12/3 Google’s Energy Initiative

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Recently Google announced its plans to spend tens of millions on research, development and related investments in renewable energy. Google believes it can produce electricity at scale cost less than coal. It also believes it can do this in years, not decades.

With Google taking the lead, what does this say about the future of energy development? Will Google’s initiative spur the government, and other businesses, to step up their efforts to find alternative, renewable and sustainable energy sources? Tune in and let us know what you think.

                                                                                                                                    – Marcus

Related links:

www.windcurrent.com

www.citizen.org

www.cleantech.com

www.vds.mit.edu

11/29/07 The Past Catching Up With You…

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When someone broke into Sean Taylor’s home in the middle of the night and killed him earlier this week, was it a case of some trouble from Sean’s past catching up with him, or a random crime?  We don’t know, yet, but if I had to guess, I would guess that he was targeted, given the past, public incidences of violence in his life.  And not everyday violence, but things like an assault charge for threatening people with a gun, and being on the receiving end of a hail of bullets in his SUV.

There’s lots of other incidents around the NFL, and sportsworld in general, of players who’ve been dragged down by connections to their sometimes turbulent past.  Look at Michael Vick, Darrent Williams (Bronco’s player killed in a drive-by last New Years Day,) or the jail time Jamal Lewis served while playing for The Ravens, and, of course, Ray Lewis, who was charged, along with 2 of his friends, with a double murder.  Lewis accepted a plea bargain, pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice, and his friends were acquitted.

The thing is, this isn’t particular to proffesional athletes by any means.  Michael Wilbon said it better than I could in his column earlier this week.  Here’s an excerpt:

The issue of separating yourself from a harmful environment is a recurring theme in the life of black men. It has nothing to do with football, or Sean Taylor or even sports. To frame it as a sports issue is as insulting as it is naive. Most of us, perhaps even the great majority of us who grew up in big urban communities, have to make a decision at some point to hang out or get out.

The kid who becomes a pharmaceutical rep has the same call to make as the lawyer or delivery guy or accountant or sportswriter or football player: Cut off anybody who might do harm, even those who have been friends from the sandbox, or go along to get along.

Mainstream folks — and, yes, this is a code word for white folks — see high-profile athletes dealing with this dilemma and think it’s specific to them, while black folks know it’s everyday stuff for everybody, for kids with aspirations of all kinds — even for a middle-class kid with a police-chief father, such as Taylor — from South Central to Southeast to the South Side. Some do, some don’t. Some will, some won’t. Some can, some cannot. Often it’s gut-wrenching. Usually, it’s necessary. For some, it takes a little bit too long.

That’s a lot to think about.. join us at 1pm today, and leave your thoughts here, as well.

Also, check out the Sports Illustrated article that helped get us thinking about all of these things today.  It’s called “The Road to Bad Newz” and written by one of today’s guests, Farrell Evans, and George Dohrmann.

-Justin

11/29/07 Ghetto Nation

“Prostitution is hilarious!”

I’m always shocked when I hear about some stupid group on a college campus having a Pimp’s and Ho’s party, or a “Ghetto” themed party where you are encouraged to bring 40’s in brown paper bags and “wear your favorite gang colors!”  I mean, do these people really not get it?  Are they really unaware that someone is going to be offended by this?  Where is the motivation, anyway?  Why do people want to emulate ghetto stereotypes and celebrate the worst of human behavior?

These are the questions that Cora Daniels asks in her most recent book, Ghetto Nation: A Journey into the Land of Bling and the Home of the Shameless.  Why do people like Paris Hilton appropriate ghetto attitudes and style?  How can corporate America defend it’s practices of making so much money off harmful ghetto stereotypes? Do we really live in a world where Pimp and Ho”  for children costumes are available?  Yes.  We sure do.

Let’s discuss…at Noon…

-Jessica

11/28/07 Joel Hafvenstein

 

In 2004, Joel Hafvenstein went to Afghanistan as part of an aid program to help Afghan opium farmers find alternative ways to make money.  Predictably, the program ran into resistance from the area’s drug trafficking warlords, and responded with ambushes.  Within just a few months, nine of his colleagues were dead.

He’s our guest today to talk about his time in Afghanistan, which is chronicled in the new book Opium Season: A Year on the Afghan Frontier. It’s a really exciting account of his time there, and a quite educational story about the complexities of Afghan society and the larger issue of the problems present in U.S. attempts to bring aid to foreign countries.

So join us, to hear this fascinating story….

-Jessica

11/27/07 Kaufman and Hancock

A socialist and a capitalist walk into a bar….

The beginning of a joke, right?  Not today.  Today we have a socialist (A. Robert Kaufman) and a capitalist (Okay, well not specifically a capitalist, but a business writer, so he writes about capitalism and for the most part we’re all capitalists, after all….anyway it’s Jay Hancock from the Baltimore Sun) and they are coming in together to talk about how they both came to this conclusion: the War on Drugs has failed and must be ended. 

Jay Hancock revealed this belief in a column on November 7th.  Kaufman has been advocating this for years.  They’re going to talk about how they came to this conclusion from very different places.

Join us, to share your thoughts on the War on Drugs.

-Jessica

11/27/07 Mountaintop Removal Mining

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*click here to listen to this show (might take a minute to load)

Ever wonder where the electricity in your home comes from?  Go to this website, type in your zipcode, and within seconds you can see the power plants on your grid.  They’ll also tell you if they use any coal taken from mountaintop removal mines, and show you where those mines are.

We have some pictures to go along with the show, because this is something you have to see to fully grasp, courtesy of photographer Antrim Caskey.  She took the picture above, and you can click here for more of her pictures from West Virginia.

Many of the guests who’ll be on this program will also be at The Charles Theater tonight (Tuesday) for a screening of Black Diamonds at 7pm.  The documentary, directed by Catherine Pancake, “charts the escalating drama in Appalachian states surrounding the increase in massive mountaintop removal coal mines that supply cheap coal to the US and Europe. The film documents one of the most radical, environmental grassroots movements in the US today as impoverished local citizens fight to end the destruction of their mountain vistas, communities, and culture.”  It’s a fundraiser for Coal River Mountain Watch, and there’s more info here.

Here’s the rundown on the guests:

Jack Spadaro – former Superintendent of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy

Bill Rainey – President of the West Virginia Coal Association

Patty Sebok – from Coal River Mountain Watch

Lorelei Scarbro – from Coal River Mountain Watch

Maria Gunnoe – organizer for the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

-Justin

11/26/07 Just Words: Walker, Ray, Dante

If you listen to Morning Edition or All Things Considered on Thursdays, you may have heard a documentary feature series called Just Words.  It’s a project that Marc and I have been working hard on for the past year.  It’s purpose is to go into the worlds of marginalized disenfranchised people, from low-wage workers to recovering drug addicts to ex-cons–and to bring their stories back and share them with our audience.  It’s a year long series that was generously funded by the Open Society Institute-Baltimore.  As the first year of our project winds down, we are bringing you a series of shows with people who have been featured on Just Words.

For our first show, which is today at One, we’re going to talk with Walker Gladden of the Rose Street Community Center, Ray Cook of On Our Shoulders, and Dante Wilson of Reclaiming Our Children and Community Project.  Each of these men is deeply committed to changing the lives of young people in Baltimore.  They are the first line of defense between many kids and the seductive powers of the street life. They’re really amazing people, and very inspiring, and have a lot to say, so I hope you will join us and hear them today. And bring YOUR questions and comments to the table.

To hear Walker speak as the everyman of the inner city of Baltimore, click here.

To hear Ray talk about issues of love in the inner city, click here.

To walk with Dante as he picks kids up from school for his afterschool program, click here.

To hear the thoughts of children in Dante’s program, click here.

-Jessica