(You guys, my neighbor asked me what my secret was for my tomato garden. This confirms it. I am a locally famous tomato raiser.)
Occasionally when I’m at work, doing something that requires minimal brain concentration, I’ll put on the ol’ headphones and listen to Blitzen Trapper or some other hipster artist on grooveshark or pandora. At some point last week, I realized that I could be listening to the news. So I headed over to NPR, where they stream all of their content on their website for FREE (NPR is one of my favorite things, right behind brown paper packages all tied up with string), and I started listening to the news. The News gets me all riled up, and it makes me sweat, and sometimes it makes me cry. So it’s not a good thing for me to listen to, as I just tear off my headphones and rage around the office. It’s very unproductive.
Then I discovered Radiolab.
And the Heavens sang. The great thing about Radiolab is that it is completely politically neutral. 100%. And it’s as rewarding as reading The Onion, or a passionate article on the NY Times, that is all about how Republicans are destroying the country in the wake of failed leadership by Obama.
Here are some mindblowing things I’ve learned on Radiolab:
If you tell people to remember a two digit number, and then tell them to go to another room and repeat that number back to an experimenter, and then a nice lady interrupts them in the hallway and asks them if they would like a snack of fresh fruit or chocolate cake, they are more likely to pick fruit. If you tell people to remember a 7 digit number, and then tell them to go to another room, and then a nice lady interrupts them and ask what they would like, they pick chocolate cake. WHAT! That story is here. They also show that people who lie to themselves more often tend to be happier, better functioning people than people who are more honest with themselves.
And then I learned that the nation’s best ultra runner (ultra runners are crazy people who run for days without sleeping. Ultra-runs range from 30 to 100+ miles) is a woman who is recovering from epilepsy. She had part of her brain removed by doctors to prevent seizures, and after that, she became a champion ultra-runner. Incidentally, the part of her brain that was removed is the part that deals with visual-spatial skills, and also deals with time. Yep, ladies and gentleman, when she’s out on a run in the Yukon, pulling dog sleds through the snow, she has no idea if she’s on day 4 or day 9. So she just keeps goin’. Basically, she doesn’t know when to stop.
There was this very, very, very cool story on how language shapes thought, and I can’t even begin to explain how awesome this podcast was. Even my grandpa liked it, and my grandpa and I can not agree on ANYTHING. Nothing. It was the most awesome thing I’ve ever listened to.
And there’s this musician who can memorize and replay symphonies in their exact tempo back in his head. He can keep track of four musical symphonies at once. Mind blowing.
Meanwhile, Bachelor Pad is going to be very satisfyingly trashy. Vienna is a horrible human being.