The John Batchelor Show

Friday 8 March 2013

Air Date: 
March 08, 2013


Photo: Erden Eruç is a Turkish adventurer attempting a human-powered circumnavigation which is to include summitting the tallest mountains on six continents.[1]mEruç departed Seattle, WA and rode his bicycle to California. He departed California July 11, 2007 bound for Mooloolaba, Australia in a purpose-built rowboat. Eruç battled unusually strong currents in the mid-pacific making progress South difficult. He was ultimately unable to cross the equator due to currents and wind patterns in the ITCZOn May 10 Eruç broke the record for days at sea by an ocean rower. This record was previously held by Peter Bird. Eruç attempt to cross the pacific without resupply ended on May 17 bringing his total days at sea in a rowboat without resupply to 316, the new world record. Eruç plans to continue his ocean crossing after the 2008 typhoon season.Eruç concluded his circumnavigation on July 21, 2012.


Hour One

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Jim McTague, Barrons’s re Feb employment numbers. Unemployment at 4-Year-Low as U.S. Hiring Gains Steam By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ The economy created jobs at a faster pace in February, adding 236,000 positions, the Labor Department reported on Friday, while the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, its lowest since December 2008.

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Avery Fellow, Bloomberg BNA, re sustainability nd corporate Spring meeting intitiatives by shareholders Investors Demand Climate-Risk Disclosure in 2013 Proxies Cleared land designated for a palm oil plantation in Pelalawan, Indonesia in 2010. A big topic in 2013 is sourcing sustainable palm oil, as much of the tropical deforestation that contributes to climate change is driven by palm oil production, according to Kron. Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: .Andrew Conte, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, re Cyberthreat analysis by DoD. All options – including nuclear retaliation – should be on the table for responding to computer hacks, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports today:  My latest story shows the Pentagon has an even bigger problem than how to fightback: Experts say they have no confidence the U.S. military can withstand a computer attack. So-called “red teams” regularly penetrate Defense Department systems with off-the-shelf exploits.  The Trib’s ongoing computer security stories can be found at

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Drake Bennett, Bloomberg.  COMPUTING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL.  Since the invention of personal computing three decades ago, how we interact with computers has remained about the same: monitor, keyboard, and mouse. That’s begun to change, and today there’s an explosion of innovation in interface design, driven by huge strides in processing power, memory, and bandwidth.

Hour Two

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block A:  Clair Cain Miller, NYT  By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER and NICOLE PERLROTH.  Marissa Mayer’s decision to end Yahoo’s work-from-home policy created a stir among workers, but some employees say a new office culture is needed.

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block B:  Robosurgery Suits Detail Injuries as Death Reports Rise  By Robert Langreth -  Robot systems made by Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) are linked to at least 70 deaths in informal incident reports sent to U.S. regulators since 2009, according to a review by Bloomberg News. Now, lawsuits like Zarick’s, one of at least 10 filed in the last 14 months, are adding new details about dangerous complications involving the da Vinci robots made by Intuitive.  Dominant Company  Intuitive, based in Sunnyvale, California, dominates the robot-surgery field. It’s the only company whose system is cleared in the U.S. for soft tissue procedures that include general surgery, prostate operations and gynecological surgery, said Angela Wonson, a company spokeswoman.

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block C:  Richard Epstein Hoover  Now Hiring Ex-Cons by Richard A. Epstein Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)  To the unpracticed eye, the EEOC ruling looks genuinely perverse. The law that was intended to end discrimination by private parties now institutionalizes it by government. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act has, as its purpose, to make it “an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual…because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 2, Block D:  Richard EpsteinNow Hiring Ex-Cons by Richard A.   Epstein  Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)  Thus, the newest confection out of the EEOC orders most employers to do exactly what the law forbids. It introduces an explicit classification into the hiring equation by imposing a higher standard for refusing to hire minority workers than for others. The Enforcement Guidance also applies even when it is clear that the employer’s refusal to hire certain workers is not because of race but because of the evident risk that a criminal record could present to the employer, its other employees, and its customers.

Hour Three

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block A:  Paul Vigna, Dow Jones, WSJ Employment numbers rosiesm Jobs Growth 
Brisk in Sign 
Of Recovery  THiring picked up briskly in February and the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low as the recovery gained momentum.  Long-Term Unemployed Left Behind  Government Jobs Shrinking  Concerns Within Lower Rate

KRUGMAN: The market speaks. “What, then, are the markets actually telling us? I wish I could say that it's all good news, but it isn't. Those low interest rates are the sign of an economy that is nowhere near to a full recovery from the financial crisis of 2008, while the high level of stock prices shouldn't be cause for celebration; it is, in large part, a reflection of the growing disconnect between productivity and wages.” Paul Krugman in The New York Times.

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block B:  . Alyssia Finley WSJ,  The Reverse-Joads of California  Low- and middle-income residents are fleeing the state. Sacramento's liberal policies may bear much of the blame.   During the Great Depression, some 1.3 million Americans—epitomized by the Joad family in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath"—flocked to California from the heartland. To keep out the so-called Okies, the state enacted a law barring indigent migrants (the law was later declared unconstitutional). Los Angeles even set up a border patrol on the city limits. Soon the state may need to build a fence to keep latter-day Joads from leaving.  Over the past two decades, a net 3.4 million people have moved out of California for other states. But contrary to conservative lore, there has been no millionaires' march to Texas or other states with no income tax. In fact, since 2005 California has experienced a net in-migration of households earning more than $200,000, according to the U.S. Census's American Community Survey.  As it happens, most of California's outward-bound migrants are low- to middle-income, with relatively little education: those typically employed in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, hospitality and to some extent natural-resource extraction. Their median household income is about $40,000—two-thirds of the statewide median—and about 95% earn less than $80,000. Only one in 10 has a college degree, compared with 30% of California's population. Roughly 40% of the people leaving are Hispanic.

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block C:  Erden Eruc, Explorers Club CITATIONS OF MERIT
— Erden Eruç demonstrated that technology is not always needed to do great things today. After a grueling five years and 11 days, Eruç completed a circumnavigation of the globe using a rowboat, bicycle, kayak, dugout canoe or walking as necessary, showing it is still possible to inspire with human power.

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 3, Block D:  Reader Digest’s Humor Editor Andy Simmons is available to share some of the finalists and winning (or is it losing?) anecdotes. Whether you laugh in recognition or cringe in outrage, you’ll be glad it’s not you when you hear these 50 laugh-out-load boss stories.

Hour Four

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: The Myth of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers... by Adam Lankford (Jan 22, 2013)

For decades, experts have told us that suicide bombers are the psychological equivalent of America's Navy SEALs--men and women so fully committed to their cause or faith that they cease to fear death. In The Myth of Martyrdom, Adam Lankford corrects this misconception, arguing that terrorists are driven to suicide for the same reasons any civilian might be: depression, anxiety, marital strife, or professional failure. He takes readers on a journey through the minds of suicide bombers, airplane hijackers, 'lone wolf' terrorists, and rampage shooters, via their suicide notes, love letters, diary entries, and martyrdom videos. The result is an astonishing account of rage and shame that will transform the way we think of terrorism forever. Lankford convincingly demonstrates that only by understanding the psychological crises that precipitate these acts can we ever hope to stop them.

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block B:   The Myth of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers... by Adam Lankford (Jan 22, 2013)

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block C:     The Myth of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers... by Adam Lankford (Jan 22, 2013)

Friday  1 March 2013 / Hour 4, Block D:      The Myth of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers... by Adam Lankford (Jan 22, 2013)


"A lively, insightful, and evidence-based analysis of the most disruptive phenomenon in world affairs today. Adam Lankford challenges the conventional wisdom about suicide terrorism in a way that respects the facts, resolves the paradox (with profound implications for many other issues), and not least, de-romanticizes this loathsome practice." --Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined


"A coherent, must read for all who would claim to be experts in terrorism--or just curious. Dr. Lankford's analytic rigor and willingness to examine assumptions make this a textbook example of how to do research and analysis...As Keynes once wrote: 'When someone persuades me I am wrong, I change my mind.' What will you do?" --Jim Simon, former Asst. Director of Central Intelligence for Administration, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, and Chair, Homeland Security Intelligence Council


"At last an insightful book about martyrdom and suicide bombers. Too many so-called experts have dominated the stage without ever examining the life of a suicide bomber. Lankford, in a thorough and in-depth study, has identified the trauma, chronic depression and suicidal behavior that characterize their lives. This is a fascinating book with profound implications." --David Lester, former president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention


"Lankford demonstrates that suicide-murderers who call themselves martyrs are actually suicidal. Like many important ideas, this one seems utterly obvious once someone presents the overwhelming evidence and makes the compelling argument. As Lankford shows, terrorists are motivated by a lot more than the ideologies they espouse...A critically important contribution to the literature and, one hopes, to our counter-terrorism." --Jessica Stern, former Director of Russian Affairs, National Security Council, and author of Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill

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