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KUHF Conversations: Author Ben Mezrich

Posted on · David Pitman talks with Ben Mezrich about his new book "Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History". It's the tale of a NASA intern who manages to get around security at Johnson Space Center and steal a 600-pound vault containing rocks from every mission to the Moon. The author joins David Pitman to talk about why someone would want to get his hands what many call the most valuable rocks on Earth, what the consequences were after the inevitable FBI bust, and why Mezrich wanted to tell the story.

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KUHF Conversations: Former Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale

Posted on · One of the many spectators heading to Florida to watch the final Space Shuttle launch is a man who was intimately involved with the program. Wayne Hale was in charge of more than 40 flights, as Flight Director. He also managed the entire Shuttle program, before retiring from NASA last year after 32 years with the space agency. He recently sat down with David Pitman to talk about the timing of the Shuttle program's end, and the one factor that outweighed everything else in the Shuttle's demise.

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KUHF Conversations: Former HC Judge Robert Eckels

Posted on · Ten years ago today, on a Saturday morning, the surprising and massive destruction of Tropical Storm Allison became all too real. More than 70-thousand homes were flooded. More than 70-thousand vehicles were underwater. And Allison claimed 22 lives. The storm had passed through the area a few days prior, but almost no one knew it was looping back toward Houston to dump 35 inches of rain, most of it over ten hours. Then Harris County Judge Robert Eckels talked with Rod Rice about the worst tropical storm in U.S. history.

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KUHF Conversations: Lex Frieden

Posted on · When it comes to preparing for hurricane season, people with disabilities face extra challenges gathering supplies, fortifying their homes, and mapping out an evacuation plan. UT Health Science Center Professor Lex Frieden, who uses a wheelchair, is part of a local effort to get people with disabilities better prepared for storm season. He came to our studios to talk with David Pitman about how the experiences of the last few major storms have lead to improvements in making sure people with disabilities are ready for whatever might happen.

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KUHF Conversations: METRO Board Chair Gilbert Garcia

Posted on · Gilbert Garcia makes a return visit to KUHF to talk with David Pitman about the accomplishments he and the board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority have made in the year since his appointment by Mayor Annise Parker.  The two touch on efforts to increase transparency with board meetings, the decision to write off $180 million, and METRO's efforts to repair its relationship with the Federal Transit Administration — a relationship essential to METRO getting the money it needs to build out the light-rail system.

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KUHF Conversations: Stacy Malkan

Posted on · Lipstick, shaving cream, deodorant, shampoo. We use these products every day, but what's in them? The campaign for safe cosmetics is hosting a seminar in Houston today to the discuss the latest research on toxic chemicals in personal care products. Stacy Malkan is co-founder of the group and author of the book Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry. She's one of the experts on the panel at today's seminar, and spoke with Wendy Siegle.

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KUHF Conversations: Galina Tachieva & Tom Low

Posted on · Houston's known for being a sprawling city. But it's now home to an increasing number of high density, pedestrian-friendly developments — think City Centre, Midtown, and Sugar Land town square. Wendy Siegle spoke to two sustainable development experts about this trend. They're in Houston today to lead an urban planning workshop, where they'll talk about how their ideas can be applied to Houston.

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KUHF Conversations: Jerry Wood on Houston City Council Redistricting

Posted on · The Houston City Council meets Tuesday in a special meeting to debate redistricting. The nine members on the council will discuss which population numbers they want to use in redrawing the electoral map. The 2010 Census put the city a few hundred people short of the 2.1 million needed to automatically add two more seats. But no matter what set of numbers the city wants to use, it will have to redistrict, because of population imbalances among the districts themselves. Jerry Wood is a retired Planning Department employee who's now consulting the city on the redistricting issue. He sat down with David Pitman to talk about what numbers the city could use to set population and district boundaries. They also discuss the feedback from town hall-style meetings on redistricting, and look ahead to what's next in the process.

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KUHF Conversations: UH Prof. Dr. Hosam Aboul-Ela

Posted on · The group Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Houston is hosting a teach-in Thursday evening on the recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, and in the rest of the Arab world. It will bring together a number of professors and instructors from UH, Rice University, and the University of St. Thomas to discuss the uprisings and to answer questions people have about the consequences, and what may happen next. David Pitman sat down with one of tonight's speakers, UH Associate Professor of English Dr. Hosam Aboul-Ela.

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The Pitfalls of the Prosperity Gospel

Posted on · Houston writer Leah Davis sits down with David Pitman to discuss her book, What Your Pastor Didn't Tell You About the Prosperity Message. In the book, Davis says some megachurch pastors use tactics like fear, guilt, and intimidation based on Bible verses to compel members of their congregations to give more than they can afford. Davis has experienced this first-hand, with a local church she no longer attends. She says she wrote her book to provide people caught in the same situation a way to balance their relationship with God and the need to support their churches with a healthy financial life.