Brizendine, Dr. Louann — The Female & the Male Brain: There is a Difference

Have you ever been curious about the difference between the male brain and the female brain? Well I have, for a long time. Dr. Louann Brizendine, founder of the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic at the University of California at San Francisco wrote two books about those differences. In 2006 she wrote a book called, “The Female Brain,” and in 2010 she wrote “The Male Brain,”–very different books about very different genders of our human species.

The interview with Dr. Louann Brizendine was recorded by phone from her home in San Francisco, Ca on March 21st, 2011. We began by discussing the mail brain and in particular, the chapter to her book titled “Seeing the World Through Male Colored Glasses.”

The book Dr. Louann Brizendine recommends is “The Emperor of All Maladies,” by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

Click here or on the media player below to listen to part two.

Cochran, Gregory — The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution Part Two

In this, the second of two Radio Curious interviews, we continue our discussion of human evolution with Gregory Cochran an aerospace physicist and professor of anthropology at the University of Utah; his expertise is in genetic anthropology. Gregory Cochran along with Henry Harpending, also a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah, are the co-authors of the 2009 book “The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution.” This book explores how humans appear to have evolved over the last 10,000 years, largely driven by civilization-the place, culture and lifestyle of the time.

In this two part conversation, recorded by phone with Gregory Cochran from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 23rd, 2009, we discuss how humans have genetically evolved.

In part one we discussed the changes in human biology such as lactose tolerance and resistance to malaria that represent human evolution accelerated by civilization. We also discussed the intermixing of neanderthals and humans and the genetic benefits in our species that continue to this day.

In part two, Cochran discusses how gene mutations have allowed specific human advantages in different locations around the world.   We began with his discussion of the migration of the human species out of Africa, which resulted in some people living in the northern latitudes.  People born in these areas with a random genetic mutation resulting in skin of a lighter color allowed them to absorb more vitamin D from the sun, thus giving them better health and a greater opportunity to have off spring. We also discuss the genetic mutations that contribute to certain types of intelligence.

The book Gregory Cochran recommends is”Tthe Princeton Companion to Mathematics,” edited by Timothy Gowers.

Click here or on the media player below to listen to part two.

Cochran, Gregory — The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution Part One

Have humans changed in the last 10,000 years?  Are we biologically the same as we have been for the past 60,000 years? Recent evidence suggests that so called civilization has promoted rapid evolutionary change in our species in the last 10,000 years.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Gregory Cochran, a physicist and anthropologist, who is the co-author of the book “The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution”.  His book asserts that changes in human biology, lactose tolerance and resistance to malaria for example, represent human evolution accelerated by civilization.

In this, the first of two Radio Curious conversations with Gregory Cochran we discuss some of these evolutions.

In part two we discuss the evolution and genetic mutations of race and physiology.

I spoke with Gregory Cochran from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 23, 2009 and began by asking him what biological indications exist to show an increase in human evolution in the past 10,000 years and why they occurred.

The book Gregory Cochran recommends is “Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Re-Wilding of America” by Paul S. Martin

Click here or on the media player below to listen to part one.

Nuland, Dr. Sherwin — Wisdom of The Body: Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, Remembered

Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, our guest in this archive edition is the author of several books, including “How We Die,” and “The Wisdom of the Body.”  He died on March 3, 2014, at his home in Connecticut, at the age of 83.  Dr. Nuland and I visited, shortly after “The Wisdom of the Body” was published, in the back of a bookstore in Santa Rosa, California on May 6, 1997.

In “The Wisdom of the Body,” Dr. Nuland, describes the synergistic functions of the human body and considers the brain, language, and civilization from developmental perspectives.  He reflects on children, and humankind as a whole, and explores aspects that have separated our species from the rest of the animal kingdom.

In this interview, originally broadcast in May, 1997, we began with his answer to the question, what is it about the human species that has allowed us to learn so much about ourselves.

The book Dr. Nuland recommended is “The Meaning of Yiddish,” by Benjamin Harshav.

Click here or on the media player below to listen.

Ward, Peter — A World Without Ice Caps Part Two

When the polar ice caps melt, sea level will rise.  That’s happened earlier in the history of the world, and it appears it will happen again.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we bring you a two part series on global warming and sea level rise, with Peter D. Ward, a paleontologist and professor of biology and earth and space sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of “The Flooded Earth:  Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps,” in which he describes expected conditions in 2050, 2300 and 2500.

This series with Professor Peter D. Ward, was recorded on August 2, 2010, from his office in Seattle, Washington.  In part 1, Ward begins with a description of what will happen when the level of the sea rises. In part 2, we begin with a discussion of why, in the face of rather clear evidence, there continues to be a denial of global warming.

The books Peter Ward recommends are, “An Inconvenient Truth,”  by Al Gore and  “Weather Makers,” and any other book by Tim Flannery.

Click here to listen to part two or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part one.

Ward, Peter — A World Without Ice Caps Part One

When the polar ice caps melt, sea level will rise.  That’s happened earlier in the history of the world, and it appears it will happen again.

In this edition of Radio Curious, we bring you a two part series on global warming and sea level rise, with Peter D. Ward, a paleontologist and professor of biology and earth and space sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of “The Flooded Earth:  Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps,” in which he describes expected conditions in 2050, 2300 and 2500.

This series with Professor Peter D. Ward, was recorded on August 2, 2010, from his office in Seattle, Washington.  In part 1, Ward begins with a description of what will happen when the level of the sea rises. In part 2, we begin with a discussion of why, in the face of rather clear evidence, there continues to be a denial of global warming.

The books Peter Ward recommends are, “An Inconvenient Truth,”  by Al Gore and  “Weather Makers,” and any other book by Tim Flannery.

Click here to listen to part one or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part two.

Levitin, Daniel Dr. — Your Brain on Music Part One

The understanding of how we humans experience music and why it plays a unique role in our lives is this topic of two interviews with Dr. Daniel Levitin, author of “This Is Your Brain on Music, The Science of a Human Obsession,” recorded from his home in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in late October 2006.   

Professor Levitin runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.  He asserts that our brains are hardwired for music and therefore we are all more musically equipped than we think.  He says that music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, perhaps even more fundamental to our species than language.  Professor Levitin believes that the music we end up liking meets our expectations of what we anticipate hearing just enough of the time that we feel rewarded, and the music that we like violates those expectations just enough of the time that we’re intrigued.

In the first interview Dr. Levitin begins by describing how the human brain learns to distinguish between music and language. 

The second interview begins with a discussion of what happens when people listen to music they like.

Professor Daniel Levitin’s website is www.yourbrainonmusic.com

The books Dr. Daniel J. Levitin recommends are, “Another Day in the Frontal Lobe,” by Katrina Firlik, and, “The Human Stain,” by Philip Roth.

Originally Broadcast: November 1, 2006 November 8, 2006

Click here to begin listening to part one.

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Edelman, Deborah & Merenlender, Adina — You Too May Be a Naturalist

You too may be a naturalist, as we find out in this interview with Deborah Edelman, holder of a Master’s Degree in ecology from the University of California at Davis, and Adina Merenlender, holder a doctorate in biology and a University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist.  Together, along with Greg de Nevers they wrote “The California Naturalist Handbook.”  This handbook is an easy to follow guide as well as a text for anyone with interest in nature.

Deborah Edelman and Adina Merenlender visited the studios of Radio Curious on May 17, 2013. We began our conversation with Adina’s description of what a naturalist does.

The books Deborah Edelman recommends are “Story of Stuff:  The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better,” by Annie Leonard, and “The Forest Unseen:  A Year’s Watch in Nature,” by David George Haskell.

The books Adina Merenlender recommends are “The Song of the Dodo:  Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction,” by David Quammen, and “The Weather Makers:  How Man is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth,” by Tim Flannery.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Vedantam, Shankar — Have You Found Your Hidden Brain? Part One

Radio Curious brings you a conversation about the subconscious mind with Shankar Vedantam,
author of “The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives.” His book encourages us to be aware of how our unconscious mind is capable of controlling our decision making capabilities. Shankar Vedantam is a national correspondent and columnist for The Washington Post and 2009-10 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Click here to visit and listen to our archived program or click on the media player below.

Baden, Michael Ph.D. — How Did That Person Die? Part 2

Radio Curious brings you part two of an archived, 2-part conversation about death and forensics with Dr. Michael Baden, the Chief Medical Examiner for the New York State Police and author of “Dead Reckoning, the New Science of Catching Killers.”

Click here to visit and listen to our archived program.