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How Fireworks Work, Scholarship Race, Coin Shortage

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Jul 1, 2020
  • 01:44:33

How Fireworks Work – and How the Pandemic Has Them on Ice (0:32) Guest: Steve Coman, CEO, RES Pyro The pandemic has forced cancellation of many of America’s favorite Fourth of July festivities. But fireworks can still happen – and are, in many cities, including my own. With the caveat that nobody can congregate in public places to watch them. Our city promises to launch them high enough in the sky that people should be able to see them from home. So let’s talk about the science of that. After all these years marveling at the color and flash of fireworks, do you actually know how they work?  Merit-Aids Arms Race Hurts Low-Income Students (18:27) Guest: Stephen Burd, Senior Writer & Editor, Education Policy Program, New America State funding for public universities has been steadily declining for decades. Those cuts sped up during the Great Recession, and probably will with the current recession, too. So, what can state colleges and universities do to fill the gaps? Raise tuition is an obvious one – and they’ve done that. Here’s one that’s counterintuitive: a lot of public universities have begun offering more scholarships to smart, wealthy students. Why would that make sense for a university? And where does it leave poorer students who need financial aid in order to attend college?  The History Between Patents and Hate Crimes (35:19) Guest: Lisa Cook, Professor of Economics, Michigan State University Modern traffic light. The gas mask. Elevator doors that open and close automatically. The electric curling iron. A process for making coconut oil. All of those things were invented by African Americans in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It’s just a partial list, but Michigan State University economist Lisa Cook wonders what’s not on that list. Her research shows periods of extreme violence and hatred against Blacks in America also coincide with a plunge in patents being awarded to African Americans. Apple Seed (52:46) Guest: Sam Payne, Host, The Apple Seed, BYUradio Sam Payne shares stories about Independence Day. Coins: The Latest Shortage to Hit Americans (1:04:33) Guest: William J. Luther, Assistant Professor of Economics at Florida Atlantic University, Director of the American Institute for Economic Research’s Sound Money Project, Adjunct Scholar with the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives I was in the drive-thru at the bank a few days ago when some guy pulled up in the lane next to me and asked for some rolls of quarters. I heard the bank teller say they weren’t distributing coins because of the pandemic and the guy drove away empty-handed. At the time I thought maybe bank wasn’t handing out coins for fear they could spread the virus. But now I realize the teller probably mean the bank had no coins to give. Apparently, there’s a nationwide coin shortage right now. Where’d all the quarters and dimes go?  What Sparked the American Revolution? (1:17:16) Guest: Phillip Goodrich, Author of “Somersett: Or Why and How Benjamin Franklin Orchestrated the American Revolution” Among the most famous founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin is kind of an outlier. Everybody knows his name, but he doesn’t even get a part in Hamilton, the Musical. Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton all cut dashing figures in that show. What was old “early to bed, early to rise” lightning-rod-kite Ben Franklin up to during the Revolutionary period? A lot more than you think, according to a new book by Phillip Goodrich. Show More...

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