Topic: Economics

Coffee.square

Current Event December 24, 2014

Kindness: An Offering

Economics Storytelling

We meet new people everyday but it is rare for someone that you’ve just met to change the course of your life. When Ron Jones got to know Samantha and Joseph, people he met in a local coffeehouse, and heard about the challenges they had faced, he invited them to live with him. Listen to learn how Ron changed the course of the lives of people who were almost strangers.

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Current Event December 23, 2014

Kindness: A Home

Economics Storytelling

What makes your house feel like home? What would you do if those things disappeared? How would you help a friend or stranger who lost their sense of home? Listen to hear how the kindness of new roommates helped one woman cope with death, divorce and losing her job.

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Current Event December 22, 2014

Divesting from Fossil Fuels

Life Science Economics Climate Change

College students are turning to a new way to fight global warming. They are encouraging their universities to take a stand against climate change and remove the school’s money from investments in fossil fuel companies - like coal and oil. Listen to hear from students at Harvard University why they are fighting for divestment.

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Current Event December 17, 2014

World Impact of Falling Oil Prices

Civics/Government Economics Geography

While Americans are enjoying low gas prices, oil producing nations are feeling the squeeze as the value of their biggest commodity continues to decline. Why is the price of oil dropping and who is it impacting? Listen to learn more about the international consequences of low oil prices and the interconnectedness of the international economy.

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Current Event December 16, 2014

Hanukkah Coins

Economics Immigration Religion Geography

Today marks the first night of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights. Hanukkah comes with many traditions both ancient and modern. This story explores the historic origins of foil wrapped chocolate coins given during Hanukkah, known as gelt. Listen to hear how migration to urban areas to and to America changed the traditions of Hanukkah.

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Current Event December 12, 2014

Cyberattack on Sony

Civics/Government Economics Technology World History II

Cyberattacks on businesses have the power to shut down day to day operations and compromise security. A recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures, in which five movies were leaked and sensitive information was disrupted, is believed to be a result of North Korea’s cyberwar capacity. Sony Picture’s upcoming comedy “The Interview” in which two American journalists go to North Korea to interview and kill its leader, is not considered funny by the North Korean government. The North Koreans are believed to have conducted the cyber attack on Sony to retaliate for the release of the movie. Listen to learn more about this attack and evidence that points to its North Korean origins.

UPDATE 12.18.14 - Sony Pictures has pulled the release of the movie "The Interview." In a statement Sony said "Sony has no further release plans for the film."

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Husbands.square

Current Event December 10, 2014

Curbing Population

Civics/Government Economics

For developing countries, population growth can threaten its development. China famously instituted a one child policy to ensure that the state could support all of its citizens. Most nations are not willing to tell people how many children they can have, but some nations are getting creative. Niger, a country in West Africa, is one of the poorest nations in the world and it has the highest birth rate in the world. The average woman will have 7 children. The government of Niger and the United Nations teamed up to educate men about the benefits of family planning with a “School for Husbands.”

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Current Event December 2, 2014

Grocery Food Waste

Economics Health Nutrition

The produce sections at grocery stores are full of fresh fruits and vegetables ready to buy. But what happens to the produce that isn’t purchased? Spotted bananas and wilted lettuce become food waste every day, whether it is in grocery stores before it is sold or in your own refrigerator afterwards. Listen to learn why 86 billion pounds of food are thrown away each year and what some stores and organizations are doing to cut down on this waste.

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Current Event November 13, 2014

Giving Directly to the Poor

Civics/Government Economics

Traditional charity models give people in need food, clothing, job training, or health care. But they don’t typically give cash. This is changing with a new charity called Give Directly, which gives money directly to recipients, no strings attached, and then lets them choose what to spend it on. This public radio story takes you to Kenya to hear how the process works and what people spend their money on.

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Current Event November 5, 2014

Homeless Student

Civics/Government Economics Education Psychology

Being the top student in your high school class is difficult under the best of circumstances. This audio tells the story of a remarkable young woman, Rashema Melson, who graduated as valedictorian of her high school, despite six years of homelessness. Listen to learn more directly from Rashema herself.

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Current Event October 29, 2014

Living in a Drought

Civics/Government Economics Earth and Space Science Environment Weather and Climate

California is in the middle of a four year drought. The city of Santa Cruz has stepped up its conservation efforts with tough water restrictions. Water use is rationed by household, pushing residents to conserve in every way possible. This public radio story takes you to Santa Cruz and sheds light on how the city uses high penalties and water school to get people on board with water conservation.

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Current Event October 27, 2014

Gas Prices Drive Growth

Civics/Government Economics Transportation

The price of a gallon of gas is dropping dramatically, in some cases more than 25 cents a gallon. This drop in price will mean people have more money to spend on other things. This public radio story analyzes the true economic impact this price drop could have on the economy as a whole.

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Current Event October 17, 2014

Nutella Drives Nut Production

Life Science Economics Ecosystems

The creamy chocolate, hazelnut spread called Nutella is experiencing a surge in popularity. Kids eat it on bread for breakfast, adults snack on it with bananas and restaurants serve nutella crepes. The increase in demand is putting pressure on the world’s hazelnut crops, which are primarily in Turkey. Listen to this public radio story to learn about the history and current day economics of Nutella.

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Current Event October 15, 2014

India Goes to Mars Cheaply

Civics/Government Economics Earth and Space Science Space Systems

India successfully sent a spacecraft and probe to orbit Mars in September. The United States also has a probe orbiting Mars- but their mission costs ten times as much as the India mission. Why is that? From spacecraft, to orbit shape, to payroll - this public radio story explores why these price tags were so different.

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Current Event October 14, 2014

Protecting the White House

Civics/Government Economics

The Secret Service has been under scrutiny this month for high profile failures to protect President Obama and the First Family. First there was the successful attempt of fence jumper Omar Gonzalez to enter the White House with a knife. Then an armed man was found on an elevator with the president. Now there are calls for the Secret Service to tighten up its efforts to keep the President safe. Listen to this public radio story to learn more about these lapses and what can be done to strengthen the Secret Service.

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Current Event October 9, 2014

Curtailing Weapons Exports in Germany

Civics/Government Economics World History II

Germany is one of the top three exporters of weapons but the new economy minister is working to curb exports by enforcing arms rules and stopping sales to countries not in the European Union or NATO. His actions have politicians, arms exporters and workers upset that he is risking German jobs, security and reputation. Critics argue that other countries will take over production from Germany. This public radio story looks at both sides of the issue and can spark debate about who is responsible for weapons falling into the hands of dangerous groups.

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Current Event October 8, 2014

Preparing for a Future of Flooding: Tearing Down Homes

Civics/Government Economics Earth and Space Science Climate Change

In recent years natural disasters have highlighted the dangers of living along the coast in a time of rising sea levels and unpredictable weather. People with homes on the coast face a difficult decision as their homes lose value. Should they try and sell their homes and move, or stay and hope for the best? State governments and environmental groups are increasingly supporting people moving away, so that land can be reclaimed as a storm buffer. Listen to this public radio story to hear from homeowners who are in this difficult position.

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Current Event October 3, 2014

Growing Heirloom Apples a Life Long Devotion

Life Science Economics Genetics Agriculture

It is apple picking season and apple lovers are gearing up to eat some tasty and unique apples. The apples we are used to seeing in the supermarket are the same basic size and shape. And they have the familiar flavor profiles. But there are more apple varieties than you might imagine. There's a whole world of biodiversity in apples. This public radio story takes you to a heirloom apple orchard in Vermont that specializes in grafting and maintaining historic varieties of apples. Get ready to visualize (and almost taste!) some unique looking apples.

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Current Event September 30, 2014

Cricket Food - A New Food Frontier

Life Science Economics Agriculture

Crickets are seen as a little but loud insect, some might think they are creepy, others cute, but most Americans don’t see crickets as food. This might start changing as the world searches for more environmentally sound sources of protein. Whether people fry crickets or use ground cricket flour to enrich their baked good - crickets are coming. This public radio story takes you to a farm that grows crickets in Ohio and provides a rich framework to understand the advantages to eating insects.

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