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General > Radio Lab: On Memory and Forgetting

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message 1: by Northern (new)

Northern K Sunderland | 2 comments Radio Lab is a superbly produced radio show dedicated to various science topics. They only produce five shows a year, and it makes sense when you listen to them.
This is one of my favorites,

Other good episodes are "Who am I?", "Where am I?", and "Sleep".

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (joshuanomenmutatio) | 6 comments There was also a great episode entitled Laughter:

"We all laugh. But why? If you look closely, you'll find that humor has very little to do with it. In this episode, we explore the power of laughter to calm us, bond us to one another, or to spread... like a virus. Along the way, we tickle some rats, listen in on a baby's first laugh, talk to a group of professional laughers, and travel to Tanzania to investigate an outbreak of contagious laughter.

Is Laughter just a Human Thing?
Aristotle thinks that laughter is what separates us from the beasts. That a baby does not have a SOUL, until the moment it laughs for the first time. Historian Barry Sanders, author of Sudden Glory, says that according to Aristotle, this moment of "human ensouling" is supposed to happen when a baby is 40 days old. We follow radio producer Amanda Aronczyk as she tests this theory on her newborn baby.

Then we go to Bowling Green State University in Ohio, to tickle rats with psychobiologist Dr. Jaak Panksepp. It's his notion that laughter is found all across the animal kindgom. Boom, Aristotle! Then Dr. Robert Provine, author of Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, shows us chimps who seem to be laughing. Boom Boom!
We also get the giggles with a bit of archival tape from comedians Elaine May and Mike Nichols. And Tyler Stillman, a psychologist at Florida State University, eloquently delineates the awesomeness of laughter.

How Does Laughing Effect Us?
In this segment, we explore the rise and fall of a group of professional laughers hired to laugh for money on Fran Drescher's show "The Nanny." Then JoAnne Bachorowski, a psychologist at Vanderbilt University, says that giggling girls have more power than you think. She studies the sound of laughter, and explains how we use laughter to manipulate other people, or, says Barry Sanders, to make ourselves feel safe.

Contagious Laughter
We travel across the ocean and back to the year 1962, to a girl's boarding school on the outskirts of a rural village in Tanganyika (now Tanzania), where an epidemic of contagious laughter broke out. Producer Ellen Horne investigates and her search for an explanation brings us back to the idea that laughter is social mechanism that responds to more than comedy...communicates more than mere merriment."

message 3: by Tyler (new)

Tyler (alienlanes) | 9 comments The Words one is pretty good as is the Musical Language one. Neuro-wise.

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