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Great Ideas Podcast

Welcome to Great Ideas!
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Great Ideas is a monthly podcast featuring Johns Hopkins University researchers and scholars in lively conversations about the most interesting ideas in science and technology, the humanities and the social sciences. Host Elizabeth Tracey asks the questions you'd ask if you could sit down with astronomers, economists, philosophers or historians working on the cutting edge of their disciplines.

>> Subscribe to the Johns Hopkins Great Ideas Podcast using iTunes.

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December 2008: Lester Spence, assistant professor of political science, discusses the symbolic consequences of Barack Obama for Americans.

Lester Spence

Time mileposts in this program:
0:19 My specialties are black politics and public opinion
1:17 For the first time we’re Americans in some way
2:13 Our politics have been so divisive
3:13 Until now, our children haven’t really been able to be anything they wanted
4:18 Black Detroiters felt the same
5:18 We get a symbolic thing but economy is terrible
6:15 Make education free
7:18 America becomes much more inclusive
8:17 He won even while the Southern strategy was used
9:53 End

For more information:
- Lester Spence Web page

October 2008: Mary Jo Salter, a poet and a professor in the Writing Seminars, discusses poetry’s past and present, including how the Internet is lending an immediacy to the genre.

Mary Jo Salter
Photo by Michael Malyszko

Time mileposts in this program:
0:11 Poetry and how it's taught and written
1:02 Speaking is one of the most important things about poetry
2:03 Unconsciously memorize while writing
3:10 Feel with younger people that they really are the future
4:10 People who do think it's important
5:23 Distill images and thoughts
6:13 Think and feel with all of my senses
7:21 How does poetry inform experience?
8:07 Harder to concentrate on one thing today
9:00 Pay attention
10:08 End

August 2008: Adam Segal, who teaches in the Master of Arts in Communication program in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs, is watching two key developments in this year's presidential campaign: outreach to Hispanic voters and increased use of interactive technology to market candidates.

Time mileposts in this program:
0:10 News, information and technology influence modern elections
1:02 Hispanic Voter Project at Johns Hopkins
1:52 Hispanic vote is influential nationally and in certain states
3:10 Hispanics concentrated in key battleground states
3:50 Hispanic electorate influence is growing
4:55 Record amount spent on Hispanic outreach in 2008 campaign
5:50 Internet providing new avenues for outreach to Hispanic voters
6:34 Technology playing significant role in national politics
7:00 Campaigns starting to get involved with mobile messaging
7:56 Interactive communications with campaigns great for politics
8:40 Research on mobile messaging in campaigns
10:08 End

For more information:
- Adam Segal profile 1
- Adam Segal profile 2
- Hispanic Voter Project
- Internet Project

July 2008: Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science and an expert on the security risks associated with electronic voting, talks about how such equipment might affect the fall election and describes how the safest system might work.

Time mileposts in this program:
0:26 Looking at electronic voting as a system
1:10 A lot of people focus on voting machines or exit poles
2:28 People make mistakes
3:15 Paper ballots don't affect national scale
4:15 Fundamental ballot is a piece of paper
5:18 Room for error with software
6:19 In last two years a move away from fully electronic system
7:30 How hard is software for voting?
8:21 By minimizing the difficulty it makes it much easier
9:25 Fully electronic systems leave room for doubt
10:12 End

For more information:
- Avi Rubin's Web site
- Rubin is director of ACCURATE (A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent Elections
- Rubin is technical director of The Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute

June 2008: P.M. Forni, director of the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins, has advice on how to respond when people are rude.

Time mileposts in this program:
0:22 What to do when people are rude
1:17 No way to escape rudeness
2:05 Daily confronted by rudeness
4:00 Incivility is a product of insecurity
5:02 I have been working on civility for 15 years
7:00 We are all creatures of the social ocean
8:11 Try to respond like this
9:43 End

For more information:
News release on The Civility Solution
Publisher's Web site
P.M. Forni's civility Web site
A Q&A with P.M. Forni

May 2008: Ron Fairchild, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Summer Learning, explains why it's important for kids to keep intellectually active even when school's out for the summer. Plus tips for an enjoyable summer learning experience!

Time mileposts in this program:
0:16 100 years of research support summer learning
1:30 Kids may not want to be engaged in traditional activities
2:30 Reality of summer for low income kids a struggle
3:31 Around the turn of the century, summer break was born
4:25 Cultural expectations
6:30 Things parents can do at home
7:33 Make sure that television and computer use are limited
8:30 As kids age, career development is appropriate
10:10 End

For more information:
Center for Summer Learning
Tips for parents

April 2008: Yash Gupta, the first dean of Johns Hopkins' new Carey Business School, says he wants his students to learn that making a difference is more important than maximizing shareholder value.

Time mileposts in this program:
0:14 Newly created Carey Business School
1:02 Education a new kind of leader
2:03 How do we go to where customers reside?
3:07 Making a difference is first
4:14 We see our needs and challenges as immense
5:15 Intellectual flexibility
6:02 We are unique
7:13 We create innovation
8:08 In academia there are never enough resources
10:01 End

For more information:
Carey Business School
Yash Gupta bio

April 2008: Light does a lot more than make it possible to see. Samer Hattar, assistant professor of biology, says exposure to light also affects such functions as mood, ability to learn and ability to sleep.

Time mileposts in this program:
0:22 Light can affect all of your functioning
1:30 Why is this important?
2:10 Allows organism to anticipate light or dark
3:05 Manipulate Circadian rhythm
4:10 Get a lot of light during day
5:10 Lacked an animal model
6:26 What happens to ability of animal to learn?
7:48 Have to allow light environment to be replaced
8:25 Perpetual jet lag like symptoms
9:15 Activated by more blue light
10:40 End

For more information:
Samer Hatter Web site
Hatter's latest research

February 2008: In the second part of a two-part interview, Johns Hopkins University President William R. Brody discusses what can be done to improve U.S. health care and what doctors — and patients — can do to make it happen.

Time mileposts in this program:
0:30 Television program on health care issues
0:49 Focus on chronic diseases
1:35 Incentives in the system are wrong
2:25 Provider side changes
3:15 Evidence-based medicine
4:26 Cost of care in last six months of life
5:10 Create more transparency about quality
6:00 Citizens need to demand transparency
7:13 Acceptable error rate?
7:42 End

For more information:
Bill Brody on health care
The Health Care '08 television series

January 2008: Johns Hopkins University President William R. Brody, who is promoting a fuller and more meaningful discussion of health care reform issues, talks in this special edition of "Great Ideas" about what's missing from the debate in the 2008 presidential campaign.

Time mileposts in this program:
0:27 Healthcare is the number one or two domestic issue
1:02 Big part of problems is Medicare
2:06 For the amount of money we're spending we're not getting the benefit
3:19 Healthcare is a non-system
3:49 Cost and coverage
4:42 Common standard for billing
6:00 We can't do this
6:37 Retirement Living Network program "Health Care '08"
7:04 End

For more information:
Bill Brody on health care
The Health Care '08 television series

January 2008: In a year when a woman is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination, Johns Hopkins communications faculty member Erika Falk discusses what happened to women candidates — and especially how they were covered in the news media — in eight prior presidential elections.

Time mileposts in this program:
0:25 Looked at eight campaigns
1:30 Elizabeth Dole vs. Steve Forbes
2:21 Sexism and sex stereotypes
3:38 Associate traits with men or women
5:00 Manipulate the stereotypes
5:53 Talk more about issues
7:56 Several studies looking at lower level races
8:50 All the evidence suggests that despite bias a woman could run and win
9:20 How does it affect womens' decision to run?
10:43 End

For more information:
News release
Erika Falk bio
Women for President: Media Bias in Eight Campaigns

November 2007: Johns Hopkins political scientist Kellee Tsai discusses the explosive growth of capitalism in China and its political implications, particularly whether capitalism must inevitably lead to democracy in the world's most populous nation. Tsai recently published Capitalism without Democracy: The Private Sector in Contemporary China.

Time mileposts in this program:
0:10 Capitalism without democracy
1:06 I conducted a formal national survey
2:02 Microentrepeneurs started enterprise
3:01 "collective enterprise"
4:14 Central government reaction
5:12 Certain parts of Chinese economy government owned
6:14 Transition from free market to democracy?
7:13 Poor manufacturing standards
8:12 Localities will get involved
9:23 Didn't demand mainline participation
10:37 End

For more information:
- Kellee Tsai Web Page on the JH Political Science Website
- Kellee Tsai Web page
- Capitalism without Democracy

September 2007: Engineer James West discusses noise in hospitals: why it's so loud, what problems the din causes for patients and staff, and what his research shows can be done about it.

For more information:
- James West Web page
- James West awarded National Medal of Techbology

August 2007: Political scientists Benjamin Ginsberg and Matthew Crenson discuss their latest joint book, Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced; its prequel, Downsizing Democracy; and Ginsberg's newest solo effort, The American Lie.
According to Crenson and Ginsberg, the American presidency is out of control and there may be little hope of restoring the traditional balance of power in Washington.

Publishers' Web Sites for the Three Books
- Downsizing Democracy
- Presidential Power
- The American Lie
News Releases for the Books
- Q&A: Power of U.S. Presidency Is Growing, Poli Sci Profs Say
   [Downsizing Democracy]
- Presidents Gone Wild: Can They Be Tamed?
   [Presidential Power]
- Hate Politics? You're Not Alone, Johns Hopkins Expert Says
   [The American Lie]

July 2007: Dark energy with Adam Riess
It makes the universe grow at an ever-expanding rate. It accounts for as much as 70 percent of the energy/mass total in the universe. But it's only recently been discovered and no one really knows what it is. Astrophysicist Adam Riess discusses "dark energy." Riess led the team that published the first scientific paper on the phenomenon.

For more information:
- Riess Web site at JHU
- Riess Web site at Space Telescope Science Institute
- Dark Energy Discovery Leader, Adam Riess, to Share Gruber Prize
- Riess is co-winner of Shaw Prize

More Johns Hopkins Podcasts and RSS Feeds
Stop by this page for a comprehensive listing of Podcasts at The Johns Hopkins University. A comprehensive listing of university RSS Feeds maybe found online here.

Podcast Basics

What is a Podcast?
A podcast is an audio recording posted online, much like a short radio show. Podcasting is a method of publishing audio and video programs via the Internet that lets users subscribe to a feed of new files (usually MP3s).

What makes podcasting special is that it allows individuals to publish (podcast) radioshows, that interested listeners can subscribe to. With podcasts, now you can automatically receive new shows, without having to go to a specific site and download it from there.

Stop by www.whatisrss.com for a one page quick introduction to RSS.

How do I subscribe to the Great Ideas Podcast?
To subscribe to the Johns Hopkins Great Ideas Podcast using iTunes, follow this link.

Or, stop by this page to subscribe to the Johns Hopkins Great Ideas Podcast using another RSS feed reader or news aggregator: www.jhu.edu/news/podcasts/jhu_podcast.xml.

Do I have to subscribe to a podcast to listen?
You don't have to use a podcatcher to listen to the Great Ideas podcast. Just stop by www.jhu.edu/news/podcasts/ for the latest podcast.

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Office of News and Information. All rights reserved.
Last updated 11Dec08 by dgips@jhu.edu