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Children Caught in the Culture War of Adoption Guest: Robin Fretwell Wilson, Professor of Law, University of Illinois College, Author of “The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law.” Can an adoption agency, that’s run by a church and receives government money to assist with foster care and adoption placement, be forced to serve a same-sex couple? Some states have laws saying these agencies must serve LGBT couples. Other states have laws protecting a religious adoption agency that turns away a same-sex couple. Two major lawsuits over this issue are now moving through the federal courts. And as we’ve seen in similar conflicts before, there’s no middle ground –either religious freedom wins and LGBT rights lose or vice versa.   Banksy’s Self-Destructing Painting (Originally aired October 23, 2018) Guest: Elizabeth Legge, Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, University of Toronto Walking down a street in London or New York, you might see tourists snapping photos of a surreal stencil spray-painted on a public wall. The anonymous street artist Banksy’s work has become so sought-after, some of his pieces have sold for more than $1 million at auction. Did you hear about the Banksy original that self-destructed as soon as the bidding was finished a few months ago?   So You Think You’re Allergic to Penicillin? You’re Probably Not (Originally aired August 30, 2018) Guest: Kimberly Blumenthal, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard, Antibiotic Allergy Researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital Did you know that 90% of people who think they are allergic to penicillin, actually aren't? And that misunderstanding places them at much higher risk for serious, drug-resistant infections. If penicillin is one of the most effective antibiotics available, why are so many people avoiding it unnecessarily?   Mother of a Potential Shooter (Originally aired June 5, 2018) Guest: Liza Long, Freelance Writer, Mental Health Activist, and Author of “The Price of Silence: A Mom’s Perspective on Mental Illness”; Eric Walton, Son of Liza Long, High School Grad, and Presenter of the TED talk “Surviving with Mental Illness” In May of 2018, a 17-year-old at Sante Fe High School in Texas allegedly opened fire, killing ten people and injuring 13. The shooter’s family said in a statement that the details of the shooting are “incompatible with the boy we love.” Police and people who knew the alleged shooter say there were no obvious warning signs of what he intended to do, which is unusual. There are almost always warning signs. Over six years ago when a troubled young man who exhibited a lot of warning signs killed 20 first graders and six employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Liza Long wrote a blog post about her own mentally ill son that went viral. The blog had a provocative title –I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother –a reference to the Sandy Hook shooter. Liza Long’s son did not become a school shooter, but it’s been a painful road getting him the help he needs for his mental illness. She shares her experience as a parent and advocate, and her son, Eric Walton, shares his personal experience with mental illness.   Using Vultures to Solve Crimes (Originally aired July 11, 2018) Guest: Lauren Pharr, PhD, Forensic Scientist, Pharr Forensic Consulting LLC  When police find human remains, blood and bone samples are important evidence, of course. But feathers? Absolutely, says forensic scientist Lauren Pharr. She’s an expert in reading the clues left behind by vultures. Her knowledge of vulture scavenging behavior has helped police solve some tricky missing persons and murder cases. Now, I’m going to warn you right now that her work is a little gruesome, but it’s also pretty fascinating. She came on the show to discuss her work in July.   Amazon tackles The Lord of the Rings adaptation (Originally aired August 27, 2018) Guest: Dennis Cutchins, Professor of English, BYU Before there was Star Trek, Game of Thrones or Harry Potter, there was Lord of the Rings. JRR Tolkien’s classic fantasy epic has had vast influence on the genre –and for entertainment companies, it has vast potential. Amazon announced this past summer that it bought the TV rights to develop a prequel to The Lord of the Rings. Rumor has it the story will center on a young Aragorn and Amazon has hired the writers behind the third installment of the Star Trek movie reboot to develop The Lord of the Rings series. What will it take to please the legions of serious Tolkien fans? Should they even try?

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