In the first half, privacy expert Lauren Weinstein talked about issues related to technology, and reacted to a new study that finds 25% of teens are constantly online. By and large we're moving toward an always connected society, and for those that carry a smart phone, they're already there in terms of instant messaging, and photo/video sharing, he noted, adding that there's nothing particularly wrong with that as long as people exercise control and responsibility. Regarding how more advertising dollars are moving to the Internet, what we're really seeing is the merging of traditional television with Internet-delivered TV, "and you can't turn on a news show without there being Twitter hashtags and Facebook addresses...they're all becoming basically one medium," he remarked.
One of Weinstein's biggest concerns right now is of the censorship of the Internet that's taking place in various nations that are trying to control information such as China, as well as the European "right to be forgotten" law, which is putting pressure on tech companies like Google to make changes. Should there be a serious new terror attack in the US, Weinstein warned that we could see a heightened level of surveillance and security, and an amping up of the "cyber-scare industrial complex" that makes money off of fears, many of which are unwarranted.
In the latter half, author Kelly Milner Halls, who has spent the past 20 years exploring life's mysteries to write nonfiction for readers 10 and up, discussed her extensive research into ghosts, cryptids, and UFOs, and why children are especially fascinated by these topics. While initially approaching her investigations with a certain amount of skepticism, she ended up finding a lot of validity to some of the phenomena, such as Bigfoot. She interviewed Bob Gimlin of the famed Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film, and found him to be highly credible. He told her that in contrast to the claim that Roger Patterson made a deathbed confession that his footage was fake, he said to Gimlin the day before he died, "when I get better, we'll catch one."
Regarding ghosts, Halls suggested that in the case of hauntings they are often motivated by love, and spirits wanting to linger in a place or situation that had great meaning for them. Interestingly, pennies seem to be something that ghosts manipulate, she reported, such as in the case of a woman who repeatedly saw three pennies face-up in a row-- a trademark of her grandmother, who had recently passed on. According to Halls' research, a lot of UFOs are actually top secret aircraft, though a smaller number of sightings are truly unexplained.