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Thursday February 19, 2009

Montana Asbestos Poisoning Case

Five former mining executives go on trial today in an asbestos poisoning case that dates back nearly 70 years and resulted in at least 200 deaths and thousands of illnesses among residents of the town of Libby, Montana. We revisit a conversation we had in 2007 with Libby resident Gayla Benefield, and Drury “Dru” Gunn Carr who co-directed a documentary about what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls the the worst case of industrial poisoning in the nation’s history.

Massachusetts Flu Death

Massachusetts is coming to grips with the state’s first flu death of the season. 12-year old Hunter Pope of Jamaica Plain, who did not get a flu shot this year, died suddenly last weekend, after being sent home from school with symptoms two days before. We speak to a local pediatrician who will take us through the facts and fears surrounding the flu virus, which is expected to claim the lives of 100 children nationwide this season.

Swedish Bank Bailout

How was Sweden able to recover so quickly from its banking crisis in the early 1990s? We speak with Bo Lundgren, who was minister for Fiscal and Financial Affairs in Sweden at the time, and engineered Sweden’s recovery. He is now Director General of Sweden’s National Debt Office.

No More Bad Meetings

Are we wasting too much time in ineffective meetings? Reid Hastie, Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business says yes. He recommends that meeting leaders pre-assign homework and be graded for the effectiveness of the meeting afterwards.

Stolen Blues?

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“Folsom Prison Blues” is one of the late country singer Johnny Cash’s signature songs, made classic when Cash performed it for inmates at Folsom prison in 1968. But in writing it, Cash borrowed heavily from an earlier tune, “Crescent City Blues” written by Gordon Jenkins. Boston journalist Daniel Gewertz tells us the story of both songs and shows the links between them.

Spotlight

Here & Now resident chef and cookbook author Kathy Gunst shares her list of the best cookbooks of the year.

Robin and Jeremy

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

December 18 Comment

College Counselor: ‘A Deferral Is Not A Denial’

Lisa Micele shares tips for applying to college — especially for students who have been deferred under early decision.

December 18 17 Comments

America’s Political Dynasties

Americans under 38 have only experienced one presidential election that did not involve a Bush or a Clinton.

December 17 2 Comments

Atticus Lish’s ‘Preparation For The Next Life’

The author's debut novel centers on an unlikely romance between an Iraq veteran and a Uyghur from China.

December 17 3 Comments

Diagnosing Ear Infections With Your Smartphone

The CellScope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope — the tool doctors use to check out a patient's eardrum.