Media Mining Digest 114 – 17 Jan 2014: Air Pollution in Utah, Artificial Intelligence Future, Campaign Finance Reform, Cognitive Surplus, Czech and Slovak Ambassadors, Fasting Diets, Flattr, French Software School, Group Anonymous x 2, History Perspectives, Indonesia Rises, Jack Andraka, Japan Anthropology, Link Rot, MCAT Retakes, Medical Detectives, Mexico Rises, Middle East Innovation, Moral Mondays, New Zealand Advice, Nigeria Rises, Palm Oil Growth, Peer Pressure Value, Population Bomb, Russian Olympic Issues, Science Research Waste, State Policy Network, Sudan Weapons Tracking, Syrian Aid Issues, Teenage Brains, Turkey Rises, War on Poverty, Wheat Controversy, Wheat Hazards

The following audio files come from a larger group of 145 for this week. Double or ctrl-click individual highlighted links, below, to get single podcasts. A zip file of all 36 podcasts converted to 1.5x speed will download here for four months.  Older groups of podcasts are discussed at the end of this episode.

Air Pollution in Utah 52 mins – “Every winter when gunk gets trapped in Utah’s valleys, residents ask what we can do about our air. In a recent Salt Lake Tribune op-ed, activist Brian Moench pointed to the unlikely environmental example of Mexico City. Once known as “Mexsicko City,” radical measures like moving a refinery and imposing driving restrictions have cut the city’s pollution in half. Thursday, Doug is joined by Moench and by researchers Kerry Kelly and Randy Martin for a look at cities that could offer solutions for Utah’s bad air.” At the link right-click “Listen” and select “Save Link As”

Artificial Intelligence Future 41 mins – “James Barrat, author of Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era, discusses the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Barrat takes a look at how to create friendly AI with human characteristics, which other countries are developing AI, and what we could expect with the arrival of the Singularity. He also touches on the evolution of AI and how companies like Google and IBM and government entities like DARPA and the NSA are developing artificial general intelligence devices right now.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Campaign Finance Reform 51 mins – “In January 2010, the Supreme Court handed down their landmark Citizens United ruling, dramatically altering campaign finance in America. The decision allowed corporations and labor unions to spend unlimited money directly on politics and it created an explosion in so-called 501(c)(4)s, nonprofits named for where they fall in the tax code. As these organizations have become some of the biggest spenders in politics today, new questions are arising in D.C. and around the country about how — and whether — money in politics should be reined in. Four years after Citizens United: how we pay for politics and the state of campaign finance reform.” You can listen at the link, but not download; however, the file is included in the zip collection noted in the introduction to this episode.

Cognitive Surplus 48 mins  – “Clay Shirky, adjunct professor at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, discusses his new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. Shirky talks about social and economic effects of Internet technologies and interrelated effects of social and technological networks. In this podcast he discusses social production, open source software, Wikipedia, defaults, Facebook, and more.” At the link find the title, “Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus,” right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Czech and Slovak Ambassadors 52 mins – ” This week we have a panel discussion presented by the Boston University Center for the Study of Europe; in association with the Center for Finance, Law, and Policy at Boston University; and the Czech and Slovak Association of Boston.  Our speakers are: Petr Gandalovič, Czech ambassador to the US; and Peter Kmec, Slovak ambassador to the US.  Our moderator is Alan Berger, retired editorial writer for international affairs at the Boston Globe.” At the link right-click “Download this story” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Fasting Diets 51 mins – “It happens every year: over the holidays we put on a few extra pounds. Come January we vow to drop the weight. This year, many are turning to intermittent fasting. Fueled by the bestselling book “The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting,” intermittent fasting is the weight loss trend of the moment. The idea is simple. On some days you eat as you normally would. On other days you cut your calories to a quarter of your normal intake. Advocates say this feast and famine approach mimics how humans ate for thousands of years. They argue that the benefits may extend beyond weight loss to staving off Alzheimer’s disease and even preventing some types of cancer.” You can listen at the link, but not download; however, the file is included in the zip collection noted in the
introduction to this episode.

Flattr 22 mins – “Peter Sunde, co-founder of BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay and creator of Flattr, a new online social micropayments system, discusses Flattr. Sunde explains the Flattr concept, how it differs from previous micropayment platforms, and why it’s more meaningful than the Facebook “like” button. He also briefly discusses progress of the Pirate Bay case.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

French Software School 4 mins – “42” is the strange name of a new school for code writers in Paris…. About 1,000 brand-new Macintosh computer screens stand on rows of desks in 42’s enormous, open workspaces… French education authorities are not very happy about 42… Judging by 42’s first round of applicants, the establishment’s angst is understandable. This summer, 70,000 candidates applied. Then 4,000 finalists were invited to the school… Just 800 people made the cut… 42 is hands-on and project oriented. Like the real world. Which is the school’s main draw, said co-founder Nicols Sadirac. At the moment, France needs tens of thousands of IT specialists, he said, but graduates from traditional schools increasingly lack the experience modern companies expect.” At the link find the title, “France’s new school for coders, there’s hot tech, little teaching, no grades or tuition — and loud critics,” right-click  “Media files 010720144.mp3” and select “Save Link/Target As” from the pop-up menu.

Group Anonymous  38 mins – “Gabriella Coleman, anthropologist and the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy in the Department of Art History & Communication Studies at McGill University, discusses hacktivist group Anonymous. Coleman begins with an overview of Anonymous originating with online pranks that eventually evolved into political activism. The group, according to Coleman, began seeking “lulz” on the message board 4chan. The pranks consisted of Internet memes and practical Internet jokes called trolling. She then discusses how the group moved into activism using denial of services attacks to shut down websites and how it issued a series of videos against the Church of Scientology. The discussion then turns to the recent arrest of several LulzSec members, including Sabu, the hacker turned FBI informant.” At the link find the title, “Gabriella Coleman on Anonymous and LulzSec,” right-click

Group Anonymous   33 mins – “Parmy Olson, London Bureau chief for Forbes, discusses her new book We are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of Lulzsec, Anonymous and the Global Cyber Insurgency. The book is an inside look at the people behind Anonymous, explaining the movement’s origins as a group of online pranksters, and how they developed into the best known hacktivist organization in the world. Olson discusses the tension that has existed between those that would rather just engage in pranks and those that want to use Annoymous to protest different groups they see as trying to clamp down on internet freedom, as well as some of the group’s most famous campaigns like the attacks against the Church of Scientology and the campaign against Paypal and Mastercard. Olson also describes the development of LulzSec which became famous for a series of attacks in 2011 on high profile websites including Fox, PBS, Sony, and the CIA.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

History Perspectives 64 mins – “The way we think about and understand the past shapes the way we view both the present and the future – Orwell’s famous slogan from 1984 captures this. Most of us without realising it have a unique vision of the past, a way of thinking about it that predisposes us to look at current events in a particular way. In general, we focus on power and its workings while overlooking other aspects of human existence such as voluntary exchange, cooperative interaction, innovation, and discovery. When these are brought to the foreground, a different kind of historical narrative emerges and transforms our ideas of important dates and significant figures in history.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Indonesia Rises 23 mins – “Indonesia has enjoyed a boom created by its exports of raw materials to China, India and other growing economies. But commodity prices are notoriously volatile and the world’s fourth largest nation needs to create a more stable economy as it expands even further and urbanises rapidly. International investors are queuing up to exploit this major market, but as Jim O’Neill discovers the Indonesian story is complex: poverty, poor infrastructure and an historical aversion to foreign interference could all threaten the dream of joining the world’s economic A list.” At the link find the title, “Docs: MINT – Indonesia,” right-click “Media files docarchive 20140108-1000a.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Jack Andraka 13 mins – “Is Jack Andraka the country’s most famous high school student? We talk with the 15-year old winner of the Intel Science Talent Search, who developed an early means of detecting one of the world’s deadliest cancers.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Japan Anthropology 22 mins – “Are current trends in food production and consumption sustainable? To understand the challenges that humanity faces, we look back at how past societies adapted to food shortages. On this program, Prof Junko Habu discusses findings from the Jomon civilization from the perspective of cultural anthropology and its implications for global climate change.” At the link find the title, “10,000 Year Feast,” right-click “Listen to Episode” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.

Link Rot 11 mins – “There’s something rotten at the U.S. Supreme Court. Specifically, it’s the hyperlinks. Nora Young interviews Kendra Alberta about her research into linkrot. They also discuss a possible solution:” At the link find the title, “Link Rot at the U.S. Supreme Court,” right-click “Media files spark_20131016_47667.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

MCAT Retakes 48 mins – “In this episode, Ryan talks with Bryan from Next Step Test Prep about retaking the MCAT [Medical College Admission Test]. Bryan is the Academic director of Next Step Test Prep, and the National Director for their MCAT programs. He has been tutoring and teaching for the MCAT for over 12 years, since 2001. He has personally taken the MCAT multiple times and scored over 40 multiple times.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link/Target As” from the pop-up menu.

Medical Detectives  20 mins – “When searching for clues to reach a diagnosis, neurologists often empathise with the detective who is trying to solve a case, write Peter Kempster and Andrew Lees in BMJ sister journal Practical Neurology [paywall]. In this podcast, journal editor Phil Smith and Andrew Lees, director of the Queen Square Brain Bank in London, discuss how…” At the link right-click “Solving the case, making the diagnosis: Neurology and detective writing,” right-click “Media files 127704337 bmjgroup solving the case making the-1.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu to download the podcast.

Mexico Rises  41 mins – “Mexico’s hope of becoming the workshop of North America was shattered by China’s domination of cheap exports, but recently, the Mexican dream is in sight again. As Beijing opts for “quality not quantity” of growth, companies are returning, drawn by competitive labour and proximity to the US market. Jim O’Neill travels across Mexico to investigate. He discovers that its ambitions now go far beyond cheap manufacturing. But can Mexico’s youthful, reforming government overcome the challenges of widespread poverty, crime and a huge number of people living outside the formal economy?” At the link find the title, “Docs: MINT – Mexico 07 Jan 2014,” right-click “Media files docarchive 20140107-1000b.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Middle East Innovation 16 mins – “Venture investor Christopher Schroeder spends a lot of time figuring out where to put his money. His pick for next creative startup powerhouse? The Middle East.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Moral Mondays 52 mins – “This week on Moyers & Company, “State of Conflict: North Carolina” offers a documentary report from a state that votes both blue and red and sometimes purple (Romney carried it by a whisker in 2012, Obama by an eyelash in 2008).  Now, however, Republicans hold the governor’s mansion and both houses of the legislature and they are steering North Carolina far to the right: slashing taxes on corporations and the wealthy, providing vouchers to private schools, cutting unemployment benefits, refusing to expand Medicaid and rolling back electoral reforms, including voting rights… At the heart of this conservative onslaught sits a businessman who is so wealthy and powerful that he is frequently described as the state’s own “Koch brother.” Art Pope, whose family fortune was made via a chain of discount stores, has poured tens of millions of dollars into a network of foundations and think tanks that advocate a wide range of conservative causes.  Pope is also a major funder of conservative political candidates in the state.” At the link find the title, “Full Show: State of Conflict: North Carolina,” right-click “Media files Moyers and Company 252_Podcast1.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

New Zealand Advice  20 mins – “As states face budget crises and deficits, many state policy makers are looking at what reforms can be put into place to boost a stagnant economy. In this episode we discuss the process and steps New Zealand and other governments took to boost their economy, create effective reforms in balancing the budget and general best practices for good governance. This week we have The Honorable Maurice McTigue with us. McTigue is the Director of the Mercatus Center’s Government Accountability Project and served New Zealand as a Cabinet Minister, Ambassador, and member of Parliament. Prior to his arrival in the United States in 1997, McTigue led an ambitious and extremely successful effort to restructure New Zealand’s public sector and to revitalize its stagnant economy in the 1984-94 period and reform the education system.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Nigeria Rises 26 mins – “Jim O’Neill investigates Nigeria; can a nation of young, vibrant, natural entrepreneurs overcome decades of corruption, crime and mismanagement?” At the link find the title, “Docs: MINT – Nigeria 06 Jan 14,” right-click “Media files docarchive 20140106-1000a.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Palm Oil Growth 30 mins – “The global expansion of the palm oil industry is one of the largest upheavals in modern agricultural history – and one that many Americans know nothing about. And yet palm oil is now everywhere in this country – in our food, our cosmetics and someday soon maybe even in our gas tanks.” At the link find the title, “Rhett Butler on the Palm Oil Industry (re-broadcast),” right-click “Media files SC-2013-12-31.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Peer Pressure Value 21 mins – “What if peer pressure could fix everything from health to education? MacArthur genius grant winner Tina Rosenberg says peer pressure can have some unlikely upsides.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Population Bomb 19 mins – “A famous biologist predicts overpopulation will lead to global catastrophe. He writes a bestselling book and goes on the Tonight Show to make his case.  An economist disagrees. He thinks the biologist isn’t accounting for how clever people can be, and how shortages can lead to new, more efficient ways of doing things.  So the economist, Julian Simon, challenges the biologist, Paul Ehrlich, to a very public, decade-long bet. On today’s show: The story of that bet, and the ugly precedent it set. For more, see The Bet, by Yale historian Paul Sabin. We talk to Sabin on today’s show.” At the link find the title, “#508: A Bet On The Future Of Humanity,” right-click “Media files npr 260795853.mp3” and select “Save Link/Target As” from the pop-up menu.

Russian Olympic Issues 50 mins  – “Will the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi showcase a resurgent Russia or hide real problems within? Lucy Ash investigates.” At the link find the title “Docs: The Putin Project 21 Dec 2013,” right-click “Media files docarchive 20140106-1621a.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Science Research Waste 14 mins – “Paul Glasziou discusses a new Lancet Series ‘Research: increasing value, reducing waste’.” At the link find the title, “Listen to The Lancet: 08 January,” right-click “Media files 08january.mp3” and select “Save Link/Target As” from the pop-up menu.

State Policies 12 mins – “As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. States are often the breeding ground for innovation when it comes to developing new ideas for public policy. Local think-tanks are an important piece of the puzzle. Established in 1992, the State Policy Network is a network of state-based public policy think tanks throughout the country that now has an established member in every state of the union. Their membership works daily to develop on developing research and insight into the issues facing their respective states. This week we welcome, Jennifer Butler, the Executive Vice President of the State Policy Network. During this episode Jennifer tell us more about the resources policy makers have through economic think tanks in their state and how those resources can be tapped into by state policy makers. To find the local policy think tank in your state, please visit” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Sudan Weapons Tracking 4 mins – ” The Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan (HSBA) is a multi-year project of the Small Arms Survey. The HSBA project was established in 2005 in the wake of the comprehensive peace agreement between the government of Sudan and the Sudan’s People Liberation Movement, which put an end to 20 years of civil strife, in order to gauge the security situation and provide information on small arms and security issues. The project serves to support violence reduction initiatives through its research and dissemination of salient information. Findings are regularly released as Issue Briefs, Working Papers, and online Facts & Figures reports. In this podcast HSBA series editor Emile Lebrun and HSBA project coordinator Jonah Leff discuss the project and some of its findings.” At the link find the title, “In Search of Security in Sudan and South Sudan: the HSBA project Wednesday, January 08, 2014,” right-click “Media files SAS-Podcast-16-In-Search-of-Security-in-Sudan-and-South-Sudan-the-HSBA-project.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Syrian Aid Issues 27 mins – “Tim Whewell investigates claims that millions of dollars of aid meant for Syria has been wasted due to mismanagement at the Syrian opposition’s aid coordination unit.” At the link find the title, “Docs: Aid and politics on Syria’s border 9 Jan 2014,” right-click “Media files docarchive 20140109-0030a.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Teenage Brains 51 mins – “Adolescence is universally recognized as a trying time for parents and children. But new brain research suggests this period of immature and often reckless behavior is more than just a stage for parents and teens to endure. It is a vital time for adolescents to chart the course for the adults they will ultimately become. One brain researcher points out that it is during our teen years that we learn how to navigate the world outside the safety of home, how to connect deeply with others and how to safely take risks. He says that by understanding how the brain functions, teens can improve their own lives and those of their parents. Diane and her guest discuss the power and purpose of the teenage brain.” You can listen at the link, but not download; however, the file is included in the zip collection noted in the introduction to this episode.

Trade Fundamentals 62 mins – “For years, Russ Roberts has led a seminar on the fundamentals of trade, taking the lessons from basic economics and applying them to our economic situation. In this revised seminar, Roberts adds new insights that will help participants understand just what’s at stake with trade policy and how traditional models of trade can mislead.Join us we address such questions as:
How does trade create prosperity? What is at stake when we alter our trade policy? Why is trade policy more volatile during a recession?  What’s wrong with Buy American or Buy Local? Who wins and loses when trade is restricted?” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Turkey Rises 40 mins – “For centuries, Turkish traders have exploited their location on the historic Silk Road between east and west, selling to merchants traveling in both directions. As Jim O’Neill reports, Turkey’s geography remains important to this day as the country becomes an aviation hub, a conduit for gas and oil, and a unique visitor destination. Yet Turkish plans go much further too. So can this ambitious country combine its deep-rooted trading skills with ultra modern technology to develop world-beating manufacturers? Or will its much lauded potential remain just that?” At the link find the title, “Docs: MINT – Turkey 09 Dec 2014,” right-click “Media files docarchive 20140109-1000a.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

War on Poverty 45 mins – ” Fifty years after America’s declaration of war on poverty, we’ll look at what’s been won, and what lost. Look for new thinking.” At the link right-click “Download this story.” and select “Save Link/Target As” from the pop-up menu.

Wheat Controversy 11 mins – “Books like Grain and Wheat Belly have helped turn the gluten-free food market into a multi-billion-dollar industry. What do dietitians think of the claims? Find out as Brian interviews Kate Comeau with Dietitians of Canada.” At the link find the title, “WCBA Podcast Bonus – Gluten-Free: All It’s Cracked Up To Be?” right-click “Media files whitecoat_20140109_65942.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Wheat Hazards 52 mins – “…we’re jumping back into our fitness and health series, and this time we’re tackling another purported culprit of Americans’ poor health: wheat. Dr. William Davis, author the hugely popular book Wheat Belly, says the proliferation of wheat in our diet parallels our growing waistlines. And the cure for our flabby bellies, he says, isn’t cutting calories, or eating less fat or even exercising more. Dr. Davis joins us Wednesday to explain how people can cure themselves of myriad health problems and lose weight by simply cutting wheat from their diets.” right-click “Listen” and select “Save Link Target As” from the pop-up menu.

===============================================================                                                               ARCHIVE

Jan-Jun 2013 files in 18 zip segments (832 podcasts) hereand a pdf list here; Jul-Jul Dec 2013 files in 13 zip segments (720 podcasts) here, and a list here;  Jan-Jun 2012 files in 8 segments (360 podcasts) and a pdf list are here, and 593 in 13 parts for Jul-Dec here.  For 2011 a list and 5 segments 184 podcasts. For 2010 and earlier 64 podcasts are listed  in this PDF and are zipped here as Part 1 and Part 2. (Dead links in old episodes are due to updating; try a current episode.) Over 180 feeds used to prepare this weekly blog are harvested with Feedreader3. The feeds are available in this opml file which Feedreader can import. A PDF list of feeds is hereFree Commander is used to compare old with new downloads to remove  duplicates. MP3 Speed Changer is used to boost playback speed to 1.5x. A speed listening background article is here.  Please comment on any problems with the links and downloads.

Thank you for visiting.


About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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