Coming up on Forum:

Mon, Apr 21, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 -- 10:00 AM Ask the Mayor: San Francisco's Ed Lee

In January, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee unveiled what he called his "affordability agenda," including a proposed hike in the minimum wage and construction of more low-cost housing. But he also urged San Franciscans not to take the city's economic recovery for granted. "There is not a city on the planet that would refuse to trade places with our robust economic condition right now," he said. Still, some critics say the mayor has been too slow to address the city's housing shortage and rapidly rising cost of living, and that he is too cozy with the tech industry. Mayor Lee joins us to discuss the economy, the future of MUNI, the city college accreditation crisis, State Senator Leland Yee's corruption case and other issues.

Mon, Apr 21, 2014 -- 9:30 AM
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 -- 9:30 AM Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates

Robert Gates's career gives him a unique vantage point. He's the only U.S. defense secretary in history to serve under consecutive presidents from opposing parties. His memoir "Duty" created a stir when it was released in January for its perceived criticism of President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan. We'll talk to Gates about the book, as well as the Ukraine crisis and other pressing foreign policy challenges.

Mon, Apr 21, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 -- 9:00 AM Diplomats Push for Deal Amid Ukrainian Unrest

Officials from Ukraine, the United States, the European Union and Russia have taken the first steps toward a pact aimed at de-escalating tensions between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists. But separatist leaders have given no indication they will sign the deal, and continue to call for the removal of the government in Kiev. We look at the latest news from the region, and examine what this means for the rest of the world.

Recently on Forum:

Fri, Apr 18, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Fri, Apr 18, 2014 -- 10:00 AM Alex Honnold: Rock Climbing's Rising Star

Rock climber Alex Honnold has scaled some of the world's toughest mountains, and he's done it without a rope or harness. The Sacramento native and former UC Berkeley engineering student earned international renown for climbing one of the steepest parts of Yosemite's Half Dome in world record time -- 82 minutes -- and later won Climbing Magazine's "Golden Piton," one of the sport's highest honors. Honnold joins us to talk about tackling some of the world's scariest climbs, and his plans to scale one of the world's tallest buildings in Taiwan.

Fri, Apr 18, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Fri, Apr 18, 2014 -- 9:00 AM Caffeine: How Our Favorite Stimulant Helps and Hurts Us

Coffee. Some days your morning cup leaves you jittery and overly chatty, and other days you can barely lift your head off your keyboard. Turns out that coffee, like so many caffeinated items, is unpredictable and unregulated -- the amount of caffeine in a cup of the same brand, made the same way, can vary wildly. Journalist Murray Carpenter has traveled to South America and China, interviewing consumers, scientists, regulators and industry representatives to get the full story on caffeine. He joins us to talk about his new book, "Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us."

Thu, Apr 17, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Thu, Apr 17, 2014 -- 10:00 AM 'What to Talk About': Conversation Tips for Any Situation

We've all had moments where we can't find the right thing to talk about, whether it's on a first date or stuck in the elevator with our boss's boss. Chris Colin and Rob Baedeker's book "What to Talk About" offers communication tips for nearly any tricky situation. The authors join us to share their secrets for navigating awkward moments and avoiding dead air.

Thu, Apr 17, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Thu, Apr 17, 2014 -- 9:00 AM HIV Drug Divides Gay Community

When the HIV drug Truvada was found to prevent infection in healthy people, it was lauded by public health experts as a way to protect those in high-risk groups, such as young gay men. But the drug hasn't caught on in the gay community as fast as expected. Some critics of the drug say it may actually promote reckless behavior by reducing condom use.

Wed, Apr 16, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Wed, Apr 16, 2014 -- 10:00 AM San Francisco Film Society's New Leader on SF's Film Culture

Noah Cowan was named executive director of the San Francisco Film Society a mere two months before the organization's biggest event: the San Francisco International Film Festival, which starts next week. Cowan, who comes to the organization after serving as artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, is the group's fourth executive director in three years. We'll talk to Cowan about this year's festival selections and his plans for San Francisco's film culture.

Wed, Apr 16, 2014 -- 9:30 AM
Wed, Apr 16, 2014 -- 9:30 AM Chevron Tries Again to Revamp Richmond Refinery

Chevron wants to begin a billion-dollar construction project at its Richmond refinery after environmentalists sued to stop a similar plan a few years ago. The company points to the environmental impact report and says the new facility will be cleaner and safer, but community advocates worry the plan could increase pollution.

Wed, Apr 16, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Wed, Apr 16, 2014 -- 9:00 AM Unrest in Nigeria

Over 100 girls were reportedly abducted Tuesday from a secondary school in northeastern Nigeria. The raid comes a day after a deadly bus station bombing in Nigeria's capital killed over 70 people. No group has claimed responsibility for the bus attack, but Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan blamed the Islamist militia group Boko Haram. We'll discuss the violence and look ahead to possible impacts on the national election next year.

Tue, Apr 15, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Tue, Apr 15, 2014 -- 10:00 AM How Conflict Drives Human Progress

War may be hell, but it has actually made humanity safer and more prosperous, according to Stanford University history professor Ian Morris. He joins us to talk about his latest book, "War! What is Good For...Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots." Morris' other books include "Why the West Rules - For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal about the Future." Later in the hour, we'll check in with filmmaker Ken Burns about his new documentary on President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and its contemporary relevance.

Tue, Apr 15, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Tue, Apr 15, 2014 -- 9:00 AM Could Geo-Engineering Cool Our Warming Planet?

In a report released this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it will take very ambitious efforts -- a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent by 2050 -- to keep climate change at acceptable levels. The dire predictions have some asking whether it's time to think about geo-engineering: an attempt to use large-scale, high-tech methods to cool the planet. These ideas have included launching giant mirrors into space or fertilizing the oceans with iron to stimulate phytoplankton growth.

Mon, Apr 14, 2014 -- 10:00 AM
Mon, Apr 14, 2014 -- 10:00 AM 'The Grapes of Wrath' Turns 75

In 1936, a reporter named John Steinbeck wrote a series of articles for the San Francisco News about the struggles of California migrant farmworkers. Three years later, the Salinas native published "The Grapes of Wrath," a novel based in part on those investigations. The best-selling book sparked literary and political controversy, but went on to win a Pulitzer Prize and has long been recognized as an American classic. We talk with leading Steinbeck scholars about the book's enduring impact and legacy.

Mon, Apr 14, 2014 -- 9:00 AM
Mon, Apr 14, 2014 -- 9:00 AM Balancing Life and Privacy in the Era of Google Glass

For the first time, Google is opening up the sale of its controversial Google Glass to the general public. The device resembles a pair of eyeglasses, and lets users surf the Internet and take photos and videos. As invasive technologies become more common, critics are raising privacy and safety concerns. How will an increased use of surreptitious technology shape our day-to-day lives and ethics?

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