June 2020

Deep Breaths: How Breathing Affects Sleep, Anxiety & Resilience – Fresh Air

A typically excellent Terry Gross interview with journalist James Nestor, author of ‘Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.’ Chances are you’ve been paying a lot more attention to your respiratory system of late, but this will make you think about it in a new and exciting way. Humans take about 25,000 breaths per day, giving it little thought, but how and where you breathe can have a big impact on your health.

There’s also a great review of a new album of Transylvanian folk songs.

Fighting a Virtual Pandemic – Imaginary Worlds

Let’s be honest, it feels like we’re living in some sort of dystopia right now. A setting for a sci-fi or spooky video game. As it turns out, a very similar situation was played out World of Warcraft (a multiplayer online game). In 2005, the game was taken over by a virus called Corrupted Blood, and people behaved a lot like we’re seeing in the real life version right now. . I talk with epidemiologist and gamer Eric Lofgren, NYU game design instructor Alexander King and longtime player Virginia Wilkerson about the parallels between the pandemic in World of Warcraft the one we’re facing in the real world, and what lessons we can learn by studying how players reacted to a virtual virus.

The Question of Black Identity – Historically Black

This episode is from 2016 but I found it on a list of recommendations being shared around all the Black Lives Matter protests that were taking place in June. It’s hosted by Roxane Gay who is excellent at it. It’s about just how complex racial identity in the U.S. because, in Gay’s wise words: “race is an invented category rooted in slavery”. In this episode we hear the voices of four people who, at one time or another, have had to answer the question: “What are you?”

A nice walk I took in June