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FROM THIS EPISODE

A big announcement from NASA: liquid water has been discovered on the surface of Mars. Does this mean there’s life on Mars?

Then, half a century ago, the engineer Ralph Parsons came up with a plan to bring Southern California all the water it would ever need. This plan was called the North American Water and Power Alliance, or NAWAPA. The plan was never implemented, but its promise never quite went away either.

Next, Los Angeles public schools face a critical moment right now as billionaire Eli Broad plans to double the number of charter schools in the city. At the same time, the district is still dealing with fallout from its failed plan to give iPads to all students, teachers and administrators. And that’s not all the LAUSD is struggling with.

Then, how much do you know about DARPA? It’s the most powerful military science agency in the world and it’s also one of the most secretive and unknown. Until now.

Finally, in our TV roundup we talk about the season premiere of Empire, and other new shows.

Banner Image: Planet Mars: image provides a global "snapshot" of weather patterns across the planet. Here, bluish-white water ice clouds hang above the Tharsis volcanoes. Photo Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Ryan Kailath

Life on Mars? 7 MIN, 36 SEC

A big announcement from NASA today: liquid water has been discovered on the surface of Mars. How was this discovery made, and what ramifications does it have for science?

Guests:
Phil Plait, Slate (@badastronomer)

More:
NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars

Could a Vintage Water Planning Project End the Drought? 7 MIN, 47 SEC

Half a century ago, the engineer Ralph Parsons came up with a plan to bring Southern California all the water it would ever need. This plan was called the North American Water and Power Alliance, or NAWAPA. NAWAPA never got built, but its promise lingers.

Guests:
Michelle Nijhuis, science journalist (@nijhuism)

More:
The Forgotten Project That Could Have Saved America From Drought

LAUSD Faces Challenges 8 MIN, 43 SEC

Los Angeles public schools face a critical moment right now. Billionaire Eli Broad’s plan to double the number of charter schools in the city threatens to siphon off students. At the same time, the district is still dealing with fallout from its failed plan to give iPads to all students, teachers and administrators. And that’s not all the LAUSD is struggling with.

Guests:
Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times (@howardblume )

'The Pentagon’s Brain' 14 MIN, 8 SEC

How much do you know about DARPA? That’s the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, by the way. It’s the most powerful military science agency in the world and it’s also one of the most secretive and unknown. Until now.

Guests:
Annie Jacobsen, Journalist and author, 'The Pentagon’s Brain' (@AnnieJacobsen)

The Pentagon's Brain

Annie Jacobsen

TV Roundup: 'Empire,' 'The Daily Show,' 'Black Mirror' 8 MIN, 50 SEC

Cookie and Lucious are back, and TV watchers are reaping all the benefits. But can Empire keep outdoing itself without losing the audience? Then, The Daily Show returns with Trevor Noah as its new host; and Netflix has picked up British sci-fi series, Black Mirror.

Guests:
Andy Greenwald, Grantland (@andygreenwald)
Michael Schneider, Indiewire / Variety (@Franklinavenue)

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