Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Heart Radio Lab

For anyone interested in adding a little variety of radio listening to their lives, I have a diamond in the rough for you. Radio Lab. "It's a radio show and podcast, with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, that weaves stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries." I stole that from the website. Seriously though, it's a great show. If you're a This American Life fan - and you should be, I recommend this show too - you're naturally going to heart Radio Lab. They make science fun! Covering an array of topics from animals, to tumors, to limits, to time, to phantom arms, to statistics, to... you get the picture.

The episode that got me hooked was the one about a phantom arm. A man no longer had his arm (I forgot how he lost it, the military?) and for several years had severe (phantom) pain coming from where his arm once was. He said it felt like his fist was clinched tightly and like his nails were digging into the palm of his hand. It was all psychological. He visited several doctors for many years and no one was able to cure his pain... since there wasn't any arm to treat. Finally the man went to see a new doctor (with a Eastern European accent, it seems appropriate, doesn't it?) who McGyver'd up a mirror that created the illusion that he had his real arm. The doctor instructed him to move the hand on his real arm (that looked like his phantom arm while looking into the mirror) as if he was un-clinching his fist. After several weeks of doing this, he no longer felt any pain in his phantom arm! Cool, huh?

I know, I didn't do a very good job of explaining the story. You're just going to have to check it out yourself. Along with some other Radio Lab podcasts. I think you're going to heart it too. :)

3 comments:

Lizzy Lambson said...

I LOVE Radio Lab! I like to put it on when I'm straightening my hair or folding laundry. Oh, it's so great. The first one I ever heard that got me hooked was the one about parasites and the guy giving himself ringworm to cure his allergies. Something like that. Yay Radio Lab! Yay for kindred spiritness!

Jeanna said...

Never heard of radio lab before. But I watched an episode of House where a guy had the same problem and they fixed it with the mirrored image thing. Cool!

Jim said...

Wish this was Facebook and I could just "like" your post without leaving a comment, but I heard this one too. I love Radio Lab too!