Guantanamo and Gaza, Movies in China, Drones
Top of Mind with Julie Rose
- Mar 11, 2015 9:00 pm
- 1:44:31 mins
Guantanamo, Gaza, and Boko Haram (1:05) Guest: Eric Jensen, Law Professor at BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School As the United States begins to “normalize” relations with Cuba and President Obama winds down his final term in office, the detention center he promised to close at Guantanamo Bay remains open and very much a political hot potato. Cuban officials would like to take back the 45 square miles of their island that have been controlled by the U.S. since 1903. Guantanamo is America’s oldest overseas military base, but it’s become better known as the detention center for “foreign terrorism suspect.” Treatment of those detainees has drawn international criticism and lawsuits from the prisoners themselves. In fact, this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear two appeals involving detainees who claim they were tortured at Guantanamo. “Al-Nashiri has been held by the U.S. government for 13 years. I’m not sure I can predict a time when this all will close,” says Jensen. “Gaza is the most densely populated place in the world. It is at least in the minds of the Gazans, a true prison,” says Jensen. Hollywood in China (33:25) Guest: Stanley Rosen, Professor of Political Science and Director of the East Asian Studies Center at the University of Southern California One of last year’s biggest box office hits in North America did even better in China. Transformers 4: Age of Extinction earned about $245 million in the U.S., but more than $300 million in China, making it the highest grossing film of all time in that market. And Hollywood is taking note of the possibilities as North American movie ticket sales flag. “In February last month, China was the largest film market in the world. Last month china past the United States for the first time,” says Rosen. American Heritage: Federalist Papers, no. 10 (52:25) Guest: Grant Madsen, BYU History Professor Marcus Smith joins Grant Madsen to discuss the background of the Federalist Papers, written by James Madison to argue for the Constitution’s ratification. Madison essentially wrote the “rough draft” of the Constitution. He wrote Federalist Paper number 10 to discuss some of the key features of the new document. Madison ran for his local state house back in the day and lost to a tavern-owner, who gave all the voters free beer. Federalist paper number 10 considers this problem: how elites can “buy” votes and wield disproportionate power. “The term he used was cancelling ‘local faction’—you can overcome the powers of small groups through large groups.” This contradicted common theories of republican governments, which insisted that functioning Republics must be small. “Imagine whoever the cool kids were in your high school actually were in charge of something,” says Madison. “Imagine if a clique sort of got power, how would they wield it? They’d remember all the people they wanted to get back at, and seize power to do it.” Madison’s idea was more “factions,” not less, actually help cancel out their power. The more people you have competing for the same job, the better candidates you’d get. Never Lose Your Child Again With This Student-Made Smartband (1:13:47) Guest: Spencer Behrend, BYU MBA student When you take a toddler to a crowded public space, you better be prepared to keep one hand on the kid at all times, or risk just the kind of scare that prompted my next guest to invent a new technology. After Spencer Behrend temporarily lost his 2-year-old son in a massive Fourth of July parade, he invented a Bluetooth device called “Kiband” \[pronounced “Kie-band”], to help parents keep track of their kids without needing a leash. “There’s no GPS in this version of the Kiband, it’s just for localized supervision of the child,” says Behrend. It only goes as far as the Bluetooth radius of your phone. When a child goes further than the set range a parent sets, an alarm will go off on the Kiband bracelet. “The problem isn’t ‘when’ is that child getting too far away, but ‘where’ is that child getting too far away,” says Behrend. “You can very quickly react and find where the child is.” Sample-Collecting Drones (1:26:41) Guest: Carrick Detweiler, assistant professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nebraska Now that the Federal Aviation Administration has released rules on when and where drones can fly in the U.S., we’re beginning to hear about a range of possibilities for small unmanned aerial vehicles that go beyond delivering packages or spying on your neighbors. Scientists are keen to use drones in their research. Dr. Carrick Detweiler is working on just that—he’s an assistant professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nebraska. Detweiler is working with physical water scientists to figure out where the water might be coming from, and how they may be connecting with each other. “Right now these vehicles are very good at flying high and taking pictures,” says Detweiler, “in the future they could go out and take samples or place sensors.” The new regulations by the Federal Aviation Administration slow down some of Detweiler’s hopes for development, given that drones must remain in “line of sight” of an operator. Detweiler hopes that they may one day fully automate the system.