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The development of electronic media is the biggest thing since the printing press, and it's altering the way the human brain functions. While neuroscientists try to figure out how that's happening, we hear a debate about whether the outcome is good or bad. Also, estimates of the rate of oil spill keep climbing. On Reporter's Notebook, has a victorious woman set back the cause of women in politics?

Banner image: Seven-year-old Ashling Cannon next to a computer screen displaying the Webkinz website and her webkinz cuddly toys in Washington. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Estimates of Rate of Oil Spill Keep Climbing 7 MIN, 24 SEC

Estimates of the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico continue to rise, and BP may defer or reduce its second-quarter dividend in response to the public uproar encouraged, in part, by President Obama. Jeffrey Ball, environment editor for the Wall Street Journal, has been covering the spill since the beginning.

Jeffrey Ball, Scholar-in-residence Stanford. Writer on energy & environment in The Atlantic, FortuneMagazine, etc. (@Jeff_Ball)

The Shallows

Nicholas Carr

Main Topic Hooked on Gadgets, Muddling Our Minds? 37 MIN, 34 SEC

Internet multi-tasking is both a magnificent research tool and an infuriating distraction.  But, like it or not, it's transforming the human brain. Neuroscientists are sure about that.  What they're not sure about is whether the change is for better or worse. In the meantime, debate is raging. Critics insist it's reducing the ability to focus, enforcing shallowness, stifling the creative impulse and breaking connections between human beings. Advocates say the media revolution is producing new ways of thinking and more human connectedness than ever before. A recent article touched a nerve in so many readers of the New York Times that editors say it was the most frequently emailed they've ever seen.

Matt Richtel, Technology Reporter, New York Times (@mrichtel)
James Olds, Professor of Neuroscience, George Mason University
William Powers, author, 'Hamlet's BlackBerry'
Clay Shirky, New York University
Andrew Blum, journalist and author (@ajblum)

Hamlet's BlackBerry

William Powers

Reporter's Notebook Year of the Woman Starts Off on a Catty Note 5 MIN, 32 SEC

Women candidates won big this week in Arkansas, Nevada, South Carolina, Maine and Iowa. California Republicans chose former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as their nominee for Governor and former Hewlett-Packard head Carly Fiorina for the US Senate. Now Fiorina's been accused of setting back the cause of women in politics with a catty remark about her opponent. In a make-up room waiting to go on TV the day after her nomination, she joked to a staff member about something a friend said about Barbara Boxer. Ruth Marcus is columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Post.

Ruth Marcus, Columnist, Washington Post

Cognitive Surplus

Clay Shirky

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