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Most Recent Episodes

An Agonizing Decision in Oscar-Nominated 'Last Day of Freedom'

In "Last Day of Freedom" Bill Babbitt recalls the agonizing decision to turn his younger brother Manny in for a terrible crime. The film explores the life events that led up to Manny's crime and his execution by the State of California. We'll talk to filmmakers Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman about this unthinkable story and their telling of it (through animation), which has been nominated for an Oscar in the short documentary category.

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Pixar's Sanjay Patel Transforms Hindu Gods Into Cartoon Super Heroes

Growing up as the child of Indian immigrants in the 1980s in San Bernardino, Sanjay Patel often felt tempted to watch cartoons instead of joining his father for Hindu prayers. As an adult, the Pixar artist found a way to pay homage to both worlds with "Sanjay's Super Team," an animated short which played before "The Good Dinosaur" in theaters and has been nominated for an Academy Award. The film centers around a young Indian- American boy who gets pulled into a world where Hindu deities become cartoon action heroes and who learns how to bond with his father in the process.

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Discovery of Severe Brain Disease in Raiders' Ken Stabler Reignites Concerns Over Concussions

This week researchers diagnosed the late Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler with the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, more commonly known as "CTE." The news comes in the wake of contradictory reports over the degree to which concussions affect football players, and as the NFL faces allegations that it unduly influenced some of those studies with millions in funding. In this hour we'll look at what the science says about football and brain trauma. And we want to hear from you — does the news around CTE affect whether you would allow your kids to play football? Does it change how you watch the game?

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Anthony Marra's 'The Tsar of Love and Techno' Illuminates a Tumultuous Russian History

A propagandist who airbrushes out the faces of Stalin's enemies from photos; a disgraced ballerina exiled to a Siberian wasteland; a tourist agent struggling to sell post-war Grozny as "the Dubai of the Caucasus," these are of some of the characters in Anthony Marra's new collection of stories, "The Tsar of Love and Techno." The Bay Area author joins us to talk about his book of interconnected tales, how he weaves humor with tragedy and his enduring fascination with Russia.

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Boko Haram Torches Village, Kills Children in Latest Attacks

Boko Haram killed at least 65 people in a series of shootings and firebomb attacks on a Nigerian village and refugee camps over the weekend, burning children alive and using suicide bombers to blow up survivors, according to witnesses. The attacks come just over a month after Nigeria's president said the country had "won the war" against the Islamist extremist group, which came to notoriety when it kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls in 2014. We get the latest on the attacks and the status of the group, which has reportedly killed about 20,000 people and displaced 2.5 million from their homes.

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Sunnyvale's Yahoo! Plans Restructure, Lays Off 15 Percent

On Tuesday Yahoo! announced that it plans to cut 15 percent of its workforce and shutter five global offices to help trim $400 million in operating costs. The loss of 1,700 jobs comes in the wake of its surprise December move to not spinoff its stake of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, and as investors and tech experts speculate that CEO Marissa Mayer may be trying to lure a buyer. We discuss the future of Yahoo! and its business plan.

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E.J. Dionne on Republicans' Radical Path from Barry Goldwater to Ted Cruz

After Ted Cruz and Donald Trump won the top two spots in the Iowa Caucus, establishment Republicans are scrambling to regain footing. But in his new book, "Why the Right Went Wrong," Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne writes that it was the GOP itself that opened the door to extreme candidates like Trump and Cruz. For the past half century, he says, the party has pushed ideological far-right agendas to rally the party base, a strategy that has undermined Republicans in office. Forum talks with Dionne about the presidential primary and the GOP's internal struggle that he traces back to Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential bid.

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Do Men Have a Friendship Problem?

New research out of the United Kingdom finds that 2.5 million British men say they have no close friends that they could turn to in a crisis. The study, sponsored by the Movember Foundation, found the lack of friendship particularly striking among married men. The findings also suggest that men prefer to hang out in groups, but that those opportunities diminish as males age We'll look at whether a lack of close companions among men is cause for concern and how men can get in the habit of forming new friendships.

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How Iowa Will Reshape the Presidential Race

Iowa voters kicked off the 2016 presidential election yesterday evening, and it was tough night for the political establishment. On the Republican side, Ted Cruz prevailed over Donald Trump, defying the pollsters and pundits. Marco Rubio, who came in a close third to Trump?s second, also did better than was anticipated. Meanwhile Democrat Bernie Sanders' supporters are celebrating the Vermont senator's strong showing, after a very narrow loss to Hillary Clinton. Coming up on Forum, we'll dissect last night's Iowa caucus results and look ahead to next week's New Hampshire primary.

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California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia on the Gifts of Poetry

"Money breeds money." Apt words from Dana Gioia, a former VP of General Foods and a graduate of Stanford Business School. But this is a stanza, not a business mantra, and it comes from the pen of California's new Poet Laureate: Gioia. A longtime poetry advocate and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia joins us to discuss his ideas for promoting poetry teaching in schools as well as how he plans to broaden the audience for poetry.

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