MONSTROUS

November 01, 2019 at 5:00 am

On this frightful All Hallows Eve, we uncover “The Lore, Gore and Science Behind your Favorite Monsters.”

For more information, click here. 

Aired on October 31, 2019. 

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THERE IS SUPERSTITION
>> THE HAUNTING SEASON OF
HALLOWEEN.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY
VAMPIRES PREFER RED OR WHAT YOU
WOULD DO IF YOU WERE ATTACKED BY
A WEREWOLF OR ZOMBIE?
CAN YOU TELL IF THAT FOOTPRINT
IN YOUR BACKYARD BELONGS TO
BIGFOOT?
AND WHAT KIND OF DINOSAUR IS
GODZILLA?
IF YOUR CHILD IS BOMBARDING YOU
WITH THOSE QUESTIONS, WE CAN
HELP.
"MONSTROUS: THE LORE, GORE, AND
SCIENCE BEHIND YOUR FAVORITE
MONSTERS" PROVIDES A FUN AND
SOMEWHAT EDUCATIONAL DIVE INTO
MONSTERS AND THE MACABRE THAT
WILL SATIATE EVEN THE MOST
VORACIOUS YOUNG READERS.
ITS AUTHOR CARLYN BECCIA IS HERE
WITH THE DETAILS.
SO, FIRST, TELL ME WHAT WAS YOUR
INSPIRATION BEHIND THIS FABULOUS
BOOK?
>> WELL, I WAS THE KID WHO WAS
SCARED OF EVERYTHING WHEN I WAS
A CHILD.
SO I APPROACHED THIS BOOK
ORIGINALLY EXAMINING THE SCIENCE
OF FEAR.
WHY DO WE FEAR THE THINGS THAT
WE DO?
AND IT TURNS OUT THAT FEAR IS A
VERY PRIMAL INSTINCT.
THE MECHANISMS FOR FEAR HASN'T
CHANGED SINCE OUR EARLIEST
ANCESTORS.
SO I WANTED TO EMPOWER READERS
TO LET THEM EXAMINE WHICH
MONSTERS ARE REAL, WHICH
MONSTERS ARE NOT, AND TO GIVE
THEM SURVIVAL PLANS TO SURVIVE
THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A VAMPIRE
ATTACKS AND YOU HAVE BLOOD LOSS.
AND ALL THESE SKILLS ARE THINGS
WITH REAL LIFE WORLD EXAMPLES.
>> AND IN A WEIRD WAY, I KNOW
WHAT TO DO IF THE MONSTER FROM
UNDER MY BED COMES OUT TO GET
ME.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SUGGESTIONS
THAT PEOPLE OR READERS CAN GET
FROM YOUR BOOK?
>> WELL, ONE OF MY FAVORITE
SPREADS IS A PICTURE OF A
SNARLING WEREWOLF, AND IT SAYS
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH A
WEREWOLF SO YOU DON'T GET EATEN.
AND ALL OF THE TIPS IN IT ARE
ACTUALLY THE SAME BODY LANGUAGE
THAT DOGS USE.
AND THERE ARE A LOT OF KIDS THAT
ARE SCARED OF DOGS.
SO, YOU KNOW, A DOG WILL RAISE
ITS TAIL AND IT WILL START
WAGGING LIKE THAT.
THAT'S ONE OF THE -- AND THAT'S
A SIGN OF AGGRESSION.
THAT MEANS IT'S ABOUT TO ATTACK.
A DOG WILL PIN ITS EARS FORWARD.
IT'S ABOUT TO LUNGE.
SO IT'S SORT OF A
TONGUE-IN-CHEEK WAY TO SAY,
OKAY, THIS IS IF A WEREWOLF IS
ABOUT TO ATTACK, IT WILL DO
THESE THINGS.
GUESS WHAT, KIDS?
IF A DOG DOES THAT, YOU ALSO
BETTER STAND BACK.
>> OF COURSE.
NOW, DOES THIS MEAN IF A
WEREWOLF COMES UPON ME AND I
PERHAPS HAVE BACON IN MY POCKET,
I CAN GET AWAY AND MAKE THE
WEREWOLF VERY, VERY HAPPY?
>> BACON IS ALWAYS GOOD FOR
WEREWOLVES.
JUST DON'T HAVE WOLF SPAIN ON
YOU.
>> AGAIN, THESE ARE THE KIND OF
HELPFUL HALLOWEEN DETAILS THAT I
THINK COULD HELP ANYONE WITH A
VIVID IMAGINATION.
NOT JUST KIDS.
>> YES, I HOPE SO.
>> THE BOOK WAS WRITTEN
INTENTIONALLY SO THIS ISN'T JUST
A CHILD'S READ.
LIKE THIS IS SOMETHING THAT A
CHILD AT HEART COULD ALSO
APPRECIATE AND HAVE ON YIR BOOK
SHEP.
>> THAT'S MY HOPE.
IN THE KING DKONG CHAPTER I TAL
ABOUT THE SQUARE CUBE LAW AND
WHY THAT MAKES KING KONG
IMPOSSIBLE.
MY HOPE IS THAT I CAN MAKE MATH
AND SCIENCE SO RIDICULOUSLY FUN
THAT KIDS WILL LEARN THESE
THINGS AND THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW
IT.
THEY ARE JUST TRICKED BY IT.
>> OF COURSE, ADULTS AS WELL.
HOW MUCH BACK RESEARCH DID YOU
HAVE TO DO ABOUT THESE MONSTERS
AND THEIR ORIGIN STORIES TO PUT
SOME OF THESE PIECES TOGETHER?
>> IT WAS SO MUCH RESEARCH.
IT WAS FIVE YEARS OF RESEARCH.
AND I ALSO HAD TO USE A LOT OF
EXPERT READERS BECAUSE SOME OF
THE SUBJECTS ARE A BIT OVER MY
HEAD.
THE ZOMBIE CHAPTER TALKS ABOUT
NEUROSCIENCE, WHAT'S GOING ON IN
THE ZOMBIE BRAIN.
I AM NOT A NEUROSCIENTISTS.
I AM JUST A WRITER.
SO I HAVE TO CONSULT WITH THE
PEOPLE.
THERE IS A LOT OF MEDICAL
BACKGROUND.
I HAD TO CONSULT WITH PEOPLE IN
MEDICAL FIELDS TO MAKE SURE I
WAS GETTING IT RIGHT.
WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENS IF AN
ARTERY IS PIERCED?
I NEED TO KNOW THOSE DETAILS.
I WENT TO CORONERS BECAUSE THERE
IS A CHAPTER ON DECOMPOSITION
VERSUS VAMPIRES, HOW TO TELL THE
DIFFERENCE.
>> OF COURSE, THE ALL IMPORTANT
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LIVING
DEAD AND THE UNDEAD?
>> YES.
VERY IMPORTANT.
YOU NEED TO KNOW, KIDS.
IF YOU SEE THIS REDDISH BROWN
FLUID AT THE CORNERS OF THE
MOUTH, THAT COULD BE PUNCHED
FLUID, NOT A VAMPIRE FEEDING.
SO THAT PERSON IS ACTUALLY DEAD.
YOU DON'T NEED TO WORRY.
>> THERE YOU GO.
A HELPFUL TIP FOR HALLOWEEN.
>> AND IT'S GREAT DINNER TABLE
CONVERSATION, TOO.
>> OF COURSE.
AGAIN I AM WONDERING, EVEN AS I
WAS SAYING CHILDREN OF ALL AGES
CAN APPRECIATE THIS, BUT REALLY
WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE HERE?
THIS REALLY FEELS LIKE SOMETHING
THAT THE EARLY TWEEN, 7, 8, 9,
10-YEAR-OLD WOULD JUST EAT UP?
>> THERE IS A SAYING THAT
CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHORS WRITE
THE BOOKS THEY WISH THEY HAD
CHILDREN.
WHAT I MEAN BY THAT I WAS A
CHILD THAT I DIDN'T GRAVITATE
TOWARDS SCIENCE.
MY IDEAL READER THAT READER WHO
SAYS I DON'T WANT TO LEARN ABOUT
SCIENCE.
I DON'T WANT TO LEARN ABOUT THE
SQUARE CUBE LAW.
I CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO LEARN
ABOUT NEUROSCIENCE AND WHETHER
BIGFOOT, THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL
POSSIBILITIES OF BIGFOOT.
MY OBJECTIVE IS FOR THE READER
TO MAKE THE SUBJECTS SO
INTERESTING THAT THEY LEARN AND
THEY ARE NOT REALIZING THEY ARE
LEARNING BECAUSE EVERYONE LOVES
MONSTERS.
>> OF COURSE.
I THINK WE PREFER THE ONES OF
LORE AS OPPOSED TO IN REAL LIFE.
I'M WONDERING IF THERE IS ANY
ONE STORY INTEREST EACH
RESEARCHING THIS BOOK OR YOUR
OWN HISTORY WITH MONSTERS THAT
STAYS WITH YOU THE MOST, THAT'S
YOUR FAVORITE?
>> YEAH.
SO THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
THE GOODZILLA CHAPTER WAS REALLY
INTERESTING TO ME.
I DIDN'T KNOW THE BACK STORY OF
GOD
GODZILLA.
I DIDN'T KNOW IT CAME OUT OF A
REAL TRAGEDY OF THE ATOMIC BOMBS
BEING DROPPED ON THE BIKINI
ATOLL.
I WANTED THAT CHAPTER LAST
BECAUSE IT SAYS TO ME MEN HAVE
THE AMAZING ABILITY TO DESTRUCT.
WE ARE BEASTS INSIDE US.
WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO BE
MONSTERS.
I THOUGHT IT WAS APROPOS INTO A
MAYBE PHILOSOPHICAL WAY TO END,
MAYBE THIS IS FALL OUT, THAT CO
HAPPEN.
>> AND THESE CREATURES EXIST IN
FOLKLORE.
OF COURSE, I DON'T WANT TO LET
YOU GO WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING YOU
DID THE ILLUSTRATIONS FOR THIS
BOOK.
>> YEAH, THANK YOU.
>> TELL ME ABOUT THE PROCESS OF
ILLUSTRATING THE WHOLE BOOK.
>> YEAH, THAT TOOK A LONG TIME,
TOO.
I HAVE A STRANGE WAY OF WORKING.
SO WHAT I DO IS I WILL DO A
SKETCH.
I WILL SCAN IT IN.
AND THEN I WORK DIGITALLY IN
ADOBE ILLUSTRATORSER C COUNTRY
AKTING VECTORS.
SO IT'S A THREE-LAYERED PROCESS.
YOU GET THE FLAT ART BUT A
LITTLE BIT OF TEXTURE ADDED TO
IT.
>> ALL RIGHT.
I THINK THAT HELPS MAKE ALL OF
THE DIFFERENT CREATURES AND
MONSTERS, IF YOU WILL, SORT OF
POP AND COME TO LIFE IN A WAY
THAT THEY DON'T NORMALLY IN AN
ILLUSTRATED BOOK.
LISTEN, I THINK THIS IS SUCH A
GREAT BOOK.
IT IS DEFINITELY A GOOD FRIENDLY
USERS GUIDE FOR COMING THIS
HALLOWEEN SEASON.
FOR ANYONE WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT
MONSTERS AND HOW TO SURVIVE
ATTACKS FROM THEM.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON THE
PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
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Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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