Mike Himowitz

Associate Producer, Midday

Mike Himowitz joined WYPR after a 40-year career in print journalism, first with the Providence Journal and then for more than three decades with the Sunpapers (as he'll always think of them).  As a reporter, he covered a variety of beats, including education, transportation, the State House and Capitol Hill.  Long addicted to computers, he was an early and avid practitioner of computer-assisted journalism.  Over the years he served as State News Editor, Baltimore County Bureau Chief, Electronic News Editor, and Medical and Science Editor, producing the weekly Plugged In and Health and Science sections.  He wrote a computer column for The Sun for 20 years and was a technology contributor to Fortune magazine.

After retiring from The Sun, he worked as deputy managing editor at MedPageToday.com, a medical news site designed for doctors and hypochondriacs.  In 2010 he joined WYPR as an associate producer for Midday with Dan Rodricks.

Himowitz lives in Pikesville with the love of his life.  The couple has two sons and one incredibly handsome and talented grandson.

Where in the brain is our sense of self located? How can you pinpoint what makes us who we are and what do you do when that knowledge is lost? Science journalist Anil Anathaswamy followed individuals with complex neurological disorders - from Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia to a rare disorder that causes the delusional belief that one is dead -- and wrote about their experiences in his book, “The Man Who Wasn’t There.” In this hour, we find out what he discovered about the human sense of self.

We’ll talk with two guests with fascinating stories from the final days of World War II. The conflict ended almost 70 years ago, when atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing Emperor Hirohito of Japan to surrender. Our first guest, Edgar Harrell, was a young marine who miraculously survived four days floating at sea in a life jacket without food or water when Japanese torpedoes sank the cruiser Indianapolis. This was just days after the ship delivered the components of the atom bomb to scientists at a U.S. air base in the Pacific. When they were finally rescued, only 317 of the crew’s 1,196 members were still alive. Harrell describes their story in a compelling first-person account called "Out of The Depths."

Walk through an airport today and you’ll see hundreds of noses buried in laptops, tablets or smartphones. If you’re not online, you’ll be endlessly assaulted by commercial images and messages from flashing signs, hidden speakers, TV screens and other gadgets. They’re all out for a slice of what limited attention we have left. ToMatthew Crawford, a philosopher, writer, master motorcycle mechanic and author of "The World Beyond Your Head," these are all manifestations of an existence in which we “increasingly encounter the world through representations.” Matthew Crawford talks about how to reclaim and discover your identity in this "age of distraction."

Originally broadcast on July 1, 2015.

The spiritual history of the United States is much more complex, and less uniformly Christian, than many realize. Annapolis-based historian and journalist Peter Manseau joins Midday to discuss his new book, “One Nation, Under Gods,” an exploration of the role of religious minorities in shaping Maryland and American history.

With smartphones, e-readers and tablets, people can take their books with them wherever they go. But educator John Palfrey says that doesn’t make libraries any less essential. Palfrey argues that libraries are one of society’s last defenses against inequality in education, jobs and access to information -- they are places that should grow and change in the face of new technology. Also joining us: Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library and just-elected president of the Maryland Library Association.