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Current State #128 | July 17, 2013

Jul 17, 2013

Today on Current State: hydrogen-fueled cars; new research on mental illness; Neighbors in Action features Eaglevision Ministries; bats in backyards and a book on poet Sylvia Plath.

Auto industry ramps up hydrogen battery effort

Jul 17, 2013
Flickr/Alan Gore

As emission standards tighten around the world, auto manufacturers are ramping up research and development of hydrogen fuel cells.   Last week, General Motors announced a new seven-year joint effort with Honda to develop such vehicles.  It’s the latest in a series of similar alliances involving manufacturers.  

Flickr/Creative Commons

The process of diagnosing, classifying and treating mental illness is incredibly complex and often controversial. The recent debate surrounding the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders illustrates how difficult it can be to get a handle on what causes the symptoms of mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Neighbors in Action: Eaglevision Ministries

Jul 17, 2013
Flickr/Creative Commons

In the heart of Lansing, Eaglevision Ministries is giving back to the community by helping some of the hardest hit people in the area find stability and employment – from youths to veterans to those recently released from jail or prison.

The benefits of bats in your backyard

Jul 17, 2013
Flickr/K.P. McFarland


Humans have had a mixed relationship with bats over the centuries. People tend to dislike or fear them, but bats may gain more fans in Michigan this summer because of their phenomenal capacity for eating mosquitos.

WKAR’s Melissa Benmark spoke with Phil Brodak, the proprietor of Batsbirdsyard.com,  based in southeast Michigan, about the business of attracting bats to backyards.

Book sheds new light on a tragic poet's life

Jul 17, 2013
Flickr/Creative Commons

Most people don't think of happiness when they think of Sylvia Plath, but a new book aims to round off the perception of the tragic poet. Elizabeth Winder's "Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953," covers a joyful month-long period in Plath's life as she dated, worried about clothes and makeup and worked as an intern.

WKAR book reviewer Lev Raphael speaks with Melissa Benmark about his impressions of the book.