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by Emily

To Bet or Not to Bet by Vincent Geary of Brooklyn College Radio

November 30, 2011 in Youthcast by Emily

Earlier this month, 64% of voters in New Jersey passed a ballot measure that made sports betting legal at casinos and racetracks in their state. The only problem is — the federal government still says sports betting is illegal. Who's right?

racetrack

"Who cares?" might be a better question, at least for regular sports betters like Brooklyn College Radio's Vincent Geary. Vincent told me in an interview this week that in his community in Rockaway, Queens, lots of people bet on sports. For some it's a hobby, for some it's a sport, and yes, for others it's an addiction. But for everybody, it's totally out in the open — and as far as they're concerned, it's legal. That's because of the thousands of international online gambling websites through which bookmakers and gamblers settle their bets these days.

bookie

Vincent studies radio at City University of New York in Brooklyn. He told me he didn't expect his college radio class to be so surprised that he was a regular gambler. So, for Vincent's final project, he decided to capture the nature of gambling in his community in Rockaway NY. He told me: "Gambling has a very negative connotation… and I just wanted to put it out there and have people decide on their own."
So have a listen. And stay tuned for my interview with Vincent at the end of the podcast.

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Online gambling image by Orin Zebest, Bookie image by flickr_lifeshots.

Palestinian Hoop Dreams by Ahmed Hemeid of Youth Media Project

April 6, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

Photo by Flickr user JeffreyLCohen

Palestinian Hoop Dreams is a thoughtful story by Ahmed Hemeid, a student at United World College in New Mexico.  Ahmed played a lot of basketball back home. After preparing for a championship tournament, Ahmed and his teammates find out that it is canceled due to the beginning of the Gaza War.  Ahmed’s “Palestinian Hoop Dreams” is an amazing story that shows the pervasiveness of war and its effects on youth in the Gaza Strip.

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Palestinian Hoop Dreams was written and narrated by Ahmed Hemeid, edited by Eliot Fisher and produced by Youth Media Project, through their educational program at the United World College. We've featured another one of these stories before, Peculiar Privelege and the Elegy by Ece Erdagoz. But head to PRX to listed to Green Army Hat, about a funny and testy relationship between the reporter and his grandfather, and Scare Those Ghosts Away, about the difference in history lessons in China and Japan.

The Gaza War is back in the news as reports of war crimes and possible prosecution is debated. Read more from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Today's intro and outro music is by one of our favorite beatmakers, Deal the Villain.

On the Trail with His Dogs by Ishmael Streever of the Alaska Teen Media Institute

March 9, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

As a kid who read the Jack London novels Call of the Wild and White Fang and saw their movie adaptations, as well
as Iron Will, I am now forever enchanted by sled dog racing. And the organizers of the Iditarod in Alaska play off that sentiment, billing it as “The Last Great Race on Earth.” And while I still dream of someday racing it, I know in my heart that that is a tough reality to achieve. It takes years of training, thousands of dollars, and a much tougher disposition than my own.

Seiji Takagi, pictured at right, started mushing when he was in second grade. And if you look at the bios of almost all of the people who ran the Junior Iditaord this year, they say they started racing as young as four but at least in elementary school. The dream dies a little more each year…

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The Iditarod is now in it'a fourth day. Follow along on the official website.

Sound like a pro: SB Nation has compiled a recent and long past history of the race, coupled with facts about the current crop of mushers.

Over on Change.org, a writer shows what he sees as corporate irresponsibility in Target's endorsement of the Iditarod (under what I think is a sensational headline.) In the comments on that post,  there is a smart debate about whether the sport is cruel or needlessly pushes the dogs. Good points are made all around. Jump in the convo yourself on the Iditarod Forums.