The Pulse Stays Home

    Listen

    We spend large portions of our lives in and around our homes. It’s where we eat, sleep, and heal. Some of us were born in our homes, others will die in theirs, but the point is, there’s a lot happening at our home addresses, and not just social stuff—medical and astronomical breakthroughs happen under our own roofs every day. So, with the mercury bottoming out in the dog days of winter, we decided to dedicate this episode of the show to our homes.

    How’s this for a prescription from your doctor: 10 days of no cognitive stimulation—no phone, no TV, no loud noises…nothing! That’s what Theo Balcomb was prescribed after she suffered a severe concussion when she slipped while getting out of bed one morning. Disoriented and exhausted from her the aftermath of her fall, Theo’s sister Hallie swooped in to help her on the journey back to health. The sisters tell us their story. This got us wondering what is the best course of action after a concussion? To answer that question and others, we are joined by Sarah Allen, a pediatric neuropsychologist at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    When you’re in the hospital, “home” is where you want to be, so being discharged is the goal. The thing is, a lot of recently discharged patients end up not staying home for long, and, instead, they wind up back in the hospital. Reporter Elana Gordon spends a day with a nurse whose sole mission is to keep discharged patients from becoming readmissions.

    The expression “weight loss” harkens images of broccoli and 7-minute workouts, right? But did you know the configuration of your kitchen may be having a big effect on your waistline as well? It does, according to author and researcher Brian Wansink, who, for years, has been studying how our kitchens affect our weight. Brian joins us to impart some fascinating and eye-opening weight-loss advice.

    In the 1950s, the Dupont chemical company, based in Delaware, came out with a product that might have made the biggest impact on how you live in your home—acrylic paint in every color of the rainbow. Oil paint required a crew of professionals, and it took forever to dry. With Dupont’s invention, you could suddenly redesign the look of your home yourself…in a day! And with this invention came the idea of “color psychology”…the idea that specific colors can make you feel certain ways. But as Peter Crimmins reports, linking wall colors and our psyches is not an easy science.

    Dragging a telescope to some far-away mountaintop is no longer necessary if your goal is to make meaningful contributions to the field of astronomy. As reporter Todd Bookman discovered, an explosion of publicly available space data means hobbyists can make discoveries that matter and advance the breadth of human knowledge without ever getting off the couch.

    Also on this week’s show: how the Xbox changed Paul Ballas’ life and the dangers of radon…that colorless, odorless gas that’s oh so 1983. Stay home with us this week!

    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.