Fresh Air
Fresh Air
Sep 19, 2020
Best Of: The Origin Of Data Science & Elections / Novelist Ayad Akhtar
Play episode · 50 min
Harvard historian and 'New Yorker' writer Jill Lepore tells the story of the Simulmatics Corporation. Founded in 1959, it used a so-called "people machine," a computer program it claimed could predict the impact of political messages or advertising pitches. Her book is 'If Then.'

TV critic David Bianculli reviews Ryan Murphy's new Netflix series 'Ratched,' an origin story of the notorious nurse from 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.'

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar talks about his new novel, 'Homeland Elegies,' which explores the experiences of a Muslim man who, like Akhtar, grows up in Wisconsin, the son of Pakistani immigrants.
Radiolab
Radiolab
WNYC Studios
Kittens Kick The Giggly Blue Robot All Summer
With the recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there's been a lot of debate about how much power the Supreme Court should really have. We tend to think of the Supreme Court justices as all-powerful guardians of the constitution, issuing momentous rulings from on high. They seem at once powerful, and unknowable; all lacy collars and black robes. But they haven’t always been so, you know, supreme. On this episode of More Perfect, we go all the way back to the case that, in a lot of ways, is the beginning of the court we know today. Also: we listen back to a mnemonic device (and song) that we created back in 2016 to help people remember the names of the justices. Listen, create a new one, and share with us! Tweet The key links: - Akhil Reed Amar's forthcoming book, The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era - Linda Monk's book, The Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution The key voices: - Linda Monk, author and constitutional scholar - Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law at Yale - Ari J. Savitzky, lawyer at WilmerHale The key cases: - 1803: Marbury v. Madison - 1832: Worcester v. Georgia - 1954: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1) - 1955: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (2) Additional music for this episode by Podington Bear. Special thanks to Dylan Keefe and Mitch Boyer for their work on the above video. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.
40 min
On the Media
On the Media
WNYC Studios
OTM presents - Blindspot Ep. 5: The Idea
For this week's podcast extra, we're once more highlighting the work of our colleague Jim O'Grady and his brilliant podcast "Blindspot: The Road to 9/11." This is episode 5: The Idea. The World Trade Center was built with soaring expectations. Completed in 1973, its architect, Minoru Yamasaki, hoped the towers would stand as “a representation of man’s belief in humanity” and “world peace.” He even took inspiration from the Great Mosque in the holy city of Mecca with its tall minarets looking down on a sprawling plaza. What he did not expect was that the buildings would become a symbol to some of American imperialism and the strangling grip of global capitalism. Our story picks up in Manila — January 6th, 1995 — where police respond to an apartment fire and uncover a plot to assassinate the Pope. A suspect gives up his boss in the scheme: Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Yousef has been on the run for two years and has disappeared again. Port Authority Detective Matthew Besheer and FBI Special Agent Frank Pellegrino fly to Manila to follow his trail. They learn that Yousef has a horrifying attack in the works involving bombs on a dozen airplanes, rigged to explode simultaneously. President Bill Clinton grounds all U.S. flights from the Pacific as the era of enhanced airline security begins. Yousef’s plot is foiled. But what it reveals about his intentions is chilling.
55 min
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