AirTalk for August 19, 2010

Mercer 9763

Disney bans employee headscarf

A Muslim woman who works as a hostess at Disneyland Resort's Grand Californian hotel has accused the park of discrimination for refusing to let her wear a religious headscarf at work. Disneyland Resort says no discrimination took place and that the employee was offered a behind-the-scenes role until the matter could be resolved. Does it make a difference if Imane Boudlal’s was hired as a cast member, like most Disneyland employees, subject to “costume” restrictions? Should we be free to wear religious garb at work?
Mercer 9756

Can higher education get you hired?

Is higher education worth the sticker price? Elite private education can cost $200,000, and that doesn’t even include trips or dining out. Meanwhile affordable public universities are raising tuition and increasing class sizes while they confront budget cuts. Is higher education all it’s cracked up to be? Does a degree guarantee you a job? Is learning its own end, even if college can’t land you six figures and health insurance down the road?
Mercer 9759

Time to buy a new, old company? General Motors IPO

About this time last year, General Motors was fighting for its life in bankruptcy court. Now the automaker is scratching its way back to solvency, laying the groundwork to sell stock to the public again with the goal of ridding itself of government ownership. The company's outgoing CEO, Ed Whitacre, said government ownership hurts GM's public image. But can GM succeed in buying back the government’s $43.3 billion stake? And can the development of the Volt and other cars transform it back into a profitable company?
Mercer 9769

Uh, mom, dad, can I move back in?

The economic downturn is especially hard hitting when it comes to 20-somethings. And, as a result, more and more of them are coming back home after college—some forty percent, in fact. Call them “boomerang kids,” the phenomenon seems to go beyond economics—people are taking longer to “grow up” generally. They’re getting married later in life, having kids later in life. What’s it all mean? And how old will we get before we finally launch?
Mercer 9758

The Hidden Staircases of Los Angeles

In 2006, Charles Fleming, a sufferer of chronic back pain, was told by his doctor that he’d need to undergo his third back surgery in three years. Instead of going under the knife, he decided to walk – specifically up and down public staircases – to cure his pain. Four years later, he’s climbed over 200 of LA’s forgotten stairways, from the Castellamare district in the Pacific Palisades to La Loma Road in Pasadena. And, he’s charted his explorations in Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles, which includes 42 self-guided hikes through LA’s past. Fleming joins Larry to recount the architectural history of the LA’s hidden steps – some might be easier to find than you think.
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