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Device is a monthly book discussion with a science-based twist. In each episode, we discuss a novel that uses science to drive the story’s action, and dissect the plot device for scientific plausibility.
 
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San Diego North County Congressman Mike Levin has announced the formation of a bipartisan congressional caucus to explore solutions to the spent nuclear waste problem. Plus, this weekend in the arts: La Jolla Playhouse has a new play series, The Color Forty Nine performs at the Casbah and "On the Move” brings City Ballet back to audiences. And KPBS…
 
A significant increase in COVID-19 cases has prompted San Diego County public health officials Thursday to renew efforts to get county residents vaccinated from the virus. Plus, a judge in California ruled the state insurance commissioner can order the “insurer of last resort” to offer more options for homeowners in high-risk wildfire areas. Then, …
 
Restrictions on non-essential travel at the United States-Mexico border will continue for at least another month. Then, the median price for a home in San Diego County reached $750,000 in June, that’s another record. Plus, state law requires Coronado to plan for nearly 1,000 new homes to accommodate its workforce, but the city voted on a downsized …
 
San Diego is seeing a steady increase in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations due to the Delta variant. Plus, California is poised to become the first state in the nation to experiment with providing residents a guaranteed basic income. Then, an inside look at how one San Diego hospital system is expanding operations to deal with growing number…
 
The Biden administration is planning on appealing a Texas judge’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that has allowed young people who were brought illegally to the U.S., or overstayed their visas, to live and work here. Plus, a 50-year tradition of counting bighorn sheep in Anza-Borrego was canceled after a voluntee…
 
In the face of steadily increasing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, Los Angeles County residents will again be required to wear masks in indoor public settings beginning Saturday night. San Diego has seen its daily case rate double in recent weeks, but officials say they are sticking with state and CDC guidelines which don’t require masks …
 
San Diego county health officials announced 355 new infections on Monday and the likely culprit is the more contagious Delta variant of the virus. Plus, a new survey finds that 54% of unvaccinated San Diego County residents are unlikely to get vaccinated. The group most unlikely are white, educated and have higher incomes. And, as America's war in …
 
Last year was a record-breaking year in terms of wildfire. So far, 2021 is on track to break that record and officials say climate change is a huge factor. In addition, San Diego has an ambitious climate change plan but an audit shows the city isn’t doing a good job at tracking its progress. Plus, as climate change heats up cities, a new study find…
 
Father Joe Carroll, a San Diego icon for his work helping the unsheltered, died this weekend at 80. Plus, the pandemic impacted the Latinas workforce harder than any other groups and a new report highlights the inequities that San Diego Latinas face in the workplace. Also, the Colorado River is tapped out. A prolonged warming and drying trend has p…
 
Gov. Gavin Newsom called on residents to voluntarily cut back on their water consumption by 15% as California continues to face unseasonably high summer temperatures. Plus, more than a year into the COVID-19 crisis, seven million tenants across the country are behind on rent and many small landlords are struggling to pay their bills as well. And th…
 
As the delta variant of the coronavirus becomes the dominant strain in the U.S., 54 cases have been reported in San Diego County. Plus, the results come despite California losing a congressional seat for the first time in history due to slow population growth and some high-profile technology companies and billionaires leaving the state. And increas…
 
Scientists are using data from Apple Watches and Fitbits to measure the impacts of COVID-19 on the body. Plus, San Diego saw a sharp increase in fentanyl-related deaths during the region's COVID lockdowns. And with the passing of the state budget on June 28, UC San Diego, UCLA and UC Berkeley are going to have to cut back on out-of-state student ad…
 
Substantial, long-term funding has eluded local public health departments and with a spotlight on the pandemic, some argue now is the time to change that. Then, San Diego County supervisors last week approved a $7.2 billion budget with funding for mental health services and the pandemic recovery. And for the first time, an Indigenous woman has been…
 
Hate crime in California reached its highest reported level in more than a decade last year. Plus, a group of peer counselors in City Heights are trying to heal the community, by both connecting people to much needed resources and mental health services. And as we celebrate Independence Day this weekend, we’re going to take a closer look at some ar…
 
The city of San Diego announced Tuesday that it is suing to void its lease-to-own agreements in the 101 Ash Street and Civic Center Plaza building deals due to an advisor allegedly receiving millions in undisclosed compensation for negotiating the transactions in violation of state law. And, the new state budget removes the asset rule that restrict…
 
Health officials in Los Angeles county are urging people to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Plus, one way for urban areas to beat the heat is to consider the power of shade. However, there’s an unequal distribution of shady, tree-lined streets in our cities, including here in San Diego. And fireworks could be returning t…
 
Sweltering conditions will persist in the San Diego County mountains and deserts Monday, but cooler weather is expected the rest of the week, according to the National Weather Service. Plus, many people have been working remotely for the past year or so and now that things are opening back up, only 10% of surveyed San Diego businesses expect the bu…
 
Following strong outcry over a number of loopholes and potential red flags, the San Diego City Council’s Public Safety & Land Use Committee has agreed to send its new ordinance on police practices back to the drawing board. Plus, while early pandemic predictions of a tsunami of evictions seem unlikely, advocates are worried that there could still b…
 
A championship San Diego County high school basketball game-turned tortilla hurling fracas continues to make national headlines. It’s what happened after the game that continues to dumbfound observers. Plus, the San Diego Unified School Board voted unanimously to fund an expansion of ethnic studies and anti-racism training, prompting some debate in…
 
At issue in the case was a California law that allows union organizers to enter farms to speak to workers during non-working hours for a set number of days each year. Plus, the Coronado Unified School Board voted unanimously to fire its head basketball coach just days after an incident where tortillas were thrown at players from a rival, predominan…
 
Saturday's game between Coronado and Escondido's Orange Glen High School reportedly ended with unidentified people throwing tortillas at the Orange Glen team, which is predominantly Latino. Plus, Democratic lawmakers in California unveiled legislation this month that would fast track the normally lengthy process to prepare for a recall election. An…
 
The Supreme Court has decided unanimously that the NCAA cannot enforce rules limiting education-related benefits that colleges offer to student athletes — things like computers and paid internships. Plus, San Diego affordable housing advocates are applauding Mayor Todd Gloria's decision this week to restart the process of redeveloping the Pechanga …
 
A report released Thursday by a Yale University-based research organization found distinct racial disparities in police contacts — including searches, traffic stops and arrests — over a recent five-year period in San Diego. Plus, identities are complicated, messy and often incredibly personal. San Diegans weigh in on how they identify and their tho…
 
President Biden on Thursday signed a bill to recognize Juneteenth — the celebration to commemorate the end of chattel slavery in the United States — as a federal holiday. Plus, in a victory for survivors of domestic and gang violence seeking asylum in the U.S., the Department of Justice on Wednesday vacated the controversial Trump-era decisions. An…
 
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