Binge Watching, Tornadoes and Oliver Sacks

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Getting ready for today’s Nose. Here’s what we’re looking at.

Segment A: All of our panelists have been binge-watching lately. So what it does it do to your head?

One theory:

“Experts say TV binging is a lot like other pleasure activities like eating or drinking or sex,” NBC’s Kate Snow said on TODAY. “As you devour the next episode of your favorite show, your mind releases dopamine, the neurotransmitter that causes the feeling of pleasure … while the forebrain provides checks and balances to guard against overindulgence.”

What’s clear from this Marketplace interview is that programmers like Netflix are catching up with this behavior and programming toward it.

But this writer makes a really good case for the notion that some shows benefit from the old weekly rhythm.

Tornado em Araguari MG 29 set 2007 18 h

Segment B. Tornadoes.  Get out your Enhanced Fujita Scale. Panelist Theresa Cramer remembered this Slate piece alleging that Storrs, CT was the best place to avoid a deadly natural disaster. And we know what happened in the Eastern Connecticut this week.

There’s a tendency to say: we NEVER used to have tornadoes. Which is not quite true.

Segment B (2): Oliver Sacks wrote a short essay about turning 80 that has been circulated and discussed every which-way. 

If you’re wondering about the phrase “nunc dimittis” it’s from a canticle.

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word.For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation,Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

And the money ‘graf from Sacks:

When my time comes, I hope I can die in harness, as Francis Crick did. When he was told that his colon cancer had returned, at first he said nothing; he simply looked into the distance for a minute and then resumed his previous train of thought. When pressed about his diagnosis a few weeks later, he said, “Whatever has a beginning must have an ending.” When he died, at 88, he was still fully engaged in his most creative work.

We’ll also endorse things. I’ll probably endorse The East. But it seems to have jumped off the local screens.

Lastly, I leave you with Portlandia’s triumphant take on binge-watching.

 

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2 thoughts on “Binge Watching, Tornadoes and Oliver Sacks

  1. Cynical Susan

    “We’l also endorse things. I’ll probably endorse The East. But it seems to have jumped off the local screens.”

    Right. Everyone’s seeing “The Heat,” a wildly popular movie which also features strong female characters, and some pretty stupid humor.

  2. Kate S.

    After being hit directly by an E4 tornado while at work in Springfield, Mass., on June 1, 2011, I am now pretty jumpy when bad weather hits. I live in a 3rd floor apartment in a rickety old house in Naugatuck and I am prepared to grab my cat and run into the basement.

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