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Partisanship, Fast Food Wrappers, Valentines

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Feb 15, 2017
  • 01:43:48

Partisanship in Local Politics Guest: Adam Dynes, PhD, Professor of Political Science, BYU What’s the big issue in your city right now? It’s probably public safety or infrastructure or economic development. Not matter the size of the city, police, potholes and places to work tend to absorb the attention of local officials. And because cities share so many concerns in common, there’s a lot of opportunity to share solutions, too. But just how that works – how it is that a proposal to limit smoking in public places, for example, spreads from one city to another to another – is worth considering. If we can figure out how city officials come up with their policy ideas and where they look for inspiration, maybe we can figure out how to encourage more innovation in tackling challenges communities have in common.  School Improvement Grant Guest: Andy Smarick, Morgridge Fellow, American Enterprise Institute What do we do with the worst public schools in America? The Obama Administration aimed for dramatic “transformation” by funneling 7-billion dollars to states for use turning around the poorest-performing schools.  But according to an independent analysis of the program, recently released by the US Department of Education, it didn’t work. Most schools that got the money didn’t turnaround or transform themselves in dramatic ways and there was no significant impact on test scores and graduation rates or college enrollment at those schools.  Fluorinated Chemicals in Fast-Food Wrappers Guest: Graham Peaslee, PhD, Professor of Experimental Nuclear Physics, University of Notre Dame  When fast-food restaurants had to start posting calorie counts on their menus, it took some of the fun out of treating yourself to that cheeseburger, fries and shake. And, now comes word that the stuff those treats come wrapped in also contain chemicals that carry serious health risks.  Research out of Notre Dame examined more than 400 packaging materials used to wrap everything from sandwiches to desserts. Nearly half contained fluorinated chemicals that can stay in the body long after you’ve licked your fingers. Teacher-Student Interactions Guest: Bridget Hatfield, PhD, Assistant Professor in Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University Preschool may look like it’s mostly play, but it’s a big step for kids - often the first time away from mom and dad in a new environment with new rules and lots of other children around. It can be stressful. And research suggests a lot of stress during those developmental years can affect behavior and learning down the road. So, what can preschool teachers do to bring down those stress levels?  The Magic Yarn Project Guest: Holly Christensen, Founder of The Magic Yarn Project When adult women battling cancer lose their hair, they may start wearing wigs and hats, but when children fighting cancer lose their hair, those options aren’t very appealing. . . Until now. An oncology nurse from Alaska has turned a one-time gift from a friend’s daughter into an international nonprofit organization making colorful yarn wigs for kids with cancer. Imagine a giant yellow braid festooned with flowers Rapunzel-style, or for boys, a beanie with braided dreadlocks and beads to look like Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Volunteers from around the world are churning out hundreds of these yarn wigs to brighten the lives of sick kids. Check out The Magic Yarn Project here. Victorian Flirtation Cards Guest: Barbara Rusch, expert in ephemera from the Victorian era and an avid collector If your Valentine’s Day celebrations included sending someone a text full of emoji hearts and the smiley face with heart eyes, be glad you weren’t an amorous youth during the Victoria-Era America. All of their flirting had to happen under the watchful eye of a parent or chaperone and it was all so proper and reserved. But young people had their methods, including the exchange of flirtatious little cards in secret. Show More...

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