John Oliver Sounds The Alarm On America’s Broken 911 System | Gradient
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John Oliver sounds the alarm on America’s broken 911 system

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Last Week Tonight pointed out a very serious, surprising hole in American infrastructure: our 911 system.

Jumping off a year-old USA Today story on 911, show host John Oliver broadcasted the significant gaps in their ability to quickly and accurately respond to emergency calls. He stressed the importance of accuracy for the system — contrasted with the United States’ current deficiency — with his trademark acerbic tone.

“People making emergency calls are on the very short list of things we expect to be found 100% of the time. It’s that, the clitoris, and Nemo [from Finding Nemo]. He’s not a bad fish! He’s not a bad fish — he’s just curious and capable of more than you think.”

As Oliver points out, the Domino’s app can find your location quicker than 911, and “they’ve barely mastered the technology to make a palatable pizza.”  Not only that, Oliver claims that 911 is under tremendous strain due to the rise of cell phones, including butt dials. (For example, a Google study found 30% of 911 calls in San Francisco were butt dials. Butts!) Worst of all, Oliver reported at least 20 states divert 911 service fees elsewhere. New York state received over $185 million in 911 service fee revenue, yet diverted over $77 million to the state’s General Fund. Oliver likened diverting money from 911 to “siphoning gas out of your firetruck to put in your dirt bike.”

Watch the whole thing below. And stay out of trouble! It may take some time before help arrives.

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Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.

If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.

To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit MPJmusic.com.

Subscribe on iTunes.

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Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.

New Pod Flow: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Podcast: Doctor Strange

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We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.

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