Coming up on Forum:

Fri, Dec 19, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 -- 10:00 AM A Vegetarian Cattle Rancher Defends Beef

Does beef get a bad rap? Red meat has been associated with heart disease, among other health problems, and critics point to the environmental toll taken by industrial beef production. Nicolette Hahn Niman, a longtime vegetarian, wouldn't disagree. But in her new book "Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production," the environmental lawyer and Bolinas-based cattle rancher lays out the case for grass-fed beef, which she says is actually nutritious and sustainable.

Fri, Dec 19, 2014 -- 9:30 AM
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 -- 9:30 AM Navigating Uncomfortable Subjects at the Holiday Dinner Table

When families gather for the holidays, politics have a way of becoming personal. Amy Dickinson, author of the syndicated column, "Ask Amy," joins us to offer advice on how to have meaningful conversations with people with whom you might not see eye-to-eye. How do you handle fraught political conversation and social discord during the holidays?

Fri, Dec 19, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 -- 9:00 AM Should Sony Have Cancelled Its Release of 'The Interview'?

Sony Pictures Entertainment cancelled the release of its film "The Interview," a comedy centered on an assassination plot against the leader of North Korea. The announcement came in the wake of cyberattacks on the company and amid threats of attacks on theaters showing the film. Federal investigators believe North Korea is behind the hack, and are weighing how to respond. We look at the political and cultural implications of Sony's decision.

Recently on Forum:

Thu, Dec 18, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Thu, Dec 18, 2014 -- 10:00 AM The Holiday Book Guide: Kids Edition

Maurice Sendak, author of "Where the Wild Things Are," once said, "Kids don't know about bestsellers. They go for what they enjoy." We'll discuss what new books kids are enjoying and what classic books still endure. What kids' books are popular in your house? What children's books make good gifts?

Thu, Dec 18, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Thu, Dec 18, 2014 -- 9:00 AM College Students Abuse Study Drugs for Exams

It's final exam season for colleges, and students are turning to stimulant drugs to deal with heavy workloads. According to a study presented at an international pediatric meeting, one in five students at an unnamed Ivy League school admitted to using "study drugs" like Adderall and Ritalin, which are typically used to treat ADHD. We take a look at the way these drugs are misused, the serious risks involved in taking them and why college students are doing it anyway.

Wed, Dec 17, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Wed, Dec 17, 2014 -- 10:00 AM U.S. to Restore Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

President Obama announced today that the United States will restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, following 50 years of Cold War hostility between the two nations. The announcement came amid news that Cuba released American contractor Alan Gross, who had been held there for the last five years. We discuss the national and international implications of the policy shift.

Wed, Dec 17, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Wed, Dec 17, 2014 -- 9:00 AM Taliban Kill More Than 130 Schoolchildren in Pakistan Attack

At least 132 children were killed on Tuesday when Taliban militants attacked a school in Peshawar in northwest Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban targeted the army-run school because it wanted the government to "feel the pain" in retaliation for an ongoing military offensive. We discuss the attack and its repercussions.

Tue, Dec 16, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Tue, Dec 16, 2014 -- 10:00 AM Brown Sugar Kitchen's Tanya Holland's Down-Home Recipes From West Oakland

Tanya Holland is the first to admit she never expected to be cooking fried chicken and waffles in the heart of West Oakland. Holland, who trained at one of France's top cooking schools, says she fell in love with Oakland and its people, which is why she decided to open Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side BBQ there. Chef Holland joins us to talk about her innovative take on soul food, and why her Oakland neighbors are such an integral part of her cuisine and her mission. Her new cookbook is called "Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland."

Tue, Dec 16, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Tue, Dec 16, 2014 -- 9:00 AM Is Your Smartphone Hurting Your Love Life?

In a new study, 70 percent of women in serious relationships reported that technology encroaches on their love lives, which correlated with increased conflict and lower relationship satisfaction. But other studies have found minimal impact of technology on relationships. Do you look at your smartphone more than you are gazing into the eyes of your sweetheart? Does Siri tag along on date nights?

Mon, Dec 15, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Mon, Dec 15, 2014 -- 10:00 AM Bay Area Doctor Still Defining Neonatal Care After 50 Years

For Dr. Philip Sunshine, holding a baby weighing less than two pounds is nothing out of the ordinary. The Stanford doctor has been saving the lives of premature babies for more than 50 years. He was one of the first doctors to put babies on ventilators and to let parents spend time with premature babies. When Sunshine first started, most premature infants had less than a 50 percent chance of survival -- today their survival rate is over 90 percent. Dr. Sunshine joins us to talk about the changing field of neonatal and developmental medicine.

Mon, Dec 15, 2014 -- 9:30 AM
Mon, Dec 15, 2014 -- 9:30 AM LA Times Investigates 'Products of Mexico'

Los Angeles Times reporter Richard Marosi spent 18 months traveling across nine Mexican states, where he met with workers at the giant mega-farms exporting much of the produce sold in the U.S. He joins us to discuss his investigation, which chronicles vulnerable farmworkers living under harsh conditions.

Mon, Dec 15, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Mon, Dec 15, 2014 -- 9:00 AM What's in the 'Cromnibus' Bill for California?

On Saturday, the Senate passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill known as "cromnibus". We'll break down the 1,600-page bill and look at its implications for California. Currently the bill allocates $37 million for the state's Bay-Delta restoration program, but nothing for high-speed rail.

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