Midday | WYPR


Will Kirk

Midday at the Museum:  In our second segment today focused on notable new museum exhibits, Tom is joined in the studio by Dr. Marvin Pinkert, the Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, for a conversation about the work of the JMM and one of its popular new exhibits: "Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America."  The exhibit examines how medicine -- from traditional therapies to ritual procedures to public health practice -- has shaped the ways Jews are perceived, and the way they perceive themselves, for centuries.

The exhibit will be on view at the Jewish Museum of Maryland through January 16th, 2017.

Mark Ralston/AP


In many ways, last night’s face-off between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was the most substantive of the three debates. While the candidates weighed in on the Supreme Court, the economy, immigration, the national debt, the most shocking moment came when Mr. Trump implied that he may not accept the results of the election, saying “I’ll tell you at the time.  I will keep you in suspense."

 Liz Copeland is a Republican, and the founder of the Urban Conservative Project. Mileah Kromer is the Director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College.  They join Tom to discuss the debate in the desert. 

Shealyn Jae Photography

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in the Midday studio most every Thursday. She's here today with her review of Das Barbecu, a fast-paced musical theater version of Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle.” Written in 1991 by Jim Luigs and composed by Scott Warrender, it premiered in Seattle and has been produced by theater companies across the US, including Baltimore's Center Stage.  Now, the popular musical is back in Baltimore, at the Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre.

Wagner's famed operatic masterwork is actually four long operas with a ton of plot. Spotlighters' new production of Das Barbecu (directed by Greg Bell, with musical direction by Michael Tan) is set in contemporary, twangy Texas.  It boils the vast Wagnerian storyline down to one evening of musical theater, with five actors frenetically playing more than 30 characters. Major plot-lines in this tuneful, light-hearted Western include mismatched lovers, feuding families, western rope tricks, a synchronized swimming scene, a tribute to guacamole, and of course, a magic ring of power.

Das Barbecu continues at the Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre through Oct. 30 

Monica Reinagel

Time for another installment of Smart Nutrition here on Midday.  To help us separate the wheat from the chaff in the huge harvest of nutrition and diet information swirling around us, we look to the Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagel.  Monica is a licensed nutritionist who blogs at nutrition over easy.com.

Among our questions for Monica today:  What are the food trends we can anticipate in the coming months?  Has kale's moment passed?  And what about one of the latest diet fads: eating anything you want, as long as it fits your "macros?"  If it helps you fit into your jeans, why not? Plus, how practical - and nutritious -- is it to eat "in season," year-round?   And when it comes to eating healthy, what does the word “healthy” actually mean when it’s slapped on a food product label?  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appears to be evolving on the criteria companies need to claim that their products are, indeed, "healthy".  What’s making them change their minds?

Big questions.  But fear not.  The Nutrition Diva joins Tom Hall with the answers, clear and no-nonsense.  And we take your calls, tweets and emails, and answer your questions about food, diet, health and nutrition.

Luke Broadwater /The Baltimore Sun

When he ran for Governor, Republican Larry Hogan got 22% of the vote in Baltimore City. But he won 53% of the vote in the First District, which includes Harbor East, Little Italy, Canton, Fells Point, Greektown, Bayview and other historic Southeast Baltimore neighborhoods – all the way East to the county line.

Today, a look at the race for the Baltimore City Council in the First District.

Tom's guests are two youthful and dynamic candidates who prevailed in crowded primaries last spring: Democrat Zeke Cohen and Republican Matt McDaniel. If McDaniel does what Hogan did and wins the district, he would become the first Republican to hold a seat on the city council since 1942, and the first Republican to hold any elective office in Baltimore in 50 years.

The Baltimore City Council is about to undergo big changes. With retirements, some incumbent losses, and some members having run for mayor instead of their council seats, regardless of who wins the election on November 8th, eight of 14 seats on the council will be occupied by people who are new to the job.

In the First District, Mr. McDaniel is mounting a serious campaign against his Democratic rival, Mr. Cohen. Both candidates are charismatic, personable – and new to politics. Matt McDaniel and Zeke Cohen join Tom in Studio A for a conversation about the future of the First. 

Chase Carter

As many as 15 women have come forward to accuse presidential candidate Donald Trump of sexual assault or harassment. The allegations began to roll in after a 2005 Access Hollywood video surfaced earlier this month. In the video Trump is heard bragging to  former NBC anchor Billy Bush about sexually assaulting women. Trump denied the sexual assault allegations -- by insulting several of his accusers -- and also dismissed the language heard on the video as "locker room talk."

Many have pointed out that his so-called locker room talk is indicative of a larger societal problem; rape culture.  

John Shields/Kenneth Lam, Baltimore Sun

Resident foodies John Shields, owner of Gertrude's and Sascha Wolhandler, owner of  Sascha’s 527 Restaurant & Catering  join Tom for our regular segment What Ya Got Cookin.

It's the season for root vegetables, dark leafy greens, pumpkins and squashes. John and Sascha share ways to turn up your turnips and take the bland out of Brussel sprouts. 

Football season is underway and that means tailgating. We'll talk about ways to turn your chicken wings and chili menu into a gourmet feast.

Johns Hopkins University

Today, we consider some important issues in the field of bioethics.

Tom welcomes Dr. Jeffrey Kahn to Studio A.  Dr. Kahn is the director of the Berman Center of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University.  Folks in his field think about things like the ethical ramifications of research, how doctors interact with patients, public health policy, and global approaches to things like food distribution and allocation of medicine.  Different approaches have different outcomes, and bioethicists think about those outcomes through the prism of the moral dimension of those choices.

We thought we’d start by talking about the public health issue that has dominated the headlines since this summer.  The Zika virus grabbed the public health spotlight and spread like crazy in certain parts of the world, including an outbreak that has been controlled in the Miami area. One of the approaches to eliminating the virus that scientists are considering involves genetically modifying mosquitoes and then releasing them into the environment. On the surface, it may seem that changing the genetic make-up of some insects shouldn’t be cause for alarm. But like so many of the issues that Jeff Kahn and his colleagues consider, it’s not that simple.

Dr. Kahn also weighs in on the topic of babies now being born with more than two biological parents. They actually carry the genetic material of three parents. To the parents who otherwise might not have biological children, the technology that makes this possible is a blessing. But is it a good idea? What are the consequences of these new possibilities? Tom asks Dr. Kahn about framing the questions we should be asking in bioethics, to find the answers we need.

Photo by Joan Marcus

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a play adapted from the 2003 mystery novel by British writer Mark Haddon. The novel is told from a first-person perspective by Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy living in suburban England who describes himself as "a mathematician with some behavioral difficulties."

Christopher's condition is never identified, but he appears to fit the profile of someone living on the autism spectrum, with a condition once referred to as Asperger's syndrome.  Haddon has blogged that he is not an expert on autism, and that "Curious Incident is not a book about Asperger's....if anything, it's a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way."

Johns Hopkins University

The Baltimore Marathon is one of nearly 1,200 certified marathons in the United States.  On Saturday, runners from all 50 states and 24 countries around the world will converge on Charm City to run through some of our most historic neighborhoods and beautiful parks.  About 4,000 runners will attempt the Olympian feat of staying in motion for 26.2 miles.  Roughly 12,000 brave souls will jog through the 13.1 mile half marathon, and about 5,000 will run the 5K race earlier in the day.  Another few thousand will run distances of 6-7 miles on relay teams.   That’s a lot of collective steps, and a lot of potential blisters, backaches, and wobbly knees.

Tom's guest today knows a lot about the physical challenges that are faced by professional athletes and weekend warriors alike.  Dr. Miho Tanaka is an orthopaedic surgeon and the Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Before moving to Baltimore, she was the team physician for the St. Louis Cardinals and the St Louis Surge in the WNBA.  She has also served as assistant team physician for the Baltimore Orioles and another professional women’s basketball team, the NY Liberty.  She is a former collegiate athlete herself.   She was on the Stanford University track team, and has treated student athletes from high school to college.    She joins Tom in the studio for the full hour, and takes your calls and emails.