We check out the many amazing ways that people all over the world are embracing “green space” through architecture, infrastructure and landscaping, inviting the natural world back into our homes and businesses as a vital part of our efforts to live sustainably. From street-side city gardens to snail-inspired biomimicry, from a real-life Hobbit Hotel to a table lamp that runs on moss — we explore what it means to approach the process of “placemaking” as a way of connecting to nature and restoring our sense of sacred space. In our Pro Extension, we ponder the implications of granting legal rights to rivers and forests; plus, we examine the “religious” aspect of the debate over hydro-fracking.
This week, we look at the earth beneath our feet — the landscape and the rocks themselves that form the foundations of our lives. We get intimate with stones and do some earth-shattering geology, we take a look at artists bringing their work back down to earth, and we explore that age-old question of nature versus nurture to discover just how deep environmental influences run. In our Pro extension, we guide our conversation to the inner realms, exploring landscapes of the imagination and the inner world of spirit.
Scientific studies can give us great insights into broad patterns in nature — from the physical laws that govern the universe, to the ways that plants and animals behave, to the neuropsychology behind religious faith — but one of the limitations of the scientific method is that it’s bad at handling statistical outliers. Can we appreciate the eccentricity of the unexpected even while encouraging rational thought as a valuable tool? We share stories of amazing animals, astounding art, chilling pop culture trends and befuddling politicians as we celebrate the weird and wacky in today’s society. In our Pro extension, we revisit the connection between neuroscience and religious faith, and we wrap up the episode with a conversation about satire, irony, cynicism and sincerity.
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