AirTalk for June 29, 2010

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California lawmakers weren’t kidding when they proposed digital license plates with flashing advertisements for cars. The Assembly Transportation Committee voted yesterday to undertake a study of just how much ad revenue could add to state coffers. Once a car idles for four seconds, the plates (still under development) would display ads. Flashy plan or safety hazard? How much money would the ads have to generate to win your support?
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Childlessness hits record high in U.S

An increased number of women in the United States are not having children, according to an analysis of 2008 census data by the Pew Research Center. About 18 percent of American women ages 40 to 44 have never given birth- an increase from 10 percent in 1976. The study also found that while higher-educated women were more likely to be childless, that number is decreasing. What are the reasons for these trends? Have you chosen not to have children, and why?
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Kagan confirmation hearings continue

Elena Kagan is being grilled by the Judiciary Committee today. Republicans say they don’t plan to filibuster her confirmation to the Supreme Court, but they won’t rule it out either. What, if anything, have the hearings revealed about Kagan’s constitutional interpretations and judicial temperament? And, should the proceedings be a thorough exploration of a future justice’s beliefs, as Kagan herself has written? Or, so long as the nominee is capable of the job, should the Senate take politics out of the equation?
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Are raves too dangerous?

Emergency room doctors are calling for an end to dance raves at the Los Angeles Coliseum, after a festival last weekend resulted in over 100 people being sent to the hospital. At the Electric Daisy Carnival, which drew 185,000 attendees, over half of those hospitalized were for cases of drug or alcohol intoxication. Other injuries came from gate-crashers trying to rush past security without paying the $75 ticket. While the festival was twice as profitable as a USC game, is it safe to be hosting events like these at a publicly owned facility?
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Many people love a good slice of fresh salmon. And, they say, salmon’s good for your health. The problem: it’s expensive. And demand is just making it harder to find at a good price. AquaBounty Technologies, a bio-tech firm in Waltham, MA thinks it has the answer: a genetically engineered salmon that grows at twice the normal rate. They’ve now submitted the details necessary for the Food and Drug Administration to consider allowing the fish on supermarket shelves. But should they? Some scientists worry that the genetic engineering of the fish may pose health risks. How safe is this salmon, and would you eat it?
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