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Fake News, Tunisia, Robot Movement, Bees

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Feb 28, 2019
  • 01:36:13

The Truth is Out There, but Most of Us Can’t Find it Online Guest: Sam Wineburg Professor of Education and History, Stanford University, Author of “Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone)” If you’re looking for it online, you’ll need some skills most of us over 30 did not learn in school. Remember when getting the facts about something entailed consulting an encyclopedia or using the card catalog to track down a book on the subject? Today, finding answers isn’t the problem. It’s knowing which answer to trust. And Sam Wineburg says most of us are pretty bad at that. Tunisia’s Democracy Shows the Power of Islamic Political Movements Guest: Shadi Hamid, Senior Fellow- Foreign Policy, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution There’s a legal battle underway this week in Tunisia over the right of an LGBT advocacy group to exist in an Islamic country where homosexuality is a crime. That there’s even a debate about the question –that it’s being settled in court rather than through violence –is significant. Eight years ago, the popular uprisings that overthrew dictators around the Arab world began in Tunisia. But today, only Tunisia has held onto the democracy installed during the Arab Spring. It’s considered an “island of freedom” in North Africa. But it’s not out of the woods. The Case for Making Robots More Human Guest: Amy LaViers, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois A couple of viral videos from a robotics company called Boston Dynamics have gotten a ton of attention because they’ve got this robot –named Atlas –that can do flawless backflips. It looks human-like, too, with two arms and two legs with ankles and knees and hips. The general reaction from millions of people who’ve seen that video is –“Well, that’s it, then. The robots have won.” Why We Should Listen to Bees (Originally aired June 7, 2018) Guest: Mark Winston, PhD, Professor and Senior Fellow in Simon Fraser University's Center for Dialogue and Professor of Biological Sciences The world’s largest bee was thought to have been extinct since 1981, but earlier this month one was rediscovered on an island in Indonesia. It has a wingspan of 2.5 inches across, and it frankly looks mean. But is that fair? Bees too often get a bad rap, argue poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar biologist Mark Winston in their book, “Listening to the Bees.” Bees can teach us quite a bit about being better humans, they argue. The White Shark Café (Originally aired July 3, 2018) Guest: Barbara Block, PhD, Professor of Biology, Stanford University Great White Sharks live in the coastal waters. But once or twice a year, many of them head for open ocean, congregating in a remote area in the Pacific that looks quite barren. Why do these Great Whites make that long trek to such an odd place? What an Italian Child Grave Suggests About Ancient Fears and Beliefs (Originally aired October 17, 2018) Guest: David Soren, PhD, Professor of Archaeology, University of Arizona In central Italy between Rome and Florence there’s an ancient burial ground known as the “Cemetery of Babies.” It dates to the 5th Century AD and may hold the remains of children who died in a devastating malaria epidemic. Archaeologists and anthropologists working there have uncovered lots of unusual things –including last year, when the remains of a10-year-old child were found buried with a rock jammed in the mouth. What can these discoveries tell us about how ancient Romans thought about life, death and disease? Show More...

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