WILL - Focus - July 04, 2013

Capitol Steps: Politics Takes A Holiday

Today on Focus, we’ll listen to a 4th of July special from the Capitol Steps.

The Gang of 8 has announced that in order to be a citizen of the United States, you have to listen to The Capitol Steps 4th of July special, “Politics Takes a Holiday!” Also, statistics show that many people who have not listened to past specials have been audited by the IRS. Coincidence? Probably! This episode is not for the faint of heart….or those considering running for office.

Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday is a holiday special. We apologize that we are not able to provide a podcast for this hour.

Categories: Politics

WILL - Focus - July 03, 2013

Full Upright and Locked Position: Not-So-Comfortable Truths About Air Travel Today

Airline travel has never been safer… but what exactly does that mean? This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with Mark Gerchick, author of the new book “Full Upright and Locked Position: Not So Comfortable Truths About Air Travel Today.”


(Duration: 51:24)

Former Chief Counsel to the Federal Aviation Administration Mark Gerchick writes in his new book that air travel, while once glamorous, has been reduced to “an uncomfortable, crowded and utterly soulless ordeal to be avoided whenever possible.” Do you agree?

This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with Gerchick about the behind the scenes details of air travel. He’ll tell us about how the industry has changed since 9/11 and will talk with Chris about why flying first class keeps getting classier while flying economy seems to get more miserable all the time. We’ll also talk with Gerchick about safety; while the act of flying has really never been safer, pilots, like just about anybody else, are overworked and flying with equipment that is sometimes outdated.

Do you have questions about what happens on planes? Focus producer Lindsey Moon was horrified to find out that any humidity inside an airplane is entirely comprised of fluid from the humans on board…sweat and breathing moisture. Tweet us @Focus580, find us on Facebook or post in the comments section below.

Categories: Transportation, Travel

WILL - Focus - July 02, 2013

Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America

Do you use ketchup? Maybe you prefer mustard or a more flashy Chicago style? This hour on Focus, Jeff Bossert talks with Bruce Kraig about the hot dog, where it came from, and why it’s such an integral part of summertime in the US.


(Duration: 51:30)

They go by many names… Frankfurters. Franks. Weiners. Tube Steaks. Coneys. Grillers. Shaggy Dogs or just “dogs.”  But when and why did hot dogs become such a quintiensccial part of American culture? This hour on Focus, Jeff Bossert talks with Bruce Kraig, co-author of the new book “Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture In America.” Bossert talks with Kraig about what’s in a hot dog, how they are made and how hot dogs, like sausages, have played a role in city politics in Chicago. We’ll also talk about the virtually limitless recipes and ways to prepare them.

This hour we'll also hear from long-time Wonderdogs owner Jay Feitz. He left a career as an engineer to run the hot dog shop located in Campustown in Champaign nearly 30 years ago and is officially closing his doors this week. 

Do you have a favorite local hot dog shop? What are your toppings? 

Categories: Food

WILL - Focus - July 01, 2013

Encore: Going Cashless?

This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation we had this spring about what it would be like to live in a cashless society.

a heap of money

Fewer and fewer people are regularly carrying cash. Carrying cards seems easier, and paying with plastic leaves a handy electronic record to track where your money goes. But with lots of questions circling about cyber-security, isn’t there a huge advantage to paying with cash money? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about money, currency and what it would be like to live in a world without cash. David Wolman, author of “The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers – and the Coming Cashless Society and Professor of Finance Charles Kahn join us. Kahn is a consultant at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and has written about payments economics and identify theft.

Categories: Economics

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