Rundown for 12/26

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Tennessee Coal Sludge Spill
Estimates for the amount of coal ash sludge spilled from a waste storage pond in Tennessee have now been tripled to 5.4 million cubic yards.   The sliding ash and sludge has knocked down trees and utility poles, pushed one home off its foundation, and has spread over hundreds of acres.  Environmentalists are warning about toxic substances in the waste even as officials are conducting tests.  We'll speak with Anne Paine, environmental reporter for newspaper The Tennessean.

TVA triples spill estimate article in The Tennessean

Living to 100
What's the secret to living longer?  Is it exercise, a healthy diet, or just good genes? Dr. Thomas Perls, Director of the New England Centenarian Study, studied 1500 centenarians to learn their secrets, and he tells us what he learned about living to 100.

Find out how long you'll live, by visiting Dr. Perl's life expectancy calculator.

Smart Grids
If you knew how much electricity you were using every day... every hour... even every minute, do you think you might remember to turn off the lights when you walked out of the room?  Well soon, you could have that information at your finger tips.  Utility companies are investing $18 billion to install 50 million smart meters that will let utilities and consumers monitor how much power is being used in real-time. Consumers will even be able to compare their energy use to their neighbors and set up an automatic schedule to turn off lights and appliances to keep bills down.  We speak to Adrian Tuck, CEO of Tendrill, a company that makes products that allow homeowners to keep track of how much power they're using.

Tendril's homepage

Women Don't Ask Why
Why is it that women hold less than three percent of top jobs at American companies and earn about 73 cents to every dollar a male makes?  In 2003, Carnegie Melon economist Linda Babcock and her colleague Sara Laschever sought to answer that question.   What they found is that women don't ask- whether it's for a raise at work, or extra time for a project, men ask for what they want twice as often as women.  Their 2003 book, "Women Don't Ask: Negotiation And the Gender Divide" inspired one young San Francisco women to test the theory:  ask a question a day and blog about her findings.

The Daily Asker Blog

Women Don't Ask Book Website

Elvin Bishop
We reprise our conversation with singer-songwriter Elvin Bishop.  Though he might be best known for his hit pop song "Fooled around and Fell in Love", Bishop has had a longstanding love affair with blues music.  It seems to have paid off: his latest CD "The Blues Rolls On" has just been nominated for a Grammy Award.

Elvin Bishop's website

This program aired on December 26, 2008.


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