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Word of Mouth

1.19.16: Catching Running Cheats, Swedish Utopia, & Robot Judged Beauty Contest

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Logan Shannon
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NHPR

From Barry Bonds to Lance Armstrong, professional sports are rife with cheating scandals.  On today’s show, we’ll leave the big leagues for a look at amateur cheaters and find out how a website for running enthusiasts became a hub for vigilantes determined to keep the sport honest.

Then, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if the beholder is a robot? Later in the show: an online beauty pageant where contestants are judged not by a panel of their peers, but by an algorithm.

Listen to the full show:

Let's Run and the Quest to Find Cheaters

Martin Fritz Huber is a contributor to Outside magazine, where he wrote about Let’s Run message board vigilantes.

"How Online Vigilantes Take Down Cheating Runners"

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Let's Run and the Quest to Find Cheaters

The Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia
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Credit magnetismus via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/apmoqx
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https://flic.kr/p/apmoqx
Hirtshals lighthouse, Denmark

Michael Booth is British-born but has lived in Denmark for many years now, and in his book he wryly describes Swedes as a stiff and conformist people paralyzed by good manners, with a government that exists as a sort of “benign totalitarianism”.  His book The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia is out in paperback next month. 

We came up with a few reasons Sweden isn't so perfect after all, check it out here.

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The Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia

Hurry Up and Listen

We tend to think about preserving the planet's natural resources as something you do with legislation - with changes in behavior, or maybe with processes with recycling.  But some natural resources can only be preserved with a microphone. This story, about the importance of natural sound, comes to us from Kerry Klein.

This story is part of The Stem Story Project - distributed by PRX and made possible with funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.

A Beauty Contest With Robots for Judges

Alex Zhavoronkov is a biogerontologist and an anti-aging expert. He is also one of the human brains behind the first A.I.-based beauty contests. 

Find out more about the contest and see some of our entries: Will We Win the First Beauty Contest with Robot Judges?

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A Beauty Contest With Robots for Judges

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