Shaywitz, Dr. Sally — Overcoming Dyslexia

Approximately one child in five suffers from dyslexia, a condition that makes learning to read difficult and in some cases seemingly impossible. In this archive edition of Radio Curious, originally broadcast in August of 2003, we visit with Dr. Sally Shaywitz, a Professor of Pediatrics at the Yale University Medical School and the co-director of the Yale Center for the Study of Learning and Attention. Dr. Shaywitz discusses early diagnosis of dyslexia in young children, older children, and adults, and what can be done to assist people who suffer from this disability.

In her book, “Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level,” Dr. Shaywitz describes the research, including brain imaging studies, and how they are able to uncover the mechanics underlying and overcoming what to some seems to be the insurmountable problem of learning to read. When I spoke with Sally Shaywitz from her home near Yale University in August 2003, we began when I asked her to describe dyslexia.

The books Dr. Sally Shaywitz recommends are “Emperor of Ocean Park,” by Stephen Carter and “Samaritan,” by Richard Price.

This program was originally broadcast August 5, 2003. 

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Wolbach, Dr. Dean — The Air We Breathe

We all know that there are various forms of air pollution that affect our health and the health of our environment, but what do we really breathe? What is in the air that we breathe?

In this archive edition of Radio Curious, recorded in the Radio Curious studios on January 9, 2009 we visit with Dr. Dean Wolbach, a former Air Pollution Control Officer for Mendocino County. Our conversation focused on the different types of air pollution and how they affect us both globally and at the local level.  We began by asking Dr. Wolbach to provide an overview of air quality issues across history, through to the present day, here, in Mendocino.

The books Dr. Dean Wolbach recommends are “Dreams Of My Father,” and “The Audacity Of Hope,” by President Barack Obama, “Samuel Adams: A Life,” by Ira Stoll and “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

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Bainbridge, Dr. David — Why Women Have Curves

I presume that all of you have, at one time or another, noticed that within the greater animal kingdom, the female of our species has a curvaceous body shape visibly different from the shape of the male homo sapiens.  Why women have curves and how these curves reflect on other aspects of our lives, is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  Our guest is Dr. David Bainbridge, Professor of Veterinary Anatomy at the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, England and the author of “Curvology:  The Origins and Power of Female Body Shape.” 

When Dr. David Bainbridge and I visited by phone from his home in England on March 6, 2015, I asked him “why is it that female humans are curvy?”

The book Dr. David Bainbridge recommends is “Intelligent Life in the Universe,” by I.S. Shklovskii and Carl Sagan, published in 1966.  It is a product of a unique international collaboration between a world famous Russian astronomer and a leading American space scientist, presenting a modern discussion of the entire panorama of natural evolution.

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Rossi, Ernest — How to Turn On Genes and Reconstruct Your Brain

Psychosocial and cultural genomics is a healing process that connects the mind-body to emotional and physical healing and is our topic in this archived edition of Radio Curious. Our guest is Dr. Ernest Rossi, a practicing psychologist, hypnotherapist and an expert in dreams. Dr. Rossi describes how we humans can activate a specific gene within us to advance our abilities, or recover from an injury.

He suffered a major stroke in the early 2000′s that impaired his speech and movement. Dr. Rossi managed his own recovery using psychosocial and cultural genomics. He and I visited at the 11th Milton Erickson Psychotherapy Congress in Phoenix, Arizona in December 2011. I turned on the recorder and asked Dr. Rossi to explain how gene expression works.

Dr. Ernest Rossi recommends your choice of the 36 books he has authored or edited, some of which may be found at his website.

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Vogel, Barry and Gravois, John — A Interview with Radio Curious Host Barry Vogel

For this edition of Radio Curious, broadcast at the beginning of our 25th year on the air, I invited my friend John Gravois to interview me about my experiences, reflections and thoughts over the past 24 years that I’ve been the host and producer of Radio Curious. 

John Gravois is the deputy editor of Pacific Standard magazine and a contributing editor to the Washington Monthly. His work has appeared on This American Life, in The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and Slate, among others. He lives in Albany, California.

John Gravois and I visited in the studios of Radio Curious on December 27, 2014.  We began our conversation with his comments about the archives found on the Radio Curious website.

The books that I recommend are “The Warmth of Other Suns:  The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” by Isabel Wilkerson and “Jacobson’s Organ and the Remarkable Nature of Smell,” by Lyall Watson.

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Groopman, Dr. Jerome — Facing Illness with Success

Hope is one of the most fundamental and powerful of human emotions, and also one of the least studied and understood. “The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness,” by Dr. Jerome Groopman, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard University and a writer for the New Yorker magazine, examines the role hope plays in the practice of medicine, and the ways in which hope can release chemicals powerful enough to change the outcome of otherwise fatal diseases.

Dr. Jerome Groopman recommends the book “The Old School,” by Tobian Wolff.

Originally broadcast February 20, 2004.

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Dvorak, John Ph.D. — Earthquakes: Why and When

To many of us who live along the coast of California, earthquakes are a living legend. That legend is closely associated with the San Andreas Fault, an earthquake line which runs roughly 800 miles through California forming the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate.  More than just a legend, earthquakes over the millennia have rattled the world in multiple events close in time are referred to as “earthquake storms.”  These storms are close in geological time, not so much in human time.

As you might expect, this edition of Radio Curious is about earthquakes.  Our guest is John Dvorak, Ph.D., a geophysicist and author of “Earthquake Storms:  The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault.”  He is currently employed by the United States Geological Survey, working for the Institute for Astronomy in Hilo, Hawaii, after having taught at the University of Hawaii, UCLA, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Smithsonian Institute.

In our visit, recorded on October 31, 2014, from his office in Hilo, Hawaii, we began our conversation when I asked him to describe what an earthquake storm is.

The book John Dvorak recommends is “Daughters of Fire,” by Tom Peek.

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Richmond, Martha — Lead in the Blood: Dangers and How to Protect

The level of lead in the blood of children is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  Our guest is Dr. Martha E. Richmond, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of Environmental Science, at Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts. 

Dr. Richmond’s current work centers on lead poisoning in children and involves  assessment of environmental regulation to effectively protect public health, including the effectiveness of regulations for air pollutants, and protection of children against lead toxicity.

Approximately 500,000 children in the United States between the ages of 1 and 5 suffer from lead poisoning as a result of lead in their blood above the level for which public health action is recommended. 

No safe blood lead level in children has been identified and lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.   This results in short and long term adverse consequences in the exposed children and to society in general.

When Dr. Richmond visited by phone from her home near Boston, Massachusetts, on October 19, 2014, she began with a description of the issues surrounding lead poisoning.

The book Dr. Martha Richmond recommends is “Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children,” by Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner.

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Brandt, Roger — The Oregon Caves

The Oregon Caves, located about 70 miles northeast of Crescent City, California in the Oregon Caves National Monument, are a place full of interest, mystery, and history. 

The caves were located in 1874 when Elijah Davidson chased his dog into the caves.

The Oregon Caves are very unique—possibly due to the fact that it is one of the few cave systems located on tectonically active ground, known as a subduction zone.   Their uniqueness may also be due to the fact an old growth Douglas fir forest grows directly above the caves, or the fact that they were created from what used to be a tropical reef that was pushed about 12 miles below the surface of the earth and then brought back up to its current location, and is still rising. I visited the Oregon Caves in 2006 and knew at once it would be a first-time, unique experience.

I spoke with Roger Brandt, the manager of visitor services and education of the Oregon Caves in June, 2006.  We began when I asked him about the Oregon Caves and what they represent.  

The book Roger Brandt recommends is “Golden Days and Pioneer Ways” by Ruth Phefferle.

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Owen, Doug & Ted Stout — A Visit to the Craters of the Moon

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is located in southern Idaho in the middle of the Snake River Plane halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Boise, Idaho.  It encompasses about 11,000 sq. miles, an area about the size of the State of Rhode Island.  In this special and unique part of the earth, lava has flowed regularly from 50 mile long deep, open, rift cracks approximately every 2000 years beginning 15,000 years ago.  With the last flow occurring about 2,100 years ago, another eruption is considered by many knowledgeable people to be due.

The area is so much like the surface of the moon that the astronauts who prepared for the second lunar landing in 1970 went to Craters of the Moon to train. 

I visited the Craters of the Moon on September 18 and 19, 2014, meeting first with Ted Stout, Chief of Interpretation and Education and then with Doug Owen, a geologist and National Park Ranger.

When Ted Stout and I met at the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve headquarters I asked him to begin with a description of the land within the Preserve.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.