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Electric Cars, Hovercraft, & More: The Rest Of The Week

Debra Thornton Photography

It's not ALL vehicles, but we will discuss electric cars and hovercraft on the Jefferson Exchange later in the week. 

For the benefit of our listeners who like to plan ahead, here's our plan as of Monday morning...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014/8:00            Smarter Freshmen at U of Oregon
Students entering the University of Oregon as freshmen this year are more accomplished than their predecessors, at least by the numbers.  This year's freshman class set records for grade point average and SAT scores.  And the numbers may continue to climb... the U of O is stepping up its recruiting efforts among high-achieving students.  We explore the methods and goals of the recruiting process.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014/8:30            Oregon Traffic Fatalities Running Low
Before the turn of the century, Oregon's annual number of traffic fatalities was generally worse than the national average.  What a turnaround.  The preliminary numbers for last year show a number--317--that has been this low only once since World War II.  But with more bicycles on the road and more people communicating by text message, can the trend last?  The Oregon Department of Transportation's safety division administrator explains the numbers and likely reasons for them.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014/9:00            The Angel Effect    
Not every debate falls neatly within science or religion.  Take angels as an example.  Even people well-versed in science claim to have felt a presence or even seen a figure guiding them to safety amid calamity.  Angels, or hallucinations?  John Geiger asks the question and explores the stories of people who claim supernatural guidance in his book "The Angel Effect: We Are Never Alone."   
Wednesday, January 29, 2014/8:00        Gun Control Goes Local
Last year provided a good demonstration of what often happens to gun-control legislation in Congress.  The aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut included an increase in public sentiment for some kinds of gun legislation, including universal background checks for gun sales.  Congress passed nothing.  So smaller jurisdictions have passed some laws.  Now the group Citizens for a Safe Ashland are circulating an online petition urging city council members to pass new regulations on guns in the city.  We hear from the group about its intentions.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014/8:30        VENTSday
We do not schedule guests for Wednesday at 8:30, because that's the time for VENTSday, your chance to vent (politely, please) on a pair of topics in the news.  We bring the topics, you bring the opinions.  It's VENTSday on The Jefferson Exchange, and you participate by calling 1-800-838-3760 or 541-552-6782 or emailing JX@jeffnet.org.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014/9:00        Excuse Me, Doctor...
Even before anybody uttered the phrase "Obamacare," we were peppered with advice about how to navigate the health care system.  The advice included directions on how to take more control of our health care--not just our insurance.  That bit of advice is still being given, even by the MDs themselves.  Dr. Melissa Clarke acknowledges the effects of health care reform and makes the case for patient ownership of the situation in her book  ''Excuse Me Doctor! I've Got What?''  

Thursday, January 30, 2014/8:00            Reducing Child Abuse: 90 by 30
Child abuse is more widely recognized than ever before, and the work of eliminating it continues.  Lane County is home to the 90 by 30 program, an effort to reduce child abuse by 90% by the year 2030.  We hear from program participants about who is involved in 90 by 30, and how they plan to meet their goal.

Thursday, January 30, 2014/9:00            Going For Gold: The "New 49ers"
The first mention of "The New 49ers" came in a discussion of water quality on a recent Exchange.  Like the 49ers of old, they are in search of gold in the region's rivers.  And they say there is still plenty of gold to be had by modern miners.  But their efforts come at a time when suction dredge mining is under new restrictions in both states.  We learn more about the New 49ers goals and tactics.  

Friday, January 31, 2014/8:00            Driving Toward an EV Future
If you're not driving a hybrid or electric vehicle yet, chances are pretty good that you will soon.  Especially in Oregon, where the trade association Drive Oregon puts in a lot of miles (and watts, we presume) boosting electric vehicles, or EVs.  We'll catch up with Drive Oregon about its current and ongoing efforts to put people behind the wheels (and handlebars) of EVs.  

Friday, January 31, 2014/9:00            How To Build A Hovercraft (And More)
Maybe you're not a fan of either Diet Coke or Mentos candies, but they sure can put on a show together.  A show Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe have been putting on for years now as the mad scientists of Eepybird.  Actually, neither is a scientist; Stephen is a lawyer and Fritz is a juggler.  But they put on great demonstrations of everyday objects doing extraordinary things.  And they share many of their secrets in a new book, "How to Build a Hovercraft."  

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for over 35 years, working in both television and radio.