John Baxter

Jefferson Exchange Producer

John Baxter's history at JPR reaches back three decades.  John was the JPR program director who was the architect of the split from a single station into three separate program services.  We're thrilled that John has taken a hiatus from his retirement to join JPR as interim producer of the Jefferson Exchange.

Christian LInder/Wikimedia

"Two heads are better than one" seems like a mismatched phrase with "fake news," but there's a common thread. 

And that is the working of the human brain.  We tend to think better in groups than as individuals. 

And that may explain why left to our own devices, we believe in conspiracy theories or lying reporters. 

Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach are the co-authors of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone.

Rod Waddington, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54018882

Why does a crowd yelling "surprise" at a birthday party delight one person but make another grumpy?  They're just wired that way, we like to say. 

And we could very well be wrong.  Psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett has a different theory: that emotions do not come from specific areas in the brain in all people, but from all over the brain, depending on an individual's experiences and thinking. 

Barrett lays out the theory in How Emotions Are Made, just now hitting bookstores. 

Irangilaneh, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28439014

The battle over school standards and funding tends to skip over an important point: the schools are not solely responsible for student success or failure. 

Kids bring family and community "baggage" to school with them, and are often lacking some of the basic tools to just pay attention in class. 

The University of Oregon hosts a panel discussion on "What Kids Bring to School," tonight (March 14) at the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics. 

ICE/Public Domain

Oregon and California already draw the ire of hardline anti-immigration groups. 

Oregon is a sanctuary state, and California is considering that status.  Within the states, local communities are also looking at sanctuary status, meaning local police would not enforce federal immigration laws. 

Ashland is already a sanctuary city; Arcata's city council will likely take a vote in April. 

University of California Press

Education is seen as the pathway to a better life in America. 

But the pathway is neither straight nor wide for the estimated two million young people who were brought to America illegally as children. 

A study that tracked 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles found significant obstacles.  Roberto Gonzales tells the story in his book Lives in Limbo

Yves Picq, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28335609

About a third of American adults are considered obese, and the percentage among children is growing close to that rate. 

Science is looking at obesity from a number of angles, including at the University of Oregon. 

The Health Promotion and Obesity Prevention Initiative is one focus of the Prevention Science Institute at the U of O. 

Bureau of Land Management / Flickr

The use of the term "monument" in Southern Oregon seldom refers to a stone obelisk.

It often means the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, recently expanded by President Obama before his term ended. 

A month after the expansion, Western Oregon counties filed suit, and so did the timber industry. 

atheistsunited.org

You can get all kinds of college degrees studying religion. 

But until a few years ago, there was no secular studies program by that name anywhere in the United States. 

Pitzer College in Southern California started the first such program, with Phil Zuckerman as its head. 

The program "neither applauds nor condemns" secularism, but the program's presence cheers secular segments of society. 

Pages