Friday, February 11, 2011

Patt Morrison for Monday, February 14, 2011


Monday, February 14, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:19




1:21 – 1:39

Let the budget battles begin: White House vs. House Republicans on a scaled down federal budget

Much like the situation here in California for the past few years, the 2011 federal budget proposal is going to be grim.  Various Republican Congressional groups, from the Tea Party caucus to the House GOP leadership, have proposed spending cuts in the budget that range from $30 - $100 billion, and on Monday the Obama Administration gets its crack at pitching a budget that is sure to be dramatically scaled down from years past—but probably not as drastic as Republicans would like.  The president is expected to call for a five-year freeze on discretionary spending not related to national security, a move that could cut $400 billion from the deficit.  However there are still spending proposals, from a national high-speed rail network to a wireless connectivity program that the president hopes will connect 98 percent of the nation to the internet within five years.  The debate over how much to cut out of the budget, and whether to increase the federal debt ceiling, will dominate Capitol Hill for the next few weeks and could determine the political tone in this country leading up to next year’s presidential elections.  We line up both sides as the budget battles begin.



Melody Barnes, President Obama’s domestic policy adviser & director of the White House Domestic Policy Council




Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin’s 1st district; Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget




1:41 – 1:58:30

Man vs. computer: Jeopardy! champs take on an IBM computer

Are you smarter than a fifth grader? How about an IBM computer, named Watson, programmed to understand natural language including, riddles, puns, irony, and other expressions? Jeopardy! is testing the technology against its two most successful contestants - Ken Jennings, who holds the record for the most consecutive games played (74) and Brad Rutter, the show's highest cumulative winner with $3,255,102. The two game showdown starts today, so how will the humans stack up? No matter the outcome, the game will be played for a good cause. IBM will donate its entire winnings to charity, and Jennings and Rutter have agreed to donate half of their winnings to foundations of their choice. This is Jeopardy!



Ken Jennings, crack Jeapordy! contestant holding the show’s longest winning streak & a contestant against the IBM computer



Brad Rutter, biggest all-time money winner on Jeapordy! & a contestant against the IBM computer




2:06 – 2:30

Hospitals to smoking employees: light up, lose your job

Hospitals, arguably, are places where people go to get better. That’s why increasingly more of them are saying no to hiring smokers. But is that legal? The hospitals say they’re simply increasing worker productivity and reducing health care costs by encouraging healthier living. But opponents say it discriminates and they liken the move by hospitals to treating cigarettes like an illegal narcotic, requiring job applicants to submit to urine tests and terminating employees caught smoking. The decision is a reaction by hospitals to less effective, softer efforts, like banning smoking on company grounds; offering incentives for completing cessation programs; and increasing health care premiums for smokers. Is this a necessary measure for some professions or a troubling precedent of employers intruding on the private lives its employees?



Dr. Michael Siegel, Professor in the department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University’s School of Public Health   




2:30 – 2:39




2:41 – 2:58:30

Jane McGonigal: how gaming will save the world

Gamers, listen up: according to Jane McGonigal, games aren't just an escapist alternate reality, or a procrastinating waste of hours, they’re the single most productive way to spend our time. Games are tools that can help develop skills that help us solve real-world problems, like hunger, poverty, clean water access and issues of sustainability. So why isn’t it as easy to save the real world as it is in World of Warcraft? That’s because our games aren’t big enough or good enough, according to McGonigal. In order to truly see a difference in your real-world selves, she offers some basic tips: don’t play more than 21 hours a week, playing with friends is more rewarding than playing with strangers and games that challenge us to think in creative ways are the most productive. McGonigal talks with Patt about creating a virtual crash course in changing the world.



Jane McGonigal, Gamer and author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World



Jonathan Serviss
Senior Producer, Patt Morrison
Southern California Public Radio
NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles
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