Brexit, African Samurai, Nuclear Waste
  • May 7, 2019 10:00 pm
  • 1:40:47 mins

British Voters Signal Frustration with Both Major Parties in UK Over Brexit Guest: Simon Usherwood, Deputy Director, The UK in a Changing Europe, Professor of Politics, University of Surrey Both of Britain’s main political parties lost seats in local elections across England last week. It seems British voters are fed-up with how the Conservative and Labour Parties are handling Brexit. Or rather, failing to handle it. The original deadline to leave the European Union has come and gone. The British Parliament is locked in a stalemate. At the end of May, British voters will go to the polls again –this time to elect people to represent them in the European Parliament. The plan was to have been long gone by now, so that’s awkward. The True Story of Yasuke, the African Samurai Guest: Thomas Lockley, Assistant Professor, Nihon University College of Law in Tokyo, Co-Author of “African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan” A story, now, of rising above the hand you’ve been dealt and making your way in a land far from home. Millions of refugees from the Middle East and Africa are attempting to do that today. They might draw some inspiration from an African boy, kidnapped and enslaved in the 1500s. This boy travelled throughout Asia, rising to become a samurai for Japan’s most powerful leader. The new book, “African Samurai” tells the “True story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan.” Nuclear Waste Is Piling Up and America Is Running Out Room for It Guest: Edwin Lyman, Acting Director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Author of “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster” About 20 percent of America’s energy comes from nuclear power plants. The waste that’s leftover from making that electricity radioactive for a long, long time. And right now, America still has no long-term plan for where to keep that waste permanently. So the power plants that create the waste have to store it onsite –either in pools of water or special storage containers above ground. These storage facilities are getting crowded. What’s in a Scientific Name? Rights to Name New Species Are Sold at Auctions to Promote Conservation Guest: Douglas Yanega, Entomologist, University of California, Riverside, Assistant Editor-in Chief of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature With enough money, you can get a sports stadium, or a university building named after you. If you eat at a local deli every day, you might get a sandwich named in your honor. How would you like to have a new insect with your name on it? Usually the naming rights go to the person who discovers the bug, but lately museums and conservation groups have been putting those rights up for auction to raise money. Scientists Create a Thread to Detect Harmful Gases Guest: Sameer Sonkusale, Professor of Engineering and director of the NanoLab, Tufts University Dangerous gases –like carbon monoxide –are sneaky threats. They’re invisible, for one. Often odorless, too. I forget about my carbon monoxide monitor for months and then I’ll suddenly have a moment of panic –wait, is it still working? Are the batteries dead? How would I even know before it’s too late? Imagine if you had woven blanket or a wall-hanging that would change color when it sensed carbon monoxide. You’d have a quick visual warning that something’s wrong. That’d be cool.  A Japanese American Boy Imprisoned During WWII Who Became a Prominent US Statesman Guest: Andrew Warren, Author of “Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II” One of the most prominent Asian American politicians in the country spent several years as a child imprisoned with his family in a World War II internment camp. The US government forced more than 100,000 Japanese Americans into detention after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. At least a third of those prisoners were children like Norman Mineta, who would go on to become a ten-term member of Congress, a US Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Transportation. Mineta’s has, for the first time, allowed his story to be published as a book –and it’s geared toward children.