First Take: DSM-V, Iran, Unemployment, Snow

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - 01:01 PM

People walk through Central Park during a snowstorm February 10, 2010 in New York City. (Getty Images)

UPDATED 7:45 p.m. 

Alex Goldmark, Senior Producer here ... 

Blizzard shmizzard. We've got a great show set for tomorrow.

The Haitian government has been putting out some changing figures on death toll today. But by any account at least 170,000 people have been buried in mass graves already. It is almost certain that the final death toll will match or surpass the Asian Tsunami of 2004. On the occasion of this grim revelation, we going to check in with a United Nations official in Haiti about the scale and scope of the damage. Each time we have an interview like this we do learn of new hopes and new horrors, don't we? 

Besides that, most of the major interviews and planning laid out this morning has held up. (That usually means no breaking news during the day, so maybe the snow actually helped us by smothering the news cycle.) On a weather note, we have booked a snow expert. He literally wrote the history book on weather. But he's also stranded in his West Virginia house without power and no working phone because of the weather. So hopefully we'll get his stormy insight topped off with a touch of his personal snow saga. 

For you techies wondering what that new doohickey in gmail is, we're gonna give you the lowdown on Google Buzz. Rumors are already flying about some privacy concerns

POSTED 12:45 p.m.

It's a blustery, snowy day here in New York, and despite predictions of the Snowpacalypse, we've got a show to put together.

One big story is the DSM-V. Since 1952, the American Psychiatric Association has revised its standard reference, the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," five times, and each time the changes have brought out strong reactions.  Now the APA has posted a draft of the latest revision of the DSM. We're hearing discussion about changes to definitions and categories for such problems as learning and eating disorders, as well as diseases on the autism spectrum – changes frequently affect insurance payments and research funding, so affected people care a lot about the manual.  

It's also inspiring us to ask our listeners: What behaviors or problems do you think should be classified as mental illnesses?

As unemployment numbers tick slightly lower, we're going to be talking with people about what a long stretch without a job does to the mindset of the newly-employed, and what kind of "survivor's guilt" people who keep their jobs have.

We're also keeping an eye on Iran, where the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution (along with the government's announcement that they'll be flouting U.N. rules by starting up their uranium enrichment program again) is inspiring a week of protests.  We'll also be talking about the 20th year since former South African President Nelson Mandela's release from prison, muse on whether Google's getting unnervingly big, and, given our front-row seat to the East Coast blizzard, talk about weather forecasting.


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