Boston Marathon Bombing; Personal Data and Happiness; Soprano Patricia Racette; Drought

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

On today’s show: Boston Globe reporters Scott Helman and Jenna Russell describe covering last year’s Boston Marathon Bombing. John Havens explains how we can reclaim the data and information that corporations are collecting about us—and use it to improve our well-being. Soprano Patricia Racette talks about her role as Maddalena in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of "Andrea Chénier." And we’ll find out how the drought that’s hitting the Southwest and California is quickly becoming a problem for the entire country.

Looking Back at the Boston Marathon Bombings

Boston Globe reporters Scott Helman and Jenna Russell look back at the Boston Marathon Bombing last April, from the preparations of the bombers to the emergency response to the massive deployment of city, state, and federal law enforcement personnel to apprehend the suspects. Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City's Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justice tells the story of the bombings and their aftermath.

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Using Your Personal Data to Change the World

John Havens highlights the benefits of an examined life in the digital world and illustrates how the fruits of the Information Age can improve our lives for the better. Our digital identity is represented by gigabytes of data produced from tracking your activities on your smartphone and computer, and in Hacking Happiness: Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking it Can Change the World, Havens argues that emerging technologies will help us use this valuable data to help us track our emotions to improve our well-being based on the science of positive psychology. 

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Soprano Patricia Racette at the Met

Soprano Patricia Racette, discusses playing the role of Maddalena in "Andrea Chénier" at the Metropolitan Opera. The opera is about a real 19th-century French poet who was executed in the revolution. Maddalena, the female lead, is a wealthy, spoiled girl who is so changed by the revolution that in the end she volunteers to go to the guillotine with Andrea, the man she loves.


Will Drought Ruin the Southwest?

Harper's contributing editor Christopher Ketcham reports on the dying Colorado River, which has been diverted by a series of dams to supply water to the parched Southwest. Ketcham talks about rafting down the river from Utah to Arizona with an environmentalist and the water manager for the city of Denver—two men with dramatically opposed views on how this precious resource should be used. A solution must be found, though, because neither the cities of the Southwest nor California agriculture can ultimately survive if the river runs dry. His article "Razing Arizona" is in the April 2014 issue of Harper's.

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The Crumbling Results of Mismanaged Billions in Afghanistan

A multi-million dollar prison already falling apart. Planes losing parts on their first flight. A $19 million chicken coop. These are some of the bungled Afghan reconstruction projects funded by U.S. taxpayers.

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