Obamacare In Spanish, Cartographers vs. The World, and More

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Friday, March 28, 2014

The Obamacare advertising blitz tries to reach the young and uninsured, the annexation of Crimea creates a dilemma for map makers, and the history of those ubiquitous online quizzes. 

Courting the Young Invincibles

With the official enrollment deadline for the Affordable Care Act approaching, the Obama Administration is trying every which way to get the message out.  This effort ranges from ordinary TV ads, to quirkier celeb-filled spoofs, to testimonials from YouTube celebrities. Bob speaks to Joe Rospars, CEO and Co-Founder of Blue State Digital, who served as the principal digital strategist for both of Obama’s campaigns, about capturing the attention of the ever-elusive “young invincibles.”

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Taking Healthcare Literally

Bob speaks with Yurina Melara who covers public health for the Los Angeles-based La Opinion, the largest Spanish language daily in the US. She says that telling the 38 million Spanish-speaking Americans about Obamacare is only half the battle. The other half is making sure they understand what it is...beginning with the literal translation of “health care.”

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How Much Oil Really Spilled?

On the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Southwest Alaska, the media reported, as they have since the disaster happened, that the amount of oil spilled was 11 million gallons. In 2010, Brooke spoke with Riki Ott - a marine toxicologist and author - who explained that the 11 million number is in fact a disputed figure the media have incorrectly adopted.

 

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A Crisis of Cartographic Proportions

While Russia annexed Crimea with scarcely a shot fired, the crisis has grown heated between cartographers. An editing war broke out on Wikipedia's map of Russia, and National Geographic sparked outrage by suggesting it would map Crimea as Russian territory once the Kremlin made it official. Bob talks with Michael Blanding, author of the forthcoming book The Map Thief, about how map-making by nature is a risky geopolitical game.

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The World According to Google Maps

On Google Maps, Crimea is still a part of Ukraine, though Vladimir Putin is urging the mapping behemoth to redraw Russia's borders to include the Black Sea peninsula. Whatever Google decides, it’s sure to be politically and culturally fraught.

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Letters

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

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The History of the Quiz

The BuzzFeed quiz is ubiquitous; it seems as irresistible as it is inescapable. But when did we first start taking quizzes? Writer Sarah Laskow recently embarked on a quest to find out. She takes Brooke through her search for the Ur Quiz.

Try On the Media's first (and maybe last) quiz: Which 19th Century Media Baron Are You?

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Which Public Radio Hosts Are Our Hosts?

Brooke and Bob share their results from a number of quizzes - including Which Public Radio Host Are You? - and discuss what (if anything) they've learned about themselves and this viral sensation. 

By the way, we have our own quiz, too! Find out which 19th century media baron you are here

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