ILSYM Ep. 26: Michael Pollan on LSD’s long, strange trip; is Austin getting a pro soccer team?

Michael Pollan might be the country's foremost food writer, but he considers himself a nature writer, which makes his forthcoming book only slightly less surprising.

"How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence" doesn't come out until May, but Pollan will be in Austin to talk about his career, our ever-evolving relationship with nature, the food industry and, yes, LSD at an event on February 2 at the Long Center.

Austin-based food activist Raj Patel will interview Pollan on stage, but ahead of the talk, Pollan joined us by phone to explain why he wanted to learn more about psychedelic drugs in the first place, and why after decades of closed doors, psychotropics have recently re-emerged onto the university research scene. He also chats with us about how much has (or hasn't) changed in the food world since his breakout books, "The Botany of Desire" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma," which came out more than a decade ago.

Is "Black Mirror" a little too close to reality? Film critic Joe Gross and co-hosts Omar L. Gallaga and Tolly Moseley unpack a recent episode, “Arkangel” from the Netflix series’ new fourth season. A cautionary tale about technology and parenting directed by Jodie Foster, it imagines what happens when you chip your child - and then that child grows up to be a teenager. 

The Ohio-based soccer team, Crew SC, has decided to try to relocate to Austin, and this has local soccer fans swooning - but NIMBYs steaming. Statesman sports writer Kevin Lyttle has been covering this issue since October, and he explained why a potential new stadium near downtown has become so divisive among Austinites.

In this week’s Webb Report, Eric Webb quizzes us on the size of the great state of Texas (is it actually larger than the Death Star?) and, as with every episode, we conclude with A Toast: a set of recommendations of things we feel you should be checking out right now. Co-host Addie Broyles shares her love of two parenting books, "An Unconventional Family" by Sandra Bem and "Everyday Blessings" by Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn; Tolly recommends a beloved viral video that captures a 1950s housewife on LSD, and Omar shares his word of the year for 2018, “Bulldoze."

Find our episode archive and other podcast info at our home page or on Twitter @LoveAustin360.


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