Media Mining Digest 33 – Jun 29, 2012: Island Medical Practice, Garbology, Predictive Modeling, African Activities, China’s Economy, Marriage Breakers, Education Challenges, Turing’s Contributions, Ferret Flu, Immigration Debate, Jeffries Wyman, Fourier, Ruth Elder, Software Testing, India’s Foreign Policy, Knowledge and Policy, Commo Spectrum Changes, Medicaid, Austerity Impacts

The link to each item’s podcast is at the highlighted topic and reached by double-clicking or ctrl-clicking it. All 19 podcasts converted to 1.5x speed can be downloaded as a 116 MB zip file here for four months.

Island Medical Practice 26 mins – “Dr. Timothy Lepore, Nantucket’s only surgeon, is also the head of medicine at the island’s hospital, the medical examiner, the school physician, and the high-school football team doctor. He is also a world-class eccentric who has a red-tailed hawk, collects guns, and, until he lost the ability to sterilize them, would sometimes perform surgery using scalpels that he’d carved from obsidian. In Island Practice: Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures of a Nantucket Doctor, New York Times reporter Pam Belluck tells the story of a maverick physician and the strange, isolated place where he lives and works.” Go to the link, right click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to download.

Garbology 27 mins – “As Edward Humes points out in his new book, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair With Trash, “Americans make more trash than anyone else on the planet, throwing away about 7.1 pounds per person per day. Across a lifetime, that rate means that, on average, we are each on track to generate 102 tons of trash.” In this conversation, Humes discusses why the per-capita U.S. garbage output has doubled since 1960, what a pioneering program to track our trash revealed, and what each individual can do to reduce waste.” Go to the link, right click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to download.

Predictive Modeling 58 mins – “Jeremy Howard is president and chief scientist of Kaggle, a start-up which has used predictive modeling competitions to solve problems for NASA, Wikipedia, Ford and much more.” “Kaggle is a platform for data prediction competitions that allows organizations to post their data and have it scrutinized by the world’s best data scientists. In exchange for a prize, winning competitors provide the algorithms that beat all other methods of solving a data crunching problem. Most data problems can be framed as a competition.” A blog, “No Free Lunch,” by Howard is mentioned as is need for everyone to learn coding and recommended place to learn, “Code Academy.” Kaggle has had over 100,000 submissions. Go to the link, right click the down-pointing arrow left of “Audio” and select “Save File As” to download.

African Activities 30 mins – Four segments to this program can be downloaded separately at the link. They include human trafficking, Barefoot Power from Australia used in Uganda, economic and political problems in Guinea-Bissau, and several musicians. Go to the link, right click on any of the small down-pointing arrows at the right side of the activity bars and select “Save File As” to download.

China’s Economy 23 mins – “The Chinese market is still dominated by large state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Is it time for the country to turn towards a more Western style of capitalism, or will China continue to follow its own economic model? In the second of two special documentaries, a top Chinese business journalist, Rui Chenggang, concludes his exploration of the big narratives affecting his country’s economy.” This is part two of a series. Go to the link, locate the title(s) “Docs: China’s Economy: The Insider’s View – Part Two,” right click “docarchive_20120626-0905a.mp3” and select “Save File As” to download. Part one is the same length and just below part two.

Marriage Breakers of Bangladesh 23 mins – “In Bangladesh, twenty percent of girls are married before their fifteenth birthday. This week’s Assignment looks at the issue of child marriage, through the eyes of three children.” Go to link, locate “DocArchive: The Marriage Breakers of Bangladesh,” right click “docarchive_20120524-0100b.mp3” and select “Save File As” to download.

Education Challenges 52 mins – This is a digest of three items of which the first two concern education. “A teacher in the UK turns around a problem class, only to get fired. A teacher in Mexico sings songs to keep her class calm during a shooting. And a South African journalist believes that her ancestors may be calling her to become a sangoma, or traditional healer.” Go to the link, find the title, “The State We’re In – School’s Out,” right click “en_the_state_were_in_44_1kHz_20120620_113055.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to download.

Turing’s Many Contributions 36 mins – “Alan Turing has been described as a genius. He contributed to physics, mathematics, biology and philosophy. He was the first to develop the concept of computing. His master skills at code breaking are considered to have led to the allies’ victory in World War II. Being gay before its widespread acceptance, he was persecuted by authorities which led to his suicide at the age of 42. In today’s Science Show, Sharon Carleton reports on the life of a thinker whose concepts form the basis of our world today.” Go to the link, right click on “Download Audio” and select “Save Link As” to download.

H5N1 Ferret Flu Summary 8 mins – “H5N1 – could it cause a pandemic?
Research into how mutant forms of H5N1, or bird flu, could spread between humans has just been released. It was initially suppressed by US officials fearful that the information could be used by terrorists to create biological weapons. Although H5N1 mainly infects birds, it can spread from them to humans and when it does, about 60% of those people die. Scientists worry that a mutation in the virus could lead to human to human transmission. Research into how likely that is to happen was what was withheld. Now that it was been published we can assess those risks.” That discussion is the first eight minutes of an 18 minute digest of science news. Go to the link, locate “SciA: 21 June 12: H5N1 latest research,” right click on “scia_20120621-2032a.mp3” and select “Save File As”.

Immigration Debate 51 mins – “Immigration reform activists are applauding President Obama’s move to shield some younger immigrants from deportation. The decision allows immigrants younger than 30 who were brought to this country illegally by their parents to stay. GOP presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney criticized the decision. The Supreme Court is about to decide the constitutionality of an Arizona law tough on illegal immigrants, a decision that will likely have important implications for other states and and for national immigration policy…” You can listen online at the link, but have to download the zip file with podcasts for this session to listen offline.

Jeffries Wyman, Scientist 4 mins – From 1843 until to he died at sixty, Wyman played sedate counter-point to the furious scientific revolution surrounding Darwin’s Origin of Species. Go to the link, locate the title “Engines of Our Ingenuity 1945: Jeffries Wyman,” right click on “KUHF_155331131.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to download. A transcript is also found  here.

Fourier 4 mins – “Fourier showed how we can decompose any sound wave into a collection of sine waves of different pitch and loudness. We call this process a Fourier Transform.” It led to MP3 files. Go to the link, locate the title “Engines of Our Ingenuity 2803: Fourier Music,” right click on “KUHF_155474028.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to download. A transcript is also found here.

Ruth Elder, Activist 4 mins – “When Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris, she promptly vowed to be the first woman to fly the Atlantic, and signed up for flying lessons…” Go to the link, locate the title “Engines of Our Ingenuity 1944: Ruth Elder,” right click “KUHF_155254720.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to download. A transcript is also found  here.

Software Testing 46 mins – “One of the aspects of software development that has grown in importance is the need for quality testing of new products as part of the overall process. James Whittaker, co-author of How Google Tests Software, discusses how his former company built a successful model based on the vital testing of its new services. He reviews how testing has grown as part of development and the different testing roles that Google used. His points clearly show how developers need to consider the importance of testing as a role for the developer.” Go to the link, right click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to download.

India’s Foreign Policy 65 mins -“…Brookings hosted Yashwant Sinha, former minister of external affairs and finance of the Republic of India, for a discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing India’s foreign policy. Mr. Sinha reviewed the prospects for India’s relations with the U.S. and discuss the main international economic and trade issues affecting his country, with particular regard to Pakistan and other South Asian neighbors. He also shared his perspective on how he expects India’s policy will develop toward China.” Go to link, right click on “The Future of India’s Foreign Policy” and select “Save Link As” to download.

Knowledge and Policy 64 mins – “Jim Manzi, author of Uncontrolled, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the reliability of science and the ideas in his book. Manzi argues that unlike science, which can produce useful results using controlled experiments, social science typically involves complex systems where system-wide experiments are rare and statistical tools are limited in their ability to isolate causal relations. Because of the complexity of social environments, even narrow experiments are unlikely to have the wide application that can be found in the laws uncovered by experiments in the physical sciences. Manzi advocates a trial-and-error approach using randomized field trials to verify the usefulness of many policy proposals. And he argues for humility and lowered expectations when it comes to understanding causal effects in social settings related to public policy.” Go to the link, locate the title “Manzi on Knowledge, Policy, and Uncontrolled,” right click on “Manziknowledge.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to download.

Communications Spectrum Changes 86 mins – “Demand for mobile broadband will soon outpace the amount of available wireless spectrum. In its national broadband plan, the Federal Communication Commission called for 500 megahertz of new wireless spectrum, 300 megahertz of which, the FCC specified, should be freed up within the next five years. Despite government and industry recognition of the coming spectrum crisis, a number of the reforms needed to increase wireless broadband capacity remain unfinished and unaddressed. Reverse government auctions have been identified as the most expedient and cost-effective way to combat this imminent crisis, but what are the implementation and transactional challenges associated with this policy move? What are the merits of reverse auctions versus other spectrum policy ideas? …the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum on broadening spectrum access in the United States through reverse government auctions….” Go to link, right click on “Improving Spectrum Access Through Reverse Auctions” and select “Save Link As” to download.

Medicaid Is Useful 15 mins – For decades there was this debate about Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor. On one side were people making what seems like the straightforward argument: People who get Medicaid fare better than people who don’t. On the other side were those making the contrarian argument… The debate was perennial and unresolvable….To truly answer the question, you would need to take a big group of people, and randomly divide them into two groups… Then, a few years back, Oregon announced that it had 10,000 new slots in its Medicaid program…  Katherine Baicker, a health economist at Harvard, followed people who entered the Oregon Medicaid lottery — and she compared the outcomes between those who were given Medicaid, and those who were denied.” Go to the link, find “#379: Does Medicaid Actually Help People?” right click “npr_155148395.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to download.

Austerity Impacts 17 mins – “Say you’ve messed up so badly that the only people who will offer you help want your pain and suffering in exchange. They want to use a fashionable term, austerity. Do you have to accept it? What if that turns out that the pain and suffering is a 20-year detour detour into economic collapse?On today’s show we hear from a Greek economist about the options open to the country. And we talk to a Greek couple that’s getting married tomorrow. They’re not sure how they’ll pay for the wedding.” Go to the link, find “#380: An Austerity Wedding,” right click ” npr_155395213.mp3″ and select “Save Link As” to download.

The 95 feeds used to prepare this weekly blog are gathered using Feedreader3 and are available as an opm file at Google Docs. A PDF of feeds is also available there. Free Commander is used to compare old and new downloads to remove duplicates. MP3SpeedChanger is used to change playback speed of multiple files as a batch. A speed listening background article here. Sixty-five podcasts for 2010 and earlier at 1.5x are listed alphabetically in this PDF and can be downloaded in two sections as zip files: Part 1 and Part each holding about 350 MB.  For 2011 this alphabetical PDF list of 184 podcasts at 1.5x is available, and the actual files can be downloaded in five segments: Part 1 to 5  (Part  1 – 276 MB; P2 – 291 MB; P3 – 284; P4 – 153 MB, and P5 – 256 MB). Leave a comment about problems with the links and downloads. A similar list and downloads for Jan-Jun 2012 is coming.

Thanks for stopping by.


About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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