HBM047: Peacocks Without Tails [EXPLICIT]

When Hippocrates noticed that the hair on the top of his head was falling out, he fought it by applying various ointments of opium to his scalp.  But none of them worked.  So he called it a disease and named it "Alopecia" (translated to "disease of the fox") after the mangy, hairless foxes that wandered Greece in those days.  His friends called it something different though, they called it a "Hippocratic Wreath."

He also tried sheep urine.  That didn't work either. 

Like Hippocrates, HBM Host Jeff Emtman is concerned about his hair loss.  And unlike Hippocrates, Jeff is staying away from opium and sheep genitals.   However, he wants to know if there's a relationship between baldness and vanity, so he found three bald (and bald-ish) people asked them to share stories of their hair and how they lost it, how they fought it, how they dealt with it, along with their wishes and regrets.  

Jeff Emtman interviewed: 
- Brian Emtman (Jeff's brother), who lost his hair at 20
- Eric Nucci, who has genetically thin hair
- Carrie McCarty, who has trichotillomania, a hair plucking psychiatric disorder

Brian Emtman Hiking in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. 

Eric Nucci in 7th grade

Carrie McCarty composited on to the body of an antelope (per her request)

If you're a die-hard Here Be Monsters fan, you'll recognize Carrie's voice from a short radio piece called Psychic Blob, wherein Carrie extracts a benign tumor from Jeff's arm in her backyard.  

Please note: this episode has some foul language.

Track image for this episode comes from an app called Make Me Bald (free, Android only). 

Music: Monster Rally ||| Lucky Dragons ||| The Black Spot ||| Flowers ||| Serocell

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HBM037: Uncertain Death

Recent episodes of Here Be Monsters have been largely about death.  So, on this episode David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg teach us about the exact oppositeimmortality, living forever.  Their documentary film, The Immortalists, follows a small community of scientists who think of aging as a preventable disease, not an inevitable outcome.   

Watch Trailer for The Immortalists

Seeking immortality is nothing new, in fact, the oldest known text, The Epic of Gilgamesh, is largely about a king's quest to live forever.  And further, it seems to be a quest of the rich and powerful.  Today, the community of bio-gerontologists is largely white, rich, and male.  Co-director Jason Sussberg calls aging a "first world problem," associating it with Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs.  

One of the film's protagonists is Aubrey de Grey, an incredibly vocal advocate of anti-aging.  He's a computer programmer turned bio-gerontologist.  In 2012, he participated in an Oxford debate against Sir Colin Blakemore where the motion was to defeat aging entirely.  A clip from this debate appears in the episode, and the whole debate is certainly worth watching.

The Immortalists is not yet available for download, but it will be soon (release date is Fall 2014).  In the meantime, you can check your local film festivals and theaters to see if there will be showings.  Also, visit TheImmoratlists.com, @theimmortalists on Twitter, and The Immortalists on Facebook.


If you enjoyed this conversation, you'll probably enjoy HBM010: The Time Traveler's Convention which touches on many of the same topics, but through the lens of retrograde time travel.  You might also enjoy our interview with Sean Dunne, another filmmaker who made a short doc at the annual Gathering of the Juggalos.  We talked to him in HBM016: 10,000 Juggalos.

Music on the show from Swamp Dog and Serocell