Introduction: Texting Could Reduce Suicides (01:21)
"Retro Report on PBS" examines how writing letters could help prevent suicides; a cold war concept that could stave off global warming; the dangers of lead paint; and the legacy of the Baby M controversy.
Lifesaving Letters, Texts, and Emails (09:32)
The rising suicide rate has become a public crisis. Psychiatrist Jerome Motto oversaw a project in the late 1960s that shed light on prevention. The Department of Defense revisited that research, updating Motto's technique with modern technology.
Baby M Raises Ethical Issues (12:10)
Surrogacy is increasingly common in the United States, but the practice is not well regulated. A gay New York couple turned to a surrogate in Colorado, since paid surrogacy is illegal in their state. The practice made headlines, creating controversy during a historic 1986 custody battle.
Kids Exposed to Neurotoxin (15:03)
Lead poisoning can impact a child's development, performance in school, and their risk for criminal behavior. The use of lead in paint, water pipes, and other products has been regulated for decades, yet many American children still have dangerous amounts of lead in their bodies.
Geoengineering and Climate Change (10:58)
At the height of the Cold War, Carl Sagan predicted that war between the United States and the Soviet Union would lead to nuclear winter and the fall of civilization. But could nuclear weapons hold the key to mitigating the impact of global warming?
Aquatic Combustion (04:48)
Humorist Andy Borowitz jokes about his hometown, Cleveland, where the Cuyahoga River famously caught on fire. This happened 13 times, serving as inspiration for Richard Nixon’s Environmental Protection Agency. In the era of relaxed regulation, Americans can now witness flames shooting out of their faucets.
Credits: Texting Could Reduce Suicides (00:30)
Credits: Texting Could Reduce Suicides
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