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Child Brides, Inmate Firefighters, Mushroom Houses

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Jan 10, 2020
  • 01:40:07

Underage Marriage is More Common in America Than You Realize. Why? (0:31) Guest: Fraidy Reiss, Founder and Director, Unchained at Last Over the last ten years, US Immigration and State Department officials says more than five thousand girls under the age of 18 have been brought to the US to marry an older man. Sometimes 20 or 30 years older. Immigration officials have also approved thousands of applications from underage girls living in the US to bring an older spouse to America. And it’s all perfectly legal under US immigration law and marriage laws in nearly every state. You probably thought child marriage only happens in far off places, didn’t you? (Originally aired 4/2/19) Brain Scans Often Misinterpreted in Criminal Justice System (21:36) Guest: Eyal Aharoni, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Philosophy, & Neuroscience, Georgia State University If someone commits a crime and, afterward, doctors discover the person has a brain tumor, should the punishment be different? That’s the whole point behind the “insanity” defense – hoping for a lighter sentence by showing that on some level, a person’s brain caused the crime.  No surprise, then, that it’s becoming more and more common for defense attorneys to present brain evidence in court – sometimes even MRI or CAT scans of the defendant. How much weight should judges give this evidence? (Originally aired 7/25/19) Staying Compassionate in the Face of Mass Suffering (37:11) Guest: Daniel Lim, PhD, Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Empathy and Moral Psychology Lab, Pennsylvania State University With wildfires fires in Australia, earthquakes in Puerto Rico, and the devastating plane crash in Iran, we are bombarded with stories of suffering in the news and on our social media feeds right now. Researchers have noticed something strange about our ability to feel compassion for others: Compassion does not generally grow as the number of people suffering increases. Rather, we’re subject to something called “compassion fatigue.” Psychologist Daniel Lim’s research has identified some possible solutions to this – ways to help us feel more compassion for more people. (Originally aired 9/12/19) Prison Inmates as Firefighters  (50:38) Guest: Lindsey Feldman, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Memphis Australian officials in one of the regions hardest hit by wildfires are considering training inmates from minimum security prisons to help fight the fires. They’re looking to the example of Arizona and California – both of which have used inmate labor because it saves money. Prisoners make about a dollar an hour, while professional wildfire fighters get closer to $30. That’s led some to criticize the system as exploitation. But inmates often welcome the work and skills they acquire. (Originally aired 8/20/19) Cyclist and Pedestrian Fatalities Rise as Cities Seek Automobile Alternatives (1:07:32) Guest: John Rennie Short, Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County As more and more American cities look to encourage walking and cycling, a troubling trend has emerged: Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have increased significantly over the last decade. So, cities are getting healthier – but also more dangerous for people who opt not to drive a car. What’s the fix? (Originally aired 8/26/19) Mars Buildings Made Out of Mushrooms (1:24:16) Guest: Lynn Rothschild, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Bio and Bio-Inspired Technologies, NASA Ames Research Center NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine just introduced the latest class of astronauts to join the agency: “These astronauts could one day, in fact, walk on the moon, as a part of the Artemis program. And perhaps one of them could be among the first humans to walk on Mars.” When they do get to Mars, they’ll need shelter. But it’s a long trip to the Red Planet and lugging building materials like lumber and steel all the way out there is unrealistic. So there’s a team at NASA working on solutions – including buildings made out of mushrooms. (Originally aired 8/20/19) Show More...

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