Monthly Archives: November 2004

Getting Fat on Soda

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The federal government is considering guidelines that make it clear that soft drinks add pounds to a growing childhood obesity problem in the United States. The stakes for the soda makers in this debate couldn’t be higher. They claim their industry is being unfairly targeted as the bogeyman behind America’s expanding waistline, and insist that the problem is not that kids drink too much soda, it’s that they exercise too little. While the industry points its finger at parents, many nutritionists are saying its time the federal government stepped in to protect children’s health.


Carlos Camargo, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and member of the federal scientific panel on new dietary guidelines.

Richard Adamson, vice president of the American Beverage Association, which represents soft-drink makers.

Peter Koutoujian, chairman of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Committee on Health Care.

Working off the Clock

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Ask your friends and family, and chances are someone knows someone who routinely works “off the clock” — someone who isn’t getting paid for the time they put in.

Rules governing the labor sector remain a complicated business, but one thing is clear: working off the clock is illegal. Some say that more established companies in the nation don’t engage this kind of practice. But the Federal Government has recently taken action against companies like T Mobile, Wal-Mart and Radio Shack, and it’s clear that the demand for off the clock labor is creeping more and into the ranks of white collar workers.


Eileen Applebaum, professor and director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University. Formerly she was research director at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC.

Craig Becker, associate general counsel to the AFL-CIO and has represented many workers in Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuits.

Jeff Berman, partner in the Labor and Employment group of the International law firm of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood in Los Angeles.

The Opening of Another Presidential Libraray

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Richard Norton Smith, Presidential Historian and Director of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Has also been the Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Musuem, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Center, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the Gerald R. Ford Museum and Library.

Ukraine's Disputed Election

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Fifteen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union, the current political standoff in Ukraine shows just how fragile democracy remains in the region.

More than a week after people went to the polls, the result of the election is still unclear and the country is locked in a showdown between the Moscow-backed prime minister and his pro-Western challenger.

While this crisis paralyzes the country, it also has the potential to spark dissent in Russia and other former states of the Soviet Union.


Helen Womack, who is reporting from Ukraine for The Christian Science Monitor.

Roman Szporluk, professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University.

John Peet, Europe editor for The Economist. He joins us from The Economist’s studios in London.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

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Presidential libraries dot the American countryside, from FDR’s modest library in Hyde Park, New York to Bill Clinton’s more modern display in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Now, 140 years after his assassination, Abraham Lincoln has his library in Springfield, Illinois, and the Lincoln Museum will open its doors very soon as well.

The purpose of such institutions is to provide a historical portrayal of those who occupied the Oval Office. But some argue the presidential libraries are more about tourist attractions than historical preservation.


Richard Norton Smith has been in charge of the libraries of Presidents Hoover, Eisenhower, Ford, and Reagan. He’s now overseeing the final touches on the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois.

Best American Short Stories, Part Two

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In the literary world there’s lots of ink comparing the novel to the short story. The writer Lorrie Moore, the editor of this year’s Best American Short Stories, mentions in her introduction just a few she’s heard tossed her way: A short story is a love affair; a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph, a novel is a film. And her favorite: A short story is a flower, a novel is a job.

The short story still gets second billing to the novel but Lorrie Moore prefers a different perspective. By virtue of its length, the short story has a sense of urgency, of purity and of purpose. Or as Moore writes, it’s “very shortness ensures its largeness of accomplishment.”

On Thanksgiving Day, we’re keeping our own tradition alive by honoring the short story.


Jill McCorkle, author of a number of books, including the short story collection: “Creatures of Habit.”

Best American Short Stories, Part One

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Move aside the gravy, the stuffing, bird, and the pie, and let us at the return our tradition to the Thanksgiving table this hour: the short story.

For years now The Connection has been bringing you readings of “Best American Short Stories,” performed by actors at a benefit for PEN New England at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA.

This year, we start with a story by Nell Freudenberger. It’s called “The Tutor.” It’s set in the hills and homes of Bombay, India. We’ll have a conversation with Nell Freudenberger after the reading.


Nell Freudenberger, author, her collection of short stories is “Lucky Girls.”

Gordon Sato

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At age 76, Gordon Sato is busy teaching the people of Eritrea to cultivate the mudflats along the Red Sea coastline. Sato’s vision is that with time and care, his newly planted mangrove trees will help feed the livestock, and in turn, the people. The project is called Manzanar, which Sato named after the Japanese internment camp in California where he was sent 60 years ago as a teenager, and where he first learned to grow crops in dry soil. And he’s taking the hard lessons of those years to the other side of the world.


Gordon Sato, Cell Biologist and founder of the Manzanar Project, an agricultural project to cultivate mangroves along Eritrea’s coastline to help feed livestock, and in turn, people.

Mixed Message for Immigrants

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Forty percent of all America’s border arrests last year were handled in the area of Tucson, Arizona. It works out to about 13,000 people caught every day trying to sneak into the U.S. from Mexico. Many thousands more, cross the border undetected.

The people of Arizona have felt that they’re the ones paying the price. They complain about crowded schools, and illegal aliens taking jobs and public services. So voters said they’d had enough, and passed Proposition 200, requiring proof of citizenship to receive public benefits.


Amanda Crawford, Reporter, The Arizona Republic;
Tamar Jacobi, Senior Fellow with The Manhattan Institute

Randy Pullen, Chairman of YES on Proposition 200 Committee;Isabel Garcia, Pima County Legal Defender

Massive Change

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Can designers save the world? Bruce Mau says they already are. The groundbreaking graphic designer has launched a new exhibit at the Vancouver Art Museum called “Massive Change”. The project takes a look at how designers from all walks of life – scientists, architects and even politicians – are shaping the world around us.


Bruce Mau, Curator of “Massive Change,” a new exhibit at the Vancouver Art Museum

Stewart Brand, Co-founder of The Long Now Foundation