Segregation in Schools

June 4, 2014

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Segregation in public schools - this year marks the 60th anniversary of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education which in essence forced the integration of the American public school system. But according to First Lady Michelle Obama in a recent speech, some of our schools are as segregated as they were back in 1954. Tune into this edition of "Wow! I Didn't Know That" with former Westchester County NY Executive Andy Spano and his co-hosts Norm Jacknis and Tom Creel to hear what the First Lady meant by these remarks. Are our schools really still segregated and how in the 21st century in America can this be true? You'll hear Andy, Norm and Tom identify ways in which segregation still exists and how there is a direct link between success in education and level of income. At a time when there is such emphasis on having an education to get ahead, how can we not realize that it is much more difficult for people without resources to obtain an education? What did Brown v. BOE really accomplish when our failing schools are almost exclusively minority-populated? Join the discussion by following us on Twitter.

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Suburbs Dead?

June 4, 2014

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Suburban flight - a reverse trend? Are the suburbs dead? Data shows that more and more people are leaving the suburbs for city life. The trend of the 1950's and beyond seems to be reversing itself as people are moving back to American cities. But is the distinction between suburban and urban life really that great? More and more suburbs offer an urban lifestyle once only found in America's cities. An increase in cultural institutions and activities, re-creation of the "city square" type center of town, better public transportation and an increased ability to walk from place to place, as well as a greater number of immigrants creating the "melting pot" feeling, have come to characterize American suburban life. Meanwhile cities such as New York have taken on some suburban qualities of their own. Listen in to hear Andy, Norm and Tom discuss American cities and suburbs, current trends and what each can offer the other on this edition of "Wow! I Didn't Know That."

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Libraries and Lifelong Learning

June 4, 2014

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Libraries are becoming more important in our society as the emphasis on knowledge grows. Join Andy, Norm and Tom in this edition of "Wow! I Didn't Know That" as they focus on how we learn in America and the importance of lifelong learning. As we move more and more into the "knowledge zone," creating lifelong learners is tantamount to success and public libraries provide the universal access to knowledge that our society needs. Given that our society cannot afford to send every citizen to college, the library as a learning institution should become a focal point. Coupled with free, online courses, this could be the future of adult education in America.

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U.S. Rank - Still Number 1?

June 4, 2014

#1 in the world? Is the U.S. still on top? We talk about being number one but our actions don't show it. Our economy is the best in the world but does the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measure the right things? The Social Progress Index measures things that matter to the quality of life in the U.S. - are we number one in this sense? Have we become a nation that is risk-averse? Have our values changed? Tune into this edition of "Wow! I Didn't Know That" to find answers to these and other questions relating to our rank in the world. The hosts move on to talk about the health of the nation in segment two. Join former Westchester County Executive Andy Spano and his co-hosts tech. guru Norm Jacknis and attorney/actor Tom Creel in these timely discussions by following the show on Twitter.

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World War 1 - 100th Anniversary

May 8, 2014

Crimea, Ukraine, Russia - history repeating itself? This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, the war to end all wars. This was an unexpected war, a war that was supposed to help the spread of democracy but what it turned out to be was a war with devastating effects on Europe. Europe in fact would never be the same. It was an extremely bloody war with the introductions of weapons and machinery not seen before; it was the first industrial-era war with airplanes, tanks and submarines. It started as a conflict between two small regions and escalated into a major war that eventually led to long-term problems with Russia and Germany resulting in WWII. WWI has special relevance to what is going on today in the same region with Russia's treatment of the Ukraine and the pressure on a stable power like the U.S. to get involved as well as simultaneously deal with a rising power like China. What does the Ukraine have that the U.S. should take an interest in? These countries have been under Russian influence for hundreds of years - why get involved when that involvement could hurt us? We stand to spend billions/trillions of dollars, lose millions of American lives and reduce our ability to grow our own society/economy yet the pressure is there both internally and externally to get involved in the conflict. Listen to this edition of "Wow! I Didn't Know That" with Andy Spano, Norm Jacknis and Tom Creel to hear how history really does repeat itself if allowed to.

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Patents & Inventions

May 8, 2014

Internet, computers, DNA, television and birth control pills: what do they have in common? They are all inventions that were patented and ultimately changed the world. In this ever-expanding global economy, there are thousands, perhaps millions of ideas/inventions waiting to be patented that could affect even more change. In this episode of "Wow! I Didn't Know That" listen in while expert patent attorney Tom Creel tells the story of Wright Aviation, Xerox and other companies and individuals that changed the way we live our lives. From a single idea or invention - built upon by other corresponding or competing inventions - learn how the patent laws help and hinder the creative process; and how these products are ultimately brought to market and end up a part of our daily lives. Andy Spano and Norm Jacknis weigh in with their insights as well.

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Climate Change and Crimea

May 8, 2014

Climate change is having a devastating effect on countries in ways not many are talking about. In the first segment of "Wow! I Didn't Know That" former Westchester County Executive Andy Spano and his co-hosts tech guru Norm Jacknis and attorney/actor Tom Creel discuss climate change and how it is changing the boundaries and borders of nations; their drinking water, sewer systems, crops, input and output of resources, infrastructure, landfills, etc., etc., etc. The United Nations issued a warning that the worst is yet to come and that one of the results will be entire countries will disappear in the next generation. Tune into this edition of the show to find answers to the question - what will happen to millions of people if and when this comes to fruition? And why will people and governments not change their behavior to help alleviate the problem? Segment two of this edition focuses on the crisis in Crimea.

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Media Bias and Lies - Pt. 1 - Extinction of Species - Pt. 2

May 6, 2014

Lies in the media - can you believe what you read/hear/see in the media in today's world? With so many sources it is hard to track information - what's right, what's wrong, what's true and what's not true. What about deliberate lies and half truths - shouldn't these reporters and bloggers be held accountable? The conflict between a reporter's explanation of facts vs. an interpretation of facts dates back years in journalism and in this show, Andy, Norm and Tom discuss the New York Times' influence over the Kitty Genovese murder case back in the 1960's. In the second segment of the show, the co-hosts discuss the extinction of some of the earth's species. Some experts fear we are heading for the "6th extinction" whereby in the next 100 years half of all the species on earth will become extinct. This would be the first extinction caused by man (climate change). Tune into this edition of "Wow! I Didn't Know That" to learn more.

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Minimum Wage - Should it be Raised?

May 6, 2014

Will raising the minimum wage in the U.S. destroy jobs or stimulate our economy while helping keep people out of poverty? CT Governor Dannel Malloy believes an increase in the minimum wage will help working families who will in turn have the means to help grow the economy and improve the communities they live in. The proposed increase is a relatively small amount and when adjusted for inflation is even smaller so what is the real problem with the issue? Is this just spin or do the numbers pan out that an increase in the federal minimum wage traditionally does not negatively impact employment? Former Westchester County NY Executive Andy Spano and his co-hosts Tom Creel and Norm Jacknis dissect the issue in this edition of "Wow! I Didn't Know That."

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Religion and its Impact on the World

May 6, 2014

Religion - How have religions changed in the past decade - for better, for worse? Is organized religion becoming more or less prevalent? Religion has had a tremendous impact throughout history and is still a major factor in most of the wars and conflicts in the world. But aren't many organized religions losing members? Are only the fundamentalists left and what does this mean for society? Tune into this edition of "Wow! I Didn't Know That" to hear Andy, Norm and Tom discuss religion with Catholic priest, Westchester NY's own Father Paul Lostritto. Father Lostritto tells his own story while touching on the current state of religion as well.

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