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Shark Week, Recycled Plots, Protein Hazards, Caregivers

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Jul 9, 2015
  • 01:43:19

Perils of Shark Week (1:04) Eight people have already reported being bitten by sharks of North Carolina’s beaches this summer – which is more attacks than happened during all of last year. And coincidentally this is SHARK WEEK on the Discovery Channel, which is akin to the Super Bowl of nature shows – it’s that popular. Marine scientists have been increasingly concerned at how Shark Week programs amp up the fear factor and sometimes just plain make stuff up about sharks. The most-watched Shark Week show of all time aired two years ago all about an ancient, enormous shark called megalodon that still roams the sea. It was pure fiction. Megalodon has been extinct for millions of years. Sonja Fordham will talk about the pros and cons of Shark Week. She is the founder of Shark Advocates International at the Ocean Foundation. She’s been involved in shark policy projects for two decades.  Recycled Stories in Movie Plots (20:47) The biggest Hollywood blockbusters these days all seem to feel just a little familiar. Jurassic World and the other big hits of this summer certainly haven't escaped this trend. They’re either sequels, remakes or adaptations of a past hit movie. Why doesn’t Hollywood seem interested in trying something new these days? Independent filmmaker and Baylor University media professor Chris Hansen discusses this phenomenon with us today. Chris Hansen is an award-winning writer and director. His feature films have screened at festivals throughout the United States and Canada, and have been released theatrically in Los Angeles and New York. He is the chair of the film and digital media department in Baylor University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Protein Hazards (35:27) Atkins, Paleo, and the South Beach diets all recommend a cut in carbohydrates in favor of a high-protein diet. These diets are popular because they work well in the short-term but research done by the director of the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute, Dr. Valter Longo, shows that eating lots of animal proteins can lead to a long-term increased risk of cancer. Dr. Longo is a professor of Biogerontology at the University of Southern California. His research appeared in the journal Cell Metabolism. Caregivers (50:59) Demographers say American is currently in a “golden age” of caregiving because there’s no real shortage of people who are capable of giving the care young children and aging seniors need. But that will change in the coming years as the Baby Boomers reach old age. University of Washington sociologist Emilio Zagheni has been studying the makeup of the caregiving community – who’s taking care of whom in the US today – and trying to get a handle on exactly how prepared we are to handle the “white wave” of aging Boomers. Emilio Zagheni is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Washington. His study about the demographics of caregivers is published in the journal Population and Development Review.  Fighting Violence with Music in Honduras (1:02:29) The Honduran City of San Pedro Sula has been dubbed by some the “murder capital of the world.” An average of more than three people are killed in the city every day. Health officials say the homicide rate is beyond an epidemic. Honduran singer/songwriter Eduardo Umanzor is a native of San Pedro Sula and now he’s working to inspire his people to fight violence though his hopeful and upbeat music. Umanzor is currently collaborating with USAID’s program Alianza Joven to prevent violence.  Fact Checking (1:18:07) Political candidates in 2015 have a much harder time getting away with the kind of half-truths and spin that are bread and butter for stump speeches and campaign ads. The last few presidential election cycles have seen the rise of Fact Checking as a hybrid of journalism and public service. On politifact.com you can read all about Republican candidate Donald Trump’s latest comment that "the Mexican government forces many bad people into our country," which the site gives a “pants on fire” rating – meaning it’s a lie. That statement earned Trump four Pinocchios (the maximum given to real whoppers) from the Washington Post’s popular Fact Checker column. Meanwhile, factcheck.org calls out Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for making false blanket statements about where her Republican opponents stand on immigration. It’s a lot harder to twist the truth in politics these days. What’s behind this Fact Checking “movement” as some have called it? And where is it taking us? Jane Elizabeth shares her insights with us. She is the Senior Research Project Manager at the American Press Institute. She’s leading a project to improve and expand political fact-checking. She is the Washington Post's former deputy local editor, and teaches advanced journalism as a member of the adjunct faculty at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Show More...

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