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Letting Go

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Two stories about heart-stopping falls:

1. Falling Time: David Eagleman gets to the bottom of what goes on in our brains during those life or death moments when time seems to slow way down.

2. Falling in Love: Lulu Miller brings us the story of Sarita and Simon, who fell in...and then out...of love.

Guests:

David Eagleman

Contributors:

Lulu Miller

Comments [36]

Kevin Dyer from Houston

I had a similar experience to the falling-off-a-roof guy when I was very little, as well. I was pushed off a slide, and the fall seemed to last a very long time.

Sep. 19 2014 01:47 PM
Maggie from Miami Fl

First time listener, first time posting. Lulu's piece was amazing. What a great Story.

Aug. 28 2013 12:06 PM
Simon from Oslo

That's a pretty horrible thing to say to your girlfriend that she's lacking a "core", faceblindness or not.

Jul. 28 2013 10:09 AM
BRIAN CAINE from fresno,ca

Can i stop crying already...amazing story!

Sep. 22 2012 03:43 PM
Carl-Andre from Fort Lauderdale, FL

I was in the middle of washing the dishing when that piece came on. I literally had to sit down to listen in. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL STORY! The pain in the voice of Sarita and Simon is so tangible and raw.

"Spudnuts from DC" said it best: "a rare combination of intellect, grace and humanity. thanks for all the gifts you give us."

For further info on Simon's condition, check out: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57399118/face-blindness-when-everyone-is-a-stranger/

Sep. 22 2012 12:31 PM
Robert from Everett, WA

While skydiving I once messed up just as pulled my rip-cord. Instead of the pilot chute coming off my back because I was face to earth, I was somewhat face to sky and the pilot chute was trying to get around my body. I was completly terrified I was about to die due to my mistake. Time totally slowed way down as I watched the pilot chute slowly bounce down my leg toward my foot - I pulled my foot out of the way and watched as the container slowly followed the pilot cute and up ito the sky above me and openned. It seemed to take a mintue or so, when actually to took less than 2 -3 seconds...........?

Sep. 21 2012 10:22 PM
Michael

Just heard this one on WDET on my lunch break. The story of Simon and Sarita was perfectly heartbreaking. I cried. And throwing some Jonsi & Alex in there was a great choice. Good work guys!

Sep. 21 2012 02:33 PM
migemet from Somerville, MA

Ditto @Danny Kim (from 2010). I have to know what songs go into the collage right after the piece (a la Joni Mitchell) Especially, the background song "falling... falling... " That's haunting, and yet... I know it and can't place it. Great job!

Jul. 28 2012 04:08 AM
Banner Gwin

Does anyone know what piano piece was used to close out the "Simon & Sarita" piece? PLease!!!!

Jul. 10 2012 07:50 PM
Vince from Long Beach, CA

I cried in my car. It was so touching and moving. Thank you for my humanity...

Mar. 24 2012 09:48 PM
Jon from Tokyo

What was the park where they did the SCAD diving? I really want to try. I hope there's something in asia.

Aug. 16 2011 12:05 PM
Sophia from Chugiak, Alaska

Simon & Sarita..wow, i cam on here to here it again. Did they end up together at all? Lulu, the piece was painfully beautiful. I felt for Sarita, especially the bit at the end, when Simon realizes she still kept an eye on him..I was in tears...again.

Jul. 06 2011 12:01 AM
Kirk from Tampa

In Buddhism, one of the key concepts is that the self is illusory. And the physical form is one of the primary sustainers of that illusion. It may be that, without Sarita's face to anchor him, Simon was unable to maintain a persistent sense of Sarita's identity. I wonder how common this would be if none of us could remember faces...

Feb. 28 2011 07:47 AM
Jennifer from Toronto

Wow !
first time listening to your show, and i have to say it was magnificent. From the sound effects to the actual content, there was never a dull moment.
Well done!

Jan. 22 2011 08:59 PM
Meredith from Washington, DC

Wow, this story really made me cry. I often seem to wind up crying listening to Radiolab; fortunately, this is usually a positive thing, because it's moving stuff.

Nov. 22 2010 01:09 PM
Ana

oh, they didn't get back together...?

amazing piece.

Nov. 11 2010 12:46 PM
Jessica from Houston, TX

Long time listener, first time posting. Lulu's piece was amazing. It's been two days since I heard the podcast and I'm still emotionally attached to it. It was done so well and I appreciate that you didn't make me hate him. I'd love to see it expanded into a novel or a brilliant movie. What a brilliantly sad love story.

Nov. 11 2010 01:41 AM
Phil from L.A., CA

Hi Lulu Miller. It's great to hear your voice again! I thought you left to pursue something else. Are you going to be a regular at Radiolab again? I love everyone's contribution there but especially your's. I love your voice, writing, narration, and interviewing style. Hope to hear more segments from you.

Oct. 28 2010 07:16 PM
LMGM from Chicago, IL

Holy crap, that was overwhelmingly intense. You did a wonderful job of recording the pauses and breaths and little non-verbal cues as well. Almost unbearable.

Oct. 22 2010 04:30 PM
Morgan White from Toronto

In case anyone is wondering what the music is that's playing during Simon and Sarita's story, it's Stokkseyri by Jonsi and Alex. Really beautiful.

Oct. 20 2010 07:04 PM
Christina from Fremont California

I love listening to the podcast, and I just heard the story of Simon and Sarita, it was so sad. I wanted this story to have a happy ending. Please tell them to get back together, hahah. Thanks for the great stories, if you guys had been my science teachers I probably would have paid attention when I was in class.

Christina

Oct. 14 2010 04:07 PM
boosie from 11211

I have a question about this. If the theory of special relativity is appropriate here, should not the faller be asked to look at a perceptual chronometer that is not fixed to her person? That is, if we are trying to see if time slows down from the perspective of the faller, should there not be a reference point that does not fall with her? I doubt that time really does slow down but I'm trying to understand how special relativity works.

Oct. 13 2010 11:02 PM
Spudnuts from DC

Lulu Miller is a genius with a giant heart...a rare combination of intellect, grace and humanity. thanks for all the gifts you give us.

Oct. 12 2010 07:32 PM
Greg Miller

At 19:40 I started to crack up. At 20:18 I lost it. Thank you Radiolab, for making a haunting, haunting podcast...

Oct. 08 2010 10:51 PM
Keller

Sarita:

I had a very similar experience, and it was excruciating. This helped me understand things better:

http://www.choisser.com/faceblind/emotion.html

Oct. 06 2010 02:36 PM
Chris from Los Angeles

The song from sarita and simon is stokkseyri by jonsi & alex

Oct. 05 2010 02:19 PM
Mike from Long Island

This reminds me of an aspect of einstein’s relativity. If time is relative, than if more signals are going through our brain in a given time, then within our brain it will feel relatively longer. The way einstien explained it is as follows: “Sit next to a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. Sit on a red-hot stove for a minute, it seems like an hour. That's relativity.” Who is to say which is the right time. . .

Oct. 01 2010 03:13 PM
Eric Johnson from Duluth, MN

Sarita and Simon... heartbreaking.

Oct. 01 2010 01:10 PM
Jeremy Went from New York

The bit about emotional transition in skydiving is spot on. I have 400 jumps and letting go is what you want.

Oct. 01 2010 11:30 AM
Jonathan Straw

The bit about the motorcycle rider who composed music to the rhythm of his bouncing head during an accident struck a chord with me.

Something similar happened to me when I had my major accident, only, as I rolled, I remember vividly that I had enough pause to analyze and notice each new batch of scratches on my visor applied by the gravel with each revolution.

Sep. 27 2010 02:15 PM
Bryan from Provo, UT

It has been almost a week since I first listened to this episode, and I keep thinking about Sarita and Simon's story. I can't get it out of my head. I wish I knew someone with prosopagnosia personally so that I can find out more about how they deal with it in regards to relationships and such.

Sep. 25 2010 12:41 PM
Seth Q Forester from San Francisco, CA

Lulu,

You made me heart my girl so much more. I'm going to draw a comic about this now.

Sep. 23 2010 05:03 PM
Dan Witten from Crown Point, IN

Great episode. I really think you have a tie in here between the experiment with falling on the SCAD Diving and the Theory of Relativity segment you guys had a couple weeks back! Or maybe it's just me having no idea about what the theory of relativity is! LOL

Sep. 23 2010 02:42 PM
Gina Pera

Love "Falling Time."

I've been looking for someone to answer that question, but for an entirely different reason than the obvious.

Brilliant. Thank you.

Sep. 23 2010 12:27 AM
Danny Kim from Seattle

What song plays at the end of Simon and Sarita's story? Perfect piece of music to end with, genius production.

Sep. 22 2010 03:21 PM
Eddie Lin from Los Angeles

Man, Sarita & Simon's story. Heartbreaking. Great job, Lulu.

Sep. 21 2010 05:29 PM

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