Tag Archives: NPR

How grief and loss affect your brain, and why it takes time to adapt : Shots – Health News : NPR

By Berly McCoy, December 20, 20212:55 PM ET

Grief is tied to all sorts of different brain functions, says researcher and author Mary-Frances O’Connor. That can range from being able to recall memories to taking the perspective of another person, to even things like regulating our heart rate and the experience of pain and suffering.
Adam Lister/Getty Images

Holidays are never quite the same after someone we love dies.

Even small aspects of a birthday or a Christmas celebration — an empty seat at the dinner table, one less gift to buy or make — can serve as jarring reminders of how our lives have been forever changed.

Although these realizations are hard to face, clinical psychologist Mary-Frances O’Connor says we shouldn’t avoid them or try to hide our feelings. “Grief is a universal experience,” she notes, “and when we can connect, it is better.”

O’Connor, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, studies what happens in our brains when we experience grief.

She says grieving is a form of learning — one that teaches us how to be in the world without someone we love in it. “The background is running all the time for people who are grieving, thinking about new habits and how they interact now.”

Source: How grief and loss affect your brain, and why it takes time to adapt : Shots – Health News : NPR

There’s new pressure to ban books at schools : NPR

Attempts to remove books from school libraries have increased, spurred by activism from conservative parent groups and resistance to teaching socially progressive ideas in schools.

December 6, 20215:10 AM ET Heard on Morning Edition

By Nomin Ujiyediin

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com


RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Attempts to ban books in schools are as old as books themselves. But there’s new momentum on book bans now that’s driven by conservative activists targeting local school boards. Nomin Ujiyediin of member station KCUR in Kansas City reports.

NOMIN UJIYEDIIN, BYLINE: Books about LGBTQ issues and race have spurred more conservative activism against school boards in recent months. It’s often the same books that are challenged, like “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and “Crank” by Ellen Hopkins, because they deal directly with issues of sex, racism, violence and drugs. One group leading challenges calls itself No Left Turn in Education. It publishes lists of books and guides to help activists complain to their school boards. Andy Wells heads the Missouri chapter. He considers books like “The Bluest Eye” to be pornographic and argues they shouldn’t be in schools.

Source: There’s new pressure to ban books at schools : NPR

Review: Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams call for action in ‘Book of Hope’ : NPR

Published October 19, 20217:28 AM ET, By Barbara J. King

Damian Dovarganes/AP

In Mombasa on the coast of Kenya is a place called Haller Park. People flock there to see 180 indigenous species of plants and trees, and a variety of animals including hippos and giraffes.

In The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times, Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams (Gail Hudson is an additional author), discuss the park as an example of how our injured Earth can be restored and healed.

At one point the park was “a monstrous five-hundred-acre scar where almost nothing grew” because a cement company created a quarry that ravaged the land. The company’s CEO decided to repair the damage and slowly, year by year, with horticultural tending and introduction of wild animals, the area was transformed.

Source: Review: Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams call for action in ‘Book of Hope’ : NPR

William Shatner has traveled to space in Blue Origin rocket : NPR

By Joe Hernandez, Updated October 13, 202111:08 AM ET

Blue Origin’s New Shepard lifts off from the launch pad carrying 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner and three other civilians near Van Horn, Texas.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Blue Origin’s second human spaceflight has returned to Earth after taking a brief flight to the edge of space this morning. Among the four passengers on board — there is no pilot — was William Shatner, the actor who first played the space-traveling Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise.

“The covering of blue. This sheet, this blanket, this comforter that we have around. We think, oh, that’s blue sky,” an emotional Shatner said after returning to earth.

Canadian actor William Shatner, who became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, speaks from the stage at the second edition of the multi-genre entertainment comic and fan convention ‘Comic Con Africa’ in Johannesburg on September 21, 2019.

“Then suddenly you shoot through it all of the sudden, as though you’re whipping a sheet off you when you’re asleep, and you’re looking into blackness, into black ugliness.”

At age 90, Shatner is now the oldest person to fly into space.

Source: William Shatner has traveled to space in Blue Origin rocket : NPR

Weight Gain And Obesity Up In 2020 In The U.S. : Shots – Health News : NPR

By Yuki Noguchi, September 29, 20211:01 PM ET

A Planet Fitness employee cleans equipment before a gym’s reopening in March in Inglewood, Calif., after being closed due to COVID-19. Reduced access to recreation likely has contributed to weight gain during the pandemic.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

It is official: The pandemic’s effect on America’s waistline has been rough.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 16 states now have obesity rates of 35% or higher. That’s an increase of four states — Delaware, Iowa, Ohio and Texas — in just a year.

The findings confirm what several recent research studies have found: Many Americans have gained significant weight since the COVID-19 crisis started, likely fueled by an increase in sedentary behavior, stress and troubles such as job and income loss that make healthy eating harder. And those rates are rising faster among racial minorities.

Source: Weight Gain And Obesity Up In 2020 In The U.S. : Shots – Health News : NPR

Celebrate The End Of Summer With Monday’s Harvest Moon : NPR

By Dustin Jones, September 18, 20218:57 PM ET

Last year’s harvest moon took place on Oct. 1. The lunar event is designated as the full moon occurring nearest to the autumnal equinox every year.
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For those in the Northern Hemisphere, summer will come to an end next Wednesday.

Slowly but surely since the middle of June, days have been getting shorter. With the arrival of the autumn equinox comes cooler weather and a change of color amongst the trees.

And Monday, two days before the official start of fall, the harvest moon.

For three days, moonrise will come shortly after sunset, but the harvest moon will reach its peak illumination at 7:54 p.m. ET Monday.

Historically this lunar event provided farmers a little extra light to harvest their crops. However, unlike the equinoxes, which take place at the same time each year, the harvest moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. Which means it can fall in September or October, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Source: Celebrate The End Of Summer With Monday’s Harvest Moon : NPR