The Far Side, Tree Poaching, Disney & Racism

The Far Side, Tree Poaching, Disney & Racism

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

  • Jul 10, 2020 10:00 am
  • 1:44:30 mins
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The Far Side’s Enduring Popularity (0:35) Guest: Kerry Soper, Professor in the Department of Comparative Arts and Letters, Brigham Young University, Author of “Gary Larson and the Far Side” Cows, cavemen, lumpy not-so-smart humans and animals always outsmarting them. Gary Larson’s strange, but smart, humor made The Far Side a hit. And now, the cartoonist is publishing new comics for the first time in 25 years. They’re on his website, thefarside.com. (Originally aired 3/18/2019) Feral Pigs Are Destroying Wildlife (22:26) Guest: Marcus Lashley, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, University of Florida There are just under 7 million feral pigs running free around the US – that’s triple what there were back in the 1980s. And even if you are a bacon-lover, this is not good news. Wild pigs can destroy ecosystems, and they’re not native to the US, which makes their effect even worse. (Originally aired 9/18/2019) How to Catch a Tree Thief: Timber Poaching in the Pacific Northwest (37:37) Guest: Anne Minden, Former Special Agent at the US Forest Service, President of Minden and Associates, LLC Animal poaching is a problem you’re familiar with. But did you know that people also poach trees? Timber thieves will take chainsaws onto Forest Service land, bring down a Douglas fir or a bigleaf maple and make hundreds of dollars selling the wood to a sawmill or a furniture manufacturer. Anne Minden is one of the handful of people who track down tree-robbers. (Originally aired 10/21/2019) This Content May Contain Outdated Cultural Depictions (52:49) Guest: Shilpa Davé, Assistant Professor of Media Studies and American Studies, University of Virginia Disneyland’s famous Imagineers recently announced that Splash Mountain will be completely reimagined as a new ride based on “The Princess and the Frog.” Meaning, it will no longer be based on one of the most problematic films in Disney’s archive – “Song of the South.”Many of Disney’s classic animated films are so problematic they currently carry the following warning on Disney+: “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.” Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp and Dumbo are all on that list. Think of that. I loved those films as a kid. We had a Disney sing-a-long record that I wore out dancing along to catchy tunes. So, is it enough for Disney to put a warning label on these films today? Would it be better to edit out the offensive stuff? Or keep them off Disney+ entirely? (Originally aired 11/20/2019) Can Perfectionism Be Toxic? (1:10:47) Guest: Thomas Curran, Professor of Psychology, London School of Economics and Political Science Job interviewers will often ask a candidate “What’s your greatest weakness?” And savvy job seekers might answer with something like, “Oh, I’m too much of a perfectionist.” It’s a clever way to twist the question in your favor, but psychologist Thomas Curran says that this characteristic is dangerous and not something to be proud of. He’s found that it’s on the rise in young people, and that could be why cases of depression and anxiety are also going up. (Originally aired 10/15/2020) How Much Is Too Much? When Curiosity Kills the Cat (1:26:10) Guest: Ming Hsu, Associate Professor, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley The instant gratification of having the internet at your fingertips is often irresistible, isn’t it? I’ll be watching TV and suddenly need to know right now what else the show’s creator has done, what else the main actor has been in, how old they are, how tall they are. . . it’s an  endless rabbit hole of curiosity for useless information. And meanwhile, I end up missing key plot points because I can’t put the phone down. Neuroscientist Ming Hsu has found – through scanning people’s brains – that we crave useless information for the same reasons we crave junk food. (Originally aired 7/31/2020)

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