Rank #1: What Does It Mean To Be “Family,” with Melissa Etheridge and Sara Lamm
Host Baratunde Thurston leads an intimate conversation with musician Melissa Etheridge and documentary filmmaker Sara Lamm to explore what it means to be “family.” Is family something we are born into? Is it something we create? Both women have very different stories and experiences. Melissa, with four children from two different women and sperm donors, talks about “creating” her family, how the stories we’ve been told could be limiting us, and her view that “… family is love. It’s the bond we create. And blood is another story.” This is juxtaposed with Sara’s experience, finding out at age 29 that her “father” was not her biological father, thus commencing her search for her biological family. Where do we draw the line on “family”? When you understand an expanded view of what family is, how does that change you and everyone around you? What rights do those who are adopted or from sperm donors have to biological information? How should you respond to relatives that reach out to you? We get real, raw and uncensored as our guests share their personal stories with us. You can see Melissa on the “Yes I Am” 25th anniversary tour and cruise with her in 2019. Go to MelissaEtherige.com for tickets and details. Sara Lamm has offered our listeners an extended clip of her film. Go to thankyouforcomingmovie.com/spit to check it out Spit is an iHeartRadio podcast with 23andMe. Enjoy this episode? Subscribe, rate and review Spit on iTunes. And be sure to tell your friends all about it. Find out more about our host Baratunde Thurston at Baratunde.com or sign up for his text messages at 202-902-7949 and #spitpodcast.
Aug 21 2018
Rank #2: Can Science Change The Stories We Grew Up With? Exploring Identity With Pete Wentz and Dr. Robert Green.
Growing up in a small town in Illinois, musician Pete Wentz didn’t look or feel like others in his community, and never really felt that he fit in. So, he set out to create an identity of his own. On the latest episode of Spit, host Baratunde Thurston sits with Pete and medical geneticist and independent academic Dr. Robert Green to discuss how learning our DNA results can open up the stories of our past and reshape the trajectory of our future. In part 1 of the show, Pete shares his curiosity about what he might learn through taking the test. Dr. Green provides insight into what people can expect from at-home DNA tests, and the nuances around genetic probability. And in part 2, we get Pete’s real-time reaction to his results. Throughout it all, the trio discuss everything from personal identity and creating your own tribe to baby sequencing and whether Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger really did share the same DNA in “Twins.” Pete Wentz is currently on tour with Fall Out Boy, promoting the release of their newest EP “Lake Effect Kid”. Dr. Green has collaborated with 23andMe on NIH-funded research but his opinions are his own and should not be considered an endorsement of 23andMe or any other company. Spit is an iHeartRadio podcast with 23andMe. Enjoy this episode? Subscribe, rate and review Spit on Apple Podcasts. And be sure to tell your friends all about it. Find out more about our host Baratunde Thurston at Baratunde.com or sign up for his text messages at 202.902.7949 using #spitpodcast
Aug 29 2018
Rank #3: We Are (All) Family With AJ Jacobs and Brothers Darren and Chuck Criss
Scientists often refer to the concept of "family bias," which states that we are prone to treat family members better than strangers, even if that family member is a distant cousin. Does this mean we could achieve a more unified and inclusive world if everyone understood that they were part of the same "genetically proven" family tree? On the latest episode of Spit, host Baratunde Thurston sits down with AJ Jacobs, NY Times best-selling author of “It’s All Relative,” and brothers Darren and Chuck Criss of the band Computer Games to discuss the concept of family and the potential for creating unity across the entire human population. Both have very different stories and experiences. Darren and Chuck share how they were raised as a close-knit family in San Francisco, thousands of miles from relatives across the country and as far as the Philippines. “A lot of our cousins and extended family, we didn't really know growing up because it was just on the other side of the world and we didn't grow up in the age of social media and everything, so it wasn't till later in life we connected with them” AJ, on the other hand, shares how being approached by his “12th cousin” ignited his quest, through research and science, to unite the entire human race in one all-encompassing family tree to prove how every single one of us is related through genetics -- even going so far as to create the largest Global family reunion. “At the Global Family Reunion, the moment that I feel that it was most united was when 75% of Sister Sledge was singing "We Are Family" and everyone was singing along in 40 different countries. It was quite moving.” Listen in as our guests’ curiosity to understand their DNA unfolds into their DNA families and some unexpected stories. Darren and Chuck Criss continue to work on new music for their band Computer Games and hope to release their next track in the new year. http://weplaycomputers.com/ AJ Jacobs is set to release his latest book "Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey" in which he “thanks every single person who had a role (however small) in making his morning cup of coffee possible.” ajjacobs.com @ajjacob Spit is an iHeartRadio podcast with 23andMe. Enjoy this episode? Subscribe, rate and review Spit on Apple Podcasts. And be sure to tell your friends all about it. Find out more about our host Baratunde Thurston at Baratunde.com or sign up for his text messages at 202-902-7949 and #spitpodcast.
Oct 24 2018
Rank #4: Why Don’t We Talk More About Mental Health? With Mike Shinoda, Dr. Gail Saltz and Dr. Ahmad Hariri
Join us for a real, raw and powerful conversation that calls on all of us to do our part in removing the shame and stigma surrounding mental illness. In the United States, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting over 40MM adults -- over 18% of the U.S. population. It's the leading cause of disability, judged by years lost to disease, yet only a small percentage of people with the illness receive treatment. In the latest episode of Spit, host Baratunde Thurston discusses mental health with a trio of folks who are working every day to combat the stigma, using their expertise, their research and their platform to make a difference. In part one of this episode, Baratunde sits down with singer, songwriter and mental health advocate Mike Shinoda and Dr. Gail Saltz, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill-Cornell Medical College and a psychoanalyst with the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. Together they explore what mental illness is; how genetics and your environment together play a factor in triggering anxiety disorders; the importance of checking in with yourself and with those around you; and how we can all foster and create safe and positive spaces at home, at work and in the world. Mike speaks openly about his journey since losing best friend and Linkin Park bandmate Chester Bennington, asking Dr. Saltz, “Is there more we can do? And if so, how?” He also explores the notion that artists create from a place of “genius” and if that genius can ultimately lead to crippling pressures and self-doubt, further increasing the risk of depression and substance use. In part two, we get a deeper understanding of the genetic science behind mental health and the latest research about the brain's role in mental wellness when Baratunde speaks with Dr. Ahmad Hariri, a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University, where he is also the Director of the Laboratory of NeuroGenetics. Dr. Hariri is the author of Looking Inside the Disordered Brain. https://bit.ly/2ySrMa0 Spit is an iHeartRadio podcast with 23andMe. Enjoy this episode and subscribe, rate and review Spit on Apple Podcasts. And be sure to tell your friends all about it. Find out more about our host Baratunde Thurston at Baratunde.com or sign up for his text messages at 202-902-7949.
Oct 31 2018
Rank #5: What Does It Take To Make Peace? A special episode with Bobby Bones, Mike Posner, Jeremy Gilley and Tim Phillips
iHeartRadio on-air personality and entertainer Bobby Bones takes over hosting duties in this special pop-up episode of Spit. Recorded live from the iHeartRadio Music Festival, we gathered the most peaceful people we know to celebrate Peace Day with us: artist and philanthropist Mike Posner; Peace One Day Founder Jeremy Gilley; and Tim Phillips, Founder of Beyond Conflict, a non-profit organization that works with leaders to address conflict and promote social change. We tackle what it takes to make peace, and how to make peace with yourself - and with others - by ultimately embracing how we are all connected. During this very special recording at the Daytime Stage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, we also asked attendees to share their messages of peace with us. Be inspired to spread your own peace. Mike Posner (www.mikeposner.com) is currently promoting “Song About You,” the first single from his new record, set to release January 2019. Jeremy Gilley and the Peace One Day organization (www.peaceoneday.org) focus on building peace, one day at a time. Rolling out new educational materials to 130 participating countries, the organization continues to expand its global footprint through strategic partnerships and new collaborations. Tim Phillips (https://beyondconflictint.org/) is working to address polarization in the United States and partnering with scientists and practitioners to find more effective ways to fight racism and broader social exclusion.
Oct 04 2018