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FROM THIS EPISODE

Iraq has a new prime minister. We take a look at what the leadership change mean for U.S. involvement in Iraq and Syria, and we discuss a new propaganda video released by the US to combat ISIS recruitment. Next, we look at Apple’s unveiling of two new iPhone models today and examine the media hysteria that surrounds every new apple product. Turning to education, a new book claims that much of our common wisdom about the best ways to study and learn are flat-out wrong. And finally, how can we make sense of the multitude of lists that come out this time of year, ranking American colleges?

Banner Image Credit: Mikhail (Vokabre) Shcherbakov

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

New Iraq Prime Minister 9 MIN, 14 SEC

Iraq has a new government, led Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The hope is that he can conquer the Islamic State, or ISIS, the violent Sunni group that has taken over large swaths of the country. Meanwhile, the United States is about to get further involved in Iraq. We take a look at what might be next for the U.S. in Iraq.

Guests:
Robin Wright, US Institute of Peace / Woodrow Wilson Center (@wrightr)

Propaganda Wars 6 MIN, 30 SEC

The militant group known as the Islamic State has used the Internet to spread propaganda messages and videos. Now, the State Department is fighting back with its own campaign. But it has a tricky line to walk, repurposing Islamic State material without promoting it.

ISIS Propaganda

This is a still from the U.S. anti-ISIS propaganda video entitled "Welcome to ISIS-Land"

Guests:
Cori Dauber, University of North Carolina

More:
Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment (Free PDF Download)

iHype 9 MIN, 1 SEC

This morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a new slate of products, including two new iPhone models. Many news outlets live-blogged every minute of the event. But… why? What is it about Apple that inspires an avalanche of breathless press every time a new product is unveiled?

Guests:
Will Oremus, Slate.com (@WillOremus)

How We Learn 14 MIN, 2 SEC

Pop quiz! What’s the best way to prep for a test? Is it: a) study in a quiet place, b) avoid distractions, c) repeatedly study the information until you understand it, or d) all of the above? Actually, the answer is none of the above. That’s according to a new book, which claims much of our common wisdom about how to best absorb information is just plain wrong.

Guests:
Benedict Carey, New York Times (@bencareynyt)

How We Learn

Benedict Carey

Ranking College Rankings 7 MIN, 19 SEC

College rankings are an annual ritual this time of year. And the list of lists keeps growing. The most high-profile list of ranked American colleges comes from U.S. News and World Report, which put out its latest today. But Washington Monthly, CNN Money, Forbes and the New York Times are just a few of the many, many other outlets that have gotten into the college-grading game. How can would-be applicants make sense of it all?

Guests:
Anya Kamenetz, NPR (@anya1anya)

More:
Is This Any Way To Pick A College?

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