Previously on Forum

Brandon Wexler shows a customer one of the weapons that she was picking up at the end of the three day waiting period at the K&W Gunworks store on the day that U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, DC announced his executive action on guns on January 5, 2016 in Delray Beach, Florida.

Nine months have passed since the United State’s deadliest mass shooting took place at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, worries that despite such high profile incidents, not enough is being done at the Congressional level to prevent gun deaths. We’ll talk with Gross about the recent overturning of gun restrictions on the mentally ill, the prospects for gun control under President Trump and the Brady Campaign’s approach to reducing gun deaths.

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a school hallway

Palo Alto may join a growing number of towns and campuses that are renaming buildings over the troubling legacies left by their namesakes. The Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education is set to vote Tuesday evening whether to rename Jordan Middle School and Terman Middle School because they were named after prominent advocates of eugenics. As the names of important buildings are debated in Palo Alto and across the nation, should their namesakes be weighed against modern values or does doing so risk erasing community history?

Jonathan White holding a surf board.

Jonathan White has been thinking about the tide, and the mysterious process behind it, for most of his life. As a young surfer in Southern California, White found the tide often dictated the quality of the surf. In Alaska, White almost lost a boat when it ran aground in a spring tide, and in the Puget Sound, White spent several years hosting “floating seminars” from a 65-foot schooner. In his new book, “Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean,” White travels across the Arctic, China, Europe, Latin America and Mavericks, the famed big-wave surf spot, to meet the people whose cultures are impacted by tides and sea level rise. White joins us to discuss the complexity of tides, including why great thinkers like Plato and Descartes were confounded by them.

Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agencies and the National Security Agency.

“How does intelligence survive in a post-fact world?” That’s the question General Michael Hayden raised when reports surfaced last week that President Donald Trump relied on Breitbart, not U.S intelligence agencies, as the basis to claim that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower. Hayden, who led the CIA and the NSA under President George W. Bush, joins Forum to talk about the relationship between U.S. intelligence agencies and the Trump Administration, as well as the role of American intelligence in the fight against terrorism.

A view of Sutro Tower and downtown San Francisco on September 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California

“Frisco,” the word San Franciscans love to hate — or do they? KQED’s Bay Curious podcast recently took up the question of why Bay Area locals are so divided over the nickname. We’ll talk to KQED producer Vinnee Tong about what her reporting on the moniker and the city’s relationship with it. And we want to hear from you: How do you feel about “Frisco”? Do love it, hate it or are you happy as long as no one says “San Fran”?

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Hear The Bay Curious Podcast on ‘Frisco’:

Jessia Waldman and Rick Roiting as the bartender in "The Speakeasy."

Turn down a dark alley in North Beach, say the right password to a man in a trench coat, and a secret world of dice games, blackjack and cabaret singers will appear. The Speakeasy, an immersive theater show that recreates the look and feel of a 1920s Prohibition-era drinking club, is interactive and lets actors and audience commingle at gambling tables and a bar stocked with “bootlegged liquor.” Many guests show up in period clothing, from fedoras to flapper dresses, and cell phones are strictly forbidden. (You can’t get a signal in 1923!) We’ll discuss creating immersive theater with The Speakeasy’s producers and the hurdles to finding a permanent space in San Francisco.

More Information on “The Speakeasy”

Julian Assange, founder of the online leaking platform WikiLeaks, is seen on a screen as he addresses journalists via a live video connection during a press conference on the platform's 10th anniversary on October 4, 2016 in Berlin.

The CIA figured out how to spy on people through cell phones, websites and smart TVs, and then lost control over that information, according to the website Wikileaks. In what it called its largest release ever, Wikileaks made 8,761 files available Tuesday that detailed surveillance techniques. Wikileaks says it will release more details soon, after allowing tech companies to review the information so that they can patch any security vulnerabilities. We discuss the implications of the disclosure and Wikileaks’ political influence.

Container ships sit moored at the Port of Oakland on February 11, 2015 in Oakland, California.

If you want to understand the complex reality of capitalism, there’s no better microcosm than the system that moves containers around the world. That’s according to Fusion’s Alexis Madrigal, whose new radio documentary “Containers” examines the role Bay Area container shipping played in the development of our current economic order. The eight part series brings listeners through the world of ships and sailors, technology and tugboats, warehouses and cranes, and traces the roots of our global economic system to the Port of Oakland, right at the foot of the Bay Bridge. Madrigal joins Forum to discuss “Containers” and how the Bay Area shipping industry helped shape global capitalism.

‘The Containers’ Series (Soundcloud.com)

Listen to the First Episode:

the launch of four ballistic missiles by the Korean People's Army (KPA) during a military drill

After North Korea launched four ballistic missiles into the sea earlier this week, the U.S. announced the deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea. Worried that this aggression could start an “arms race,” Chinese officials attempted to mitigate the situation, proposing that North Korea halt its nuclear weapons program in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea suspending their joint military exercises in the region — a proposal both the U.S. and South Korea reject. We get the latest on the situation in the Korean Penninsula and discuss escalating U.S.-North Korea relations.

A view of a Chevron refinery on March 3, 2015 in Richmond, California.

When Steve Early moved to Richmond in 2012, he saw a city trying to break free from its big oil roots and reinvent itself. He also saw from his backyard an oil explosion that sent 15,000 to the hospital because of toxic smoke. Home to a massive Chevron oil refinery since 1902 — Standard Oil back then — the working-class Bay Area city has a long history of pollution and poverty. But, as Early chronicles in his new book “Refinery Town,” for the past fifteen years, the Richmond community has tried to reinvent itself with a push for reform and progressive policies, electing a Green Party mayor, approving rent control measures and, most recently, passing a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Trump. Steve Early joins us in-studio to discuss Richmond’s history, its recent efforts to redefine itself and its rocky relationship with its biggest employer, Chevron.

The head of a trap jaw ant.

Imagine a fungus that controls the mind of an ant, turning it into a zombie. Or a violent frog that uses its mustache as a weapon. Or a fish that can choke a shark with its slimy snot. In this hour, we’ll talk to WIRED science writer Matt Simon and California Academy of Sciences researchers about the wild and weird creatures they study.

More Information on Cal Academy Bioblitzes

Some of the Creatures Discussed:

Meg Lowman taking notes in the canopy.

Meg Lowman has spent her life climbing trees. Wearing a helmet and harness, Meg will often scale 200 feet above the ground, exploring the canopies of trees where she says half the planet’s biodiversity lives. She’s been doing this work for decades earning her the nickname, “Canopy Meg.” But growing up in the 1960s, Lowman says she was often the only girl in science class and later one of the few working scientists bringing her children on research expeditions. Lowman joins us to talk about her life exploring the forest canopies, the hurdles she encountered as a single mother and how she encourages women around the globe to pursue careers in science.

Jon Foley poses for a portrait.

Jonathan Foley is the executive director of the California Academy of Sciences, which has been dubbed “the greenest museum on the planet.” The academy has gone so far as to divest its financial assets from fossil fuel companies. Foley’s research focuses on sustainability and how climate change impacts global agriculture. He recently co-authored an article titled “How to Fight the War on Science and Win.” Foley joins us to talk about the role of science, scientists and institutions like the Cal Academy during the Trump administration.

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