Fresh Air
Fresh Air
Sep 14, 2020
Writer Ayad Akhtar On Blending Fact & Fiction
Play episode · 49 min
Actor, playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar won a Pulitzer Prize for 'Disgraced,' his play about an American-born Muslim who hosts a dinner party that sparks a heated discussion of religion and politics. Akhtar's new novel, 'Homeland Elegies,' explores the experiences of a Muslim man who, like Akhtar, grows up in Wisconsin, the son of Pakistani immigrants.

Also, Ken Tucker reviews the album 'What Could Be Better' by the band The Happy Fits.
Future Perfect
Future Perfect
Vox
How to prevent a factory farmed pandemic
What if the next pandemic comes, not from wet markets overseas, but from our own factory farms? Martha Nelson, who studies viruses at the NIH, says we are playing Russian roulette with potentially dangerous influenza strains on our pig farms.  In this episode, we explain what makes these giant farms so likely to breed the next pandemic virus — and spread that virus into the world. And then, we look at solutions — from creating a virus-resistant pig, to developing a universal vaccine, to changing the systems we have for raising meat itself. Further listening and reading:  Sigal Samuel wrote an in-depth explainer on the pandemic risks of factory farms earlier this year. She’s also written about “wet markets.” The Vox video team also made an explainer video on the same subject.  For more on how viruses can spread in the pig population, Martha Nelson has an excellent paper “When Pigs Fly.” The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations wrote a 2013 report on the health risks of factory farming. Sonia Shah’s book Pandemic is a great primer on how pandemic strains arise. We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com.  Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week. This podcast is made possible thanks to support from Animal Charity Evaluators. They research and promote the most effective ways to help animals. Featuring: Byrd Pinkerton (@byrdala), podcast producer, Vox Martha Nelson (@swientist), epidemiologist, National Institutes of Health Juergen Richt (@juergenricht), professor of veterinary medicine, Kansas State University Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox  More to explore: Follow all of Future Perfect’s reporting on the Future of Meat. Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. Follow Us: Vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25 min
How to Save a Planet
How to Save a Planet
Gimlet
Cold Hard Cash for Your Greenhouse Gas
Cold Hard Cash for Your Greenhouse Gas When we think about what’s heating up the planet, we may picture CO2 from smokestacks and tailpipes. But there are other greenhouse gases that are even more dangerous. And some of these are hiding in garages and sheds all over the country. We’re talking about refrigerants. They’re the secret sauce behind how refrigerators and air conditioners keep things cool. But they’re heating up the planet. This week, in collaboration with NPR’s Planet Money, we take a ride with a couple of guys who tackle these climate threats with a pair of extremely high-tech tools: a van, and some cold hard cash. Then, we talk about the climate solution you could be interacting with every time you buy ice cream. Also, sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already!  Calls to action Find out what refrigerant your local grocer uses at climatefriendlysupermarkets.org. Check out how the big supermarket chains are doing on HFCs using the Supermarket Scorecard. As for your own household fridge, if you're in the market or know someone who is, choose an HFC-free model. Learn more about how to properly dispose of your fridge, freezer, air conditioners, and other such appliances at the end of their useful lives. Of course, you can always call Tim and Gabe to help with disposal too! Check out their work at Tradewater and Refrigerant Finders. Sign Green America’s Cool It! Campaign petition. While you’re there, find a climate friendly supermarket near you and thank them! If you’re a business owner, submit a letter to the Trump Administration asking them to ratify the Kigali Amendment, the international treaty that sets the phase down schedule for HFCs globally. You would be joining many states, major industry refrigerant suppliers, and elected officials from both sides of the aisle. The AIM Act is a bipartisan bill, supported by both the House and the Senate, that effectively would enforce the same HFC phase down schedule as the Kigali Amendment without needing to ratify it – it would cut HFC use by 85% by 2035! However, it’s likely to be vetoed by the current President. So….vote, specifically, #VoteClimate. And when it comes to local candidates those really matter too for things like public transit and composting and bike lines, so please do a little digging of your own on local candidates. Finally, if you do end up taking one of these actions — do us a favor and tell us about it! We’d love to hear about what you did and what it felt like. So if you do something, record a short voice memo on your phone and send it to us at howtosaveaplanet@spotify.com. We might use it in an upcoming episode.
45 min
In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt
In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt
Lemonada Media
How Everything Got Out of Control (with Alex Gibney)
Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney chronicles the United States' failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic in his brand new film, Totally Under Control. Andy and Alex cover what went wrong and why. Hear the first draft of history get underway even as we live it.  Keep up with Andy on Twitter @ASlavitt and Instagram @andyslavitt. Follow Alex Gibney on Twitter and Instagram @alexgibneyfilm.  In the Bubble is supported in part by listeners like you. Become a member, get exclusive bonus content, ask Andy questions, and get discounted merch at https://www.lemonadamedia.com/inthebubble/    Support the show by checking out our sponsors! Livinguard masks have the potential to deactivate COVID-19 based on the testing they have conducted from leading universities such as the University of Arizona and the Free University in Berlin, Germany. Go to shop.livinguard.com and use the code BUBBLE10 for 10% off. You can digitally purchase life insurance from Haven Life Insurance Agency at havenlife.com/bubble. Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC17DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is 0K71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527.   Check out these resources from today’s episode:  Find out where to watch Totally Under Control: https://neonrated.com/films/totally-under-control Watch Andy’s full interview with Christiane Amanpour on why COVID-19 is the ultimate pre-existing condition: https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/10/16/amanpour-andy-slavitt-coronavirus.cnn  Check out Andy’s recent Twitter thread on COVID-19 becoming a national crisis: https://twitter.com/ASlavitt/status/1318191727992311809  Are you hoping to vote in the 2020 election? Are you confused about how to request an absentee ballot in your state? This website can help you with that: https://www.betterknowaballot.com/   Volunteer to work at your local polling place this November 3rd: https://www.powerthepolls.org/.  Pre-order Andy’s book, Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response, here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250770165    To follow along with a transcript and/or take notes for friends and family, go to www.lemonadamedia.com/show/in-the-bubble shortly after the air date. Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. For additional resources, information, and a transcript of the episode, visit lemonadamedia.com. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
46 min
Science Friday
Science Friday
Science Friday and WNYC Studios
Should We Trust Election Forecasting, COVID Dreams. Oct 23, 2020, Part 1
The first “scientific” election poll was conducted in 1936 by George Gallup, who correctly predicted that Franklin D. Roosevelt would win the presidential election. Since Gallup, our appetite for polls and forecasts has only grown, but watching the needle too closely might have some unintended side effects. Solomon Messing, chief scientist at ACRONYM, a political digital strategy nonprofit, tells us about a study he co-authored that found people are often confused by what forecast numbers mean, and that their confidence in an election’s outcome might depress voter turnout. Sunshine Hillygus, professor of political science and public policy at Duke University, also joins to tell us about the history of polling in the United States. Next up, say you're standing in a crowded room and realizing nobody is wearing a mask. Or a family dog that has passed away protectively guarding grandkids. Maybe having a pleasant get-together with someone you haven’t thought of in years, then suddenly realizing everyone is a little too close, and a little too sick. Do any of these instances sound familiar? A few weeks ago, we asked Science Friday listeners if their dreams have changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We heard from many listeners who said yes, their dreams have become more vivid, with elements of the pandemic included. A change in dreams due to a crisis is very common, says Deirdre Barrett, a dream researcher and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. When we’re in a dream state, the brain is processing the same things we think about during the day. But when we’re asleep, the parts of our brain that handle logic and speech are damped down. The parts that handle visuals, however, are ramped up. Barrett has been collecting dreams from people all over the world since the start of the pandemic. She says common dream themes range from actually getting the virus, natural disasters and bug attacks. Healthcare workers have regularly reported the highest level of stressful COVID-19 dreams, according to her data. “The typical dream from the healthcare workers is really a full-on nightmare,” Barrett says. “Just as bad as you’d see in war zones.” Barrett joins SciFri producer Kathleen Davis to talk about her research into crisis dreams, and what people can do if they want to experience stressful dreams less often. And, search engine giant Google was served an antitrust lawsuit by the Justice Department this week, which alleges the company abuses its near-monopoly status to harm consumers and competitors. This is the first such action against the company, which, over the last couple decades, has grown into one of the more powerful tech companies in history. Meanwhile, early data from New York City schools shows a promising picture of what back-to-school in the age of COVID means. Out of more than 16,000 randomly tested students and staff members, only 28 positive results came back—20 from staff members, and eight from students. While COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools across the country are not zero, low rates are the norm so far. Joining Ira to talk about these stories and other news from the week is Nsikan Akpan, a science editor at National Geographic in Washington, D.C.
47 min
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