MMD448 Media Mining Digest: Abortion Activist, AI Book, AI Concerns, Anti-Semitic Violence, Bactria Domestication, Carl Sagan, Chernobyl Aftermath, Chinese Surveillance App, CIA Interrogations, Citrus Greening Update, Climate Science, Disability Technology, Disinformation, Emergency Medicine Doctor, Free Trade, Google Bug Hunters, Harry Houdini, Hate Speech Online, Homestead Prepping, Impeachment History, Internet Health Report, Iran Internet Shutdown, Iran Turmoil, Jane Hodgson, Marine Accident Investigation, Mosul Battle, Nazism in Germany, Plant Genetic Engineering, Presidential Special Counsel, PTSI(Injury), Rare Earth Elements, Regenerative Agriculture, Russian Skulduggery, Secondhand, Sewage History, South Africa Power Cuts, Syria Activities, Trump Presidency Impact

Exercise your ears: the 52 podcasts shown below present the best ideas, information and stories from a larger group of 711 for the week, to hear while your hands and eyes are busy. Get all the files as a group here, or double (ctrl-click) individual  titles to get single podcasts and explore the source. A collection of 29,000 podcasts, listed alphabetically and grouped by topic, can be downloaded piecemeal, with files A-E at this link, and the remainder here. You’ll be limited to a 4GB maximum per download at the last place, so multiple group downloads will be needed to get all files, totaling over 170GB and may take a few hours. The first entry in the collection is a text file with just titles for quicker reference. A collection of abstracts for all the podcasts is available at this link and updated quarterly. Get the discarded material, too, using a podcast aggregator loaded with this opml file of the 503 sources. And try PodcastRE from the University of Wisconsin with over 150,000 titles. Exercise your ears and relax the rest.

Abortion Activist 34 mins – “The story of how abortion became legal in the United States isn’t as straightforward as many of us think. The common narrative is that feminist activism and the sexual liberation movement in the 1960s led to Roe v. Wade in 1973. But it turns out the path to Roe led over some unexpected and unsettling terrain, and involves a complicated story winding through culture, society, disease, and our prejudices and fears about disability. In the 1960s a rubella epidemic swept the United States and panicked every pregnant woman in the country. Rubella, also called German measles, is a disease we hardly remember anymore, but it’s the “R” in the MMR vaccine. Though the virus is relatively harmless for most people, when contracted during pregnancy, it can severely harm the developing fetus. During the epidemic many pregnant women who may have never identified as abortion-rights advocates suddenly found themselves seeking abortions and dismantling barriers to access. Though not everyone agreed with these women, people listened. And this historical moment, sparked by a virus, helped pave the way for the legalization of abortion.” Two podcasts are at the link. At the link for “Roe v.Wade v. Rubella” left click the down-pointing arrow, select “Save File,” and “OK” to download. Do the same for “BONUS EPISODE: Jane Hodgson.”

AI Book 53 mins – “Computer Scientist and author Melanie Mitchell of Portland State University and the Santa Fe Institute talks about her book Artificial Intelligence with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Mitchell explains where we are today in the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and where we might be going. Despite the hype and excitement surrounding AI, Mitchell argues that much of what is called “learning” and “intelligence” when done by machines is not analogous to human capabilities. The capabilities of machines are highly limited to explicit, narrow tasks with little transfer to similar but different challenges. Along the way, Mitchell explains some of the techniques used in AI and how progress has been made in many areas.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

AI Concerns 25 mins – “Why is AI so far from perfect? A special episode looking at AI – why it still is far from perfect? We discuss what would happen if you took a driverless car from the streets of California and put it on roads in a developing country, why deep fakes are so difficult to detect and how the images that are used to teach machines to recognise things are biased against women and ethnic minorities.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Anti-Semitic Violence 26 mins – “Batya Ungar-Sargon on the Anti-Semitic Violence in New York Batya Ungar-Sargon is the opinion editor of The Forward, the Jewish newspaper published out of New York City. She has been among the chroniclers, both in print and on Twitter, of the recent spate of attacks against Orthodox communities in New York and New Jersey. She joined Benjamin Wittes by Skype to talk about the origins of these attacks, why it is so hard to respond to them, and why they don’t fit in with any of our political preconceptions.” At the link right-click “Direct download: Episode_497.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Australian Genetic Crops 20 mins – “Australia has welcomed the use of genetically engineered crops, and farmers have found particular benefit from broad acre canola and cotton cultivation. However, the benefits were not realized by some states because of local moratoriums imposed by state governments. Farmers in South Australia grow wheat, canola and pulses, along with wine grapes, olives and other horticultural crops.  They would like the option to grow GE canola, as it may offer some benefits. More importantly, new technologies in gene editing may permit rapid response to new threats as well as tackle current issues in drought, frost, and pathogens. Fortunately, a science-minded change in government has led to discussion of removing the ban.  I speak with four agricultural leaders from the Grain Producers SA, a non-profit organization coordinating grower advocacy and communications. With Tanya Morgan, Adrian McCabe (@AdrianMcCabe6), Wade Dabinette and Dion Woolford (@rudigermaxpower).” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Ayahuasca Tourism in Peru 18 mins – “Ayahuasca: Fear and healing in the Amazon – Increasing numbers of tourists are travelling to the Peruvian Amazon to drink Ayahuasca, a traditional plant medicine said to bring about a higher state of consciousness. Foreigners come looking for spiritual enlightenment or help with mental health problems like trauma, depression, and addiction. But not everyone is happy about Peru’s booming Ayahuasca tourism industry. A group of indigenous healers are fighting back against what they see as the exploitation and appropriation of their cultural heritage by foreigners – who run most of the Ayahuasca retreats popular with tourists. This coming together of cultures has thrown up another serious problem too – vulnerable women being sexually abused while under the influence of charismatic healers and this powerful psychedelic.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Bacteria Domestication 21 mins – “Bacteria  surround us and have specialized functions in adaptation and metabolism.  Could they be helpful as micro machines that catalyze key reactions?  Could teams of collaborating bacteria be combined to perform important industrial processes?  Dr. Sarah Richardson from MicroByre asks that question. She is in the business of bacterial discovery and domestication, bringing wild bacteria that perform important chemistry into human control.  Her company then uses collaborations of microbes to take on important production jobs.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Carl Sagan 47 mins.- “Science on TV: An Interview with Ingrid Ockert – Historian of science and media Ingrid Ockert discusses the exact moment Carl Sagan began wearing turtlenecks, how NOVA changed television, and the key to any successful show: respect the audience.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Chernobyl Aftermath 18 mins – “Belarus: The wild world of Chernobyl – Ninety year old Galina is one of the last witnesses to the wild natural world that preceded the Chernobyl zone in southern Belarus. ‘We lived with wolves’ she says ‘and moose, and elk and wild boars.’ Soviet development destroyed that ecosystem. Forests and marshland were tamed and laid to farmland and industrial use. But when the Chernobyl reactor exploded in 1986, the human population was evacuated; their villages were buried beneath the earth as though they had never existed. A generation on, it seems that the animals Galina knew are returning. But how are they are affected by their radioactive environment? And what can we infer about the state of the land? Monica Whitlock visits the strange new wilderness emerging in the heart of Europe.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Chinese Surveillance App 27 mins – “Travellers to China through Kyrgyzstan are being forced to install a surveillance app on their phones. Professor Thorsten Holt is on the programme to explain, with the help of investigative journalists, how he has hacked into and analysed this surveillance app. He says the app compiles a report on your phone contacts, text messages and even your social media accounts, as well as searching for over 73,000 specific files. Atmospheric Memory – A breath-taking new art environment where you can see, hear and even touch sound, has opened in Manchester. The exhibit is inspired by Charles Babbage, a pioneer of computing technology from 180 years ago. He once proposed that if all spoken words remain recorded in the air, a powerful computer could potentially ‘rewind’ the movement of all air molecules. So how has the ground-breaking ideas of Charles Babbage influenced art and technology today?. Robotic Endoscopy – Endoscopies are medical procedures that involve threading a camera through the body to see inside. Anyone who has had one will know how uncomfortable they can be. But, they are also challenging for the doctor – taking on average 100 to 250 procedures to be able to perform well. Reporter Madeleine Finlay met Dr Joe Norton, who is part of an international team developing an intelligent robotic system that could make it a lot less painful for both the patient and clinician. Game Designing: Mentoring the Next Generation – Mathew Applegate works with over 300 young people in Suffolk on game design, and has just won the BAFTA Young Game Designers Mentor Award. Having been a hacker and spent time working for the government, Mathew then set up his Creative Computing Club in 2012, which delivers courses on game design, robotics, AI, VR and much more. He spoke to us on why he believes game design is so beneficial for the young people of Suffolk.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

CIA Interrogations 38 mins – ”Philip Mudd is currently a counterterrorism and national security analyst with CNN, but before that, Mudd spent 25 years working at the Central Intelligence Agency, on the NSC staff, and eventually at the FBI. His third book is “Black Site: The CIA in the Post-9/11 World.” David Priess sat down with Phil to talk about his career at CIA, the book, his research into the advanced interrogations and the interrogation program at CIA after 9/11, and the ethics of it all. Thanks to Grammarly for supporting The Lawfare Podcast. For 20% off a Grammarly premium account, go to Grammarly.com/lawfare.” At the link right-click “Direct download: Episode_465.mp3” right-click “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Citrus Greening Update 27 mins – “What is the current state of the devastating citrus greening disease, Huanglongbing (HLB).  Dr. Jude Grosser from the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center discusses the current state of the disease, the current therapies and the future possibilities of leveraging genetics and nutrition to help keep citrus in production.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Climate Science 55 mins – “An important consequence of the warming of the planet due to climate change is that the frequency and/or severity of extreme weather events will increase. But how can we tell whether a particular event can be attributed to the changing climate? Would it have happened in “normal” climate as well, and if so, how would the event have been different? This aspect of climate science is called attribution science, and the guest of this episode, Friederike Otto is a pioneer in the field.” At the link right-click “Download MP3 File Directly” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Communications Expert 71 mins – “In this episode, we sit down with negotiation expert Misha Glouberman who explains how to talk to people about things — that is, how to avoid the pitfalls associated with debate when two or more people attempt to come to an agreement that will be mutually beneficial. Misha Glouberman teaches negotiation, both in the classroom and within organizations, and he also works as a professional facilitator, which means he helps people design and run conferences and meetings. He also lectures, hosts Trampoline Hall (which has a podcast) — where he interviews the speakers afterfield and fields questions from the audience — and he is the co-author of the book The Chairs Are Where the People Go, a collection of his dictated musings about life recorded and edited by author Sheila Heti. To put it simply, Misha is an expert on communication, and people pay him to help them communicate better. In our long, wide-ranging conversation, you’ll pick up a zillion nuggets of wisdom that will help you the next time you set out to negotiate, facilitate, or solve shared problems with people through conversation.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Page As” from the pop-up menu.

Deep Fakes 34 mins – “Bobby Chesney and Danielle Citron on Deep Fakes – On this episode of the Arbiters of Truth series, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with law professors Bobby Chesney and Danielle Citron about deep fakes—that is, artificial audio and video that can be used to depict a person doing or saying something that they never did or said. They talked about the paper that Bobby and Danielle wrote in 2018 about how deep fakes pose a looming challenge for privacy, democracy, and national security. And with recently circulated, doctored video of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and presidential candidate Joe Biden, they talked about how the issue hasn’t gone away, as well as the distinction between deep fakes and other less sophisticated forms of editing.” At the link right-click “Direct download: Episode_496.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Disability Technology 32 mins – “The latest in disability tech – From fitting prosthetic limbs in a few hours to teaching blind children to code how technology is making a difference to everyday lives.” At the link left-click “Download, then right-click “Higher quality” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Disinformation 25 mins – “This is the first episode in a new special series—”Arbiters of Truth”—about disinformation and online speech in the lead up to the 2020 election. From Russian election interference, to scandals over privacy and invasive ad targeting, to presidential tweets: it’s all happening in online spaces governed by private social media companies. And as the 2020 presidential election draws nearer, these conflicts are only going to grow in importance. In this series, Evelyn Douek, Kate Klonick, Alina Polyakova, and Quinta Jurecic will be talking to experts and practitioners about the major challenges our new information ecosystem poses for elections and democracy in general, and the dangers of finding cures that are worse than the disease. “Arbiters of Truth” is a reference to something Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said right after the 2016 election, when Facebook was still reeling from accusations that it hadn’t done enough to clamp down on disinformation during the presidential campaign. Zuckerberg wrote that social media platforms “must be extremely cautious about becoming arbiters of truth ourselves.” Well, if Facebook doesn’t want to be the arbiter of truth, we’re here to do it for them. In this episode, the group sat down to talk about their work on disinformation and the main questions that they hope to answer in this podcast over the coming months.” At the link right-click “Direct download: Episode_466.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Eggplants in Bangladesh 23 mins – “Bangladesh is a population dense country with relatively little farmland.  Subsistence farmers make a living by growing, harvesting and selling brinjal, or the fruit westerners know as the eggplant.  The biggest threat to production is the fruit and shoot borer, an insect larvae that digs into the fruit, leaving its waste, and inviting pathogens and decay.  To combat this, farmers traditionally use massive amounts of insecticides, upward of 80-100 sprays per season. It is their family’s livelihood, so sprays protect the crop, and protect the family. The Bt brinjal is genetically engineered to produce a natural protein that stops the fruit and shoot borer. The plants need minimal spray application and are more profitable for growers. Today co-hosts Modesta Abugu and Kevin Folta speak with Arif Hossein, leader of Farm the Future Bangladesh about the brinjal and its adoption by Bangladesh farmers.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Emergency Medicine Doctor 27 mins – “Today with visit with Dr. Sam Ni, a third year emergency medicine resident and USAR Doc in Training. Dr. Joe Holley connected us with Dr. Ni so we could get an understanding about what draws some ER docs to this unique calling. We chat with Dr. Ni about the process of her training. She shares what parts she enjoyed the most and what challenged her more than others. She also shares her understanding how this opportunity offers her a different look at emergency medicine and disaster medicine as two sides of the same coin. Dr. Ni will be returning to the show in the future as her training proceeds so we can follow up on the process with her. Also on the show were co-hosts Sam Bradley, and Jamie Davis.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Free Trade 46 mins – “Economist and author Kimberly Clausing of Reed College talks about her book Open with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Clausing, a self-described progressive, argues that the United States should continue to embrace free trade but she argues for other interventions to soften the impact of trade on workers and communities.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Google Bug Hunters 27 mins – “Google’s offering up to $1.5m to anyone who can identify bugs in its new chip for Android smartphones. This is a especially high reward but Google’s just one of a host of big well-known companies running bug hunting programmes. But is this the best way for big business to protect its new tech? AI in Africa – Does Africa need a different approach to AI – yes according to Professor Alan Blackwell of the Computer Laboratory at Cambridge University in England. He’s just started a sabbatical year across Africa working with AI experts – we spoke to him on the first leg of his trip at the Bahir Institute of Technology (BIT) in the North West of Ethiopia. Wi-fi on the bus – Being online when travelling on the bus in parts of Kenya and Rwanda is not new, but now it is also possible in parts of South Africa as BRCK launch their public internet service there. Nanotech tracing stolen cars – Around 143,000 vehicles worldwide were reported as stolen in 2018 according to Interpol. In the UK, only half are recovered. Now nanosatellites could be a new tool in retrieving stolen cars. Digital Planet’s Izzie Clarke has more.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Harry Houdini 57 mins – “Journalist and author Joe Posnanski talks about his book, The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Posnanski explores the enduring fame of Houdini who remains an iconic cultural figure almost a century after his death. Topics discussed include the nature of celebrity, the nature of ambition, parenting, magic, and the use of public relations to create and sustain reputation and celebrity.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Hate Speech Online 26 mins – “Ethiopia’s online hate speech law – Disseminating hate speech online in Ethiopia could now land you with a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of $3000US, but the new law has proved controversial. Julie Owonp, Excutive Director of Internet without borders explains their concerns. Kivuwatt – Rwanda has an ambitious plan to go from half of the population having electricity at the moment to everyone within the next four years. Digital Planet has been given access to one project that aims to be a key part of that expansion. In the depths of Lake Kivu – one of East Africa’s great lakes – there’s methane and they’re burning the methane to generate electricity. Kivu is one of Africa’s so-called ‘killer lakes’, because the gases it harbours could be deadly for the thousands who live on shore. Burning some of the gas could help make it safer. Gareth Mitchell reports from the floating barge that is supplying 30% of the country’s electricity. Carnival 4.0 – It’s Carnival week in Rio and this year for the first time celebrations have gone fully hi-tech with augmented reality floats, QR Codes and RFID tags tracking costumes and smart bands monitoring the health of performers. But there have also been warnings about facial recognition. Brazil-based journalist Angelica Mari has been following proceedings. And joins us on the programme.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Homestead Prepping 46 mins – “Episode-2613- Why Homesteading is one of the best “Preps” you can Make” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Humanitarian Drone Corridor in Africa 31 mins -Sierra Leone has just launched West Africa’s first drone corridor – it’s a dedicated channel of airspace for medical delivery drones. UNICEF is part of the project and already has three other humanitarian corridors open globally. Wikipedia untagging of women – Dr. Jess Wade from Imperial College London is continuing her mission of getting more female scientists onto Wikipedia, however a few days ago many of her entries were marked as not notable enough to be included. This was done anonymously by another Wiki editor. We hear from Jess and Wikipedia’s Katherine Maher. Cats detecting earthquakes – Could cats detect earthquakes? Yes says Celeste Labedz a seismologist at Caltech – if they are fitted with a motion tracker device. It’s purely a theoretical idea as she explains on the programme. Smart tattoos – Smart ink that changes colour could lead to medical smart tattoos that monito conditions like diabetes. Harrison Lewis has been finding out more.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Impeachment 37 mins – “It’s January 2018. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates are in a whole lot of trouble. The past is catching up to them. Three months earlier, they’d both been indicted on multiple felony counts and now it looks like there might be even more charges coming. Gates is getting nervous–they’re facing many years in prison. Manafort tells Gates to relax. He’s talked to the president’s personal counsel. He says they’re going to “take care of us.” Manafort tells Gates he’d be stupid to plead guilty now, “just sit tight, we’ll be taken care of.” Gates wants to be crystal clear on what exactly Manafort’s getting at. So he asks: Is the president going to pardon them?” At the link right-click “Direct download: Ep_13-_Pardons_on_the_Table.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Impeachment History 26 mins – “The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is set to begin on Jan. 21, and the question of what constitutes an impeachable offense is sure to feature in the trial itself and in the broader discussion of the president’s conduct. To answer that question, many commentators, lawmakers and experts may rely on what the Founders said at the time the Impeachment Clause was written into the Constitution. But there’s another way to think about an impeachable offense: by looking at the offenses for which Congress has actually impeached people. Hilary Hurd explored that sordid and unexpected history of impeachment in a recent article for Lawfare. In the latest edition of the Lawfare Podcast Shorts, you can listen to that article in-full, read by the author.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, select “Save File” and “OK” to download the podcast.

Internet Health Report 26 mins – “Solana Larsen, leader of the team at Mozilla that compiled the recent Health of the Internet report talks about the highlights, including openness, privacy and security, digital inclusion, web literacy and centralisation. Multi-purpose drones – A drone in Malawi in one flight dropped off medical supplies by parachute, was used by game rangers to monitor animal poaching and created a high resolution 3D mapping of an area. Daniel Ronen, co-founder of UAVAid explains how they have developed their multi-purpose drones. Nam June Paik – Nam June Paik embraced technology and digital developments in his art. Born in South Korea in 1932 his work has always been collaborative with musicians, poets and other artists using TV and sound in his often playful art. The Tate Modern gallery in London has brought together 50 years of his most innovative and influential art. Reporter Hannah Fisher, and regular studio commentator, Ghislaine Boddington, went along to explore.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Iran Internet Shutdown 26 mins – “Iran is now almost entirely offline as authorities try to stem the spread of protests that started last week. The government increased fuel prices by as much as 300% and since people took to the streets online access has been restricted. We find out the latest from online monitoring group NetBlocks. US Election emails unsafe – Agari was the company that uncovered and confirmed that the webserver the email that ‘hacked’ Hilary Clinton’s campaign came from Russia. They have now conducted a poll and found that only Elizabeth Warren out of all the potential presidential candidates has secure emails. This matters not only from a data security point of view but also from a voter and donor point – the company has found that voters are less likely to vote for a candidate with a data breach and that donors are less likely to give money. Hate speech control using tech – Hate speech that incites violence or hate against vulnerable groups has long been a problem in human societies but has more recently been weaponised by social media. The current system means the direct or indirect recipient needs to complain. The alternative approach is to develop artificial intelligence to identify potential hate speech and put the post in quarantine until either the direct recipient has agreed it should be deleted or has read it and agreed it should be allowed. Cargo Ship tech – Our reporter Snezana Curcic has travelled across the North Atlantic Ocean in a bit of an unusual and adventurous way – on a cargo ship. With only eight hours of Wi-Fi allowance per week, Snezana filed this story on her journey from Liverpool to New York on the Atlantic Star. She looks at the tech on board and how this hugely competitive and complex industry is adapting to the digital age to survive. Even e-commerce leaders, like Ali Baba and Amazon, are heavily investing in ocean cargo services and stepping up their game.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Iran Turmoil 51 mins – “Iran is in turmoil. Protests erupted across the country last month, sparked by the government’s decision to triple the price of gasoline. The Iranian government has responded with brute force, imposing a blackout of the internet and deploying security forces to crack down in the streets. The crackdown has left hundreds dead and thousands injured or detained. On December 18, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion on the unrest in Iran, what it means for the future of the country and the region, and how the United States and the international community should respond. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius led the conversation, which featured Brookings senior fellow Suzanne Maloney and film maker and journalist Maziar Bahari, who leads IranWire, a news site that conveys original information from Iran via citizen journalists.” At the link right-click “Direct download: Episode_491.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Iraq Shuts Down Internet 29 mins – “In response to anti-government protests the Iraq government shut down the internet six days ago. Coverage returned briefly before the president was due to give a televised address on Sunday allowing social media reports of violence at the demonstrations to be posted. Currently 75% of Iraq is covered by the ban. Kurdistan is unaffected. Mismatch – There’s no such thing as normal—so why are we all made to use devices, live in cities or travel in vehicles that are so uniform? Whether it’s a computer accessory that only works for right-handed people or airline seats that are unusable for taller people, we need more inclusive design. We discuss Kat Holmes’ new book Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design. Beatie at the Barbican – Singer-songwriter and innovator Beatie Wolfe is showing a “teaser” of her new work at London’s Barbican gallery alongside the launch of a film about her. This environmental protest piece distils 800,000 years of historic data of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. It will become an interactive visualisation and soundtrack using gaming software. The Lightyear One: a self-charging electric car – The Lightyear One is a prototype solar-powered electric car. There are plans to take it into production by 2021. The manufacturer claims a range of 720km in sunny climates and even 400 km in cloudy, wet UK winter. Tom Stephens reports.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Jane Hodgson 8 mins – “BONUS EPISODE: Distillations | Science History Institute – She broke abortion law to try to change it.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Marine Accident Investigation 25 mins – “Investigating marine accidents – sea tech latest – Digital Planet visits the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch for learn more about the technology used to investigate incidents at sea. Gareth Mitchell and Dr. Leigh Marsh look at voyage data recorders recovered from ship wrecks, location beacons, CCTV footage through to simulators that can recreate incidents at sea.” At the link left-click “Download, then right-click “Higher quality” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Mosul Battle 30 mins – “In 2014, the precipitous fall of the ancient city of Mosul signaled the sudden rise to power of the Islamic State, a group that would soon declare a new caliphate from Mosul’s Great Mosque. Two years later, Mosul served as one of the group’s last major enclaves in Iraq and became the site of grinding, brutal urban warfare as Iraqi forces sought to reclaim control, block by block. Last week, Lawfare senior editor Scott R. Anderson sat down with two journalists who have produced new works documenting the battle for Mosul: veteran war correspondent James Verini, who is the author of the new book “They Will Have to Die Now,” and former CIA official Dan Gabriel, who recently directed the documentary film entitled Mosul. They discussed the pivotal role the city has played in recent Iraqi history—and what the struggle over it may be able to tell us about the future of the country and region” At the link right-click “Direct download: Episode_463.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Nazism in Germany 34 mins – This year, 2020, sees the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. Its legacy remains. Nowhere more so than in Germany, where the rise of Nazism led to the war, and terrible crimes against humanity. Chris Bowlby explores how post-war Germans have faced this inheritance and discovers how a search for justice in relation to Nazi crimes has continued, despite heavy pressure to stop.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Plagiarism in Scientific Research 30 mins – “Dr. Elisabeth Bik is a hero. Classically trained with plenty of lab-bench expertise, today she patrols the best scientific literature in search for plagiarism and image manipulation.  Her expert eye identifies manipulated images in our best scientific publications, including the revered science weekly journals that present allegedly breakthrough work. Dr. Bik talks about her path to become a publication sleuth, a high-resolution machine with an eye for things that just don’t look right. She talks about her work, its repercussions and how pervasive plagiarism and image manipulation are in contemporary science.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Plant Genetic Engineering 42 mins – “Today’s podcast marks five complete years of podcast episodes, and there’s no better guest than someone on the Mount Rushmore of plant genetic engineering.  We’re joined today by Dr. Robb Fraley, who was at ground zero of the first transformed plants.  He recalls the race to transform plants, his time as a leader in the Monsanto company, and his vision for the future.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Presidential Special Counsel 39 mins – “It’s May 17, 2017. White House Counsel Don McGahn is in the Oval Office with the president. McGahn’s job is to represent the office of the presidency, which isn’t quite the same as representing the president personally. It’s a delicate line to walk, and Trump hasn’t made the job any easier. McGahn is supposed to act as the point of contact between the White House and the Department of Justice, to ensure all the rules are being followed. But the president has made clear, he’s not interested in following the rules. Trump has already fired his FBI director. That’s why McGahn is in the Oval that morning, they need to interview a new nominee for the position. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is there too. Sessions interrupts the meeting. He has an urgent phone call from the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, so he steps outside to take it. Sessions returns a moment later and relays the message: Rosenstein has appointed a Special Counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. It’s the former FBI director, Robert Mueller. Trump slumps back in his chair. He says, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.” At the link right-click “Direct download: Ep_11_Final.mp3” and select “Save Link As from the pop-up menu.

PTSI(Injury) 48 mins – “We brought back Dan McGuire from CISM Perspectives to talk about updates to the ways work-related stress for first responders is handled. The biggest change Dan noted was a focus on building resiliency into initial first responder education and ongoing training before the critical incident occurs. One of the biggest changes Dan advocates for is to change the name from “Stress Disorder” to “Stress Injury.” This removes the stigma of a disorder and helps responders relate to the possibility of long-term injury in response to work-related stress.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Rare Earth Elements P1 17 mins – “The 17 rare earth elements are often called the spices or vitamins of industry. While we don’t need much of them, they’re sprinkled in small amounts through our most powerful, futuristic, and dare we say it, magical tools. They power our iPhones and computers; they’re in wind turbines and hybrid cars. They’re in dental implants, X-ray machines, and life-saving cancer drugs. They have unusual magnetic and electrical properties that make our gadgets faster, stronger, and lighter. And we’ve all been coasting along enjoying their magic for a while now. In fact, we’ve come to expect magic. But magic comes at a cost, and in the case of mining and processing rare earths, that cost is environmental devastation. Most of us in the Western world aren’t aware of the destruction/ because most rare earths are mined elsewhere. But some scientists are trying to find a more environmentally sound way to get them.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Rare Earth Elements P2 21 mins – “The 17 rare earth elements are often called the spices or vitamins of industry. While we don’t need much of them, they’re sprinkled in small amounts through our most powerful, futuristic, and dare we say it, magical tools. They power our iPhones and computers; they’re in wind turbines and hybrid cars. They’re in dental implants, X-ray machines, and life-saving cancer drugs. They have unusual magnetic and electrical properties that make our gadgets faster, stronger, and lighter. And we’ve all been coasting along enjoying their magic for a while now. In fact, we’ve come to expect magic. But magic comes at a cost, and in the case of mining and processing rare earths, that cost is environmental devastation. Most of us in the Western world aren’t aware of the destruction/ because most rare earths are mined elsewhere. But some scientists are trying to find a more environmentally sound way to get them.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Regenerative Agriculture 63 mins – “One thing we know is the current food system works, ‘shocked that I said that?  Okay when is the last time you had money, wanted food and could not get any?  This is true in most of the world, people that go with out food do so from poverty not scarcity.  In fact billions of tons of good food it thrown away annually.  So when I say works, I mean the main stated goal of the managed Global Food System is produce enough food to feed the world.  It does that.  We must start there or no meaningful discussion about correcting the many problems in this system can be had. Yes it works…”At the link right-click “download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu

Russian Skulduggery 34 mins – “Michael Schwirtz on Russia’s Lethal Actions in Europe The past few years have seen an uptick in Russian covert actions across Europe, including assassinations and attempted killings of people in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Just this week, Bulgaria charged three Russian agents with the poisoning of a prominent Bulgarian arms manufacturer. Michael Schwirtz has been an investigative reporter with the New York Times for almost 15 years, and he’s been tracking this Russian skulduggery carefully in many of those countries for much of that time. Recently, he’s reported on how quite a bit of that activity is linked to one particular unit within the Russian GRU. David Priess sat down with Michael to work through this increasingly aggressive Russian action and what it all means going forward.” At the link right-click “Direct download: Episode_500.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Secondhand 46 mins – “Journalist and author Adam Minter talks about his book Secondhand with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Minter explores the strange and fascinating world of secondhand stuff–the downsizing that the elderly do when they move to smaller quarters, the unseen side of Goodwill Industries, and the global market for rags.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Sewage History 32 mins – “Philadelphia just had its wettest decade on record, and all that precipitation has wreaked havoc on the city’s waterways. Like most old cities, Philadelphia has a combined sewer system—that is, one pipe is used to carry both sewage and stormwater. When it rains a lot, the system gets overwhelmed, forcing the water department to send raw sewage into rivers and creeks. City officials and engineers knew this was going to be a problem when they built the sewer system in the 1800s. The reason they used a combined system anyway can be best explained by two forces: knowledge ceilings and path dependency. In this episode we explore how the city got to this point and how, in an interesting twist, it led to Philadelphia having one of the most innovative water systems in the country. Philadelphia is home of the Distillations podcast. For this episode we break down three centuries of water-pollution history in our backyard. It is a special collaboration with the Philadelphia Inquirer as part of their series From the Source: Stories of the Delaware River.” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow, select “Save File” and “OK” to get the podcast.

Sickle Cell Disease 15 mins – “Sickle cell disease is an inherited condition that predominantly affects people of African descent. The disease results in chronic pain and early death, and is caused by a misfolding of oxygen-toting hemoglobin, a central protein in red blood cells.  Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the CRISPR Therapeutics companies have combined to test a potential therapy.  A patients stem cells are gene edited using CRISPR/Cas9 so that they stop producing adult mutant hemoglobin, and produce a fetal version instead.  The engineered stem cells are returned to the patient, who then manufactures fetal hemoglobin in their own blood cells, potentially curing the disease. Clinical trials have just begun.  Dr. Brenda Eustace, Director of Discovery Research, takes us through the problem, its effects and the Vertex solution that could bring needed relief to millions worldwide.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

South Africa Power Cuts 29 mins – “South Africa Power Cuts – s South Africa facing a blackout? Power cuts across the country are now happening regularly as the country struggles with demand for electricity. There’s even an app that tells you if your lights are going to stay on today, or tomorrow. Professor Keith Bell from Strathclyde University explains why this is happening. Plasmonics – computing with light – Fancy computing with the speed of light? Well for the first time this is possible thanks to research at Oxford University. Scientists have managed use light to store, access and now process data on chip. The research could significantly increase processing speeds at data centres, not only making computing faster but saving significant amounts of energy. Land of Iron – A National Park is usually synonymous with nature and wildlife. Perhaps not the obvious place to find a technology story, but in North Yorkshire in the UK a project is underway that is using technology in many different forms to bring a forgotten history back to life. Our reporter Jack Meegan has been time-travelling for us. Jack finds out how the park’s industrial past can now be seen thanks to technology. World Wise Web – Digital Planet gets a sneak preview of a brand BBC new tech podcast. On World Wise Web, teenagers from around the world get the chance to talk to the technology pioneers who have shaped our digital world.” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Higher quality” from the pop-up menu, then “Save File As” from the pop-up menu.

Sterile Insect Technique 21 mins – “The tiny mosquito is a nuisance in the industrialized world, yet around the world it is a ruthless killer, spreading blood-borne diseases that bring about pain and suffering, particularly in developing nations.  In many regions these are invasive species with little to no ecological role. For years scientists have used “sterile insect technique” to control them, a process that treats sexually compatible insects with radiation, rendering them infertile.  The low-fertility insects are released into the wild and crash problematic populations. The Oxitec company has a genetic solution.  Mosquitoes have been genetically engineered to contain a lethal gene that can be turned off in the laboratory with a simple chemical.  Upon release, these mosquitoes breed against target populations, spreading the lethal gene, and leaving the next generation inviable.  The process creates a reproductive dead end.  While amazingly successful, these trials have suffered from a lack of public acceptance.  This week an article in Scientific Reports from a credible lab introduced language that bred fear, uncertainty and doubt in the Oxitec approach.  This unwarranted speculation was then amplified and exaggerated by the credulous anti-biotech media, further eroding public perception.  In this episode I spoke with Dr. Kelly Matsen, Research and Development and Operations lead at Oxitech.  She described the experiments in question, the actual results, the published paper, and how Oxitech’s technology actually has worked in field releases.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Syria Activities 38 mins – :It’s been a horrible week in northeastern Syria. The U.S. abandoned its Kurdish allies after the president had a conversation by phone with Turkish President Erdogan and pulled the plug on the stabilizing U.S. presence in the region. The Turkish government began a major incursion over the border, which has produced significant casualties and major questions about ISIS detainees in Kurdish custody. To talk through it all, we pulled together quite a group. In the first half of the podcast, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Scott R. Anderson and Dan Byman, both of Brookings and Lawfare. In the second half, Ben sat down with Oula A. Alrifai, a fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Leah West, a Lecturer of International Affairs at Carleton University in Canada.” At the link right-click “Direct download: Episode_462.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Trump Presidency Impact 37 mins – “It’s January 2018. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates are in a whole lot of trouble. The past is catching up to them. Three months earlier, they’d both been indicted on multiple felony counts and now it looks like there might be even more charges coming. Gates is getting nervous–they’re facing many years in prison. Manafort tells Gates to relax. He’s talked to the president’s personal counsel. He says they’re going to “take care of us.” Manafort tells Gates he’d be stupid to plead guilty now, “just sit tight, we’ll be taken care of.” Gates wants to be crystal clear on what exactly Manafort’s getting at. So he asks: Is the president going to pardon them?” At the link right-click “Direct download: Ep_13-_Pardons_on_the_Table.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Trump Presidency Impact 59 mins – “”Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trump’s War on the World’s Most Powerful Office,” by Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes, was published today. The Brookings Institution hosted a launch event, moderated by Fred Hiatt, in which Susan and Ben discussed the book. “Unmaking the Presidency” is an attempt to explore the Trump presidency through the lens of the norms of the traditional presidency that he has violated. It’s a look at his vision of the presidency, a look at the range of presidential powers that vision affects, and a look at the history of how those norms developed.” At the link right-click “Direct download: Episode_498.mp3” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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