Ghosts of Thanksgiving Past

Wild turkeys in Utah
Merriam’s turkey, courtesy of Flickr user “Fool-On-The-Hill.”

In addition to recent news about possible therapies to restore lost sense of smell due to COVID, we do a deep dive into the How on Earth archives to bring you some still-relevant stories from past Thanksgiving episodes:

Host/Producer/Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Contributors: Shelley Schlender, Beth Bartel, Benita Lee, Stacie Johnson

Listen to the show here:


Dismal US Mortality Data – Ryan Masters

Ryan Masters








Rare Ebony Winged Damselfly at Flagg Park (starts 1:00)  Naturalists Scott Severs and Ruth Carol Cushman take us to Lafayette’s Flagg Park to see a rare and beautiful cousin of the dragonfly

Early Warning for Celiac Disease (starts 4:35)

Dismal US Mortality Rates (starts 7:07) – CU Sociologist Ryan Masters discusses his new study on US Death Rates and how US Death Rates compare to the death rates in other high income countries.  Bottom line – middle-aged people are dying more often in the US, especially people of color.

Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Show Producer: Shelley Schlender


Andrea Tilstra – Deaths of Despair – or not

Andrea TilstraCU-Boulder Sociologist Andrea Tilstra discusses how this decade’s reduction of lifespan in the US  ties closely with two factors 1) easier access to painkillers and opioids, and 2) the obesity epidemic and the related health problems that come with it.  Tilstra also explains the quesitons a social scientist/demographer asks when examining the COVID-19 pandemic, the COVID-19 Boulder County local tracking of the pandemic, and the human factors to consider as people face the stresses of social distancing and trying to stay connected.

Producer and Host:   Shelley Schlender
Engineer:   Maeve Conran
Executive Producer:   Jill Sjong
Additional Contributions:  Music from Lynn Patrick

Listen to the show: