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How to Live Longer: Full Transcript

This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “How to Live Longer ” Kai RYSSDAL: Time now for a little Freakonomics Radio.  It’s that moment every couple of weeks where we talk to Stephen Dubner.  He is the co-author of the books and the blog of the same name – it is “the hidden side of […] Read More »





How to Live Longer: a New Marketplace Podcast

Our latest Freakonomics Radio on Marketplace podcast is called “How to Live Longer.” (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen via the media player in the post, or read the transcript below.)

It looks into why Hall of Fame inductees, Oscar winners, and Nobel laureates seem to outlive their peers. The deeper question in the podcast concerns the relationship between status (not income!) and longevity — a fascinating, complex, and controversial topic (here’s a good place to start reading) about which I believe we’ll hear a great deal in years to come. It will be valuable to know what kind of “status boosts” confer health advantages and, conversely, how disappointment and the like can chip away at us.

This podcast was timed to coincide with two events this week: the annual Baseball Hall of Fame election, in which no players were selected this year for the first time since 1996 (here’s ESPN’s take and here’s a useful statistical snapshot); and the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees. Read More »





Need to Go to the ER? Not Until the Game’s Over!

Sports fans are nuts, right? Prone to erratic, irrational behavior when their team is playing. You’d think that during the Big Game, violent behavior would spike, and maybe lead to higher rates of emergency room visits and even deaths? Not true. A number of studies show that big sporting events do not increase the number of patients admitted to emergency rooms, and in some cases, hospital visits and even heart attack rates have been shown to decrease during a major sporting event. Unless, of course, your team is losing.

The latest study in this vein, published this week in the Journal of Open Medicine, comes from Canada, where researchers examined emergency room visits during the 2010 Olympic gold medal ice hockey game between the U.S. and Canada. The game ended in a 3-2 overtime win by Canada and was seen by roughly half the country, some 16.6 million people, making it the most popular TV broadcast in Canadian history. The study found that the rate of total emergency room visits during the game decreased by 17 percent, compared with corresponding hours for 6 control days.

This effect extended throughout Canada’s largest province, amounted to a decrease of about 136 fewer patients per hour, appeared accentuated for adult men living in rural locations, and was most evident for those with milder triage severity scores presenting with abdominal pain, musculoskeletal disorders, or traumatic injuries.

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Bring on the Pain!: Full Transcript

Bring on the Pain   Stephen J. DUBNER: One or two mornings a week, I take the subway from the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where I live, down to SoHo, to the radio station where we make this program. I take the C train. It’s about a half-hour ride. I wear headphones. Those ridiculous, big […] Read More »





Bring on the Pain!

Most people do what they can to avoid pain. That said, it’s an inevitable part of life. So how do you deal with it?

That’s the question we explore in our latest Freakonomics Radio podcast. We look into a few different kinds of pain, inflicted in different circumstances, to see what we can learn. The biggest takeaway: it’s not necessarily how much something hurts; it’s how you remember the pain. Read More »





Painful Lessons

The nation is facing pain on many fronts — financial, governmental, personal. So what do we know about how to deal with it, sell it and forget it? We’ll ask a doctor, a hockey player and a governor for their tips. Read More »





Radio in Progress: One Upside of Aging

We’re working on a Freakonomics Radio episode about pain. One component is the very interesting research by Daniel Kahneman and Donald Redelmeier about how colonoscopy patients remember the pain of the procedure, and how that memory can be manipulated (to dim the memory of the pain) so that patients aren’t reluctant to return for their next colonoscopy. Read More »





If It’s Raining, You Might Want to Reschedule That Interview

It is no secret that weather affects mood, and even behavior. The Bagel Man we wrote about in Freakonomics, who ran an honor-system business, received lower payments during foul weather. Now along come Donald Redelmeier and Simon D. Baxter from the University of Toronto with an interesting question: do applicants to medical school suffer if they happen to be interviewed on a rainy day? Read More »