Here and Now

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How To Make Really Good Pizza At Home

Apr 14, 2016

Americans spend $30 billion a year on take-out pizza. But Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst says making pizza at home is cheaper, easier than you might think and tastes great! She joins hosts Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young with samples and these recipes:

In New Zealand, an octopus named Inky has captured the world’s attention with his crafty escape from the National Aquarium. Inky slipped out of his tank, slithered across the floor and disappeared through a drain pipe and into the ocean.

The escape happened three months ago, but only came to light this week. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Roger Hanlon, an octopus expert and senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, about Inky and the antics of other octopuses.

Behind The Furious Debate Over GMO Crops

Apr 14, 2016

Genetically engineered crops, commonly called GMOs (genetically modified organisms), trigger lively discussions over the way they are created. For the farmers who grow them, many feel they are a wonder of technology. For those opposed, the plants represent everything they feel is wrong with modern agriculture. Luke Runyon of Here & Now contributor Harvest Public Media explains what people are really arguing about.

Around the world, subway projects are booming. New metros have sprung up or are in the works in Brazil, Saudi Arabia and India, and China announced several years ago that it would build 25 new subway systems. But in the United States, investment in new subways has lagged.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to Fred Salvucci, senior lecturer in civil and environmental engineering at MIT and former Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation, about what state and local governments should be doing about transportation for the future.

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Sean Parker, of Napster and Facebook fame, announced today that he’s pouring $250 million into cancer research – specifically to explore immunotherapy treatment, which tries to get the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.

Another key piece of Parker’s effort is getting several hundred scientists, who are normally in intense competition with one another, to join forces and share research.

A pastor in Patchogue, Long Island has asked the Suffolk County Republican Party to move a Donald Trump fundraiser scheduled for tomorrow. Trump is scheduled to speak at a nightclub on the same street where Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero was killed in a 2008 hate crime. Lucero was beaten to death by seven white teenagers.

Today physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced the Breakthrough Starshot Project, an initiative to send multiple tiny crafts to the Alpha Centauri star system, some four light-years away.

Could it work, and what could it mean for the future of space exploration? Here & Now’s Robin Young discusses the project with Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

On June 9, California will become the fifth state in the country where it’s legal for terminally ill people to take their own lives with the help of a physician.

Supporters say such aid-in-dying laws save people from needless pain and suffering in their final days and allow them a more dignified death.

Critics worry about people being coaxed into taking their own lives and, more fundamentally, the morality of assisted suicide.

Saul Gonzalez from KCRW in Los Angeles has more.

Two more deaths have been added to the number associated with pneumonia-like Legionnaires’ disease in the Flint area, which has been plagued by tainted water. Meanwhile, calls for the resignation of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder continue. Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks to NPR’s Cheryl Corley and Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody about the latest developments.

The U.S. Masters golf tournament wrapped up this weekend, and the big story wasn’t the winner, Danny Willett. It was 22-year-old Jordan Spieth, who blew a lead in the last half of the round to come in second. Some are calling his bungling of the 12th hole the biggest golf meltdown of all time. Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd speaks to sports psychologist Patrick Cohn about what was going on in Spieth’s mind, and how he could recover.

Interview Highlights: Patrick Cohn

On Jordan Spieth’s 12 hole collapse

Beach House Brings 'Dream Pop' To Coachella

Apr 11, 2016

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival begins this Friday. The two-weekend event is one of the biggest music festivals in the country. One of the bands in the line-up is Beach House, the duo out of Baltimore known for their “dream pop” style of music. Here & Now host Jeremy Hobson spoke with Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally of Beach House in August, 2015. Today we revisit that conversation.

The Justice Department announced today that Goldman Sachs will pay $5 billion to settle probes into the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Goldman Sachs had disclosed the deal in January, but today’s official announcement includes further details of the agreement.

This is the fifth multibillion-dollar settlement reached with a major bank in the wake of the financial crisis. Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Jill Schlesinger of CBS News about the investigations and settlements.

A video of Florida Governor Rick Scott getting lambasted in a Starbucks went viral this week. Hillary Clinton’s struggle swiping her Metrocard in the New York City subway made news almost instantly. And, yesterday, President Bill Clinton was confronted by Black Lives Matter activists at a campaign event. Videos of that exchange quickly made the rounds online.

Travis Holcombe of KCRW joins us for this week’s edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions. He shares the glam rock of Philadelphia’s Sheer Mag, a new piece from Rostam (formerly of Vampire Weekend) that features sitar, and music from the faux-band Aquazul.

CEO Pay Takes A Dive In 2015

Apr 8, 2016

CEOs of major American companies took a hit last year.

A new Wall Street Journal analysis of chief executive pay at 300 public companies showed its worst decline since the 2008 financial crisis.

The slowdown is related to weak performance and accounting rules that put a crimp in pensions.

It’s kosher (a non wool-linen mix). It’s blue, white, red and gold. You can buy it as a prayer shawl. Or a skull cap. And of course…as a kilt. That’s right, a kilt. It’s the world’s first and only officially registered authentic Jewish tartan, now available online.

It’s perfect, according to the Jewish Tartan website, for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, Scotch Whiskey events, Scottish & Burns nights, and more.

What Happened To The Dinosaurs?

Apr 7, 2016

The extinction of the dinosaurs remains one of the world’s enduring mysteries, but a project getting underway off the coast of Mexico may provide some answers.

A team of researchers from the US and the UK will be drilling into the Chicxulub Crater, which was created when an asteroid hit the earth more than 60 million years ago.

Last month, the NFL admitted for the first time that football collisions are linked to brain damage. It’s something researchers have documented for years.

Now, new research shows a surprising way to possibly reduce the brain-damaging effects of head trauma: an ingredient in fish oil.

From the Here & Now contributor network, Texas Standard’s Lauren Silverman reports.

Country Icon Merle Haggard Dead At 79

Apr 6, 2016

Country giant Merle Haggard, who celebrated outlaws, underdogs and an abiding sense of national pride in such hits as “Okie From Muskogee” and “Sing Me Back Home,” died Wednesday at 79, on his birthday.

Haggard’s manager, Frank Mull, said the country icon died in Palo Cedro, California, of pneumonia.

A masterful guitarist, fiddler and songwriter as well as singer, the Country Music Hall of Famer recorded for more than 40 years, releasing dozens of albums and No. 1 hits.

When a listener of Here & Now contributing station WAMU posed the question: ‘Why does Washington D.C. have so many sirens?’, reporter Matt Schwartz decided to tackle the question.

Schwartz spoke to sound and acoustic scientists, as well as architecture experts, and ultimately came up with this verdict: D.C. does not have as many sirens as some other cities but its design – and physics – makes it seem so.

Medical schools at Yale, Harvard, Johns Hopkins and other elite institutions teach some of the most cutting-edge specialties, but some students and staff are complaining that a critical focus is missing: family medicine.

Melissa Bailey of STAT joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the omission.

The massive data leak known as the Panama Papers has shown the role the shadow economy plays in Miami.

According to the documents, a number of foreign nationals linked to bribery, tax evasion or corruption bought up luxury real estate in the city, using shell companies to hide their identities.

The Miami Herald was among the news organizations that obtained the trove of documents from inside the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca.

“The People v. OJ Simpson” wraps up tonight. It was the first production of the new FX network anthology series, “American Crime Story.”

The drama has had viewers riveted, even though the case is over 20 years old and everyone knows the outcome. Here & Nows Jeremy Hobson speaks to NPR’s Eric Deggans about the show he calls “some of the best TV of the year.”

With the presidential campaign attracting so much attention, it’s easy to lose sight of another major political race taking shape: the campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Democrats are hoping they can win control of the Senate, where Republicans hold a four-seat majority. Among the key races is New Hampshire, where Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte faces a challenge from the state’s Democratic Governor, Maggie Hassan.

From the Here & Now contributor network, WBUR’s Anthony Brooks reports.

At a writing conference in Boston on Saturday, renowned journalist Gay Talese said women writers of his generation seldom took on tough subjects, because they did not like to talk to strangers.

The remarks were in response to a question about female writers who inspired him (“Nora Ephron … Mary McCarthy … none”) and set off a social media firestorm.

The 84-year-old writer told The Associated Press on Sunday that he misunderstood the question.

Joseph Medicine Crow, a World War II veteran, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and revered elder of the Crow Nation, died Sunday at the age of 102.

Born in a log home near Lodge Grass, Montana, Crow became the first member of the Crow Nation to earn a graduate degree.

He was a Crow War Chief, having completed the required four war deeds while fighting for the 103rd Infantry in Germany during World War II.

The first boats of refugees and migrants have arrived back in Turkey from Greece, as part of a new — and controversial — deal between Turkey and the European Union that takes effect today. It is aimed at stopping the flood of people seeking asylum in Europe.

Under the deal, every migrant who reaches Greece illegally from Turkey after March 20 will be returned to Turkey, unless they qualify for asylum. However, for every Syrian turned back, a Syrian refugee who has been vetted is to be resettled from Turkey in an EU country.

U.S. banks are closing thousands of accounts that appear to be suspicious in an effort to thwart terrorism, but many legitimate businesses are caught in that wide net. And some experts worry that by kicking suspicious individuals out of the financial system, it will be harder to track them.

Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Ali Velshi, host of Ali Velshi on Target on Al Jazeera America, about the consequences.

In the wake of the terrorist attack in Brussels this month, many people are wondering if these kinds of attacks are something we can stop, or whether they are just going to be a part of life now in many more parts of the world.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Cas Mudde, associate professor at the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, and researcher at the Center for Research on Extremism at the University of Oslo, about how the answers to those questions should affect our approach to terrorism.

Alaska Volcano Mellows After Wreaking Havoc

Mar 31, 2016

Alaska’s Pavlof Volcano has calmed down after days of dramatic activity. Early this week, the volcano, which is in the southwest part of the state, threw a thick brown and gray cloud 37,000 feet into the sky.

The blast inconvenienced travelers across Alaska and spewed ash over Nelson Lagoon, a village 55 miles northeast of the volcano, where residents stayed indoors and watched porches and roofs darken.

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