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Midday

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Cal Ripken and Lou Gehrig are forever linked in history as the two great “iron men” of baseball.  For decades, Gehrig’s record of 2,130 consecutive games-played seemed an insurmountable mark until Cal Ripken met it, and surpassed it by more than 500 games. 

By the time Ripken retired in 2001 the age of 40, he and Gehrig were the only two of 17,000 players in the major leagues who had played more than 2,000 games in a row. 

The history of their amazing achievement is chronicled in a new book The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken, and Baseball's Most Historic Record by Baltimore sportswriter John Eisenberg, who fills his account with stories not only of Ripken and Gehrig, but of the other ironmen who endured injuries and the vagaries of managers to make their marks as tenacious, every-day players. 

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Today, all eyes are on Hamburg Germany, the site of the G-20 summit, where about three hours ago, Donald Trump met Vladimir Putin for the first time as President. The meeting takes place as North Korea continues its sword rattling, the Syrian conflict continues to displace and kill thousands, big policy differences between the US and other G-20 members in areas like climate change are once again laid bare, and new economic agreements that exclude the US are taking shape.

On today's edition of Midday at the Movies, our monthly conversation with Jed Dietz, founding director of of the Maryland Film Festival, and Ann Hornaday, film critic for the Washington Post, Tom and our movie mavens will be talking about Ann’s new book: Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies.

In this veteran film reviewer's guide, Hornaday suggests that the best movies let us grapple with tough questions, reflect on cherished ideals, experience the world from another point of view, and know the joy of authentic human connection. So, how do you know you've seen a great movie? By examining the various aspects of filmmaking -- writing, acting, directing, cinematography, editing and sound -- Ann explains the ways that great filmmakers have produced work that resonates with audiences across generations.

Photo by Robert Neal Marshall

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in the studio each Thursday with her weekly reviews of the region's thespian offerings.  This week, she critiques the new production of The Tempest from the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

Today, we’re talking sports.  In May, the Baltimore Orioles had the best record in baseball.  In June, they broke a record by allowing 5 or more runs in 16 consecutive games.   They lost last night in Milwaukee.  They will send only one player to the All Star game next week, second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

As concerns grow about the catastrophic and often fatal consequences of concussive brain injuries in professional football players, some prominent voices are calling for an end to tackling in youth leagues, until players are at least 14. 

And on the basketball front, more than half of the players in the first round of the NBA draft were college players who played only one year.  That’s more Freshman than ever before who went pro.  We’ll talk about possible changes to NBA policy affecting what age young players will need to be in order to qualify for the league. 

Dr. Terry Anne Scott, an assistant professor of history at Hood College, is in the studio.  She’s currently working on a book about basketball legend Lenny Wilkens, among other projects.

Milton Kent joins us as well.  He’s the host of Sports at Large here on WYPR; he also serves on the faculty of the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University.

And our longtime sports guru Mark Hyman is here too.  He’s on the faculty of George Washington University in their Sports Management program, and the author of a bunch of books, including Concussions and Our Kids:  America’s Leading Expert on How to Protect Young Athletes and Keep Sports Safe, which he co-authored with Dr. Robert Cantu.

Sheri Parks/D.Watkins

This program originally aired on May 2, 2017. 

Today another installment of Culture Connections with Dr. Sheri Parks of the University of Maryland. Author D. Watkins joins as we continue to reflect on the 2015 Uprising sparked by the death of Freddie Gray. D. co-hosts Undisclosed, a podcast that re-examines Freddie Gray’s death.  Have any new details emerged? How did the Uprising change the way we talk about race and inequality in Baltimore? We may be more willing to listen to the experiences of others. Does listening lead to change? What about on the national level? The 2016 election upended people’s assumptions about class, culture and race in this country. Will that disruption lead to a deeper understanding of the issues we face and how to solve them?  Dr. Sheri Parks joins us every month for the Midday Culture Connection. She’s an Associate Dean at the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland College Park, where she is also an Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies. Her book is called Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Sacred Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman.   D. Watkins is the author of two books: The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America and The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir. He’s also an editor-at-large for Salon.com; co-host of a series on The Undisclosed, a blog that re-examines the events surrounding the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray; a lecturer in the Klein Family School of Communications Design at the University of Baltimore, and the founder of the BMore Writers Project.

This program was originally broadcast May 9, 2017.

Today, a discussion about what we might call the privacy paradox. We say one thing when it comes to online privacy, but many of us act in decidedly un-private ways when we’re on the internet. What do we mean by that? We often say that we don’t want to be spied on -- by big government or by big data, the companies that collect and sell information about every place we go online. But our behavior suggests that we don't really care about our privacy as much as we say we do.   We post all sorts of intimate details about our lives and our families. We voluntarily allow apps to know exactly where we are at all times. That information is valuable to all sorts of companies, and sometimes to certain government agencies. Do we, perhaps, care about privacy in some abstract way -- but not enough to behave online in a way that would keep our information more secure?  And if we say we value privacy, are we, as a society, able to articulate what’s wrong with losing privacy? Joining Tom at the top of the show today is Firmin DeBrander, a professor and philosopher who has thought a great deal about our relationship with online privacy and why privacy matters.  DeBrabander is an associate professor of philosophy at MICA here in Baltimore, where he has taught since 2005.  He is the author, most recently of the book, “Do Guns Make Us Free?”  He is working on a book about privacy, and an article that he wrote recently on the subject caught our eye, so we asked him to stop by Studio A to tell us more.

courtesy CNN Photo

When Senate Republicans unveiled their health care bill a little more than a week ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it would be voted on this week -- before Congress’s July 4 recess.  But, on Tuesday of this week, McConnell, realizing he didn’t have the 50 votes needed to pass the bill, pulled the plug on the vote.  What’s next for the bill that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would result in 23 million more people without health insurance in the next decade?   

Also this week, the President’s Travel Ban is back, in part. The Supreme Court announced that it will hear arguments next fall regarding lower court decisions that stayed the President’s executive order: And that parts of President’ Trump’s revised travel ban could be enforced.

The Trump administration made further claims about fake news this week.  

We’ll take on these stories and others this week on the Midday News Wrap:  Tom is joined  in the studio by AP White House correspondent Julie Bykowicz and, on the line from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, by Dr. Carol Anderson, the Chair of African American Studies at Emory and author of the NYT best-selling book “White Rage.”   

Photo by Dietmar Lipkovich

 

The members of Insingizi, a Zimbabwean musical trio, join Tom in Studio A. They specialize in performing inspiring concerts full of harmonious singing, call-and-response chanting, hand percussion and energetic choreography. The ensemble is stopping in the Baltimore area for the free Patterson Park Summer Series, at which they will perform this Sunday at 6:30 p.m., as well as in Washington, D.C. for Serenade: A JFK 100 Celebration, before making their way to Germany later in July. 

 Today, they join Tom in studio to offer a little preview of what’s to come this weekend.  Members Dumisani “Rama” Moyo and “Blessings” Nqo Nkomo are here with de facto leader of the ensemble, Vusa Mkhaya. Their performance today features “Boom Boom Jeys” (working translation: “It is important to know who we are and where we come from, so that we know where we are going”),  and the South African hymn “Siyahamba” (Zulu for “We Are Marching”), which closes out the show. 

Jeremy Daniel

Thursdays are for theater here at Midday, and theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck is here as always to review a local production. This week, she's discussing "Finding Neverland" at the Hippodrome Theatre. Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus, "Finding Neverland" delves into the life of J.M. Barrie, the creator of one of the world's most beloved stories, Peter Pan. Barrie's relentless battle to find inspiration for a new play leads him to a single mother and her four children, whose imaginative spirits shape Barrie's stories and awaken his inner child.

"Finding Neverland" runs at the Hippodrome through July 2, 2017. 

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