Midday with Dan Rodricks | WYPR

Midday with Dan Rodricks


You can find the current Midday page here.

Midday with Dan Rodricks as the host aired on WYPR until October 2, 2015.

Archive prior to February 25, 2014

Colorado saw its teen pregnancy rate drop 40 percent from 2009 to 2013. The rate of teen abortions fell 42 percent. Behind those impressive decreases was an experiment in long-acting contraception, implantable devices that last for years, and are considered the most effective forms of birth control. In this hour, we take a look at how Colorado increased access to long-term birth control, and how that experiment has affected the life outcomes of many young, low-income woman. What can Maryland learn from the Colorado experience?

Midday Politics

Jul 28, 2015

In this edition of Midday Politics, we we take a look at national headlines. From Donald Trump's remarks about immigrants and the crowded Republican presidential field (can you name all 16 formally announced candidates?), to President Obama's trip to Africa and the Iran nuclear deal. Our guests: political scientists Melissa Deckman of Washington College, and Morgan State University's Max Hilare.

The World Beyond Your Head

Jul 27, 2015

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. Matthew 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.

Representative Dutch Ruppersberger

Jul 27, 2015


Senator Ben Cardin

Jul 24, 2015

We sit down with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin to discuss President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, the hacking of the federal Office of Personnel Management, and Baltimore's recovery since the unrest in April.

Midday Friday

Jul 24, 2015

In this edition of Midday Friday, we hear how lawmakers in Annapolis are responding to calls for increased police accountability.  Sean Gallagher of the site Ars Technica joins us for another look at the hacking of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which impacted more than 20 million individuals. Rick Seltzer of the Baltimore Business Journal tells us what former mayor and current candidate for the office, Sheila Dixon, thinks of how the city handled April’s civil unrest.

Enhancing the "Bio-Diversity of the Gut"

Jul 23, 2015

Dr. Gerard Mullin, a digestive health specialist from Johns Hopkins, talks about how certain foods can replenish so-called friendly bacteria to help people lose weight. Original air date: June 29th.

The Plight of the Honeybees

Jul 23, 2015

Maryland lost 60 percent of its honeybee colonies last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That puts the state in the top five for honeybee deaths in the country. Population losses at this rate could be unsustainable for both the pollinators, and the US economy. The insect plays an integral role in agriculture, accounting for an estimated $15 billion in value to crops annually. We’ll hear from a panel of experts about the controversial factors contributing to the deaths of honeybees. Original air date: June 23rd.

Martin Short

Jul 22, 2015

Dan welcomes representatives of the upcoming Baltimore Improv Festival and comic-actor Martin Short. Short's book, "I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend," published by Harper Collins, recently came out in softcover.

Midday Wednesday

Jul 22, 2015

WYPR senior news analyst C. Fraser Smith joins Dan to talk about news and politics in the noon hour, including the state's $45 million settlement over the botched rollout of the state's health insurance exchange in 2013 and the Hogan administration's decision to put all money saved from scrapping the Red Line into Maryland roads.

Billion Dollar Spy

Jul 21, 2015

Adolf Tolkachev was a high-ranking radar engineer in Russia. Driven by a vengeance over his family’s treatment during the Stalin era, he leaked thousands of documents and photographs to the CIA in the 1970s, detailing Soviet radar and missile systems. David Hoffman of The Washington Post reporter tells the story of "The Billion Dollar Spy."

Residency Requirements for Police

Jul 21, 2015

Should Baltimore require its new police officers to live within the city limits? Is there any evidence to suggest that leads to better policing and safer neighborhoods? We talk residency requirements for police at noon, and get the perspective of a 15-veteran of the Philadelphia police force, which requires officers live in the city for the first five years of their career.

Marketing Trends: Social Media and Millennials

Jul 20, 2015

In this hour of Midday, we take a look at the newest trends, tactics and designs of digital advertising and ask, “What makes a successful ad campaign?” We’re joined by Phillipe Duverger, marketing professor at Towson University; Ryan Goff, senior vice president of Baltimore Based Marketing agency MGH; and Lisa Chau, lecturer at the Zicklin School of Business & Contributor to the Huffington Post.

Who is the man who took command of Baltimore's police at a time when the department faces unprecedented scrutiny and the daunting challenge of arresting a surge of violence the city has not seen in two decades? In a sudden and surprising development, Kevin Davis replaced Anthony Batts as commissioner on July 8, a day after Davis appeared on Midday, as deputy commissioner, for an hour-long interview. Davis takes over as Baltimore experiences a third consecutive month of killings, with 170 so far this year.

Midday Friday Part II

Jul 17, 2015

Reviewing the news of the week -- Kenneth Vogel of Politico gives us the latest campaign finance numbers and debunks the "myth of small donors. Then, Kim Clark of Money Magazine takes on O'Malley's big college debts and gives us the publications new "best value" rankings for Maryland's schools. And we preview Artscape with a member of the hip-hop duo Bond St. District.

Midday Friday Part 1

Jul 17, 2015

Reviewing the news of the week -- P. Kenneth Burns of the WYPR reporting staff talks about the city's violence and the new commissioner's "war room," and Tara Huffman, director of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program at OSI-Baltimore, comments on Obama's call for criminal justice reform and his recent visit to a federal prison in Oklahoma.


Jul 17, 2015

Chief executives of the largest US corporations receive multi-million-dollar salaries with stock options and bonuses tied to company performance. In “Indispensable and Other Myths: Why the CEO Pay Experiment Failed and How to Fix It,” corporate law professor Michael Dorff debunks the justifications behind enormous compensation packages, saying there is no evidence that performance pay motivates CEOs and that they have far less influence on corporate results than is commonly thought.


Jul 17, 2015

A conversation about modern art, artists and the creative life with Annie Cohen-Solal, French scholar, cultural historian, biographer of Jean-Paul Sartre and painter Mark Rothko. Her new book is: "Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel." Original air date: 3/23/15.

Midday on the Media

Jul 15, 2015

Baltimore Sun TV critic and Midday on the Media contributor David Zurawik is back with his latest observations on television and the news. We’ll cover Comcast's new streaming service, the upcoming presidential primary debates, and get Z's thoughts on the "death" of an American icon -- Bill Cosby.

Baltimore in Recovery

Jul 15, 2015

We sit down with local businessman and Democratic strategist Michael Cryor, who was appointed to lead Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake’s “One Baltimore” initiative. We'll talk about Baltimore's recovery -- how people are feeling about the city's comeback from the spring -- if there is such a thing.

Pirates, Assassins and Corrupt Politicians

Jul 14, 2015

We take a look at three unique pieces of Maryland history: Greg Bartles of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, joins us to talk about the oyster pirates who ravaged the Chesapeake Bay and how Maryland responded. Tom Fink, president of the Junius Booth Society, tells us about the Maryland roots of John Wilkes Booth, the infamous actor who assassinated President Lincoln.

Open Phones

Jul 14, 2015

We catch up on local and national news as well as listener emails and phone calls. 

Midday Special on Religion: One Nation, Under Gods

Jul 13, 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.

Midday Special on Religion: The Handy Islam Answer Book

Jul 13, 2015

Midday listeners are invited to call with questions about the roots and practices of Islam, the world’s second largest religion, for Islam scholar John Renard, professor of theology at Saint Louis University. At a time when many Americans fear rather than understand Islam, we take a look at the faith’s traditions, as well as its overlaps with Christianity and Judaism.

Midday on Film: Summer Blockbuster Edition

Jul 10, 2015

The summer movie season began with The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but Jurassic World appears to have stolen Thor’s thunder. The fourth film in the Jurassic Park series has become the top movie of the year, grossing $1 billion dollars worldwide in just 13 days. In this edition of Midday on Film we talk about the summer of blockbusters.

Midday Friday

Jul 10, 2015

After being mugged and then turned away at one of Baltimore’s police districts -- being told that police districts were indeed closed from 7 pm until 7 am -- Connor Meek, wrote an essay about his experience in The Sun. Now Baltimore’s police commanders have ordered all station lobbies to remain open 24 hours a day. We’ll hear from Connor Meek in this first hour of today’s show.

Bob Cherry, past-president of Baltimore's Fraternal Order of Police, joins Midday to discuss the union's "After Action Review," a report that criticizes former commissioner Anthony Batts for the police department's "passive" response to April's unrest. Plus, Munir Bahar, leader of the anti-violence 300 Men March, talks about the group's third annual march against violence, planned for this Friday.

Change in Command

Jul 9, 2015

Follow-up to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's dismissal of Police Commissioner Anthony Batts with excerpts from Tuesday's interview with the man who will replace Batts, Kevin Davis.

Our guests: State Senator Catherine Pugh; City Councilman Brandon Scott; P. Kenneth Burns of the WYPR reporting staff; and Rev. Donte Hickman.

Libraries in the Digital Age

Jul 8, 2015

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.

Fair Housing

Jul 8, 2015

In an unexpected decision last month, the Supreme Court ruled that even unintentional discrimination in housing is illegal, potentially setting up future court battles over “workforce housing,” or affordable housing in suburban areas across the country. We hear from fair housing advocates about Maryland’s efforts to combat exclusionary practices and provide mixed-income housing in both Baltimore and its suburbs.