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Moving to higher ground
Planetoid factoids, living through climate change, thanking the Celts for Halloween, and podcasts and links to make you think.
Welcome to Hurt Your Brain #192, the place to get podcasts and links that will make you think.
If I can remember just one little thing about a podcast a month later, then I consider that massively successful on the podcast’s part. It’s quite easy for this brain of mine to turn hard researched podcast narrative into a straight up mashed potato factoid soup.
With that said, here’s a thing I learned from the recent Science VS episode about UFO’s that I imagine I’ll remember for a while: Before the 90’s we didn’t have a single shred of hard proof of the existence of planets outside our solar system (even if assumed). So in 1990 we knew of 9 planets (throwing Pluto a bone because it was the 90’s), and now we know, for sure, of over 5,000. At this point it’s safe to use the data we have and conclude that almost all stars have at least one planet, and that for every one in five sun-like stars, there is an earth-like planet orbiting in the “goldilocks” zone. This would mean earth-like planets are in the millions or billions for our galaxy alone.
Alright, let’s start with a new-to-me show recommendation and then into a spooky adjacent recommendation I think you’ll like.
The Big Idea: Something people would have laughed at three decades ago (who hopefully wouldn’t now) is the idea of putting climate impact at the top of the list for where to move, let alone the idea of being forced to live somewhere else because of climate change. Season 3 of SOLD OUT from KQED is titled “Rethinking Housing in America” and lives at the intersection of climate change and the housing crisis.
This first episode looks at a personal story within California and is an excellent kick off to the series: “When the river comes for your town, what do you do, how do you adapt? Is abandoning life in the floodplain the only real option? We follow the Escutia family, starting on the night that a flood swallowed their hometown, and for months afterward, as they searched for an affordable home on higher ground.”
The Big Idea: If you ever wanted to feel bad about how long you use a dish sponge (or about the fact that you even use a dish sponge), or how long you go between washing your sheets, this episode is for you! Sarcasm aside, this is an excellent episode and Unbiased Science looks to be a great science podcast all around.
Unbiased Science is hosted by public health scientist Dr Jessica Steier and Immunologist and Microbiologist Dr Andrea Love.
The Big Idea: The roots of Halloween trace all the way back to a 2000 year old Celtic holiday called Samhain. That’s a legit holiday right there, with early Christians erasing it as a pagan tradition and co-opting it and everything. From the episode:
“Instead of banning Samhain, in the 800s, the Pope moved an existing Christian holiday celebrating martyrs who’d died for their faith to November 1. That became All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows Day, and the night before became All Hallows Eve, or, you know, Halloween.”
The holiday went on to change many times and in many ways over the centuries. This is a great history of the timeline, with particular attention to the food along the way (this is Gastropod after all).
In a real podcast rut: who is doing something fresh or interesting with the medium? A good thread on Reddit.
OTHER LINKS TO MAKE YOU THINK
How long would it take to get to the Sun? I feel like I have a rough idea of how long it would take to walk to the moon or fly, but with getting to the sun my gut guess was embarrassingly wrong. This short article has some pretty fun tidbits, but before you click on it, take a guess how long it would take to fly a 747 non-stop to the Sun (or to drive).
The Making of The Bourne Identity was a Sh*t Show. A pretty fascinating video. The title doesn’t lie, it really did sound like a shit show and I had no idea.
You have to admit octopuses are a bit terrifying. That is all.
The danger of Dad jokes (four minute clip from The Moth, very worth it).
And let’s end with a quote I liked.
“I spend a lot of time reading books, books are great, they are an unsurpassed technology for thinking” - Ezra Klein on Search Engine. Really excellent interview about staying sane on the internet.
Alright that’s all for today. Please like or comment (or reply) if you want to share any comments. See you next time.
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