The world is going to end. Whether it starts ending on May 21st or not is another issue, but John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee find one way to deal with it.
As Vostok 1 lifted off, Yuri Gagarin said to the world: “Poyekhali!" (Let’s go!”). The first man in space spent 108 minutes orbiting the earth. He landed separately from Vostok 1, parachuting down in the middle of a field, greeted by a woman and her daughter 370 miles off target. The cosmonaut reportedly said to the stunned farm women, “Don’t be afraid, I am a Soviet like you who has descended from space and I must find a telephone to call Moscow!” If only he had an iPhone.
This map details the operating nuclear power reactors in the United States, based on data from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (see full info). It also represents fault information based on data from the U.S. Geological Survey (read more).
The red markers signify nuclear reactors. The blue markers show faults.
Are there reactors near you? Are you concerned about safety?
We celebrate Valentine's Day not with flowers or chocolate, but with song. Celeste shares some of her favorite (and least favorite) melodies, while Air Supply weighs in on what makes a love song great. And of course, Takeaway listeners sing us the love songs they love the most. Take a listen and add yours (after the jump).
After 17 days of protests, Egyptians in Cairo's Tahrir Square went from celebrating news that their embattled president would likely step down to an announcement that he won't. The future is uncertain. Even as the movement, which got traction on Facebook and Twitter, spread from Tahrir Square across the country. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians have taken part, calling for change to their country's repressive government. It began on January 25th (and the #jan25 hashtag continues to be used on Twitter); got traction with "The March of Millions," and then became hopeful with the "Day of Departure" (that was last Friday, February 4), but a name has not stuck to this uprising. What do you think the revolution in Egypt should be called?
One takeaway listener says,
"The Google Revolution to name it after the employer of one of the organizers and to signify the internet and technology relationship to the revolution."
Another texts us: "The egyptian revolution. This is an extremely legitimate revolution which deserves to be named after the country it is hoping to save."
We spoke with author and New York Times food writer Melissa Clark on making the prefect lunchbox sandwich. She gave us recipes for a delicious sounding pan bagnat and a tofu salad sandwich. She said that she likes to “create sandwiches that actually taste good when they're a little smooshed, when they're old and smooshed, that's what I'm looking for.”
Takeaway listeners had some suggestions of their own.
A new study looking at the correlation between money and happiness reveals that you actually stop getting happier at a certain point, spefically after you reach a salary of $75,000 a year. The study got us wondering if there are actually times when having more money has made us less happy. We put the question to our listeners. A texter from New York says, “Never! Ask me again when I'm making more than 75K.” And from Fort Lauderdale, Fla, “Absolutely never!” And from Columbia, SC, “When I won the lottery...kidding, never!”
So there's a bit of a consensus... But some listeners shared longer stories touching on the relationship between happiness and money.
New York was hit by one of the hottest summers on record, the Gulf got its oil gusher, combat officially ended in Iraq, and the economy did not recover. We looked back at the big news stories of this past summer with The New York Times’ Jason Stallman and asked you how you’d define summer in six words. Here's what Stallman said, “It's so obvious, the six word sum-up for the summer is: Junk Shot, Top Kill, Blowout Preventer. All oil spill all of the time.” Listeners had a lot to say, too. Eric posted on our website, "Too hot, too wet, too short."
New data released by the Census Bureau shows that in 2008, single, childless women between the ages of 22 and 30 made more money than their male peers in major U.S. cities. “It’s a very humbling realization, when you come to realize that you are not the breadwinner,” said Aaron Traister, on today’s show. Listeners had much to say in response to our question of whether this makes for a generation of “failed males.”
One in six Americans receives some sort of government benefit. That seems like a high number and we wondered how it affected both one’s individual identity and the economic identity of the nation as a whole. We spoke with s Dr. Bob Lerman, a professor of Economics at American University, and a fellow at the Urban Institute, who specializes in employment and social policy. He agreed that there’s a link between identity and benefits, saying, “The less income you have, the more benefits you get. And I think that is where the pride element comes into play.” We also heard from listeners throughout the show.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, spoke on the show this morning about why she attended Glenn Beck’s rally. Here’s what she said:
"My uncle had a dream that black people and white people would get along and that Protestants and Catholics and Gentiles and Jews would join together…and so when I heard about [Beck’s speech], I said, ‘Wow, this is just good.’”
Many of our listeners disagreed with Dr. Alveda King and strongly critiqued Glenn Beck and the premise of his rally, but listener Susan Bond-Masterson wrote in support of Beck on our Facebook page: “The event was wonderful. He kept away from politics and focused on the human spirit. He praised Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and all those who put their own personal safety at risk for the sake of others. He praised God and America, good for him." And the conversation continued.
We concluded our series about “the end” on today’s show by looking at some of the things humans (and our planet) would be better without — like bunker fuel. We spoke with Scientific American editor, Michael Moyer, about pollutants and other things that he says we’d be better off without. You weighed in with your thoughts.
We’ve been grappling with this question: If everyone is already doing it, should texting while driving be made safer? Or should we just be forced to stop doing this extremely dangerous thing? We spoke with Gizmodo’s Joel Johnson about the topic. He argues that it is worth finding a safer way to text while driving; however, many, many listeners disagreed. Here are some of the comments we received.
We continue our series on “The End” all week. Wade Davis, explorer in residence for the National Geographic society joined the show. He talked about the importance of preserving cultures and the happens when languages disappear, “A language is not just vocabulary or grammar, it’s a flash of the human spirit,” he said.
We asked listeners to share which of your cultural traditions are worth preserving.
We started our week-long conversation with Scientific American about things ending and how our lives will change when they do. Today we looked at the earth and whether the changes we are witnessing, like global warming, will permanently alter the way we live. We asked you, our listeners, to weigh in. What would you like to see end?
The final U.S. combat brigade has left the country ahead of the August 31 deadline. But is the war over? Did we win? Listeners reacted strongly to this question via text message and on Facebook. Krishni Metivier wrote on our Facebook page,
"The war is not really over. Even if it was, there are no winners in war."
Graduates are defaulting on student loans at extraordinarily high rates, particularly at for-profit colleges. In response, the Obama administration has proposed cutting off federal loans to these programs, since they aren’t adequately preparing their students for employment. This kind of debt can be debilitating and we wanted to hear from you.
Takeaway listener Kevin Krease wrote in via Facebook so we asked him to come on the show to talk about this topic. Here’s what he wrote on Facebook:
"Graduating with a desire to explore the world and make an impact is seriously hampered by $540/month loan payments due 6 months after graduation. Try paying for a car + phone + rent + loans on a $40k entry level salary. It's pretty much impossible. That's why we want mass-transit so we don't have to own a car. Rather, we can't afford a car so we NEED it."
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is convening a meeting of analysts and economists today to discuss the future of mortgage financing. But we think there’s a bigger issue. On this morning's show, we heard from New York Times finance reporter, Louise Story, who said, “There’s a legitimate question about how much of a role the government should play, how much we want to subsidize, what’s responsible and what’s a social good." What do you think?
I didn’t think I would change my name until my fiance and I went to get our wedding license. The clerk behind the window told us that if we wanted to change our names, we should do it then since it’s much more complicated after the fact. For a moment, I reconsidered. There were certainly reasons to take his... Ultimately, I chose to keep my last name. But what about you? Our listeners had a ton say.
On the surface, it seems obvious: of course food is a human right. We can’t live without it. However, the question of whether it should be a political right is much trickier to answer. Who is responsible for providing food? Who do you sue if you’re starving? In India, there's a new effort by the governing Indian National Congress Party to get the right to food enshrined in the country’s constitution. But listeners didn’t totally agree that food should be a political entitlement.