Objects in Mirror

Objects in Mirror: November 16, 2007 Archive

Midmorning topic: Flying the vulnerable skies

Posted at 8:32 AM on November 16, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

Just in time for the holiday travel season... Today at 10:00 a.m. CT, Midmorning talks about the vulnerable skies:

A recent government report suggests that explosive substances can still be smuggled past screeners and onto the airlines. Midmorning examines the challenge of balancing safety and efficiency in airline travel.

What is the perfect balance? I'd wager in theory we all want a 100% safety record on the flight we're about to board, but the practice involves standing in long lines and I've yet to meet anyone happy to do that. How can airport security become more efficient and more effective?

Join the online discussion.

The brain science behind spending

Posted at 1:25 PM on November 16, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

From the American RadioWorks Tightwads and Spendthrifts feature description:

New brain science suggests there's a biological basis for the way each of us shops. It appears that people feel pleasure when they shop and pain when they pay.

Well that might explain the nature, but I have to wonder about the nurture aspect. How much of spending stems from emotional needs? While shopping you're surrounded with people, you're probably having a very positive social interaction with a salesperson, and the cashier always congratulates you on a purchase. That's a lot of affirmation for people, but is it cheap therapy?

Explore the Design of Desire series.

Extra credit! Take the Spendthrift-Tightwad survey.

News discussion topics for the 11/16/2007 weekend

Posted at 4:01 PM on November 16, 2007 by Julia Schrenkler

Don't be caught without a topic!

A) Tightwads and Spendthrifts We all know a total tightwad or a reckless spendthrift. You might even be one. Things to debate: What kind of marketing makes you open your wallet? Why do people spend money? In relationships, who determines what is reasonable to buy and what isn't? (American RadioWorks)

B) Study: Yes, Lobsters Feel Pain The study was about physical pain, no word yet on emotional distress. There's a couple angles beyond the good old, "Did you ever see that scene in Annie Hall?" approach. Why isn't there a good vegetarian version of shellfish? What does a grant application for lobster study funds look like? (NPR's Bryant Park Project)

C) Thousands jam recycling event The old Met Center parking lot isn't just for nostalgia anymore! It is for tons of people to wait in line, idling in their running cars, in order to save the earth. Inspired by Bob Collins: When will they make saving the earth easier and more convenient? (MPR News)

Share your own conversation-starters suitable for making small talk with a cashier, during brunch, or to while away time waiting for a hybrid bus.

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