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Monday February 2, 2009

The Nudges

Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments, to schools for our children, to the meals we eat, to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. But behavioral economists say that with a few gentle “nudges” we can help improve the financial and lifestyle choices we make. We speak with Richard Thaler, who along with co-author Cass Sunstein has written the best seller “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness.”

Iraqi Election Recap

Nationwide, only about 50 percent of Iraqis voted in Saturday’s provincial elections, and only one person was reported killed in non-election-related violence. We speak with Tina Susman, Baghdad bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times.

Not Bowled Over By Super Bowl Ads

What does $3 million buy in today’s economy? Last night it bought 30 seconds of advertising in front of close to 100 million people watching the Super Bowl. With all that money at stake, you would think Madison Avenue could come up with something better than football players dancing around in tutus. Here & Now media analyst John Carroll reviews the ads and talks about whether the recession had an impact on this year’s commercials.

Recession Manners

With unemployment nearing 8 percent, food stamp usage up, and consumer confidence at a record low, Americans are tightening their belts, and some more than others. This can create awkward situations among friends, co-workers or family. We speak with Peggy Post about navigating difficult situations in a recession. Post is the great granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post, and a director at the Emily Post Institute.

Forgotten Ellis Island

We revisit a conversation we had with filmmaker Lorie Conway. Through the book and documentary film “Forgotten Ellis Island,” Conway tells the story of the Ellis Island Hospital where immigrants who were suspected of having a mental or physical illness were sent during the early 20th century. The film will be shown tonight on many PBS stations around the country.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

March 26 Comment

Noah Baumbach On Middle Age And ‘While We’re Young’

In the writer-director's new film, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts' characters befriend a younger, free-spirited couple.

March 26 Comment

How March Became Mad

The NCAA men's tournament started in 1939 but it was decades before it became the extravaganza it is today.

March 25 4 Comments

DJ Sessions: Opera Greats Past And Present

Peter Van de Graaf shares some of his favorites, from the late German tenor Fritz Wunderlich to American soprano Renee Fleming.

March 25 16 Comments

The College You Go To May Not Matter As Much As You Think

Frank Bruni writes in his new book that there are many colleges that are great, but just don't get as much press.