This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Dr. Babak Movassaghi, founder of InfiniteMD (acquired last summer by ConsumerMedical), which connects patients with top U.S. medical professionals through second-opinion video consultations, guiding patients to better care. When the world shut down due to COVID-19, Dr. Movassaghi’s company was already prepared to serve patients via telehealth. In this episode, they discuss his fascinating pivot from physics and professional football in Germany, to healthcare and innovation here in the U.S., an extension of his ability to navigate multiple identities as an Iranian-German living the American Dream.


Are UFOs Demonic? Preliminary Reflections


Seriously. It’s an important question which more than 2 billion Christians have reason to take seriously. There are parallel considerations for Judaism, Islam, etc. Even non-theists may have reason to consider alternative theories before concluding that UFOs, if not of earthly origin, are the work of our new alien overlords, enemies, co-founders of the Federation, or however that turns out.

Now, slow down. I didn’t say they have reasons to think the answer is yes. One option is to consider the question just long enough to get to a solid no! I’m not ready to answer myself. These are preliminary reflections. At most, they would prepare the way for someone who’s taken a fair but critical look at the tapes, the stories, and various arguments surrounding UFOs to consider (and possibly reject) this more traditional hypothesis.

Let me first emphasize that this question is hypothetical.

Staying on Terra Firma


For many years, a main goal of NASA has been to send a man humans to Mars. In fact, it seemed right after the moon landings to be the next logical step in space exploration. I was a youngster when the Gemini and Apollo missions were big news. I watched the first moon landing live on television. I remember the drama of Apollo 13 (as well as the movie).

I watched the original Star Trek series when it first aired, and went to the movie theater twice to watch Star Wars when it was first released. It seemed like anything was possible. We were going to invent Warp Drive and go faster than the speed of light! The universe was ours to explore!

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Inspired by St. Augustine’s post about the possibility of alien visitors being of… demonic origin, I’ve decided to make my own contribution to the the burgeoning popularity of aliens as well. Part of what got my attention was his invocation of a movie that’s really stuck with me over the years, although I’ve only seen […]

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Quote of the Day: Questions of Science


“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.” – Galileo Galilei

I hate appeals to authority when it comes to science. These always raise a red flag with me. “Trust the Science” is the technocrat’s version of “Because, shut up.” Science by its nature does not invite trust, it invites skepticism. Scientific progress is made by those challenging the science, and being convinced of its validity through reasoning.

I’m Not Playing Games Here


In some circles I’m known as a pretty bright guy: I can reduce fractions in my head, I know the answers to most science questions found in a high-school textbook (up until the junior year, at any rate), and I can tell you in what centuries the United States fought most of its major wars — and against whom.

The kids I tutor will, albeit grudgingly, admit that I’m no dummy.

This week on JobMakers, Guest Host Jo Napolitano talks with Josh Feast, the CEO and Co-Founder of Cogito, a Boston-based software company that deploys Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help employers in a wide variety of industries improve their customer service call centers. Josh got his start creating innovative technology to improve case management for a social services agency in New Zealand, before coming to America on a Fulbright scholarship to earn an MBA at MIT Sloan. In this episode, they discuss the many applications of Artificial Intelligence, how it helps provide emotional intelligence to augment management practices at large organizations, and how to address some of the concerns about privacy and bias that have been raised around its use.


This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Farouk El-Baz, retired research professor and director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University. They discuss his remarkable, varied, and pioneering career in the sciences, surveying both the heavens and the Earth, and key teachers and scientists who have influenced him. Dr. El-Baz shares what it was like serving as supervisor of Lunar Science Planning for NASA’s Apollo program, and working on the world-changing project of putting a human on the Moon. He describes what the Apollo program needed to know beforehand to map the Moon in order to select the landing site, and the key scientific facts about the Moon that NASA needed to gather to ensure the mission’s ultimate success.

In the second phase of his career in science, Dr. El Baz used remote sensing and space images to explore for groundwater in the largest deserts on Earth. He explains how surveying the Moon informed this work, and the most significant and surprising discoveries he has made with remote sensing. Lastly, they talk about the mathematical and scientific background knowledge that best prepares students for careers in STEM fields.

The Fuel Shortage That Is and Is Not


Colonial Pipeline InfoColonial Pipeline announced Wednesday, May 12, that they had initiated pipeline restart and that complete service restoration over their entire pipeline network would take several days. This signals the near-term end to the regional fuel distribution disruption triggered May 7, when a ransomware attack was detected and the corporation shut down their multi-fuel pipeline system. However, there will continue to be gas stations with empty storage tanks for the next several days, perhaps for the next week. And. There is no fuel shortage at the system/regional level. There is a real shortage and there is no shortage. Both are true. I explain.


While unstated, Colonial acted to prevent potential catastrophic sabotage, in the form of massive breaks in the pipeline or damage to pump systems along the pipeline. They had dealt last summer with a gasoline spill in Huntersville, NC. Colonial did exactly the right thing.

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This will be quick. I’m working.  I’m keeping my hopes up that Starlink will be a giant benefit to people in rural areas who want fast internet, and a lucrative business opportunity for an enterprising young Satellite Man in Central NM. But with texts like this one I received from a potential customer in Sandia […]

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The entrepreneurial spirit among immigrants and refugees allows them the flexibility to pursue unexpected courses of action, adapt, accept risk and make the most of opportunities they didn’t even know of before. For Dr. Amar Sawhney from India, that started at the University of Texas at Austin with 30 job rejections out of 30 applications. But he charted a path that would see him go in directions hitherto unknown to him: getting a PhD, helping found a company, journeying to Boston, and starting a string of new companies, using his chemical engineering background to save lives through remarkable local therapy innovations. To date, he has founded eight companies accounting for 4,000 jobs and more than $2 billion in revenue. He’s been named a “Champion of Change” by The White House, one of the “five most innovative Medical Device CEOs” by MassDevice, the EY regional entrepreneur of the year, The Immigrant Learning Center’s own Immigrant Entrepreneur Awardee for Life Science Business. But his influence extends well beyond that space into environmental conservationism, safeguarding refugees, mentoring and promoting STEM education, and building public understanding of America’s Sikhs, as you’ll hear in this week’s episode of JobMakers.


Hubwonk Host Joe Selvaggi talks with constitutional scholar and CATO Institute Research Fellow Thomas Berry about the recently heard U.S. Supreme Court case, Mahanoy Public School District v. B.L., and its implications for free speech, school control, and the integration of social media into the rubric of first amendment protections.


This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Max Faingezicht, an immigrant who founded ThriveHive, a marketing software company for small businesses, and Telescoped, which uses remote software engineering to connect Latin American engineers with U.S. companies in need of their skills. The entrepreneurial ecosystem of Boston and Cambridge have allowed Max to achieve dreams he didn’t even know he had when he arrived. He can now foster entrepreneurship in his home country of Costa Rica while bringing much-needed talent to U.S. companies, all the while influencing what the future of work will look like. In this episode, he shares his fascinating immigration story, as well as his ideas on where workers go next.


Hubwonk Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Emergency Preparedness expert Dr. Paul Biddinger about how experts plan for disasters, and what went right and wrong in this pandemic.


Join Jim and Greg as they welcome House Republicans trying to force the Biden administration to keep the effective Trump-era sanctions on Iran. They also unload on Biden for his ridiculous, non-binding goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by the end of the decade – and for his climate agenda that would really just grow government. And they have some fun with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot suggesting police officers get permission from a supervisor before chasing criminals on foot.