Heard on Science Friday: Complaints And Compliments
IRA FLATOW, host:
Up next, we ask you all the time to send us emails and respond with tweets and whatever, and mail the classic way. And we get letters and postcards and stuff, and we thought we'd take a little time now to answer some of our emails and some of our letters, just because we haven't done it in a while. And we've gotten some very interesting ones in.
Here's one that came in in response to our interview with Gilbert Welch, author of "Overdiagnosed." And he says: A PSA test caught my prostate cancer when I was 54. It was successfully removed surgically. Would you choose side effects over death? Should I have volunteered to be the one person out of 1,000 to die so that others wouldn't be treated unnecessarily? PSA is a useful test.
Another interview, with Caltech's Mike Brown on Pluto - that generated a lot of responses about Pluto and why it should not be a planet, was the subtitle of his book. And one came in and says: I was just listening to the man who killed Pluto. The question asked was, of the eight planets, which is your favorite? His response was Jupiter. How can that not be everyone's favorite planet? Well, I was surprised to hear the answer was not Earth, which was my first response. Funny, I'd like to know if he caught that. Maybe you could pass that along to him. Thanks, a Pluto fan.
Another letter from Harold Brown(ph) said: Pluto was not demoted. It was reclassified. This kind of anthropomorphic hype just undermines your credibility.
And a lot of you nursing moms wrote in to take issue with the Sherry Turkle author - with Sherry Turkle, the author of "Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other." In our interview, she suggested that women shouldn't be texting while breastfeeding because it takes their attention away from their child.
And here's a call we got on the phone.
Unidentified Woman (Caller): Hi. I just wanted to call to comment about the statement that women should not text while they're breastfeeding their infants. And I just think that's pretty ridiculous. I don't myself text, but I do a lot of other things while I nurse my child. We spent a lot of time nursing. And if I didn't do other things, I would be bored senseless and resentful about breastfeeding. And you know, I read and I write and I type and I check out things on the Internet, but you know, all the while I'm still checking in with my child. And I just think it's silly to say that women can't do something else while they're nursing their child. It does not interfere with bonding. Thank you. Bye-bye.
FLATOW: And that call was reflected in a bunch of mails and emails that we got, women who said, you know, we can do many things at once. And I can text and email and Google and all kinds of things like that while I am breastfeeding.
We did have some really happy mail. We had this really interesting letter from Indian Trails Company in Michigan. They operate a fleet of motor coaches, you know, tour buses. And we had a segment on hearing loops. And if you recall, that's a technology to help people with hearing aids hear announcements better. It's a real loop that will work with people's hearing aids.
And Indian Trails decided to install the technology on their buses. And they write: I was driving between sales calls when I heard the SCIENCE FRIDAY program. My father suffers from hearing loss. I thought it was a natural fit for a coach - meaning a bus. And I did a little research, and it turns out that Michigan is a hotbed of hearing loop systems, with almost all the churches on the west side of the state having the system installed. As church groups make up a large share of our business, it makes sense for us to install it.
And their staff wrote to our staff saying: Just wanted to thank you for making this change in our motor coaches possible. We would not have known about hearing loops without you. Glad to keep listening and learning more about science on SCIENCE FRIDAY.
And we're always glad to make it available for you to talk back to us and to send us emails. How to do that? We have a Google Voice number, where you can actually call in and leave that voice number, as you said. And that number is 724-374-3063. Let me repeat that. You can call up on the phone. You know, it's Google Voice. It's like a regular telephone answering machine. You can leave a voice message at 724-374-3063.
And please, let's be a bit civilized about these voicemail messages that are gonna be on and be - and short. Make them 30 seconds. The one we played today was about 30 seconds long, perfect timing for the length of a Google Voice message, if you'd like to do that.
Of course you can always send us email the classic way. You can send us, you know, to SCIENCE FRIDAY at 4 West - 3 West 43rd Street, Room 306, New York, New York 10036; 3 West 43rd Street. You can also email us @scifri, @S-C-I-F-R-I. And you can Google us. And you can also send us a tweet. We're getting a lot of tweets coming in @scifri, @S-C-I-F-R-I. Lots of different ways to reach us on SCIENCE FRIDAY.
Of course up there now is our Video Pick of the Week, the special video pick of the week of Brian Greene and his book, a visit to his desk. If you want to see what Brian Greene's desk looks like, it's kind of interesting. A lot of comments. Go to our website at sciencefriday.com. Our Video Pick of the Week, Flora Lichtman went out there and interviewed Brian at his desk, adding it to our files of visits to people's desks, showing you what's on their desk. Cute little animation on that too.
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