It’s one of my great pleasures to make it through the work week and tune in to Science Friday on NPR every Friday (duh) around 11 a.m. This week was a particularly good show for two reasons.
The first was their look into the recent study that happiness is contagious.
The happiness of an individual is associated with the happiness of people up to three degrees removed in the social network. Happiness, in other words, is not merely a function of individual experience or individual choice but is also a property of groups of people.
And secondly, they interviewed Richard Muller, a physicist at University of California at Berkeley and author of Physics for Future Presidents. He talked about climate change, energy issues and security all through the prism of physics.
What really made me want to read his book was when he talked about the US’s obsession with securing loose nuclear weapons. It was a priority, no doubt, he said, but as a perspective the destructive energy released from the collapse of one World Trade Center on 9/11/01 was twice the amount released from the nuclear weapons detonated and tested by North Korea.
Food for thought on a Friday afternoon.