The Urban Monk Podcast (general)

Charles Lindbergh is one of the great American heroes. Not content to live in his shadow, his grandson Erik Lindbergh has also been making great advancements in aviation as well. While Elon Musk has been making great advancements for electric vehicles that stay on the ground with Tesla, Erik Lindbergh has been leading the push to make air vehicles completely emission free. How far are we from the vision of 100% emission-free air travel becoming a reality? What could air travel look like in the future? Will commercial air travel still be hundreds of passengers shoved in a metal tube? Or will it become more personalized? Could we possibly all have our own jet packs? Please let it be jet packs.

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Direct download: UrbanMonk098ErikLindbergh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

When it comes to changing the world, what can one person do? Especially in the face of protecting wildlife and other environmental concerns, how can one person help to stop deforestation? Larry A Nielsen in understanding this mounting problem looks back at eight conservationists who powered through to become positive forces for change. What did these people have to endure to protect what they loved? How effective can one person be when facing pushback from the government and big business? What examples should we take from these eight people to help push against pollution and social injustice in our own lives?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk097LarryANielsen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Sometimes people do things that are against their own benefit. Why do people live in Florida right in a main path for hurricanes? Why do people live in the Central Plains of the United States when the area is also colloquially known as "Tornado Alley"? On this episode of The Urban Monk, Robert Meyer, co-author of "The Ostrich Paradox," discusses this very idea. Why are some people afraid of flying but have no hesitation driving when statistically speaking flying is the safer mode of transportation? (There's a 1 in 11 million chance you will be killed in a plane crash against a 1 in 5,000 chance of dying in a car crash) Why are people able to forget certain pains and open themselves to repeating bad behavior?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk096RobertMeyer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Having a child get in an accident is every parent's worst fear. For JJ Virgin, this was a nightmare that became a reality when her son was hit by a car. The doctors didn't give her son much of a chance to make it through, but it was a reality JJ was not willing to accept. She charged up and pushed the doctors to do what they needed to do. Her mindset and determination in turn motivated the doctors to not accept failure as a possibility. What is it about mindset that can change the outcomes of our lives? Is it a self-fulfilling prophecy if we're actively controlling the situation? How can we take control of situations that may seem very much beyond our control?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk095JJVirgin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Sodas are very prevalent. Every restaurant, every movie theater, every party usually offers some soda (or pop to this former midwesterner) as a refreshment. Try as some might, sodas hit the spot for them. And when they're everywhere, it's easy enough to just pick up a quick soda when you're thirsty. But what if we removed the convenience of sodas? Do people miss it? Laura Schmidt, a professor at UCSF School of Medicine, was a proponent of an initiative to sell only zero-calorie or non-sweetened beverages on the UCSF campus. What are the dangers of drinking too much soda? What changes do we see in public health when we adjust the culture around sodas?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk094LauraSchmidt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:21pm EDT

For more than twenty years, John Gray’s "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" has helped couples deepen their intimacy and rejuvenate their love lives. But the world has changed oh so much in two decades. As identities become more nuanced than basic stereotypes of the past, what implications are there on today's relationships?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk092JohnGray.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

"Anyone can cook!" This Auguste Gusteau quote is a reminder that no one should be daunted by cooking. Returning to the show is Robyn Youkilis and no one believes in the joy of cooking more than her. For some cooking might seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn't have to be that way! Some like to try to downplay simple cooking, but Robyn notes that even if it's something as simple as noodles and sauce, if you took more than two steps to put it together, by George you're cooking! Even if you mess up, learn from the process and enjoy the time you spend with your family making delicious food!

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Direct download: UrbanMonk092RobynYoukilis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

We've come a long way in the 21st century regarding technology. Phones have gotten smarter, internet has gotten faster, and GPS being commonplace has made printing out MapQuest directions obsolete (remember that??). But then for all those advances, there are areas that leave many of some people scratching their heads. For Dan Mabe, he wondered why lawn and landscaping equipment still hasn't moved past their gas-powered standards. Why do landscapers still have to lug around heavy equipment that expel awful chemicals? What dangers do landscapers put themselves in that we just take as normal? Are there any advances in technology to make greening equipment, well, more green? If there are, what are the costs. Is there a premium for such equipment? Are the benefits worth the potential added costs?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk090DanMabe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

We've all heard the expression "Boys will be boys." How appropriate is it to just assume that a boy will act like what we perceive to be boy-ish behaviors? Does the opposite also apply to girls? Is there something biological that makes raising boys and girls different? Dr. Rebecca Branstetter, author of "The Conscious Parent's Guide to Raising Girls," joins the program to talk to Pedram and explain what differences do exist and what differences are just societal structures we adhere to. How can parents raise their children mindfully without labeling their behavior through traditional societal gendered expectations?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk089RebeccaBranstetter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Weight and extra fat is a common issue people struggle with. Why is fat just so darn hard to get rid of? Sylvia Tara is a biochemist who has had her own struggles with weight and fat. She approaches fat from a human evolutionary perspective, attempting to understand what it is about fat that the body loves. She discusses how fat influences people's appetites and willpower, why it defends itself when we try to get rid of it, and why it's so easy to grow back. Armed with this knowledge, how can we change the way we approach diet and exercise to finally beat the bulge?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk088SylviaTara.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT