The Pulse – October 24, 2014

    Listen

    Observation is an important life skill—especially when it’s your job to save lives. It’s the first and most basic tool doctors use to reach a diagnosis and choose a treatment for their patients. Reporter Aaron Moselle reports that one Philadelphia hospital is using art to help physicians keep this simple skill sharp.

    Communicating with toddlers is an art form all to itself. Deciphering their cute little noises as they relate to a conversation takes focus and fun, and those “chats” can be as rewarding as they are exhausting. Researchers and educators have long thought the number of words a young child hears is instrumental in language development and setting that child up for success. But Elana Gordon reports that new research indicates that quality of interactions may just trump quantity.

    Dealing with serious mental illness can be terrifying. Alaina Mabaso is an editor and freelance writer who’s been struggling with depression and chronic pain for years. When she was hospitalized last summer, she decided to write about her experiences on the psychiatric unit at Johns Hopkins. We paired her with psychologist Jonathan Rottenberg, author of “The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic,” for an honest conversation on a tough topic.

    The HBO documentary “Private Violence” debuted this week, expanding the conversation on domestic violence beyond just the NFL’s latest scandal. Reporter Taunya English has been tracking efforts by area police departments to better understand when a situation is about to escalate from bad to far worse… and she also spoke with the survivor and advocate featured in Private Violence, let’s hear her report.

    In the Southbridge neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware, residents find themselves face to face with the realities of climate change. Facing rising sea levels and increasingly powerful coastal storms, the community is planning for the flooding they’ve experienced for generations to go from bad to worse. Reporter Carolyn Beeler has this story.

    Ebola continues to be front and center in the news, with Nigeria and Senegal declaring their themselves ebola free, while the virus continues to ravage Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, with more than 4,000 deaths reported so far. The whole crisis has spurred a lot of music about the virus, and reporter Elana Gordon reports on how one group feels their musical homage to this scurge is different from the rest.

    Also on the show: a conversation about stemming the “bro” culture of the tech world, a local sustainability entrepreneur pitches investors on her big idea, and a specialized nasal cell helps a paralyzed man walk again.

    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.