Mind Traveler

This week, I join my producer Michael Osborne on his podcast, Famous and Gravy, to discuss the late, great neuroscientist and author Oliver Sacks
Nicholas Weiler and Michael Osborne
From Our Neurons to Yours Wu Tsai Neuro Podcast

We've concluded Season 3 of From Our Neurons to Yours! Stay tuned for more conversations from the frontiers of neuroscience in Season 4 — from psychedelics to cancer neuroscience to hypnosis — which we’ll share in just a few weeks.

This week we’re doing something a little different. My good friend Michael Osborne, who produces this show also has his own podcast, called Famous & Gravy – Life Lessons from Dead Celebrities.

I recently guest-hosted an episode about one of my all time scientific and writerly heros, Oliver Sacks, which we're releasing for both our audiences. I hope you enjoy!

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Who was Oliver Sacks?

Oliver Sacks, born on July 9, 1933, was a British-American neurologist, author, and professor known for his groundbreaking work in neuroscience and his compelling narratives exploring the human mind. His unique ability to blend science with storytelling made him a beloved figure in both the medical and literary worlds.

Sacks' career in neurology began in the 1960s, where he studied and treated patients with various neurological disorders. His observations and insights into the complexities of the brain led to significant advancements in the field.

As an author, Oliver Sacks gained widespread acclaim for his books, including "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" (1985) and "Awakenings" (1973), which was adapted into a successful film starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. His writings, characterized by empathy and curiosity, explored the human condition through the lens of neuroscience.

Throughout his life, Sacks remained committed to understanding and humanizing neurological conditions. He championed the importance of empathy and compassion in medical practice, advocating for a holistic approach to patient care.

In addition to his literary contributions, Oliver Sacks was a revered educator, teaching at prestigious institutions such as Columbia University and the New York University School of Medicine. His lectures and writings inspired countless students and professionals in the field of neurology.

Oliver Sacks' legacy continues to resonate, shaping our understanding of the brain and its complexities. His work transcends disciplines, reminding us of the profound connections between science, humanity, and storytelling.

If you're enjoying our show, please take a moment to give us a review on your podcast app of choice and share this episode with your friends. That's how we grow as a show and bring the stories of the frontiers of neuroscience to a wider audience. 

Episode Credits

Famous and Gravy was created by Amit Kapoor and Michael Osborne. This episode was produced by Evan Sherer with production assistance from Claire McInerney. Original theme music by Kevin Strang.

Episode Transcript

Nick: [00:00:00] This is Nicholas Weiler from the podcast From Our Neurons to Yours. You're listening to Famous Gravy, life lessons from dead celebrities. Now for the opening quiz to reveal today's dead celebrity. 

Michael: This person died 2015, age 82. A million copies of his books are in print in the United States. His work was also adapted for film and stage.

Friend: That's it? That's it. That's all I know. Okay, hold on. Roald Dahl? 

Michael: Not Roald Dahl, but boy, I like that guess. When he moved to California in the early 1960s, he befriended the poet Tom Gunn, began entering weightlifting competitions, and joined the Hells Angels on motorcycle trips to the Grand Canyon. 

Friend: Jack Kerouac!

Michael: Great guess, not Jack Kerouac. As a medical doctor, And a writer. He achieved a level of popular renown rare among scientists. [00:01:00] On his website, he maintained a partial list of topics he had written about, which included aging, amnesia, color, deafness, dreams, ferns, Freud, hallucinations, neural Darwinism, phantom limbs, photography, pre Columbian history, swimming. And twins. 

Friend: He's a medical doctor. He writes about everything. It's been made into film and television. Yeah. Neil deGrasse Tyson. I don't know what happened. 

Michael: Not Neil deGrasse Tyson, but you are honing in on the right zone in a way. I mean, obviously Neil deGrasse Tyson is still with us as of this recording.

Friend: I'm just so confused on what, okay, okay, okay, okay. 

Michael: He first won widespread attention in 1973 when he wrote about a group of patients with an atypical form of encephalitis, or sleeping sickness, who responded to a new drug treatment with a partial rebirth. In the film adaptation, [00:02:00] Awakenings, his character was played by Robin Williams.

Friend: Is Oliver Sacks? 

Michael: Today's Dead Celebrity is Oliver Sacks.

Archival: I'm addicted to patients. I, I can't do without them. I need to have the feeling of, of, of these other lives which, uh, which become a part of my own. Um, empathy isn't enough. I wish I could be in their shoes and know more exactly what it's 


Michael: Welcome to Famous Gravy. I'm Michael Osborne. 

Nick: My name is Nicholas Weiler. 

Michael: And on this show, we are looking for ways to make life better. So, on each episode, we choose a dead celebrity, we have a number of categories where we review their lives, and at the end, we answer two questions. One, would I want that life?

And two, what might this person say to St. Peter at the Pearly Gates? Today, Oliver Sacks. Died 2015, age 82. [00:03:00] So before we get started, a few quick housekeeping items, uh, first for regular listeners of our show, or if you're a first time listener, my usual co host, Amit Kapoor is away. He's working on a number of side projects, including some very exciting updates for Famous Gravy.

So for this episode and for the next few we've got planned, uh, I have lined up an all star list of guest hosts, beginning with today's guest, Nicholas Weiler. Hi, how's it going, Michael? Good. I want to give people a little sense of you and your background. So, uh, how do you know me? 

Nick: We started working together, uh, what was it, like 10 years ago?

Michael: Yeah, we became friends in grad school, I think. At Stanford. And then you were working on your PhD in neuroscience. 

Nick: And yeah, you were doing, you were doing your first podcast and we worked together for a while. 

Michael: Do you go by Dr. Nicholas Weiler ever? Does it ever come up?

Nick: It does not. No, I don't, I don't ever go by Dr.

Nicholas Weiler, but anyone is welcome to call me doctor. It always gives me a little glow. 

Michael: Sure. And so after grad school, you ended up going [00:04:00] to, did you go right from grad school to the Santa Cruz science writing program? 

Nick: Yeah. In grad school, I'd been doing a bunch of science writing and discovered that I loved it.

And after grad school, I went to UC Santa Cruz, and then I've been talking to scientists and sharing the cool stuff they're doing ever since. 

Michael: Yeah. And, uh, I think the last thing we should say is you and I worked together on your podcast, From Our Neurons to Yours. How do you tell people about that show?

Nick: I talked to so many interesting scientists in my job leading communications for the MuSci Neuroscience Institute at Stanford, and I've always wanted to just share those conversations with people.

I'm always learning about amazing new things about the brain, how our minds are generated, about new technologies, about new treatments for neurological disorders. And so we started this podcast as a way of trying to bring those insights to people, because I don't know if everyone realizes that we are at a really exciting frontier moment in neuroscience.

A lot of things that Didn't used to seem possible are [00:05:00] now at least seeming possible. We may not be there yet, but things are things are moving things get 

Michael: philosophical and otherworldly and almost sci fi kind of Unexpectedly, so 

Nick: and really fast like you start asking any question in neuroscience and pretty soon you're like, what is the nature of existence?


Michael: Yeah, and I am such a sucker for that I think that's a pretty good segue and everything we're going to, I think, uh, today's conversation, because I think, um, Oliver Sacks embodies both wonderful science and science writing and just general nerdiness. So, uh, thank you for joining me on this episode.

Let's get to it. Category one. Grading the first line of their obituary. Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and acclaimed author who explored some of the brain's strangest pathways in best selling case histories like The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, using his patient's disorders as starting points for eloquent meditations on consciousness and the human condition.

Died [00:06:00] on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 82. Wow. 

Nick: There's a lot in there. They really packed it in. I mean, there, there's something missing though. They didn't mention awakenings. 

Michael: Yeah. I had the exact same reaction. I sort of like in the lead up to this episode, when I'm telling people we're going to do an episode on Oliver Sacks, there's like two major.

Reference points that I make, like you might know Oliver from, and the first one is Awakenings, and it's because of the movie with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. I was a little shocked that they referenced the man who mistook his wife for a hat instead of Awakenings. So you had the same reaction. Oh yeah.

Nick: Now, you know, to be honest, I was a big fan of Oliver Sacks and I've read a few of his books, but I had not gotten around to watch, to reading Awakenings. So it may be true that really he's That's where he started and that's where he made maybe a, a clinical impact, but it may not be really what people know him for.

That's interesting. 

Michael: Yeah. I mean, I, well, so I think that's funny. So I [00:07:00] said two associations. The other association I had with him was I remember him from radio lab back when he was a frequent guest when Judd Avinrod and Robert Krulwich were hosting the show. So whenever I mentioned those two things to people in casual conversation, they're like, Oh, okay.

I know you're talking about now. 

Nick: Yeah. Well, he was very much like a public intellectual, right? Like, he was in the New York Review of Books all the time. He was a spokesperson for neuroscience, in a way. 

Michael: Very much. But I think, like, Awakenings was not necessarily a huge bestseller. I think it, you know, was on the map, but it wasn't like a phenom.

And then I do think The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was a book that leveled him up. But then when Awakenings got made into a movie, I feel like that's the more recognizable Component. So I was really surprised that they didn't fold that in to the first line of the obituary. I fully expected it, but let's talk about some other things that are going on here.

So. I mean, this clause here, using patient's disorders as [00:08:00] starting points for eloquent meditations on consciousness and the human condition, like, this man was known for thinking on the human condition, like, holy shit, right? Like, I just think that's incredible. 

Nick: Right. I mean, he's a philosopher, right? Like, this is really what it's saying.

He is a, he's a philosopher of the brain. 

Michael: What do you think about the word meditations here? Cause is that properly scientific enough? I mean, I think one thing about Oliver Sacks that I didn't appreciate before doing the research is that, so we know him maybe from some of his books and Awakenings was adapted.

I think in terms of his scientific contributions, My read on it, and, and I'll be curious to see if you agree, is that he made a name for himself in observational case histories, not, you know, statistic oriented research that, that makes it into peer reviewed literature. It was, it was a lot more about, you know, sort of testimonials in a sense, and, and that there is not necessarily a stigma, but that is kind of like viewed in a certain way in the scientific [00:09:00] community.

Um, so I think about all that when I look at eloquent meditations, because I'm not sure that it's quite doing justice to a scientific and intellectual contribution. On the other hand, it's very accurate. Yeah, that's a 

Nick: really good point because I think he did influence. a lot of people in science and medicine.

The case study approach, like that was so out of fashion when he was writing these stories. This is something that came from his obsession with 19th century and 18th century scientists, sort of at the founding of the field of medicine. Yeah. And yeah, when he was writing these books, people were not into that and, and he did not get recognition and he really pushed medicine to look at the human and people, not just as patients or statistics, but as individuals.

Not that medicine has like completely been revolutionized by that, right? That's still something that plagues medicine, I think, but I think that's a really good point because that's, that's part of what he did. I mean, 

Michael: and, and in so doing, like pushes certain questions to the [00:10:00] fore, right? Asks us to like consider.

Some really important things that have no easy answers in terms of consciousness, the mind, how the brain, which is the organ that does so much functioning also gives rise to the phenomenon of dreams and a constructed world and all those things that happened like inside of us somehow, you know. 

Nick: I was struck by something.

I mean, he, the New York times has previously called him the poet laureate of medicine. And the thing that's interesting to me about that is that again, that's a literary thing, right? Right. It's not a medical or scientific thing. And I remember noting, like highlighting this in his book when Someone asked him where he was.

He said, I'm at the heart of medicine. Like that was his response to someone being like, what are you doing writing all these things? And he's like, I'm right in the middle of what needs to be happening in medicine. He was the heart, he was the conscience, in a way, of medicine. Yeah. 

Michael: I mean, I don't know that it's easy to partition off scientific contribution [00:11:00] from being a poet laureate, a kind of like, a literary representative of a field of science, but reputationally, Not just do people like him, but do people see his work as important as having made 

Nick: contributions?

It's a really good question. We were talking to Kathleen Poston on From Our Neurons to Yours and mentioned awakenings. And she was like, yeah, that was transformative. So yeah, I mean, I think from that conversation, I think it influenced a lot of people. I remember in the documentary, they had someone talking about 80 percent of the applicants to Columbia's School of Medicine.

Mention Oliver Sacks in their essays at some point. That's huge. Yeah. But you're right. Is it, is it his influence in inspiring people? Or is it influence in advancing the science? That is something that I'm not sure of. 

Michael: Well, I don't, maybe it's not all that important to partition that out. Sometimes in the circles of academia, it can be looked down upon to be a best selling author.

And he struggled with that. Right. [00:12:00] Yet at the same time, it does seem to me that yes, he brought people in, but that there's also like intellectual contributions, you know, captured by this word, eloquent meditations on consciousness and the 

Nick: human condition. Well, here's what I would say. I mean, he sort of captured, uh, a generational shift in how people were thinking about the brain, I would say.

And I think he was a little early on it. It's really hard to say how much he drove it, right? And maybe it doesn't matter. From going from thinking about the brain either as a collection of behaviors, as people did in the early 20th century, and you didn't want to think about consciousness at all, you didn't want to think about the internal experience, it was just stimulus response.

And then, as we started to learn about neurochemistry, uh, in the 50s and 60s, people were Discovering that you could do things like give people Prozac and improve their mood, or give people L DOPA and improve their movement disorders. And Sacks was also there saying like, the brain is more complicated than that.

It's not a [00:13:00] soup. You can't just add more salt. I think, I think those things were probably quite influential. 

Michael: Yes, and I think to some extent you have to give some of the responsibility for driving that change to him. Just because, you know, that kind of literary success that he enjoyed does something in terms of getting people excited and creating cultural capital that, that turns into, you know, real genuine scientific inquiry.

All right, so anything else stand out about this first line to you? Um, Neurologist and acclaimed author, he is, like, two things, united into one man. And then I think, man who mistook his wife for a hat, and then I do love this, patient's disorders as starting points for eloquent meditations on consciousness and the human condition.

My god, to have somebody say, this man was known for, uh, having something to say about the human condition. I just, like, ha! That's 

Nick: insane. He taught us a little bit more about who we are. That's right. What more could you ask 

Michael: for? So I have my score. Do you want me to go first? You want to [00:14:00] go first? 

Nick: Yeah, I'll go.

I can go first. I'm going to be generous. I'm going to give this a nine, just for that eloquent meditations. Um, I'm a little disappointed about Awakenings. I think, I think it's okay. 

Michael: I had the exact same score for the exact same reason. I'm docking one point for not including Awakenings. So, I'm with you. A nine and a nine.

Good score. All right, let's move on. Category two, five things I love about you. Here, Nick and I are going to come up with five reasons why we love this person, why we want to be talking about them in the first place. What, what do you got? 

Nick: I'm going to lead off with conscience of medicine. Oh, say more. So I grew up reading Oliver Sacks.

I was a huge fan of Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. As I learned more about him, the thing that really struck me was his incredible connection with his patients. And the fact that he could somehow connect with patients and then almost become them, like write their stories as if it were their own story.

And then by doing that, bring other people into [00:15:00] understanding who these people were. Part of what he did, I think, through his writings, was remind medicine about the people behind the statistics and the people behind the symptoms. We'll talk more about awakenings, but I feel like that's the biggest example of this.

These are people who are just like, hold away in corners and institutions around the world. And he was able to shine a spotlight on these people and say, don't forget these people. Empathy isn't enough. 

Michael: I wish I could be in their shoes or know more exactly what it's like. I have a need to look at people who've, uh, perhaps through no fault of their own, through biological chance, have been thrust out of the, the mainstream, and in general to see the tremendous adaptability of the human organism and the human spirit in, in, in extreme situations.

That's beautiful. Uh, I have, I have some similar things. I think that there was a moment in the documentary where one of his famous patients, an artist with Tourette's, uh, I think makes the point that like what [00:16:00] you think Oliver Sacks is doing is putting a spotlight on, as you say, these people who are often overlooked, not seen, uh, experiencing a variety of.

Neurological disorders. And what he's saying is that is us, right? That the humanity that he brings to the doctor patient relationship and experience really is like consciousness at the heart of medicine. 

Nick: Yeah. I think it's like, this is not an other. Yeah. It's almost like a bait and switch where he starts with the, like, I'm going to tell you a story about, you know, these like carnival freaks.

Right. But then as soon as he gets into it, you're like, Oh, I love this person. Yeah. He starts with, who is this? And then he talks about what they're going through and yeah, he makes you feel it yourself. 

Michael: Conscious of medicine. Uh, I love that one. Very strong opening start. Uh, okay, I'm going to go number two.

I have something similar. Uh, I went with intellectual eloquence. I mean, his ability to weave poetic flourish with scientific precision of observation. He is [00:17:00] one of the best science communicators of all time, right? And his just use of language for describing You know, pure observations is really desirable to me.

Five minutes later, when we got to my apartment and I turned to put on a kettle for tea, Billy vanished again. But I discovered him, after a bewildered pause, precisely where I had left him. He had not moved, but my turning away had put him in my blind spot. Time will tell whether I am able to adapt to this new visual challenge.

Or perhaps the hemorrhage will clear first and restore at least some peripheral vision to my right eye. In the meantime, I have a large nowhere in my right visual field and my brain. These are no longer just metaphors for me, but as close as I can come to describing the experience of nothingness and nowhere.

Like, that's a gold [00:18:00] standard, man. That's a like, the way he does it, I'd like to have that level of articulation and 

Nick: eloquence. Yeah, absolutely. His writing is Really gorgeous and yeah, I'm sure we'll get into this. He struggled with with writing. Yeah a lot of the time Sometimes it seems like it came really easily and sometimes he was completely blocked for years 

Michael: But he I mean journaled like like nobody's business like it just 

Nick: right, you know journaling for like what 70 

Michael: years Right.

I mean, even in the periods that, I think you alluded to this a moment ago, you know, where he was experiencing quote unquote writer's block, it wasn't that he wasn't writing. He just wasn't writing good things. He wasn't writing with direction and a point. 

Nick: He was in fact writing too much. Yes. 

Michael: Exactly.

Exactly. Um, okay. What do you got for number three? 

Nick: I'm going to go with friend 

Michael: to all. Oh, I like this. Okay, where are you going? 

Nick: A lot of what I've read is Oliver Sacks in his own words, or a documentary that was very close to him. But from what I could tell, I don't think he had [00:19:00] any enemies or bad relationships.

Michael: Yeah, that's a good point. I mean, he's eccentric, right? 

Nick: Oh yeah, he's an unusual person. He's got weird boundaries. He's like both shy and like maybe a little transgressive in his interactions, but no one seemed I mean, maybe the point I wanted to make more specifically is like, when he went to California, he just befriends everyone who he interacts with.


Michael: He like Hell's Angels 

Nick: and bodybuilders. Yeah, the Hell's Angels, bodybuilders. He was like hanging out with. Neurologists and poets and like, he just like meets people and like connects with them. There's an amazing story in his book about how he's going across the country on his motorcycle. His motorcycle breaks down, he ends up hanging out with this, this, these two truckers and they like end up at a truck stop and they won't.

They keep not leaving and he's not sure what's going on and he just like makes friends with like a couple dozen truckers. And he's this like super nerdy, very shy British neurologist, right? After half an hour, everyone's calling [00:20:00] him doc and asking if he wants another cup of coffee. Right? Like I got the impression that they all loved him and they thought he was 

Michael: hilarious.

I mean, he's imbued with natural charm and charisma. 

Nick: In a very shy way, which is so interesting to me. And I think it speaks to his empathy. Yeah. It's kind of interesting that he's, he self describes as extremely shy and other people see him as extremely shy. He has been since he was very young. Um, but he's also this person who's just amazing with patience.

He's got this empathy. He can get inside people's heads. And I think that that actually comes together, right? If you see people that deeply, it's going to make you shy. Every interaction has the potential to be incredibly intense emotionally. And, you know, he's been wounded in the past, but he has this empathy.

He sees people and that's why he could be friends with a trucker. He could be friends with the hell's like he, he doesn't care. 

Michael: Or somebody is suffering from Tourette's or Parkinson's or 

Nick: yeah, really severe mental illness. Absolutely. 

Michael: Yeah, that's very well [00:21:00] said. Uh, I love that as a thing number three. Okay, I'm gonna go with a quick and easy one for thing number four.

Uh, fascination with the periodic table. I have a periodic table bedspread on my bed. I have shopping bags with periodic tables. I have many periodic table t shirts. And I have some Periodic Table 

Nick: socks. I just love that! Oh yeah, I have that too. Do you really? That's my, that's on my list. I, and 

Michael: part of it is I kind of do too.

Like the Periodic Table is such a elegant document. The way it organizes the material world and says like, this is the fundamental structure. And I used to say this when I was in geology, that the Periodic Table, is to the chemist, what the geologic table is to the geologist. I love it when a whole body of science is sort of all woven into one simple, succinct document.

Nick: It's the origin of species. It's the structure of DNA. It's like such a transformative [00:22:00] insight that after you have it. It's obvious. Yes! You have got to read Uncle Tungsten if you haven't read it yet. He does this amazing job of weaving together his boyhood story of, you know, some, some trauma going to an awful boarding school and, you know, bad things that happened and just about his family and who they were, which we'll come back to, and his just obsession with chemistry.

Yeah. And the way that he, he learned about chemistry by understanding the history of chemistry. 

Michael: Yeah. There is this way in which he weaves in and out of the sciences and humanities. I mean, one of the things that I, I think you can credit him for in as much as he helped bring back case histories as a tradition in medicine, you know, that was built on the history of, of those things.


Nick: Yeah. He wants, he wants to understand the people, even when he's learning about chemistry, even when he's doing chemistry in his parents back room and like making explosions and toxic fumes and stuff. He was thinking about it in terms of who were the, who [00:23:00] were the people who discovered these things?

He was reading the original sources when he was like eight and learning about these like transformative figures in the history of chemistry. And like his hero was Humphrey Davy, this like 19th century chemist. 

Michael: Yeah, it's it's a reminder that science is built on individuals with experiences. Okay. Why don't you round us up with number five?


Nick: I'm gonna say he was a seeker. I 

Michael: think of myself as a I guess as a traveler. A traveler. Perhaps partly into sort of domains of human disease and the human psyche and nervous system and partly into sort of physical domains. A man on a journey. Yeah, and it's, it's always a journey. There's a sort of double or triple journey here.

There's a journey into disease, a journey into the islands, partly a journey into myself. 

Nick: And I think that speaks to some pain, too. I mean, I mean, he was really trying to figure out who he was, coming to the U. [00:24:00] S., being an outsider in so many ways throughout his life. You know, he traveled across the country.

He He goes to San Francisco, getting into fast bikes, he's getting into bodybuilding, later on he's getting into drugs, he's just obsessed with literature and poetry and chemistry and all different branches of science. He's always trying to find something. You know 

Michael: what struck me about all that is that, like, I have this fear that as I age my body's gonna fail.

And I'm gonna, and I'm wondering, like, what does adventure look like, and can I really buy into the idea that there is adventure and journey in the pursuit of knowledge, or in learning about stories, and in being involved in other people's stories, and the way he is on And Journeys into kind of other worlds through people's experiences.

That's a skill I really want. Having an expansive view of what [00:25:00] adventure can be is a really excellent life philosophy. And I think it's fueled by curiosity primarily, but I also think, you know, imagination is a big part of it. And I see both of those well embodied in Oliver Sacks. Um, all right, let's recap.

So, uh, number one, you said conscience of medicine. Conscious of medicine. Number two, I said intellectual eloquence. Number three, you said friends to all. Number four, I said fascination with a periodic table. And number five, you said seeker. All right, let's go on to the next category. Malkovich, Malkovich.

Malkovich, Malkovich. This category is named after the movie Being John Malkovich, in which people can take a little portal into John Malkovich's mind and have a front row seat to his experience. Why don't you take this? 

Nick: Yeah, I think the one that stands out. above everything else was, it's a little bit less than a moment, it's sort of a whole like season, was when he started giving his patients L DOPA.

So he had just come off of a number of [00:26:00] years of sort of a descent into real misery. He has been doing lots of drugs, lots of amphetamines. He finally looked himself in the mirror and said, You're not going to be here for another New Year's Eve if you keep doing this. So he turned himself around, he started going to psychotherapy, he stopped doing drugs.

He got a job at this hospital in the Bronx, seeing patients with severe dementia, Parkinsonism, inability to move, catatonia, locked in syndrome, all this stuff. First when I saw these people, 

Michael: I wondered What's going on inside? Is there an inside? Um, the nurses at the hospital who had been there also for decades were convinced that there were intact people walled up in this.

Nick: And then there was 

Michael: this drug, L Dopa, which You used, or persuaded that you should be allowed to use because you thought it would wake them up, and indeed it did. Can you remember the moment when you first realized it was going to work? I [00:27:00] think perhaps the most, um, dramatic awakening was with another patient, one called Lola.

And with her there was no warming up period. She, um, she suddenly came to. Came alive again. And she walked down the corridor and she burst into conversation. Now, I had thought theoretically this might happen, but it was, but it was absolutely 

Nick: unimaginable. All of these people were awakening at the same time and, like, coming back to consciousness after being in some sort of suspended animation.

And he wrote, he wrote in his books, like, this is an experience that you're lucky if you're granted once in your life and it's not going to happen again. 

Michael: So, okay. And I, you know, there's a larger story and there's a movie adaptation and, like, adverse effects begin appearing. But I feel like the moment you're honing in on, He's actually observing a certain kind of awakening, or awakenings in patients.

Is that correct? Yeah. 

Nick: I think it was when he [00:28:00] first started giving L DOPA to patients, and they just, they start waking up. He had the suspicion that the person was still in there, and there they are. 

Michael: There's a real kind of validation, and I was right, that someone is in there, and that someone doesn't have the full powers of expression that we consider quote unquote normal.

But there they are, and my intuition about consciousness, and theory of mind, and identity Like, now I can see it. Now, I mean, I don't know, is that how you imagine that moment? 

Nick: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think it's, it's sort of the through line of a lot of his earlier and later experiences, right? Like, it's this validation of his way of seeing people, and his way of seeing patients.


Michael: that, that's gotta be exciting because I think there's also, like, there's some sort of universal truth there. That what I think about other people, [00:29:00] I now have evidence around. He got out the cameras and the microphones and he made sure to capture this because he understood it as, as, as almost miraculous.

Yeah. That must've been exhilarating. 

Nick: I know there's a lot of highs and lows too. It was not all positive, as you mentioned, because things started going wrong with these, for these patients pretty quickly, but it's a, it's a peak life experience right there. Yeah. 

Michael: I mean, I, I think like it goes back to. What we were talking about earlier in terms of the doctor patient relationship too, that I heard him say this in a couple interviews.

There's something about the formality that allowed him to have a relationship that were some of the most valuable relationships in his 

Nick: life. It's interesting because his parents were physicians. Yeah. Good point. And being, like, being in medicine was such an important part of his life growing up and seeing patients.

I do think he wanted to make an impact beyond just seeing patients, right? It's the discovery of being able to merge. his love of medicine, [00:30:00] his love of science, his interest in the brain, and eventually his love of literature and writing into one unified. Like, ah, this is what I'm here to do. These Awakenings 

Michael: patients not only suffered greatly from their illness, they suffered greatly from neglect and abandonment.

They wanted to believe that their lives had importance. They often said to me, tell our story or it'll never be known. And although now they are all gone, and the last one, Lillian, died about four months ago. I want to tell their story, um, so that they will be known and because I think that like so many neurological patients People like this are absolute heroes and, uh, and they show that, um, human beings can survive almost anything, at least almost anything which nature can do.

All right. Uh, let's move on to the next category. We are going to [00:31:00] do family life. I'm rebranding love and marriage into. family life. There's, I think, three things we want to talk about. I think we want to talk a little bit about his nuclear family. I think we want to talk a little bit about his extended family.

And then I think we want to talk a little bit about his love life. So there are no marriages. He was gay at a time where it was not okay to be gay or not, not okay, not safe to be gay. That's a better way to put it on the topic of his nuclear family. There is this real, um, you know, I don't know, turning point story where when he's 18, his father says, you know, what are your interests in work?

And then what are your interests in women? I noticed you haven't taken much of an interest and comes out. He's like, you know, attracted to men, to boys. And he says, don't tell mom to his father. And his father does. But my father did tell her. And the next morning, she came down with a face of thunder, a face I had never seen before.

You are an abomination, [00:32:00] she said. I wish you had never been born. She did not speak to me for several days. When she did speak, there was no reference to what she had said. Nor did she ever refer to the matter again. But something had come between us. Her words haunted me. For much of my life and played a major part in inhibiting and injecting with guilt.

My sense of my own sexuality. This is also a few years after his brother, who he was very close to, Michael, had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, I think. He was having psychotic episodes. And that was when Oliver and his brother Michael were younger. During World War II, they were, Sent to a boarding school in the countryside.

And there they experienced a tremendous amount of abuse and bullying. Abuse both from [00:33:00] the, like, headmaster and the administrators there. And bullying from the other students. And that seems to have triggered a psychotic break in Michael. He broke down into an acute schizophrenic psychosis. He was 16, then I was 11.

And, um, I was terrified of him and for him. And also for myself, because I thought is this going to happen to me? I buried myself in chemistry and experiments partly to shut out the screams of my hallucinating brother. His early adolescence, I guess, um, into his, you know, early adulthood are a real emotionally tumultuous time.

There's a lot of pain there. There's a lot of pain there, right? And, and, I don't know, what, what do you make of this? Like, I, I kind of feel like understanding this part of Oliver Sacks's life helps us understand the man [00:34:00] a little bit better. 

Nick: I think the thing that's interesting is that, you know, we, we brought these, there are these painful experiences with his brother and with his mother, but he was also incredibly close with his family.

He has this big extended family. There were this Jewish family. His, his mom had all of these uncles. I mean, he named his childhood memoir after one of his uncles who he referred to as Uncle Tungsten. But he had, you know, he had his chemistry uncle, he had his physics uncle, he had his botany aunt, like everyone was an expert in something.

They're all like huge nerds and, and very successful. His mom was one of the, like a very, very successful surgeon in England. His dad was a beloved physician who would go on house calls everywhere. He's got this incredibly close relationship. Yeah. But then. He also has this pain, right, where his closest brother was the brother who, who came down with schizophrenia.

And then, but then And his mother, who was probably the person in his life he was closest to, rejects him for his 

Michael: sexuality. But then when he writes Awakenings, it's like in relationship with his mother. Like his mother Yeah, she almost 

Nick: co wrote the beginning of it with him, [00:35:00] he said. 

Michael: Yeah. He's like writing and sharing and writing and sharing.

I mean, it's, you know, I guess all family relationship is complicated. I don't know. I mean, I guess To your point about how smart everybody in his family is like, I'm just thinking about how that feels in terms of experiencing or not experiencing love. Like to me, where, where I feel really in relationship with anybody, friend, family, whoever is in shared interests.

And, you know, there is something to be said of, I feel. love in collaborative intellectual endeavors in a way. Um, but does that have its boundaries? I guess that's what I was thinking about as you were talking about there are interesting people in his life. There's pain that's inflicted by those who love them, but is it a loving family or not?

I mean, obviously we can't answer that question in any kind of simple way, but I don't Yeah, 

Nick: a lot of this is from his own memoirs and It's probably influenced [00:36:00] by, you know, rose, rose tinted glasses looking back on your childhood. But it does, it did seem like he had sort of parent child relationships with a lot of people in his family, a lot of these aunts and uncles he was just, he was very, very close to.

He spent a lot of time with them. He would write these long letters. They were very supportive of him. I think that when, when he felt rejection from his parents, I think some of his aunts and uncles. sort of stepped in. At least one of his aunts was like a replacement. She always just supported him no matter what.

So I think he did have a very supportive and loving family, um, with some exceptions. In a 

Michael: broad sense. No, I mean, I think this is how families work. We can love and hurt and that's how most families work, right? Um, I think it also learning all this about him helped me understand some of his self destructive behavior in his twenties.

Doing weekend motorcycle rides between, uh, L. A. and the Grand Canyon, like all Niners on amphetamines or whatever. Right. Um, [00:37:00] to your point about extended family, I do love these multi generational relationships. I think that those are so important in our lives. Uh, I, I, I've, it's something I've actually really tried to be intentional about in my life, uh, as my, uh, nieces and nephews grow up.

Like, I want to be involved, and I do think that not being the parent, but being of the parent's You know, generational horizon or generation like there's important roles to be had there in both directions, you know, and I do love that he got that. Let's talk about his love life before we leave this category because it's pretty interesting.

Um, so, you know, as we mentioned, uh, He discovers himself to be gay somewhere in his teenage years, and had some partners when he was in California in the 60s. And he, I was surprised that he declared this, there's, uh, without planning, 35 years of celibacy. Which, that's, um, For about the age of 40, I think.

That, yeah. Like, that's a, [00:38:00] that's a, that's a dry spell. That's a, that's a long, that's a, holy cow, right? 

Nick: But it also coincides with exactly when this, this like transition was happening in his life. Yeah. Yeah. Right, it was just around the time he was publishing Awakenings. And then for the next 30 years, his love life was all about ideas.

Do you, 

Michael: I, I, well, okay, here's the question. Do you take that to be coincidental? Or do you think that there's a relationship between his sort of ascendancy in terms of his creative potential and his celibacy? I don't know how conscious that is. And I don't want to go too far out on a limb here. Yeah. I don't, 

Nick: I don't remember him saying that.

Yeah. But when, I mean, the way that I thought about it was, this is one of those things you can never really know. Right. Well, that's our whole show. Unless, unless you're all of, well, unless you're Oliver Sacks, I'm sure Oliver would have been able to intuit this, right? That's what he does. Um, I think of it as being connected to him being a seeker, that he's seeking meaning and he seeks meaning in a lot of ways.

He seeks meaning by seeing patients. He seeks meaning by doing drugs. He [00:39:00] seeks meaning on the motorcycle. He seeks meaning by. be doing bodybuilding. He seeks meaning by through through love and sexual relationships. Um, and so what I wonder is whether he found enough meaning in the work. Yeah. That it satisfied a lot of that Engagement, right?

That, that need for affirmation and that need for, and he had lots of loving relationships, right? It wasn't like he was alone in that sense. 

Michael: No, but there is something that feels walled off when you hear 35 years of celibacy. Because it, the way he describes it at least, it wasn't a conscious decision. It was just, you know, the, the truth of his life.

But it also means that sexual pursuits were de emphasized at least, right? Yeah. Well, okay, so the last thing I want to talk about in this category is Billy. He falls madly in love with somebody in 2007 or 8, um, 7 or [00:40:00] 8 years before his death in 2015. Um. Yeah, 

Nick: so he was early 70s, I guess? Yeah. Early 70s? And, 

Michael: like, when you hear Billy speak, I mean, Billy's a writer, like, you know, you see the pairing of them, and like, oh, that is a great couple.

And, I was really moved when Robert Kerlwich of Radiolab Fame said, There was something that opened up in the last chapter of Oliver Sacks life that allowed for, you know, falling in love. It's like, I think, I mean, it's definitely beautiful, but is it also tragic to have that be just this final, last, short chapter?

I mean, part of me says, when the life is all done, he got to experience falling in love. And it wasn't the first time he fell in love, but that, that's how, you know. It finally worked. It finally worked. And that there's like, I don't, it's a dumb way to put it, but I can't tell if this is like a tragic thing or a great thing.

I mean, there, cause there is this like deep romance and love [00:41:00] story here that I'm so happy he got to experience, but I also am sort of sad for him that that didn't happen earlier 

Nick: in life. Yeah. I mean, I think it can be both. And I think it's interesting. I wonder whether it reflects like a cultural change or a personal change or, or sort of where that opening up came from.

Michael: Yeah, I mean when I think about some of my friends who are single and hoping to fall in love at some point I do like these stories that like you never know when love might happen and in that way it is Both beautiful and kind of desirable because it kind of keeps open a certain door that I think can be an important You know model for for us.

Okay Let's go on to the next category, man in the mirror. What did this person think about their own reflection? Oh, I got a lot to say here. Okay. Okay, tell me what you think. All right. We have not talked about bodybuilding, which is, to learn that he was a bodybuilder, I mean, I had three exclamation points in the margins of my book when I was [00:42:00] like, bodybuilder?

I do think that here is a man who Seems to have a superpower in terms of understanding the human condition and understanding that there is this world that is created inside of our minds that is built on perceptions and experiences that is mysterious, that we don't understand. And then there's this external thing.

There's the body and there's the, what we see in the world around us. I feel like he had that. Framing and that idea in mind when he looked at himself in the mirror and said and maybe understood better than anybody else I only see so much truth. I always felt insecure and Shy and rather timid and I thought that if I became strong Physically strong this would alter my personality and I would become confident, but it didn't work I became very strong, but [00:43:00] remained equally timid.

I do see some real evidence, the self destructive behavior in his 20s, um, of self judgment. And we should say he was such a successful bodybuilder that for a period of time, he held the squat record in the state of California for squatting like 600 pounds or something. 600 pounds, yeah. Yeah, this is not a casual interest.

Like this man was 

Nick: Jacked. I love, he made a comment about like, in those circles, holding a record was like having a published paper in academia. I thought 

Michael: that was really funny. And you know, he was very clear, like, I thought this would solve me. You know, when we ask this question, how do they feel about their reflection?

We do go for a yes, no, a binary. And I do think that this is a clear case where that question probably evolved. I actually ended up landing on no, but only because it was built out of a kind of philosophical frustration that the outward expression of who he is doesn't match the inward story of who he believes himself to [00:44:00] be.

I also think that it's a little hard to navigate around the cultural context of homophobia and discrimination. that was prevalent for the better part of his life. I, I think that seeped inward, you know? I 

Nick: think that seeped inward. He, yeah, he said at one point that he, you know, he was, he was tired of homophobia, but it was also inside him.

Like he, he had internalized that homophobia and I think probably directed it at himself. 

Michael: Yeah, it's understandable. That makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. He makes 

Nick: a lot of comments too, when he's describing his early education and his, his college years and things like that, that he really, he had these friends who he really admired who are so brilliant.

And he makes this sort of offhanded, self deprecating comments about, you know, they still would hang around with me, even with my like completely disordered mind. Yeah. Yeah. He felt like he was a mess inside. He felt like he, he didn't have the level of like mental organization. And so he was always comparing himself unfavorably to other people.

He [00:45:00] said, and he says like, even though I was held to be bright. 

Michael: No. And that's revealing. I mean, I think that this is a man who. worked with, um, patients who were frozen or appeared comatose expressionless and, and had a theory that what I am seeing is not the truth. So I actually think if, if he didn't like his reflection, it might've been the frustration of what a lie.

The mirror ultimately is what it does and does not say about, uh, you know, the powers of observation. And, and I think that does get turned inward. So I went, no, but what did you have here? I mean, what, how'd you think through this? Yeah, 

Nick: I think, I think it has to be no, I mean, you got the sense that he developed a fair amount of self acceptance by the time he died, but I'm, I'm going to guess that some of that is probably at an intellectual level.

Like I don't think you get rid of those feelings. Yeah. Um. One thing we haven't talked about, too, is the beard. Yes. Which we don't have to go into, but during the 70s, 80s, 90s, that was quite 

Michael: a beard. It was ZZ Top like in its [00:46:00] robustness, yes. It was 

Nick: quite incredible. 

Michael: Yeah, Santa Claus, I mean, like, kaboom 

Nick: beard, yeah.

Yes, exactly. But, you know, you and I are both fans of the beard, but there's something to be said about, like, when your beard is that big, Yeah. Are you, is that what's going on? What does that say about how you feel about your face, man?

It's something you can hide behind a little 

Michael: bit going a little far. I mean, it's a, it's a real bushel there. Yeah. You know, I was also like, it's funny to that. We both landed on no, I think that's probably right yet. He is like, he's handsome and in shape, you know? And so like, there is a tension to the body 

Nick: in a way I do.

There was something unhealthy there. There was something like. It was because he did not like 

Michael: himself. Yeah, I mean, on balance. And if we have to give a yes no answer, we'll go no. Okay, next category. Cocktail, coffee, or cannabis. This is where we ask which one would we most want to do with our dead celebrity.

This may be a question [00:47:00] of what drug sounds like the most fun to partake with this person. Or another philosophy is that a particular kind of drug might allow access to a part of them we are most curious about. Nick, what'd you have here? I was really 

Nick: tempted to go with cannabis. Because you really want to like dive in to like wild speculation about the nature of consciousness and like have those real like late night college bullshit sessions.

Okay, that's 

Michael: exactly what my answer is. So just so you know, I went cannabis, but go on. 

Nick: I don't think Oliver Sacks Needs cannabis was where my conclusion was. I don't think he needs to go there. Yeah. I think I was going to go with coffee because I want, I want duration. I want like, we're, we're going to, this is going to be a long conversation and I'm neat.

I need to keep up. Cause he's going to go into those. 

Michael: How do you imagine the setting, where are y'all having this coffee, like paint a picture for me. Oh, that, 

Nick: that's, that's great. Um, I probably want to be like at his, at his kitchen [00:48:00] table or like in his living room or something like, he's going to have, he's going to have bookshelves, which is my favorite environment.

Um, and comfy chairs and we're just going to sit and drink coffee and he's going to go and like grab books down and be like, well, this poet from the 1750s said. You know, here's my original copy of, you know, Humphrey Davies history of chemistry and so on. So that's, that's the location. 

Michael: I love that. Yeah, I wear cannabis.

I want to have, 

Nick: I want to have it. I think that's, I mean, I think that would also be 

Michael: a lot of fun. It's kind of obvious. But the other thing, I mean, all of them are appealing, I have to say, because there is, I mean, I do want to, As you said with coffee like sit and and maybe with a drink sit and experience stories.

Have you have you ever heard that adage? Great stories happen to those who can tell them interesting. You know, I haven't heard that I like that but then that like I feel like it's a good example of that like that the man gets to experience things like Awakenings and dive into music philia or go to you know, an island in Guam where [00:49:00] 10 percent of the Population is colorblind or whatever because he has the capacity to tell those stories great stories happen to those who can tell them And so part of me certainly wants the storyteller, but I I do think that this idea You know those questions of theory of mind and what is consciousness and all that stuff that that feels So out of reach in terms of ever landing on any kind of answer or explanation that sums it all up.

And I do think that in some ways, good, you know, good that we actually are not able to get there. But that inching our way closer to some kind of answer of what How do we describe the phenomenon of the mind and of consciousness and of subjective experience? And how can we use these neurological disorders in order to understand that better?

Like there is something humbling and inspiring, um, that imaginative exercise in conversation. And that's the one I want to have. [00:50:00] Probably, I'm just imagining, I think a joint, like a nice, thin joint, you know, something, I don't want to get too high, but just a little something to 

Nick: Elevate the discourse. See the connections between all things.

Michael: Exactly. Feel the dendrites, you know, connecting as I'm sitting there talking with Oliver 

Nick: Sacks. Yeah, no, I definitely see the value of that. My feeling is that talking with Oliver Sacks is probably like Smoking a joint. 

Michael: Yeah, right. Do we actually need any of this stuff? Obviously not. He's doing the work for us.

Okay, Nick, I believe we have arrived. Our final category, the Vanderbeek, named after James Vanderbeek who famously said in Varsity Blues, I don't want your life. Based on everything we've talked about, Nick, the big question is, do you want Oliver Saxe's life? It's 

Nick: tough, but I mean, I think, I mean, I'll give the answer away.

I think I would take it. I'm, I'm leaning yes, because he had the influence he was always seeking. He got to do the thing that he was made for on this earth, right? And it, the reason why [00:51:00] it's a qualified yes is he had to go through a hell of a lot to get there. Yeah. It was not an easy life, by any means. So certainly not the hardest of lives.

Like it was, he wasn't born into poverty. He wasn't, he didn't have those kinds of challenges, but his emotional challenges, his like, The things that, that he had to go through. I would love to do that, but on the other hand, what he was able to get to by the end of his life, I think that's very enviable. 

Michael: And the thing that he gets to at the end of his life, be more specific, what are you thinking when you say that?

Nick: I was struck by a comment late in the, in the documentary about his life where one of his friends When they heard that he'd finally passed, he got the news that he had metastatic, um, melanoma, I think, that had spread to his liver. And it was, you know, he had six months to live. This was in early 2015, I think.

And he basically just let everyone know, he asked them to hurry up the publication of his autobiography, because he just wanted to see that before he died, [00:52:00] but he just continued. He just went on being himself, seeing his friends, planning what he was going to write. And his friend said, when he got the news that he'd actually passed away, his friend said, was said he was so happy for him.

He said, Oliver stuck the landing, which I thought was just a beautiful way of putting it. And I think he did. He stuck the landing. It was, it was rough. There was a time when he thought he was. Yeah. He was in very grave danger of crashing. Yeah. Right? I don't know if I have, he thought he didn't have a year to live when he was, when he was in his mid thirties.


Michael: He didn't think he'd make it to 40. And he made it to 82. 

Nick: But he doubled. Right? And then he, he was able to turn that around. And through several decades of hard work, which were not, it wasn't like it was immediately easy. He plugged away, he found his purpose, he did one thing after another to just build up to the point where when he passed away at 82, he had done what he came here to 

Michael: do.

Yeah, I mean, as you're talking, I'm thinking he, he climbed the upward staircase. You know, we talk [00:53:00] about the upward staircase sometimes, sometimes on this show. And when you, when you, when you march through the chapters and events of his life, And the journeys of his life, there's just no question. I'm a lean yes to.

I do want to make sure I'm sort of turning over the stones in terms of the pain. Like, it almost seems like everybody I know has some trauma. And trauma, I think, can really be relative. That they can point to in their upbringing and in their adolescence. That just sets them on a course that, you know, determines kind of who they are and how they're going to be.

There are Parts of Oliver Sacks life that look very, very lonely. Uh, I mean that's, I think, obviously very evident in the 35 years of celibacy. But even that, like, you know, he buys a house and he lives alone and he, um, you know, his, I think for a period of time, sometimes his most meaningful relationships are with his patients and with his creative [00:54:00] collaborators, like his editor and his publicist.

I don't know. Maybe it looks lonely from the outside looking in. Lord knows he's eccentric. But he also doesn't seem wayward and he doesn't look, he certainly doesn't look desperate. And I do think that analysis must have paid off for this guy. He leaves the self destructive behavior of drug abuse behind and embarks on a journey weaving the worlds of literary traditions and medicine and, and just arrives at this like place where.

At the end of the day people are saying well, he was known for eloquent meditations on consciousness and the human condition in the first line of his obituary My god, what an accomplishment and what it you know that what that what I hear in that is this is a man who was As you said seeker Like found fundamental truths in as much as any of us ever get to arrive at that and that yeah Like, there is a spiritual element of that, that I see in Upward Staircase.

So, [00:55:00] yeah, I mean, I'm one over. I'm a yes. I want this life. This is meaning. This is purpose. This is engagement. This is presence. This is relationship. Like, uh, uh, this is gratitude. And you hear that throughout with gratitude. So, hell yeah. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm a yes too. 

Nick: Yeah. The, the, the loneliness, the isolation that is, that is hard.

But I think, I think on balance, he came to a place of acceptance and you couldn't ask for too much more in a full life. And 

Michael: you know, I don't know, just to say one other word, like you and I are on this journey, right? We got to be buddies in grad school studying science. And like, we sense that the enterprise of science has meaning.

For us and but also like storytelling has to be at the center of that too. Um, yeah, I don't know man I like in talking about not just in researching him, but in talking about this with you and working on this with you like I Our projects our show and our [00:56:00] friendship gives me an unbelievable amount of meaning and purpose in my life So fuck.

Yeah, i'm really glad we landed here and i'm really glad we did this episode. Yeah 

Nick: Absolutely. I am. It would be very hard not to have the, the joy and the connection and the, the home family can bring. Yeah. But when you can reach such heights of, of intellectual striving and meaning. That can be the reward in itself and I think that's where Oliver Sacks ended up.

Michael: Yeah, well said.

Nick, you are Oliver Sacks. You have passed away and ascended to the heavens. You stand before St. Peter and the Purdah Gates. Uh, St. Peter is the Unitarian proxy for the afterlife. You have a few moments to make your pitch. What was your great contribution to the stream of life? I went through 

Nick: challenges.

By the end of my life, [00:57:00] I had reminded medicine of what it is supposed to be. The patience first, and understanding and treating our shared humanity. While I'm a great lover of science, that the science on its own is not enough. It has to be science in service of humanity. I inspired generations of scientists and doctors and storytellers and philosophers to See one another better, not to leave those who are the most afflicted, but to see our shared humanity, and to see what unites all of us.

In the miracle of living on this beautiful earth among so many interesting people, I think that I was able to use my unique genius or abilities to make a difference in how we see each other and how we see ourselves. Let me in. [00:58:00] 

Michael: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Famous Gravy. Thanks also to my friend Nicholas Weiler, again his podcast is called From Our Neurons to Yours.

It is an excellent show, I will link to it in the show notes. Please check it out. Nick is a delight and a great friend. Famous Gravy listeners, we want to hear from you. We need people to participate in our opening quiz where we reveal the dead celebrity. You can email us at hello at famousandgravy. com If you're enjoying our show, please tell your friends.

You can find us on TwitterX, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Threads. Our handle is at Famous and Gravy. We have a newsletter. You can sign up for it on our website, FamousAndGravy. com Famous and Gravy was created by Amit Kapoor and me, Michael Osborne. This episode was produced by Evan Sherer with production assistance from Claire McInerney.

Original theme music by Kevin Strang. Thank you so much for listening. See you next [00:59:00] time.