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Hurricane Isaiah and Near Death Experiences: Monday’s Show (October 31, 2016)

We’re talking about some pretty dark stuff on today’s show. (Happy Halloween). First up, with just under a month left in another relatively quiet Atlantic hurricane season for Greater Houston, it’s natural for complacency to set it. But that’s just what worries the folks at Rice University’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters, or […]

Hurricane Ike from NASA's Earth Observatory. Image Courtesy: NASA.We’re talking about some pretty dark stuff on today’s show. (Happy Halloween).

First up, with just under a month left in another relatively quiet Atlantic hurricane season for Greater Houston, it’s natural for complacency to set it. But that’s just what worries the folks at Rice University’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters, or SSPEED Center. Researchers there are trying to understand just how well (or not) Greater Houston would handle the “big one” — a catastrophic tropical storm of extraordinary magnitude.

So they made one up.

On this Halloween edition of Houston Matters, we talk with the SSPEED Center’s Jim Blackburn about the fictional Hurricane Isaiah.

(Above: Hurricane Ike in 2008 as seen from NASA’s Earth Observatory. Image Courtesy: NASA.)

Also this hour…

What We Can Learn From “Near-Death” Experiences

What exactly happens when someone has a near-death experience? It’s a phenomenon met with both fascination and skepticism. Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin, an assistant professor of philosophy at Sam Houston State University, digs into the subject in the new book Near-Death Experiences: Understanding Visions Of The Afterlife. Mitchell-Yellin, who co-wrote the book with John Martin Fischer, discusses near-death experiences and their implications for life, with Maggie Martin.

And on the less disturbing front:

Developing Supportive Housing for At-Risk Families

New Hope Housing, a group that provides permanent, affordable and supportive single-room occupancy housing, recently broke ground on its first development designed to serve homeless and at-risk families. The development, named New Hope Housing at Reed (“NHH at Reed”), will include 187 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment units and offer supportive housing to homeless and at-risk families. The plan is to serve low- to moderate-income families earning 30-60 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), which in Houston for a family of four is around $20,000 to about $41,000. This new unit will be in a park-like setting close to Star of Hope’s 41-acre family development campus, called Cornerstone Community, which will provide a variety of emergency and recovery services for women and children. We learn more from New Hope Housing’s Board Chairman Mack Fowler, and also talk with Susan Rogers, associate professor and director of the University of Houston Community Design Resource Center.

Texans and Rockets Have Winning Weekends

The Houston Texans defeated the Detroit Lions 20-13 Sunday and ended the first half of the season in first place in the AFC South with a 5-3 record. And the Houston Rockets won a pair of games against the Dallas Mavericks this weekend, improving their record to 2-1 in the first week of the NBA regular season. We discuss these and other developments in Houston sports with Jeff Balke, who writes for Houstonia Magazine and the Houston Press. (He joins us most Mondays to talk about Houston sports).

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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