News & Information

Republicans, El Chapo, Mars Rover, Why Torture Fails

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Jul 28, 2015 9:00 pm
  • 1:41:06

GOP Presidential Chaos (1:02) Guest: Nathan Gonzales, Editor, Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report  The large field of Republican hopefuls is engaged in a publicity frenzy: putting out viral videos, firing off TV ads and whipping up their constituents with tough talk and controversial comments all in pursuit of a spot on stage in Cleveland. That’s where, in about a week’s time, Fox News will hold the first televised debate of the nominating season.  But only the ten candidates with the highest poll numbers will get on that stage – leaving another half dozen out in the cold. So that explains the spike in aggressive stunts and amped-up rhetoric we’ve been seeing from the contenders.  El Chapo Guzman (13:53) Guest: Don Winslow, author of “The Cartel” and other novels  The head of the Sinaloa cartel – Joaquin El Chapo Guzman - remains at large after his July 11 escape from a maximum security prison. A Mexican judge has now ordered three of the prison’s officers be formally taken into custody and questioned about their potential role in the prison break.  Government officials say El Chapo Guzman squeezed through the opening to a tunnel in the floor of his cell and escaped on a motorcycle. But novelist Don Winslow is skeptical. He’s spent the last 15 years researching the drug trade in Mexico and following Guzman’s career. His new book, “The Cartel”- and previous works “The Power of the Dog” and “Savages”-  trace the rise of the drug wars in Mexico and the US. They’re works of fiction, but many – maybe even the majority  - of characters and events they depict are real.  Apple Seed (38:23) Guest: Sam Payne, host of BYURadio’s Apple Seed  Sam Payne shares a story from the guitar-strumming Odds Bodkin on “Sir Percival,” unlikely knight.  Why Torture Doesn’t Work (50:26) Guest: Shane O’Mara, Ph. D., Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College in Dublin  We now know that the nation’s largest professional organization for psychologists colluded with the US government to sanction the use of torture to interrogate detainees in the War on Terror. An external report commissioned by the American Psychological Association found that its own officials were involved in developing the interrogation techniques and offered an air of legitimacy that helped the Bush Administration and Justice Department argue tactics, such as waterboarding and extreme sleep deprivation, were safe and did not constitute torture.  If we step away from the political and ethical debates over torture, we’re left with the science of it. And on that front, Shane O’Mara, says the evidence is clear: torture doesn’t work. O’Mara is a professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College in Dublin, and author of the forthcoming book: “Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation,” from Harvard University Press.  Mars Rover Competition (1:14:17) Guest: Eric Homer, Ph. D., BYU Engineering Professor; David Allred, Ph. D., BYU Physics Professor  NASA hasn’t sent humans to Mars, yet, but we do have eyes on the Red Planet in the form of several robotic vehicles called “rovers.” In developing the next generation of Mars exploration machines, NASA might look to the next generation of engineers. Every year, teams of college students bring their own Mars Rover designs to compete in a sort of Olympics held in a remote part of Southern Utah.  BYU’s student engineers came in second place at the competition this year, hosted by the nonprofit “Mars Society.”