The Pulse – April 4, 2014

    Listen

    We all want our doctors to be sharp as a tack, laser accurate, and confident enough to trust themselves with our lives. But we also want them to be kind, caring, and able to understand and relate to our fears. Is that too much to expect?  We presume that most physicians chose their profession because they want to help others, but if bedside manner isn’t their strong suit, can they learn empathy? We join some med students as they train to be both competent and compassionate.

    Anyone who’s been the target of whistles and cat calls on their way to work or out for a stroll knows it can be both annoying and a little bit intimidating. We talk to an anti-street harassment activist who is trying to create a common definition for this unwanted commentary. But not everyone is on the same page.

    Did you know that some bats argue over who gets the worm? Recent research has identified high-pitched screaming matches between big brown bats over the dinner menu, and Pulse contributor Dr. Bethany Brookshire, who has an especially keen eye for the strangest scientific findings, joins us to discuss some recent research from the fringes of the animal kingdom.

    What does math have to do with sea otters? More than you’d think. A Princeton professor who just won the 2014 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is a mathematician by training, but devotes his skills to understanding the intricate relationships between living things and the ecosystems they shape – from rivers to oceans to forests. He tells us about his life’s work in his own words.

    In our latest installment of “So, What Do You Do?” we paired a cartoonist and a music technology researcher to discuss a future in which robots are musicians.

    This past Monday marked the deadline to enroll in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act this year, and federal officials say more than seven million people signed up. We checked in at Congreso, a Latino service agency in Philadelphia, which was packed Monday with those seeking help with the application.

    Also on the show, medical devices are costly and non-recyclable, but an Indian-born cardiologist in Easton, Pa. is on a mission to save lives back in his native country by salvaging used pacemakers, cleaning them, and shipping them home for reimplantation. Officials and ethicists don’t support his mission, but he says he’s saving lives with machines that would otherwise be buried with their original owners.

    Music from today’s show: 

    “Magicman” – 4:38BonoboAlbum      One Offs… Remixes & B-SidesLabel Tru Thouhgts

    “New York Counterpoint: Slow” – 2:44Steve ReichAlbum      PhasesLabel Nonesuch

    “Lucille – Instrumental” – 0:57Le MansAlbum      Le MansLabel        Elefant

    “Springish” – 2:23GillicuddyAlbum      Gillicuddy …Plays GuitarsLabel        Clinical Archives

    “La Tarea” – 4:11Le MansAlbum      EntresemanaLabel        Elefant

    “Rockit” – 5:27Herbie HancockAlbum      Future ShockLabel Columbia

    “Heart of Gold” – 3:49Birds & BatteriesAlbum      I’ll Never Sleep AgainLabel Birds & Batteries

    “Tashweesh (Interference)” – 3:22Kronos QuartetAlbum      FloodplainLabel Nonesuch

    “Disparate Youth” – 4:44SantigoldAlbum      Master of My Make-BelieveLabel Atlantic

    “Diagonals” – 4:44StereolabAlbum      Dots and LoopsLabel Elektra

     

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.