The Point

9:00am and 7:00pm

WCAI's award-winning public affairs program. Every Monday The Point features Living Lab with Heather Goldstone, examining the stories behind science headlines. Tuesday through Thursday, Mindy Todd hosts a lively and informative discussion on critical issues for Cape Cod, the Islands and the South Coast. Every Friday is the News Roundup, as WCAI Senior Reporter Sean Corcoran speaks with news editors and reporters from around the region.

We welcome your phone calls at 866-999-4626, emails at

Scroll down for audio of programs that have aired recently. Looking for a specific topic? Use the Search box at top right.

The Point hosts: Mindy Todd, Heather Goldstone, and Sean Corcoran.
Credit Maura Longueil

This week on The Point

September 29: Game science (and Nobel Prizes)

From Angry Birds to Minecraft, video games are big business and major time sinks for millions of players. What if all that time and money resulted in knowledge that benefits humanity? We'll talk with a computer scientist who's created games that are helping solve some of the toughest problems in science. Plus, we'll hear from a data analyst who's predicted 35 Nobel prize winners in the past 12 years.

September 30:Behavioral Health
We discuss a collaborative approach to treating mental illness and substance abuse.  Ron Holmes Executive Director NAMI Cape Cod & The Islands, Elyse  DeGroot, Director of Community Relations for the Duffy Health Center and Diane Wolsieffer,  ER Nurse with Cape Cod Health Care.
Later in the hour the intersection of music, art and ALS in the play 33 Variations.
Guests: David Kuehn, Executive Director Cotuit Center for the Arts, Susan Winslow, the actress portraying the musicologist with ALS and Tara Cronin, Marketing director with the ALS Family Foundation

October 1: Mary Malloy
Maritime Historian and author Mary Malloy discusses her Lizzie Manning Mystery trilogy, which is set in present day but takes readers on a journey thought historical periods, provides facts about historical figures and sheds light on the research process from the perspective of a historian.

October 2: Political Debate
Candidates for the 1st Barnstable State Rep seat Elisa Zawadkas (Dem) and Timothy Whelan (Rep)

October 3: News Roundup
Area Journalists discuss the top stories of the week.




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The Point
11:45 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Helping People who have Mental Illness

Credit J. J.

Millions of people live with various types of mental illness, but identifying and treating them can be a challenge, particularly if poverty, homelessness, or drug abuse are present as well.  Last year a coalition of health care providers on the Cape came together to address substance abuse and mental health concerns at the first ever Behavioral Health Summit, and the

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The Point with Mindy Todd
11:41 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Music & Mortality Unfold On Stage

Credit Cotuit Center for the Arts

33 Variations is a Tony Award-winning play that simultaneously examines the creative process behind Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and the journey of a musicologist as she struggles with ALS disease and her relationship with her daughter.  The play opened this past weekend at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, and the Sunday October 5th matinee performance will be a benefit for the ALS Family Foundation

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The Point
1:23 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

WCAI's Local News Roundup: Afghan Military Officers Go Missing; Young Hyannis Boy Killed in Fire

Three Afghan military officers went missing from Cape Edwards on Cape Cod this week and were later found near the Canadian border. The men were at the base for training exercises.
Credit Cape Cod Times

WCAI News Director Sean Corcoran hosts local and regional journalists to discuss the news of the week on the Cape, the Coast and the Islands. Joining Sean is George Brennan of the Cape Cod Times; Tim Wood of the Cape Cod Chronicle; Jim DeArruda of the New Bedford Standard Times; and Nelson Sigelman of the Martha's Vineyard Times.

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The Point
11:32 am
Thu September 25, 2014

New Bedford Textile Mills, Then and Now

Credit Lewis Hine

Joe Thomas, Historian and co-founder of Spinner Publications, and WCAI Southcoast Reporter Brian Morris join Mindy Todd on The Point to talk about the history of the mills in New Bedford, and efforts to revitalize these structures for present day use.

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The Point
12:15 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Kurt Vonnegut's Legacy, And Other Banned Books

one of Kurt Vonnegut's typical doodles
Credit K. Vonnegut

"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."--a quote from Kurt Vonnegut's "good uncle" Alex.

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The Point
2:12 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Celebrating Fishing Families


The theme of this year's Working Waterfront Festival is Ship to Shore: Celebrating Families in the Industry, which looks at the historic and contemporary role of fishing families, both on shore and at sea.

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The Point
1:55 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Coast Guard Captain Tells Story of Fishing Boat Tragedy

book cover art

Retired US Coast Guard Captain W. Russell Webster talks about the book The Sol e Mar: Tragedy off Martha's Vineyard which he co-wrote with his wife Elizabeth B. Webster. The book chronicles the story of the Sol e Mar and its crew, and explains the psychology of hoax callers and Coast Guard technological advancements since the 1990 tragedy.

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Science & Environment
1:25 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Building Moral Robots, With Whose Morals?

BEAR, or Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot, is designed to help soldiers in need. But other robots could take on roles as combatants.
Credit Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center

Giving robots morals may sound like a good idea, but it's a pursuit fraught with its own moral dilemmas. Like, whose morals?

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The Point
11:53 am
Fri September 19, 2014

WCAI's Local News Roundup: Plan developed to keep plovers safe; changes to hospitals' psych team

The Orleans selectmen approved a plan to allow off road vehicles on the beaches but still keep piping plover nests safe.

WCAI News Director Sean Corcoran hosts local and regional journalists to discuss the news of the week on the Cape, the Coast and the Islands. Joining Sean in our Woods Hole studio is Anne Brennan, digital editor of the Cape Cod Times; Tim Wood of the Cape Cod Chronicle; Sally Rose of the Provincetown Banner; Jim DeArruda of the New Bedford Standard Times; and Nelson Sigelman of the Martha's Vineyard Times.

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The Point
12:47 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Bird News: Fall is Coming

Credit J. J.

Ornithologist Vernon Laux talks about the latest bird news. We share tips about maintaining your bird feeders, and discuss the amazing phenomena of fall migration.

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