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Publisher's Summary

In this hour, bullet ants, tarantula hawk wasps, honey bees... they're all on the Schmidt Pain Index. It was created by Justin O. Schmidt, a research biologist and professor at the University of Arizona school of Entomology. He told Steve Paulson about the why and "Ow!"s of the sting.

Next, Alan Dale used to watch old slapstick comedies with his grandmother. He says she'd start laughing at the first hint of impending injury to the actors. For years he wondered just what about banana peels and misplaced rakes that makes us laugh. He talks with Anne Strainchamps about how "Comedy is a Man in Trouble".

Then, in many cultures, people use pain as a means of coming closer to God. Ariel Glucklich talks with Jim Fleming about the history and psychology behind the practices.

After that, Americans spend billions of dollars a year on over-the-counter pain relievers. In fact, all over the world, easing pain is big business. And Aspirin’s one of the top sellers. Why? Charles Mann, author of The Aspirin Wars, tells Steve Paulson what happened when a German company called Bayer came to America.

Finally, Jimmy Palmieri is in constant physical pain. He has Behcet’s Syndrome, a rare disease that affects an estimated 15,000 people in the United States. It’s an autoimmune disorder that causes a host of symptoms, including chronic headaches, fevers, nausea, severe joint pain, ulcerations and skin lesions. There is no cure. Palmieri tells Anne Strainchamps about living with Behcet’s. [Broadcast Date: February 3, 2012]

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