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Connections: George H. W. Bush’s new biography written by Curt Smith

Connections: George H. W. Bush’s new biography written by Curt Smith

November 19, 2014

Curt Smith, the author, lecturer, and former presidential speechwriter, is our guest this hour to talk about his new biography on President George H. W. Bush. Smith was a speechwriter for the 41st President of the United States. He’s written 16 books and was a speechwriter for, among other people, George H.W. Bush.

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A citizen’s guide to buying political access

A citizen’s guide to buying political access

November 18, 2014

“The dollar amount it takes to become a significant donor — where at least a staff member will talk to you if you call up the office — varies a lot across the states,” said Lynda W. Powell, a political science professor at the University of Rochester, whose study on the topic was published in her book “The Influence of Campaign Contributions in State Legislatures.”

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How the search for aliens could save us from environmental collapse

How the search for aliens could save us from environmental collapse

November 18, 2014

It’s an open question as to whether or not climate change poses an existential risk to the human species, but it’s not looking good. But what if we could study other civilizations — alien civilizations — who have already dealt with these problems?

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“Our Work is But Begun”

“Our Work is But Begun”

November 17, 2014

Did you know tuition to the University of Rochester was just $30 a year in 1852 or that Susan B. Anthony convinced the Board of Trustees to admit women in 1900? These are just some of the important facts you’ll learn while reading the new book just released called Our Work is But Begun — a history of the University of Rochester.

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Top spenders on Capitol Hill pay billions, receive trillions

Top spenders on Capitol Hill pay billions, receive trillions

November 17, 2014

All of this might imply that donors are the driving force on Capitol Hill, but David Primo, a professor of political science and business administration at the University of Rochester, doubts that. “The conventional wisdom out there is that businesses are going to Washington, writing checks and expecting big returns,” he says.

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Science offers new view of human survival hopes

Science offers new view of human survival hopes

November 15, 2014

Two American scientists have just sought to find a way of answering the ultimate global warming question: how long can any species last once it has discovered how to exploit fossil fuels and change the conditions under which it first evolved? In doing so, they have sidestepped the great challenge of astrobiology.

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Drawing strength from the gifts her mother left behind

Drawing strength from the gifts her mother left behind

November 15, 2014

Photo caption: Makia Green, 22, a senior at the University of Rochester, in St. Matthew’s Baptist Church in Harlem, where her mother taught Sunday school. Ms. Green, who lost her mother to cancer last year, is focused on finishing college, searching for a job and finding a place to live.

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Taylor Swift to Spotify: Blank Space or blank check?

Taylor Swift to Spotify: Blank Space or blank check?

November 13, 2014

These streaming sites pay nano-pennies to musicians, John Covach, popular music historian director of the Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester in New York and popular music historian, told the Monitor. Covach pointed to a recent blog post from a consortium of bands whose music is being streamed in which said they report royalties between $36 and $58 per month.

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Want to boost your brain power? A new study says video games are the answer.

Want to boost your brain power? A new study says video games are the answer.

November 13, 2014

Remember when you told your kids that spending too much time playing video games would make them lazy?

Now there’s a perfect comeback: Playing video games can actually make you smarter.

Really. According to a study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, playing fast-paced action video games can make someone a better learner.

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Could playing video games make you smarter?

Could playing video games make you smarter?

November 12, 2014

“Prior research by our group and others has shown that action gamers excel at many tasks. In this new study, we show they excel because they are better learners,” said Daphne Bavelier, a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. “And they become better learners by playing the fast-paced action games.” Bavelier said our brains keep predicting what will come next – whether when listening to a conversation, driving, or even preforming surgery. “

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