Migrant Whales, Poisoned Bees, and More—In The News 10/1/18


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 from the week of October 1, 2018, and their accompanying lectures on The Great Courses Plus

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Pledging an End to TB
On September 26, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly addressed one of the biggest global health threats: tuberculosis—the top infectious killer in the world. The UN has committed to ensure that 40 million people with tuberculosis receive the care they need by 2022 and to provide 30 million people with preventive care. Go beyond vaccines to see the innovative experiments being conducted in an attempt to eradicate tuberculosis.

The Way Memory Works
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has resulted in many people questioning why victims suppress traumatic memories. Can we “remember” things that never took place with the same intensity and certainty as those that did? Gain new insights into what is at stake when long-forgotten “memories” resurface.

Whale Spotted
London has a new tourist! A beluga whale has wandered way off course into the Thames River. Normally found in the arctic and subarctic waters, whale experts are concerned about the warm waters and the heavy boat traffic. Learn fascinating facts about the beluga and get an overview of the mammalian wildlife that inhabits or migrates to polar waters.

Droppin’ the Donuts
In 2019, Dunkin’ Donuts will be changing its name and rebranding itself as simply “Dunkin.” Is this a wise move after successfully branding themselves since 1950? Further, what defines a brand? Learn how brands create value for customers and what rules should be followed when it comes to branding.

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic
The number of deaths by drug overdoses has rocketed up in just the last two decades, averaging 175 deaths per day. The Veterans Administration is taking steps to mitigate opioid overdoses by adding naloxone kits to automated external defibrillator cabinets. This initiative could be implemented by other health care organizations as the opioid crisis continues. Examine why the use of opioids has become so common, with a particular upswing in popularity in the last few decades.

The Effects of Weed Killer
Scientists in Texas are citing the controversial herbicide Roundup® as potentially being—at least partially—responsible for killing off the bee population around the world. Their research has pinpointed the active ingredient glyphosate as the possible culprit, which can leave bees more susceptible to infection and death from bacteria. Learn how bees pollinate, reproduce, and help keep our ecosystem going.

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.