This story originally appeared on LX.com
How many degrees of separation are there between all of us? In NBCLX’s new series, “Connect the Dots,” we try to answer that question. Four reporters each draw the names of three random items and must then go on a journalistic scavenger hunt of sorts to find out how they are related.
The result? A behind-the-scenes look at how journalists from NBC New York, NBC Boston, Telemundo Arizona and NBCLX chase down answers and find valuable stories.
What does the Boston Marathon have to do with coffee and student loans? And what does the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade have to do with gender equity? Find out on “Connect the Dots.”
Episode 1: Water Access, the World Series and Microwaves
What do the World Series, access to water and microwaves have in common? Turns out, a lot. Did you know that when a stadium opens for the first time, it tests the toilets in what’s called the “big flush”? And bathroom plumbing is just one way that baseball stadiums use a lot of water. The San Francisco Giants estimate they go through about 2 million gallons of water a month. That may seem like a lot, but they used to use way more than that before the 7-year California drought prompted them to re-examine their water use. Those are just some of the things NBCLX journalist Fernando Hurtado learned on his scavenger hunt to connect the dots between these three random subjects.
Episode 2: Boston Marathon, Student Loans, Coffee
What do the Boston Marathon, student loans and coffee have in common? A lot more than you may think. In this episode of "Connect the Dots," NBC Boston's Rob Michaelson takes a deep dive into the science of caffeine and how coffee gets Boston Marathon runners... moving. He also explores the tired myth that cutting back on a daily latte can solve your student loan problems. Watch the episode for more connections between these seemingly random things.
Episode 3: Infertility, the Arizona State Fair and Cacti
What do the Arizona State Fair, infertility and cacti have in common? That's what Telemundo Arizona's Gabriela Martinez set out to discover in this episode of "Connect the Dots." Her reporting led her to meet a self-proclaimed cacti guru, an indigenous foods activist and a woman who has raised more than 125 children through foster care and adoption. And what she learned along the way may surprise you.
Episode 4: Gender Equality, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Skyscrapers
What do the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, gender equity and skyscrapers have in common? You'll be surprised by the connections NBC New York's Kay Angrum found. For example, have you ever thought about the gender of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons? Angrum found a gender equality activist who has. And she thinks the lack of female characters among the balloons reflects a subtle sexism that deeply affects young kids. Learn about that and more in this episode of "Connect the Dots."