The next time your children get filthy playing in the riverbed or taking apart the remote control, stop before you scold. Scientists say that this kind of play is actually like hands-on science experimentation for your kids; they're learning to decipher the world around them through exploration. Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, explains how these findings should change how we educate our children.
Everyone had a favorite teacher growing up, but did you ever wonder how that person got you excited about learning? According to new neurological research, it might be because that teacher unknowingly tapped into your brain. John Gabrieli, neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, talks about these and other new results from neuroscience that are shaping the way educators teach.
The media put a new face to the Trayvon Martin case last week: Mark O'Mara, the red-haired lawyer representing George Zimmerman, the man charged with murdering Martin in February. O'Mara has worked as both a defense attorney and prosecutor for nearly 30 years and is incredibly media savvy. But what is he really like and how will he handle the emotionally-charged atmosphere that this trial is sure to bring with it? Kendall Coffey explains how O'Mara will have to strategize both his defense and his media playbook if he wants to win the case.
Former Senator John Edwards was once one of the country’s most promising politicians: a vice presidential nominee and presidential hopeful. But for the next six weeks, he will be a prominent defendant in a campaign finance trial that is unprecedented. Edwards is being charged with using illegal campaign contributions to cover up an affair with Rielle Hunter, a videographer who worked for him during his 2008 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Kim Severson, Atlanta bureau chief for our partner The New York Times, will be covering the trial in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Some call it the Emerald Empire, others Rain City, but Takeaway listeners at KUOW Seattle call it home. Host John Hockenberry has been visiting Seattle this week, and had the opportunity to speak with Mayor Mike McGinn to talk about the narrative of the city — from the changes in the broad-based economy to managing accusations of racial profiling by the police force, and how the city incorporates accessible design with community building.
For 40 years, students have been tossing the Frisbee back and forth on college campuses in impromptu games of "Ultimate" — a non-contact football-like game where a disc substitutes for a ball. Over the years, the game has gone from pastime to a full-on organized sport with teams competing across the country. Now, ultimate is turning professional — with the establishment of the new American Ultimate Disc League. Raymie Younkin, general manager and head coach of Kentucky's "Bluegrass Revolution", one of the eight new pro teams, joins us to explain why he believes the new league could become this generation's NBA.
Since the violence in Syria began, the country's First Lady Asma al-Assad, known for having a cherished place in her husband's inner circle, has been silent about the uprising. A new graphic video released this week by two UN ambassador's wives addresses the woman called "the real dictator" of her family directly, calling on Asma as a woman, a mother, and wife to the most powerful man in the country to "forget the image — and end the violence." Huberta von Voss-Wittig is the wife of the German ambassador to the United Nations, Peter Wittig. She explains why she thinks this video could make a difference.
For today's sports fans, it’s hard to imagine professional teams segregated by color. That changed 65 years ago when Jack Roosevelt Robinson, the son of Georgia sharecroppers, joined the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first African-American in major league baseball. American sports have come a long way since 1947, but maybe not far enough. This season, just over eight percent of professional baseball players are black. That's less than half of what it was in 1959, when the last team was integrated. Are we living up to or failing Jackie Robinson's legacy? Author of "Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season", Jonathan Eig, explains.
"Do you Yahoo?" was the web giant's catchphrase, but not enough people are answering in the affirmative these days. Yahoo has announced that it is laying off 2,000 employees in the hopes of turning around the company. Joe Nocera, Op-Ed columnist for our partner The New York Times, says Yahoo should be a cautionary tale for other tech companies like Google and Facebook, who might be next in line.
Yesterday on the show, ProPublica reporter Kim Barker said that going through Ron Paul's expenses was "like poetry." "I really just saw it like a way to track what it's like to campaign," Barker said. The thousands of lines of expenses in the Federal Election Commission filing from the Ron Paul campaign include everything: iTunes music, FedEx mailings, Salvation Army supplies, travel tolls, party rentals, and meals at places called Smash Burger and Thai Flavors. Today we're talking about election year poetry: seeing truth and beauty from the tiny details of a campaign's mundane expenses.
Mohammed Merah, a French national of Algerian descent and former member of Al Qaeda, was allegedly behind two separate attacks in France this week. Benjamin Abtan, head of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement, says there is concern that increasing anti-immigration sentiment may have fueled these attacks and that it could lead to others.
How much would you pay for a 2005 Chrysler? Well, an anonymous seller on eBay is asking for a million dollars, but it's no ordinary car. The Chrysler once belonged to none other than President Barack Obama, who used it when on trips home to Chicago when he was just a Senator from Illinois. So is a President's former sedan really worth one million dollars?
Czech writer, anti-Communist, and first president of the country Vaclav Havel died this weekend during surgery for respiratory ailments stemming from cancer. The former dissident playwright led Czechoslovakia's "Velvet Revolution" in 1989, leaving him as one of the heroes of Eastern Europe's struggle with Communism. He died at 75. Takeaway producer Kateri Jochum spoke with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright earlier today about Havel's death and legacy.
The State Department has announced that the United States will resume nuclear talks with North Korea next week for the first time since 2005. The talks are welcomed by Kim Jong-il, who even hinted at the possibility of resuming six-party talks to end his country’s nuclear program. Separate negotiations currently taking place in Bangkok will also touch on the remains of American soldiers still missing in action from the Korean War. Almost 8,000 men are still missing from that conflict, and the remains of nearly 5,500 are thought to be in North Korea.
Back in 1982 the song "867-5309/Jenny" was on top of the Billboard charts and became a radio classic with its catchy chorus and yearning lyrics. Performed by Tommy Tutone, it brought fifteen minutes of fame to songwriter Jim Keller. But now, after years of managing composer Philip Glass, Keller is back on the music scene. Today, he's coming out with a new album, "Soul Candy" — the second in only a few years.
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction was part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which Congress passed last week. The bipartisan committee is made up of six Senators and six Representatives, with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats represented. These are the same Democrats and Republicans who spent weeks and months in a deadlock over the national debt. The committee must produce debt-reducing legislation by November 23 — what is the likelihood that they will be successful?
This week, The Spine Journal, a scientific peer-reviewed journal of the North American Spine Society, came out with a special issue that critically compared clinical reports of products used to foster bone growth, in a case of a major conflict of interest with potentially devastating results. Doctors had been writing positive peer-reviewed research reviews about a product called Infuse, by a medical device company called Medtronic, but failed to mention that their own research showed the product had proven complications, including higher cancer rates and male infertility. The same doctors were also collecting royalties and fees totaling at least $62 million from Medtronic.
President Obama spoke to the press on Wednesday in his first press conference in three months. He said that Democrats were willing to make compromises on spending, and pushed Republicans to "take on their sacred cows" and agree to tax increases for higher income earners and corporations. But the real sacred cow might be in his veiled threat to ask Congress to stay in session through their August summer holidays, if need be.
11,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where a wildfire has burned more than 110 square miles of land since Sunday. On Wednesday, crews began to burn a blaze to act as a barrier. The new fires are meant to protect the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where 10,000 drums—each containing 55 gallons of radioactive waste—are stored above ground.
A mixture of cheers and jeers followed seven-term New York Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner's announcement Thursday that he would be resigning from public office. Weiner apologized to his constituents and to his wife for the sexting scandal, in which he admitted to sending lewd messages and photos to at least six women. Weiner was one of the more outspokenly liberal members of the House – and his 9th District that has been a Democratic stronghold for decades. Will his successor's replacement change the political spectrum or become a referendum on President Obama's politics, as a litmus test for 2012?