand Fifteen. I was the first to find out. My mom called me while I was still in bed on a Saturday morning. I remember yelling. No over over and over again as she told me what had happened and then I started calling my friends a month after Ethan died we all came home for Thanksgiving time. It mattered more than ever. There is a sense of duty that I felt too like the in this place at this time because like Arbor friends like needed to solidify the bond that insulin define it was like holding tight to the memory of if there had ever been any doubt that we would keep coming home. There wasn't any more involuntarily lose someone else Mindanao. I know that Thanksgiving after he died. We definitely didn't want to go out to the bars. Luckily right around that time our friends Steve opened up a restaurant in Ann Arbor. It's called Spencer. Glass that first year get together with somber. It was time for us to grieve together but every year since thinks it's been joyful now. Every time I go back on that Wednesday I mean we just all go straight to Spencer. It's like our little clubhouse when we get home especially on the night before Thanksgiving giving because they're closed so he opens it up for us and someone walks in and give them a big hug. Important glass of wine never coming home at this time of year access an anchor. It's not just being home and it's not just being together. It's the combination. Here's Maria again. I think feels sometimes to me like a like a provides provides a reset like it allows me to relax to like. I don't know let go of stuff in a way that like other places. Don't don't I have this image of getting older where we're just adding layers onto our personalities over over the years the selves we had when we were fifteen are still buried down there. They're just obscured by other life. We've piled on top places. We've been tragedies when I go home each year for Thanksgiving I can access. The person was when I was fifteen around my friends. I really we feel like that kid in the garage deciding who I want to be. But I'm also the thirty one year old at Spencer who has already decided intake. I was Nina. Feldman reported. Science and Thanksgiving was produced by the pulse at whyy in Philadelphia. You can catch the polls every every week wherever you get your podcasts. Our Health and science reporters are Allen. You list tongue jets Lehman and step yen. Our intern is grant hill. We ahead production assistance from Julian Harris. Charlie Kyler is our engineer. Lindsey Lazar Ski is our producer. I might instead. Thank you for listening and happy Thanksgiving. Thanks giving behavioral health reporting on. The pulse is supported by the Thomas Scattered Good Behavioral Health Foundation an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches an integrated healthcare. whyy's health and science reporting is supported by a generous grant from the Public Health Management Corporation Public Health Fund Ph Mc Z.. Gladly supports W._H._Y._y.. And its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

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Sex and Health

The Pulse

48:43 min | 1 year ago

Sex and Health

"This podcast is supported by Arden theatre company, presenting August Wilson's gem of the ocean. The first play in Wilson's American century cycle playing now through March thirty first tickets at Arden theatre dot org or two one five nine two two one one two two supporting WHYY Penn medicine, if you've been told you need back or neck surgery specialists at the Penn spine center can offer you a second opinion. Learn more at Penn medicine dot org slash spine. That's Penn medicine dot org slash spine. Major funding for the pulse is provided by a leadership gift from the Sutherland family charitable fund. The Sutherland support WHYY and its commitment to the production of programs that improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science I Mike and Scott today's episode is about sex. So it may not be suitable for everybody. A bunch of giggling teenagers are checking out toys of the adult variety. I met sex plora Taurean that's a boutique dedicated to all things sex in Philadelphia. And I'm meeting up with Timorese Schmidt. Hey, how are you? Good. How Demary is a sexuality educator? She teaches classes here occasionally, she also hosts a podcast about sex. And she's giving me a tour. There's a whole shelf with leather masks. Oh, yes. So these are for like puppy play. You could have like a the Senate year in a muzzle and all that. Okay. Little cat ears. Cute. I like those little tales. Of course there. Vibrators a lots of them in all colors, all shapes and sizes because Martin. And if you want to feel what feels like I always recommend trying it on the tip of your nose. Marie is having a black. And I'm feeling a little weird being here. So what would you say to somebody like me who is like in the store, and I'm gonna like? I don't know. I don't know if I want to be here. Well, you don't have to you don't have to be in anything. That's the nice thing is that sexual freedom. Includes the possibility that it's not of interest. I would just ask any person who comes in here. Like, what are you interested in? What what sparks joy? What what sparked security? She says lots of us have different hangups things that get in the way of fully exploring our sexuality. We get messages that sexuality is dirty and sinful, and and that it is inappropriate to even explore your own body. Much less to ask questions and explore the world. She says this place is about having fun. This is a toy store is just an adult. Toy store and sex is tied to our well-being and house, what is more enlivening than I think connecting with other people feeling exhilerated Philly excited, experimenting doing things that you don't really know how this is going to go sexuality is an opportunity for creative expression at its best sex releases endorphins makes you happy feel at home in your body, but unsafe sex can make you sick. And so many things can get in the way of enjoying sex. Illnesses. Trauma aging on today's episode were going to explore the different connections between sex and our health and some of the barriers that prevent people from having the sex life. They want. There's always a risk with sex. It can expose you to diseases, and let's face it that sought puts a major damper on things these days a lot of people take prep to cut down specifically on the risk of HIV. Prep stands for pre exposure profes- laxes, you take one pill a day to prevent HIV infection. And even if you're opting out of condoms, it reduces the risk of contracting the disease by more than ninety percent. So prep is here. It works. But getting your hands on can be a different story, some healthcare providers don't know that much about it an access can also be harder depending on where you live Alexander. Charles Adams lives in Louisiana were getting a prescription was a challenge. Alexander recalls. The experience I started hearing ask your doctor about Pratt on TV and YouTube sometime in spring of twenty. Sixteen. I was a university student having their fair share of queer funds. So prep was definitely a topic of conversation. But when I googled it a big one thousand two hundred dollars per month priced I came up which made me terrify asthma parents about it and they pay for my health insurance. Then a long list of confusing side effects filled by computer screen, diarrhea headache. Here's the deal. I don't like condoms the field. The idea the whole thing at the same time. I was truly lucky to receive a comprehensive sexual health education. So I couldn't rationalize having the sex. I wanted to have and not protecting myself from threat. I well knew as there. Alone in my bedroom. Just coming off the last of a series of HIV scares. I was determined. I was going to get on prep and stop this exciting this self hatred for my sex life. So come hell or high water. I picked up the phone called my family, doctor and made an appointment. I get in late on my phone to calm down ignore the weird Christian rock playing from the intercom and prepared talk to sold straight white man about sex things he comes in I bere-. And then I give my pitch. So I'm high-risk, and I know that. I had eighty two partners last year, I'm using but hading condoms, and I know that there is another way to do this. Could we look at true vodka for prep? He pulls his laptop in front of him doesn't click Clack Clack away. And then come the words, this isn't covered by your insurance. No without insurance. I can't do this. I can't afford ask my dad. No, I go home searching for another option googling furiously. And I find out what my doc said wasn't true. We not only did my insurance cover it Gilead. The manufacturer had a copay program that made the pills free, regardless of where you get them from. Or if you have insurance why would Dr lie to me? Maybe he didn't know. So I go back to my doctor demand and explanation. He comes in. I blurred out. I ne- prep. I promise I'm gonna show up for blood work. And I promise I will tell you if I have side effects, but I need this medication. Please. What he says next still messes with me today, I will not prescribe as let drug I do not want to talk about this again. That should never have happened. But I only know about now in two thousand sixteen prep was easily accessible in so many gay capitals across the country with payment help a free lab costs and community engagement. But San Francisco is San Francisco southeast Louisiana is something else. Recently. I talked it out with a friend of mine. Austin matthews. He's a social worker in HIV care seen here in Louisiana. That's very rare that clients come in, and they're just so forthright with you about saying, I know that I have some behavior that put me in a higher category for this outcome. Please help me like that's if I could hear that from every client that I've ever seen as a social worker. My life would be so much easier. The doctor you gave the doctor a win. But that doesn't really answer my question. So I talked to someone else who house people get on this medication every day. I share the same story again this time with nurse practitioner. Dion bell, you know, with unfortunate. But the happens a lot, you know, down here in in the south, you know, the little different, you know, all over the country people are involving in trying to eliminate HIV. And this is just one of the steps in that goal. I understand discomfort with something that you don't know act. Totally get that I do feel that he could have at least helped you to find a resource to get on print. But he didn't I'm nineteen trying to stay safe and staring at Saint nothing billboards with no real resources on them. Just did you know that there's a pill that can prevent HIV Yager. I do. But that doesn't mean I know how. To get it. As seeing the commercials as seen billboards. I've seen the signs, but they're still, you know, more we need to do as far as getting access and word out there to people that this is what we have. And this is a village to you tune the new year rolled in and in two thousand seventeen while I was trying my best to adhere to my sex, light diet and get on this medication. Something was changing in. My backyard Baton Rouge has the highest incident rate of people living with HIV as well as people who have a confirmed aids diagnosis within one year of being diagnosed with HIV. Okay. See then I couldn't be the only person who needs this. I mean, I'm not some reckless maniac. Yes. Sex was my risk factor. But it's also it ended up protecting me one night at three AM. I got a series of a tractive images on Grindr this hookup. And decided to go over to the skies house. Just run of the mill meet up for me when I asked him about his HIV status. He said negative on prep yourself. I turn the conversation to how hard it had been for me to get a prescription his face lit up. He grabbed his computer, and he said, I can help prep is actually my job. And I stood there in shock and awe. He pulled up this map. I had never seen before I could put in my zip code and find a clinic that offered prep. Specifically this clinic finder was new in my head exploded, my friend. Austin wasn't surprised that this information came to me during rendezvous people who are on prep need to be having talks with their sex partners. Why aren't you on prep because real talk if I'm on prep, and I'm having sex with someone that does not protect them from anything. But honestly, once you want, you know, what people are into you can have better sexual relationships. I mean, I think that's. True. That's very true sentence. Like that is like let me social work everyone over the radio for just a moment that when you know, what people are into when, you know, their background when you know, what's up, and what's not you can have much better, happier, healthier sex life. I get home plug in my zip code and call the nearest clinic. Hi, I'd like to make a prep appointment. It's my first time. Yes. Only Wednesdays between one and six I'm sorry. I have to work. I have to let me call you back later. Hi, I called yesterday about a prep appointment Alexander Adams. Yeah. Four weeks. I'm sorry. Okay. I drive down to the clinic on my one day off to do the new patient rigmarole. And I meet my prep navigator. This is the moment, I answer some intake questions, confirm my insurance. And then I am shown the door. It'll be another week before we do an HIV test than two weeks after that will do another one. And then you'll get your prescription. What there are necessary delays in the prep process because we don't want to prescribe a medication. That's not right for you. Okay. That's fair. But all in all getting on prep took the better part of a year the process was convoluted bureaucratic and degrading. But I made it at any point in that journey. If one night didn't go as planned if one guy persuaded me pass my boundaries. If any fiber of my will to avoid HIV had faltered for one moment, I would have become positive, and this story would be very different. Prep changed my life. I say this for two reasons because I'm without a doubt high risk like. But more importantly, I felt more secure I respected more people's kinks and interests, and I can't even begin to explore my own. That was sound artist. Alexander Charles Adams, telling the story of getting on prep. You're listening to the pulse. We're talking about sex and our health how we enjoy sex. How comfortable we feel can change over the course of our lives. My sex life is the best it's ever been. I'm seventy. I'm Dr Seuss on the mayor clinical sexologist, and my specialty is libido and arousal. I don't get turned on necessarily by the side of mud lover anymore. I need much more than that stimulation pretty much. It's the same for him. And so we're dealing with different bodies. I'm dealing with two new hips lower back issues in bed. It becomes sometimes a joke, and you have to love about it. You know, I used to be a dancer decades ago. And so in bed I could literally dance and if somebody saw me now, they go oh my goodness. You know, she's barely moving in its struggling and all that stuff. But you do have to laugh at it. Because otherwise, you'd probably cry over it that wouldn't be a great turn on. What I have found for me my slice of heaven in all this sex play is just you know, after my lover has been pleasure. And I ask just lying in his arms while I'm giving myself an orgasm, you know. That is just heaven for me. It's wonderful. I lost my sex drive somewhere sometime during post menopause after I had gone through official menopause. It was tough. You know? So I started reading, you know, Myra books and looking at sexually explicit films and getting turned on by those and for me at this point. It's not just about the act of having sex. It's about the wanting of sex. I realized the connection that I have with somebody else. In terms of expressing myself sexually. It's not something. I'm going to just do when I walk in the door and see him. It's part of an erotic connection. We text each other. And we turn each other on not necessarily with huge Yudo erotic stories per se, but just a few words because what I found out for me. It's feeling wanted. That is a real turn on when somebody wants you. Susannah, mayor is the author of dust sex have an expiration date, not everybody is as comfortable discussing or talking about sex or even spelling out what they like or don't like ginger. Manley is a retired sex therapist, and a nurse practitioner. She says the biggest reason people struggle around sexuality is that they don't know how to talk about it. I say to people the most important thing, you can do is have true oral sex, and that doesn't mean genitals to mail. It means using your mouth and your ears to talk about this bully closed or maybe not clothed. But to talk about it when she was younger ginger didn't think too much about people in their sixties and seventies having sex because that was like just more information than I want. But I've found that there's a whole world of sexual issues that people never have gotten answers for. And would like to have help with. So she started to write a sex advice column in Tennessee magazine, called mature lifestyles ginger called it assisted loving readers around Nashville sent her questions and she provided answers, dear Abby style. I actually was banned because a group of people approached by publisher and said, this is the filthiest nastiest stuff, but ginger persisted the column went on and she answered questions like is kissing still in fashion. What do I do when my overactive bladder spoils love feelings or how to navigate physical challenges with intimacy after a major surgery, virtually every illness or every disease or every surgery can affect our sexuality because it affects our ability to move to respond all of those kinds of things, but particularly with hip surgery with knee surgery, you give a new joint, and you don't wanna mess anything up. So there. Are some guidelines for the things that you can and cannot do after that? For instance, a woman who's had a hip replacement surgery needs to be careful that she not get into a position where she could possibly get her hip out of joint again. And then there's the whole issue about what happens when one partner develops dementia, and I think that it's extremely difficult because if the mate is in a caregiver role, it's very hard to feel sexually attracted toward the other person. And I saw a lot of the people that I worked with overtime who felt very lonely very oscillated because they were in that role. So every onus in every surgery can affect a person's sexual functioning and their joyfulness ginger says as you get older use sex life might need a little help. It's a much more hands on experience than sex was perhaps when they were younger when biology was totally in charge. Biology's still there, but it needs a whole lot of help. Sometimes people are very reticent to engage in full body sexual touching with their hands with many other parts of their body. So I'm courage them to use that assistance to use oil 's and getting a medical evaluation. If a person needs to be on assistance with one of the drugs like by GRA many women need to be on some kind of estrogen if their bodies in their health will allow it to keep the vagina flexible and plastic so that it moves and you don't get injured. I think people might need to use some kind of sexual toy because it requires more stimulation and the kind of stimulation that an older person requires is much more than a younger person would require Jinja says talking listening taking some risks and being open with your partner can lead to new sexual experiences and intimacy even as we. Age. She told me about a letter she received from one of her readers, dear ginger, amend my eighties of just celebrated by first year wedding anniversary, we were both happily married for many decades before our spouses died in neither of us ever thought we would marry again, but miracles do happen while sexist different in this stage of life. It is good ginger. Manley is a retired sex therapist. Her book is called assisted loving, the journey through sexuality and aging one of the most common sexual activities is performed a loan masturbation. These days many people talk about it, openly view it as healthy, but masturbation used to be a very hush hush topic. And there were warnings about doing it. Too much. You'll go blind or you'll grow hair on your palms and knuckles. A new generation of men is giving up masturbation or trying to for different reasons. Jeff. Let's Lehman looked into this pull up the recipe for a community called no fab, you'll notice each user has a statistic by their screen name eight days twenty one days seventy seven hundred and twenty eight hundred fourteen days, that's how long they've gone without masturbating fat is an onomatopoeia a word that sounds like what it describes like, you know, buzz or pop no fab means abstaining for long periods of time. It's something adherence call a reboot the practice is rooted in a response to internet pornography, which no fabrics consider highly addictive. The guy who coined the term no fat is a former software analyst Alexander roads. He spoke with WB you are in Boston. A few years ago about his struggle with porn, and masturbation I felt completely powerless. I was in a very low point of life. I was just questioning why am I so lethargic? Why do I feel like I can't stop doing this? He's building a Pittsburgh based business around what he calls porn recovery and said he's too. Busy to sit down for an interview. But the whole idea of no fat has grown way beyond his answer to internet, porn, the suburb. He started in twenty eleven now has four hundred and ten thousand subscribers while he talks about laying off for a few months. Others online boast about years without masturbation, some claim abstaining can completely change. You make you more confident with women better at the gym. I talked to someone who's trying this out Daniel Nadeem, he's a twentysomething Canadian who promotes the practice online. His brother introduced him to know fat. He actually pulled out his phone, and it was like thirty something days. I'm like what is that? What are you showing me? He's like these are the amount of days. I haven't like washed porna- masturbated for Daniel thought. It was dumb at first. But he says his life wasn't going. So well at the time he's always been anxious and lonely things were especially bad in high school, and he used masturbation to cope. I remember this one instance where I bombed a test, and I was so mad, and I just went home and. Spent the entire day just watching pornography masturbating to it. And just burning myself out to the point where I was just so disgusted to Daniel. It felt like an addiction and some other kind of binge would follow the masturbation we'd a role of cookie dough he started gaining weight and that spooked him. This was a few years ago. He remembered no fab the day counter on his brother's phone, and he came across all these claims on social media on YouTube goodbye, brain fog, say Hello to an increase in memory and culminated function or charismatic when you're on the no fat journey. That's one of the superpowers that Venice beach. You get from increased levels of motivations increased energy levels. And Daniel was sold. I had immersed myself so much in the community. I'm like, I think this is real you hear about these stories of guys getting all these benefits their lives just turning around. It was easy at first. But week after week he says he started hearing two voices in his head one wanted to quit and another did. Didn't like my brain was trying to find every single possibility. Every trick in the book every justification. I could make like all of the characteristics in traits of an addiction. Like, I I was going through it. It became a struggle a count the amount of times. I messed up in how many relapses I made. It was just like I do great than I do horrible in do a little better in horrible horrible horrible at the same time. He started no fab Daniel also started working out trying to eat better. He says things improved. He met his first ever girlfriend. I'd never kissed a girl before then I had never kissed a girl. Never. Yeah. I was literally like only kissed by girl nuts. My mother on my forehead no-fat didn't give him superpowers. But Daniel says he's happier than he's ever been more self assured. I felt more free IBM social scenarios, I would lead things more. I would take more initiative. I cared less about you know, whether that guy thinks a bit of my fat is leaking out of my shirt, I reached out to John Hopkins. Urologists Amine hurrah. Ready to get his take on all of this. He says first off you need periodic arousal those erections men get basically out of nowhere. They actually keep your penis. Healthy men have a user lose phenomenon which means that in the absence of regularly occurring erections and in the absence of oxygen nutrient rich blood being delivered to the penis. The smooth muscle. The penis can get replaced by fibroid tissue that's tissue that doesn't expand well causing erectile dysfunction 's masturbation often naturally just follows that arousal physiologically hormonally. Amine says nothing changes when you stop masturbating for really long periods of time. But he did say a short break say a couple of days could be good for guys who really overdo it. I also reached out to a sex therapist Marty Klein, he says if you think about masturbation as an addiction you're going to struggle because it's literally always at your fingertips. He also says it means missing out on something wonderful people need to reaffirm. Firm the value of masturbation. It's vehicle for self discovery. It's a way of learning how to self soothe and and it's just part of growing up in being an adult who is in charge of their own sexuality. If you think you're masturbation is a problem. Marty says look to a physician or psychologist not a message board. So I asked Daniel did you think about seeing any kind of healthcare professional, honestly, not once like, I never considered it at all he thought he'd just get laughed at. But at the same time, I was reading up a lot of posts on Reddit. And these guys were like, I went to my therapist. And this guy just thinks like this. No, fab stuff is a joke. Daniel told me he had masturbated a few days before we spoke. It was his first time in many months, and he called it a relapse. I tell them what mardi told me the stuff about being in charge of your own sexuality. He said that actually made sense to him. Yeah. It's like your opinions is attached to you. You don't wanna have a negative relationship with with? With that, you know, he's quit again. But he says he doesn't want to never masturbate again for now. He says no fat makes them feel good. And he's not hurting anybody. So he's going to keep doing it. That's jets Lehman reporting. You're listening to the post I Mike and Scott we're talking about sex and how it affects our health. Sex is connected to biological urges to desire, and we just heard about people who want to get a handle on those urges and feel more in charge. But for other people that urge that desire is pretty much absent Paulus Van Horn has more sex, the oldest of human drives. But some of us don't have that drive or have one that works a little bit differently. Like mine. It makes me feel like an alien like the only one for my species dropped here on planet earth trying to manage the expectations of human sexuality those expectations that you have sex want sex are regularly sexual they're everywhere. So let's get some sex topics. All right. So survey posted in psychology today. One to find out why people fantasize about sex and the answers ranged from know. Sexual arousal, my friend. Helen, he feels this pressure around sex as well. Hi, I'm Helen among many things Helen is a sexual but in practice. What does that mean a person who's a sexual is identify as some while who does not experience a sexual attraction thing coz like someone who's straight? So they're not into someone who's the same gender with them me. I'm just not into someone who is like any gender. It's just like s a human being like as a functional member of society. I feel like the society just like expects you to like have sex. If you're like in a relationship in like an love in a lot of times, I feel I like it shouldn't go against that. Like, I don't want to like make the person like sad or anything like that wanting sex is just normal, right? Healthy relationship can only be one with a lot of sex. That's the message. We get anyway. Yeah. I feel like there are definitely a knob times that I just like have sex, and I don't really think about if I wanted or not I just like have it. And that I dislike cry afterwards because I just felt really really bad like dirty used in just say, this is not something I wanted Helen is constantly explaining. That they use them pronouns or about their sexuality and they've tried all sorts of poetic metaphors to convey their experience to others. Really into like, but this metaphor. I think worked best clam chowder. I have a partner whom I love whose supreme to clam chowder. And sometimes I just like to make it for him and ally I like to own like to have it within and even if I'm not like super into the flavor or anything like that it just like it makes me feel happy in content because I'm doing something. Nice. With like some y love, you know, giving what we need is more important than having sex. We're all just trying to figure out how to be happy in our bodies. And what those bodies need, there is hope we're happy. I'm happy, you know. Yeah. That story was reported by policy Van Horn. We often talk about sex as a healthy part of life something to enjoy. But what if the sex you want to have is impossible or painful no-fly Shekar has been living with that reality for years? I'm twenty seven years old, and I've never had penetrative sex. I've tried but every time I'd feel this intense stinging and searing pain kind of like if you were doing the splits, and someone was pushing you into a much much deeper stretch than feels possible for your body. I'm from Chicago. But these days I live in Jerusalem. I've seen eleven healthcare professionals in the last year and a half. And I've been waiting for six months to see the twelfth gynecologist offi Noam love Segi. She specializes in Volver pain conditions, and basically has women all around Israel calling her who it's called V clinic. Wonder what the v stands for? She sits across from me as if we're to equals a meeting. She speaks quietly and looks me in the eye. She asks about my symptoms. I am not in pain unless there's any kind of penetration. Like. Tampon? Penetrative sex. It's the usual questions are you taking any medications. Can you tell me about your medical history? She's trying to rule out other health conditions that could be causing my pain. She guesses, right? That I I noticed the problem while trying to answer a tampon. I was never able to put in a tampon. So I think it was done. It didn't become like something that I realized was kind of like not going to go away until I kept trying to get a Pap smear. And they just got to do it. By this point. I'm a pro at going to the doctor. I've got a notebook where I've listed everything I've tried so far back in Chicago. I tried muscle relaxants valium, you insert into your vagina antidepressants for pain, and I saw psychiatrist who gave me anti-anxiety meds. But there isn't a whole lot of research to back up any of these medications. I went to my primary care physician gynecologist. They weren't particularly concerned. They basically told me to relax next. I went to to public health specialists who directed me to a physical therapist over. The course of eight months she helped me stretch and release my pelvic floor muscles and at home for an hour. Every night I use dilate ours, which are medical tools that let me practice on my own an almost nothing. I tried was covered. So I fought with my health insurance company a lot frustrated and angry. I recorded voice memos to keep track of it all when I went to my new physical therapist for the first time, she even at one point like it can knowledge like she was like, wow, you've been doing a lot of work on this like for five months and nothing's changed. And I just like burst into tears who has like, yes. Thank you for recognising that I've been doing painful things to myself for five months, and it's not changing still after every appointment. I was hopeful that I was improving. Here's another voice memo from a year ago last week. I was like oh my God. It's over are like I can have all the sex and babies and be done. And then this week was like it's never gonna go away. It was going to be the rest of my life. Like, I'm going to be in pain forever for years. I kept the pain to myself when I finally started telling. People some of their comments made me uncomfortable. Are you still going to date men is your boyfriend okay with while your boyfriend must be so amazing people acted like he was some kind of superhero for not leaving me? Sharon, or shall me is a sexual health educator and runs and awareness group for women. She says for heterosexual women experiencing pain with sex can threaten your personal identity as a woman as a sexual being a sexual partner and love partner, not just sexual partner about one in five women in the US have a chronic pain condition, which is to say, it's pretty common. But there isn't a lot of consensus on the treatments. That work. Many women are told go home drink a glass of wine. Sharon says public pain is political. She's critical of the conventional thinking which goes something like this is the core of heterosexual sex in heterosexual femininity in whatever. The there's actually no choice when you do heterosexual sex. If you do, and of course, not there's no choice because it's the definition of sucks. And it's the obvious for me. That's never been true my boyfriend, and I do have great sex, but just not penetrative sex. His name is barb Blass and we've been together for three years. It isn't a big deal for either of us. But we still haven't totally accepted. The fact that we don't have intercourse while this is scary recording this conversation bar. Let me tape us one night while we sat on our bed. But he's not a big talker. Who? About one day. But not. Whoa. It about that so much to there. Are you saying like, you hope one day, we can have you know, penetrators you. What if we can't? Fun. That's only took them on a few days ago. So what if I decide not not from a place of not caring? But from a place of. I don't wanna keep doing painful, physical therapy and spending huge amounts of money on this and. I don't know that. It's worth it. What do you think about that? Bill something else to try. But my doctors at home in Chicago, we're out of ideas, which is why I'm sitting across from Israel's Volver pain expert offi, no love soggy. The appointment with her was different even before asking me to undress. She talked me through some of the conditions that can cause painful penetration. Sometimes the pain is a side effect of birth control. If you use the pill over a long period of time, it can change your hormone levels and cause the skin to thin out. But I was only on the pill for a short time. So the doctor ruled that out off, you know, also talked about pelvic muscle spasms, which can also cause pain. Another possibility is pain caused by the Hyman that's the thin membrane of tissue that can partially cover the opening to the vagina might be very, very painful. And I missed it for too many years and no longer missing after explaining the conditions. She does a particular physical exam that none of my other doctors had done. Using a small q tip. She touches various points along the vestibule or the opening of my vagina to determine where the pain is. She starts at the top. It doesn't hurt. If you imagine the vestibule has a clock when she gets two four six and eight o'clock, it's really painful, I once she inserts her finger, I start crying. She's identified where the most extreme pain is which means she knows what might be causing it. It's hard to hear. But that's me laugh crying. Because a doctor is finally telling me what I believed all along. There's something inside of me that needs to come out. I haven't abnormally thick and rigid. Hymen am I muscle dysfunction? The spasms the pain are probably related to this. There's a surgery I can get to remove my hymen, and that's a relief. But best of all the doctor says for now don't even think about trying to have penetrative sex it won't work. Honestly, it's so good to hear that especially from a doctor. Maybe at some point I'll be able to. But in the meantime, and I are going to keep doing what we're doing. That's no fly shocker. She produced. This piece together with Hannah Barak, and they launched a podcast called tight-lipped. There's a link on our website, WHYY dot org slash the pulse. We were just listening to the story about sex being a painful experience physically, but what we probably hear more often about is sex being painful emotionally, usually because of a history of sexual abuse or trauma writer and activist. Adrien Marie Brown says past sexual traumas can mean that you get triggered during intimate moments with a partner often that shuts us doubt. Are we go silently don't tell the person what's happening being able to slow down being able to stop what's happening in the moment, and knowing that you have the right to do that at any time to be like this doesn't feel safe right now at anytime Adrian discusses dealing with trauma and triggers in her book, pleasure activism, and she says that part speaking up when something doesn't feel right is really important and to begin to reclaim agency over what happens in the realm of sex because. Because for so many of us. That's the first thing that gets taken from us is any sense of agency. It's like sex is happening to me or this person wants this. And so I give that and stead of you know, sex doesn't just happen to you sexist, something that you choose to share in with another person in her work on sex and sexual hells. Adrian focuses on women of color. I asked her how she understands the relationship between sex and health in a broader sense. I think when you are fully healthy sex is just a natural and easy part of life. It's a way to connect with others. It's a way to feel your own body as health gets compromised, and it gets compromised by many things a lot of that is trauma and socialization. There's ways that we begin to think that sex is something that we're only doing to please someone else or something that is only seen as terrifying. You know, I often think about how I was. Socialized around sex to be very cautious of it as an extremely dangerous activity physically but not to be cautious about it necessarily emotionally. Yeah. I mean, some of the first things I remember ever hearing about sex is that you can get pregnant or you can get really really sick. Yes. Having sex. That's a big mess yet. It's a big message. And you know, it's true. You know, the time when we were growing up from me, I'm forty and so the time that I was growing up was, you know, the pregnancy piece was a really big deal. But then there was HIV and people not knowing anything about it. I feel like we get so many mixed messages around sex, and so much of it is about other people and a lot of what I try to do say we'll start with your own body start with your own feelings for me. I started feeling sexual feelings when I was very young. And and I think it's really important to. Protect that innocent expiration of the body that innocent getting to know the body and understanding it as a place of pleasure that has nothing to do with anyone else's wants or desires or needs. Why do you think it's so important to especially talk to women of color about sex and pleasure. Yeah. I I really feel like we as black women as women of color in this country have served such a a role of service for such a long time. Our bodies were used to bear children. Our bodies were used to nurse children. Our bodies were used sexually whenever a master wanted to use them. Our bodies were fetish is and continue be finish is as bodies that are sexual as a taboo. So I think, you know, swimming inside of all those waters to try to get back to the root system in which. Which our bodies are like all human bodies, places of miraculous pleasure places of longing and desire places where we can feel intuition and feel longing is trying to reclaim our bodies for what they actually are. And I love working with women of color around these things in watching them light up because for most of us were feeling already so much inside. And just not sure what to do with it. I think girls and women don't learn a lot about pleasure and sex. And right. It's more a narrative of power often of giving something up or not giving something up and and control. How can we change that narrative for women to be interested in pleasure to think about what would I like here? Yeah. I mean, I'm really interested in there being many pathways to this. So I love the pop culture trends towards pole dancing and towards all these women who are like, wait. I no matter. How old I am. And no matter what I was told about strippers and strip teasing and all of that it actually brings me pleasure to learn how to dance on his bowl and learn how to work my body just for me just in a class full of other women and then in personal relationships. I think it's really important to talk about sex. So that's one of the things that I think like if the majority of people were to pick one practice that they were to engage in that could really shift this. I would say it starting to have more open ended conversations about sex conversations. That are not just there's a crisis. You know, there's something going wrong. But conversations that are like here's something that's really going, right? Or here's something I'm really longing for and I don't know how to get you often give you readers homework. Yes. Little assignments. And that they should try. Or do give me an example of something. Like that. Let's see there's a whole article about getting naked looking at yourself naked really starting to find something that you appreciate about your body. I'm blown away by the number of people who have no idea what their bodies look like. And then struggle to get undressed in front of other people like, yeah, it's you have no idea how beautiful you are. And how desirable you are. And you should know that about yourself. You should look at yourself. Adrienne Maree Brown is a writer and black feminists. Her book is called pleasure, activism, the politics of feeling good. That's our show for this week. The pulse is a production of WHYY in Philadelphia. Our health and science reporters are Alan you Liz tongue jets Lehman and Steph yen Julian Harris is our intern. Charlie higher is our engineer. Lindsey Lazar skis. Our producer Tanya English as our editorial director. I'm Mike Scott. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the Thomas, scattered good behavioral health foundation, an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare WHYY's health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from public health management corporations public health fund, P H, M C gladly supports WHYY and its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life. This podcast is supported by the science history institute, presenting milk safety in the twentieth century eradicating. Russillo. Says in the United States on Thursday evening, March twenty eighth open to the public tickets at science history dot org.

HIV pain Alexander Charles Adams partner Daniel Nadeem Mike Scott Chicago Lehman Louisiana WHYY Philadelphia Austin matthews ginger HIV infection YouTube Adrien Marie Brown Manley United States August Wilson Sutherland
Man-Made Worlds

The Pulse

47:45 min | 1 year ago

Man-Made Worlds

"Major funding for the pulses provided by leadership gift from the sutherland family the sutherland support w._h._y._y. And its commitment to the production of programs that improve improve our quality of life. This is the pulse stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science. I'm mike and scott the first thing i see when i walk into virginia. Kerr's apartment mint is a bonsai tree. Growing bowl designed to look like a little landscape tiny i._v. Crawls pergola the size of my hand and and it looks like a tiny elephant plan. Oh is it is oh my goodness ten twenty graph all right i love i love miniature so i've freaking out a little bit here and i'm about to enter the workshop of my dreams. I love it was two houses. I was lukin sore starting starting my own houses virginia's an architect by training and she has shifted her career to build miniature houses perfect to the very last detail detail looks like a living room. There's a fireplace with a marble mantle and these beautiful built in bookshelves <hes> this gorgeous floor. What does this floor made back as sushi matt here to roll the sushi's doc. I broke the sushi and able to speak so a glue them together in a same. Damn virginia builds on a one to twenty four scale. <hes> that's what architects used when they make models by comparison that's half the size of doll houses and dollhouse furniture decreasing assume because her us when she makes breaks for her little houses she cuts them from egg cartons with an exacto knife she paints them grouts them and dan a painted again until they have the look of a weather row house facade. She makes her own little hinges for doors and windows. Oh oh my goodness so you can open the windows. The work is equal measures demanding repetitive intensely creative every object every scrap of of trash can become something new do get in a sawn and forget about everything virginia says this work is more satisfying than being an architect act because it's her project start to finish the that's my problem. I'm extremely perfectionists. Let me show you this way and there's something else it allows her to make her own world from scratch to her liking for example. She's an artist and she always dreamed of showing her paintings things in a gallery so i so i make my own gallery and hermione exhibition so that's what i make these building. She points to the tiny gallery. She's built. It has floor-to-ceiling windows shiny hardwood floors on the walls a miniature version of one of her paintings. They're painting. Is that painting. The regular size one hangs in her living room the mini replica in virginia's beautiful gallery illuminated by track lighting the size of tic tacs. Everything is still everything is as she wanted to be. You have control and it is good now. Having some control at decide what but goes where what to do not to do how collared is going to go. It sounds appealing right to be the creator of your own perfect world old and i think this idea of control over what happens is crucial in terms of why people do this. You have long walked around in this world while l. dreaming of making their own where everything is better simpler more interesting but it doesn't always work out on this episode we explore the man made world why we create them and what happens when things go wrong <music> our first story is about people trying to create a parcel of rugged wilderness in a densely populated country the netherlands and they called it the aas vader's plaza sometimes it's referred to as the dutch sharing getty but soon this landscape that was set aside eight and fenced in for nature and animals to flourish became a battleground for humans steph. Yin has the story about a conservation effort gone haywire <hes> it was a scene out of a nightmare. The smell of death permeated the air economic. Even described even smell it now. Karen salting king was walking down the paths of the failures plaza for the first time two winters ago how we say cemetery. That's the word it's what's like a cemetery we without burying but there were that animals everyone heaps of bones carcasses scattered over a desolate moon like landscape excape. Karen is an animal welfare activist and she had been hearing rumors that all wasn't right at the house favors plaza but this was far worse than she expected. When you walk every two three meters you had an other dead animal sometimes a few together. It's it was like a war awesome. We never imagined something like this could happen in hollins the thing is this place this nature reserve. It was supposed to be a paradise today. It's not hard to get to the us. Baiters plaza <hes> it's an hour by train from amsterdam and the reserve is easily seen from a highway and train line that run right by it but if you visited the site sixty years years ago the entire thing would have been underwater in the fifties and sixties the netherlands initiated a massive drainage project installing rolling dykes and pump stations from what used to be seafloor rose in entirely new dutch province called flavor land. The government reined seeds. It's down on the newborn land from airplanes from those seeds fresh reed beds started to grow originally the area was slated for industry and agriculture sure the soil was unusually fertile but pretty quickly. You're the explosion and the new burst of life. That's meno bart vineyard. Then an any colleges who's been studying the aas failures plaza since its earliest days he says biologists and nature lovers soon noticed a rich wetland ecosystem system emerging. They pushed for almost six thousand hectares in area about the size of manhattan to be set aside as a nature reserve and they succeeded. Did it was a huge win for conservation. You see it never happens that area that is so rich in potential production then turned into a nature area for for a while it was heaven on earth volumes and four animals for everything. This is never seen before. Herons egrets spoon bills and other rare birds were turning up and breeding but because the soil was so fertile trees faster than everywhere else the failures. There's plaza was on. Its way to becoming a woodland meaning. All the wetland bird species would disappear with the site needed was open grassland and that's where a biologist named franz vera comes in franz is widely considered the architect of the vader's plaza he first visited visited the reserve in one thousand nine hundred seventy eight and was struck by how a migratory goose species the gray league geese seemed to be keeping the marsh and shallow water bodies open and by grazing enormous amounts of reads every time they stopped by here's franz wolf for me an eye opener because i saw that into thousands of greatly up to sixty thousand day were able which no miniature was able to do. They change three bits into shallow open. If these geese can steer the landscape toward open marsh franz figured other grazers could probably create the grasslands that would prevent thick forest from taking over ecologists generally thought that prehistoric europe was covered in dense forest but franz had the radical idea that europe was actually a wood pasture apache mosaic of open meadow dotted with stands of trees and instead of animals following. Whatever landscape was there. They were actually creating the landscape. Animals like y'all rox which is the wild ancestor of our domestic couch. We had the wild holes. The wild ox do european bison. We had a home in asia of launch grazing ungulates it could this chapter of history be replicated. Franz got a job at the dutch forestry service and over the nineteen eighties and nineties together with allies and other government ministries he started to bring big ungulates hoofed mammals to the us fighters pa. He chose the closest analogues to prehistoric grazers that he could find there. Were thirty two hardy heck tattle which the nazis back bread from domesticated cows to be as close too wild as possible eighteen semi feral kona courses from poland and fifty two massive red deer from scotland central to franz is experiment was non-intervention. He wanted to see what would happen if the grazers were left completely unmanaged in it d- no feeding medicating or any other human tinkering around the same time the concept of rewinding had emerged in north america mm re wilding was grander than saving rare species and protected pockets. It was about creating huge self sustaining ecosystems <music> with minimal human involvement soon diaz feeders plaza became a poster child of re wilding. Jamie lorimer re wilding expert at oxford. It says the reserve started to receive e you funding to create serengeti behind the dikes can wilderness right here in the suburbs of amsterdam saddam on this island claimed from the seat. If all the themes ambitious to you it may be isn't to the dutch. I talked to clements driessen a dutch geographer offer whose research revolves around the idea that nature is deeply cultural clements says in a country that would largely be underwater if not for dams dikes lakes and canals. There's this idea that human ingenuity can birth entire landscapes. There's even saying created the world with the dutch created the netherlands and that narrative was applied to those vader's plaza to framed as a feat of human engineering so not only can deduct may agricultural. Hopefully we can even make wilderness for the most part things progressed and the elevators plaza through the nineties and two thousands without too much disturbance hence it seemed the large grazers were in fact creating grasslands preventing forest from filling in there were debates for sure when animals died during during some harsh winters a committee of experts decided to introduce a strategy of reactive calling meaning they would shoot animals. That likely wouldn't survive the spring. There is some big public successes to like in two thousand six when a pair of white tailed eagles birds with wing spans. The size of a garage door came to yo speeders theaters plaza. They were the first pair to breed in the netherlands. Since the middle ages and in two thousand thirteen a documentary called the new wilderness came out documenting life in the newspapers. It was a box office sensation breaking records for how many visitors it drew to the cinemas public morale was high yet throughout this time those close to the reserve were seeing cracks. All those berber's were eating everything much more than expected the stance of shrubs and trees that franz vera hypothesized would appear they were grazed grazed before they could make it past seedling stage. The decline in vegetation diversity seemed to be leading to a decline in the species and numbers of birds particularly regularly threatened breeding bird species not to mention. There were inconsistencies in the whole non-intervention approach. I spoke with an ecologist named frank barons who is actually franz veras former mentor and an early advocate of the outfitters plaza franck says nonintervention is romantic in theory who doesn't like the idea of giant grazers recreating a world before humans also myself really attractive by the idea of real real real while to nature but every step along the way was an intervention claiming the land from c. introducing you're saying heck cattle and kona courses and then when that didn't seem to be enough red deer wild boar once showed up at the reserve rangers decided the to shoot at the follow so-called intervention strategy but they've nature behaves differently but they really like to see what they had glanced to see than they make many times the decision still to <hes> take another intervention stop. That's not saying she stood there. Were other problems as far as nature reserves go. The failures plus is pretty small and the large urban wars are fenced in to prevent conflict with with neighbouring farmers. There was hope that predators like wolves might eventually enter the reserve and help keep the large grazers and check but they haven't went at least not yet so the number of large urban wars continued to climb up to more than five thousand in the winter. Wild animals might naturally migrate to higher ground in search of food. These grazers all fenced in had nowhere to go which brings us is to two winters ago. The winter karen soul tank. I visited the failures that winter was particularly harsh and there just wasn't enough education tation for all the grazers more than three thousands of them. Sixty percent of the horses cattle and deer died the mass starvation and mortality. You were visible from the trains that ran past the reserve. Karen was part of a well organized group of animal rights activists and protesters that stoped public outrage age spread images of emaciated corpses on facebook. I had teams feeding hey to the grazers twenty four hours a day. A people called franz vera hitler sent him death notes threatened his grandchildren right wing parties joined the protest partly motivated conservationists say by economic interests of wanting to develop a nearby airport or make the vader's plaza more of a tourist destination coon arts is a dutch social scientist who studies nature conservation. He says it was a perfect storm of factors that brought the situation to a boil. You had the traditional agrarian slice of dutch society farmers hunters horse riders who have established ways of relating to deer and domesticated domesticated horses and cows then you had an urban public that tended toward anthropomorphic ideas of animals suffering combine that with social media and entry of dying animals data somehow goes to the core of human feelings if you like and and they are bound to raise controversies clemens jason that geographer who studies cultural ideas of nature said that eventually a deep polarization set in eh rift emerged between what was conceived as states ecologists being engaged in a secret experiments <hes> and oculus who were according to the gorgeous smart irrational emotional animal lovers last september the province of flavell and called for a change in the management of the vader's plaza with a plan to drastically reduce the number of animals they set an upper limit of eleven hundred for the number of large grazers on the reserve serve meaning more than eighteen hundred deer had to be shot much of their meat sold for food. Herds of horses have been transported to nature reserves in spain gene and belarus and this past spring. They fed some ailing cattle in the reserve. It's safe to say non-intervention. No longer applies in niaz baiters plaza in the wake of the changes some have called the reserve a failed experiment in reviling for franz vera. It's been a painful turn of events. He's been excluded from decision making about the reserve. He says it's a shame. The experiment was cut early. Nature your operates on a much longer time scale than a political term a human career or immortal lifespan. You know how old you areas. It's it's only it's from nineteen sixty eight so people it's it's like you say to the baby. You'll have to walk and you have to get job. It's the every still a baby maybe and now and now we expect the area to behave. Don't franz maintains that people had let the reserve continue to run its course risk. The grazers population would have stabilized and that mosaic wood pasture might still have emerged you know many people had ideas which were uh not accepted as soon as moments but eventually that proved to be right. I i have to feeding. I left a good message for nature conservation creation and that's what i am in my heart the nature conservation <music> in you. That story was reported by steph virtual. Reality technology allows you to enter into different worlds but you kinda look a little ridiculous especially when you try it for the first time we checked out a demo at the free library of philadelphia in eastern miller gets. Everyone set up a second to get open and loading for you. Hear your controllers here. People hold wireless controllers in each hand. There's a headset. That looks kind of like ski goggles just until it looks clear you tighten the straps. Then ethan starts up a program on a laptop okay now. Do you wanna do go sir cloud or to or anton here inside the headset. An artificial seen fills hills the user's entire field of vision they can look around in it move their arms and legs from the outside. It looks a bit like they're fighting invisible. B.'s they jump and duck and startle. There's a lot of panicked flailing. It looks fun but some v._r. Gamers say this can be so much more than play. They say it can have therapeutic value reporter. Jets lehman looked into this cure. Simmons is a new dad living in your houston and for most of his life. He's come off as a bit of a jerk. Did you ever watch the show big bang theory. It's a network tv sitcom number one in america for a while so so when that show first came out. I had friends calling me up saying dude. You should watch this. Show that sheldon guys you if you haven't seen it. Sheldon is the main character a super smart martin nerd who can be awkward at abrasive but you don't think i'm condescending do you well. I'm sorry condescend cure works attack and like the sheldon character. He's from texas. A lot of it does unfortunately lineup and so i was like cuts fair. Keer doesn't mean mean to come off the way he does. He has asperger's syndrome a disorder on the autism spectrum that makes social interaction really tricky the closest description. There's i just wanna hear a comedian talk about going into a group and they kill are going into group and they like completely bomb like it's as brutal as wow that actually most of my life on bombing when cure would play video games with people online things were different especially in planet cy to this massive shooter. You can yell out the players near you in the game with a voice chat feature and i would just kind of throw my best monster truck rally impression. I ask him for a demonstration. It's your man who manners texas. This is castor in height master rookie alive of indoor excavation side this rock and bunk here is of course who enters to his surprise though people didn't just laugh they actually listened and people would just flock and we would just like locusts wash over the land and just destroy and get people do all kinds of hilarious stuff off. He'll be puna honors this monster truck commander online at ease with people he'd never met but offline he was still sheldon then a new type of gaming platform came out the oculus rift virtual reality headset and it had this early game called echo arena in zero gravity in life faster. It's a futuristic sports game like ultimate frisbee in space all very tron looking players rocket around trying to get this disc to a goal bash each other and it looked absolutely wild and it looked beautiful here had barely started flying around in the virtual world when he took a bad fall in the real world he was fixing something on his roof and thought i'm just gonna take a few steps backwards and then i'll get a line of sight on it and i wake up on the ground with e._m._t.'s putting neckbrace omni and a broken leg. I felt twenty five. He had surgery got an opioid prescription during recovery and when that run out he went into withdrawal had his first panic attack and developed an intense depression and anxiety there are so with depression right. They told me that i needed to be around people. They being his therapists but when dealing with depression i mean it. It can be hard to even go outside and remember cure was never exactly good with people to begin with but he had his v._r. Kit all set up with this space ultimate frisbee game same so he decides to go online and join a match just sweating to death plan of having a good time camaraderie at people what i see people will do when they play basketball together. He says it felt like real. Social interaction like i'm having that experience playing sports with other people and making friends and it's doing a lot for my mental health and a lot from my wellbeing v._r. Just made everything more convenient simpler in the or you put the headset on inter's. They're definitely also don't have to do any other things that you get anxiety about in freak out about like i have to have to go take a shower after do my hair have the clothes and my clothes even clean like you don't have to worry everybody that you just put the headset on and play. He talks about v._r. Like at some lifeline he stumbled onto in the depths of depression and anxiety and cure. He's he's big in the v._r. Gaming scene. He runs a commentary site and told me he's not alone lots of v._r. Gamers are finding kind of unexpected relief. I wanted to know how exactly v._r. Works so i reached out to jeremy bela nsen director of the virtual human interaction lab at stanford university in california. He tells me about a demo he did for a bunch of legal types back in two thousand one. We had a federal judge who was probably sixties. Big guy the team boots up a simulation that puts a deep chasm in the middle of the room. We then drop a plank across the chasm where they basically have to walk over this rickety plank to get to the other. I saw the honorable whoever starts making his way across the virtual plank but slips off the side is reaction was to dive at a forty five degree angle will in the middle of the floor in front of all of these judges and moyers jeremy actually caught the guy. Luckily he didn't get hurt and nobody got sent to jail. He didn't sue us risk with this illustrates. This concept of presence presence jeremy tells me is when the player is no longer aware of the medium in this case of v._r. Rig all they're left with is the experience when you're using v._r. He says you're not guiding an avatar across a plank like a video game. Instead as far as your brain is concerned. You are walking plank. I can tell you a funny jokes that i give it talks in. It's not actually funny but what are the five most important and features that make a v._r. Experience effective no idea tracking tracking tracking tracking and tracking tracking you move your body and the image you see changes. Turn your head lean this way. Lift your arm the image the headset shows you reflects that in real time the brain has got dedicated real estate that is about moving your body so he's got the sensory motor cortex. There's the word motor in it and see the word sensory in it and this is a part of your brain that has you know for as long as people have been people people we've engaged with scenes physical scenes by moving bodies and by getting feedback from that movement he says v._r. As opposed to traditional media <hes> taps right into this basic part of our wiring to make things feel just real. It's a simple medium in the sense that you're just doing the same things that you've always always done out in nature. You're just getting separate perceptual feedback that you wouldn't have gone otherwise so v._r. Uses the natural evolutionary mechanisms assumes that we've always been used when we export scenes jeremy sees v._r. Revolutionizing all these different corners of daily life from how we think about business meetings to how we we take vacations. He even had a hand in a program that trains rookie retail workers for the horrors of black friday but i'm interested in the therapeutic potential and so was this guy sure. My name is <hes> skip rizzo. I'm a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist. He's director of the medical virtual reality lab lab at the university of southern california for years. He's used v._r. Helped treat veterans with p._t._s._d. He says put one such patient in an f. m._r._i. And queue up the right audio visual cues we see hyper activation of the amid the lead the fight or flight area in the brain classic example event with p._t._s._d. It may see some trash on the side of california highway but feel a fear. That's as real as the fear. They felt on iraqi highway as an disguised as garbage forbid exploded. There react is if it's the real thing for people with chronic p._t._s._d. These triggers come often and linger for years. A common treatment is <music> exposure therapy a patient describes troubling event or source of anxiety to a therapist over and over again imagining it confronting it in a safe they've setting until it starts to lose its bite in v._r. You don't have to imagine we have fourteen different worlds that represent different contexts contexts in iraq and afghanistan. That's carry a prop gun. There's rigs for vehicles even a small device that produces sense of gunpowder and birding trash <unk> a clinician can ignite explosions around them. These different distances intensities can have jets fly over helicopters. Skip says using v._r. Has accelerated treatment for his vets when compared to the traditional talk imagine methods. He says that's critical because many patients will drop out of treatment too early when it doesn't seem to be helping quickly enough. I asked him about v._r. Gamers these players finding relief. Could this be possible short answer yes yes. I like to say that we can get people to confront things in v._r. That they wouldn't do in the real world <hes> to go into a social situation with a lot of people to get a personal social phobia to do that or somebody with autism do that. They're so anxious. They may avoid it. It may use coping strategies that are less effective and it's not a therapeutic exposure but he emphasizes guys like kear who feel like they're finding finding therapeutic value in v._r. They've only discovered a tool not a cure and v._r. It's a tool most useful when handled by a clinician still still he says if v._r. can help people recognize the potential of getting actual clinical help. It's a good thing a large majority of the people with mental health problems never never see the inside of a therapy office. You know they go through life. You know managing getting by and so forth and that's mind numbing v._r. Is making its way into therapy. There's at least one ap currently in development that puts patients in a virtual group therapy session overseen remotely by a clinician as for cure aka a manners. He has a real life therapist. He sees in person v._r. Hasn't made its way into his regular treatment. Which it's important to note he still relies on he still struggles and works hard to stay well but he says leaning on v._r. Helped him stay well enough to do the hard work of therapy of taking taking care of himself and the people around him. They've noticed a change in him. So what had happened was while i was playing <hes> those v._r. East sports it's games in making friends and getting that extra social interaction that i needed on a constant basis it was that christmas when my sisters came visit they visit every year at the holidays cure comes from a big family. That was the time that they had noticed that i had changed pre v._r. Kier and post i. He says they weren't too specific. He just seemed nicer easier to talk to but there was one instance he shared with me. One of my sisters was having a panic attack. I noticed that she disappeared and went to go. Find her. If it's something we hit said it was over something trivial but that's just how panic disorders often work work another one of his sisters serena was trying to help but she's talking the way that i've talked most of my life which is very fast not a lot of emotion in industry you directly talking to you explaining to you why you're wrong usually not what someone coming out of a panic attack wants to hear cure stepped in in that's i'd said to her exactly what i just said to you. Serena you can't hear it but in your tone of voice and your word choice. It sounds like you're attacking her. I know you're not what but that's how it's being received. He asked her to leave the room. Just for a second to calm things down and it worked in all three of the sisters all looked at me dumbfounded not bad for a guy who's always being compared to sheldon cooper from big bang theory not bad at all yeah. That's very comforting for the pulse. I'm jad slamming. You're listening to the pulse. I might consider what we're talking about. Manmade world with v._r. Games used drop on a headset and enter into to a different world augmented reality games superimpose layer of magic and excitement onto the real world around you a boring bus us ride can become a fun treasure hunt with pokemon go or a game called ingress turns your commute into a tense battle for territory ingram chris was first launched in two thousand thirteen it was created by engineers from the google earth team players have to physically travel to destinations to complete tasks the game and it gets very very competitive reporter. Nathan miller played the game in detroit a city with a layout that seems to be ideal. I deeply for true ingress warriors of it my first anxious mission. I'm getting in the car with mark. Morris rapson one of the top english players known sorry missions or something different emissions specific thing that this is an english app uses your phone's g._p._s. us and looks like a futuristic google maps it guide you to landmarks around the city called portals which you can then either captured destroy or linked together to establish territory tori well. Many of the highest scoring players in the world are located around shanghai mumbai or other dense asian megacities. Mark lives in detroit michigan where officiant road design and natural topography have made it an unexpectedly fertile plain ground so that's that's this one right now. I am because that's the one i mentioned that was a drive by because it's that clock on the corner of altern warren mark so instinctively clicks his phone as we drive that i hardly realised when we've started to play the game portals can take the form of parks murals earl's churches or any notable site. It's been submitted by users into the games database so graveyard portals are a big thing because they close so i know one dude that will like pretend the gatekeeper soho capture reporter four thirty then he'll put on a nice ass sued <hes> and when the other players roll up who knows don't don't know him he'll be like. I'm sorry we're closed early today. It's like players will go to crazy lengths to score points in the game to capture a portal. Mark recently took a private of it plain to peel island the southernmost point in canada forty miles southeast of detroit. If mark can connect the portal on two portals on opposite sides of detroit he'd take control of all the territory in between and that's what we're doing tonight. I don't do it unless i'm gonna cover the whole city. It's not it's not worthwhile to to play like small games on a map. Detroit is bigger than boston san francisco manhattan combined but it doesn't have the gridlock that can plagued these other cities could in the world in the world. I spoke to jeff horner senior lecturer in the department of urban studies and planning at wayne state university in detroit. Detroit is a city that one time had two million people in it now. It's got maybe seven thousand so the roads are not that crowded detroit players also benefit from being in a city that was specifically designed for cars alongside the automotive industry is the city that grew up not before the automobile but not after it but listen detroit's -troit's wide baroque thoroughfares crisscrossed with several interstate highways and the city's lack of hills or natural barriers means. We can travel across. It's length and minutes so do we have to make that. It just hasn't loaded yet. It's just before midnight and we've reached our destination mark lex button on his screen to connect the portals. We've you've been capturing. Oh my god i watch as the entirety of detroit and neighbouring windsor canada become blanketed by yellow triangle and scores flash unmarked screen martigues a screen shot of accomplishment and saves it to a folder with many others walmart. Mark will often plan the dead of night when his opponents are asleep gay blonde ski as another detroiter who instead plays every morning long commute to work well. It gets me going in the morning in some people go jogging. I wake up. I look at intel and gets me motivated. Gabe has been diligently defending the same territory for over five years and and part of the reason he loves ingress so much is his passion for geography as a kid. I loved. I would sit in advance for hours. Gabe as a lifelong gamer and some of the time he might have spent playing on his computer at home. He now spends driving and finding new spot to take his family. There's places that i wouldn't have gone other than english but i found out that once i got there. Hey this is a really cool spot for mark as well. Playing ingram's is inherently a process of discovery. You can't playing at home. You have to get out. You have to go there. You have to like interact with the points of interest. You know you inevitably learn stuff. You can't help lead the virtual world of ingress has helped players connect with and immerse themselves in their unreal environments because it is not so much augmented as just intertwined. It's really inexplicable from reality that was nathan miller reporting from detroit eight. This podcast is supported by devereaux advanced behavioral health for more than one hundred years devereaux has been changing lives by unlocking and nurturing human potential for for people living with emotional behavioral and cognitive differences learn more at devereaux dot org so far we've discussed places and worlds that people have created but let's take this idea to another level what if each of us live in our own manmade world because how's everything we see is all in our heads. What do i mean by that. Here's an example a couple of years ago. There was a photograph of address that ignited of viral debate finally in this friday a seemingly simple question for you. What color is this dress. Take a look take a good look. That question has been dividing the families and friends all day tens of you. Remember this right. It seemed like everybody in the entire. World had an opinion on whether the stress was white and gold gold or blue and black are another color neuroscientists. Had lots of phone calls about this dress of course the nature of the question was what's happening. Why do we see it this sway. That's bo lotto. He is a neuroscientist and the author of deviate the science of seeing differently his work focuses on perception and he he says we often don't see the world around us accurately for me. The more powerful element of the story is why it went viral. We're all very familiar with allusions and this is just another illusion but why was it so powerful for people and i think the reason is because while they can accept except that two people could have different perceptions of the world in terms of say language a french person versus someone who speaks english but surely something as basic basic fundamentals color surely there we can see the world the same but when it was demonstrated that people can actually have different perceptions at that most basic level it created tremendous doubt people that they had a real objective view of the world so what color was the dress. The dress is in colored right. It's all in your head. That's true okay so at this point bo had already explained to me that color holler doesn't exist per se but i wanted to argue a bit more and a used bows book as an example. It has a really bright green cover. If if i say this book is green you will probably agree that the book is indeed green and we agree that the leaves are green. We might agree that the colors the same but that doesn't necessarily mean the cover of the book is itself green the cover of the book reflects light and that light then falls onto a retina and the brain generates a perception that was based not on the actual reality of the object because the object itself not green it has reflectance as physical off but instead it generates a meaning and it generates meaning based on its history so the green that it sees it sees it because it was useful to see it in the past not because it's literally objectively green so green is not a collar is a concept in my head yeah basically as i i was talking with beau. It felt like suddenly i was standing on wobbly ground like things were starting to slip from mike grasp and i was wondering you know when we come up with concepts and frameworks. Are we explaining the world around us making it accessible or are we creating the world around owned us. It seems to me that one of the earliest things we do as humans is to sort things into like and not like doc so a small child can look at a rubber duck and duck on a pond and a drawing of a duck and call it a duck same with the dog so we we see concepts and we sort them and we have to do that in order to learn anything right so we're not questioning every retiring. Can i put this glass on the table or is it gonna fall right through the table. That's sort of the the the very basic question the essential question which is if everything i'm doing is granted my history including the categorisations that you came up with with the duck asking a different ways. What does experience give us what it gives us our assumptions our biases so everything you're seeing and doing is in fact a reflex and the same way that your leg jumps out when you hit your patellar tendon. It's a reflex perceptions or reflex and they're grounded in your history of experience which gives you assumptions and those assumptions are phenomenally useful. They keep us alive every time you take a step. Your brain has hundreds of assumptions about the world about its body but if that's true how could we ever ever see differently and the first step to sing differently is to have awareness that we're actually constructing these perceptions based on our history and that everything we're doing a bias. Do you do this all day long with everything or do you try to do you try to <laughter> both says it doesn't make sense to challenge everything all of the time but if you want to see outside of the world you've created in your head. It's important important to remind yourself of your own perceptions and biases. Can we ever really come to agreement in terms of an and experience or something perhaps to people witnessed or it seems just like we would never stand on firm ground with anything or with very few things things so yes we can have an agreement because we're both also making prediction about what's gonna happen next and we can have a similar prediction so now we seem to have an agreement. That's one aspect the other question is. Can you actually see another person. No another person right now actually we. They have literally no access to what's inside their head and we never have access to what's inside their head. People are just as sources of meaningless data in fact fact the words that i'm using right now are themselves meaningless themselves but then we construct meaning based on a history so every personality that you have of another person person is actually inside you projected outward so in the same way we color the world we actually color other people and we cover other people based on our our history of experience of what they're doing meant in the past right so we project a meaning onto people but the meaning actually exists within us thinking about all of this. I feel confused. It feels kind of exciting but it also feels terribly confusing. What is the the benefit of thinking this way and really questioning so many things that we take for granted and on some level. I feel like we have to take for granted. Just to get through are gay there lots of things. We have to take for granted but what's the benefit of this. The benefit of this is is openness the possibility ability of actually taking ownership and your own perceptions and also the feed them to do so so in fact i the way i start off the book is to tell tell the reader that i want them to know less at the end of the book than they think they know now because nothing interesting begins with knowing it begins with not knowing nothing interesting begins with an answer begins with a question and that's the basis of science in fact. That's the basis of anything that is creative is you you enter the situation with a question in fact think about it in terms of conflict resolution think what would happen if people entered conflict with doubt with not knowing instead of knowing imagine into conflict with a question instead of an answer only that way can you actually learning conflict rather than just be in conflict right rather than winning so the question is do you win or do you learn so if i can demonstrate that this is true at the most fundamental level of how we actually make perceptions of red than it has to be true all the way up so i'm trying to encourage and celebrate the concept of doubt but doubt with courage because he's still have to step forward. Give me some homework. What can i do to wrap my brain around this or to question some assumptions unin everyday basis well. The first step is just to accept that everything you do has a bias not sometimes all the time and one piece of homework would be the next time you're in a conflict rather than approach that conflict with fear anger you protest it in a different way with a question and try to find out why the person is saying what they do not just what they're saying because you might find there's actually much more common ground between you if you could approach it from the perspective of the why rather than disagreeing over who wear and win the lotto auto is a neuroscientist and director of the lab of misfits. It's an experiential research lab in new york city. That's that's our show for this week. The pulse is production of w._h._y._y. In philadelphia you can find us wherever you get your podcast. Our health and science reporters are alan. You bliss tongue jets lehman and steph yin. We had production assistance from julian harris. Charlie kyler is our engineer lindsey. Lazar sqi is our producer. I'm mike and scott. Thank you for listening. Behavioral health reporting on the pulse is supported by the thomas scattered good behavioral health foundation an organization that is committed to thinking doing and supporting innovative approaches in integrated healthcare. W._h._y._y.'s health and science reporting is supported by generous grant from the public health management corporations public health fund p. h. M. c. gladly supports w._h._y._y. And its commitment to the production of services that improve our quality of life.

v._r netherlands detroit Karen sheldon cooper Nathan miller director franz franz vera steph yin virginia philadelphia vader Mark california jeremy bela mike