A Confused Economy, Asteroid Mining, Toxic Masculinity
Top of Mind with Julie Rose
- Jun 20, 2017 11:00 pm
- 1:43:08 mins
Understanding the Confused US Economy Guest: Brennan Platt, PhD, Associate Professor of Economics, BYU The economy has been a bright spot and a point of pride for the Trump Administration. Unemployment in the US fell to just 4.3 percent in May and is expected to go even lower, which is great news. But the other signs we’d expect to see of a booming economy aren’t quite there. For one, prices aren’t increasing like they should be. And the usual thing the Federal Reserve does to step on the gas and get the economy cranking hasn’t worked. It’s been more like gunning the accelerator when the car’s out of gear—lots of revving, no movement. Asteroid Mining Challenges the “Constitution” of Outer Space Guest: Henry Hertzfeld, JD, PhD, Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs, George Washington University, Member of the Space Policy Institute When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to step foot on the moon in 1969, they planted an American Flag on the lunar surface. It was a symbolic gesture—Americans weren’t saying they owned the moon. It’s not like first-come-first-served in space. Or is it? The question is no longer purely hypothetical: a number of private companies have plans to settle the moon or mine asteroids for precious metals like platinum. Is space the new Wild West? Toxic Masculinity Guest: Cristina Escobar, Director of Communications for The Representation Project, the nonprofit behind the documentary “The Mask You Live In” “Be a man.” Those three words can be incredibly damaging to a boy in American culture, according to a nonprofit called The Representation Project, which tackles gender stereotypes. The group’s films include a documentary called “The Mask You Live in” which explores what boys are taught about masculinity and how that affects the way they view their own worth and the worth of others. Learn more about healthy perceptions of gender on their website. Scientific Possibility of a 2-Hour Marathon Guest: Michael Joyner, MD, Exercise Physiologist, Mayo Clinic Running a mile in under four minutes was an impossible feat—until it wasn’t. Once Roger Bannister became the first to eke out a mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds back in 1954, an even faster mile quickly became the norm. Now, a group of Nike-sponsored runners are trying to break the two-hour threshold for a marathon. The world record currently stands at two hours and 57 seconds. Last month, the reigning Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge came 24 seconds short of breaking the 2-hour barrier. That was after years of training and research and special shoe development by Nike. So, can it be done? And what more would it take? Intellectual and Emotional Benefits of Dogs Guest: Darlene Kertes, PhD, Research Psychologist at the University of Florida; Deborah Linder, DVM, Professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, Associate Director of Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction We already know that man’s best friend is playmate, guardian, and companion. But new preliminary research suggests that dogs’ virtues may extend beyond the loyal friend and protector. For instance, does your child hate being assigned to read at school? A dog may be able to help with that. Do school assignments fill your student with dread and anxiety? Again, a dog may be able to help with that. Understanding Bacteria in Hospitals Guest: Jack Gilbert, PhD, Professor of Surgery, University of Chicago, Director of the Microbiome Center, Group Leader in Microbial Ecology, Argonne National Laboratory There are at least as many bacteria living in and on your body as there are cells in your body. You’re a walking bacterial colony. And guess what? Those bacteria don’t stay put. They’ve colonized your desk, your bed, your car—basically anywhere you spend a decent amount of time bears the fingerprint of your microbiome. Most of the time, the bacteria are helpful or harmless, but sometimes they’re really bad news. Understanding how this works – how our bacteria affect and are affected by our environment – is the goal of a fascinating research project being done at the University of Chicago.