Happy Happy, Joy Joy

February 13, 2005
(was 02.22.2004)

Here’s the bad news.  You can get the thing you most want - a BMW, the winning lottery ticket, and you still won’t be any happier.  The good news?  You can survive the most devastating catastrophes and you’ll be back on your feet in less time than you think.  Next time on To the Best of Our Knowledge, the science of happiness.  Also, a conversation with Mexican author Guillermo Arriaga on his screenplay “21 Grams,” the accident that changed his life forever, and his quest for hope in the midst of death and despair.  And, a history of the smile.

  1. David Myers on Predicting Happiness

    David Myers tells Jim Fleming humans are terrible at predicting what will make them happy and seem to be much more resilient than they give themselves credit for.

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  2. Angus Trumble on The History of Smiles

    Angus Trumble is Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art, and is the author of “A Brief History of the Smile.” He tells Steve Paulson that the Julia Roberts-style toothy grin in a recent fashion that would have seemed improper centuries ago.

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  3. Gregg Easterbrook on "The Progress Paradox"

    Americans’ lives have improved by every objective measure, but we don’t feel any better off than our parents. Everyone seems to think that living well requires twice the income they have - no matter how much they earn.

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  4. Guillermo Arriaga on 21 Grams

    From his home in Mexico City, Guillermo Arriaga tells Steve Paulson where the story idea for “21 Grams” came from, and why it was so interesting to have a religious man direct a film written by an atheist that deals with topics like the meaning of life and the afterlife.

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  5. Lorne Ladner on "The Lost Art of Compassion"

    Lorne Ladner tells Jim Fleming that accepting the inevitability of one’s own death leads a person to truly appreciate living while you can.

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