Manage episode 375721430 series 2993877
Why are lawns so bad, and what could we grow instead? How much can we learn from an esoteric word like Psammophile? And why is the Guinness Book of World Records wonderful and terrible at the same time?
How complicated is trying to scientifically study gender? Why does it feel like water get discovered on Mars every other month? And what's so great about these pigeons I see everywhere?
(00:05:44) Lawn Loathing
(00:45:55) Spelling Psammophile
(01:19:26) Guinness World Records
We also learn about: lawn enjoyer (derogatory), there are 6x more lawn than corn in the US, how we developed our lawn fetish in the 17th century, the pesticide and fertilizer boom after WWII, the more money and knowledge you have the worse lawns get for the environment, runoff powered sargassum seaweed, 30% of drinking water used for lawns, lawns aren’t even the best greenery for your mental health, “your granny cant push the lawnmower around” okay I don’t want her too! astroturf is even worse, when the sun engulfs the earth all that will remain is our plastic lawns, the no-mow-movement, the alternative lawn movement, make an animal crossing lawn! Ella and Caroline fail the spelling bee, what makes a word tricky, 3 letter words are the trickiest, Ella steals the word, ventifacts, sand actually holds water better, granular physics in a scorpion paper, sidewinder snakes drifting while doing the worm, snake scale fingerprint, ecomorphological convergence, the adorable Jerboa or Kangaroo Rat are in Dune unchanged, Jerboas can kick sand onto traps, foot drumming, “the rats would rather drum than fight”, sandy fungi, our childhood obsessions with Guinness records, people are weird! the origin of the Guinness World Records, I’ll prove to them who’s the fastest bird! the eccentric fact finding twin brothers, may we hope to turn heat into light”, the 4 types of Guinness world record, marketing records, the analog to digital downfall, over half of the top 100 brands have records, Guinness is a native advertising company, brands really need empowering, laundering governments apolitcally, most lightning strikes to a person, a good record makes you wonder
Scientific American: The American Obsession with Lawns
BBC: Should People Get Rid of Their Garden Lawns?
Gardens Illustrated: The History of Lawns
Psychology Today: The Strange Pstchology of the American Lawn
The Guardian: Lawns Are Such A Yawn
JSTOR: Your Green Lawn is Harming the Environment
2015 Paper: Lawn as a cultural and ecological phenomenon: A conceptual framework for transdisciplinary research
2020 Paper: Lawns in Cities: From a Globalised Urban Green Space Phenomenon to Sustainable Nature-Based Solutions
2005 Paper: Mapping and modeling the biogeochemical cycling of turf grasses in the United States
NSF: Are Our Lawns Biological Deserts?
2023 Paper: Rewilding in Miniature: Suburban Meadows Can Improve Soil Microbial Biodiversity and Soil Health
Scientific American: How Fertilizers Harm Earth More Than Help Your Lawn
2017 Paper: Is All Urban Green Space the Same? A Comparison of the Health Benefits of Trees and Grass in New York City
The Guardian: Turf It Out: Is It Time to Say Goodbye to Artificial Grass?
PlantLife: No Mow May
BBC: No Mow May Blamed for Rise in Hedgehog Injuries
University of Cambridge: Can An Iconic Meadow Seed Wider Change?
538 Article on Spelling Bee Data
Joseph White on Word Selection Process
The Wikipedia Page for Psammophile
Amazing Paper on Psammophile Ecology and Scorpions
Energy Cost of Walking/Running on Sand
NYTimes on Sidewinder Snakes
Sidewinder Microscopic Scale Differences
Jerboa Foot Drumming
Kangaroo Rat Ecology
3 Months on a RollerCoaster
Imogen West Knights Guardian Article
Planet Money Podcast: Is Record Breaking Broken
In the Interest of Fairness
Guinness response to John Oliver
Find Guinness Records Here