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FROM THIS EPISODE

State gas tax turns into political football 8 MIN, 19 SEC

State Senator Josh Newman was recalled over his “yes” vote on raising the state gas tax. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is hoping an initiative to repeal that gas tax hike will draw more Republicans to the polls in November, to support endangered Congressional candidates. We talk about the politics of the tax, and what the tax actually does.

Guests:
Joshua Emerson Smith, San Diego Union Tribune (@jemersmith)
Martin Wachs, RAND Corporation / University of California (@RANDCorporation)

Internet voting: The future, or a hacking vulnerability? 8 MIN, 8 SEC

Turnout was low for the California primary election, and 120,000 people in L.A. didn’t get their ballots. How can voting be made more efficient and more appealing? Many point to voting online, and by text. But what about hacking?

Guests:
Andrew Appel, Princeton University

Why has the human body evolved to include errors? 15 MIN, 7 SEC

The new book “Human Errors” looks at flaws in our bodies, why we have them, and what’s possibly in store for our future. We speak with author Nathan Lents about why humans have more colds than most other animals, how our bodies can’t produce their own essential vitamins and minerals the way other animals’ can, why men have nipples, and more.


Biology professor Nathan Lents. Photo courtesy of Lents.

Guests:
Nathan Lents, author of “Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes,” biology professor at John Jay College" (@nathanlents)

Human Errors

Nathan H. Lents

The connection between food and brain health 15 MIN, 17 SEC

We go on diets for our bodies -- to lose weight or to feel better. We rarely think about what food does to our most complex organ: the brain. But the right diet may be able to prevent or slow the spread of Alzheimer's.

Guests:
Dr. Lisa Mosconi, author of “Brain Food: The surprising science of eating for cognitive power” (@dr_mosconi)

Brain Food

Lisa Mosconi PhD

CREDITS

Image "Human Errors" book cover courtesy of biology professor Nathan Lents.

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney
Michell Eloy
Amy Ta
Christian Bordal
Quinn O'Toole
Yael Even Or
Devan Schwartz

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