Media Mining Digest 62 – Jan 18, 2013: Africa’s Priorities, African Poverty, Bank Corruption, Blind Success, BMI, Carbon Caps, Climate Change Silence, Defense Spending, Diabetes Drug, Defense Spending, Disabled Kids, Domestic Violence, EU Power Shifts, Gun Legislation, Hacktivists, High School Athletics, Human Trafficking, Influenza, Libor Scandal, Marijuana Legalization, Marijuana Usage, Political Corruption, Quasicrystals, Risk Management, Sardinia Elders, Selected Shorts, Sugar Matters, Super Pacs, Super Pacs 2, Tappen Ze Bridge, Telco Ripoff

The following audio files were selected from a larger group of 167 for the last week. The link to each podcast is at the highlighted topic and reached by double-clicking or ctrl-clicking the topic. All 31 podcasts converted to 1.5x speed can also be downloaded as a single 234 MB zip file here for four months (vs 980 MB normal speed).  Accumulations of these are discussed at the end of this episode. (Some links in old episodes may be dead due to updating; try a current episode.)

Africa’s Priorities 55 mins – “In 2012, Africa will continue to encounter both challenges and opportunities to achieving sustainable growth and improving the livelihoods of its citizens. In order to benefit from development opportunities, the continent must prioritize regional integration efforts, manage a growing youth population, increase the profile of organizations such as the African Union, and sustain advancements in public health. Other critical priorities include engagement with China and other emerging economies, increasing the African voice in global governance, and improvements in natural resource management as well as security issues and aid effectiveness.” At the link click the audio tab, right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the file.

African Poverty 69 mins – “Morten Jerven of Simon Fraser University, author of Poor Numbers, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the quality of data coming out of Africa on income, growth, and population. Jerven argues that the inconsistency of the numbers and methodology both across countries and within a country across time, makes many empirical studies of African progress meaningless. The conversation closes with a discussion of what might be done to improve data collection in poor countries.” At the link find the title, “Jerven on Measuring African Poverty and Progress,” right-click “Media files JervenAfrica.mp3″ and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Bank Corruption  52 mins – “Big banks are rewriting the rules of our economy to the exclusive benefit of their own bottom line. But how did our political and financial class shift the benefits of the economy to the very top, while saddling us with greater debt and tearing new holes in the safety net? …Bill Moyers talks with former Citigroup Chairman John Reed and former Senator Byron Dorgan to explore a momentous instance: how the mid-90’s merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group — and a friendly Presidential pen — brought down the Glass-Steagall Act, a crucial firewall between banks and investment firms which had protected consumers from financial calamity since the aftermath of the Great Depression. In effect, says Moyers, they put the watchdog to sleep.”  At the link find the title, “Encore: How Big Banks Are Rewriting the Rules of Our Economy,”right-click “Media files 110-Podcast.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Blind Success 51mins – “Laurie Rubin was born blind, unable to see anything except white light. But that did not stop her from learning to ski, studying at Yale University, handcrafting jewelry and enjoying a successful career in opera. She is also the author of a new memoir and CD, both titled “Do You Dream In Color?” She answers that question when she joins Diane in studio to discuss how she and her family refused to let her disability define her.” You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.

BMI 34 mins – “…new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that analyzed the link between Body Mass Index (BMI) and death. is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared study.  The study concluded that while very obese people were likely to die sooner than others, people who were moderately overweight, or even slightly obese, were less likely to die than were people of normal weight, or people who are thin.  Medical doctor and researcher on aging, Ron Rosedale, puts this study in historical perspective, pointing out that the British Medical Journal the Lancet published a similar study in 2006 that concluded that BMI is not a very useful measure of health, and other measures, such as waist to hip ratio and certain hormone levels, might be better at predicting health and longevity….” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the interview.

Carbon Caps  51 mins – “Over the past century, average global temperatures have increased by 1.3 degrees. Higher temperatures have been linked to rising carbon emissions. Scientists warn of devastating effects if the earth warms by another two degrees. As Washington faces another debt showdown, support is rising for a carbon tax as a free-market solution to climate change. And California’s new law puts a cap on carbon emissions. But opponents argue these policies kill jobs and burden low-income consumers. For this month’s Environmental Outlook: the economics and politics of reducing carbon emissions.” Three guests discuss the issue. You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.

Climate Change Silence 59 mins – “Remember climate change? The issue barely came up during the presidential campaigns, and little has been said since. But bringing climate change back into our national conversation is as much a communications challenge as it is a scientific one. Scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, joins Bill to describe his efforts to do what even Hurricane Sandy couldn’t – galvanize communities over what’s arguably the greatest single threat facing humanity. Leiserowitz, who specializes in the psychology of risk perception, knows better than anyone if people are willing to change their behavior to make a difference.” At the link find the title, “Full Show: Ending the Silence on Climate Change,” right-click “Media files Moyers and Company_152 Podcast.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Defense Spending 117 mins – “While the so-called fiscal cliff has been averted, questions about needed defense spending cuts still remain and additional defense budget cuts are still possible. Pentagon officials as well as other agencies, organizations and individuals have repeatedly questioned whether major cuts in defense spending would be extremely damaging, resulting in lost jobs, decreased readiness, and more. All of this takes place as the international environment remains in turmoil. Yet at the same time, the nation’s military budget stands near a historical high while the deficit and debt have themselves become major national security issues.”  At the link click the audio tab, right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the file.

Diabetes Drug   54 mins – “ University of Pennsylvania Researcher Morris Birnbaum reports in Nature that Metformin blocks a hormone that tells the liver to melt muscle to make more blood sugar.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the interview. 

Disabled Kids 52 mins – “In his new book Far From the Tree, the writer Andrew Solomon tells the stories of children whose profound differences — dwarfism, schizophrenia, Down syndrome, genius, and others — have made them the subjects of intense prejudice. He also writes about the families who often have to profoundly rearrange their lives around the life of a child who alter their view of the world. At its heart, Solomon’s book contends with the readiness to conflate “illness” with “identity.” ” At the link right-click “Listen” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Domestic Violence 51 mins – “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act is one of her top priorities for the new year. The law provides police and other groups with money to help fight domestic violence and sexual assault. It’s been reauthorized every five years since it was first passed in 1994, but not last year. House Republicans objected to modifications which allowed for protections for gays and lesbians, Native Americans and immigrants. Please join us to discuss domestic violence, sexual assault and prospects for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.” You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.

EU Power Shifts 24 mins – ” Since 1989, the EU’s centre of gravity has shifted from Western Europe – in particular France and Germany – eastwards to former Eastern bloc countries such as Poland. Why?” At the link find the title, “Europe Moves East 08 Jan 13,” right-click “Download 11MB” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Gun Legislation 51 mins – “The White House and Democratic lawmakers have vowed to introduce gun control legislation. A month after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a panel [5 guests] joins Diane to discuss prospective new actions and whether the momentum for change is slipping.” You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.

Hacktivists 24 mins – ” Governments, companies and criminals do it. But in recent years some of the highest profile computer hacks have come from hacktivist groups. Who are they and what motivates them?” At the link find the title, “The Hackers 01 Jan 13,” right-click “Download 11MB” and select “Save Link As: to get the file.

High School Athletics 52 mins – “Last year, Granite School District put an end to a wealthy benefactor’s significant financial support of and involvement with Cottonwood High School’s football program. A state audit later found widespread problems with how Utah’s high schools managed booster funds for their athletic programs. These and other revelations have shed some light on what surprisingly big business high school sports can be.” At the link right-click “Listen” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Human Trafficking 23 mins – “Natalia Antelava investigates the trafficking of girls within India for sale into marriage or prostitution. Listeners may find some parts of this programme disturbing.” At the link find the title, “Docs: India’s Lost Girls,” right-click “Download 11MB” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Influenza 51 mins – “The influenza virus is spreading quickly across the U.S. More than half the states are reporting widespread outbreak of the disease…. The main flu strain being reported appears to be a good match to flu strains in this year’s vaccine. But many who got vaccinated are still coming down with the flu. And many more weren’t vaccinated at all. Diane and her [5] guests discuss this year’s battle against the flu.” You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.

Libor Scandal  52 mins – “Just when you think the reputation of banks couldn’t get any worse, comes word that we’ve seen nothing yet. As many as 20 banking institutions, including Barclays Bank, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, UBS and HSBC, are reportedly under investigation for illegal and unethical practices toward protecting their profits at all costs and letting others pay for their mistakes. In this episode, financial expert Sheila Bair talks with Bill about the lawlessness of our banking system and the prognosis for meaningful reform. …Also on the show, Bill talks to scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva,  … who founded a movement in India to promote native seeds, links genetic tinkering to problems in our ecology, economy, and humanity, and sees this as the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.” At the link find the title, “Full Show: Banking on GreedFriday, July 13, 2012, right-click “Media files 127-Podcast.mp3″and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Marijuana Legalization  94 mins – “Two states’ recent legalization of marijuana, in defiance of federal drug laws, is creating a new flashpoint in federal-state relations. When the will of a state’s voters comes into direct conflict with the will of Congress, is it wiser for the federal government to seek accommodation or to come down hard in defense of its prerogatives? Who gets to decide, and why? On January 8, Governance Studies at Brookings and the Washington Office on Latin America hosted a forum on what is at stake in this potential confrontation over legalized marijuana and how best to resolve it. A panel of experts discussed the importance of how the marijuana dispute is handled and how this may influence the federal-state balance on a host of other issues.’ At the link click the audio tab, right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the file.

Marijuana Usage  12 and 15 mins – “We talk with scientists who are part of two new University of Colorado – Denver studies about alcohol and marijuana – 1) Ben Crost [click for 12 min interview] presents a study of marijuana use versus alcohol use which concludes that the minimum drinking age of 21 increases marijuana use among teens (until age 21, alcohol use is lower and marijuana use is higher.  After age 21, alcohol use goes up and marijuana use goes down).  Daniel Rees and Mark Anderson are among the authors on a study of Medical Marijuana and Traffic Fatalities [click for 15 min interview] that view the question of who uses what from the other side.  Their study looks at an exception to the rule – the 16 states and District of Columbia with some years now, have had medical marijuana laws.  In these Medical Marijuana states, teen use of marijuana appears to rise at age 18 (that’s the age at which teens no longer need to have their parent’s permission to get a Medical Marijuana card. )  But even more interestingly, in these Medical Marijuana states, traffic fatalities go down.  These authors look at why.” At the two links, above, right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to download the interviews.  

Political Corruption  53 mins – “…For how long and how many ways are average Americans going to pay the price for big bank hubris, with our own government acting as accomplice? On this week’s Moyers & Company, Rolling Stone editor Matt Taibbi and Yves Smith, creator of the finance and economics blog Naked Capitalism, join Bill to discuss the folly and corruption of both banks and government, and how that tag-team leaves deep wounds in our democracy.  Taibbi’s latest piece is “The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia.” Smith is the author of ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism. Meanwhile, for anyone who wants to understand why, in one of the richest nations in the world, so many poor people are teetering on the edge, author and advocate Peter Edelman talks about continuing efforts to fight poverty… Edelman’s new book is So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America.” At the link get the title, “Full Show: How Big Banks Victimize Our Democracy,”right-click “Media files 124-Podcast.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Quasicrystals 42 mins – “The winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry reveals how the award changed his life in an instant and ponders why his discovery of quasicrystals took so long to be accepted. At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” to get the  audio file.

Risk Management  53 mins – “On the simplest level, we take risks to derive benefits. If the benefit outweighs the risk, we’ve made a good decision. But decisions are subject to bias, even those of experts. How do we live with uncertainty and make good decisions? Vancouver broadcaster Kathleen Flaherty talks with risk takers, risk managers and risk assessors to find out.” At the link find the title, “Risk, Part 1 and 2 (Encore September 11, 2012),” right-click “Download Risk, Part 1 and 2 (Encore September 11, 2012)” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Sardinia Elders 43 mins – “In a cluster of quiet mountain villages in Sardinia, Italy, something unusual is happening. A remarkable number of people are living into their hundreds. And in this global hotspot for longevity, there are nearly as many male as female centenarians. Susan Pinker takes us to the Blue Zone of Sardinia as she searches for the answers to – Why?” At the link find the title,”The Longevity Puzzle ,” right-click “Download The Longevity Puzzle” andselect “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Selected Shorts 59 mins – “Guest host John Lithgow introduces three stories about reading and writing. First, Walter R. Brooks’ talking horse Mr. Ed learns to read, with hilarious consequences, in “Ed Has His Mind Improved,” performed by Tony Roberts. In Ray Bradbury’s “Exchange,” read by Rochelle Oliver, an overworked librarian has her spirits lifted by a lonely soldier. Finally, late SHORTS host Isaiah Sheffer dreams of tigers in a Jorge Luis Borges short.” At the link find the title, “Readers and Writers Sunday, January 06, 2013,” right-click “Media files Pcast_SS201215.mp3″ and select “Save File As” to get the audio file.

Sugar Matters 51 mins – “Recently published research suggests that obese people have a lower risk of death compared to people with normal weight. But this is not news to pediatric endocrinologist, Robert Lustig. He says fat doesn’t matter. What does matter, he argues, is metabolic function. For the past 16 years, he’s been treating childhood obesity and studying the effects of sugar on the central nervous system. In a new book he details the science and politics behind the dramatic increase in our consumption of sugar and explains why this shift is so detrimental to our health. Please join us to talk with Dr. Robert Lustig about obesity and disease.” You can listen online and view a transcript, but not download the program; however, it’s included with the zipped collection at the top of this edition.

Super Pacs  52 mins – ““Let’s face it,” the founder of a super PAC recently told Mother Jones magazine. “Politics in this country is coin-operated.” True enough, as evidenced by the billions projected to be spent in this year’s elections — untold amounts of it unleashed by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. …While much of the mainstream media looks the other way, some are working hard to identify the fingerprints super PACs and their benefactors leave on our victimized democracy. …Bill [Moyers] talks with historian Thomas Frank, author of the bestseller What’s the Matter With Kansas?, about the power of concentrated money to subvert democracy. …Bill also talks to Mother Jones editors Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein, who continue to throw light on what they call “dark money” — the conspiracy of cash that allows the rich to influence our most fundamental political freedoms….”  At the link find the title, “Full Show: Dark Money in PoliticsFriday, June 15, 2012,” right-click “Media files 123-Podcast.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Super Pacs 2  52 mins  – “Few understand how money moves in and out of our political system better than campaign finance reform advocate Trevor Potter. A former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and founding president of the Campaign Legal Center, Potter was Stephen Colbert’s chief advisor when Colbert formed his own super PAC and 501 (c)(4) in a clever effort to expose the potential for chicanery behind each. Bill [Moyers] and Potter discuss how American elections are bought and sold, who covers the cost, and how the rest of us pay the price. …Also on the show, a Bill Moyers essay on how the Citizens United decision has candidates campaigning for cash more than votes, and how that money is pouring into TV ads and high paid political consultants.”At the link find the title, “Full Show: Elections for Sale,” right-click “Media files 137-Podcast.mp3” and select “Save Link As” to get the file.

Tappen Ze Bridge 16 mins – “You would never look at a map of the Hudson River, point to the spot where the Tappan Zee Bridge is, and say, “Put the bridge here!”The Tappan Zee crosses one of the widest points on the Hudson — the bridge is more than three miles long. And if you go just a few miles south, the river gets much narrower.Our question for today’s show: Why did they build a three-mile-long bridge when they could have built a much shorter, cheaper bridge nearby? Our search for an answer leads us to a forensic engineer, the Statue of Liberty, and a governor who wanted to be an opera singer.” At the link find the title, “#297: A Big Bridge In The Wrong Place,” right-click “Media files npr_168404932.mp3″ and select “Save Link As” to get the audio file.

Telco Ripoff 27 mins – “If you think the United States cannot afford to take a fiber optic cable to just about every home in the country, you might be surprised to find out that we have already paid for it. We just haven’t received it. Our first podcast guest in 2013, Bruce Kushnick of the New Networks Institute, explains the $300 billion ripoff… The telephone companies raised their prices, but decided to give the proceeds out to shareholders rather than invest in the promised networks. We got higher prices and DSL rather than the fiber optic networks we were promised. Our regulators largely failed us, in part because the only people who pay attention to Public Utility Commissions are the industries regulated by them and the occasional underfunded consumer advocate. This is a very good introduction to why we all pay far too much for services that are too slow and insufficiently reliable.” At the link find the title, “Community Broadband Bits 28 – Bruce KushnickTuesday,” right-click “Media files comm-bb-bits-podcast28 bruce-kushnick.mp3” and select “SaveLink As” to get the audio file.

Over 130 feeds used to prepare this weekly blog are harvested with Feedreader3. The feeds are available in this opm file. A PDF of feeds is also available.  Free Commander is used each week to compare old with new downloads and remove any duplicates. MP3SpeedChanger is applied to podcast batches to change playback speed to 1.5x. A speed listening background article is here. Sixty-four 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 2, each holding about 350 MB. For 2011 an alphabetical PDF list of 184 podcasts at 1.5x is available, and can be downloaded in five segments. A similar list and downloads for 362 podcasts for Jan-Jun 2012 is here, and 591 for Jul-Dec here. Podcasts are grouped into zipped files for easier downloading and segmented due to a 300MB limit on file uploads.  A commenter recommended this $1.99 iPhone/iPad app for mobile devices; leave a comment if you try it. Please comment on any problems with the links and downloads.

Thanks for visiting.

About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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