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ISIS, Dental Flossing, Antiquities Act, End of Privatized Prisons

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Aug 24, 2016
  • 01:41:38

Assessing the Status of ISIS Guest: John Macfarlane, Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Terrorism Studies at Utah Valley University Daily, it seems, there’s another attack somewhere in the world which ISIS claims to have inspired. More than 50 people were killed this week at a wedding in Turkey by a suicide bomber authorities say may have been just 13 or 14 years old. When President Obama last gave an update on the US strategy to defeat ISIS – which he calls ISIL – the news was good and bad. The President rattled off a list of key defeats in Iraq and Syria, noting that ISIS’ territory has now shrunk to basically two strongholds – Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.  Why You Should Keep Flossing Guest: Julie Rezk, DMD, Assistant Professor of Dentistry at Vanderbilt University  There’s a flap going on about flossing. While dentists and health agencies have been recommending we do it regularly for decades, there turns out to be very little research evidence that flossing prevents gum disease or cavities. The proof is so scant that this year, the federal government dropped flossing from its recommended health guidelines.  Which is a great relief to irregular flossers like me. But not so fast. Dentists have come out in force urging people to keep up with the floss.  Antiquities Act Controversy Guest: John Freemuth, PhD, Executive Director for the Cecil D. Andrus Center and Professor of Public Policy at Boise State University This week marks the 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service, so let’s take a moment to consider how spectacular landscapes are preserved. Nearly a quarter of America’s national parks – including the Grand Canyon and Zion – were created first as national monuments through special power given to the president of the United States. Only later, did Congress come along and turn them into National Parks.  The president has this authority through the Antiquities Act of 1906, and it has not been without controversy over the last century. Just today, President Obama used it to designate a large swath of Maine’s North Woods as a new national monument, against the wishes of Maine’s governor and legislature. Obama is also under pressure to create a new national monument in Southern Utah before he leaves office. Many Utahns still bristle at President Bill Clinton creating Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument at the end of his first term.   The Apple Seed: How Stories Connect Us Guest: Sam Payne, Host of BYUradio’s “The Apple Seed” Sam Payne joins us in studio to share tales of tellers and stories. Measuring Mental Distraction On-the-Move Guest: Hasan Ayaz, PhD, Associate Research Professor at Drexel University, Member of the Cognitive Neuroengineering and Quantitative Experimental Research Collaborative This past spring New Jersey lawmakers considered legislation to fine people caught texting while crossing the street. It’s just asking too much of your brain, the bill’s sponsor claimed, to think you can control your phone and also respond to the dangers around you. Researchers at Drexel wanted to test just how distracted we really are when we’re using mobile devices, and if we’re any less distracted when using smart glasses, like Google Glass, where digital information is projected onto glasses and so you don’t have to look down to see the digital information.  Until now, it’s been difficult to test brain function in the real world—in situations like walking down the street. But the Drexel researchers were able to use a wearable, battery-operated monitor to track brain scans of the test subjects and their findings could have far-reaching implications for technology development as well as our understanding of the brain.  The End of Private Prisons? Guest: Maybell Romero, JD, Visiting Assistant Professor of Criminal Law at BYU The US Department of Justice is phasing out its use of prison runs by private companies. A recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General recently concluded that privately-operated prisons compare poorly with those run by the government: they do not maintain the same level of security and safety and they also don’t save substantially on costs. Show More...

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