Coming Up On Viewpoints Show 17-49

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Making an Impact as a Citizen Scientist

We think of scientists as needing a lot of training before we can trust their findings. But for centuries, citizen scientists, not scientists by trade, have made some of the biggest discoveries. We talk to two experts about the need for average citizens to be the eyes and ears of big data collecting projects.

Author Jack London’s Writings and Social Activism

Jack London is known for his rip-roaring adventure books, but he was also a social activist. We discover how London’s own journey informed his writing, and how his books and stories reflect the plight of exploited workers and impoverished women and children.

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17-48 Segment 1: Giving Back This Holiday Season

 

During the holidays, many parents fret over the materialistic messages their children are exposed to. We talk to a mom and an author who together have created a children’s book and game designed to make giving back to others a fun pursuit.

Guest:

  • Sarah Linden and Tyler Knott Gregson, co-authors, North Pole Ninjas: Mission: Christmas

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17-48 Segment 2: W.E.B. Du Bois’s Lasting Impact in Sociology

 

At the beginning of the 20th century, W.E.B. Du Bois revolutionized scientific sociology, but was denied accolades because of his race. Now, we talk to scholars about what exactly Du Bois did to improve the study of sociology and what his impact truly was.

Guest:

  • Aldon D. Morris, professor of sociology and African-American studies at Northwestern University, author of the book, The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the birth of modern sociology

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Culture Crash 17-48: Greta Gerwig’s Fantastic Film Lady Bird

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

Coming-of-age movies are as American as apple pie. Stand By Me, The Breakfast Club, Almost Famous, My Girl – they’re all portraits of what it meant to be a kid in America at a certain point in time.

Now, we have another film to add to the list in Lady Bird, which was written and directed by actress Greta Gerwig.

The film stars Saorise Ronan as Lady Bird, a Catholic school student in Sacramento circa 2002.

(clip one)

We watch as Lady Bird lives through her final year of high school and stresses over college acceptance letters, boys, her family’s money problems, and the constant anxiety of living in post-9/11 America.

(clip two)

But at the heart of Lady Bird is the mother-daughter relationship between Ronan’s lady bird and her mother Marion, played by Laurie mMetcalf. We watch them argue and disagree and generally struggle to let the other one know how much they care.

This film comes after the success of Gerwig’s Frances Ha and Ronan’s star turn in the 2015 film Brooklyn.

In the interest of not spoiling all the fun, I won’t say any more, but this is a movie that should have a strong presence in this year’s awards season.

With so many great coming-of-age movies already in our cultural memory, it may seem difficult for a movie to ascend into the ranks with the greats, but Lady Bird earns its spot on the list.

Lady bird is in theaters now.

I’m Evan Rook.

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Coming Up On Viewpoints Show 17-48

vprlogo

 

Giving Back This Holiday Season

During the holidays, many parents fret over the materialistic messages their children are exposed to. We talk to a mom and an author who together have created a children’s book and game designed to make giving back to others a fun pursuit.

W.E.B. Du Bois’s Lasting Impact in Sociology

At the beginning of the 20th century, W.E.B. Du Bois revolutionized scientific sociology, but was denied accolades because of his race. Now, we talk to scholars about what exactly Du Bois did to improve the study of sociology and what his impact truly was.

17-47 Segment 1: Terrorism in America, 1920

 

Over 95 years ago, New York City was the target of a terrorist attack that has yet to be solved. No suspects have ever been named in the attack that killed or injured over 400 Wall Street bystanders. In contrast to the attacks of September 11th, which occurred just around the corner from the 1920 bombing, this deadly event has been all but erased from the collective American consciousness.   

Jed Rubenfeld’s work of historical fiction, The Death Instinct, brings the 1920 bombing back to life. Although some characters and plot elements are fictionalized, Rubenfeld carefully matches historical details and events to accurately convey the context and sentiment surrounding what at the time was the deadliest terrorist attack in the world.

World War I had ended and the Depression was taking form, creating a society of lawlessness. Rubenfeld contends that there was further reasoning behind the bombing than just spreading terror. There was a billion dollars in gold being transferred from one vault to another at the exact time the attack took place, but authorities deny this was anything more than coincidence. At this point, the 1920 attack will likely never be solved, but Rubenfeld explores his own resolution in The Death Instinct.

Guest:

  • Jed Rubenfeld, author of The Death Instinct

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17-47 Segment 2: Developing Forensic Technology: New solutions for tracking and convicting criminals

 

The technology used to catch criminals is constantly being invented and then reinvented. From fingerprints to DNA, advancements in technology have allowed authorities to more accurately and efficiently locate and apprehend criminals. Now, what may be the largest addition to the tool belt of the criminal justice system yet is the technology we all carry in our pockets daily.

Cellphones have long been used to find and convict criminals, mainly through call logs and cell tower triangulation, but mobile devices now serve as de facto personal GPS trackers with extreme accuracy. Oxygen Forensics Inc. creates software that allows investigators to extract and interpret data from practically any digital device. Lee Reiber, COO for the company, says there now exists more mobile devices than people on this Earth, and the uses for our mobile data are infinite.

Even if a suspect refuses to talk, their mobile data can serve as evidence of location, communication history, and proximity to others. It also holds records of all documents and information that many of us wrongly assume is private. Pressing delete doesn’t mean information can’t be recovered and, even in cases where no mobile phone is involved, Reiber says any ‘smart’ device that collects data (and they all do) can be utilized.

What else can the data being collected around us be used for? Jerry Ropelato is the CEO of White Clouds, a large scale 3D printing technology company. He says virtually any set of information can be transformed to a physical object using 3D printing.

Whether it’s used to create medical materials or to build a exact model of an object, the possibilities are endless. Recently, White Clouds aided a defense attorney by replicating a residential crime scene to better convey their side of the story to the jury. No matter the use of these technologies, one thing is clear. This is only the beginning phase of the possible applications and only time will tell the true impact.    

Guest:

  • Lee Reiber, COO for Oxygen Forensics Inc.
  • Jerry Ropelato, CEO of White Clouds

Links for more information:

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