19-11 Segment 1: Mindfulness in Life, Leadership and Collaboration

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The hustle and bustle of the world can overwhelm us all from time to time. Expert Marc Lesser talks about how we can embrace mindfulness to relieve anxiety, enhance our empathy and become better collaborators and leaders in our lives.

Guest:

  • Marc Lesser, author, Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader: Lessons from Google and a Zen Monastery Kitchen

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19-11 Segment 2: Harry Potter Therapy

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The Harry Potter series is full of creatures and storylines that parallel real-life adversities like depression, PTSD and grief in a heightened reality. Dr. Janina Scarlet says these stories are so powerful that she uses them to help people cope in real-life therapy sessions.

Guest:

  • Dr. Janina Scarlet, a clinical therapist and author of Superhero Therapy: A Hero’s Journey through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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Culture Crash 19-11: Do we all have the cultural taste of our 15 year-old selves?

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.

There’s an anecdote from a 2015 Hollywood Reporter profile on Lorne Michaels, the famed producer of Saturday Night Live, that has always stuck with me. Michaels has been the man in charge of SNL since its inception back in 1975, which means he’s overseen the iconic series through generations of new writers and performers and he’s heard time and again that his show just ain’t what it used to be. Michaels has seen this cycle often enough and in regards to so many different casts that he has reached a simple conclusion: Everyone says the show peaked when they were in high school.

One high school senior’s favorite cast is a disappointment to a bunch of 20-somethings.

This is a tale as old as time. Older generations lament younger generations’ taste in everything. Famously, this is true of music. Older generations despised the music of Elvis, then the Rolling Stones, and now, I guess, Kanye West. In fact, in a similar vein to Michael’s anecdotal discovery, data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz writes in his book Everybody Lies that Spotify data suggests our favorite music is what we grew up with. Specifically, he says women’s musical taste is formed between 11 and 14, while men’s taste is formed between 13 and 16. Stephens-Davidowitz says for instance, that “Creep” by Radiohead, is the 164th most popular song among men on the cusp of 40, but it doesn’t even rank in the top 300 of men nearing 30 or 50.

We like what we liked in high school. 

And I can add to the phenomenon: My favorite movie is Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. I’ve often said nothing will ever top the experience I had of going to the theater at midnight when I was 15 years old, tagging along with my brother and watching the comic book crime epic unfold and… it turns out, I’m probably right. It’s not necessarily because it’s the best movie of all-time, but it mattered to me the most when my receptors were at their height.

I appreciate new music and new books and new music, and I flock to see new movies. I often love them. Maybe I’ll even watch some Saturday Night Live highlights. But for me, those things all peaked in the late 2000s. For you, they probably peaked when you were 15. And of course, this is all fine. But let’s all get along about it. People can like different things, and we should probably try to keep these things in mind and cut younger generations some slack when they say some new movie or new song is their favorite ever. It’s just human nature.

For links to the Hollywood Reporter profile (on Lorne Michaels) and to purchase Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s book (Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are) head to our site Viewpointsonline.net.

I’m Evan Rook. 

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19-10 Segment 1: A More Ethical Garden

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Spring is almost here! That means it’s time to start thinking about gardens and landscaping. Expert Benjamin Vogt has a new way to garden, so that your property can be a place that looks nice, and also contributes to a healthy ecosystem that helps animal species and our planet thrive.

Guest:

  • Benjamin Vogt, Garden Designer with Monarch Gardens and author, A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future 

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19-10 Segment 2: A Fantasy Series that Aims at Teaching Children to Consider Some Big Questions

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We grow up hearing nursery rhymes and fairy tales that deal with good and evil. All of us fondly remember the cartoons of our youth and the stories we grew up with. We talk to Soman Chainani about authoring a new entry into the catalog of mythology and his attempt to course-correct the lessons more modern stories have been teaching our children.

Guest:

  • Soman Chainani, author of The School for Good and Evil

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Culture Crash 19-10: Netflix’s Russian Doll

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.

Streaming TV services like Netflix and Hulu have revolutionized the medium, in part, simply by expanding access. Hundreds more scripted shows are being made right now than ever have before, and this has meant more diverse writers and creators. But Netflix, in particular, is responsible for another revolutionary idea: dropping entire seasons of shows all at once. It’s become something of a signature for the company, which encourages binge-watching entire seasons of shows like Stranger Things and Ozark in a day or a weekend. With that, many creators have started to say it feels like they’re making a 10-hour movie instead of a TV show.

And that line of thinking has been a little controversial. The problem with that thinking is that, of course, it isn’t a 10-hour movie, it’s a TV show. Critic Alan Sepinwall frequently notes that the nature of TV is episodic. Even if you encourage binge-watching, some viewers will go one episode at a time and each episode needs to be entertaining in its own right.

Well, Netflix may have finally answered the bell and delivered a show that truly feels like an actual extended-length film. It’s called Russian Doll, and it comprises of eight episodes that are each roughly 23 minutes in length. This makes the entire season a little over three hours long, which makes it actually feasible for a lot of people to watch it all in one sitting. And that might be the ideal watching situation.

Russian Doll is similar to Groundhog Day or Happy Death Day, in that it focuses on someone stuck in the same moment. Star Natasha Leon plays Nadia, who keeps dying and being reborn into the same moment at her birthday party.

Russian Doll is a bit of an enigma. It’s sort of like NBC’s The Good Place in its mysterious structure and the central theme of what we can accomplish when we all help each other.

Toward the beginning of the season, I was a bit confused, unsure what exactly I was watching. But around episode 3 or 4, the story really kicks in and it sprints through the finish line. 

It is like a long movie, and it works well all at once. It also works well split in half or sure, episodically.

Russian Doll is now streaming on Netflix.

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19-09 Segment 1: What Big Data Can Teach Us About Ourselves

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These days, there is data on just about everything. Our social media presence, our careers, our web search history- it’s all crunched into data points. And author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz says all that data can shed plenty of light on the truth about who we really are underneath all of our social formalities.

Guest:

  • Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author, Everbody Lies: Big data, new data, and what the internet can tell us about who we really are

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