POLICING BLACK BODIES: HOW BLACK LIVES ARE SURVEILLED AND HOW TO WORK FOR CHANGE

https://bookspics.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/picture-for-policing-black-bodies-how-black-lives-are-surveilled-and-how-to-work-for-change.jpgThat provocative title for a book was intentional.  It connotes an America not as far from its slave past as many would like to think.  Dr. Angela Hattery and Dr. Earl Smith tackle some very difficult issues in our society as to ways that black bodies are regulated from public education to the criminal justice system.  Are we closer to the heralded post racial society than we are to systemic racism that has been a part of the American story for centuries? Join us for a discussion of where we stand on the continuum of social change.

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IS IT SAFE TO RIDE THE RAILS IN AMERICA?

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KSmhUeK8xwo/UcXi7mX-cPI/AAAAAAAALAE/Qv23OEF3-CE/s1600/Train-hd-wallpapers.jpgThere have been a number of highly-publicized accidents on America’s railroads recently.  Yet, according to a 2017 data from the Federal Railroad Administration released by the Association of American Railroads, the train accident rate, equipment caused accidents, track caused accidents and derailment rates are all down substantially over a fifteen-year period.  So what are we, the passengers, to think? On this episode Dr. Joshua Estrin, a forensic safety specialist, joins us to consider whether our railroad system is imbued with a culture of safety and whether truth may fall outside of the numbers. One thing is for sure there are many players in the railroad industry–some private, some public, not least of all the Congress–which make an assessment of the situation difficult.  We examine the case of positive train control and what it holds in store for safety going forward. And ask why it’s taking so long.

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IS THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL RETIREMENT WORKING LONGER?

http://1hdlxe1oe0ll1eghud24le5v.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Robert-Powell-300x300.jpgRetirement expert, Bob Powell, who you read on The Street and in ‘USA Today’ offers the most up to date advice on financial planning for a comfortable retirement.  He focuses on the growing number of Americans retiring with too much debt(and what to do about it)and the trend of working longer as the surest path to financial success in this period.  We explore a range of other issues with him about the varying stages of retirement and how to plan for them, current think on reverse mortgages and equity lines of credit, as well as the longevity projections mutual fund companies and planners offer about your funds not running out in retirement.  Can they possibly be accurate? Tune in and find out.

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IS ‘FOOD WASTE’ REALLY A WASTE?

https://basis.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk466/files/styles/sf_landscape_16x9/public/images/article/cotton-cart-1024x707_0111.jpg?itok=wzZWrZgPMoms and dads were always imploring us not to leave the table without finishing everything on our plate.  That wasn’t a bad maxim at a time when we hadn’t supersized meals. As food has become cheaper as a part of our required expenses, does that admonition still mean anything?  Restaurants often think bigger is better, as meals have become cheaper, and heap on portions that are meant for a Philadelphia Eagles lineman.  In this context, two years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the ‘first ever national food waste reduction goal, calling for a 50 percent reduction by 2030’.  First, perhaps, we should define what food waste is(not as easy as you might imagine) and realistically what the uses are for this recovered food. Hint: it will not get to starving people halfway around the world.  Professor Marc Bellemare provides a realistic assessment of the issue. He directs the Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy at the University of Minnesota.

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LOCAL COMMUNITIES INNOVATE, WHILE D.C. STALEMATES

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If you’re looking for the epicenter of problem-solving in America today, Congress is hardly the beacon for effective governance. We find in our review of how America is now dealing with human needs that networks of local organizations, including local and regional governments, are filling the breach Congress has left. Hospitals, colleges, non-profits and local governments, teaming together in many places, have little regard for partisan politics and are finding new ways of getting things done. Two urban policy experts, Jeremy Nowak and Bruce Katz, call it ‘The New Localism’ in their book. Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution joins us to describe how its manifested in communities through red and blue America.

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IS THE MASTER’S DEGREE THE NEW BACHELOR’S?

https://www.air.org/sites/default/files/images/person/Mark_Schneider_081203_0.jpg Perhaps, but given the paucity of data about its value in the workplace as a driver of greater achievement and advancement, the truth is we don’t know. A snapshot of one recent year shows that 760,000 master’s degrees were awarded. So, does this give you a leg up on someone who has only achieved a bachelor’s? Mark Schneider, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, says that depends on a range of factors, including where you live, where you attained the master’s and what your area of concentration was. One thing is for certain. Colleges and universities see this degree as a cash cow and we explain why that’s the case. More knowledge is good for its own sake, of course, but before you shell out $40,000 to $80,000 to earn the degree, you might want to listen to this episode.

 

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CAN YOU MAKE SENSE OF SENTIENCE AND AI?

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You might want to get more comfortable with machines taking on responsibilities you never imagined, according to Amir Husain, founder and president of SparkCognition and author of ‘The Sentient Machine” which details the coming age of artificial intelligence. He’s of the ‘glass half full’ school when it comes to how these machines will interact with us. Already, there are so many devices(can you say Siri or Alexa)who are of this kind with whom we have found great utility in our daily lives. We discuss the role that artificial intelligence can play in medical breakthroughs and everyday life. You must hear his explanation of what an autonomous vehicle can do to make the driving experience safer that we can not. One clue is we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads. Perhaps, that’s a design flaw but the human condition, with all its capabilities, is limiting. And that’s where these machines come in. It’s a fascinating discussion.

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Tent City, U.S.A.

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That’s the name of a new report from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and it reminds us that the trend is toward more encampments for those without permanent housing.  The primary reason is that we have not built enough affordable housing to keep up with the demand. And, yet, our approach to solving the problem often is to criminalize those who find themselves out on the streets. (And even to arrest good neighbors who try to assist in feeding those who are dispossessed.)  We explore different approaches that cities are taking to the problem with Attorney Eric Tars, of the Center, who is the lead researcher on this report.

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If you haven’t yet checked out our recent Renters’ Rights report, please do! This provides an excellent take on how to prevent homelessness in the first place.

 

 

WILD ABOUT BITCOIN

https://blogs.worldbank.org/files/pictures/picture-11875-1477426865.jpgLike many of us, you’re wondering what the fuss is all about when it comes to Bitcoin. It’s part of something we’ve long heard was on the horizon–a cashless society. Perhaps, you hear terms like ‘Bitcoin wallets’ or block-chains and your eyes glaze over. We asked Mark Jamison, of the American Enterprise Institute, to break it all down for us and let us know the basics about Bitcoin–its advantages and disadvantages and what kind of play we can expect in the entire field of cryptocurrency in the period ahead. He lays it all out in very clear terms, though you may want to listen more than once to make certain the concepts resonate.

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WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE IN A CLASSROOM?

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51TaSe1QZBL.jpgIt’s fair to say the answer to that question for many of us is a long time ago. Given the rapid, almost unimaginable, disruption in every sector, caused by technology, how could schools remain immune from this? Or are they? One of our listeners asked that we look at the future of public education. In order to do that, we step back and walk you through the role of public education in our society and bring you to the present and beyond regarding the expectations we have in preparing our children for an uncertain future. Jonathan Costa, author of ‘Digital Learning for All, Now: A School Leader’s Guide for 1:1 on a Budget’. We take the jargon out of education parlance and break it down for you in ways that help you to frame questions and thoughts as you go to your next school board meeting or have the one on one with your child’s teacher.

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