In the first half, George welcomed Mitch Horowitz, author and editor at Penguin/ Tarcher publishers. He is the editor of the new book The Super Natural, which was featured on last night's show. He discussed the history and effects of superstitions on human civilization. Horowitz started off by describing them as "really the first form of human religion" since people are always looking for ways to explain and control their environment. Horowitz listed a litany of superstitions and their origins. One prevalent belief is that it is bad luck to put a hat on a bed. He said that this custom started as a practical hygiene issue in India where head lice would live in turbans and other headgear and would be transferred to the bedclothes. Horowitz also pointed out that legends of "little people" crop up across most world cultures and almost none of these beings appear to be helpful to humans.
Weddings are "one of the most occult rituals around" Horowitz said. Many of the superstitions associated with marriage come from ancient Rome, such as the idea that the groom must carry the bride over the threshold because it was believed that evil creatures lived under doorways. Horowitz discussed the history of strange beliefs surrounding the office of the president of the U.S. One is that any association with the number three is bad luck--a tradition that comes from the late 19th century. He mentioned that Jeb Bush dropped almost out of sight early in this year's presidential race after a promising start, perhaps because if elected he would be the third Bush in the Oval Office. He stated his belief that superstitions are "probably in our DNA" and concluded that they are "at their best when they teach us some humility." Horowitz also pointed listeners to his "30 Day Mental Challenge" that asks participants to vow to direct their thoughts to positive things for one month and see if their lives change for the better.
The second half of the program was dedicated to listener "sound off" call-ins. Any topic that was bothering the callers was fair game. There was a light on-air debate about whether toilet paper should dispense over the top or under. Jose, a janitor from San Diego went with "over" and said that he noticed that people use less that way. All other callers seemed to agree. George even "sounded off" on his hang up about how he can't stand to be in a room with any light bulbs that aren't working and has to have them replaced.
Caller Gary said he has tracked a correlation between cycles of solar flares, Monsanto stock prices, and the subjects discussed on the show. A caller from the Mojave Desert described a frightening health condition his wife is suffering from that looks like "apparently dozens" of "leech-like parasites" living just under her skin. The last caller told of a precognitive dream he had as a child in Macedonia that he was driving a truck. When he later moved to America and became a truck driver, he said that he didn't need a map or GPS because he somehow knew the roads already.
Bumper music from Tuesday February 2, 2016
Midnight Express (The Chase)
Wind Of Change
Put Your Head On My Shoulder
Peaches En Regalia
Allman Brothers Band
Ride My Seesaw
Shouldn't Be Ashamed
Owner of a Lonely Heart
Love My Way