Making Football History, Cardiovascular Disease Hits Hard, and More—In the News 1/28/19


In a fast-moving, ever-shifting world, news is continuously breaking. The Great Courses is here to help you understand the full story behind the soundbites. Here are a handful of stories for the week of January 28, 2019, and their accompanying lectures on The Great Courses Plus

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Making Football History
As of 2019, Tom Brady has secured his place in history by appearing in 9 championship games over the last two decades. Even with this latest win, as a 41-year-old athlete, we have to wonder how long Tom Brady can keep it up. Learn what it takes to keep up skills and performance levels as we age.

Have a Heart
According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all adults in the United States have some type of cardiovascular disease. You can do something about this. Learn about the primary cardiovascular workouts—including continuous training, interval training, and cross training—and their effects on your quality of life.

Beating the Odds
Jerry Selbee and his wife Marge used “basic arithmetic” to crack the code on certain lottery games, gaining $26 million by winning various state lottery games dozens of times. What are your chances of winning the lottery? Delve into the rudiments of probability, learning basic vocabulary and formulas so that you know the odds.

Deep Freeze Freezes the Grid
Utility companies in parts of the upper Midwest have asked customers to turn down their thermostats amid some of the lowest temperatures in years. Study the technological marvel called the grid—the system that transmits electricity from its point of generation to users—and discover why a simple thing like cold weather can throw everything off course.

Arsenic and Lead in Fruit Juice
Nearly half of 45 tested fruit juices, including apple, grape, pear, and juice blends had “concerning levels” of cadmium, inorganic arsenic, and/or lead. Should you be concerned? Find out where toxins come from, how our bodies work to effectively handle toxins, and what toxins you should worry about

Venezuela to Be the Next Vietnam?
Venezuela’s disputed leader Nicolas Maduro warned Wednesday that the United States was in danger of turning his country into another Vietnam War. Maduro has accused the U.S. of attempting to stage a coup against his government. Is war ever morally justified? Consider the three categories of just-war doctrine—jus ad bellum (the just recourse to war), jus in bello (the just conduct of war), and just post bellum (the just conclusion to war).

Death of a Sea Star (Starfish)
In the largest disease epidemic ever observed in wild marine animals, Sea Star Wasting Syndrome (SSWS) has killed many starfish along the Pacific Coast. Newly published research suggests that climate change may be exacerbating the disease’s deadliness. Understand the extent of our true impacts upon the ocean environment, from issues such as noise pollution to microplastics, and learn how to use our resources and conservation efforts to provide better futures for ourselves as well as for marine life.

We will be diligently monitoring current events and sharing updates on a regular basis, linking the latest headlines to our courses, so you can get the context, history, background, deeper meaning, and—especially—the facts. Our goal is to help our lifelong learners apply the knowledge they gain from our courses to the real world and become better-informed citizen about the present-day issues that concern us all.