Radiolab

Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. 12pm Wednesday

WEDNESDAYS 12PM -1PM
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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Soul Patch

 
  
 
 

A Form of Hope

We begin in the middle of a phone call with Lulu Miller, who tells us the story of a couple with a seemingly unsolvable problem. It's the 1970s, and Richard and Tucker are very much in love. They'd like to get married, but it's against the law. And that would have been the end of the story...except that Richard, worried about Tucker and frustrated that he couldn't legally provide for him, came up with a very unusual (but totally legal) solution.

Lulu says these moments, where one little switch can reframe reality, are a kind of duct tape for the ethereal sadness. It's a form of hope, where an imperfect workaround opens up a door and makes life a little bit better.

And that brings us to a man named Jim Eggers, who suffers from a problem that not only puts his life at risk--it jeopardizes the safety of everybody around him. Producer Pat Walters explains how Jim found a way to manage his anger with the help of a bird named Sadie. African Grey Parrot expert Irene Pepperberg helps us understand how this could work, and shares some insights from her work with a parrot named Alex.

 

About Face

Oliver Sacks, the famous neuroscientist and author, can't recognize faces. Neither can Chuck Close, the great artist known for his enormous paintings of...that's right, faces. 

Oliver and Chuck--both born with the condition known as Face Blindness--have spent their lives decoding who is saying hello to them. You can sit down with either man, talk to him for an hour, and if he sees you again just fifteen minutes later, he will have no idea who you are. (Unless you have a very squeaky voice or happen to be wearing the same odd purple hat.) Chuck and Oliver tell Robert what it's like to live with Face Blindness in a conversation recorded for the World Science Festival, and they describe two very different ways of coping with their condition (which may be more common than we think).

 

A Bus to Nowhere

There’s a common problem faced by Alzheimer's and Dementia patients all over the world: lost in their memories, they sometimes get disoriented, and wander off. 

When this happens, they can end up far from home and frightened, or even hurt. So what are you supposed to do if your loved one--a parent, a grandparent--begins to wander in this way? Often times the only solution is to lock them up. Which just feels cruel. But what else are you supposed to do if you want to keep them safe? Lulu Miller asks Richard Neureither andRegine Hauch to explain the novel solution used at Benrath Senior Center in Düsseldorf, Germany.