Obama Announces Overhaul of NSA Surveillance Programs | Water in America: In the Tap We Trust? | Developing Innovative Ways to Fund Science

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Friday, January 17, 2014

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Water in America: In the Tap We Trust? | The Delicate Dance of U.S. Spy Agencies | Obama Announces Overhaul of NSA Surveillance Programs | The Evolution of Hollywood Movie Villains | Developing Innovative Ways to Fund Science

Obama Overhauls NSA's Surveillance Programs

President Barack Obama has announced a major overhaul of the National Security Agency's (NSA) surveillance practices. The president said that in order for the nation's intelligence community to be effective over the long haul, the trust of the American people must be maintained. To maintain that trust, the president said he would end the vast collection of phone data “as it exists” today. The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent, Todd Zwillich breaks it down with further NSA analysis from Pulitzer Prize winning author Lawrence Wright.

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Water in America: In the Tap We Trust?

How did America’s water system get the way it is today? Martin Melosi, author of The Sanitary City and professor of history at the University of Houston, explains. Jennifer Weidhaas, assistant professor of Environmental Engineering at West Virginia University; Mark Davis, director of the Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy at Tulane University Law School; and David Soll, Assistant Professor in the Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, provide a snapshot of what the water is like in three different regions of the U.S.

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The Evolution of Hollywood Movie Villains

Movie villains are everywhere in the films hitting the box office this week—from Victor Cherevin in the new film “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” to the mysterious secret kingpin in "Ride Along," which stars Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. But where do these villains come from? Helping us to understand how our villains have evolved is James Furbush, he’s co-author of the essay “Hollywood’s Evil Men: A Symbol of America’s Collective Fears.” As usual, the Movie Date team—Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer—give their reviews of the new releases.

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Developing Innovative Ways to Fund Science

On the surface, crowdfunding science research provides an opportunity to close the divide between the scientists and the general public. But how effective are these efforts? Heather Goldstone, science editor with our partner WGBH, has been reporting on new crowdsourcing in scientific funding. Ralph Keeling, director of the Scripps CO2 and O2 programs at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is also tapping the power of crowdfunding. He joins The Takeaway to explain his efforts to help fund his work.

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