WILL - Focus - March 29, 2013

Next Week on Focus: MLB Opening Day, Drones and The Lawyer Bubble

Do you love MLB Opening Day? Who’re you rooting for this season? Does the idea of drone technology scare you or excite you?  Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.

Thursday on Focus, we'll talk about unmanned aerial vehicles.

Next week on Focus, we'll talk with the official historian for Major League Baseball and an Urbana man working with unmanned aerial technology for both journalistic purposes and to inspire high school students to study math and science. We'll also address the unmet need for homeless services in the area and talk about the growing disconnect between law schools and law firms in Illionis and why it matters. 

WILL - Focus - March 29, 2013

First Magnitude, a Book of the Bright Sky

Long have we been fascinated by the wonder and mystery of the night sky. This hour on Focus, we talked with Jim Kaler about his new book “First Magnitude, a Book of the Bright Sky.”


(Duration: 55:01)

the night sky

This hour on focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Jim Kaler about his new book “First Magnitude, a Book of the Bright Sky,” a beginner’s guide astronomy. We’ll talk with Kaler about what to watch for in the sky this spring and how to appreciate the stars in an area with lots of light pollution.

Kaler joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1964 and has held Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships. He has been recognized for his work by the University of Liège in Belgium, the University of Mexico, the University of Illinois, the Great Lakes Planetarium Association, the American Astronomical Society and the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society. He is former president for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s board of directors.

Categories: Space Exploration

WILL - Focus - March 28, 2013

Cyber-Security a Growing Concern

Cases of computer hacking have been in the spotlight lately, especially since President Obama made cyber security one of his key priorities in this year’s State of the Union Address. But who is doing the hacking and why? Today on Focus we talked about cyber-security and what we’re doing to protect against cyber criminals.


(Duration: 55:02)

people working at computers in a library

Cyber-security breaches at Apple, Microsoft, The New York Times, Twitter and Facebook are all just part of the growing concern in the US about computer hacking. Protecting digital information is quickly becoming a top priority for businesses and individuals, especially as computers and digital technologies play an increasingly important role in our lives when it comes to things education and banking.

Who are the hackers? How are they getting into our computers and why? This hour on Focus we talk with to University of Illinois Chief Privacy and Security Officer Michael Corn and Computer Science Professor Roy Campbell about cyber security. 

WILL - Focus - March 27, 2013

Biting the Bullet and Taking the Cake: Idioms and Our Language

The devil really isn’t in the details, and rarely does anyone literally pull your leg. But we still use these expressions. Why and where do they come from? This hour on Focus, we talked with Christine Ammer, author of the new American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. 


(Duration: 49:52)

The flourless chocolate cake we're "taking" during this hour on Focus.

Christine Ammer is the author of more than a dozen reference books including “The Facts on File Dictionary of Cliches,” “Fruitcakes and Couch Potatoes and Other Delicious Expressions” and her latest, “The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms.” This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ammer about the origins of our favorite phrases and about what an idiom really is. 

We also want to hear from you this hour! What expressions roll off your tongue? Do you have a favorite one that’s of note? Maybe you have a question about the origins of something you say… Give us a call, post in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter @Focus580.

Tags: idioms, grammar

WILL - Focus - March 26, 2013

Responding to Global Terrorism

When you hear the word terrorism, what is your first reaction? How different is that reaction now than it was before September 11? This hour on Focus, we talked with Stanford Professor Martha Crenshaw, about global terrorism and how concerns have changed in the last decade. We also talked about the use of drones in the US military.


(Duration: 49:54)

Martha Crenshaw

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Political Science Professor Martha Crenshaw, a pioneer in the study of terrorism, about the use of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, and their use in counterterrorism. We also talk with her about how our views of terrorism have changed since 2001. 

Crenshaw is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.

WILL - Focus - March 25, 2013

50 Years Later: Assembly Hall

What’s your fondest memory of Assembly Hall? A concert? A speech? Today on Focus, we remembered 50 years of the Hall with Fred Kroner, author of the new book “A Saucer Coming to Rest, A Half Century of Assembly Hall” and Kevin Ullestad, Assembly Hall’s Director.


(Duration: 55:01)

Assembly Hall

Assembly Hall has been the focus of attention since its inception more than a half century ago. With new plans to renovate the space, we remember the hall this hour on Focus. We’ll talk about how many people thought the funds should go to academics when the hall was first built and how some said the design was doomed to collapse. 

WILL - Focus - March 22, 2013

Coming up on Focus: Remembering Assembly Hall, Idioms and Stargazing

Are you fascinated by the stars? What is your fondest memory of Assembly Hall? How have our concerns about terrorism changed in the last decade?  Find out more about what’s coming up on Focus and join our conversation.

Assembly Hall

Coming up next week on Focus, we'll talk with one of the most well-respected researchers studying terrorism, an authority on idioms in the English language and with journalist Fred Kroner about his new book "A Saucer Coming to Rest, A Half Century of Assembly Hall." Find our more about what's coming up. 

WILL - Focus - March 22, 2013

Fast Minds: How to Thrive if You Have ADHD

Have you been diagnosed with ADHD? Maybe you have a child who has. This hour on Focus, we talk with Dr. Craig Surman of Harvard Medical School about the disorder. We welcome your questions this hour!


(Duration: 50:30)

book cover for "Fast Minds: How to Thrive if You Have ADHD or Think You Might"

Dr. Craig Surman, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical school and the coordinator of the Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, joins host Jim Meadows this hour to talk about the ever increasing number of people being diagnosed with ADHD. We’ll ask him about when it’s right to medicate and when it’s not and will talk about alternative therapies that don’t involve a prescription.

Categories: Health
Tags: adhd, add, health

WILL - Focus - March 21, 2013

Compromising for the Greater Good? Regulating Fracking in Illinois

If you could have a voice in writing regulations for something you strongly oppose, would you? Or would you walk away on principle? Today on Focus, we talked about controversial legislation that would regulate the hydraulic fracturing industry in Illinois.


(Duration: 50:26)

fracking equipment

Controversial legislation to regulate the fracking industry in Illinois written by both energy officials and environmental group leaders is being considered at the statehouse. Policy makers in other Midwest states that have yet to regulate their own fracking industries say that the way the legislation was written could serve as a model, both for its strict regulatory standards and for the voices that had a say in writing the regulations. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Allen Grosboll, Co-Legislative Director for the Environmental Law and Policy Center, Representative for Illinois 11th District Ann Williams who is Chief Co-Sponsor of the bill, and Tom Wolf, Executive Director of the Energy Council at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, part of the GROW-Iliinois, a group that has been working in support of fracking in Illinois.

Amanda Vinicky, Statehouse Bureau Chief for Illinois Public Radio, also joins us with the latest news about the bill.

Categories: Energy, Environment, Land Use

WILL - Focus - March 20, 2013

Home Foreclosure in Illinois

Even though the economy is slowly starting to improve, Illinois still has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. Today on Focus, we talked about the problem and about new policies that are supposed to help solve it. We also talk with one community member working to help East Central Illinois families keep their homes.


(Duration: 50:17)

a foreclosed home

Foreclosure rates in Illinois are beginning to fall, but many are still struggling to recover from the recession, especially those who were affected when the housing bubble burst. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about new foreclosure policies in Illinois meant to fast track the sale of vacant properties to help our local economies and families recover from the foreclosure crisis. As the state’s foreclosure rate remains stubbornly high, we’ll also examine how big of a problem foreclosures continue to be in East Central Illinois and talk with Reverend Eugene Barnes, the founder of Metanoia, a community group based in Champaign, who has taken it into his own hands to help struggling families keep their homes. Geoff Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Housing Services at DePaul University also joins us.

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