Focus - July 13, 2012

Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners

Michael Erard, Ph.D., Senior Reseacher, The Frameworks Institute

Host: David Inge

Almost everyone learns at least one language as a child. Some may learn two or three. But through history there have been accounts of “super learners.” For example, Giuseppe Mezzofanti, a 19th century Italian priest, was said to speak 72 languages. Could such a feat have been possible? Is there someone alive today who could match it? Michael Erard tells the story of his search for the world’s most extraordinary language learners, the subject of his book "Babel No More."

This is a repeat broadcast from Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 11 am

Focus - July 12, 2012

Haiti: The Aftershocks of History

Laurent Dubois, Ph..D., Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History, Duke University

Host: David Inge

In January of 2010 Haiti was devastated by a powerful earthquake, the worst in more than 200 years. As many as 300,000 people may have died. Now, over two years later, the country is still struggling to rebuild in spite of billions of dollars in aid promised by the international community.  We'll talk about Haiti with Laurent Dubois from Duke University, author of "Haiti: the Aftershocks of History." His book looks at the ways the country’s past continues to shape its present.

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, January 27, 2012, 11 am

Focus - July 12, 2012

One for the Road: Drunk Driving Since 1900

Barron H. Lerner, M.D., the Angelica Berrie-Gold Foundation Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons

Host: David Inge

This is a repeat broadcast from Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 10 am

Focus - July 11, 2012

America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, & Our Democracy

Gar Alperovitz, Ph.D., the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy, University of Maryland

Host: David Inge

Back in 2005, economist Gar Alperovitz said the time was ripe for a popular movement focused on inequality. Today’s “occupy” movements have proven him right. And, he argues, this kind of activism happening at the local level has the potential to change the entire country in some very big ways. Gar Alperovitz talks about his book "America Beyond Capitalism." The book profiles citizen experiments now underway that go beyond traditional economic models to democratize wealth and empower communities.

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, January 13, 2012, 11 am

Focus - July 11, 2012

Pay For Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic Reform

Ronald A. Smith, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Sports History, Penn State University

Host: David Inge

Intercollegiate athletics began in the U.S. in the 1850s, but it wasn’t long before people were talking about the need for reform. Penn State historian Ronald Smith says the story of big-time athletic reform is generally one of failure, in large part, because it ignores the one group that has a direct interest in reform--the faculty. We’ll go to the archives for a conversation with Ronald Smith, author of "Pay for Play," a book that explores the history of college athletic reform.

This is a repeat broadcast from Monday, February 06, 2012, 10 am

Focus - July 10, 2012

Never In My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism

Belva Davis, Award-Winning Journalist

Host: David Inge

We talk to television news pioneer Belva Davis. She was the first black woman to work in television news on the West Coast. She has talked with some of the most notable figures of the 20th century and reported some of the biggest stories, including the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the birth of the Black Panthers and the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. On a recent visit to the campus, she stopped by our studios to talk about how she got her start in broadcasting and to share stories drawn from her 40-year career. Recorded on April 17, 2012.

This is a repeat broadcast from Thursday, May 10, 2012, 11 am

Focus - July 10, 2012

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

Steven Kotler, Award-Winning Science Writer

Host: David Inge

On a regular basis, we bring you stories about how bad things are. This time, we talk with the co-author of a new book that argues that the world is getting better at a rapid rate. Our guest will be science writer Steven Kotler. His book, "Abundance" argues that over the past 50 years, global standards of living have tripled, the food supply has increased, and rates of literacy and life expectancy have grown. Overall, he says, we are living in a better world, and the book looks at the forces responsible.

This is a repeat broadcast from Tuesday, May 08, 2012, 11 am

Focus - July 09, 2012

The Game From Where I Stand: A Ballplayer’s Inside View

Doug Glanville, Former Pro Athlete with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and Texas Rangers 1996-2004; "Heading Home" Columnist with The New York Times; ESPN Baseball Analyst

Host: Jeff Bossert

In his 2010 book, the former outfielder provides a human side of baseball, discussing issues many fans may not think of, among them:  leaving family when it’s time for spring training, being traded, prolonged losing streaks, suffering through an injury,  and dealing with different player personalities in the clubhouse.   

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, July 29, 2011, 11 am

Focus - July 09, 2012

Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick

We’ll explore the life and times of one of baseball’s most eccentric personalities, Bill Veeck. Many will remember him for all of the wacky things he did to get people to the ball park. But this one-time owner of the Chicago White Sox had a serious impact on the game, introducing innovations we now take for granted. He was also an early advocate for the inclusion of black players. Our guest will be Paul Dickson, author of the new biography "Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick."

This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, May 11, 2012, 10 am

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