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FROM THIS EPISODE

A new study says that Los Angeles has 60 percent more methane in the air than previously thought. Oil and gas production is a big culprit. Will President Obama’s new proposal to cut drilling emissions make a dent? Then, will hydrogen-powered cars eclipse electric cars as the alternative fuel vehicles of the future? Next up, the G.E.D. has been revamped to be better aligned with current education standards; but the new test might be too hard. After that, we hear about an investigation into the use of flashbang grenades by police departments. The weapons are only supposed to create distractions during raids, but with lax oversight they’ve also hurt and killed people. And finally, a peek into the weird world of KidZania, a theme park where kids pretend to be adults. It’s eyeing an expantion to the U.S.

Banner Image: Oil drilling platform about two miles (3 km) off the coast of California by Antandrus

Producers:
Andrew Walsh
Christian Bordal
Matt Holzman
Jolie Myers
Anna Scott

Los Angeles Methane Pollution 8 MIN, 28 SEC

A study out this week shows that there’s 60 percent more methane in the air above the L.A. basin than the government had previously thought. Oil and gas production is the biggest source of methane. And today, President Obama announced a plan to get oil and gas producers to better control emissions. We hear more about the proposal and what it could mean for the fight against global warming.

Guests:
Coral Davenport, New York Times (@CoralMDavenport)

More:
Obama Is Planning New Rules on Oil and Gas Industry’s Methane Emissions

Fuel Cell Cars 8 MIN, 2 SEC

Honda announced today that it will start selling a hydrogen-powered car in California next year, joining Toyota and Hyundai in the zero-emissions game. It’s the first real push to bring this technology - which has been around for awhile - into the mainstream. These fuel cell cars are in direct competition with electric cars, but which holds more promise?

Guests:
Aaron Robinson, Car and Driver magazine

The G.E.D. Gets a Makeover 8 MIN, 37 SEC

The G.E.D. isn’t what it used to be. The reputation of the high school equivalency degree has lost much of its meaning over the years, and many employers don’t think it’s as good as a diploma. So test-makers decided to revamp it to be more in line with new Common Core education standards. But did they make it too difficult?

Guests:
Matt Collette, education reporter and radio producer in New York (@matt_pc)

More:
Ivy League Grads Can’t Pass the New GED

Police Flash Grenade Investigation 10 MIN, 50 SEC

Flashbang grenades produce blinding flashes of light and deafening booms without the explosions created by normal grenades, and police use them to distract and disorient suspects during home raids. But the military-style weapons can still severely burn and maim people who are hit by them. And, according to a recent investigation by ProPublica, there’s little oversight when it comes to who is using flahbangs, when, and why.

Guests:
Julia Angwin, ProPublica (@JuliaAngwin)

More:
Every day, cops toss dangerous military-style grenades during raids, with little oversight and horrifying results.

Kidzania 10 MIN, 13 SEC

Imagine a theme park with no rides or games. Instead of imagining themselves as princesses or pirates, children pretend that they’re … adults. They can work in offices or factories for the day, grocery shop and bank. It might not sound like the most exciting concept, but kids seem to love it. It’s called KidZania, and it’s a major attraction in more than a dozen countries. We hear about the theme park’s bizarre appeal and plans to bring it to the U.S.

Guests:
Rebecca Mead, staff writer for the New Yorker (@Rebeccamead_NYC)

More:
Out Loud: Play and Parenting at KidZania

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