Starting in 1882 and continuing for almost a century, the United State's Bird Migration Program collected two-by-five notecards from bird watchers around North America. Today, these long preserved cards — did we mention that there were over six million of them? — are being dusted off, in the hopes that they can tell us something about a bird of a different feather: climate change. Jessica Zelt, coordinator of the newly established North American Bird Phenology Program where she is in charge of digitizing the cards, joins the show to tell us more.
Are you itchin' to get your hands on a little American history? You can transcribe the migration notecards into the digital directory from your very own home. Click here to help! Go on, be a part of bird history.
And before we let you go, we'd like to leave you with a little bird quote from our friends here at the Internet, because really, what's the World Wide Web good for if not to root-out some profound, bird-related witticisms? Ahem: "My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather." ~Loire Hartwould
You know the names: Dr. Ross, Carol, Dr. Carter, Rocket Romano. You know the stars: George Clooney, Noah Wylie, Julianna Margulies, Maria Bello, William H. Macy. At its peak, ER attracted some 47 million viewers on any given Thursday and had its fans hooked on the heartache, heartburn and even massive heart attacks the show produced every week. After all these years Cook County General Hospital is still standing despite the helicopter crashes, bomb scares, blizzards, shootings, hostage scenarios, toxic spills, car accidents, explosions, emergency births, sudden deaths, and Haz Mat incidents. But tonight, after fifteen years on the air, Cook County closes its doors as ER flatlines. To help commemorate this occasion, we are joined by Angel Cohn, not only is she senior editor at Television Without Pity, but she has watched all fifteen seasons of the show.
Some of the most heart-stopping, breath-taking moments from the past seasons of ER:
One way to get your head around exactly what happened with the mortgage crisis is to look at the tools that made it happen. Michael Osinski started out with a job in data entry to support his sick wife. A decade later, he found himself on Wall Street writing the software that let traders turn plain old mortgages into bonds. You could say it’s thanks to him that we all know the arcane term turned dirty word: mortgage-backed security. Osinski joins The Takeaway this morning to talk about his role in the financial meltdown and his new life as an oyster farmer.
The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, and his counterpart from Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, met in the Turkish capital Ankara yesterday. They agreed to increase military cooperation against Islamist extremists. It’s a significant step, because relations between Afghanistan and its neighbor Pakistan have been frosty after Afghanistan had accused Pakistan of not doing enough to prevent militants attacking from the Pakistani side of the border. The meeting came as the Commander of U.S. forces in the region, General David Petraeus, told a Senate hearing that the fight against the Taliban in Pakistan would continue because, as he put it, the Taliban pose a threat to Pakistan’s very existence. Rob Watson is the BBC’s Defense and Security correspondent, he joins us now.
"If you have better relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, perhaps — with a strong emphasis on the perhaps — there could be better security along the border." —The BBC's Rob Watson on the meeting between the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan
Despite the President's assurances, it is not to hard to imagine that the end of the American auto industry seems near. GM reported this week a 45 percent drop in sales, Ford sales were down 41 percent and Chrysler echoed that sales drop. But China has begun taking a bold step toward what its automakers believe will be the future of cars—the hybrid. Long struggling to catch up with Japan and the U.S. in the gasoline-powered car market, China is now devoting its efforts to electric cars, which is a big step for a country not known for its environmental progressiveness. Keith Bradsher is reporting this story and he joins us now.
Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens may walk away from seven felony convictions a free man with a clean record. Yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department is seeking to have Stevens’ verdict thrown out due to prosecutorial misconduct. It will not pursue a new trial and wants all charges dropped. Stevens, the Senate’s longest serving Republican, was convicted in October for lying on financial disclosure forms about gifts. The Takeaway talks to Libby Casey, reporter for Alaska Public Radio Network in Washington, D.C. who has been following the case since last fall, and Steve Heimel, Host of “Talk of Alaska” in Anchorage, Alaska.
In the video below, Stevens' attorney Brendan Sullivan discusses the case.
Today, Vermont’s House of Representatives votes on a controversial bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state. The bill has come under fire from Vermont Governor Jim Douglas who has vowed to veto the legislation if it passes. Douglas's statements have drawn both praise and condemnation. The Takeaway talks to Ross Sneyd, news editor with Vermont Public Radio.
Portia de Rossi did a public service announcement on the gay marriage issue on Jimmy Kimmel Live!:
The G-20 summit is underway in London and world leaders are hoping the day will end with a new global deal for tackling the worldwide recession. It’s a moment that reminds our next guest of the end of the year 1930, when the world was 18 months into the Great Depression. Stocks were down about 60 percent, corporate profits had been cut in half, and unemployment had climbed from 4 percent to about 10 percent. Sounds familiar, right? To help us understand what tools world leaders and central bankers can use to the global economy out of a recession and whether a return to the gold standard can help that is Liaquat Ahamed, the Author of Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World.
"The Europeans are on the wrong track, in that the world desperately does need a global stimulus package." —Author Liaquat Ahamed on fixing the world economy
Filmmaker John Waters has been capturing cheerful appreciation of the American grotesque for decades. Film buffs with a penchant for the perverse can keep up with Waters on Netflix or at the local art house. But John Waters the visual artist may be a little less accessible. In the last decade he has been using photography and sculpture to embody the absurdities of American excess. His new show “Rear Projection” is on view at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York from April 3 to May 2 and in Los Angeles at the Gagosian Gallery from April 10 to May 23rd. John Waters joins us for a preview of his latest works.
We've been checking in all morning with the gathering protestors in London the day before the G-20 summit. London is braced for a day of demonstrations ahead of tomorrow's summit of G-20 leaders. This morning anti-capitalist and climate change protestors converged on the financial heart of the city, while this afternoon an anti-war demonstration is expected outside the American Embassy. The organizers insist their protests will be peaceful, but windows at a Royal Bank of Scotland building and other shops have been smashed. We return once again to BBC reporter Jack Izzard who is on the scene.
There is a lot of global attention on North Korea these days what with taking reporters captive and planning a missile launch test this weekend, but the communist nation is squaring off with another nation today. On the soccer field. South Korea and North Korea are playing a World Cup qualifying game in Seoul and it could be quite a strange spectacle. John Sudworth is the BBC’s South Korea correspondent and he joins us from Seoul to talk about the sporting and political implications of this match up.
Monday's attack on a police academy in Lahore, Pakistan revealed the continuing security problems that Pakistan faces. As President Obama reimagines our engagement with Pakistan, Afghanistan and the entire region, we talk with Emile Nakhleh, former Senior Intelligence Officer and Director of the Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program in the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence and author of A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America’s Relations with the Muslim World.
Women have long battled with their biological clocks, but with men like Tony Randall cranking out kids in their seventies, many men don't really think about their biological clocks. In the wake of new studies, though, that might change. Lisa Belkin, New York Times Magazine contributing writer, makes the case in this week’s Magazine that there’s now even more evidence that when it comes to making babies, men have a sell by date.
Lisa Belkin's article will be available in the New York Times Magazine on Sunday.
President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are meeting for the first time today. Obama plans to open negotiation today to draft a new arms control treaty that could slash American and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals by about a third and possibly lead to even deeper reductions. For more, we talk with Clifford Levy, Moscow bureau chief for the New York Times.
"What's going on now is a bit like a first date. Both sides are sort of looking for all sorts of signals and suggestions and hints. They're trying to get a sense of whether there's a real future to this relationship." —Clifford Levy of the New York Times on Obama's meeting with Dmitry Medvedev
Things are really heating up on the Group of 20 protest front. The streets around the Bank of England are filling up quickly with activists angered over the global financial crisis. We are checking back in with the BBC's Jack Izzard who is on the scene in London.
"The protesters have certainly done their homework. It's very well-planned, very carefully executed. But the police have done it too." —The BBC's Jack Izzard on protests at the G-20 summit
Can Pakistan be governed? That is the central question of a new article written by James Traub for this Sunday’s edition of the New York Times Magazine. Traub was in Pakistan during the tumultuous protests lead by opposition leader Nawaz Sharif last month. Protestors were calling for the reinstatement of Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and they got what they were asking for. But where did all of that, and the continuing instability in Pakistan, leave the country's President, Asif Ali Zardari? To find out,
James Traub interviewed the President of Pakistan, who was elected to office after the assassination of his wife Benazir Bhutto. He joins The Takeaway to discuss the results of that interview.
The G-20 begins tomorrow, but activists are gathering this morning in London to protest the summit. Along with hundreds of others, demonstrators from a group called the G-20 Meltdown plan to converge from four London subway stations on the Bank of England, led by multicolored figures representing four horsemen of what they term the the economic apocalypse "war, climate chaos, financial crimes and land enclosures and borders". Isn't that five? In the midst of the chaos is the BBC's Ollie Williams. He has the bird's eye view of the entire city. He's live mapping the protests.
Check out Ollie Williams' amazing map including audio, pictures, and other interactive fun. Click here!
Ahead of the G-20 summit, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao will meet for the first time today. This meeting comes in the midst of increased tensions between China and the U.S. amid economic tensions. They are planning to discuss a global economic crisis each is trying to combat with policies that may further complicate U.S.-China relations. For more on this meeting, we are joined by Bill Emmott, the former editor of The Economist and the author of Rivals: How the Power Struggle Between China, India and Japan will Shape our Next Decade.
President Obama met with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown ahead of the G-20 conference in London this morning. While the leaders of the world are coming together to tackle the global financial crisis and to make new rules for the banking system, demonstrators are gathering in the streets. For a report from the frontlines of the protests we are joined by Jack Izzard from the BBC's Today program.
Watch the video below to see the protesters gathered in the London streets.
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