Hong Kong, Jon the Robot, Race and Film

Hong Kong, Jon the Robot, Race and Film

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

  • May 28, 2020 8:00 pm
  • 1:40:15 mins
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China Tightens Grip on Hong Kong (0:30) Guest: Robert Daly, Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Wilson Center China officially tightened its grip on Hong Kong. The country’s legislature just approved a plan that will give it the power to suppress any act that Chinese authorities deem a threat to national security. Throngs of Hong Kong citizens are taking to the streets – more than 360 protestors were arrested on Wednesday. This plan is a major shift from what Hong Kong was promised when China took it over from Britain in 1997. Is this the end of “one country, two systems”? Symbiotic Relationship That Could Help Black Rhinos (19:16) Guest: Roan Plotzm, Lecturer of Environmental Science, Victoria University in Melbourne Black rhinos are critically endangered, largely due to poaching. Problem is, these rhinos have terrible eyesight, so they have a hard time seeing human predators before it’s too late. But there may be a surprising solution: the red-billed oxpecker. Pair this bird up with a rhino, and everybody wins. Well, except the poachers. Jon the Robot Comedian (36:06) Guest: Naomi Fitter, Assistant Professor of Robotics at Oregon State University There’s a new and noteworthy stand-up comedian on the West Coast. His name is Jon the Robot. Yes, he’s a real robot. And he just finished a 32-show tour. But it’s not just for laughs – the robot comedian is part of an official Oregon State University study on human/computer interaction. Using Film to Start the Conversations We Need to Have About Race (50:40) Guest: Greg Garrett, PhD, Theologian, Professor of English, Baylor University, Author of “A Long, Long Way: Hollywood’s Unfinished Journey From Racism to Reconciliation” Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. Both unarmed black men killed by white men. Both incidents came under scrutiny only after cellphone video was made public. Ahmaud Arbery was jogging in a Georgia neighborhood when he was shot dead by a retired law enforcement officer and his son, who have now been charged with murder. George Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody this week. Bystander video of the arrest shows Floyd on the ground, struggling to breathe as a white police officer kneels on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. The officers involved have been fired and the FBI is investigating. Video is a powerful tool to prompt scrutiny, spark outrage and, hopefully, bring change. Baylor University theologian and film scholar Greg Garrett has spent the last several years using film of a different sort to prompt scrutiny, outrage and, hopefully – change – to the way white Americans think about race. Using Math to Describe Beethoven’s Cultural Influence (1:28:32) Guest: Juyong Park, Associate Professor of Culture Technology at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. The composer was such a powerhouse that many musicians claim Beethoven is one of the most influential classical composers. But there’s no way to actually say for sure that he was the most influential. Until now. A computer has given Beethoven that very title. Well, at least, when it comes to piano compositions.

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