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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.

August 29 Comment

World Championship Tug-Of-War Is ‘A Thing Of Beauty’

This weekend's competition in Wisconsin is a bit more intense than it was in your grade school gym class.

August 29 Comment

Repelling Mosquitoes With A Natural Sticky Patch

The Kite Patch releases odors that block the bug's carbon dioxide receptors, sending them in another direction.

August 28 Comment

Catching Up With The Polyphonic Spree

The choral rock band out of Dallas, Texas, has been thrilling audiences with its live performances for over a decade.

August 28 5 Comments

‘Enormous’ Growth Of Ocean Garbage Patch

The oceanographer who discovered the floating island of trash in 1997 says he's shocked by how much it's grown.