Monday, June 20, 2011: The Employment Policy Research Network is a web site where academics from about 40 universities post research, op-eds and blogs about all things employment related: wages, collective bargaining, unemployment, immigration. Their mission is economic justice based on sound research and good-faith negotiations. Two researchers involved in this experiment of ideas, Tom Kochan and David Lewin, join Bob to talk about their work.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011: Every day, an average of 18 U.S. veterans commit suicide. That’s one of the grizzly facts highlighted in a two-part series published by Stars and Stripes, America’s military newspaper. Megan McCloskey focuses on Army Specialist Brushaun Anderson who succumbed to harsh treatment by his commanders. Bill Murphy, Jr. focuses on infantryman Jacob Andrews who was denied treatment for his combat-related health problems. They’ll discuss these two stories and how the military’s suicide prevention program has failed. Then, Science magazine writer Sam Kean turned his life-long fascination with the periodic table into a best-selling book titled The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. Kean’s book recounts tales about the periodic table that range from the educational to the down-right weird. The Disappearing Spoon is now out in paperback.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011: Our favorite ex-con Louis Ferrante is back with a new book called Mob Rules: What the Mafia Can Teach the Legitimate Businessman. He shares nuggets of advice good for the boardroom and the backroom such as, “never bad mouth the boss” and “the importance of networking: it’s good to go to a funeral as long as it’s not yours.” Ferrante served eight and a half years in prison for refusing to incriminate his associates in the Gambino family, since then he’s gone straight and now lectures groups of at-risk teens across the country. Then, Ruthie Foster is an up and coming vocalist from central Texas who blends influences from Southern blues, rock, gospel, country and jazz. Her breakthrough CD from 2009 was called The Truth According to Ruthie Foster and her latest project is a DVD and CD called Ruthie Foster Live at Antone’s.
Thursday, June 23, 2011: John Merrow is the Education Correspondent for PBS NewsHour and President of Learning Matters, Inc. He joins Bob in studio to discuss public school reform and his most recent book, The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and Leadership. Then, easing into retirement is difficult and emotional for many people, and apparently it was no easier for “Flora,” an elephant ending her 16-year career in the circus. Filmmakers Cristina Colissimo and Lisa Leeman discuss their documentary, One Lucky Elephant, what they call “a ten thousand pound love story” between the mammal and her trainer.
Friday, June 24, 2011: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to talk about politics and other news. Next, Egyptian-American comedian Ahmed Ahmed is back, this time to discuss his new documentary called Just Like Us. He brought fellow stand-ups on a historic tour of the Middle East, with shows in Dubai, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The film is not just about the comedy, but gives a real sense of the people and the places prior to the revolutions which swept through the region. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Susan Cordell. She grew up in a small town, left as soon as she could, and vowed never to return. But after her mother died, and she returned for the funeral, Cordell found the memories of her childhood pulling her back to that small hometown again and again.