Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A moving experience

When i was in high school, one of my class mates said that he'd only been out of town once. That's when he was born. And that's because the town has no hospital. At the time, the idea that moving is anathema was a new idea. I didn't understand it. But it's much more common than my own history. I've moved 17 times since college. In fact, you can trace the movement of humans out of Africa and out the coast of India by using DNA. You call it movement, or migration. But it is really expansion. The descendants of people who moved out of Africa maybe fifty or seventy thousand years ago are still there. You sample their DNA to find out how long ago it was. How many generations stayed where they were for that long? Then we have a story like this:

A moving experience.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Something odd

What if we discovered something odd by accident. If boys between the ages of 9 and 13 are starved (not to death, just reduced food intake), then not only do they do better, but so do their children (if any) and their grandchildren (if any).... In fact, three generations have one quarter the chance of death by heart attack. And, what if we had a single payer health system (like Austrailia), so that effectively, everyone pays for health issues, not just the victim. And, let's say that heart attacks are painful to have, and incredibly expensive to treat. Wouldn't it make sense to starve boys between the ages of 9 and 13? Wouldn't it be the ethical imperitive? How would one go about explaining it to Americans?

Is there anything to this? Here's the podcast.Radiolab