Egyptian Military Brutality, misleading political polls and more

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Friday, December 23, 2011

The Egyptian military's brutal turn on protesters, the usefulness of private versus public political polls and the process of developing apps for mobile devices.

Egypt's 'Girl In The Blue Bra'

A week ago footage of an anonymous woman, knocked to the ground in Cairo, dragged and beaten by Egyptian soldiers, ricocheted around the world.  During the attack the woman, unconscious, had her shirt pulled up over her head, exposing her blue bra.  Cairo journalist Issandr El Amrani tells Brooke how the 'blue bra girl' has become a potent symbol of Egypt's political turmoil.

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The Problem With Likely Voters

Political polls need to determine who's likely to vote and who isn't. Pollsters rely on people to tell them whether they're going to vote or not - but it turns out that may not be the best plan for creating accurate polling numbers. Bob talks with Slate's Sasha Issenberg about a study which found that 55 percent of voters who tell pollsters they won't vote actually do.

Nicolas Jaar - Problems With the Sun

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Two Science Journals Asked to Redact an Article

This week the government advisory board overseen by the National Institutes of Health asked two science journals to redact details of a new study about the bird flu virus. The government’s worried that, in the wrong hands, the research could be used to cause a pandemic. Bruce Alberts, the editor of Science talks to Bob about why he’s complying – for now – with the government’s request.

tUnE-yArDs - Doorstep


North Korean Propaganda

After the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, we look back on a 2010 interview with academic B.R. Myers. Bob spoke with Myers, who describes how propaganda was a key tool Kim used to wield almost complete power in North Korea.  

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Vaclav Havel's Life "Within the Truth"

Playwright, poet and former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel died this week at the age of 75.  Brooke remembers his famous essay The Power of the Powerless and his notion of living "within the truth."

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Brooke and Bob read from a few of your letters and comments.

Sufjan Stevens - Barcarola


Apper's Delight

Smartphone apps are big business, and increasingly complicated to develop. WNYC producer Jody Avirgan talks with Rekha Murthy of PRX and Lisa Bettany of Camera+ about what it takes to get one made -- and pitches his idea for an app to Bob and Brooke.

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Founding Father of Hollywood Focus Groups

Joseph Farrell, the man that made test screenings and market research Hollywood's industry standard, died last week at age 76. Brooke talks to Los Angeles Times film writer Rebecca Keegan about Farrell's influence on the industry and how Hollywood uses test screening today.

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