Five at 8 – 1/6/10: Science, marriage, and depression

1) The Physics Circus is being held today at Northrop Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus. There are plenty of videos intended to make science fun here. We favor the human rocket.

Science, you’ve come a long way.

More science: Chimps understand how fire works.

2) For those who suffer from depression, “mild depression” is an oxymoron. But a study today says those who suffer from “mild depression,” get little benefit from anti-depressant drugs, according to the Los Angeles Times:

“There is no doubt that there are tremendous benefits from antidepressants, as our study showed,” the lead researcher said. “But this study helps us resolve, to some degree, the question of how much benefit people can expect from the medicines themselves when symptoms are not severe.”

We don’t need more drugs, this Psychology Today blogger says, we need better treatment for an affliction more people are experiencing:

If we are to start to contain depression, the public needs to demand them and to agree to fund the research that will bring them into being. Once we have more effective treatments, then, yes, we can put all of our energy into making sure that sufferers are routed into them. But for now, the very first step should be on research, research that will help us understand why depression is such a tough nut to crack.

Tangent time: If we’re connected like never before, how come fewer people say they have a close confidant, Lane Wallace asks in “Loneliness in Numbers.”

Friendship is less demanding than a more intimate and vulnerable romantic connection, but the same principle applies. I’ve noticed, the more times I’ve moved, and the more people I’ve met, how much harder it is to keep up with all those friendships on any significant level. Acquaintances are easy to maintain with casual, group emails and Holiday notes. But real friends? They take time and energy–both to develop, and to nurture or maintain.

3) – Sixty-three percent of people know someone who has been unfaithful in their marriage, CBS reports today.

Nevertheless, a majority of Americans (53 percent) thinks getting a divorce is too easy and should be made more difficult to obtain than it is now, while one in four Americans thinks getting a divorce should be made easier. These numbers are similar to those found in polls conducted by the University of Chicago over the past 20 years.

4) All you need is YouTube.

(h/t: @charliehartwell)

5) It is wholly appropriate to bring back this video by MPR’s Anna Weggel, originally produced a year ago, and continues to inspire awe.

If there’s global warming, how come so much of the globe is freezing? It’s all about Arctic oscillation, Robert Henson says in The Guardian:

What’s different now is that climate change is gradually shifting the odds toward record-hot summers and away from record-cold winters. The latter aren’t impossible; they’re just increasingly hard to get, like scoring a straight flush on one trip to Vegas and a royal flush the next.

It’s also critical to remember the “global” in global warming. Even if every inch of land in the northern hemisphere were unusually cold, that would only represent 20% of Earth’s surface. There’s plenty of warmth elsewhere around the world. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data through November hints that 2009 may end up ranked as the southern hemisphere’s warmest year on record. For the planet as a whole, last year falls solidly among the 10 warmest years of the past 100. And despite all the talk about Earth having cooled since the late 1990s, this past decade trumps the 1990s as the warmest on record.


President Obama spoke yesterday of his concerns about airline security. Closer to home, there was a bomb scare at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. Today’s Question: Do you feel safe flying?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: A look at the new aviation security measures announced yesterday by President Obama.

Second hour: The cure for obesity. The guest is Dr. James Levine, endocrinologist and director of the Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis Center at the Mayo Clinic. His book “Move a Little, Lose a Lot.” is now out in paperback.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Bioethicist Art Caplan

Second hour: An American RadioWorks documentary about the New Deal, called “Bridge to Somewhere.” Here’s the Web site.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: NPR’s political editor Ken Rudin discusses the Democrats’ leaky Good Ship Supermajority.

Second hour: All about plea bargains.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – A window on a closed society, offered through the lives of ordinary North Koreans. What defectors from North Korea told writer Barbara Demick.

Five metro counties are collecting sales tax for a coordinated solution to transportation. Where’s the money going? MPR’s Dan Olson will tell all.

MPR’s Lorna Benson has a Minnesota H1N1 update.

  • Alison

    \\Sixty-three percent of people know someone who has been unfaithful in their marriage

    Are the other 37% in denial?