Capital Punishment, Anxiety, Ransomware, Learning Styles

Capital Punishment, Anxiety, Ransomware, Learning Styles

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

  • Mar 18, 2015 9:00 pm
  • 1:43:20 mins
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Execution in America (1:03) Guest: Austin Sarat, professor of law and political science at Amherst College and author of the 2014 book Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty  Numerous state legislatures are in the process of authorizing alternative methods of executing death row inmates if they run out of drugs used in lethal injection.  Those drugs have become increasingly difficult to obtain for a variety of reasons.  So, Utah lawmakers last week voted to reinstate the firing squad as a backup plan for execution. Electrocution is the backup plan under consideration in Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia. Oklahoma is considering something even more dramatic – a form of the gas chamber that entails death by nitrogen inhalation.  And the irony here, is that all of those methods have fallen out of favor over the years because lethal injection has been seen as more humane.   “The method of execution that has proven to be the most problematic has been lethal injection,” says Sarat.  Anxiety and Decisions (21:22) Guest: Sonia Bishop, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley  We all get a little anxious from time to time. Some 40 million adults in America experience something more than a “touch of nerves” on occasion – they have full-fledged anxiety disorders, such as phobias or panic attacks. And here’s a bit of bad news for those people – new research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience shows anxious people are more inclined to make bad decisions when faced with uncertainty.  Ransomware (39:29) Guest: Dale Rowe, IT Professor and head of the BYU’s “cyber security lab”  Reports of a terrifying new type of hack called “ransomware” have been increasing lately. It’s a type of software virus that encrypts all of the data on your computer and requires that you pay a ransom before the hackers will release your files.  American Heritage (51:45) Guest: Grant Madsen, BYU history professor  Of all the aspects of early American history, none seems harder to explain than slavery. In every aspect it seems both wrong and antithetical to how Americans see themselves today. It was based on racism. It required brutal violence to maintain itself. It treated people as property. In short, it violated in almost perfect order the very ideas that animated the American Revolution—the idea that all people are created equal and that governments are instituted to protect the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  It took the nation nearly a hundred years (and a bloody civil war) to end the practice of slavery. It took another century to begin the process of undoing the racism that justified it. Today we continue to talk about and live with the legacy of this “peculiar institution” (as southerners called it).  Learning Styles (1:12:34) Guest: Daniel Willingham, professor at the University of Virginia  There are dozens of theories about the different ways people learn. And cognitive psychologist Daniel Willingham says they’re pretty much just fads that are not terribly helpful for teachers in the classroom.  Precious Metals (1:26:59) Guest: Paul Westerhoff, environmental engineering professor at Arizona State University  We have treasure in a most unlikely place. Researchers have found significant amounts of precious metals in sewage sludge. They say that the valuable metals in bio solids may be worth up to $13-Million per year for a community of 1-Million people.

Episode Segments

American Heritage

21m

Guest: Grant Madsen, BYU history professor  Of all the aspects of early American history, none seems harder to explain than slavery. In every aspect it seems both wrong and antithetical to how Americans see themselves today. It was based on racism. It required brutal violence to maintain itself. It treated people as property. In short, it violated in almost perfect order the very ideas that animated the American Revolution—the idea that all people are created equal and that governments are instituted to protect the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  It took the nation nearly a hundred years (and a bloody civil war) to end the practice of slavery. It took another century to begin the process of undoing the racism that justified it. Today we continue to talk about and live with the legacy of this “peculiar institution” (as southerners called it).

Guest: Grant Madsen, BYU history professor  Of all the aspects of early American history, none seems harder to explain than slavery. In every aspect it seems both wrong and antithetical to how Americans see themselves today. It was based on racism. It required brutal violence to maintain itself. It treated people as property. In short, it violated in almost perfect order the very ideas that animated the American Revolution—the idea that all people are created equal and that governments are instituted to protect the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  It took the nation nearly a hundred years (and a bloody civil war) to end the practice of slavery. It took another century to begin the process of undoing the racism that justified it. Today we continue to talk about and live with the legacy of this “peculiar institution” (as southerners called it).

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