Thursday, August 4, 2011

Patt Morrison for Friday, August 5, 2011


Friday, August 5, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:39





1:41:30 – 1:58:30

Behave yourself: behavioral screening at airports given a test run by the TSA

Are you shifty-eyed in airports?  Are you sweating on a cold day?  Are you fidgeting with your clothes while waiting in a security line?  These are just a few of the subtle indications that you might be up to no good at an airport and watching for these behaviors is a type of security screening that, up until now, had only been employed at airports outside of the United States.  Israel, in particular, has used behavioral screening for decades, monitoring suspicious behavior that would direct passengers into an additional layer of searches and questioning.  That technique is about to be brought to the U.S. as the Transportation Security Administration tries out behavioral screening at Boston’s Logan Airport.  Passengers will experience a “casual conversation” with a TSA behavior detection officer looking for anything suspicious, from facial expressions to baggy clothing and, if warranted, that person will be sent for closer inspection.  Initial criticism of this new behavior screening approach shows the difficult position of the TSA—already being roundly criticized for searching grandmothers and infants at the airport, the ACLU calls this new idea “security theater.”  Given the choice between a conversation with a TSA behavior detection officer and walking through a full body scanner, which one would you choose?



Rafi Ron, CEO, New Age Security Systems and former security director at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv



Michael German, legislative policy counsel at the ACLU Washington Legislative Office





2:06 – 2:19





2:21:30 – 2:39

Are playgrounds too safe? Could a little danger & risk on the jungle gym be good for your kid?

For a variety of reasons, from public safety campaigns to liability issues, your neighborhood playground is becoming a risk-averse place.  The monkey bars are moving lower to the ground, or disappearing altogether; slides are a little shorter; shorter equipment with platforms and rubber mats for softer landings have become ubiquitous.  This is the modern urban playground, a safer and gentler play space for kids in an era of parental concern and hair-trigger lawsuits, and while they do tend to reduce injuries are they best for the psychological development of your children?  Turns out, according to a new paper published in the journal of Evolutionary Psychology, that safer might not be better.  Risky play by children is an inherent behavior that helps them to overcome phobias and anxiety.  In other words, thrill-seeking is part of the development process and jumping off of that high slide helps kids to conquer their earliest fears.  By making playgrounds increasingly safe we could be unwittingly retarding the growth and confidence of children.  Admittedly it’s a bit of a stretch, but we could be raising a generation of children that is less likely to take the kinds of small risks that are necessary in everyday life.  Could safer not always be better when it comes to playgrounds?



Ellen Sanseter, a professor of psychology at Queen Maud University in Norway



Dorian Traube, assistant professor, social work, University of Southern California (USC)





2:41:30 – 2:58:30

Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable-And Couldn't 

Are some things really unexplainable? Over 70% of Americans believe in paranormal activity, but most have the sense not to admit their beliefs. Even fewer, save for certain groups on the internet, take the time to write about them. Enter Steve Volk, an investigative reporter and lifelong skeptic, who took it upon himself to enter the world of the unexplained and returned a changed man. Within his new book Fringe-ology, Volk writes about the world of mystics, psychics, UFOs and the rest of which would be ordinarily be placed in the realm of science fiction. Ultimately, Volk returns from the world of the unknown having more questions than answers. In the age of reason, can certain experiences remain truly alien? What surprises could Volk be willing to share?



Steve Volk, frequent contributor to Philadelphia and long time journalist – he now operates a blog entitled “The Generalist”




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