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What's The Frequency: How to best take in the solar eclipse on April 8; Takeaways from World Happiness Report; Cobain remembered 30 years later

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This photo of a 2017 solar eclipse was taken by Antonio Ferraro, of Sioux City, at a Nebraska location.
This photo of a 2017 solar eclipse was taken by Antonio Ferraro, of Sioux City, at a Nebraska location.

In this week's episode of  What’s The Frequency, there are reasons to be looking optimistically at the days ahead. The weather is warming, lawns are starting to green up, and some students in high schools and colleges are nearing graduations.

There’s also a notable eclipse event on Monday, April 8, and back to that word optimism, there is a new World Happiness Report out, so on this episode we have two academics who can weigh in on those.

The guests are Professor Douglas Gentile, a Distinguished Professor of psychology at Iowa State University, who is an expert on the effects of mass media on children, and on mindfulness practices for reducing anxiety and increasing happiness, plus Todd Young, a professor of physics and astronomy and the planetarium director at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska.

The solar eclipse will occur in the early afternoon, and Young shares how and where best to take it in, including Wayne State planetarium preview shows ahead of the eclipse.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon is closer to Earth and completely blocks the sun. The total solar eclipse will pass through the eastern half of the United States. Situated in the middle of the United States, the Siouxland region will have the advantage of enjoying the eclipse.

The World Happiness Report is a publication of the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford in England. The group that produces the report attempts annually to focus on the happiness of people at different stages of life.

One takeaway from the 2024 World Happiness Report points out that a longstanding impression is not apt. The perception has been that in the Western Hemisphere that the young are the happiest and that happiness thereafter declines until middle age, followed by substantial recovery.

But since 2006-10, Happiness Reports have shown that happiness among the young (aged 15-24) has fallen sharply in North America – to a point where the young are less happy than the old. Youth happiness has also fallen, but less sharply, in Western Europe.
Professor Gentile gives perspectives on how media consumption impacts wellness and happiness, the impact specifically that comes from social media, and how things have changed for young people and others since the 2020 pandemic.

The 30th anniversary of the death of iconic musician Kurt Cobain also factors into the discussion.

Click on the audio link above to hear the entire show.
*What's The Frequency, Episode 12