Syria, Comic Contracts, Global Worming
  • Feb 11, 2020 9:00 pm
  • 1:41:06 mins

Turkey and Syria Poised for War (0:34) Guest: Michael Singh, Lane-Swig Senior Fellow, Managing Director, the Washington Institute; Former Senior Director for Middle East Affairs, National Security Council The war in Syria has taken another worrisome turn in the last week. Forces loyal to Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad are making a final push to capture Idlib, which is the last stronghold of rebel forces who oppose the Assad regime. Russia is backing the Syrian government’s attack and hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled the city and surrounding areas. Now Turkey is sending forces to try and hold back Assad and the Russians, which prompted retaliatory strikes that killed 13 Turkish soldiers. Turning Complicated Contracts Into Comic Books (15:46) Guest: Camilla Baasch Andersen, PhD, Professor, University of Western Australia Law School With all the terms and conditions, agreements, and contracts people have mindlessly accepted or signed, they may have given away their first-born child without even knowing it. You know how it goes – long sentences, lots of complex legalese – who’s gonna read all that? Or better yet, understand it? Well Camilla Andersen is an attorney who gets it, so she’s disrupting the legal profession by turning contracts into comics to get people to read them. Will the Cherokee Language Survive? (33:19) Guest: Benjamin Frey, Professor of Linguistics and Cherokee Language, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill There are three federally recognized tribes of Cherokee people in America and last summer they declared a joint state of emergency for their language. An estimated 2,000 fluent speakers of Cherokee are alive today – which is better than many other endangered Native American languages – but the tribes say Cherokee speakers are dying faster than new speakers are being developed. Jumping Worms Are Invading North American Forests (50:38) Guest: Annise Dobson, Postdoctoral Researcher, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies When Julie turns over some soil in my garden and find a wriggling pink earthworm, she gags, but fights the urge to smash it, because she knows that worms are good for soil. They break down organic matter and soften dirt so plants can grow better. Well, anyway, that’s what most of most people think. But actually, earthworms in large numbers can be problematic for plants. Plus, there’s a type of invasive earthworm making its way across North America that’s really, really bad for plants and especially for forests. Triple Traumas for Puerto Rico: Financial Crisis, Hurricane Maria, Earthquakes (1:09:40) Guest: Amilcar Antonio Barreto, Professor of Global Studies at Northeastern University Over a span of a few weeks at the start of this year, hundreds of earthquakes shook the southern part of Puerto Rico, collapsing homes and severely damaging a major power plant for the island. Keep in mind, many parts of Puerto Rico are still struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria two years ago. The True History of Valentine’s Day (1:26:09) Guest: Elizabeth Nelson, PhD, Pop Culture Expert and Author, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Parents across the country are in Valentine’s Day scramble-mode, rounding up enough treats and cards for all their kids’ classmates. Holidays are such work for parents. And expensive too–the National Retail Federation says Americans who celebrate Valentine’s this year plan to spend nearly $200 on average. That includes gifts for a special someone, but also kids, friends, family members, co-workers and pets. Valentine’s Day, above all, is a triumph of marketing.