1:06 – 1:39 OPEN
1:41:30 – 1:58:30
Damage control: when and what should politicians disclose?
After weeks of missing votes, Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. announced through his office in late June that he was on medical leave for exhaustion. Yesterday, his office revealed that he is being treated for a mood disorder. Whether it’s Vice President Dick Cheney’s heart condition or former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus, who disappeared before revealing a substance-abuse problem, there are countless examples of publicly elected officials keeping medical information from their constituents. What obligation do elected officials have to disclose medical information to their constituents? Does it matter whether that’s a heart condition or depression?
2:06 – 2:19
Don’t take your road trip for granted
It’s summer vacation season and for many of us, that means “road trip.” As recently as the 1960s, however, African American motorists traveling in America were often guaranteed less-the-welcome receptions in many parts of the country. Traveling could be downright dangerous. In 1936, a postal worker and activist named Victor H. Green took matters into his own hands and started publishing “The Negro Motorist Green Book.” “The Green Book,” along with similar publications, acted as guidebooks, identifying safe zones and “tourist homes” – private houses where African Americans could spend the night while on the road. Calvin Alexander Ramsey, whose play “The Green Book” features a couple spending the night at the house of a Holocaust survivor, remembers traveling with his parents between Baltimore and Roxboro, North Carolina and having to pack a huge picnic lunch in order to avoid any risky stops. Green published the last issue of his book in 1964, but these travel experiences continue to be within the living memory of many African Americans. Do you have experiences of traveling or hosting African Americans pre-segregation? How much have things actually changed?
2:21:30 – 2:39
Is binge-watching TV the best or worst way to catch up on your favorite programs?
The Internet has revolutionized how people watch TV. No longer are consumers beholden to the whims of networks and the rigid structures of calendars and airtimes. Americans now watch TV on their computers, smart phones and on their living room sets - and they watch their favorite shows when they want to watch them. Television is now largely an on-demand medium and that has lead TV junkies to develop some interesting viewing habits. One of these newer practices is the rise of “binge-watching,” which occurs when a viewer might consume many hours of a particular program in one sitting, one episode after the other. Proponents of binge-watching say, for example, that viewing the entire 3rd season of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” in a weekend allows viewers to be totally immersed in the universe of the show. But there is also a rising chorus of those who believe that the serial nature of television programming dictates that a TV show must be best appreciated with days between episodes to properly digest, mull and discuss the many plotlines, characters and subtle details involved in the story arc of a season. Are you guilty of watching entire seasons of “The Wire” in a week? How do you think TV shows are best appreciated – in one fell swoop or spread out over days?
Jim Pagels, Slate contributor and author of the article “Stop Binge-Watching TV”
Mary H.K. Choi, columnist for Wired magazine, editor at MTV style, comic book creator at Marvel and Vertigo and author of the article “In Praise of Binge TV Consumption”
2:41:30 – 2:58:30
‘Fooling Houdini’ – the science behind the art of magic
The art of magic is a lot more than just pulling a rabbit out of a hat or sawing a person in half. It is a time-honored tradition that uses the limitations of the human mind and body to make people believe that they’re seeing things they know to be impossible. When amateur magician Alex Stone made a spectacularly poor showing at the Magic Olympics in 2006 he initially vowed to hang up his cape for good. But he found he couldn’t bring himself to put down the wand and decided to combine other skills from his bag of tricks to become an elite practitioner of the art form. Apart from being a struggling magician, Stone was also a journalist and held a master’s degree in physics; these disciplines put him in a unique position to deconstruct the closely guarded skills and secrets of magicians and illusionists and take a look at the science behind the trickery. His new book, “Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind,” follows the author’s journey through magic tournaments, conventions, lectures, shows and encounters with eccentrics, skeptics, scholars, cheats, criminals, geniuses, legends and prodigies on his odyssey to peel back the curtain on the world of magic. How has magic changed over time? What can science tell us about the world of illusion?
Alex Stone, magician, journalist and author of “Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind” (Harper 2012)
Producer - Patt Morrison
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