Monday, April 16, 2012

Patt Morrison for Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

1-3 p.m.




1:06 – 1:30 - OPEN


1:30 – 1:39

New study of NASA data from 1976 points to possible life on Mars

According to an international team of mathematicians and scientists, there is life on Mars. The team, including University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine neurobiologist Joseph Miller, came to this conclusion after reanalyzing data from a life-detection experiment conducted by NASA’s Viking Mars robots in 1976. The study quantified the raw data and the results were checked for complexity. Key among the findings was a high degree of order which scientists believe points to biological processes. Not everyone in the scientific community agrees with the new study. Some call for caution, pointing out that the methodology is not yet effective enough to differentiate between biological and non-biological processes here on Earth. Miller is also reanalyzing the data to see if there could be variations caused by a weeks-long dust storm on Mars. Those research results are expected to be presented in August. Are you excited about the prospect of life on Mars? Do you think the methodology behind these findings should be questioned? Should NASA send another mission to Mars?



Joseph Miller, associate professor of cell and neurobiology at University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine


1:41:30 – 1:58:30

New Pew report says one in five adults doesn’t use the internet

Online culture is thriving, yet according to a new report by Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, one in five Americans never goes online. The report says those who avoid or don’t have access to the internet mainly include senior citizens and people in households earning less than $30,000 per year. Why are these citizens eschewing internet use? The main reason, for half of those interviewed by Pew, is they don’t think the web is relevant to them, according to the report. About one in five say they just don’t know enough about technology to start checking out the web on their own. Also, according to Pew, minority residents are still less likely than white people to have home broadband internet access, despite a 22 percent jump in broadband adoption among black Americans by 2010, well above the national average. Facebook, Twitter and other social media dominate the lives of many Americans, along with email, cell internet access, online video and music streaming services. Are internet non-users more and more out of the mainstream of economic and cultural life? Is this you? Do you know someone who stays away from the internet, either for personal, cultural or economic reasons?



Aaron W. Smith, senior research specialist at Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, and coauthor of a Pew report that one in five American adults do not use the internet

Karen North, clinical psychologist and director of University of Southern California’s Annenberg Program on Online Communities


2:06 – 2:30

First Senate hearing on racial profiling since 9/11 will happen today

Today the Senate holds its first hearing on racial profiling in the U.S. in more than a decade, since the 9/11 attacks. Looking at “state immigration laws that target Latinos and the undocumented[…]; profiling of African-Americans by law enforcement; and anti-terrorism efforts that affect Muslims throughout the U.S.,” the hearing committee will consider how racial profiling “harms law enforcement efforts in communities of color” and look at proposed solutions to racial profiling. One of those solutions includes the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA), originally introduced in 2001 by then-Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and most recently co-sponsored by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev). If passed, such a bill would establish a national definition of racial profiling and make it illegal, as well as pull federal funding from state and local governments who fail to prohibit it. Would a federal bill banning racial profiling be enough to end the practice here in the United States? Or is such a bill even necessary? While the shooting of unarmed African-American teenager Trayvon Martin didn’t give rise to the hearing, that case, as well as cases like those of Kendrec McDade, will certainly be on the senators’ minds. Do you agree that racial profiling is a problem in the United States? Do you believe that legislation would be helpful in ending the practice?




Senator Russ Feingold, former United States senator from Wisconsin and cosponsor of the McCain–Feingold Act; he’s currently a visiting professor of law at Marquette University



Chief Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Department


Sen. Dick Durbin, chair, Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights


Betty Hung, director, Asia Pacific Law Center (APALC)


2:30 – 2:58:30

Do Americans have enough on their plate?

Obsessing over food – what we eat, why we eat, how much we eat and how we can eat better -- has become a pastime as American as Dodger Dogs.  And for good reason - the health of our citizens is closely tied to the quality of our food.  But in poor and underserved communities, is healthy food even an option?  When Tracie McMillan wanted to find out how the working poor in America eat, she went straight to the source – from industrial farms to restaurant kitchens, from the supermarket to the dinner table.  Working in the food industry, living on the meager income she made and sharing meals and kitchens with her co-workers, McMillan learned that for many Americans, just putting food on the table is enough of a struggle. Worrying about where it comes from or how it’s processed is secondary.  Statistics bear this out: twenty percent of American shoppers buy most of their produce at Walmart.  Families earning under $15 thousand a year spend a third of their income on food; for those earning over $70,000, it’s less than ten percent.  Eating well, it seems, is a luxury many of our citizens can’t afford. Is there a way to give everyone a seat at the table?  What can be done to improve our national diet?



Tracie McMillan, author of “The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table.” (Scribner).  In October 2011, she was named a 2012 Senior Fellow for the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.









Lauren Osen

Southern California Public Radio - 89.3 KPCC

626-583-5173 / 626-483-5278 @Patt_Morrison


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