Academic Minute | WAMC

Academic Minute

A few years back, we spoke to the authors of a book aimed at young people called “Fault Lines in the Constitution – The Framers, their Fights and the Flaws that Affect Us Today” that pointed out the faults in the constitution with stories and examples from current and historical events. An updated edition of the book came out last year in paperback.

Sandra Day O’Connor made history as the first woman on the US Supreme Court. But women have been considered for the court since the 1930s.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll open up history class and talk about the women shortlisted for the bench.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with the history of an exclusive book club for women.

There are some end of year traditions that we all look forward to, and one of mine is looking back over the last 12 months and listening again to some of what we feel were the best stories we told. For years, the cable network C-SPAN has toured the country in a well-equipped bus visiting schools, book fairs and state capitols.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll re-take our tour of the C-SPAN bus.

Living life as a trans-gendered adult carries its own set of issues and challenges, and society seems to slowly be opening up to accommodate and even celebrate these people. But most trans adults were once growing up as a trans child who needed support.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about the children and parents who make up the current trans generation.

We’ll also spend an academic minute exploring how Americans feel about trans-gender rights.

If we’ve learned anything over the past year and a half it’s that the constitution has some gaps. The United States Constitution has a lot of fans. To hear some politicians and pundits talk you would think it was the most perfect document ever drafted. But when you stop and really look into it, this puppy has some issues.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll listen to a conversation I had last year with the authors of a book for students outlining the many fault lines of the constitution.

#1395: "GED Works!"

Jun 15, 2017

A couple of years ago, a group of major employers in the US got together to provide their employees with a path to complete an important part of their education. And we’re not talking about technical education or masters degrees.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn about GED Works…and how this program can help employees finally get their GED.

Washington Post

The first time new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos tried to visit a school her first week on the job, she was blocked by protesters. It was an unsettling debut for one of the most controversial cabinet appointments, ever, from nomination to confirmation. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear from Secretary DeVos, as she addressed members of the department of Education her first day on the job.

We’ll also hear how companies who specialize in big data are making money off your medical records…and spend an Academic Minute getting thirsty at bedtime.

Anyone who enjoys trivia probably knows that Humphry Bogart never actually says “Play it again, Sam” in Casablanca, and Captain Kirk never says “Beam me up, Scotty” in Star Trek. But what about these quotes: Cleanliness is next to godliness. God works in mysterious ways. For years many people have assumed these came from the bible. Spoiler alert – they don’t. Or at least they didn’t.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about the lost book of Hezekiah that finally gives a home to those phantom biblical ditties.

wordfire.dot

If you were with us last week, you heard a fascinating conversation about the universe and the great cosmic voids of outer space and time.

I figured this week we’d stay out there, only instead of voids we’d have talking robots and laser battles. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge we’ll talk to Kevin J. Anderson, one of the most prolific and bestselling science fiction authors working today.

Then we’ll come back to Earth and hear how student in Oregon are using language to learn just about everything else.

And we’ll spend an academic minute with…uh….writers block.

Do you remember the movie "Mean Girls"? The screenplay to the 2004 film was written by Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star Tina Fey, who also had a role in the film.

The movie was a worldwide hit and remains almost a cult favorite 10 years later. But did you know it was based on a non-fiction book called "Queenbees and Wannabees"? Now the author of that book has left the world of girls and has headed over to the boys.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, a conversation with author Rosalind Wisemen about her book about boys' world: Masterminds and Wingmen.

We can learn a great deal from the analysis of the ear wax of whales.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Stephen Trumble, associate professor of biology at Baylor University, explains how a whale’s ear wax can help us find definitive answers to a wide array of questions.

Dr. Stephen Trumble is an associate professor of biology at Baylor University. His research primarily focuses on the physiological adaptations and mechanism of animals in extreme and changing environmental conditions. In 2003, he earned a PhD in marine biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Kate O’Brien of the University of Queensland uses population models from ecology to explain the challenges faced by women pursuing careers in academic research.