From WYPR - 88.1 FM Baltimore

Each day from 12-1 pm, Sheilah Kast and her guests explore issues on a local, regional and national level. WYPR listeners are encouraged to call and participate in the discussion. Midday is produced by Maureen Harvie, Andrea Appleton, and Connor Graham.More from Midday »

Most Recent Episodes

What Amnesia Tells Us About Memory

"Memento," "The Bourne Identity," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Amnesia is a Hollywood staple. Even the true stories often seem fantastical. Just last month an Ontario man named Edgar Latulip recovered his memory after 30 years. He'd been missing and presumed dead, despite living 80 miles from home. Acute memory loss fascinates us, probably because in many ways, we are our memories. What triggers amnesia? What happens to your sense of self when your memory is gone? What can amnesia teach us about memory? Dr. Jason Brandt, a neuropsychologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who specializes in memory and memory disorders, joins us in studio to explore these questions. Also: Dr. Brandt is currently looking for older patients with mild memory impairment or early Alzheimer's disease to take part in a clinical trial on dietary intervention. If you'd like to take part, call: 410-955-1647. Original air date:

A Deep Dive Into the Dead Zone

In late July the Chesapeake Bay saw one of the worst "dead zones" on record, an area with low-oxygen water. By early August, conditions returned to the typical range, but efforts are ongoing in Maryland and surrounding states to shrink the dead zone. We speak to Tim Wheeler, managing editor of The Bay Journal, and Dr. Don Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. What do low oxygen levels mean for the health of plants and animals in the Bay? How will climate change - expected to bring warmer water temperatures and rising sea levels - affect the "dead zone"? We take a deep dive into the dead zone.

The Case For Black Rage in Philanthropy

Philanthropic institutions are overwhelmingly white. Less than 4 percent of foundation CEOs are African-American, for instance, and the numbers for executive staff are similar. My guests today say that, despite good intentions, foundations lack moral urgency in addressing the problems that plague poor black communities. Social entrepreneur and philanthropy consultant Rodney Foxworth recently wrote an essay on the subject on Medium.com, titled "The Need for Black Rage in Philanthropy." Are foundations too complacent, too comfortable, too willing to take things slow when it comes to inequality? Is rage the missing ingredient? Rodney Foxworth and Erika Seth Davies from the Association for Black Foundation Executives join us.

Listen Up: Help for Hearing Loss

"What'd ya say?" "Speak up, stop mumbling!" "Would you repeat that?" Sound familiar? Maybe it's someone you care about; maybe ... it's you. About 30 million Americans have enough trouble hearing it interferes with communication, and it's much more common as we age. It's not a minor frustration – hearing loss is linked to health problems like falling, to depression, anxiety and onset of dementia. Yet only a fraction of Americans who could benefit from hearing aids wear them. In this hour we'll talk to a noted hearing researcher at Johns Hopkins about the impact of hearing loss, what keeps people from getting help with their hearing ... and new developments on the horizon that might change that. Our guest: Dr. Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins Medicine. His clinical practice is dedicated to the medical and surgical management of hearing problems, and his research focuses on the intersection of hearing loss, gerontology and public health.

Water Bills On The Rise

Water main breaks. Sewer overflows. Flooded basements. Baltimore's water infrastructure is often in the headlines. But some listeners may find the most recent news from the Department of Public Works particularly unwelcome: water and sewer rates are set to go up, pending Board of Estimates approval. Baltimore City residents would see a 33 percent water rate increase over the next three years, plus two new fees. But there will no longer be minimum billing for water usage, so water charges for some users may actually decrease. Surrounding counties that use city water will also see changes to their bills. Jeffrey Raymond, Chief of Communications and Community Affairs for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works, answers your questions.

The Minimum Wage Debate

In a few hours, the Baltimore City Council is to vote on whether or not to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. The city currently follows the state minimum wage of $8.75 an hour. The proposal says small businesses--with fewer than 25 employees or less than a half a million dollars in gross annual income-- would not have to pay the higher minimum. Proponents say raising the basement wage is crucial to attacking poverty, in a city where one out of four residents is below the poverty line. They cite data showing the proposal would boost the incomes of more than one-fourth of workers in the city. Business advocates argue the proposal would backfire, killing jobs by pushing some businesses to move out of the city. Our guests: Ricarra Jones, political organizer with SEIU 1199, and Cailey Locklair Tolle, president of the Maryland Retailers Association.

DOJ Report: Baltimore Police Discriminate Intentionally

The Baltimore Police Department disproportionately stops, searches, and arrests African Americans in violation of federal law and the US Constitution. This is one of the conclusions of a scathing US Department of Justice investigation into how the city's police force operates. The Justice Department found evidence of intentional discrimination against black residents, including orders by supervising officers to target African Americans for stops and arrests, and a failure by the department to investigate complaints alleging racial bias by officers. Baltimore now begins the hard work of drafting a court-enforceable framework of reforms. We hear reaction from a law professor and a local pastor, and from you.

Broken Bonds of Trust

A damning report by the Department of Justice reveals a pattern and practice of unconstitutional policing in Baltimore: illegal stops and arrests, excessive force and public strip searches, the targeting of predominantly African-American neighborhoods. The report reached a conclusion already experienced by many Baltimore residents — that the Baltimore Police Department's methods have broken the public's trust. What's next? Baltimore must draft a court-enforceable consent decree detailing reforms...reforms expected to cost the city millions of dollars. Can the Baltimore Police Department rebuild its relationship with the community? Is the city willing to devote time and resources to remedying years of discrimination and excessive force? Our guests: Kwame Rose, activist and and producer with The Real News Network; and Lieutenant Roy Alston, a patrol watch commander with the Dallas Police Department who has worked on past investigations with the US Department of Justice; former Baltimore

"The Chicken From Hell" and Other Dinosaurs

Did you know that dinosaurs didn't actually go extinct? One group is still with us: they're called birds. Were you aware that most dinosaurs had feathers? Does it surprise you to hear that Tyrannosaurus Rex is closer to us in time than it was to Stegosaurus? Dinosaurs are as popular as ever, particularly among children. But the picture the general public has of them hasn't kept pace with the science. Today University of Maryland dinosaur paleontologist Thomas Holtz, Jr. joins us to talk discoveries, dispel myths and tell us how we know what we know about one of the most successful groups of animals to ever walk the earth. Original air date: May 11, 2016.

Patients at Risk: Prescription Drug Shortages in the US

Drug shortages don't sound like the kind of thing that could happen in the United States. Yet shortages of drugs ranging from cancer treatment to painkillers have become commonplace. The FDA even has a mobile app for shortages, aimed at healthcare professionals. When the supply of a medication runs dry, doctors scramble to find alternatives. They are often less familiar with the substitute drug. It may be less effective. It may have side effects. And in some cases, there simply is no substitute. That means physicians increasingly face an agonizing ethical decision: which patients should receive drugs and which should not? We discuss how physicians are coping with the crisis in our nation's drug supply. Original air date: May 24, 2016. Our guests: Dr. Yoram Unguru, an oncologist at the Children's Hospital at Sinai in Baltimore and a faculty member at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University; and Dr. Jesse Pines, director of the Office for Clinical Practical

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