This Is the Author S6 E42 Images of Jonathan Balcombe, Steven Johnson, Michael Easter
On the Podcast: Jonathan Balcombe, Steven Johnson, and Michael Easter

In this episode, meet biologist Jonathan Balcombe, author of Super Fly, PBS host Steven Johnson, author of Extra Life, and journalist Michael Easter, author of The Comfort Crisis.

This is an episode for curious minds. Discover the essential role that flies (yes, flies) play in our ecosystem, the reasons behind why we’re living longer, and how to leverage the power of discomfort to improve health and happiness. Plus, hear what it was like for these inquisitive authors to record their audiobooks.

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Listen to clips from the audiobooks mentioned in this episode:

For most of us, the only thing we know about flies is that they’re annoying, and our usual reaction is to try to kill them. In Super Fly, the myth-busting biologist Jonathan Balcombe shows the order Diptera in all of its diversity, illustrating the essential role that flies play in every ecosystem in the world as pollinators, waste-disposers, predators, and food source; and how flies continue to reshape our understanding of evolution.

Now a PBS documentary series, Extra Life is the surprising story of how humans gained what amounts to an extra life, from the bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From. As a species we have doubled our life expectancy in just one hundred years. This audiobook is Steven Johnson’s illuminating attempt to understand where that progress came from.

In many ways, we’re more comfortable than ever before. But could our underchallenged lives actually be the leading cause of many our most urgent physical and mental health issues? In The Comfort Crisis, award-winning journalist Michael Easter seeks out off-the-grid visionaries, disruptive genius researchers, and mind-body conditioning trailblazers who are unlocking the life-enhancing secrets of a counterintuitive solution: discomfort.

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