'Big' News, Head-Scratching Research

The terrible bridge collapse in Minneapolis is of course the "big news."

Tomorrow on the show, we'll be talking to Somali refugees who live near the bridge. We think it's fitting because Minneapolis has one of the largest Somali communities in the U.S. and the folks there say the bridge collapse has an eerie resonance for them — a reminder of some of the tragic events that occurred during the civil war in their homeland.

On today's show, we talked about the ongoing shakeup of the housing industry and the sub-prime mortgage industry. Dr. Edward Gramlich's book, Subprime Mortgages: America's Latest Boom and Bust tells the story. Gramlich says the sub-prime mortgage is here to stay but expects changes that will make it much more difficult to get that type of loan.

And if you're a basketball fan, you may remember that 7'7 giant-of-a-man Manute Bol. The man from Sudan lives in Kansas now and is still working to help his war-torn country. We connected to Tuesday's announcement that U.N. peacemakers are headed to Dafur and a unity meeting is in the works. But rebels are threatening to pull out of the talks.

Despite the focus on the Sudan, one of our commentators, Uzodinma Iweala, has a surprising message for the West. He says stop talking about saving Africa.

What do you think about Iweala's "message"?
What, specifically, should be done to help countries in Africa? More humanitarian aid? More programs to relieve debt?
...Or is a hands-off approach best?

Now, let's focus on some interesting sex news...YES, I said sex. Some of the talk was serious and some of it...NOT.

First, the serious. There's research indicating that Mexican migrant workers are leaving the U.S. and taking the H.I.V. virus back home with them. For this week's Dispatches segment, we invited the Mexico Bureau chief for Copley News Service, Lynne Walker, on the program. She says lonely migrant workers are often engaging in some risky behavior...like having sex with a number of people.

Another big sex story in Mexico: the prison system there has decided to allow gay inmates to receive conjugal visits from their partners.

Interesting. Might this ever happen in the U.S.?
Or do you think the very thought of such a provision has little chance of ever becoming an issue of mainstream debate?

And then there is that number that has everyone talking. Research in the August issue of the Archives of Sexual Behavior says there are a whopping 237 reasons why people have sex. 237. I wonder if that's a definitive study.

Dare I ask...what do you think?

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As I listened to the "talk on the street" question about why folks have sex, it occurred to me that for some it is an affirmation of life. I wonder how many folks in the Twin Cities went home to spouses or partners and had seriously intense sex that night, reaffirming to their very core that they are alive, that their partner is alive, even though so many folks have died...at a basic, even primal, point of reconnection with the cycle of life and death.
Or maybe it just feels good. I vacillate between the thought that sex is some poetic profound experience and the thought that, good grief, it just feels good, don't make it into more than it is. But I can say this - when I have the desire to do it, I only want to do it with my spouse, and we have made a child with it, and that, in and of itself, is profound enough.

Sent by Sarah Pressly-James | 10:36 AM | 8-3-2007

Why is it that Banks and other lending agencies are being investigated on the matter of sub prime loans but the three reporting agencies who engineered the credit score scam have not been mentioned? They exist to circumvent Federal Banking Law, do not have good buisness reputations and are still making millions from a credit score that neither has internal or external validity. By law we don't let banks talk to each other about our credit but alow these 3 direputable reporting agencies to sell our information to anyone who will pay for it.?

Sent by Greg Burchstead | 4:51 PM | 2-24-2008

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