Wednesday, August 28, 2013

AirTalk for Thursday, August 29, 2013

Contact: Producers Joel Patterson, Jasmin Tuffaha, Karen Fritsche, Fiona Ng




Thursday, August 29, 2013


11:06 –11:20

Topic: OPEN

Guest: TBA


11:20 -11:40

Topic: Nissan plans to build first self-driving car by 2020. Are you ready? Cars come with a lot of bells and whistles nowadays, but they got nothing on what the global automobile industry at large is working on next: a car that drives itself. Indeed, the race is on for the automakers to build the first self-driving vehicle. Japanese carmaker Nissan, at an event Tuesday, said that it plans to put the first driverless car on the road by 2020. Not to be outdone, General Motors came out with its own timeline for a self-driving car. Tech giant Google is said to also be working on its own version. As futuristic as they may sound, the technology to build self-driving cars is already available and according to experts, it's just a matter of fine-tuning and improving on what's out there. The technology could mean a less angst-ridden commute for drivers and could reduce road congestion. But then again, it could make drivers ever more distracted than now. How do self-driving cars work? What road rules need to be in place before the arrival of these cars? Would you buy a self-driving car? Is the public ready for them?

Guest: Amir Efrati (ah-MEER eh-FRAH-ti), tech reporter for WSJ

Guest: Bernard Soriano (saw-REE-AHN-noh), deputy director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles who also heads of the agency’s self-driving car project



Topic: What's the best way to judge college grads' real value to potential employers? High school students who want to sell themselves to the college of their dreams aim for high SAT scores and nosebleed-level grade-point averages. What about ambitious college students who want to land the job of their dreams? Most grads rely on their GPAs, networking and polished resumes packed with summer job experience, volunteerism and recommendations. But can an employer really judge who is ready for the workforce based on an "A+" in Literature 401? A newly revised test for college graduates claims to assess "work competency" and higher-order thinking skills. The Collegiate Learning Assessment, or CLA+, is catching on with some universities which will use it to figure out whether their students are ready for the workforce. As practical as it sounds, will it greet the same criticism as the SAT? (STILL DRAFTING BLURB)

Guest: TBD

Guest: TBD


12:06 – 12:30

Topic: What’s the appeal of e-cigarettes? Leonardo DiCaprio is doing it. And he’s not the only A-list celeb making electronic cigarettes look cool. The faux smokes are showing up in movies and television shows and enthusiasts known as “Vapers” even have their own convention called VapeFest, coming to Vegas this September. The emerging subculture of “smokers” is obsessed with the technology of their electronic smokes, which can be tricked out with all kinds of flavors and funky accoutrement. E-cigarettes, also known as personal vaporizers and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), are battery powered devices that provide inhaled doses of nicotine by way of a vaporized solution. They’re used by many to simulate and replace tobacco smoking. Fans and advocates swear by them as a great way to quit smoking tobacco. But skeptics say it’s not clear whether they really help people kick the habit and that more research into their health impact is needed. So what is it about e-cigs that’s so appealing to users? And what are the risks?  

Guest: Spike Babaian (f) (buh-BAY-un), founder, The National Vapers Club; one of the creators and organizers of VapeFest

Guest: Anne Joseph, M.D., Professor of Medicine; Director, Applied Clinical Research Program; University of Minnesota; President of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (international scientific organization…not speaking for them though)


12:30 – 1:00

Topic: How the ‘sports gene’ could be better than doping: Sometimes we can’t help but think that some people would be genetically predisposed to particular abilities. For example, very tall men often hear that they should play basketball, bulky young boys are chided to try out football, and the long-legged are encouraged to take a go at track and field. According to the 10,000-hour rule, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers: The Story of Success,” practice means everything. Not so, says Sports Illustrated writer David Epstein. In his new book, “The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance,” Epstein calls Gladwell’s research biased because the people he studied were already exceptional. According to Epstein, some people have genes that affect their athletic abilities. While growing up, Epstein observed that although a fellow runner was more talented than he was, Epstein improved faster with training. He also noticed that the best runners weren’t just Kenyans, they specifically Kalenjins. “The Sports Gene” mentions how the EPOR gene can cause an athlete to naturally produce more red blood cells, which is the purpose of doping. Other genes affect how someone responds to weight training and regulate how much oxygen is delivered to your body. Do these genes give athletes unfair advantages? What will it lead to in the future? Can you test for “sports genes”? Would it lead to athletic screening? What about in the medical field? Could this lead to more personalized medicine?

Guest: David Epstein, author of "The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance;" he is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and notably covered Lance Armstrong and the Boston Marathon.


Guest: Malcolm Gladwell, author of “Outliers: The Story of Success” (Little, Brown and Company, 2008), which popularized the 10,000-hour rule; he is also a writer for The New Yorker



Joel Patterson

Senior Producer, AirTalk

626-583-5375 office

858-349-2205 cell




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