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KERA Think Rundown – Week of 9/26/11

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Think airs Monday to Thursday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. on KERA FM. Encore airings of Think can be heard Monday to Thursday nights on KERA FM beginning at 9:00 p.m. Podcasts and streamed video are available online at www.kera.org/think.

Monday, 9/26

Hour 1:  Just how strong is your willpower? According to our guest this hour, we all spend about four hours a day simply resisting temptation, so it pays to know. We’ll talk with Roy F. Baumeister who heads the social psychology program at Florida State University. Baumeister is also the co-author of the new book “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength” (The Penguin Press, 2011).

Hour 2:  Why is the Objectivist philosophy developed by writer Ayn Rand still an influence on American conservative politics? Well talk this hour with University of Virginia historian Jennifer Burns. Her new book is “Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right” (Oxford University Press, Paperback, 2011).

Tuesday, 9/27

Hour 1:  What is behind the steady decline in health benefits and retirement pensions for American workers? We’ll talk this hour with Wall Street Journal investigative reporter Ellen E. Schultz who has been covering the issue for over a decade. Her new book on the subject is “Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers” (Portfolio, 2011).

Hour 2:  What is life really like for residents of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico? We’ll explore the lives of people trapped in one of the most violent and dangerous cities in the world this hour with photojournalist Dominic Bracco, who has extensively covered the situation there. His exhibit “The War Next Door: Narco-Violence and the U.S. Mexico Border” is on view at the University of Texas at Arlington through December 15. Dominic Bracco will also speak at UTA this week.

Wednesday, 9/28

Hour 1:  How do some political leaders manage to hang on to power for decades, winning election after election in so-called democratic countries around the world? We’ll talk this hour with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Director of the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at New York University and co-author of the new book “The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics” (Public Affairs, 2011).

Hour 2:  Could hip hop change the world? We’ll find out this hour with Sujatha Fernandes, Assistant Professor of Sociology at City University of New York. Fernandes follows the development of an emerging hip hop identity among the world’s marginalized youth in her new book “Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation” (Verso, 2011).

Thursday, 9/29

Hour 1:  Who’s trying to take over your computer and how might it affect national security? We’ll talk this hour with Mark Bowden who investigates the Conficker worm and its possible threats in his new book “Worm: The First Digital World War” (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2011).

Hour 2:  How did the 1881 assassination of President James A. Garfield change politics, medical practices and the legal system forever? We’ll talk this hour with Candice Millard, author of the new book “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President” (Doubleday, 2011).