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Information Scarce As Cyberattack Disruption At Scripps Health Continues

Cover image for podcast episode

PHOTO BY ROLAND LIZARONDO

Above: A "Scripps Clinic" sign in Rancho Bernardo, May 3, 2021.

It is unclear when San Diego's largest health care provider will gain control over its patient files, medical systems and ability to communicate with its patients. Plus, San Diego County ended a controversial program that allowed county workers to perform unannounced home inspections in an effort to prevent welfare fraud. Also, a look into Project Homekey, the state program that allows cities and counties to purchase buildings and then convert them into long-term homeless housing. In addition, the board of supervisors recently rescinded policies that prevented local tribes from expanding their reservation. And, UC San Diego researchers have spelled out the math that explains how pelicans can fly for miles along the coast while barely flapping their wings. Then, last year “Mythic Quest” produced a Quarantine Episode that cleverly used Zoom. This year, the AppleTV series returns for a second season. Finally, an excerpt of the latest episode of “The Parker Edison Project” podcast delves into the connection between religion and rap.

Speaker 1: 00:00 How a cyber attack is affecting script's health.

Speaker 2: 00:04 This could have been going on for, for weeks, months, years in terms of, uh, these, these hackers and these attackers, you know, slowly collecting data.

Speaker 1: 00:11 I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen, Kevin. This is KPBS mid-day edition, The end to a countywide program that criminalized parents and children in need

Speaker 3: 00:30 For, for too long that the County has been, um, extending a closed hand or a fist, uh, to people who need this help. And now it's going to be more of an open hand

Speaker 1: 00:42 Roadblock to tribal land expansion is removed and the connection between rap and religion in an excerpt from the Parker Edison project. That's ahead on midday edition,

Speaker 1: 01:00 Hackers are exposing vulnerabilities in two industries today. Healthcare and energy, a possible spike at the pump could be coming soon after a ransomware attacks, shut down a main fuel pipeline for the East coast and here locally script's health, one of San Diego's largest healthcare providers was also the target of a ransomware attack last week, and they are still trying to recover. It's been reported. The hack has forced doctors and nurses to monitor and log patient care offline. Meaning with pen and paper, the hack is also reportedly disrupting communication with patients and access to medical records, KPBS health reporter, Matt Hoffman joins us now with more Matt welcome. Hey Jade. So you reported on Friday that the cyber attack on script health continues anything new today. I mean, do we even know what systems are down?

Speaker 2: 01:50 Right? So the cyber attack is still ongoing. We're more than a week into this. The scripts.org website is still down. There's a new message posted on there that at least says that we're unavailable. Uh, they're directing people to a number to call, but, um, you know, as this sort of grows here, uh, we're hearing from a lot of very frustrated patients that some of their critical care is being delayed. Now it is important to note to Jay that, um, scripts officials do say that, um, you know, some surgery, some procedures are still going, they are still open. Uh, even though we're hearing that a lot of things are being delayed canceled or, or, or,

Speaker 1: 02:21 And as you mentioned, you've been in communication with a script's representatives. Are they offering any information on which of their systems have been affected or what patients should do if they can't get scheduled treatment?

Speaker 2: 02:33 So scripts officials, um, uh, at least from my perspective are being a little bit tight lipped on details. Now, the last update that they gave us officially was on Wednesday. And that's when they had sort of said that, um, you know, this is still ongoing. We're working around the clock, we've contracted with this cybersecurity firm to help address this issue and bring our systems back online. Now we're not hearing from scripts. They're not saying they're not confirming if this is a ransomware attack. And we are seeing some other reporting on that saying that this is a ransomware attack, like a situation where, um, their data has been stolen. And then somebody is saying, Hey, you need to give us some money or else we will not give it back to you. It's definitely a bad, bad security breach.

Speaker 1: 03:08 Are they saying why they're being so tight lipped about details?

Speaker 2: 03:12 You know, they, they say that they're sharing info as they can. And as they are able to, if you go like on their Facebook, like there's a lot of people frustrated that they are responding back on social media saying, you know, Hey, call this number. They're giving them a one 800 number to call it, you know, to help reschedule appointments. Um, and I'm, you know, talking to some patients sort of getting different varying results. You know, some people aren't even able to contact like their primary care doctors. Um, some people are able to contact their primary care doctors. Some people are having some success in, in the rescheduling, but others are not. So it seems really, really hit and miss.

Speaker 1: 03:40 So what H w what's happening when say someone's in an accident who would ordinarily be taken to script's Memorial? I mean, what's the impact on emergency rooms even at U U S and sharp?

Speaker 2: 03:52 Yeah. So last week we heard from both of those two healthcare giants, um, that they were seeing an increase in admissions to their emergency departments and a sharp healthcare officials saying that's because script's health is on bypass in their emergency departments really, um, that, uh, you know, showing how deep this hack is going here. Now, scripts officials and County health officials would not confirm that the scripts hospitals were on bypass in the emergency departments. Even though we heard, we are hearing that from some of the other healthcare organizations and County officials last week were describing it as a very, you know, developing situation.

Speaker 1: 04:22 Hmm. A few agencies have been called in to investigate this, who are they? And what exactly are they trying to figure out at this point?

Speaker 2: 04:30 Right? So we, we know that the FBI is aware and they won't comment as of last week in terms of specifics on the investigation. But they do say that, you know, regularly when these sort of attacks happen, uh, that they give advice to the private sector, um, before and after. So, uh, we don't know a ton about locally, but we do know that federal officials are definitely looking into this.

Speaker 1: 04:47 And Matt, it appears from what facts have sort of dribbled out so far that script's is not paying a ransom or providing whatever the attackers want as you've mentioned, but they are instead trying to restore their systems. How big of a task would that be? I mean, have they first even been able to assess the extent to which systems have been hacked,

Speaker 2: 05:06 You know, talking to a cybersecurity expert, Jay, it's a very, very large task. If he basically, he would say they have to go machine by machine, um, and sort of clear out the malware, make sure that there's no malware on the computer. Um, because in terms of, you know, we know that they first discovered this, you know, more than a week ago over the weekend. Um, but this, this could have been going on for, for weeks, months, years in terms of, uh, these, these hackers and these attackers, you know, slowly collecting data, uh, slowly, uh, uh, attacking the system here. So this could be a process of weeks months, or it could be resolved fairly quickly

Speaker 1: 05:37 Are hacks of health systems and hospitals common.

Speaker 2: 05:40 I don't know if the word is common, but they are happening more and more. And we see them in these sort of ransomware scenarios where they're taking some very, very important data. And if these hospital systems don't have good backups, then they may have to pay it.

Speaker 1: 05:53 And what about the California department of public health? What kind of role are they here? Yeah,

Speaker 2: 05:58 They say that they are closely monitoring the situation and basically, you know, they're monitoring the whole critical care delivery system here. You know, especially if those emergency departments are diverting patients, they say that they can step in if they need to, you know, and sort of, you know, be boots on the ground. Um, but they said that they don't need to do that yet. I've been speaking with KPBS health reporter, Matt Hoffman, Matt, thank you very much. Thanks Jed

Speaker 4: 06:24 San Diego County supervisors last month ended a controversial program that had survived criticism and court challenges for more than two decades project, 100% was the county's effort to detect public assistance fraud through a process of unannounced home inspections, County workers could examine at will the condition and contents of a recipient's home and determine unilaterally whether public assistance was valid. It was the only welfare fraud program with such broad powers in the country and examination by the San Diego union Tribune has found that the inspections had a traumatizing effect on people who lived through them, and they were not as effective at finding fraud as the County claimed. Joining me is San Diego union Tribune reporter Greg Moran, Greg, welcome Maureen. Nice to be here. Now project 100% was put in place by the San Diego County board of supervisors back in 1997, a time when politicians were trying to end welfare, as we know it, quote unquote. So what was the stated goal of this project when it went into effect?

Speaker 5: 07:35 Um, the goal of this program was at the time that the, the big complaint against a welfare programs that had really started in 1980 with Ronald Reagan was that there was an enormous amount of fraud going on, that people were getting benefits who shouldn't get them. Um, here in San Diego, a lot of the focus of that was on, uh, uh, allegations that many illegal immigrants, people who didn't have legal status in the country were getting, uh, welfare benefits, food stamps, and so forth. So the idea was that they were going to catch fraud before it occurred by, um, scrutinizing applications, uh, and putting everyone, uh, through this, uh, home search or home visit to process.

Speaker 4: 08:19 And what were the County inspectors allowed to do during these home inspections?

Speaker 5: 08:23 These were, the program started out, there were investigators from the district attorney's offices. So they were peace officers. They did never warrant, they didn't have any court permission or anything, but they were allowed to, uh, and were required to show up, uh, at the homes of people who had applied for public assistance. Um, not people who were suspected of defrauding public assistance, but people had simply applied and they, uh, had a kind of a basic routine. They would interview the person, uh, asking them questions that frankly person I'd already answered in, in applying initially for the benefits. Um, and then they, uh, looked through the home, um, and that included a thorough search of everything. Closets, drawers, medicine, chests, refrigerators, bathrooms, bedrooms, looking for evidence, I suppose you would say of fraud or some sort of deception in the information that had been given for the application.

Speaker 4: 09:23 Now you spoke with one woman who was so moved by the vote to an project 100% that she cried. What did she tell you about what those inspections were like?

Speaker 5: 09:34 Uh, this was a woman, uh, who was in San Diego in 2001. She had fled an abusive domestic situation in Colorado and to this day, uh, 20 years later, uh, when I interviewed her on the telephone twice, she broke down crying. And at one point she said, it makes your stomach hurt, just thinking about it. And I think what she was referring to in which he said she was referring to was not just the humiliation of having to go through this, both of having somebody root through your stuff, but also the idea that you were suspected of being deceptive and lying, um, was very humiliating, but it was also the anxiety of the process. You know, these were unannounced home visits. They didn't tell you when they were coming. They didn't tell you, uh, what day of the week or what hour of the day.

Speaker 5: 10:23 It could be anywhere between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. So you were really, if you're one of the people who were trying to get these benefits, which you needed, you know, to feed your children or pay your rent or whatever, you know, there was this constant anxiety that when you had to go out to do an errand, go to the grocery store, drop your kids off at school, take your kids to a doctor appointment, go to yourself for a job interview that you would miss the investigator. And if, uh, they would come twice to try to do this home visit. Uh, if you miss the second time your application was rejected and you had to start the process all over again. So this was a woman who is off public assistance, you know, is, uh, had a successful career is now retired, but this was a vivid and searing memory for her that to this day, hangers her and, and really saddens her

Speaker 4: 11:16 One reason. The program lasted as long as it did was because the County claimed it had a 25% success rate in finding fraud, but that was not true, was it?

Speaker 5: 11:27 I was not. Um, back in 2014, um, there was a report that was done by a lawyer or a woman named Hilda Chan. She, uh, collected an enormous amount of information from the County, uh, about this program. Uh, there had also been other information she use that have been developed in a lawsuit that had been filed in federal court, uh, to try to overturn the program and was not successful. She went all this information and realized and proved that the County had been exaggerating the effectiveness of the program. And that's at this 25% fraud detection or cost avoidance figure was not true. And that was because of how they were sort of categorizing what was fraud detection. So she, uh, got all this together, presented it to the County and the County didn't quarrel with it. They said, Oh yeah, you're right. You know, we have been exaggerating this. And after about 2015, 16, they, they recategorized what they were doing. And lo and behold, the amount of fraud that they said they were detecting, went from 25% to the most recent figure out good find was down to 6%. So it had been, you know, frankly wildly exaggerated for almost 20 years

Speaker 4: 12:47 Now, who was it on the present board of supervisors who worked to get this program ended?

Speaker 5: 12:52 Well, you know, for the story I interviewed, uh, supervisor Terra Lawson Riemer, um, and she took, made the motion to get rid of this was backed by, uh, uh, supervisor Vargas as well. Um, you know, but I think what it was, was kind of the new working majority on the board of, uh, those two women and chairman Nathan Fletcher, which are all three of which are left of center or progressive, however you want to we're liberal. However you want to put it, you know, that those were the three key votes. There was a majority, um, on the board to get rid of this program that just really did not exist before. I mean, this thing was going on for, you know, what two 24 years really, um, and to lawsuit and, uh, a lot of, uh, information that report, I just mentioned pointing out the flaws in the program.

Speaker 5: 13:43 You know, that report also pointed out that the cost of the County was putting out every year for these investigators and to detect fraud. There's about 1,000,006, 1,000,007 a year, and they were detecting a few hundred thousand dollars a year at most. It was a money losing thing. Then number really moved the board to, to change much. Uh, and it was, it was not until really the, I think it's the last two election cycles where these three, uh, you know, more board seats opened up and you had this kind of working majority on the board that not only targeted this program, but I think overall, I think you're going to see this in the, in the coming months has a much different approach and attitude towards public benefits and, and, and, and serving the county's needy population than previous boards did.

Speaker 4: 14:33 Yeah. Isn't part of the county's move to eliminate project 100%. Isn't that also aimed at making enrolling for public assistance? Less complicated.

Speaker 5: 14:42 Yes, very much so. Uh, and, and, and that in itself is kind of a, a not kind of a new direction for the board. You know, I think a of years ago there was a study that came out that showed, you know, a lot of people in San Diego County who are eligible for these benefits don't even bother to apply at other, probably a number of reasons for that. But one of them is that, you know, the County as a matter of policy, I think, I don't think this is a controversial thing to say, Hey, you know, it was really reluctant to make it easy to access these benefits. It was kind of a political philosophy and a mindset that, you know, um, we don't want to be handing these out left and right. We want to kind of keep a tight reign on and make sure that we're being efficient and, and we're not being defrauded. Um, I think with this new board majority, there's a one 80 from that that is going to say, you know, for, for too long that the County has been, um, extending a closed hand or a fist, uh, to people who need this help. And now it's going to be more of an open hand that will not only have something in it, but also, you know, a hand to help people up and help them up and get going

Speaker 4: 15:51 With San Diego union Tribune reporter Greg Moran. Greg, thank you.

Speaker 5: 15:55 You're welcome.

Speaker 4: 16:02 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Heinemann it's California's big new initiative to fight homelessness. The plan involves using hundreds of billions of dollars in federal and state funds to buy aging motels, hotels, and vacant apartment buildings and turn them into long-term homeless housing. These units often have supportive services onsite like addiction counseling. The initiative is called project home key. Last year, the state awarded San Diego, nearly $38 million to buy two hotels to house those struggling with homelessness, the California report visited one recently converted motel in Los Angeles to see who it's helping. That's where they met Martha [inaudible].

Speaker 6: 16:48 This is my home. Welcome to my home. Here we go. I found my time close here.

Speaker 5: 16:58 Martha moved into this home key project last month, a 43 unit converted courtyard motel on a commercial Boulevard in Las El Soreno neighborhood,

Speaker 6: 17:07 Because there's really no way to describe it. Other than comfortable in me.

Speaker 5: 17:11 Martha's collection of stuffed animal dolls and other knickknacks she's put on tables and dressers. It looks pretty much like your standard, no frills budget motel room, but for Martha who's 65 and was homeless for 10 years before moving here, this place is a sanctuary

Speaker 6: 17:28 We're in my home. Okay. Whereas a month ago you would have told me I was going to have my own. I would have told you, you were crazy. My home used to be that car parked in the parking lot. That's where I lived prior to this. Prior to that in the streets. This is my castle. This is my home. I heaven. This is everything to me. This room was everything to me. It means the world to me,

Speaker 7: 17:52 Converted motel where Martha lives is one of 94 project home key sites around the state where more than 6,000 units of homeless housing will be created an earlier version of the program called project room. Key started last year. It focused on renting motel and hotel rooms. Short-term for the homeless as a way to protect them from the pandemic. But then officials started thinking why rent when we can buy properties and turn them into long-term housing, more than half a billion dollars in federal COVID relief funds. Plus state money had been given to cities and counties to purchase properties. Often from owners who were eager to sell because their businesses had crater during the pandemic.

Speaker 8: 18:33 The crisis has created the opportunity. It's remarkable, actually, and it is the most successful program to date. In my 30 years of doing housing for homeless folks that I've seen getting people directly off the streets immediately into decent housing.

Speaker 7: 18:49 That's David Grunewald, a vice president of national Corp, the nonprofit affordable housing company that redeveloped this LA motel Grunewald says project home key will get thousands of homeless, Californians housed, more affordably and faster than newly built housing

Speaker 8: 19:05 Projects. We were up and running in three months. This motel was up and running in three months. And then we were able to house people immediately, a typical affordable housing, new construction project for permanent housing could take as long as five to seven years to get up and running. And in the meantime, people are still living on the streets

Speaker 7: 19:24 In LA new homeless housing can cost well over half a million dollars a unit, but project home key units are coming in at less than half. That amount. Another advantage of putting homeless housing in an existing motel or hotel, instead of building something new is that it doesn't spark the same level of backlash from neighborhood groups and homeowners associations, and Miskiw runs union station homeless services, which manages this motel turned homeless housing project.

Speaker 9: 19:51 We didn't have to go through all the pain and agony of getting something built in a community and having all those voices that said, Oh, no, no, no, not in my backyard. This was kind of just a, Hey, we're going to do it. We need to do it. It's an emergency. It was done. And you know where some people unhappy. Yes. But for the most part, the community has embraced it.

Speaker 7: 20:17 He expects the people living in this converted motel and other project home key sites will eventually move into more permanent housing. That'll free up the rooms for new people to move in. Martha [inaudible] says, she's already starting to think about her future, a future where she never lives on the streets. Again,

Speaker 6: 20:34 You start making a budget, you start saving, you started doing little things to re, to bring yourself back into society, as they say, normal society as you call it. But yeah, I would love to save money and have my own place. You know,

Speaker 7: 20:48 I want a normal life, but a reminder of the size of California's homelessness crisis and how much more needs to be done is just outside of Martha's room. It's a big homeless encampment right up the street.

Speaker 1: 21:06 That was the California reports host saw For more than two decades. A single piece of San Diego County land law has prohibited 18 federally recognized tribes from expanding their own reservation. That changed last week when the board of supervisors voted to change the counties fee to trust application process, which enables tribes in the area to purchase back tribal lands, joining me to discuss the implications of this vote is the chairman of the Reen Khan band of Louis St. [inaudible] Indians BOMA Zeti chairman. Massetti welcome. Good to be with you. So can you begin by giving us your initial reaction to this vote?

Speaker 10: 21:50 Well, my initial reaction was they did what was right. However, adding an additional amendment to the original light with you were just not necessary and something that I don't understand what the supervisor [inaudible] was putting to. That should be the best, you know, do that, just apply what to try and buy his lab that everybody gets notified or does that apply to everyone that buys lab surrounding neighbors or property owners you get notified? I just don't understand the rationale. Federal law already requires that public notice that input is required. That's under federal law. It will be able to purchase some of their own land back. There's a process where the general public has the right to comment

Speaker 1: 22:33 What's been changed. And, and how does it affect the process of land acquisition for tribes in the area

Speaker 10: 22:39 What's been trained is since 1994 or two supervisor adopted a resolution that said we shell oppose all purchase of land by drivers in San Diego County. That's what it originally said. But what it turned into was that it just a blanket opposition for any tribes that may purchase their land back, gets the brand back. So the County opposes any and all purchases by tribes. I need to want to make a clear, there's very few of us in this County tribes that have the economic ability to either buy back some of our land. And that land has to be made available to be purchased, to begin with like we're forcing people to sell flats.

Speaker 1: 23:23 In addition to amending the feet of trust process, the board of supervisors also voted to lift certain restrictions on liquor licenses. Can you tell us how that will affect the counties? Tribes?

Speaker 10: 23:34 If a tribe were to secure a liquor license, they would now go through the normal process. It'd be treated like everyone else versus special conditions that were put on. They tried a pled for a liquor license. So now we will be treated like any other individual in the County. If we were to secure or go after a liquor license.

Speaker 1: 23:55 Tell us more about this fee to trust application process. I mean, in effect, tribes have been having to buy back land, which has long been considered culturally sacred.

Speaker 10: 24:05 That's correct. We just don't go by lab, say the middle of Escondido or any place else. What you'll see is the tribes for the most part buy land that is their equitable territory or have significant meaning to the tribe. It's not like the tribe, Google buying spree doesn't happen. So whether the tribe is able to buy a piece of land, the most likely to join in, you're pretty close to their reservation. And the process is first, the land has to be completely paid for. So there is no cloud or no obstacles on the title. Once the land is completely cleared of any and all liens or any kind of, there's no cloud though what they call the title. It's a clean then we've petitioned the tribal petitioned, the Bureau of Indian affairs, the department of the interior and the federal government in general, to take this land into trust and make it part of the reservation. Now what people need to understand. That's the fetal trust process. Once the land is taken into pro status, I want to make this clear. The United States government has the title to that land. Not that tribe nine States government owns that land. And the title will read, held in the name of the United States government for the beneficial use of the name of the tribe. In this case for ring Cod, if we purchased the land, that's the way the title operates.

Speaker 1: 25:29 This process was a point of contention for tribal leaders for many years. Why do you think it's taken so long to reevaluate it?

Speaker 10: 25:36 I don't think the will, was there a private or not doing gaming tribes for the most part are not buying a lot of land. So it was never a big continuing issue every once in a while. See now tribes are just, you got to realize tribes maybe within the last 10 years, or just getting, maybe have a gaming facility. They're just getting to where, okay, now we can do other things. The first 10 years were just concentrating on paying and taking care of your facility, your gaming facilities, that business, which is generally, but people need to understand that is our tax base. That's the United States government owns the reservation lands. We can't tax it, but say tribal government. So our tax base is proceeded from [inaudible]. That runs all of our economic development project that runs all of our services. We have to provide to provide water, fire, ambulance services. We need to pay for two deputies, deputy sheriffs. They can go any place in the County where those things are. David facilities is our tax base. You live in and understand that

Speaker 1: 26:42 I've been speaking chairman BOMA

Speaker 11: 26:44 Zeti of the rain con band of Louis ano Indians chairman Mazetta. Thank you so much for joining us. Well, thank you for the time and appreciate it. UC San Diego researchers have spelled out the math that explains how pelicans can fly from miles along the coast while barely flapping their wings, KPBS environment, reporter Eric Anderson says the information has implications for understanding the warming climate.

Speaker 12: 27:17 Yeah,

Speaker 13: 27:19 The top of the bluff, just South of the Torrey Pines golf course is a special place for those looking to take a leap off a cliff to fly.

Speaker 12: 27:28 And when it heats up and all that cool ocean breeze goes East

Speaker 13: 27:32 Beto Michelangelo is the flight director at the Torrey Pines club.

Speaker 12: 27:36 And that's what creates the magic here for us soaring, uh, as paragliding pilots and even the birds. Sometimes we'll sit around and wait for the birds to come out and fly to see exactly how good it is.

Speaker 13: 27:47 The grassy field here is a launching pad for hang gliders and model planes. Anything that can ride a stiff ocean breeze, that's climbing the cliff

Speaker 12: 27:56 And it's classic. Everybody's seen a bird just kind of circling up in the lift. And that's typically what we do when we're flying. Just emulating a bird.

Speaker 13: 28:03 And while the paragliders take their cues from birds climbing high above the cliffs, pelicans are using some of the same techniques, gracefully glide along the breaking waves. The pelicans caught the eye of UC San Diego doctoral student Ian Stokes. When he used to surf near Santa Barbara, he points to a video of the birds gliding along a breaking wave.

Speaker 14: 28:25 So here are the wave breaks and they send it up to higher elevation. And then they're able to soar back down to the next crest and there they go. Now they're coming off the wave and they're tracking yet, right? So they're all banking back up, getting off the back and then they're swooping into the next wave. And then you see them take off again and they start their ride once again. So they can just really repeat this process.

Speaker 13: 28:48 Pelicans take advantage of the same forces at play along the glider port cliff there surface, wind hits the cliffs and goes up. That creates ideal conditions for paragliders on the ocean waves act like the cliff and they move air up. As they roll toward the shore.

Speaker 14: 29:06 Here comes another show and wave wave breaks, and then they come up and out the back,

Speaker 13: 29:11 The pelicans flight highlights a delicate interplay between the ocean and the atmosphere

Speaker 14: 29:16 That exchange of energy between the ocean and the atmosphere is a very prominent driving force in the way that our climate responds to different environmental signals.

Speaker 11: 29:25 Scripps oceanography has a long history of research around the idea of ocean waves and the atmosphere interact.

Speaker 13: 29:34 Okay. UC San Diego engineered drew Lucas worked with Stokes to refine an algorithm that explains the physics, how that system works.

Speaker 15: 29:42 It is indeed an equation. What Ian has put together is an equation that relates the form of the ocean wave its speed, its size and its length, which we call its period or, or, or a wavelength to the amount of wind that is created in the atmosphere.

Speaker 13: 30:03 Lucas has the birds tap into this interplay. They harness the energy created when the waves rise and then crest near the shore. He says the ocean and atmosphere are coupled systems that researchers have been studying for years.

Speaker 15: 30:17 We're engaged in the business of trying to predict the future of the Earth's climate and the ocean and atmosphere system. And those are problems related to how the ocean and atmosphere are communicating information, energy, um, and, and properties.

Speaker 13: 30:38 Lucas says understanding even small mechanisms like the interplay between wind and water, help scientists understand more about the planet. It could also provide input in what might be happening as the oceans and the climate change. Eric Anderson, KPBS news,

Speaker 11: 31:06 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh last year, mythic quest produced a quarantine episode that cleverly used zoom, the Apple TV plus series. Now returns for a second season KPBS arts reporter. Beth Armando goes behind the scenes to explore the challenges of creating comedy in a pandemic last year, Apple TV series, mythic quest lifted our spirits with a zoom quarantined episode that captured what many of us were dealing with. Look

Speaker 15: 31:36 At the video icon on the bottom left, and then click

Speaker 11: 31:39 That. And it did so with a wildly creative flare that inspired us with a sense that we're all in this together. That was cool. Can you do it again? But goal for season two was to put the pandemic in the rear view mirror. It says star and creator, Rob McEleney.

Speaker 16: 31:54 And we felt like people were really going to be looking towards their entertainment. Certainly are their comedies not necessarily move completely past the last year yet looking more towards the future. Optimistically

Speaker 11: 32:06 Duran executive producer, David Hornsby says they created a special bonus episode called Everlane,

Speaker 16: 32:11 Which can address and kind of bridge us back into a normal fun office comedy. So we can all kind of get back to normal. Well, we're not going to figure this out today. So,

Speaker 11: 32:20 So they tried to write episodes that had little to do with the pandemics as McCullough

Speaker 16: 32:25 That said we were shooting right in the middle of the pandemic. And we had to be very cognizant of the fact that it could have been potentially very dangerous. In fact, it was very dangerous and that's why we had very strict protocols all the way through the process. So I've been tested for COVID 60 times

Speaker 17: 32:40 In order to do comedy. I didn't think that my comedy career would lead to so much nasal swabbing, but here we are

Speaker 11: 32:47 Mythic quest writer and co-creator Megan Gantt says she never expected a comedy show about the gaming industry needing to hire an epidemiologist.

Speaker 17: 32:56 We had epidemiologists, we had doctors, we had people standing around with six foot poles that would just walk around. It'd be like, ah, you're too close. You know, and everything changed when I have a joke on set and all for align, and I could just whisper it to Rob and David and get a second read on whether it was funny. Now I just had to shout it out like across the room, which is a very vulnerable place to be in no amount of masking and protection protects you from the silence that occurs. When you shout out a joke that nobody likes

Speaker 11: 33:27 The character of Brad played by actor. Danny Poodie proved well-suited to a pandemic workplace.

Speaker 17: 33:33 Brad has built for this because he is not giving high fives at work. He's not hugging anyone. He is very comfortable in his own space with his hands in his pockets.

Speaker 11: 33:44 If the quest looks behind the scenes of creating an Epic multiplayer video game. So while epidemiologists were available to offer COVID information, you be soft, an actual video game company. That's also a show producer is on hand to provide a different kind of expertise, says Hornsby. They're like, uh, being on a medical show and having a doctor onset again, Rob McElhinney.

Speaker 16: 34:07 We make sure that we speak to people who work in the industry specifically, either at Ubisoft or various other studios, because we want to make sure that it feels authentic to the, to the, to the gaming experience. And so it's great to work with them. They give us access to so many different things that we would never have access to. And mostly they create a certain level of authenticity that desperately trying to recreate, sorry to crash your little boys club,

Speaker 11: 34:31 Charlotte, Nick Dow plays poppy, the games lead engineer.

Speaker 17: 34:34 Yeah. It's very helpful having light that produces Jason Altman on set most days, because I have to say a lot of technical jargon. So I feel like we got a lot of tags with me, like getting halfway through, talking about something and then being like Jason was that right?

Speaker 11: 34:49 And when the series needs to actually show what the characters are creating, they have a real gaming company on board to help produce results, says Gantz.

Speaker 17: 34:57 We devise really weird and wonderful things to happen in the video game. And then actual artists build these moments like, uh, have a person digging with a shovel and making crude shapes out of it. Somebody spent a lot of time making that actually work. It's just been the most fantastic partnership. Um, and they are there in the writers room all the time. And they're really helping us guide the show.

Speaker 11: 35:20 Mythic quest may focus on gaming, but it captures universal truths about both office life and living in a world, still dealing with a pandemic. And it does both with clever humor, Bethlehem Mondo, KPBS news, mythic quest, season two has new drop each Friday

Speaker 4: 35:38 On Apple TV. Plus The KPBS podcast, the Parker Edison project zooms weigh in on what really makes a culture all through the lens of black America. In the latest episode, Parker Edison speaks to SDSU professor Dr. Roy Whitaker about the connection between rap and religion UNL to the pocket.

Speaker 18: 36:08 Good morning, welcome to the Parker Edison project, where we look at the tenants of culture and things that really make America great. Except the sword. I get to dive into two subjects. I'm very much into rap and religion. A lot of people don't know that I'm Christian. I was raised Southern Baptist it's cause I don't always feel like argument to the point of its validity. It's also because I think some people are just shocked. I believe in God. It makes perfect sense to me though. I mean, if a porch just popped up on your lawn tomorrow morning, you'd be a little bit shocked. Be more shocked if it wasn't from an actual source, it was just because two particles of dust smashed into each other, created a perfectly working machine. The big bang theory never quite made sense to me doesn't mean it's not real.

Speaker 18: 36:49 It just didn't make sense to me. Some of y'all are foaming at the mouth right now. Luckily though the show doesn't sit completely on that subject. It's about religion as it pertains to rap, like for instance, the ghetto boys and Scarface, they have this, this constant duality that they have in their music, where even though they're talking to some of the most gangster stuff, there's still the, a thread of how the supernatural is there. You look at somebody like beanie Segal, no knockout artists, but he breaks his bravado and he shows his remorse as humanity when acknowledging how he falls short of being a good Muslim. One of the biggest proponents of religion in rap is undoubtedly Chicago's Kanye West when rap was obsessed with crunk beats and blink, Mr. West brought a voice of virtue with lines like, so here go, my single dog radio needs this. They say you can rap about anything except

Speaker 19: 37:41 Jesus.

Speaker 18: 37:48 The theme of this episode is wrapping religion. So it makes sense that my first guest has articles in both the journal of hip hop studies, as well as the journal of contemporary religion. Dr. Roy Whitaker, isn't associate professor in the department for the study of religion at San Diego state university. He earned his first master's degree at Princeton. Theological seminary is second at Harvard. His class is a mix of contemporary texts, current events, field trips, and guest speakers.

Speaker 19: 38:16 How are you? I'm blessed. I'm doing very well brother. Good to be here with you. Uh, it's a pleasure for me to be here, uh, to break bread. And it's always good to see you. Um, I'm very happy and thrilled yet. I'm not surprised about your current show

Speaker 20: 38:36 On KPBS. There is no one in SD I can give think of who is best suited for this medium. And yet perhaps more importantly in this moment, then yourself helping bring cultural awareness and cultural diversity to SDN beyond. So the first thing I want to say is I want to salute you and congratulate you on this enterprise that you are embarking on. It's, it's something that's bigger than yourself. And I think, you know that and uh, I think that this will be an important legacy for all of us to be ingratiated in. And, uh, and it, it's going to effect a lot of people in positive ways. I want to thank you for all that you do. And I thank KPBS and the larger STCU community for having you a part of this. Thank you. Hold on my goodness. That's an honor. True. It's true. It's true.

Speaker 20: 39:29 And you mentioned SDSU and I know you from your, your connection to the topics of, of religion and rap. Uh, can you tell me a little bit about the work I work, uh, particularly curriculum development, uh, wrap curriculum, and even sort of the evolution of it. What had had occurred was back in 2008, I was part of a panel at SDSU called crisis Cardo. And on this particular panel, I decided to do a paper on rap and religion. It was pretty well received. I was then very fortunate to get invited to critic entire class on hip hop. Uh, I developed a class titled hip hop aesthetics for the mollusk program. The mollusk program is the master of arts and liberal arts and sciences program at SDSU. I added one small unit on religion and I was happy to see that the students have worked quite interested in it.

Speaker 20: 40:16 And then there was a call call to create a class. Uh, this is for the honors college. And so I was able to teach the course what hip hop and religion like what inspired you to, to teach it on this subject? I have to give a nod to the love of the arts from my parents. I have to start with them because with them, they gave me the love of Motown, but I come from, uh, the love of hip hop culture. I think organically, I was a big fan of big daddy, Kane, Chubb, rock, uh, salt and pepper de Los. So I try to make it clear in my classes that hip hop is an art to hip hop has been around a long time, but scholars have not always looked at hip hop in a serious way. Let me ask you this. Are there similarities between the disciplines of rap and religion?

Speaker 20: 40:59 They, I think on the surface can seem to be polar opposites. And I think that that knee jerk reaction is fair, but in terms of the similarities, there's, there's a number that I can, uh, note, uh, wrapping religion first comes to mind is the African grill. This is the West African individual. Who's a genealogist sort of the person who can provide the, the story from the past, the president of the future of the community. The rapper is part of this archetypal framework. They are the modern day African grill. And I also would note how can religion are connected because are the CNN of the streets, for instance, you turn on in was F the police, and then you can get a sort of a read on what's happening with the black community and issues of discrimination, police brutality. Today you could turn on, for instance, Kendrick Lamars to pimp a butterfly here in the lyrics about income inequality, for instance, rap is, and even a religion for that matter a way in which we begin to understand what's happening amongst masses of people. There's a stronger argument to make to. And that is in terms of similarities are the argument is that they are one in the same hip hop is a religion

Speaker 20: 42:16 In a little bit that got me dropping gyms. I learned from the

Speaker 21: 42:24 [inaudible]

Speaker 20: 42:27 You're you're, uh, you're you're mentioning how, uh, it is rapid release or both vehicles of messages. It made me think of, there's always the idea that, that he's still alive in some places there's kind of this religious connection there. And I just wanted to know if his work registers with religious scholars or how does he weigh in, in order to do hip hop studies? We need to go through buck. I mean, there is, I don't think any way around it for me as I was alluding to earlier, uh, Tupac is not just an urban legend, but an urban prophet. A prophet is simply someone who stands in the place of God, someone who speaks and hear God's message to me, Tupac represents the paradox is the problems. Even the possibilities of being a black male in society, the Rose that grew from concrete, um, Tupac talks about, you know, if, you know, did you hear about the Rose that grew from the cracking cut creep, this froze, and he's going to prove nature's law is wrong.

Speaker 20: 43:28 They learned to walk without feet funny. It seems, he says, but keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air long live the Rose that grew from concrete that no one cared. I mean, Tupac is really getting at the idea that, uh, you know, where you come from may not be great. Um, but that doesn't necessarily stop you from becoming great yourself. If somebody doesn't address Tupac at some level, then they miss an important resource in their hip hop studies. My favorite part of any day, Dr. Roy winter. Thank you. Thank you, brother. Appreciate that so much.

Speaker 21: 44:10 That was an excerpt from the latest episode of the Parker Edison project, to hear the rest of the episode and other episodes, download the Parker Edison project podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts.

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.