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Type the word "diet" into a search engine and... bam... you’ll unlock a goldmine of results: diet books, diet blogs, diet pills, and other evidence of a diet-crazed world.

But what drove society to become so obsessed with food restriction? How did something as simple as eating become so complicated?

This hour, we take a bite out of... diets and diet trends... with guest host David DesRoches.

 

We also look back on the history of the federal government's Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). What impact has the program had on the diets and health of Native communities?

 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Inside our genomes, we carry information about our recent ancestors as well as ancient human history. This hour, we sit down with science writer Carl Zimmer to talk about his new book, She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. We ask him what our DNA can—and can’t—tell us about where we’re from and who we are.

NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition Science Team

The octopus has always been the stuff of spine-tingling legend, like that of the Kraken, the many-armed sea monster believed to drag ships to the bottom of the sea after dining on the crew. Or  Gertie the Pus, the giant Pacific octopus that lives under the Narrows Bridge connecting Tacoma, Washington to Gig Harbor.

Excerpt from The Dialogues by Clifford V Johnson
Clifford V Johnson / MIT Press

It’s summer! That means if you’re lucky, you’ll have extra time to read a book while you're sitting on the beach, laying poolside, or after sneaking out of work early.

Recently on Connecticut Public Radio’s Where We Live, host Lucy Nalpathanchil interviewed Petra Mayer, an editor at NPR Books. Mayer went through the best books for you to explore this summer across multiple genres--from this year’s latest releases to upcoming new titles.

Books DAMSELFLY and THE DIALOGUES
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Check out some of the titles recommended during this episode here.

Now that it’s summer, it’s time to head to the beach with a good book! For many of us, vacation is one of the few times we get to read for fun. Don’t know what book to pick up? Where We Live has got you covered.

Gordon / flickr creative commons

Federal regulatory requirements mandate* that all public media outlets occasionally devote significant airtime to the health and welfare of bees.

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

It’s usually historians and scholars who get excited when a university acquires an ancient document. But in the 1960s, a map acquired by Yale University caused such a stir it divided the country.

J Stimp / Creative Commons

Nearly ninety-percent of Americans own a smartphone.

On average, we spend more than four hours a day on our phones, which adds up to about 56 full days a year. That's like sealing yourself in a room on the first day of summer and not emerging until the kids head back to school. 

Spartacon3000 / Wikimedia Commons

The USDA recently proposed recommendations that would require foodmakers to label their products if they contain genetically modified ingredients.

Genetically modified crops have been portrayed as everything from a dangerous health risk to a miracle solution to tackle world food shortages. But among all this debate, many of us may not really know what a “genetically modified organism” (GMO) even is.

This hour, we ask: what does it actually mean for food to be genetically modified, and should we care if it is?

Andreas Bolzer et al. / Wikimedia Commons

Inside our genomes, we carry information about our recent ancestors as well as ancient human history. This hour, we sit down with science writer Carl Zimmer to talk about his new book, She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. We ask him what our DNA can—and can’t—tell us about where we’re from and who we are.

Mr.checker / Creative Commons

Fruit flies. You may have seen one or two dancing above your fruit bowl. But what about under a microscope?

Believe it or not these seemingly insignificant insects have had a long and (dare we say) fruitful history in advancing scientific research.

This hour, First in Fly author Dr. Stephanie Mohr joins us to explain why.

Later, we also take a deeper look into the realm of so-called “true flies” with London-based "fly girl" Dr. Erica McAlister

mslavick / flickr creative commons

We've been trying to push this show out for quite a while now. It's been a bit of a strain, and we got kind of backed up.

But, this hour, we let loose a long look at... constipation.

It should be a big relief for everyone involved.

zenilorac / flickr creative commons

Numbers are so fundamental to our understanding of the world around us that we maybe tend to think of them as an intrinsic part of the world around us. But they aren't. Humans invented numbers just as much as we invented all of language.

Frontiers Conferences / flickr

Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, etc. These are just the beginning of what experts believe will be a future filled with verbally interactive, digital and robotic assistants. And as we become more accustomed to interacting with machines, the machines are becoming more life-like.

Dan McKay / flickr creative commons

When I hear the word "diorama," the first thing I think of is Mr. Mack’s fifth grade class and painting hills and grass and clouds and a fence into a shoebox and making little cardboard cut outs of Lassie and the boy she loved. God, I hated that stuff.

The second thing I think of is a place like the Peabody Museum in New Haven and their incredibly, obsessively, over-the-toply detailed dioramas of the plant and wildlife of Connecticut.

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