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Midday with Dan Rodricks
Why do some people choose to color their hair while others let it go gray? Why do some people age better than others? Why are older people stereotypically so preoccupied with their aches, pains and bodily functions that they drive younger people away just when they need them most? We explore these questions and others about the aging process with Columbia-based psychiatrist and author Gordon Livingston. Guest Host Melody Simmons
The Congressional Budget Office thinks so. Currently, earned income in excess of $113,700 is entirely exempt from the 6.2 percent payroll tax that funds Social Security. Removing it, says the CBO, would stabilize the Social Security system. Others believe means testing makes more sense. A discussion with Andrew Biggs, former deputy commissioner of SSA and a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Michael Reisch, professor of social justice at the University of Maryland School of Social Work; Barry Rascovar, political commentator and communications consultant.
Under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, enacted during the Great Depression, when more than half of the nation’s senior citizens were in poverty. Ira Katznelson, professor of political science and history at Columbia, expands our definition of the New Deal by examining the domestic and global forces behind it. Katznelson is the author of Fear Itself: The New Deal and The Origins of Our Time.
Unmanned aerial vehicles are moving from military use into civilian hands. In fact, a law passed by Congress this year requires the FAA to open U.S. skies to widespread drone use by 2015. We look at how these robots could be used -- or abused. Our guests: Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics, founder of DIY Drones, and former editor of Wired; Midday science contributor John Monahan; and Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, and editor of the ACLU’s Free Future blog.
Experts predict a virulent and long allergy season this spring. Those who suffer might now have a painless alternative to allergy shots. Also, an implantable lens could help those who suffer from age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of irreversible vision loss. Plus, a look at the Oklahoma dental practice that might have infected thousands of patients with hepatitis or HIV. Our guest: Midday health contributor Dr. John Cmar.
A review of top stories of the region with the reporters who covered them. This hour, WYPR senior political analyst Fraser Smith weighs in on Dr. Ben Carson and his recent stumble on gay marriage as he contemplates a run for political office, and we'll discuss the potential political comeback of former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon. Plus, WYPR’s Karen Hosler gives us her final report on the 2013 Maryland General Assembly.
An encore broadcast of Dan’s interview with Dr. Eben Alexander, author of "Proof of Heaven: a Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife." Alexander recounts his near death experience, and the ways in which it altered his beliefs regarding consciousness and heaven. Also, Linda Hoy, author of "The Effect: Where Science Meets Spirituality," explores the ways in which science might explain the afterlife, and the power of human spirituality.
A conversation with architect Klaus Philipsen about urban spaces and the need to move people around them and to them -- the challenges of retrofitting old cities like Baltimore for modern transportation systems while accommodating pedestrians and bikers.
What happens to our digital selves when we die? It’s a question lawyers and legislators are thinking about. The average person has 20 to 30 different online accounts, from social media pages to email. We explore the realm of digital identity, assets and death with Midday on the Law contributor Jim Astrachan; George Washington University law professor Naomi Cahn; and Evan Carroll, founder of The Digital Beyond, a blog about posthumous digital existence.
This week the Supreme Court considers the issue of gay marriage; on Tuesday the Court heard opening arguments concerning Proposition Eight in California, which prohibits same-sex couples from marrying in that state, and today the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is on the docket. Midday on the Supreme Court and gay marriage today at noon.