Matt Purdy

Senior Producer, Maryland Morning

Matt Purdy is senior producer of Maryland Morning. He keeps an eye on city government, health policy, history, science, and music. Before coming to the show, he was a freelance reporter and producer in the WYPR newsroom. He reported on everything from crime in the city to legislation in the General Assembly. His short radio documentary about his bicycle trip across the United States won a 2010 ShortDoc Award from the Third Coast Audio Festival. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Do The Streets Named After Martin Luther King Reflect His Legacy?

MLK Blvd and Pratt St in Baltimore
Credit thisisbossi / Flickr / Creative Commons

There are hundreds of American streets, avenues, expressways and roads named in honor of Dr. King, including one right here in Baltimore:  motorists have been coursing along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard since the early ‘80s. In 2008, a group of 10 students from D.C. visited Baltimore’s MLK Blvd, and 12 other U.S. cities with streets named for the civil rights leader. The kids’ observations and interviews about the positive and negative elements they found on the streets were filmed for a documentary; it was released in 2012. The students asked residents, community leaders and academics “Do you think these streets represent King’s dream?” Last January, Sheilah spoke with Charneice Fox Richardson, co-director of The MLK Streets Project.

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Maryland Morning
8:55 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Love, Espionage, And Theremin

The theremin is a musical instrument that you don’t actually touch to play. Its pitch and volume are guided by your hands as they move through the air between two antennas. It was invented in 1919 by a Russian scientist named Lev Sergeyvich Termen, known as Leon Theremin here in the States. Montreal writer,  Sean Michaels, found inspiration in the theremin and its creator for his debut novel, Us Conductors.  It’s a book brimming with unrequited love, international espionage, and enduring hope.

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Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Remembering Journalist George Collins

George Collins (left), Charles Robinson (right)
Credit Courtesy of Charles Robinson

George Collins, who died last July at age 88, started his career in journalism as a reporter at the Afro American newspaper 64 years ago, and rose to become its editor-in-chief.  In 1968 he switched to broadcasting, joining WMAR-TV as an anchor. Twenty years later he started a public-affairs show on WEAA, the NPR member station on the campus of Morgan State. Collins covered significant events in the civil rights movement, including the March on Washington, and the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and closer to home, injustices in his community. Charles Robinson, a correspondent for Maryland Public Television, knew and worked with Collins. We spoke with him about the life and work of Collins in August.

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Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Mon December 29, 2014

What Are "Generic" Drugs?

Generic drugs barely existed a half century ago.  In 1960 fewer than one out of ten prescriptions was filled with a generic.  Today, that proportion has almost flipped: generics fill all but one out of six prescriptions.  

Anyone who takes medicines is faced with the choice repeatedly, for over-the-counter drugs even more than for prescriptions, because our insurers often decide which prescription drug they'll pay for.  Generic or brand name?  Most of us have very little idea of what's involved when we make that choice.

In September Sheilah spoke with Dr. Jeremy Greene, an associate professor of medicine and chair in the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In his book, Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine, he traces how generics came to be, how they are regulated, what the issues are and new issues cropping up with high-tech drugs. 

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Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Wed December 24, 2014

"The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery And The Making Of American Capitalism"

Between the American Revolution and the Civil War, the number of slaves in the United States grew five-fold. During those decades a million enslaved people were sold out of the Carolinas and Chesapeake region, including Maryland, to vast new cotton plantations in the Deep South. In the 1820s, Baltimore was the biggest center of slave trading on the East Coast. Edward Baptist, a Cornell University History Professor, argues in his latest book that, far from dwindling in importance during the 19th  century, slavery was the driving force of the American economy, shaping it to this day.

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Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Mapping Baltimore's Social Media Landscape

One of Dave Troy's graphs of Twitter connections in Baltimore.
Credit Dave Troy

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, thousands of Tweets were sent out on Twitter, the social media platform where users can send out their thoughts 140 characters at a time. Baltimore tech entrepreneur Dave Troy has thought a lot about who’s sending those Tweets and who they’re connected with. For several years, he’s been creating colorful images of social media networks in Baltimore. He joins Sheilah to talk about what they can tell us about Charm city.

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Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Robert Caret, New Chancellor Of Maryland's Public University System

Robert Caret
Credit University System of Maryland

Robert Caret, a 29-year veteran at Towson University as teacher of chemistry, dean, provost and president, will return to Maryland next summer to become chancellor of Maryland's public university system, which includes a dozen public universities and more than 160,000 students. Caret left Towson in 2011 to become president of the University of Massachusetts.  He will replace Brit Kirwan, who announced last May that he would retire as chancellor. The system presented Caret as incoming chancellor at a press event Friday, and afterwards he sat down with us for a conversation. 
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Maryland Morning
8:55 am
Mon December 22, 2014

A Conversation At The Intersection Of Religion And Public Schools

Credit Firas / Creative Commons / Flickr

On this segment of "Living Questions", ours series exploring faith and religion in contemporary life, we talk about religious accommodation and religious freedom in public schools.  Should school systems celebrate the major holidays of religions other than Christianity and Judaism? Or, is it more appropriate for public schools to disassociate themselves from any and all religious considerations when formulating the annual school calendar. Tom Hall is joined in the studio by Dr. Homayra Ziad, the Muslim Scholar at the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, and Peter Danchin, a professor of law at the University of Maryland Law School, who has worked with a research project called Politics of Religious Freedom.

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Maryland Morning
8:45 am
Mon December 22, 2014

What Sri Lanka Can Teach You About Parenthood

Credit Rutgers University Press

If you give a toddler everything she wants, she’ll develop a bad case of the Terrible Two’s, into the Terrible Three’s and Four’s. She’ll become a spoiled brat, and she’ll probably spend her whole life demanding her own way. Everybody knows that, right? University of Maryland, Baltimore County associate professor Bambi Chapin’s anthropological research in Southeast Asia shows it isn't necessarily true.

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Maryland Morning
9:00 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Sen. Barbara Mikulski On What The 2015 Federal Spending Bill Means For Maryland

U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski

President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill this week that will fund the government through fiscal year 2015, averting a government shutdown. The chief architect of the spending plan is Maryland’s senior Senator Barbara Mikulski, who chairs  the Senate Appropriations Committee, the first woman to hold that chair. She joins Sheilah now on the line from her Senate office in Washington to talk about it.

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