5.11.15: Renting Foreigners To Sell Real Estate, America's Evolving Accent, & The Politics Of I.U.Ds

May 11, 2015

With thousands of empty luxury apartments in china’s new cities, desperate measures are being taken to lure buyers. On today’s show we’ll explore the booming business of renting foreigners as props to give these ghostly city centers an air of international glamor.    

Also today, America’s population will certainly look different in 2050, but what will it sound like? A linguist suggests that to find out, you should listen to young women.

Listen to the full show

Renting Foreigners to Sell Real Estate

David Borenstein is a film and television director based in Copenhagen. He’s working on a feature documentary called Chinese Dreamland which follows the principals of a company attempting to present  expensive, empty apartment buildings as glamorous destinations for China’s new rich. 

Watch the trailer: 

See the short at the New York Times Op-Doc page:

The Speed of Light for Pyramids

The great pyramid of Giza in Egypt is an incredible structure – in part, because it was built thousands of years ago, before cranes, trucks, and other examples of modern construction equipment. And despite the draw of the pyramids for spiritual seekers, the oldest and largest one was not made by mystics – but was the deliberate product of very talented engineers.  Roman Mars of the podcast "99% Invisible" explores how practicality played a role in creating one of history’s most ambitious buildings.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

What Americans Will Sound Like in the Future

As part of a series on America in 2050, The Week explores what Americans will sound like 35 years from now, and says if we want to predict the speech of the future, we should simply listen to young people. James Harbeck is a contributing writer for The Week, author of the blog “Sesquiotica and the book Songs of Love and Grammar.

A Tiny Device Sparks A Giant Controversy

Nora Caplan-Bricker is a staff correspondent for National Journal magazine. She wrote about grant funding in Colorado and Iowa that made long term birth control available to low income women and how it gained unlikely support from a Republican legislator in Colorado. “The I.U.D. Capital of the U.S.”