Monthly Archives: March 2005

The Fossil Hunter

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Sue Hendrickson has unearthed some of the world’s greatest finds. From ancient shipwrecks to a 24-million-year-old butterfly, she’s been called a modern day explorer on the hunt for precious fossils.

Hendrickson’s most famous discovery is aptly named Sue. It is a 67-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex, the world’s largest ever found, and it has led to a whole new understanding about these monstrous creatures that once roamed the earth.

Recently, scientists discovered soft tissue in a T. rex bone unearthed in Montana and that’s got many wondering if one day these prehistoric animals could be cloned to walk the earth once again.

Hendrickson says the latest news is proof that we’re just scratching the surface to understanding the earth’s history. The dinosaur hunter Sue Hendrickson and discovering what’s yet to be discovered.


Sue Hendrickson, field paleontologist and marine archeologist, discovered the world’s largest T. rex

Mary Schweitzer, professor at North Carolina State University and team leader on the recent discovery of soft tissue in a Tyrannosaurus rex in Montana.

Death of Terri Schiavo

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Two weeks after a state court judge ordered the feeding removed, Terri Schiavo has died. The fight over her fate has been at the center of a national debate for weeks — drawing comment and intervention by the President, Congress, and even the Vatican.

Under this bright national spotlight, the personal struggle of Schiavo’s family became intensely political. On one side her husband Michael arguing for the right to remove the feeding tube from his brain-damaged wife, on the other her parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, seeking every legal means available to continue the support that had been keeping their daughter alive since she was hospitalized more than 15 years ago.

But beyond the personal dynamics of the Schiavo family, this case revealed real fault lines about how people throughout America view the right to die and to live. When the personal become political, understanding the death of Terry Schiavo.


Stephen Prothero, Chair of the Department of Religion at Boston University

Dr. Michael Grodin, Director of the Law, Medicine and Ethics Program at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Medical Ethicist at Boston Medical Center

The Battle to Fill the Ranks

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As war in Iraq continues, recruiters are having a tough time selling their “Army of One” to the many. The army has recently loosened its age limits and fattened its signing bonuses, along with promising to pay for college and high tech training; all while military ad campaigns talk about service, patriotism, and love of country.

On the ground, recruiters are aggressively targeting high schools and colleges, sponsoring NASCAR events and perhaps even a baseball team. But any red, white and blue ad campaign can’t hide the fact that joining the military today may mean a ticket to Iraq and an indefinite number of return trips.

With several branches of the military facing recruitment shortfalls, America’s volunteer force is facing its biggest challenge since the draft ended in 1973. Paychecks or patriotism — the battle to build tomorrow’s army.


William Cala, Superintendent of the Fairport Central School District

Christopher Gelpi, Associate Professor of Politics at Duke University

Ret. Colonel Bob Killebrew.

Providing a Voice for the Voiceless

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Here’s a quote you won’t find in a travel brochure, “South Zimbabwe, is a grand spot to pick up malaria, cholera and leprosy – if you’ve been spared Aids – so what would really gee them up now would be a spot of drought and famine, garnished with locusts and tyranny.” That’s an assessment of Zimbabwe today as reported in Sunday’s London Observer.

As Zimbabwe’s leader Robert Mugabe prepares to preside over another rigged election, the prospects for political change in that country seem agonizingly remote. But some among Zimbabwe’s 3 million exiles see reason for hope. They are part of a movement to fuel opposition within by bombarding the country from outside, with independent news and information. A voice for the Voiceless in Zimbabwe.


Abe McLaughlin, staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor

Violet Gonda, exiled Zimbabwean journalist now working for SW Radio Africa in London

Wilf Mbanga, editor of The Zimbabwean, newspaper just launched this week

Doublas Rogers, freelance journalist for the Guardian and L.A. Times.

Supreme File Trial

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Ask most 14-year-olds what GROKSTER is and they’ll all know it as a place to find music and movies. But if you ask record and film executives, they’ll tell you it is software that steals.

Yesterday the industry took their case against software developers Grokster and Streamcast to the Supreme Court. They’re claiming that 85 million songs and 400,000 movies are being illegally downloaded every day without a penny paid to artists.

Grokster says it only makes software and should not be held responsible for what users choose to do with it. They say their software is similar to technologies like the video camera and the Xerox machine and that shutting them down will hobble the development of future, and important technologies for the knowledge economy.


Declan McCullough, CNET News Chief Political Correspondent

Daryl Friedman, VP of Advocacy for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

Lawrence Lessig, Law Professor at Stanford Law School and author of “Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity”

Fred von Lohmann, Senior Intellectual Property Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, lead lawyer representing file-sharing entities.

The Tap Dancer

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If you were to give the tap dancer Dianne Walker, a choice between a big stage, and a small jazz club, chances are she’d choose the club. That’s because Walker considers herself a musician — not a performer. Her feet are her instrument, tapping, shuffling and brushing out emotion, beat and melody with each step.

She is known as “Lady Di” for her elegant style, and she’s one of the few women celebrated in the world of tap, having performed with the likes of Gregory Hines, Sammy Davis Junior and Savion Glover.

She tosses aside the movie musical versions of tap and old Broadway for something closer to the ground, something closer to “da noise and da funk.” There is, says Walker, a straight line between tap and hip hop. We’ll hear the “music” of the tap dancer Dianne Walker.


Dianne Walker, legendary tap dancer who has performed in “Tap” with Gregory Hines and “Hoofers Line” with Jimmy Slyde, Chuck Green and Bunny Briggs.

Crystal Meth Crackdown

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If you get the sniffles in Iowa you’ll have to show I.D. before a pharmacist will sell you cold medicine. It’s the latest attempt to control the epidemic growth of a different drug, methamphetamine, that’s sweeping that state.

Iowa is enacting tough new laws designed to curb the sale of meth ingredients, like cough medicine and iodine. Ten years ago, meth took hold as the drug of choice in the heartland. It came from outside, trucked in on the interstates that cross this part of the country.

The problem turned into a crisis as users discovered ways to make their own meth using ingredients easy to find at local stores. Now policemen in rural areas have to fight a homegrown drug making industry, while at the same time trying to save the addicts and their children. The Meth Problem in rural America.


Sue Armstrong, co-facilitator for Mothers Off Meth

Wendy Haight, social work professor at University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana

Marvin Van Haaften, director of the Iowa Governor’s Office of Drug Control.

A Defining Passion

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The writer Ilan Stavans loves words. He is a self-confessed “tongue snatcher,” stealing other people’s words and adopting them as his own.

Ever since he was a kid in his native Mexico, he’s been surrounded by languages: from Spanish to Yiddish to Spanglish. He became fascinated with how people blend and co-opt words from other cultures, melting them seamlessly into their native tongue. This love soon grew into an obsession, not just with words but with dictionaries.

According to Stavans, the average American uses 2,000 different words every day, just a fraction of the nearly 200,000 words listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. Stavans wonders if our daily conversations would be richer if people decided to tackle some of those “extra” words: from the proper to the crude to the illicit.


Ilan Stavans, author of “Dictionary Days: A Defining Passion.”

The Politics of Religion

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The passion play in Pinellas Park, Florida continues today following the Easter holiday weekend. The family of Terry Schiavo now appears resigned to let nature take its course. They were at her hospital yesterday as her body weakened and she received last rites.

But long after this family’s drama ends, people in this country will be struggling with questions about who has the power to end life, and if government, either elected officials or the courts, should have a hand in these decisions.

The Schiavo case shows once again, the power of religious conservatives to rally attention to a cause, and underlines, for those on the left and right, the political tension on moral and religious questions. The story of this woman’s case will alter the debate on everything from judicial nominations, to stem cells to abortion. Assessing the Schiavo Effect.


Christopher Shays, Republican Congressman from Connecticut

Trent Franks, Republican Congressman from Arizona

Gail Chaddock, Congreesional Correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor

Patrick Gudridge, Law Professor at University of Miami School of Law

Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council.