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 thepoint@capeandislands.org

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 22: Moral robots
As computerized machines play an ever larger role in our lives, engineers and ethicists are exploring whether we could – or should – try to build robots with the capacity to make moral decisions.

September 23: Fishing Families
The theme of this years 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.  Guests Laura Orleans, Folklorist and Director of the Working Waterfront Festival and Kirsten Bendiksen whose husband fished for 30 years before coming ashore to open a family fun shoreside business designing and manufacturing gear for the scallop and groundfishing fleets.
Later in the hour Retired US Coast Guard Captain W. Russell Webster talks about his book The Sol e Mar: Tragedy off Martha's Vineyard which he co-wrote with his wife Elizabeth. 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.

September 24: Kurt Vonnegut
Jill Erickson, Reference Librarian at Falmouth Public Library, Melanie Lawuers, Books Editor at the Cape Cod Times and Lucy Loomis, Sturgis Library Director talk about author Kurt Vonnegut.   Columbus Day weekend kicks off a three day festival in celebration of the life and work of the former resident of Barnstable Village.

September 25: New Bedford Mills
Joe Thomas, Historian and co-founder of Spinner Publications and WCAI Southcoast Reporter Brian Morris talk about the history of the mills in New Bedford and efforts to revitalize these structures for present day use.

September 26: News Roundup
Area Journalists discuss the top stories of the week.

 

 

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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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The Point
11:25 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Would You Home School Your Kid?

Credit J.J.

Psychiatrist Marc Whaley and Psychologist Michael Abruzzese discuss home schooling. On The Point, the doctors talk with Mindy Todd about the reasons parents homeschool, and how these students stack up academically and socially with their peers who attend conventional schools.

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The Point
1:47 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Summer's End in the Garden

Credit J. J.

Summer is reaching an end.  Horticulturist Roberta Clark joins Mindy Todd on The Point to talk GARDENS one last time, until next spring.  Tips about the fall work in the garden: transplanting, mulch, pruning, bulbs, and lots more.

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The Point with Mindy Todd
10:05 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Looking Back on Martha's Vineyard's African American History and Culture

Kevin Parham
Credit kevinjparham

A look back at the African American Experience on Martha’s Vineyard.  Author Kevin Parham describes his childhood summers in Oak Bluffs during the 1960’s and 70’s.

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The Point with Mindy Todd
11:37 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Making the Most of a Year Between High School and College

Credit globalcitizenyear.org

In years past, a traditional gap year experience entailed students taking a year off between high school and college, donning a backpack and trekking through Europe. Nowadays there’s an industry devoted to creating and selling gap year packages. If you can afford it, there are options to travel almost anywhere on the globe with opportunities to sight-see, party, volunteer or do a combination of all three.Those interested in making the most of a year between high school and college might be interested in Chris Wingard’s choice.

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The Point with Mindy Todd
11:36 am
Thu September 11, 2014

A Long, Long Walk Down Highway 6

Route 6
Credit route6walk.com

Along the Cape and the Coast, Route 6 is known as the thoroughfare that gets us from point A to point B- hopefully without traffic delays. What many don’t realize is that Route 6 is the longest highway created in the US connecting Provincetown to California. In 2004 Joe Hurley set out to walk the length of Route 6, all three thousand six hundred miles. His book Ten Million Steps on Route 6, chronicles his adventures in text and images.

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Science & Environment
2:00 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Why We Should Be Paying More Attention to Methane

Natural gas often co-occurs with oil and is burned off by oil producers.
Credit Varodrig / Flickr

Methane. It's the other greenhouse gas - less common and shorter-lived than carbon dioxide, but also a much more potent heat trapper.

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The Point with Mindy Todd
12:30 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Talking with 2 Poets on The Point

Credit J. J.

A conversation with two Poets, on The PointJoan Burstyn talks about the intersection of life and art in her work, her collaborations with local teens, and we hear some of her poetry set to music.  Later in the hour poet John Skoyles discusses his new memoir A Moveable Famine, and his path as a working class boy from Queens to the

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