Spectrum Spectrum features conversations with an eclectic group of fascinating people, some are famous and some are not, but they all have captivating stories.
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Spectrum features conversations with an eclectic group of fascinating people, some are famous and some are not, but they all have captivating stories.More from Spectrum »

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Cesarean Sections Account for One-Third of the Baby Deliveries in the USA

Medical historian Jacqueline H. Wolf, a professor at Ohio University, has just authored a new book tracing the history of the use of Cesarean Section baby deliveries in the United States noting a definite upward trend in the 21st Century. The book, "Cesarean Section: An American History of Risk, Technology, and Consequence," explores the history of the C-Section from the 19th century until today. Wolf tells Spectrum podcast that Cesarean births rose in the United States by 455 percent from 4.5 percent to 25 percent for the period between 1965 and 1987. The growth has continued and now the rate for the procedure is one-third of all American births – one of every three. This is twice what is recommended by the World Health Organization. Although sometimes a C-Section is necessary for the welfare of the baby or the mother, too often it is used as a matter of convenience, according to Wolf. She details many of the risks associated with Cesarean deliveries compared to vaginal births and according to many, they are over-used. The book has received impressive reviews. Recently Slate.com called the book "Absorbing," "Plainly excellent," and said "Its vividness is unrivaled." Jennifer Grayson, author of "Unlatched: The Evolution of Breastfeeding and the Making of a Controversy" said: "With meticulous research and sweeping insight, Jacqueline Wolf unfolds the unfathomable: how, over the course of a mere century, human beings normalized surgery as the means of bringing babies into the world. 'Cesarean Section' is an urgent wake-up call." This is Wolf's third book. She already has written "Don't Kill Your Baby: Public Health and the Decline of Breastfeeding in the 19th and 20th Centuries" and "Deliver Me from Pain: Anesthesia and Birth in American." This book is published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Cesarean Sections Account for One-Third of the Baby Deliveries in the USA

The Tangled Trump-Russia Web Ensnares as Attorney Cohen's Story Unfolds

As if the tangled and muddled web of potential Russian collusion and conspiracy with Americans to interfere in the 2016 Presidential Election was not confusing enough, we now have the activities of President Trump's former attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen to further complicate matters. Philip Ewing, security editor for National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington, has been following the Cohen situation as it unfolds. He notes there are three main elements. First, what documents should be turned over to federal agents and secondly, what roll, if any, did Cohen play in the Russia collusion matter and thirdly, did Cohen break any laws in his representation of major global corporations by promising access to the Trump Administration? Ewing tries to break the events down to understandable terms for the average person. He shares with us his insights and expertise. In early April 2018, the FBI executed a court-ordered search warrant on Cohen's office, his home, and his hotel. Multiple records and electronic devices were seized. Federal Judge Kimba Wood has appointed a former judge to do a preliminary examination of these documents to determine which ones should be turned over to federal prosecutors and which should be sealed under the theory of "attorney-client" privilege. These documents could be potential evidence against Michael Cohen is an array of possible federal criminal charges and could possibly link the President and others to nefarious activities. Cohen also has been linked to various significant foreign notables who might be involved in potential collusion regarding the election. He either has been seen meeting with them or records indicate he has received substantial amounts of money from them, says Ewing. Finally, Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stormy Daniels (a woman who claims to have had an affair with Donald Trump), is trying to break a non-disclosure agreement so that his client can speak openly of her relationship with the President. He also has sued Michael Cohen and President Trump for defamation for alleged "untruths" that they have said against his client. Recently, Avenatti has released a report indicating that Cohen has received large sums of money from various global corporations and a Russian oligarch for some type of access to the President or influence over him. These money transfers might open Cohen and others to additional criminal liabilities. Meanwhile, the "Washington Post" reports that President Trump is fixated on the raid on Cohen's properties and speaks negatively of it some 20 times a day. No one, currently knows, why the President is so concerned. Ewing discusses some possibilities with the Spectrum podcast. He also describes the chasm between the painstakingly methodical approach of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the political/public relations frenzy being stirred up by President Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani. Ewing says some people will always believe Mueller's investigation is a "witch hunt" regardless of facts proven in a court of law. Ewing is a veteran Washington reporter covering primarily security and military issues throughout his career. He is a graduate of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University and the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.

Investigative Reporting Hits the Grassroots through Non-profit Journalism

Investigative journalism is not the sole province of only big-city newspapers like the "New York Times" or the "Washington Post." Instead, it is starting to flourish at the grassroots level through the assistance of the Institute for Non-Profit News (INN), a collective of over 100 non-profit news organizations across the country. The groups are committed to transparency in government and to hold public officials accountable. Affiliates across the country pay INN "a small fee each month in exchange for tech support; they help to negotiate deals on behalf of all members, and every year they have matching funds for member fund drives," says Lucia Walinchus, the executive director of Eye on Ohio, the Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism. Members also have the ability to share content from other member organizations. Walinchus is an award-winning journalist, an author and an attorney. She often uses large data sets to research stories and is extremely adept at computer-assisted reporting. She has been published in many national publications and has made appearances on major television and cable news networks. The scope of her reporting and investigations are wide but she is just an example of the type of reporter being attracted to non-profit journalism in 2018, says Walinchus As the number of newspapers dwindles, the public is turning more and more to non-profit journalism to produce in-depth, long form stories that are relevant to the average citizen. These non-profits, like Eye on Ohio, bring top-flight investigative techniques to the heartland and produce stories that help define issues important to the readers. Walinchus, for example, uses her journalism background and her law degree to decipher complex laws, regulations and financial transactions for her followers. The mission of Eye on Ohio is: "to promote the public good by pursuing in-depth, underreported and high-impact journalism which exposes injustice and explores its consequences. Our reporting investigates the truth, holds those in power accountable, and seeks solutions." Examples of these types of stories and non-profit journalism can be found at http://eyeonohio.com/ and also at https://inn.org/2017/12/the-best-nonprofit-journalism-of-2017/

Investigative Reporting Hits the Grassroots through Non-profit Journalism

Award-winning Journalist Studies Today's Climate Change by Looking at the Past

Andrew Revkin has spent his professional career covering environmental issues and writing about them contemporaneously. However, his most recent book, just published in May 2018, tracks climate change by looking at 100 historical events that help explain today's climate debate. The book is "Weather: An Illustrated History: From Cloud Atlases to Climate Change" published by Sterling and it is co-authored by Revkin's wife, Lisa Mechaley. He goes back to pre-history and brings the important climate events, people and milestones forward to our current political climate-change debate. Each short narrative section is accompanied by stunning illustrations. During his discussion with Spectrum's podcast host Tom Hodson, he highlights some of the most noteworthy historical events and personalities with fascinating and sometimes witty stories about people such as Benjamin Franklin and his lightning rod and weather events like the killer London Fog of the 1950's. Revkin certainly has the credentials to write a retrospective on weather and climate change. He is award winning environmental journalist, author, educator, musical composer and performer. Andy spent 21 years writing about the environment for the New York Times and created the popular Dot Earth blog for the Times. He also was the first journalist to report from drifting sea ice at the North Pole. He then spent time writing for ProPublica doing investigative pieces. He now is the Strategic Adviser for Environmental and Science Journalism at the National Geographic Society. He also has spent time teaching at Pace University. In addition to writing, Revkin is a musical composer and performer. He often performed with the legendary environmentalist/folk singer Pete Seeger. In 2013, he released his musical CD called a Very Fine Line filled with compositions he wrote. It is performed by "Andy Revkin and Friends."

Award-winning Journalist Studies Today's Climate Change by Looking at the Past

Big City London Reporter/Editor Visits & Studies American Small Town & Cities

Journalist Leo Mirani has spent his life in big cities. He worked for the Guardian in Mumbai, India – a city with a metropolitan population of over 22 million people. And, he now lives in London with a population of about 9.8 million people. His whole life has been spent in large cities and metropolitan areas. He, however, has been curious about what small towns might be like and small cities in the United States. So, he came to America on a paid sabbatical to spend 70 days traveling the heartland of our country...examining what small town life is really like. He is coming to the end of his journey and, soon, he will return to his position as News Editor of the Economist magazine in London. There he will write stories about his American experience and try to capture for his readers, the heart of small town American life. Needless to say, the journey was a culture shock for a young man who has spent his life in large cities where anything is available at any time of the day or night. While visiting the college town of Athens, Ohio, Marini spoke with Tom Hodson of the Spectrum Podcast to share some of his observations about his travels and about the status of global journalism. Marini covered culture, movies, and the social scene for the Guardian in Mumbai, India. He then was a technology reporter for Quartz business news site until he joined the Economist in 2015. Mirani talked with classes of journalism students at the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Big City London Reporter/Editor Visits & Studies American Small Town & Cities

Internet Pioneer is both Optimistic & Cautious about New Cyber Developments

Dr. Steve Crocker was there for the birth of the Internet. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was part of the group that developed the protocols for the ARPANET. That was the foundation for today's Internet. It was originally designed to share data and scientific research; however, it quickly morphed into a system used by millions of people for both productive and nefarious reasons. He helped formulate the Network Working Group, the forerunner of the modern Internet Engineering Task Force. He also helped initiate the Requests for Comment (RFC) through which protocol designs are shared and changes made to systems for upgrades. Dr. Crocker still remains optimistic about the thousands of positive uses of the Internet. He doesn't think that we have even come close to maximizing the use of the Internet. However, he also cautions that security breaches remain a problem the need to be addressed with some urgency. He, most recently, has been the CEO and co-founder of Shinkuro, Inc., a start-up company focused on dynamic sharing of information across the Internet and the deployment of improved security protocols. Dr. Crocker also is extremely optimistic about the uses of Artificial Intelligence to enhance our way of living – especially in medical fields. He, however, does not want us to turn our lives over to being totally dominated by algorithms of someone else. For his lifetime work, Dr. Crocker has been admitted to the Internet Hall of Fame.

Internet Pioneer is both Optimistic & Cautious about New Cyber Developments

What Does It Mean to be a "Progressive" in Today's Political Landscape

The term "liberal" seems to be fading from the political lexicon. Instead, daily, we, as voters, are bombarded with the term "progressive." We constantly hear of progressive versus mainstream candidates. It was really apparent in the 2016 primary with Sen. Bernie Sanders challenging Hillary Clinton. But "progressivism" also has seemed to invade state elections and grassroots politics. For example, in Ohio's Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, political rebel Dennis Kucinich is calling himself a progressive against more mainstream candidates. The state has become a microcosm of the fight between progressives and more centrist candidates. But, what does that term "Progressive" mean? In this edition of Spectrum, we talk with three people who give us their perspectives on what it really means to be a "Progressive Democrat" in 2018. We hear from Dennis Kucinich who labels himself a progressive after a long and controversial life in politics. He was a young mayor of Cleveland, a U.S. Congressman, and ran for President twice in 2004 and 2008. He also, however, has served as a commentator and analyst on the conservative Fox News network. We also hear from Dr. Susan Burgess, a professor of Political Science at Ohio University. A portion of her research has been in the evolution of political movements. She gives us some historical perspective. And, finally we chat with Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, at the University of Virginia and author of The Bellwether – a book about Ohio's critical Presidential voting history and its influence on Presidential politics.

Artificial Intelligence: Is it Biased in Law Enforcement & Court Usage?

Artificial Intelligence quickly is becoming a greater part of our lives. Algorithms already trace our digital footprints and routinely send us targeted advertising and social media content compatible with our views. AI checks our credit scores and approves/disapproves us for loans and mortgages. It also is being used to predict behaviors – especially by law enforcement and criminal justice systems. But, is it biased and does it racially profile? Randy Rieland, is an award-winning journalist and a digital media strategist in Washington DC. He also writes about innovation for Smithsonian.com. He recently wrote about how AI is used by some law enforcement. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/artificial-intelligence-is-now-used-predict-crime-is-it-biased-180968337/ "A program called PredPol was created eight years ago by UCLA scientists working with the Los Angeles Police Department, with the goal of seeing how scientific analysis of crime data could help spot patterns of criminal behavior," Rieland wrote. "Now used by more than 60 police departments around the country, PredPol identifies areas in a neighborhood where serious crimes are more likely to occur during a particular period." The program, however, is not without controversy. Some notable groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Brennan Center for Justice question whether the data used and the secret algorithms in the software create bias – especially against minorities and minority neighborhoods. There are also questions whether the data and the resultant AI spurs law enforcement officers to be more aggressive in their arrest policies in certain neighborhoods. Some argue the AI programs create a type of racial profiling. There is little accountability, at this time, for companies that produce AI systems because the software and the algorithms are "proprietary" and secret to the company. Judges also have used AI to determine whether a convicted defendant is likely to commit more crimes. In short, judges were using AI in sentencing determinations. In 2016, a ProPublica investigation said that the system used by the judges was "biased against minorities." The AI company objected to that conclusion. There is almost no transparency in the development and applications of AI systems. Until they can be checked by the public and interest groups, the debate over their fairness and biases will likely continue.

With Seriousness and Satire, Top Scholar Examines Climate Change in Trump Era

The serious side of Dr. Michael E. Mann approaches his battle with the climate change deniers in the Trump Administration with scholarly excellence. But, the author side of Dr. Mann approaches the same topic with science, satire and cartoons. Dr. Mann is one of the world's foremost authorities on climate change and its impacts. He is an award-winning scholar. He is a Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He also is the director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC.) He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in his field and is known as one of the top scholars on this topic. He discusses with the Spectrum podcast the serious side of climate change and the dangers we face with climate change deniers both in the Trump Administration as well as in Congress. He also, however, discusses his most recent book and how he takes a different approach to effectuate change. As an author, he makes the climate change issues accessible to the general public through the use of satire and cartoons in "The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy," published by the Columbia University Press. In this book he teamed up with Pulitzer-prize winning political cartoonist Tom Toles of the Washington Post to approach the topic with a combination of hard science, satire and humor. According to a book summary presented by Amazon: "The Madhouse Effect portrays the intellectual pretzels into which denialists must twist logic to explain away the clear evidence that human activity has changed Earth's climate. Toles's cartoons collapse counter-scientific strategies into their biased components, helping readers see how to best strike at these fallacies. Mann's expert skills at science communication aim to restore sanity to a debate that continues to rage against widely acknowledged scientific consensus. The synergy of these two climate science crusaders enlivens the gloom and doom of so many climate-themed books―and may even convert die-hard doubters to the side of sound science." The book makes the complicated issues surrounding climate change accessible to both believers and deniers. Dr. Mann is lecturing about his book at the Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium on the Ohio University campus on March 28, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

With Seriousness and Satire, Top Scholar Examines Climate Change in Trump Era

From Travails to Triumph: A Woman NYC Chef Who Persisted Through Adversity

In the early 1970s, Madeline Carvalho Lanciani traveled from suburban Dayton, Ohio to New York City as a young woman with dreams of being an opera singer. After many twists and turns in life, she now owns the famous Duane Park Patisserie in the fashionable Tribeca District. She is famous for her baking, her creativity and for her tenacity. March is National Women's History Month and the theme this year is NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Madeline is truly a study in persistence and the embodiment of this theme. Early in her New York life, singing jobs became scare. Besides having a day job, Madeline started baking at home to help pay her bills. She sold her goods in local Greenwich Village shops. Soon, she decided to put singing on the shelf and instead, she followed her passion of baking and cooking full-time. She attended a local culinary school where she was the only woman student. After graduation, when she had to look for a job she ran into the stone wall of sexual discrimination. No one in the NYC food industry would hire a woman. However, Madeline's tenacity and resilience persisted and she talked herself into a job at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. She worked free for five months to prove herself. When eventually hired, she was the only woman in the kitchen of 99 men. Her story there was one of travails and triumph. After on-the-job hazing, abuse and discrimination in the kitchen, she persisted and rose to be the chef at one of the Plaza's top restaurants. She and her first husband then started their own bakery in Greenwich Village but the business outlasted the marriage. They got divorced and both remarried. Madeline's second marriage produced her two children but it was a tough marriage for her. In various ways, it was an emotionally destructive marriage for Madeline. Eventually, she divorced her second husband and was essentially a broke single mom of a six year old and a three year old. Undeterred, Madeline found an empty warehouse in the Tribeca District of the city. She borrowed money, renovated it and started her own Patisserie. Today, her shop is one of the top in all of New York City. She is known for her superior quality and creativity. Madeline paved the way for women in her field while suffering multiple levels of abuse in the workplace and emotional turmoil at home. She is truly an example of persistence and grit.

From Travails to Triumph: A Woman NYC Chef Who Persisted Through Adversity

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