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human behavior

tele / flickr

Since the earliest humans gazed up at the sky, eclipses have been a common occurrence. But only in recent centuries have we come to understood the science behind them. Prior to that, eclipses were regarded as everything from Viking sky wolves to Korean fire-dogs, to African versions of a celestial reconciliation.

Bernard Goldbach / Creative Commons

The American Psychological Association says the 2016 presidential election was a major source of stress for a majority of Americans regardless of political affiliation. 

Digital Game Museum / flickr

It should be no surprise that video games have the potential to become addictive. But a spate of recent events has shown they can also be deadly: From young players dying of mid-game heart attacks to parents so immersed in their virtual environment that they forget to feed their children.

A new study demonstrates a key role immigrants fill in the American economy. The study, by the bipartisan research and advocacy group New American Economy, shows immigrants are more likely than U.S.-born workers to pick up night and weekend shifts in a number of fields.

Micromanagement is routinely the top complaint people have about their bosses, and in today's good job market where workers have more options, that's a bigger problem for employers.

People might have their own definition of when a manager crosses into being too controlling, but most people would probably agree that Marjon Bell's former boss would fit.

Jeff Eaton / flickr

Americans like to argue, a lot. In politics, in media, and in society at large, arguing has (arguably) become the default means by which we handle disagreement. But is it the most effective way, and has our readiness to wage a war with words gotten out of hand?

Tom Hilton / flickr

There is perhaps no figure more emblematic of the paranormal than the psychic. Able to predict the future, see into the past, and even communicate with the dead, the psychic's awesome gifts are matched only by his or her ability to withstand skepticism and ridicule.

Everfalling / flickr

All cults are not created equal. From the wide array of beliefs they teach, to the variety of people who are involved, cults are as different from each other as are officially recognized religions.

Older, Wiser, And Out Of The Closet

May 22, 2017
Photo courtesy of Dr. Loren Olson

Coming out as gay can be difficult — even traumatizing — for young people. But what is coming out like for older men and women, some who were once married to heterosexual spouses and who have children?

This hour, we revisit our conversation with Dr. Loren Olson, author of Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight

Mike Roberts / Creative Commons

There's a quote by journalist Ned Resnikoff in Brooke Gladstone's latest book, The Trouble With Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time. It's one of many quotes she cites that guide her through a meditation on whether the election of Donald Trump signals the worst existential crisis we've known.

Alexander Boden / flickr

Has the golden age of humanity passed? Can we, as a species, survive the next few centuries? As our climate warms, population grows, resources shrink, and means of self destruction become more deadly, these questions move from the realm of dystopian fiction to real world relevance.

Jonathan Grado / flickr

Life after death, in one form or another,  has been examined by multiple disciplines for centuries: From theology, to physics, to philosophy, to medicine and more. But while the topic is taken seriously by some, it remains a focus of ridicule and skepticism by others.

Faces of Ancient Europe / Flickr

In looking to our past, a curious trend appears. A vast amount of mankind's great accomplishments in art, music, science, technology and language seem to emerge from a relatively small number of cities:  Athens, Hangzhou, Florence, Rome, Calcutta, Vienna, and Silicon Valley-- just to name a few.

Amprosoft / Creative Commons

If there's one thing we've never been good at, it's limiting ourselves. We eat too much junk food, watch too much TV, and engage in all manner of self-indulgence. So why then, do we continue to adhere to the limitations of monogamy? If love is so grand, why not celebrate a lifestyle which encourages loving multiple partners?

Bernard Goldbach / Creative Commons

The American Psychological Association says the 2016 presidential election was a major source of stress for a majority of Americans regardless of political affiliation. 

Older, Wiser, And Out Of The Closet

Mar 31, 2017
Photo courtesy of Dr. Loren Olson

Coming out as gay can be difficult — even traumatizing — for young people. But what is coming out like for older men and women, some who were once married to heterosexual spouses and who have children?

This hour, we learn more from Dr. Loren Olson, author of Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight

401k(2012) / Flickr

As our society moves further away from paper currency, we pause to look back at the once predominant form of payment. Its look, its feel and its smell all hold a place in the collective consciousness of our nation's history.

Geoff Stearns / Creative Commons

Are you feeling emotionally stressed out from the 2016 election? Feeling anxious or sad? Does thinking about where the country is headed make you feel physically sick? If so, we want to hear from you. 

On Thursday, March 16, the Colin McEnroe Show, live at 1:00 pm, will talk about "election stress" that the American Psychological Association reports more than half of America is feeling - regardless of party affiliation. 

An interview about South Korea's political upheaval became one of the most popular things on the Internet on Friday, when the children of professor Robert E. Kelly became the inadvertent stars of his spot on the BBC.

Vinoth Chandar / Creative Commons

I once took guitar lessons with a small group of people who met two nights a week in the basement of a local elementary school. We spent most of each lesson practicing in little nooks and crannies we each carved out in the old room. I enjoyed picking out tunes in my own little corner at my own pace. It was all going so smoothly until... the instructor mentioned the final "concert."

I lost sleep by night, fretted by day, and practiced a lot before forcing myself to show up on the scheduled night. But a funny thing happened: no one else showed up beside me and the instructor. I'm not sure what made me happier - that I showed up, that I got off the hook, or that I had an otherwise pleasant experience that was calm and not rushed.

Editor's note: This story contains language that may be offensive to some readers.

Harassment, threats and intimidation of minorities and immigrants spiked nationwide after President Trump's election in November. Comprehensive statistics are hard to come by, but officials and watch groups say hate-motivated incidents remain higher than usual more than three months after Election Day.

Massachusetts is among the many states that have seen such a spike.

The promise of automated cars is that they could eliminate human-error accidents and potentially enable more efficient use of roadways. That sounds, at first blush, like self-driving cars could also mean traffic reduction and lower commute times.

But researchers aren't so sure.

Hesham Rakha is an engineering professor at Virginia Tech who studies traffic's flow — or lack thereof.

WNPR/David DesRoches


The desks in Sarah Lane’s fifth grade class at Bear Path School are covered with handmade paper hearts with short phrases written on them like, “Help Someone,” and “Compliment a Teacher.” 

AMProSoft / Flickr

If there's one thing we've never been good at, it's limiting ourselves. We eat too much junk food, watch too much T.V., and engage in all manner of self-indulgence. So why then, do we continue to adhere to the limitations of monogamy? If love is so grand, why not celebrate a lifestyle which encourages loving multiple partners?

Donald Trump announced in a series of tweets Wednesday that he will be taking himself "completely out" of his business operations to avoid potential conflicts of interest as president. The president-elect did not offer details of the plan or say that he would divest financially from his businesses, but he did promise a news conference in the coming weeks that would address the issue.

Ryan Lackey / Flickr

As social creatures we know that isolation can be emotionally difficult, but research shows that it can be psychologically damaging as well. So why then, would anyone live this way by choice? This hour, we hear two such cases of isolated living.

Maureen McMurray / Creative Commons

The charged language used by President-elect Donald Trump this election season may have emboldened people with open hostility toward blacks, gay people, Muslims, Mexicans, Jews, and women.

How do we respond to incidents of hate and people who feel emboldened to hate? How do we teach our children to respond? How do we begin to see bigotry through a wider lens?

Democracy Chronicles / Flickr

Why do we vote the way we do? The easy answer, of course, is that we pick the politician whose values, beliefs and opinions most closely resemble our own. But while that does play a part, there are other, less obvious influences as well.

Photonesta / Flickr Creative Commons

Okay, this show comes with a trigger warning.

We talk about things people eat, and some of those things are not for the squeamish. This is a conversation about disgust, and specifically, how our reflexive response of disgust may get in the way of things we probably need to think about doing.

Leif Andersen / Flickr

Animal rights have come a long way over the last century, providing, of course, we're not talking about fish. While other vertebrates have slowly been recognized as social, feeling, even sentient beings, fish remain good for three things: owning, catching and eating.

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