Focus

WILL - Focus - January 30, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

The Death Class

Who taught you what you know about death and dying? Did anyone?

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(Duration: 51:37)

author Erika Hayasaki

Erika Hayasaki met Professor Norma Bowe while she was covering the Virginia Tech shootings as a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. At the time, Hayasaki says she was reporting on a lot of death. It was when she discovered Bowe’s “Death in Perspective” class that she realized how much she had to learn.

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Champaign native, Erika Hayasaki about her new book “The Death Class.” Professor Norma Bowe, who teaches one of the most popular courses at Kean University in New Jersey also joins the show. We’ll hear what makes the class worth putting your name on a three year wait list.

Categories: Education

WILL - Focus - January 29, 2014 ~ Comment (1)

Women On the Internet: Welcome but not welcome?

This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about technology is changing the conversation about sexism. 

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(Duration: 51:52)

people working at computers in a library

Sunday evening when University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise emailed the campus to say that classes would indeed be held despite a predicted below zero temperature with windchills reaching into the double digits, the internet became a way for students to voice their discontent. Within hours, a Twitter hashtag joking about the cold turned into a sexist and racist attack on the Chancellor herself. During this hour on Focus, Scott Cameron talks with Amanda Hess, author of the recent article “Why Aren’t Women Welcome on the Internet” about her experiences with the kind of verbal abuse directed at Chancellor Wise. Hess also talks about the University’s nonresponse to the incident.

Then, host Jim Meadows talks with Kate Clancy, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. She blogs for the Scientific American about “human behavior, evolutionary medicine…..and ladybusiness” and recently wrote about the current plight of women in academia. She says the kinds of backhandedness that happens online translates into real life consequences. Emily Graslie, the producer and host of the Field Museum’s behind-the-scenes science vlog “The Brain Scoop,” also joins the show. Her recent post “Where My Ladies At?” questions whether more women would pursue careers in science if they were met with a different kind of judgment from men in the field.

Categories: Community, Gender issues

WILL - Focus - January 28, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Health Care in All the Wrong Places

Our current medical system is a business. Should it be?

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(Duration: 51:16)

Our current medical system is a business. Should it be? According to filmmaker Susan Parenti and Dr. Patch Adams, the answer to that question is “no.” In her new film “Health Care in All the Wrong Places,” Parenti explores the disconnect between the phrase “health care” and the actual meaning of the word “care.”

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Parenti and with Dr. Adams, who appears in the film as a patient, about what medicine could be. Adams, who is a student of Parenti’s in the Urbana based “School for Designing a Society,” has been working since he entered medical school in the late 1960’s to build a hospital where medical care is free and says that providing care should be, even though it often isn’t, at the heart of medical interaction.

Read more to see the trailer.

Categories: Health

WILL - Focus - January 27, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Encore: Farmacology - What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing

The laboratory seems worlds away from the farm, but according to Dr. Daphne Miller, they’re more closely connected than you  might think. This hour on Focus, Lisa Bralts talks with Dr. Miller about her argument that farming can teach us a lot about health. 

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(Duration: 51:33)

Dr. Daphne Miller

A recipe for healthy soil is very much like a recipe for a healthy body. That’s according to author and family physician Dr. Daphne Miller. In her new book “Farmcology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing,” she argues that sustainable cattle ranching can teach us a lot of lessons about raising health kids and says that she can see connections between the way certain vineyards manage pests and how we treat and think about cancer. This hour on Focus, Lisa Bralts talks with Miller about her book and the farms she visited while writing and researching it. We’ll also hear about why she says drinking raw milk is having unprotected sex. 

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WILL - Focus - January 24, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Encore: The Day Kennedy Died

Abraham Zapruder caught one of the most infamous moments in American history on film and sold the footage to Life Magazine. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with the reporter who convinced him to give up the film. 

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(Duration: 51:32)

President and Mrs. Kennedy at the Dallas airport

When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated at Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas in 1963, Richard Stolley was Los Angeles bureau chief for Life Magazine. He got a call soon after the news of the assassination broke that someone named Zapruder had caught the whole thing on film.

Stolley immediately started thumbing through the phone book looking for a way to contact him, and Life eventually obtained the footage for a price tag of more than $100,000. Years following the Kennedy assassination, Zapruder’s business partner has said the money wasn’t the only reason Zapruder gave up the film to Life. This hour on Focus, we'll listen back to a conversation host Jim Meadows had with Stolley about his Illinois roots, in part, helped him obtain that film. Meadows also talks with Stolley about the continuing significance of the Kennedy assassination and why the man and the moment still matter 50 years later.

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WILL - Focus - January 23, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Encore: In Meat We Trust - An Unexpected History of Carnivore America

In her new book “In Meat We Trust,” author Maureen Ogle argues the reason the meat industry has evolved into what it is today, is because that’s what consumers asked for.

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(Duration: 51:40)

Meat tenderized the old-fashioned way. The industrial method is a mechanized process involving needles.

When it comes to the meat industry, there is no shortage of opinion about whether large meat producers and packers are good or bad, but how and why did meat production become so controversial? How did we arrive at the production model we use today?

Author Maureen Ogle says that early in American history eating meat was a symbol of status and that consumers demanded low cost meat for their families. That, in addition to industrialization and the move of many Americans from rural areas to cities, is all a part of the very complex history of meat production in America. This hour on Focus, we'll listen back to a conversation she had about her new book “In Meat We Trust,” with host Jim Meadows. We'll hear more about why most of the meat we consume comes from a large factory farm rather than from a small family owned farm and about why Americans eat so much chicken.

Categories: Food

WILL - Focus - January 22, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Conceal and carry law now in effect

Illinois new conceal and carry law took effect January 1. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about what citizens who aren’t gun owners can expect from people who will soon be concealing a loaded weapon on their person.

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(Duration: 51:42)

A handgun is on display during a seminar on gun violence in Springfield, Ill.

Concealed Carry permits are being approved by the Illinois State Police and could start being mailed soon. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about who will be carrying a gun and what kind of training the state requires before they’ll issue a permit. Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh and concealed carry instructor John Boch join host Jim Meadows to start this hour on Focus. We’ll hear about how the application review process is working out in Champaign county and will hear what kind of training you can expect people with concealed carry permits to have.

Then, police departments and citizens who want a license to conceal and carry aren’t the only ones who’ve been getting ready for the new law. Private Security Consultant Tim Sutton says he’s been working with hospitals and churches addressing security concerns posed by the new law.

Did you apply for a conceal and carry license? Why do you want one? Now that conceal and carry is a reality in Illinois, do you feel safer or not? Give us a call this hour on Focus or find us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580

Categories: Community, Law

WILL - Focus - January 21, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Study shows pension fix won’t restore fiscal health to Illinois

In December, lawmakers passed legislation to fix the state’s multi-billion dollar pension shortfall. According to the Institute for Government and Public Affairs, it helps restore the pension system but won’t fix the state’s overall budget deficit.

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(Duration: 51:54)

Tally of votes in the Illinois Senate Tuesday on the pension reform bill

In December, lawmakers passed legislation to fix the state’s multi-billion dollar pension shortfall. According to the Institute for Government and Public Affairs, it helps restore the pension system but won’t fix the state’s overall budget deficit.

Was it supposed to? This hour on Focus, we’ll hear from Richard Dye, a Professor with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs about what the pension bill does and doesn’t do to help restore the state’s financial health.

Then, host Jim Meadows talks with Frank Shafroth, Director at the Center for State and Local Leadership at George Mason University. Public pension problems in Illinois are a consequence of unmade payments, is that the case around the country where other public pension systems are also failing? We’ll find out and will hear what decision makers around the country are doing to triage public pension systems.

Categories: Government, Politics

WILL - Focus - January 20, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

State of the Reunion: Rewriting History

This hour on Focus, we'll hear a special from State of the Reunion.

During this special broadcast, the team at State of the Reunion tells stories on the flipside of mainstream narratives. We'll hear about a darker side of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and will learn more about an incident that Tulsa, Oklahoma’s African American community is still trying to understand.

We apologize that we are unable to provide a podcast of this broadcast. Find more State of the Reunion episodes on their website.

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WILL - Focus - January 17, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Personal Finance: Money Mentors

How did you learn how to manage your money? This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks personal finance with Kathy Sweedler and Kevin Waspi. We welcome your calls and questions!

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(Duration: 51:40)

a dollar with some cents

Who taught you how to balance your checkbook? Be responsible with your credit card?  The state of Illinois mandates that all students in public schools should be taught the basics of personal finance, but according to University of Illinois Extension Educator Kathy Sweedler, that doesn’t ensure  financially literacy. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Sweedler about a new program called Money Mentors that aims to help answer personal finance questions through peer counseling.

Chartered Financial Analyst Kevin Wapsi also joins us this hour on Focus. The stock market set several record highs in 2013, we’ll talk with him about what we might expect out of 2014 and what things you should be thinking about looking forward to this year’s tax season.  Or course, this hour on Focus, we also welcome your personal finance questions whether you’re looking at buying a car, sending a child to college or just starting out. 

Read more for this month's couch potato porfolio.

Categories: Personal Finance

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