90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday March 31, 2009

A New Day for GM

GM’s new CEO Fritz Henderson announces a payment protection program that is similar to Ford’s. But what else will GM need to do to stay afloat and become competitive again?

Green Monster?

Could genetically modified foods actually be good for the environment? Some organic and sustainable food lovers are coming around to this idea, including our guest, James E. McWilliams, who took up the argument in a recent essay on Slate.com. McWilliams is associate professor of history at Texas State University. He writes widely on the history and ethics of food, and his upcoming book is titled “Just Food.”

April Fools’ Computer Worm

Computer specialists around the world are crossing their fingers that a malicious computer worm that has been quietly infecting millions of computers will not disrupt the Internet on April 1st. Jose Nazario, Manager of Security Research at Arbor Networks, is our guest.

Can Robots Help Autistic Children?

Professor Nilanjan Sarkar of Vanderbilt University thinks emotion-sensing robots can help autistic children with their social skills. We also speak to Tonya Mirtes — her 16 year-old son, Daniel, took part in Prof. Sarkar’s research. Mirtes is also a representative at the Autism Society of Middle Tenessee in Nashville.

Balkan Rocker and Remembering Maurice Jarre

Goran Bregovic performs with his Wedding and Funeral Band in Zurich, Switzerland in 2006. (AP)

Goran Bregovic performs with his Wedding and Funeral Band in Zurich, Switzerland in 2006. (AP)

Goran Bregovic is one of the biggest names in Balkan music, but his appeal stretches well beyond the region. His everything-but-the-kitchen-sink style is perhaps best represented when he leads his 40 strong ensemble known as the “Wedding and Funeral Band.” In this BBC segment, he talks about his family’s influence on the music on his new CD, “Alkohol.” We also take a moment to remember Oscar-winning composer Maurice Jarre.

Music from the show

  • Ashley MacIssac, “Sleepy Maggie
  • Calexico, “Crumble”
  • Charles Mingus, “Pedal Point Blues”
  • The Wee Trio, “Flint
  • Ken Vandermark, “Knock Yourself Out”
  • Tito Puente, “Royal T”
  • Wedding and Funeral Band, “Tango”
  • Wedding and Funeral Band, “Ederledzei”
  • Wedding and Funeral Band, “Yeremia”
  • Wedding and Funeral Band, “Stop”
  • Wedding and Funeral Band, “Kalasnjikov”
  • Maurice Jarre, “Lara’s Theme from Dr. Zhivago”
  • Maurice Jarre, the music from Lawrence of Arabia
  • Julie

    The program “green monster” with guest James McWilliams was increadibly misleading. It is an injustus to lump organic local food growers into one category and then claim that we are embracing the GMOs. I don’t think that anyone who makes a living off celebrating the laws of nature though biodiversity and organic farming is willing to let down our ethics or fall gulibule to this rediculous idea that GMOs are good for us.

    McWilliams example about methane gas reduction due to GMO grass was very ineffective at supporting the benefits, too.

  • Marisue

    RE: GMO discussion

    If a plant or seed is genetically modified to resist herbicides, doesn’t that contribute to reducsing biodiversity (along with the practice of monoculture) in that the insect/animals/birds that would have fed on those weeds no longer have a meal?

    Marisue

  • Karen Donovan

    As the parent of the 9 year old on the autism spectrum, I was saddened to hear your story on robots interacting with kids with ASDs. Children with the processing problems associated with autism NEED to interact back and forth all day long with parents,caregivers, and therapists, even if it is just handing a toy back and forth at first. This is the only way they will be able to learn how to interact. Machines have no place in this hard work, and the money going to develop this robot could be better spent on real interactions that will benefit our children. There is no easy way out.

Robin and Jeremy

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

April 17 3 Comments

Jane Goodall Plants ‘Seeds Of Hope’

The world-famous primatologist discusses her new book, which is back on shelves after some controversy.

April 17 9 Comments

College Advice From A High School Counselor

Lisa Micele answers listener questions and explains what schools are looking for beyond GPAs and standardized test scores.

April 16 Comment

ER Doctor Looks Back A Year After Marathon Bombing

Dr. Ron Medzon, an emergency room physician at Boston Medical Center, recalls treating victims injured in the bombing.

April 16 36 Comments

Tensions Build In San Francisco Amid Tech Boom

As San Francisco experiences a historic economic boom, some activists say not all city residents are reaping the benefits.