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You're shopping for groceries. Out of the blue your heart starts to race, your knees feel weak, you feel like you can't breathe, like you might be having a heart attack. You wonder if you're losing your mind -- but you're not. You're having a panic attack. 

Joe Giron / www.pokerphotoarchive.com

Maria Konnikova, best-selling New York Times author and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, has long been interested in understanding the balance between skill and luck. How much of her life could she take credit for and how much was the luck of her draw? So, she took a year away from work to become a professional poker player. 

Image Catalog / Creative Commons

Your sex life doesn't have to suffer just because you're cooped up at home every day. Researchers say that sex is a healthy way to calm the anxiety of pandemic, even if you live alone. Virtual dating, masturbation, and coronavirus-related porn are more popular than ever.

Tony Fischer / Flickr

As the world waits for an end to Covid-19, billions of people find themselves betwixt and between two realities: The pre-pandemic reality we knew, and the post-pandemic reality that is yet to come. As author and Professor of Theology Shelly Rambo wrote in the wake of hurricane Katrina, "Life as it once was cannot be retrieved,... life ahead cannot be envisioned."

Ivan Radic / Flickr Creative Commons

A few weeks ago on this show, you heard how Gaylord Health is using the song “Don’t Stop Believin’” every time they celebrate the release of a Covid-19 patient. This hour, you'll meet one of them. After being hospitalized for 7 weeks, 42 year-old West Haven resident Anthony Spina came home last week.

hole
Mike Burns / flickr creative commons

In November, 2016, we did a show about all the problems presented by, well, a-holes. And so it seems only logical to expand our scope a bit and do a show about all the problems presented by, well, a hole.

For instance: How many holes are there in a straw? Did you say one? Okay, cool. Then how many holes are there in a sock? (A relatively new sock, I mean.) You said one again, right? But how can both of those things be true at the same time?

Or, put another way: What happens to the hole in the donut as you eat the donut around it? This gets into mereology, the theory of parthood relations -- for our purposes, the parts and wholes of holes and the wholes the holes are parts of.

Your head hurts a little, right?

Image Catalog / Creative Commons

Your sex life doesn't have to suffer just because you're cooped up at home every day. Researchers say that sex is a healthy way to calm the anxiety of pandemic, even if you live alone. Virtual dating, masturbation, and coronavirus-related porn are more popular than ever.

Yujin =) / Flickr

From ancient mixtures of boiled goat fats and ashes to modern artisanal soaps with calendula and coffee grinds, humans have been inventing clever ways of cleaning themselves since the very beginning.

This quest for cleanliness has wound its way through religion, sexuality, culture, and more. It has been the source of everything from comedies to conflicts to consumer crazes. This hour we talk to experts and historians about the history of hygiene.

Vanderbilt University / Flickr

For those who put their trust in science, it's hard to understand why anyone wouldn't. But in recent decades, the voices of skeptics have grown louder by the day. From average citizens to media personalities to high-ranking government officials, it seems even the most irrefutable scientific findings are being challenged.

Cathy Baird / Creative Commons

William Wetmore Story sculpted The Angel of Grief for his wife's grave after her death in 1894. He wrote that it was the only way he could express his feelings of utter abandonment. It was his last work before his own death one year later.

We may not readily identify grief in the gamut of emotions we're feeling during this pandemic. We haven't lost the kind of love expressed through William Story's sculpture, but loss is very much at the center of our new reality. We are collectively grieving the loss of a world that has changed forever.

Erich Ferdinand / Creative Commons

Did you get enough sleep last night? If you're like most Americans, probably not. You might feel pretty good after six hours of sleep and a strong cup of coffee, but the physical and mental toll of sleep deprivation is high.

We become more impulsive and less mentally agile, and we make more mistakes. Long term, lack of sleep (six hours or less per night) can mess with mood, hormones, and immune systems, and it can increase our risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Take a few seconds to reminisce about your childhood "best friend." Maybe it was a boy, a girl, an imaginary friend, or perhaps a stuffed toy. This stuffed toy was your childhood confidant that you dragged everywhere, from the local supermarket to the preschool sandbox, a transitional object that temporarily stood between you and your relationship with your parents.

Sparsh Ahuja / Creative Commons

The recent Senate trial for President Trump's impeachment riveted the nation, but little consensus could be reached about the facts of the case or the outcome. Additionally, many in Congress knew how they would vote before the trial began. 

DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

What is real is no longer a question for philosophers alone. In today's world, it's a question we all contend with on a daily basis. Online, on television, in print and in public discourse, facts, feelings, and flat-out lies all share the same stage.

Connecticut Public

Slate's Stephen Metcalf thinks President Trump is a hostage to 1979.

Why else would he overreact by killing Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani for inciting protesters to storm the U.S. Embassy in Iraq?

MrHarvard / Flickr Creative Commons

Over the years, our government has been involved in some pretty shady affairs. After eugenics and internment camps but before Watergate and Iran-Contra, came mind control. And just like the other ethically dubious projects mentioned, your tax dollars paid for it.

Jonathan Grado / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Professor Michael Gerhardt argues that the impeachment process is legitimate, despite efforts by President Trump and his defenders to deny it. It is the president's conduct that is not normal.

Gerhardt was one of four law professors summoned by the House Judiciary Committee in December, to share their legal expertise on whether President Trump's conduct met the legal threshold for impeachment. Three out of four of them believe it did.

Also this hour: State Department witness George Kent's bow tie and Rep. Jim Jordan's jacket have their own Twitter accounts. Nancy Pelosi's dagger-like gold pin turned heads on the day she opened up House debate on the president's impeachment. We talk about the fashion semiotics of impeachment.

Whitney Smith / Flickr

We wake up to coffee from a pod, listen to music on our pod devices, drive to work in our Smart cars, Fiats, or other increasingly pod-shaped vehicles, sit all day in a cubicle (pod), relax after work in a hip, new float pod, wash our clothes using detergent pods, and while we wait for them to dry, we listen to our favorite podcast. Sound about right?

Tom Hilton / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Sparsh Ahuja / Creative Commons

In January of 2018, a seemingly racist incident occurred on the National Mall. Photos and videos were posted to social media showing a group of MAGA hat-wearing high school students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky. One of them, Nick Sandmann, seemed to be mocking and blocking the path of Native American activist, Nathan Phillips. People either jeered or cheered on social media, depending on how it was perceived, long before most of us had any idea of the context of the situation. 

Michele Lamberti / Creative Commons

Guilt. Ah, yes, that awful, anxiety-ridden five-letter word. Most of us have experienced it. All of us have learned to dread it. But is a little guilt really such a bad thing?

This hour, we consider that question and more with a series of guilt (note we did not say “guilty”) experts. We check in with a researcher at the University of Virginia and with a psychologist based in New York. And we want to hear from you, too. 

When was the last time you felt guilty? How did that feeling impact you? 

Wes Washington / Creative Commons

You're shopping for groceries. Out of the blue your heart starts to race, your knees feel week, you feel like you can't breathe, like you might be having a heart attack. You wonder if you're losing your mind -- but you're not. You're having a panic attack. 

Sarah / Flickr

It's your turn to speak. You're called to the front of the room. Your heart starts racing, you're sweating, your mouth has gone dry, your hands are shaking. Your chest feels heavy. You feel like you're having a heart attack! But, you're not. 

Have you ever had a panic attack? If so, you're not alone. About 1 in 4 people have experienced a panic attack at some point in their life. About 1 in 100 people have repeated attacks that can feel like they come out of nowhere. 

Bansy / Flickr Creative Commons

Dr. Joseph Cyr, a surgeon with the Royal Canadian Navy, had to think quick when his ship came upon a rickety boat with mangled and bloody bodies at the height of the Korean War in 1951. As the only doctor on board, he quickly moved to operate on 19 men, all of them his enemies in this war. All survived, making the young doctor a hero.

Except he wasn't really a doctor. 

Dying For A Photo

Jun 26, 2019
Sam Hawley / Creative Commons

A photo of people inching their way up a snaking line to the peak of Mount Everest last month has drawn attention to a number of problems, one of which was the jostling at the top of the mountain to take social media-ready selfies and photos. 

Adobe Stock

Engineers at Ford are working hard toward a breakthrough: A car that runs on tears! Okay, maybe not, but they really should be. Why? Because people cry in cars, a lot! Whether it's a sad song playing on the radio, passing a cemetary where a loved one is buried, or simply releasing the stress of a long, hard day, the car is one of the few places that offer the privacy and intimacy necessary for a good cry.

Richard Riley / Flickr

Why do we cry in cars? I mean seriously, is there anyone reading this right now who hasn't cried (profusely, I might add) in a car? Were you alone? Was a song reminding you of some sad thing playing on the radio? Did you just get broken up with? Was the person who broke up with you still sitting next to you? Is this starting to get uncomfortable?

Gregory Bull / Associated Press

President Trump threatened on Friday to close the southern border unless Mexico stops migrants from entering the U.S. illegally.

“Mexico’s tough. They can stop ‘em, but they chose not to," he said. "Now they’re gonna stop ‘em. And if they don’t stop ‘em, we’re closing the border”.

Among those people entering the country are children and teens.

Joseph Francis / Flickr

In case you haven't heard, our planet is as flat as a pancake. Sound crazy? Perhaps. But around the globe (disc?) a flat Earth movement is steadily on the rise. More and more people, educated and not, from all walks of life, are posting videos, attending conferences, and publishing books embracing this seemingly radical notion.

 

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