Facebook will make its much-anticipated debut today on NASDAQ as a public company. As of last night, Facebook's offer had risen to $38 a share, putting the total value of the company at $104 billion. But for investors who got burned in the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, all of the hype and hysteria over Facebook is a little too familiar.
It's Europe's biggest sporting event and should take in more viewers than the Super Bowl. This Saturday, the 2012 Champions League Final will see Germany's Bayern Munich take on the United Kingdom's Chelsea FC in the soccer match of the year. What's the big deal? Grant Wahl, senior writer at Sports Illustrated, explains.
In the early 1990s when Yugoslavia was being torn apart by civil war, Gac Filipaj decided to get out. He fled to New York City and became a custodian at Columbia University, knowing it was the best higher-education institution around. After learning some English, Filipaj began taking morning classes before his 8-hour janitorial shifts afternoon.
Questions surrounding Facebook's IPO will finally be answered on Friday, when the company begins publicly trading its stock. Doubts about CEO Mark Zuckerberg's managerial skills and concerns that the company is being overvalued have dampened the hype, but the business and technology worlds are still buzzing in anticipation of Friday's announcement. However the IPO turns out, Facebook will see some serious changes in the near future.
On the agenda this week: France's new president Francois Hollande travels to see German Chancellor Angela Merkel within hours of being sworn in. And both leaders travel to Camp David at the end of the week for a G8 meeting. Also, gas prices are down, and JP Morgan executives are leaving —will the campaigns continue to discuss gay marriage, or will the focus turn back to the economy?
Finally, a vampire movie that really gets vampires. The undead get a bad rap, but this week Kristen and Rafer offer praise to "Dark Shadows," Tim Burton's latest foray into creepy. One part soap opera, one part Johnny Depp, and one part 70s shag carpet, "Dark Shadows" moves this cult classic into new territory.
Every Friday, The Takeaway looks back at the week's big stories with a few people who have been paying very, very close attention. This week, Takeaway contributor and Republican political strategist Ron Christie and Kai Wright, an editor at COLORLINES magazine, discuss President Obama's support for gay marriage, North Carolina's constitutional amendment defining marriage, Dick Lugar's ouster from the Senate, and allegations that Mitt Romney bullied a gay high school classmate.
For some incarcerated women, spending time behind bars means missing out on the formative years of their child's or grandchild's life. But a program is trying to change that. Mommy Reads, a ten-week course offered through Sarah Lawrence College to mothers and grandmothers incarcerated at the Valhalla Correctional Facility in Valhalla, New York, helps women write children's stories and then record themselves narrating them. Polly Bresnick has been lead teacher and volunteer coordinator of the program for two years.
France wasn't the only European country to hold elections yesterday, but the feeling across the continent was certainly one of change. From local elections in Italy to a tight presidential race in Serbia, competitions outside of France told equally interesting stories about changing attitudes toward life in the Euro-zone. Andrew Walker is a correspondent for our partner the BBC, and Ken Rogoff is former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.
While browsing for archival audio on the internet one night, radio historian J. David Goldin noticed a 1937 radio interview of baseball great Babe Ruth for sale on eBay. Goldin was startled; it looked almost exactly like the master copy he had donated to the National Archives more than 30 years ago. Goldin started sleuthing. His detective work set in motion an investigation that revealed one of the most serious thefts in the history of the National Archives. In stealing those master copies, the culprit stole history, a trove of mind-blowing audio recordings spanning decades of American culture. These audio recordings mark an age before television and the Internet, when only sound connected you to the rest of the world. Host John Hockenberry wonders, how does audio transport you back in time better than a photo?
Socialist Francois Hollande eked out a victory over Nicolas Sarkozy in yesterday's French presidential election. Sarkozy's belt-tightening austerity measures were his undoing, with Hollande promising higher taxes on the rich and a growing minimum wage for the working class. But the jury is still out on whether Hollande and his Socialist party will be able to combat the Euro-zone crisis that is keeping France in the red. Dominique Barbet, a senior economist at BNP Paribas, and Stephen Erlanger, correspondent for our partner The New York Times discuss the fallout of yesterday's election and what we can expect for the future of France.
How do you compare the wealth of nations? An economics professor at Princeton University thinks such a big question has a bite-sized answer: buy a Big Mac. Orley Ashenfelter is the author of the Big Mac Index, which measures a country's wealth based on a McDonalds worker's average wage and the cost of a Big Mac.
This week, the fate of Joss Whedon's 'The Avengers' hangs in the balance. Who will come to the rescue this awesome, hulking green monster of a film? And who will come down on the movie like a giant hammer? Listen to find out where Kristen and Rafer stand on this superhero saga.
Richard Grenell was Mitt Romney's foreign policy spokesman until Tuesday, when he resigned from position in the campaign. Dorian Davis is a journalism professor at Marymount Manhattan College and writer for WNYC. He tells us about the case on Grenell and why the Romney campaign made such a misstep in this situation.
U.S. Rep. John Dingell has served in Congress for nearly 60 years, but he may be facing his toughest challenger yet. Dan Marcin, a University of Michigan Ph.D. student, will take on Dingell in this year's election. Marcin spoke last month on The Takeaway. Today, Rep. Dingell responds.
He's got to be strong. He's got to be able to build a barn and get along with children. Being able to play a sultry, sexy musical instrument also helps. In case it wasn't apparent already, this week we're talking about Kristen's fantasy man. And also some movie called "The Lucky One," starring Zac Efron. Let Kristen and Rafer's sultry voices and razor-sharp smarts woo you in this week's podcast.
Public broadcasting doesn't have commercials. It has underwriting announcements — and few of them at that. But that's about to change, now that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the FCC violated the First Amendment when it blocked public broadcasters from airing political advertisements. Jeffrey Rosen, professor of Law at George Washington University, describes how the ruling could change the face of public radio and TV.
The Titanic sank 100 years ago this month. To mark the anniversary, James Cameron is re-releasing his mega-blockbuster "Titanic" in 3D, prompting some critics to say its strictly a marketing ploy while others cheer the innovation.
Will "Titanic 3D" burn a hole in your wallet, or will it blow your mind? This week, Rafer and Kristen put that question to Daniel Engber, senior editor at Slate. Listen to find out what he's got to say.
Yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo, assuring the Supreme Court that President Obama respects the authority of the court to overturn federal laws they find unconstitutional. This memo came after Republican challengers to the Affordable Care Act accused the President of pressuring the Court during deliberations. We discuss the controversy with Jeffrey Rosen, Professor of Law at George Washington University, and Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington correspondent.
This week, Kristen and Rafer watched "Bully," the new documentary from the Weinstein Company that takes on the controversial topic of grade school ridicule. "Bully" was in the news this week for hitting theaters unrated after the MPAA promised an R rating. The hype has certainly drummed up support for the movie, but does "Bully" do its subject justice? Or is "The Hunger Games" actually a better tool for teaching kids about violence?