The Healthland Podcast: Marriage in Decline, Driving While Texting, and ‘Vocal Fry’

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John Cloud is away on a reporting trip, so our beloved Healthland contributor Meredith Melnick joins us this week and Belinda Luscombe steps in as host. We discuss (and demonstrate) a language trend among women called the “vocal fry,” cast a skeptical eye at research methods on texting and driving, and react to a study that shows marriage is in decline in America. Click the play button below to hear the show immediately, or listen on iTunes and subscribe for free.

Sora Song introduces the female vocal phenomenon called the “vocal fry”, a way of speaking in low, guttural tones that is seemingly sweeping the nation, perhaps in part to celebrities like Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian. But there may be bigger implications about women and power — as Belinda demonstrates with growl.

While nobody at Healthland advocates texting and driving, Meredith pokes holes in the research supporting the proposed national ban on cell phones behind the wheel. Did we mention that we do not advocate texting and driving?

And Belinda guides us through a new Pew Research Center Analysis on why the marriage rate in America is in relatively steep decline.

In our Field Notes we pick our favorite health stories and topics of 2011. Sora’s into stress, Belinda loves tantrums, and Meredith is interested in annoyances. Go figure!

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Thanks for listening!