Public Spaces, Oil Plunges, Lockdown's Effect on Animals

Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 1319

  • Apr 22, 2020 8:00 pm
  • 1:40:10 mins

Reimagining Our Public Spaces After the Pandemic (0:32) Guest: Andrew Manshel, Urban Space Public Developer, Author of “Learning From Bryant Park: Revitalizing Cities, Towns, and Public Spaces" It’s bad enough that the pandemic has forced us to keep our distance from one another. But having to stay inside is like rubbing salt in the wound. Americans are itching to get back into their parks and public squares when this is all over. That’ll be happening just as cities and counties face budget shortfalls from the pressures of the pandemic and economic recession. Urban planner Andrew Manshel says the best way to make public spaces work for a community is to focus on operating them well, not changing their design and adding expensive new structures. Could We Use Wastewater to Test for COVID-19? (20:22) Guest: Erica Gaddis, Director of the Utah Division of Water Quality. California officials have confirmed two deaths from COVID-19 took place in that state in mid-February, weeks before what we thought was the first documented US death. That means the coronavirus was circulating in the country earlier and wider than previously thought. And, the CDC director is warning that a second wave of COVID-19 next winter could be worse than the current one. Communities will need a way to detect new outbreaks as quickly as possible. And instead of testing everyone for COVID-19 every few weeks (which would be impossible), maybe they can just monitor what’s being flushed down sinks and toilets for traces of the virus? What Ever Happened to the Human Genome Project? (35:12) Guest: Ari Berkowitz, Professor of Biology, University of Oklahoma The Human Genome Project was supposed to transform modern medicine. Bill Clinton was president at the time, and he claimed it would “revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases.” One journalist even imagined that in 2020 we would all carry around personalized DNA cards so doctors could examine your genome to treat you. But the project was completed in 2003, and none of that has come to fruition. What happened? An Explanation of the Dramatic Swings in Oil Prices This Week (50:35) Guest: David Blackmon, Energy Industry Analyst, Editor of Shale Magazine, Contributor to The price of US oil plunged below zero dollars a barrel this week. That’s never happened before and it meant that some traders were actually paying people to take oil off their hands. An MIT Lab Hopes to Alter Our Dreams (1:08:00) Guest: Adam Haar Horowitz, PhD Student and Dream Lab Researcher at MIT’s Media Lab You know that drifting-off-to-sleep stage, where you’re still kind of awake but your subconscious mind is starting to take over? It’s in that moment that occasionally I’ll have a creative idea or solve a problem that’s been nagging at me. I’ve often wished I could tap into that more regularly. Consider the Rhino (1:25:55) Guest: Matt Brown, Africa Regional Managing Director of the Nature Conservancy  A world without people might sound like a haven for wild animals, and there have been reports of coyotes and raccoons making themselves at home in deserted streets and parks during the pandemic. But in Africa, endangered animals like rhinos are suddenly at higher risk because of the pandemic.