From the UpFront Archives: On Caffeine, Rain, the US History of Smallpox and the How of Happiness

0:08 – The largest, least-regulated drug trade in the United States – one that you are probably participating in this morning – the caffeine industry. Murray Carpenter has devoted an entire book to a substance that also provided much of the stamina needed to write it: it’s called Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us.

0:34 – In late 2014, something very unusual happened in the realm of public health. A disease that the United States had declared eradicated, came back: smallpox. For this segment, we’re going to take you through a history of the very first vaccine, and why vaccinations are still so contentious today. Michael Willrich is professor of History at Brandeis University; Author of two books about how this country transoformed during the Progressive era – his lates it called  Pox: An American History.

1:08 – Rain is not just a California obsession… regular rainfall is what made it possible for human civilization to emerge. In fact, it’s what makes this planet capable of supporting life – as opposed to our neighbors in the solar system. And every culture on the face of this planet has built up its own myths, religions, and vocabulary around rain. Our next guest has just spent a very great deal of time exploring them: Cynthia Barnett is a veteran environmental journalist who’s written several books about water, the latest is Rain: A Natural and Cultural History.

1:34 – Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. is professor of psychology at UC Riverside and the author of the best-selling books The How of Happiness

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