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The Benson Latin American Collection, at the University of Texas at Austin, has been and will be closed for some time. But not because of pandemic or panic. Because of construction. That’s nice! Not sure what they’re “constructing,” or how anyone could ever beautify its stacks – printed matter from Latin America looks like what […]

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Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with author, surgeon, and public health expert Dr. Marty Makary about the COVID-19 Delta Variant, the durability of natural and vaccinated immunity, the benefits of booster shots, and the health risks for children as we move into the fall.

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Member Post

 

I’ve been experimenting with fellow Ricochetti using Zoom for online Meetups.  It works great!  However, there are a few suggestions I’d like to pass along: Limit the number of participants.  If you keep it to only 4 cameras, you fill your screen and ensure everyone gets a chance to speak. If you have problems with […]

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Member Post

 

Yes, says Elon Musk, an innovative genius who lives on the cutting edge of Artificial Intelligence. Especially in the kind of times we live in, where tech totalitarians are on the rise My opinion of him flipped more positive the day I saw the upright landing of two booster rockets, right out of a 1950s […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the news that President Biden’s anti-gun nominee to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is unlikely yo get confirmed by the U.S. Senate. They also groan as Biden cracks down on emission standards as part of a massive push toward making us buy electric vehicles. And they push back as Rep. Rashida Tlaib wants taxpayers to pay $40 billion to cover the utility bills of low-income Americans because of the pandemic.

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Sonny Vu, serial entrepreneur and investor, about his work across continents to develop new technologies, processes and products that have, what he calls, “positive, planet-level impact.” This is impact that makes lives and environments safer and better, which Sonny views as the core of his faith. Embracing diversity, change and the unknowns of new knowledge was what Sonny’s parents instilled in him from the beginning. Their journey as refugees to the U.S., leaving under cover of darkness, sailing below deck to a camp in Malaysia, finally to be resettled in Oklahoma City, meant they were survivors, and they embraced the transformational change of life in the U.S., as hard as it was at first. People who have been through unimaginable tragedy and hardship often know how to be creative and inventive to survive, even among totally foreign lands, cultures, and languages. Transformational change is what Sonny is all about today, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.

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‘Science Is the Belief in the Ignorance of Experts’

 

Whenever I see the term “expert”, I think of Richard Feynman’s (Feynman is a brilliant Nobel Prize winner in Physics) National Science Teachers speech in 1966:

We have many studies in teaching, for example, in which people make observations, make lists, do statistics, and so on, but these do not thereby become established science, established knowledge. They are merely an imitative form of science analogous to the South Sea Islanders’ airfields–radio towers, etc., made out of wood. The islanders expect a great airplane to arrive. They even build wooden airplanes of the same shape as they see in the foreigners’ airfields around them, but strangely enough, their wood planes do not fly. The result of this pseudoscientific imitation is to produce experts, which many of you are. [But] you teachers, who are really teaching children at the bottom of the heap, can maybe doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Anita Worden, renewable energy business entrepreneur, about her work to improve representation of women in crucial economic sectors like technology, a place where they can innovate and have real impact.  Anita was born in England of Indian parents, grew up in Algeria, moved to the U.S. as a teenager, and attended MIT. While still a student, she co-founded her first company, Solectria Corporation, in 1989, and then went on to found Solectria Renewables in 2005, both of which were acquired.  Now retired, Anita is working to promote tech as a viable, lucrative and satisfying career choice for women and girls, just as she’s educating Americans about her passions, climate change and shifting the narrative around immigrants in the U.S.

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Member Post

 

I’ve never understood the big desire for flying cars. Cars have been able to fly for a very long time. The car sitting in your driveway can fly. There are two problems with the flying car you already own. The first is the flight time is very short. The second is the landings are a […]

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Rob Long is in for Jim. Today, Rob and Greg serve up two good martinis, plus a bad and a crazy.  They start by getting a kick out of the Texas Dems’ PR stunt getting more bizarre, as five members test positive for COVID while they remain on the lam.  They welcome public denunciation of China’s destructive hacking efforts but wonder just how tough the world will get in confronting Beijing.  They also fire back at White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for suggesting that a user who is banned on one social platform for “misinformation” should be banned on all of them. And they get a kick out of the government renaming animals like Asian carp and gypsy moths to avoid offending someone.

A Life Entangled with NASA

 

Back to the Army again, sergeant,
Back to the Army again.
Out o’ the cold an’ the rain, sergeant,
Out o’ the cold an’ the rain.
‘Oo’s there?

A man that’s too good to be lost you,
A man that is ‘andled an’ made –
A man that will pay what ‘e cost you
In learnin’ the others their trade – parade!
You’re droppin’ the pick o’ the Army
Because you don’t ‘elp ’em remain,
But drives ’em to cheat to get out o’ the street
An’ back to the Army again!

Join Jim and Greg as they hammer Democrats in Texas for fleeing to Washington to avoid voting on an election reform bill. They also note how the media has very different views depending on whether Republicans or Democrats are trying to block legislation. They also rip the Biden administration for even thinking about injecting “fact check” messages into our texting threads to counter alleged disinformation. And they groan as the World Health Organization keeps catering to China, this time by buying 110 million doses of Chinese COVID vaccines that don’t work very well.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Susan Patrick, the President and CEO of Aurora Institute and co-founder of CompetencyWorks. Susan shares observations about the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for American K-12 education, and the prospects for expanding digital learning. They discuss the overall quality of the remote and blended learning America’s K-12 school districts offered during the pandemic, and which states excelled. Susan shares thoughts on how digital models can help address pre-pandemic achievement gaps and learning loss due to COVID-19, especially among poor, minority, and rural students. They also review claims by skeptics of digital schooling about its efficacy for early childhood, urban, or special needs students, and best practices drawn from the pandemic for better serving these groups. Susan provides insights around digital schooling and some policy levers that national, state, and local leaders should explore to improve K-12 education.

Stories of the Week: In Michigan, families have filed suit against the state Department of Education and Ann Arbor Public Schools claiming they received inadequate special education services during the pandemic. New survey results from New America and Rutgers University find that, a year after pandemic-related school closures, 15 percent of lower-income students in a nationally representative sample still lack fast and reliable internet access at home.

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Russian-born entrepreneur Semyon Dukach about the high value of immigrants to the U.S. Dukach started a seed stage fund for immigrant tech founders, One Way Ventures, in response to the early restrictive moves of the Trump administration, particularly the Muslim ban. In his 20 years of angel investing, he noticed a trend: immigrant-led companies repeatedly outperformed the rest of his portfolio. Indeed, immigrants make up less than 14 percent of the U.S. population but launched 24 percent of high-tech startups and founded or co-founded 55 percent of America’s billion-dollar startups. In this episode, Dukach shares his thoughts on how to reform America’s immigration policies.

Guest:

A Foreseen Foreseeable

 

It looks as if I was wrong about something: I thought charging electric cars at night would be great because it smooths out the daily power cycle for the utility companies, but it turns out that not only is the California power grid unable to handle the load, but there’s a partially hidden truth.

Here is the partially hidden truth [emphasis mine]:

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Naomi Schaefer Riley, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of several books, including Be the Parent, Please. They discuss findings from her book on how excessive technology use negatively impacts children’s intellectual, social, and moral development – which was even more of a challenge with the wide usage of remote learning during COVID-19. The conversation turns to Riley’s extensive commentary on the relationship between religion and education in American society, and lessons K-12 education policymakers should learn from higher education’s handling of faith on campus. She delves into why religion and church-state issues remain such a stark fault line across American K-12 education. They also talk about the development of anti-intellectual efforts on college campuses, and in the larger society, to use speech codes, political correctness, wokeness, and now cancel culture to shut down the free exchange of ideas, and why such campaigns to undermine the fundamentals of democracy persist.

Stories of the Week: EducationWeek reports that over 1.3 million American students did not return to school this year due to the pandemic-related closures. School districts are scrambling to lure them back, but will it work? Juneteenth, which honors the 1865 ending of slavery in this country, has officially become a U.S. federal holiday.

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with precision medicine expert Hannah Mamuszka and Pioneer Institute’s Bill Smith about the promises and pitfalls of the newly approved Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, and the challenges presented when new, expensive drugs of dubious benefit are introduced to the nation’s formulary.

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