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WILL - Focus - January 16, 2013

Grammar and Linguistics

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(Duration: 51:30)

Dennis Baron will join us for a conversation about language. He is a professor of English at the University of Illinois, and we'll talk about the way that the English language continues to change in spite of its resistance to deliberate reform. You are invited to call with questions about grammar, and of course, complaints about misuse of the language are always welcome.


WILL - Focus - January 15, 2013

Solar Power in Illinois

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(Duration: 51:30)

Solar Panels in Front of a Midwestern Home

The price of solar panels has fallen in recent years, but installation is still expensive and time intensive. Despite the cost, the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana is in the process of finalizing plans to build a 20 acre solar farm on campus, and some residents of downstate Illinois are starting to feed power into the grid with solar panels installed on their homes.

Categories: Energy

WILL - Focus - January 14, 2013

Interview with Filmmaker Byron Hurt

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(Duration: 51:20)

Byron Hurt standing in front of wall covered by grafitti

Describing himself as "more than a filmmaker," Byron Hurt is an anti-sexist activist who provides cutting-edge male leadership, expert analysis, keynote addresses, and workshop facilitation in the field of sexual and gender violence prevention and education. His latest film "Soul food Junkies," looks at the links between African-American identity and "soul food," much of which is high in fat and calories. Hurt's father died of pancreatic cancer, and this type of high-fat diet is a risk factor for the illness.

Categories: Food, Health, Race/Ethnicity



WILL - Focus - January 09, 2013

Rainbow Illinois: A Survey of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People in Central Illinois

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(Duration: 51:09)

Rainbow Flag With Illinois Outline

Attitudes towards and about the gay community are changing rapidly. At the ballot box this fall, voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington voted to support same sex marriage. Many organizations have anti-discrimination policies that include language regarding sexual orientation. Younger people seem more inclusive than previous generations when it comes to sexuality. And yet, there are still people in the gay community who feel they are not fully a part of the wider community around them. And there are those in that wider world who aren’t ready to accept gay people as full citizens.


WILL - Focus - January 08, 2013

The Pension Situation in Illinois

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(Duration: 51:23)

On today's show, we turn our attention to the history of and issues surrounding Illinois’ pension debt. We’ll talk about how our state found its way into such a massive debt obligation, some of the issues lawmakers are working through right now in Springfield, and what might ultimately be the best way forward to meet that debt and sustain the state’s public pension system.

Categories: Economics, Government, Politics

WILL - Focus - January 07, 2013

Political Discourse in America

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(Duration: 51:44)

January 7 is the 14th anniversary of the beginning of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in the U-S Senate. He was the first president to be impeached by the House since Andrew Johnson in 1868. It was a major political development dissected, moment by moment, by 24 hour news channels and talk radio. Politicians and pundits alike spoke in ever coarser tones about the issues surrounding the trial. And our political discourse hasn’t exactly improved since then. In fact, we saw moments when the major players in the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations, just over the last week or two, struggled to communicate effectively with one another. We’ll consider what it might take to raise the level of discourse in our politics – and whether major issues and ideas can be debated thoughtfully and respectfully by people with wildly divergent views. We’ll also explore what led to the coarsening of our political discourse particularly in the last 20 years, and whether our perception that it was more respectful in the past is really true.




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