Civil Rights, Laughing Gas, Middle East, Monarch Butterfly

Civil Rights, Laughing Gas, Middle East, Monarch Butterfly

Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 4

  • Feb 12, 2015 10:00 pm
  • 1:44:48 mins

Civil Rights Guest: Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Author of the book, “Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt” and Professor of African American and US History and The Ohio State University  Fifty years ago next month, the historic march from Selma to Montgomery helped usher in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The midpoint of that march passed through the rural Lowndes County, Alabama. Jeffries clarifies the misconception that the African American struggle for rights culminated with the passage of the Voting Rights Act, 50 years ago. That he says, was in many ways, just a beginning.  “Embrace nonviolence tactically, strategically. If you came into Bloody, Lowndes County and talked about nonviolence,” says Jeffries, “you were going to get yourselves killed.”  The black panther was a symbol that originated in the rural south coming out of the civil rights struggle. According to Jeffries, African Americans in Lowndes County, Alabama can relate to this symbol because “cats are peaceful animals until there are backed up into a corner. Self-defense in the rural southwest was critical to their \[African Americans'] survival. It was an aspect of the movement we often overlook.”  Laughing Gas & Depression Guest: Dr. Charles Zorumski, Professor of neurobiology and head of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis  A team of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have found that giving nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, to individuals with severe depression makes the majority of them feel better.  “Nitrous is given in dentist’s offices for a long time, so there is a track record of studying it and it’s well tolerated,” says Zorumski.  Meetings Joe Allen, Professor in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at BYU  “Bad meetings create the need for more meetings. Meetings beget meetings. We think the meeting will solve the problem but the problem might actually be the meeting,” says Allen.  Allen suggested three key components a successful meeting:  1\. Meeting relevance: ensuring that you’ve invited the people that need to be there and what is being discussed is relevant to those people. If we can only invite people the meeting is necessary for, you capture some of that relevance. You’re not walking out of a meeting thinking you’ve lost an hour of your life.  2\. Providing an opportunity for voice within the meeting: everyone in the room feels they’ve had an opportunity to express their opinion.  3\. Meeting time courtesy: it’s about managing the meeting effectively.  Middle-East Panel Guests: Steven Lobell, Political Science Professor at the University of Utah  John Macfarlane, Political Science Professor at Utah Valley University  Fred Axelgard, Senior Fellow in International Relations at the BYU Wheatley Institute  We discuss foreign affairs in Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Israel, and more with our middle-east panel.  Obama looks to Congress for an approval to wage a war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “I think what’s interesting is we’re seeing a bit of a refocusing going on. The focus is really on ISIS now and not on the Assad regime,” says Lobell.  “I believe ISIS declaring a caliphate is a sign of weakness, a sign of desperation,” says Axelgard.  “We need to give diplomacy time in these negotiations to work out. With Iran, if you push them even more,” says Macfarlane, “they’re just going to have their backs against the wall and they’re going to stop negotiations.”  Protecting Monarchs Guest: Dr. David James, Professor of Entomology at Washington State University  The U.S. government is launching a major campaign to save the monarchy butterfly. The butterflies are found across the United States, but their numbers have declined by about 90 percent in recent years.  “It can all be traced back to lack of milk weed—it’s the major cause. Without milk weed they’re unable to survive,” says James.  “We lose an important pollinator. They are food for birds and other insects. They’re a part of a natural ecosystem. They’re also an indicator of things going wrong. All of our pollinators are in trouble,” says James.