4.26.16: History Unfolded, Self Driving Cars, & Speed Reading

Apr 26, 2016

You can't confront the horror that was the Holocaust without facing inescapable questions of America's role. What did the United States know about the Holocaust and how did it respond? Today, the United States Holocaust Museum is asking the public to help uncover how the American press covered the genocide of millions of Jews - and whether or not anyone was listening.

Then, Google and other companies are betting than autonomous vehicles will be safer than they're human led counterparts...but proving it won't be easy.

Listen to the full show. 

History Unfolded

When confronting the horror that was the Holocaust come inescapable questions of America's role. What did the United States know about the Holocaust and how did it respond?  Those are thorny and multi-layered questions. What is the US in this case? Its government, with access to intelligence and foreign networks? Or its citizens, who got their intelligence primarily from newspapers?

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is calling on people to share newspaper articles for “History Unfolded: US Newspapers and the Holocaust”. The crowd-sourcing project is gathering news from the time into a centralized database that will be compiled and turned into an exhibit in 2018.

Elissa Frankle and David Klevan work in the education & outreach technology division for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Words Are A Jumble

Art is the fruit of creativity and toil by an artist - so what happens when an artist suffers a life-altering brain injury?  Producer Tobin Low brings us the story of a composer whose unusual career tells us a lot about inspiration, creativity, and the brain.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Self Driving Guinea Pigs

Google and other companies are betting that self-driving cars will fill the roads of the future - they'll be safer, they argue, more efficient - and you can catch up on Game of Thrones while you drive. But a new study reveals that proving the safety of self-driving cars won't be easy - at least, not without putting them on the road in huge numbers. 

Nidhi Kalra is Senior Information Scientist at the RAND Corporation, and director of the Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty.

Speed Reading Is a Scam

Being able to read three to five times faster sounds pretty amazing, right? Companies claiming to train people to read faster with no loss of comprehension and even increased comprehension have been around for decades, as have the proponents of the technique. JFK claimed to be able to read 1,200 words a minute. President Carter took a speed reading course at the White House. And as more of our daily reading has moved to the digital format so have the tools: now there are dozens of apps that promise to get users to read faster.

Simon Oxenham covers everything from the world of psychology and neuroscience, and we found his article dispelling the myth of speed-reading at The Kernel.

    

Related: The Harsh Truth About Speed-Reading