For cultures that follow the lunar calendar, today is New Year’s Day. Here in the U.S., many of us simply refer to it as Chinese New Year. But the truth is that communities in and from Vietnam, Korea, Mongolia, Tibet, and elsewhere have their own traditions and foods built around the day. Kelly Choi is the host of "Top Chef Masters" and is a Korean-American. She is personally acquainted with the Korean New Year, or “Seolnal,” as it’s often called. She shares her recipes for the celebration.
Recipes after the jump.
All of her life, Jane McGonigal has been interested in games. At the tender age of ten, she programmed her first game on a Commodore 64. In the years since, she’s designed award winning alternate reality games and massively multiplayer online games — some of which celebrate the fun of dancing, others that deal with human extinction.
When Jasmin Darznik was three, she and her family moved to the U.S. from Iran. Growing up, she had little knowledge of her parents’ lives before immigration. But when she was in her early twenties, Darznik came across a picture of her mother as a young teenage girl, wearing a wedding veil. That picture piqued her curiosity, and led her down a path of family history filled with abuse, neglect, and a half sister she knew nothing about.
For over 75 years, Pennsylvania Germans have gathered in what they call Groundhog (or “Groundsaw”) Lodges to celebrate their language, traditions, and culture. The most important day in lodge culture is, of course, today, Groundhog Day. However, it's hard to think of spring, when more than 30 states are under blizzard warnings, with snow hitting much of the country.
Egypt has a key role as an ally to both Israel and Gazan Palestinians. It's one of the few countries that has a relationship with both groups. As the political ground shifts yet again in the Middle East, we take a look at one Palestinian doctor and how he came to be an advocate for peace in Gaza.
Every day, nearly 7,000 people in America die. And when the deaths are unexpected, sudden or suspicious, it’s presumed that a thorough investigation will take place.
Though you might expect a thorgough and high-level investigation from TV shows like CSI, the reality is quite different. In over 1,300 counties across the United States, elected coroners are in charge of death investigations — many with no medical or scientific background. To run for coroner in most counties, all you need is a high school diploma.
The biggest movie news of the week, and the second biggest movie news of the year, happened this week: The nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards. Kristen and Rafer size up the field of Oscar contenders, how "The King's Speech" became the favorite and why "True Grit" was redeemed. And Kristen laments the lack of diversity in this year's lineup.
Twenty five years ago today, NASA launched the Challenger, sending one of its most highly anticipated and diverse space crews ever into space. The astronauts included one African American, one Asian-American, one Jew, and two women, one of whom was a school teacher named Christa McAuliffe. And the mission ended only 73 seconds into flight, when the Challenger exploded nine miles above the Atlantic. Millions of people across the world, including McAuliffe’s students and fellow teachers, watched the tragedy live and in repeated news clips. We’re joined today by two people who knew our first official teacher in space.
When the Oscar nominees were announced on Tuesday, Takeaway producer, Kristen Meinzer noticed that they were — by her measurements — the least culturally and racially diverse in over a decade. Kristen is here with Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday and co-host for the Takeaway’s Movie Date podcast, to discuss race and the Oscars.
To many people, Alan Lomax is simply the man who introduced the world to Woody Guthrie (and legendary folk songs like “This Land is Your Land”). But for Alan Lomax, Guthrie was just one of thousands of musical discoveries made over the course of more than half a century. Lomax, who served as Assistant Folk Song Archivist for the Library of Congress in the 1930s, recorded music from some of the most remote corners and people on earth — including Caribbean field workers, pygmies and black American prisoners. But how much do we know about the respected oral historian, producer, and interviewer?
When Iranians demonstrated against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime in 2009, the U.S. government and media outlets identified the ultimate tool of the dissident masses to be Twitter. When insisting that nothing like the Rwandan genocide could ever happen again, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown explained: “information would come out far more quickly” and “public opinion would grow to the point where action would need to be taken.” All over the world, we see the power that the Internet has in mobilizing the masses. But at the same time, repressive governments are finding ways to launch "denial of service" attacks.
Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder once sang that there's good and bad in everyone. And that applies to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as much as it does to the rest of us. When I tuned in to this morning's Oscar nominations announcement, I kept this in mind.
"True Grit," "Inception," "The Kids are All Right" and "Toy Story 3" get Oscar nods. Takeaway producer Kristen Meinzer takes us through the Oscar nominees. The full list is after the jump.
100 years ago this February, a ten-pound future president was born in Illinois, feet first. His name was Ronald Wilson Reagan. While he eventually came to be a household name, first as an actor, then as a politician, the details of Ronald Reagan's personal life have always been more or less private. Even his own son, Ron Reagan, wasn’t fully sure of his dad’s story, until he set out to learn more about him.
It’s likely you’ve heard about “O: A Presidential Novel.” The book is a fictional account of the Obama administration — the author, according to the publisher's website — "has been in the room with Obama and wishes to remain anonymous.” But buzz or no buzz, is “O” any good? Does it reveal anything juicy about Obama? And how is it similar or different from other fictional depictions of real, living presidents and administrations? Patrik Henry Bass, senior editor at Essence Magazine reviews the book.
Whenever Kristen and Rafer watch a movie together, they keep their opinions a secret from each other until the podcast. But that's hard when they bring along their friends, as they did with this weekend's big movie, "No Strings Attached," starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. The friend Kristen brought is in a real "friends with benefits" situation and Kristen talks about how the movie's story compares with her real life.
We just collectively cringed at Ricky Gervais on the Golden Globes, and we’ll be watching the Academy Awards before we know it, on February 27th. In the meantime, we’re watching movies that probably won’t bring home any statuettes this time next year; but this weekends films may provide us with a little guilty pleasure.Takeaway Movie Date Podcast co-hosts Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer talk about these new releases.
We frequently hear terms like “common sense” and “street smarts.” But what about “practical wisdom”? A concept first identified by Aristotle, practical wisdom is something Swarthmore professors Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe believe needs a comeback. They insist that it could help our institutions and communities and our nation. But what is practical wisdom? And how might it help something like Obama’s presidency?
The U.S. slave trade took many things from the Africans who were forced into it: family, name, homeland, and, of course, freedom. But within that system of brutality, there were certain things that couldn’t be stolen from the slaves, including their taste memories, cooking techniques and agricultural practices. It’s through these food memories and techniques that Africans transformed the way Americans eat. Food historian Jessica Harris explores this part of the American story, and the people involved in it, in her new book “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America.”
Military wife Siobhan Fallon has a new collection of loosely connected short stories that’s been getting rave reviews. It’s called “You Know When The Men Are Gone.” She explains the truth behind living as a military spouse. Her husband Major K.C. Evans is a graduate of West Point, he’s been married to Siobhan for seven years, and has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan three times during their marriage.