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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.

October 22 12 Comments

Colorado Backs Away From Pot Edibles Ban

Critics say a ban would violate the state's voter-approved legalization of recreational marijuana, which took effect in January.

October 22 4 Comments

Modest Raise For Social Security Recipients

Economist Diane Swonk says the 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase falls short of the inflation older Americans actually see.

October 21 Comment

Jim Gaffigan’s Love Affair With Food

The stand-up comic gives his particular gastronomic take on the world in his new memoir "Food: A Love Story."

October 21 Comment

Jill Abramson Announces Plans For News Startup

The former New York Times executive editor said her goal is to create a news outlet that favors quality over quantity.