On the Media: September 30, 2011

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Friday, September 30, 2011

The "Irvine 11" conviction, Rick Santorum's Google problem, and gaming as a real-life problem solving tool.

Prosecuting the Irvine 11

In February of last year, a group of Muslim students on the University of California Irvine campus disrupted a speech by Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the US. The university punished the students, but the "Irvine 11" also faced criminal charges, and last Friday 10 of them were convicted of conspiracy and disturbance of a meeting.  Bob spoke with Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who explained why his office decided to prosecute, and with the Dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, Erwin Chemerinsky, who says the student outburst was not protected by the First Amendment, but prosecuting them went too far.

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The Battle For Santorum

Rick Santorum is fighting for his name in a particularly 21st-century sort of way. His ideological rival and sex columnist Dan Savage has created an internet phenomenon so powerful it has conquered Google's search results and given the name 'Santorum' an unsavory new meaning. Bob talked with Google's Gabriel Stricker about the company's unwillingness to change their search results and give Rick Santorum his name back.

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Russian Media Reaction to Putin as Presidential Nominee

Last Saturday Russian Federation president Dimitry Medvedev endorsed Vladimir Putin as the party’s presidential nominee. This came as no surprise after four years of tandem rule. The Christian Science Monitor’s Fred Weir says that, despite the Putin-era chokehold on major media, some dissent has seeped out, mostly in the handful of remaining opposition media. But it hasn’t much mattered.  

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Monitoring Human Rights From Space

There are parts of Sudan too dangerous and too remote for journalists to get to—meaning they can't cover some of the human rights abuses that have plagued the country. The Satellite Sentinel Project uses, you guessed it, satellites to shed light on what's happening on the ground in Sudan. The project is, in part, the brainchild of George Clooney. (Yeah, that George Clooney.) Brooke talked with the Satellite Sentinel Project's Jonathan Hutson.

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Pew Looks At The Local News Ecosystem

While studies have consistently shown TV news to be America’s number-one source of local information, a new Pew Study paints a far more nuanced picture of our local information ecosystem by breaking down local news into specific topics—from politics to restaurants. Brooke talks to Pew's Lee Rainie about what the study tells us.

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New Online Game Helps Solve Medical Mysteries

Using a game called Foldit, gamers build enzyme models that may be crucial to understanding how many diseases do their damage. Scientists couldn’t solve the crystal structure of the M-PMV retroviral protease for more than 10 years. Gamers solved it in 10 days. Zoran Popovic is one of the conceptual designers of Foldit - a kind of 3 dimensional Tetris.

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Gaming Back to Health

After suffering a traumatic brain injury, game designer Jane McGonigal developed Superbetter, a game that creates point systems and incentives for reaching health goals. Brooke talks to McGonigal about how the game works, and OTM producer Alex Goldman asks how he might use the game on a recent traumatic physical injury.

To follow producer Alex Goldman's blogs about using Superbetter, please follow THIS LINK

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