January 3rd: What's On Today's Show

What moment changed the course of your life?

What moment changed the course of your life? hide caption

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The Decline Of Crime
Crime rates dropped sharply in the past twenty years, according to FBI data, a trend that continues despite the recession and a recent decrease in prison populations. Between 1991 and 2010, the homicide rate fell 51 percent; Property crime rates, including auto theft and burglary, decreased significantly, as well — data that challenges many long-held beliefs about crime among both liberals and conservatives. Criminologist see a clear trend, but can't explain what's driving the decline in crime rates. Host Neal Conan speaks with Washington Post reporter Charles Lane and former New York and Los Angeles police chief William Bratton about the statistics, their implications, and possible reasons why the crime rate has decreased.

What Was Your Moment?
The "Six-Word Memoir" grew into a popular series of books, but the editors acknowledge the limits of sharing a meaningful story in so few words. This month, "Smith Magazine" released a new collection: "The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous and Obscure." Larry Smith, editor of the collection, joins host Neal Conan to talk about the moments included in the book — and to hear listeners' stories of the moments that changed their lives.

Some Bodies Fight To Stay Fat
Two-thirds of Americans are overweight — and when many of them try to take off the extra pounds, their bodies fight to stay fat. The formula for weight loss is the same: burn more calories than you take in. But, obesity experts say it's often more complicated than just summoning more willpower. When dieters begin to lose pounds, the brain can identify starvation is on the way and respond by conserving energy and preserving calories while simultaneously sending signals to the body that it's hungry. Tara Parker-Pope describes "The Fat Trap" in an article for The New York Times Magazine. She joins host Neal Conan and obesity specialist Dr. Arthur Frank to talk about why some people appear more biologically prone to obesity.

Facebook's 'Compassion Czar'
Facebook allows users to report photos that violate its user policy. Last year, engineers at the company noticed that many of those photos contained nothing obviously offensive, violent or illegal. In fact, many looked like ordinary pictures of ordinary people. Arturo Bejar, a Facebook director of engineering, realized that users were reporting pictures of themselves, posted by other Facebook users. In some cases, particularly among younger users, they complained the photos were being used to bully them. Bejar concluded that Facebook needed to devise a better way for users to resolve conflict between each other. Bejar joins host Neal Conan to talk about what he's learned about dealing with conflict on social networks, and what Facebook is doing to encourage more compassionate social interaction online.


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