Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Patt Morrison for Monday, August 10, 2011


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

1-3 p.m.



1:06 – 1:19 OPEN


1:21 – 1:40

What explains the flash-mobs of 2011 and is LA prepared for the next?

Flash-mobs—they used to be harmless groups of people spontaneously breaking into hula dancing on an airplane 38,000 feet in the air but quite noticeably this summer, the word has been appropriated by scary, sometimes violent and racially charged mobs of mostly teenagers, often rapidly drawn together by social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. They’ve made headlines most recently on the streets of London, but also earlier this summer in Venice beach, on Hollywood Blvd., in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Chicago. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter this week imposed street patrols and is enforcing a 9 p.m. weekend curfew for 13- to 18-year-olds. What’s sparked these flash-mobs, is there any common mentality behind them and how is Los Angeles prepared to deal with one? Howard Rheingold is a theorist, who predicted this behavior long before Twitter was a household name. He joins Patt to chart the flash-mob summer of 2011.



Howard Rheingold, technology theorist and lecturer in Stanford University's Department of Communication and U.C. Berkeley's School of Information; he’s the author of the book “Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution,” which explores the potential for technology to augment collective intelligence


TBD, representative from the Los Angeles Police Department



1:41 – 2:00

Should corporate sponsorship buy a lesson plan? How much commercialism is too much in our schools?

Should the American Egg Board be allowed to sponsor a lesson plan that promotes the health benefits of consuming eggs without addressing the risks?  What about the coal industry educating kids about the benefits of burning coal, but neglecting to include the environmental impacts such as greenhouse gases or toxic waste? Scholastic’s InSchool publication got some unwanted attention recently for allowing the position of its corporate sponsors to seep into the curriculum distributed to school teachers. A group of educators and children’s health experts sent Scholastic a letter urging the company to stop creating teaching materials sponsored by corporations pushing an agenda. Richard Robinson, Scholastic’s president and chief executive, concedes that they need to improve their standards and notes that “once in a while there is a slip-up in editorial judgment.” Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, has agreed to pay closer attention to its editorial standards and will appoint a Partner Review Board to check for bias in corporate sponsored educational programs. Is this an innocent “editorial slip-up” or something more insidious? More and more schools faced with massive budget cuts are opening the door to corporate sponsorship--is it only a matter of time before kids are leaning that an apple isn’t just something you give the teacher and that GE can bring us a brighter day?  



Representative, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood



Representative, Scholastic



2:06 – 2:19 OPEN


2:20 – 2:40

“Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance”

When you spill red wine, you could be left with a stain on your jeans. Likewise, when you drink too much red wine, you could be left with a stain on your other genes…a stain called alcoholism. Epigenetics, meaning “on the gene,” is an emergent branch of genetics. A primary tenant of the field explores the effects of environment upon genetic code. The field has uncovered new information about the implications of personal habits and the “scarring” effects that could result. On the show today is the author of Epigentics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance, Richard C. Francis, who argues that a person’s bad habits, including more than just the usual suspects of over-eating, smoking, and unabated stress, could go on to affect their progeny for several generations. Exactly which damaged genes could be passed on? And is there any way to reverse the damage?



Richard Francis, author of “Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance”



2:41 – 3:00

It just doesn't $&%!* work! Why new tech products are increasingly unsatisfying

Harry McCracken has been reviewing technology products for 20 years and he’s seen it all—from products like the PalmPilot that blew him away, to ones that were downright hazardous, like a mouse that caught on fire. He says there's never been a time when so much of the new stuff he’s reviewing is so very far from being ready for mass consumption. “Sometimes it's a tad quirky; sometimes I can't get it to work at all. And when I call the manufacturers for help, they're often well aware of the problems I encountered.” What's going on here? McCracken chalks it up to three main culprits: 1.) Our beta, works-in-progress culture that demands prereleases and means no product has to be complete. 2.) Easy updates that let companies off the hook if they can trouble shoot bugs later with software upgrades. 3.) An unprecedented rush to beat the other guys that pushes products on the market before they’re ready, just to compete with their rivals. How did we get to this point and what does it say about the state of the tech industry that it comes as a refreshing surprise when technology does work?



Harry McCracken, tech columnist for TIME.com; he also blogs about personal technology at Technologizer.com, which he founded in 2008





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