Focus

WILL - Focus - March 19, 2013

Reporting Prescription Side Effects

Have you ever experienced side effects from your medications? What did you do? Today on Focus, we talked about how side effects are currently reported to the Food and Drug Administration and how new technologies could improve that process.

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(Duration: 50:28)

prescription pills

This hour on Focus, we talk about how researchers are working to use internet data to better detect adverse drug interactions. Earlier this month, scientists at Microsoft, Stanford University and Columbia University used online searches to detect unreported drug side effects, and they identified several unreported side effects before the Food and Drug Administration’s warning system did. During this episode of Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Dr. James Rybacki, a pharmacist who has written extensively about prescriptions, about how the FDA currently tracks drug interactions and negative side effects and how computers could improve the process. We also talk about the testing processes that go into FDA approval and about the differences between adverse effects and prescription side effects. 

Rybacki is the author of "The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs." Find more information about him and his guidebook here

Categories: Health

WILL - Focus - March 18, 2013

Quantifying Happiness

What makes you happy? Can you quantify it? This hour on Focus, we talked with Ed Diener, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, who is a pioneer in the study of happiness. He’s the recipient of the 2012 William James Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Psychological Science.

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(Duration: 50:24)

Ed Diener giving a lecture

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with “Dr. Happiness.” Ed Diener, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, has written extensively about what factors influence psychological wealth and well-being. We’ll talk with him about his research, how he got others in the field to take him seriously when he started trying to quantify something so abstract, and what makes life satisfaction so vital to our health.


WILL - Focus - March 15, 2013

Coming up on Next Week on Focus: Fracking, Quantifying Happiness and Prescription Side Effects

What makes you happy? Can you quantify it?  If you could have a voice in writing regulations for something you strongly oppose, would you? Or would you walk away on principle? Find out more about what’s coming up on Focus. 

fracking

Next week on Focus, we'll talk with one of the pioneers in the reserach of happiness about how he got the pscyhological science community to take him seriously, how computers could soon change the way we talk about prescription side effects and how environmental groups came together to work with energy companies to write state regualtions for hyrdraulic fracturing. 


WILL - Focus - March 15, 2013

Personal Finance

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Kevin Waspi, a lecturer of Finance at the UIUC College of Business about personal finance.

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(Duration: 50:27)

a dollar with some cents

As the state’s pension crisis continues, we talk with Kevin Waspi, a lecturer of Finance at the University of Illinois College of Business, about planning for retirement and what the best options are if you’re a state employee. Host Jim Meadows also talks with Waspi about financial planners and how to make sense of the differences between a C.F.A, a C.P.A., a C.F.P. and all the other titles financial planners use to identify themselves. They also discuss how to make sense of the couch potato porfolio. Of course this hour on Focus, we also welcome your questions for Kevin whether you are just starting out and looking for advice on investing, thinking about buying a home, or sending your kids to college.

Categories: Personal Finance

WILL - Focus - March 14, 2013

White Nose Syndrome Found in Illinois: Why it Matters

Do you drink tequila? Eat chocolate? Thank a bat. This hour on Focus, we talked about these notorious flying mammals, the role they play in our eco-system and why white nose syndrome is so scary.

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(Duration: 55:01)

Bats are notorious in popular culture, but they play a vital role in our eco-system. Of the more than 1,000 species that exist worldwide, 13 can be found in Illinois, and six of those species are now being threatened by white nose syndrome, a poorly understood disease that's responsible for mass die offs of hundreds of thousands of bats nationwide. During this episode of Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ed Heske, a mammalian ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, a part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, about bats, why they’re important and why white nose syndrome is so scary, especially for farmers.


WILL - Focus - March 13, 2013

East Central Illinois: Where Jobs are Created and Sustained?

Do you make it a point to shop and support locally owned stores and restaurants? It really does make a big difference to the local economy if you do. Today on Focus, we talked about economic development and new trends in the area.

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(Duration: 50:26)

According to a new report from the Milken Institute, Champaign-Urbana and Danville are both on the list of best performing small cities, but what does that really mean? The report shows Danville climbing in ranking while Chambana was slipping. During this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Vicki Haugen, President and CEO of Vermilion Advantage and Mike Kirchoff, President and CEO of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation.

We’ll talk about new development projects in the area, trends with unemployment rates and Danville’s retail resurgence. We’ll also talk about the health of the manufacturing industry in East Central Illinois, what’s ahead for the region and how we can keep local economies healthy in spite of state budget woes.

Categories: Animals, Community, Economics

WILL - Focus - March 12, 2013

Changing Politics in Latin American

This hour on Focus, we talked with Venezuelan native and Political Science Associate Professor Damarys Canache about Hugo Chavez’s death. Then for the second half of the hour, Theodore Piccone, Deputy Director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution joins the show to talk about what changes in Venezuela mean for Cuba.

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(Duration: 50:25)

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez, who was the President of Venezuela until he died March 5, started his controversial political career as an outsider.  During the first half of this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Damarys Canache, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Urbana-Champaign who is a Venezuelan native, about Hugo Chavez, his rise to power and what his death means for the country moving forward. Then during the second part of the show, we’ll talk with Theodore Piccone, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, about what Chavez’s death means for Cuba. We’ll also talk with him about Raul Castro’s recent announcement to step down after his current presidential term comes to an end in 2018 and what’s next for the Cuban Communist Party.


WILL - Focus - March 11, 2013

My Name is Jody Williams

Jody Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her campaign to eradicate landmines. But she wasn’t always an activist. This hour on Focus, we talked with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams about her new memoir, “My Name is Jody Williams.”

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(Duration: 50:30)

Jody Williams

She’s been named 100 of the most power in the world by Forbes, has twice been recognized as “Woman of the Year” by Glamour magazine, is the recipient of fifteen honorary degrees and last but not least, is a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Jody Williams about her recently published memoir “My Name is Jody Williams.” Williams tells us about her life as an activist, why she’s spent her career advocating for freedom and human rights and what she really means when she talks about peace.

Williams in the inaugural Jane Addams Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Illinois.

Categories: International Affairs

WILL - Focus - March 08, 2013

Bats, Economic Development and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate: Coming up next week on Focus

Is it important to you to shop locally? Did you know bats play a really important role in the production of tequila and chocolate? Find out more about what’s coming up on Focus and join our conversation.

Jody Williams

Monday, March 11 - My Name is Jody Williams
Have you been an activist? What causes matter to you?

Jody Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her campaign to eradicate landmines. But she wasn’t always an activist. Monday on Focus, we’ll talk with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams about her new memoir, “My Name is Jody Williams.” She’ll tell us about her life as an activist, why she’s spent her career advocating for freedom and human rights and what she really means when she uses the word “peace.”


WILL - Focus - March 08, 2013

Gardening with Native Plants

Have you been scouring catalogs looking for the perfect plants to get started in your garden this spring? This hour on Focus, we talked with Sherrie Snyder, a master naturalist and the President of Illinois Prairie Wild Ones, about the benefits of incorporating native plants in your yard and garden. Sandy Mason, UI extension horticulture expert, also joins the show. 

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(Duration: 50:25)

black eyed susan

During this episode of Focus, we talk about the benefits of planting native plants and wildflowers in your yard and garden. Sherrie Snyder, a master naturalist and the President of Illinois Prairie Wild Ones, a non-profit that promotes the use of native plants in landscaping, joins us to talk about how wildflowers don’t have to look wild and how native plants don’t have to look unkempt. We’ll talk about what native plants draw what kinds of native wildlife and find out the best flowers to plant if you want butterflies and birds in your yard.


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