Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us


    Hour 2

    Does anyone remember what a blackboard is? The sound of fingernails running across that blank slate used to capture a universal cringe. Overhearing others’ cell phone conversations may have taken that dubious distinction of group annoyance. NPR Science Correspondent JOE PALCA says his biggest annoyance is when he gets annoyed with himself for being annoyed. He and co-writer Flora Lichtman have studied the science behind odiferous animal oils, body annoyances, epic traffic jams, and frequency thresholds. Palca and Lichtman’s book, “Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us,” probably won’t help you defend your nose from a skunk, but might will help you cope next time that guy is talking next to you in a movie theater.

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    [audio: 051711_110630.mp3]

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