Streams

Kristen Meinzer

Kristen Meinzer appears in the following:

What Race is Your Avatar?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do you play video games? If so, what color is your avatar? Does it look like you? Or someone or something else entirely? Do you make presumptions about the identities of other players? Do they make them about you? In short, how does identity and race play out in our virtual worlds? Jeff Yang, organized a panel on this topic last week at South By Southwest called "E-Race: Avatars, Anonymity and the Virtualization of Identity." Jeff Yang also writes the Asian Pop column for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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The Grammar Police on 'You Are What You Speak'

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From English teachers to grammar grouches, people have been complaining for generations that the English language is going down the drain. As they see it, our vocabularies are shrinking, our grammar is abysmal, and we’ve all but forgotten about how to punctuate (?!). Carol Shaffer is one of those grammar grouches. A former teacher, she’s also the founder of the website Grammarpolice.com, which has been pointing out language usage errors for fifteen years. Robert Lane Greene has a different perspective. The author of the new book, “You Are What You Speak,” he thinks what some people see as errors are in fact evolution.

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Errol Morris on Soldiers Posing With Dead Civilians

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The world has been shocked by three photographs released by German magazine Der Spiegel. The photos depict dead civilians in Afghanistan and U.S. Soldiers who are accused of killing them for sport. Part of a self-designated “Kill Team,” the soldiers appear to be making fun of their victims. In one, a soldier smiles as he holds up the head of a civilian corpse. In another, two dead civilians appear to be tied at the wrists. The U.S. Army has released a statement calling the soldiers’ actions “repugnant,” and assuring the public that prosecution is underway. But will this be enough to stem the tide of what appears to be another Abu Ghraib?

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'Limitless': Hollywood's New Thought Thriller

Monday, March 21, 2011

The fantasy of outsmarting our enemies and even the ones we love most in this world is a natural dream. We all love to be right, to have the upper hand. The movie “Limitless” tests the boundaries of that fantasy by imagining the consequences of a world where we can access the deepest boundaries of our brains with the helpful pop of a pill.

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Movie Date: 'Limitless' and Other Drugs

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rafer and Kristen have a major disagreement about the drugs-make-you-smarter themed movie “Limitless.” They also look back on other movies – good and bad – in which drugs are a main character.

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Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 100 Years Later

Friday, March 18, 2011

One hundred years ago this month, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire killed 146 people - mostly immigrant women and girls - and ushered in a new era of worker rights. A new film about the fire called “Triangle: Remembering the Fire,” debuts Monday on HBO. We talk with the film's director, Daphne Pinkerson.

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Tig Notaro on SXSW

Friday, March 18, 2011

Up-and-coming comedian Tig Notaro wasn't much of a household name until a few weeks ago, when South by Southwest included her on the list of comedians to perform at the festival this week. At the time, she was the only female comedian chosen by SXSW. Since the announcement and a subsequent outcry from the public over the lack of female participants, the festival has added other women to the comedy lineup. We talked with Notaro on Thursday about gearing up for SXSW and the challenges of being a female comedian.

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E-Books and American Libraries

Thursday, March 17, 2011

As e-books grow more and more popular, it’s not surprising that demand has grown, at online stores and libraries. But last week, it became more difficult for readers to get their e-books at the library. In the past publishers allowed libraries to lend out an e-book an unlimited number of times, but last week Harper Collins began enforcing a new set of rules. Under their new restrictions libraries may allow an e-book to be checked out only 26 times before it expires. What does this mean for e-books at libraries? And how are libraries around the country reacting?

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Photographing Life After Nuclear Disaster

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Photographer Michael Forster Rothbart has taken pictures of Bhopal and spent two years living in Chernobyl. He’s also photographed the Semi Polygon nuclear test site in Kazakhstan. He has first-hand knowledge of what happens once the news cameras leave and life continues in places changed forever by nuclear disaster. He shares some of the images and stories that have stayed with him after traveling through towns hit by calamity.

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Yoko Ono on Disaster and Hope in Japan

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yoko Ono Lennon experienced the devastation of WWII on Japan. Since then, she's moved to the United States and worked as an artist and musician. She speaks strongly about pain, love, and her reverence for planet Earth. In the wake of Japan's quake and tsunami, she has been thinking of her home country and contributing to the Red Cross. She encourages others to do the same, or to participate in the rebuilding of Japan in a more hands-on way if they can. Amidst the pain and the destruction, she is hopeful that her country can rebuild.

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How Japan's Earthquake Altered the Earth's Time

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The earthquake in Japan devastated a country, but it also had a geological effect on the earth, changing the length of our days. According to physicists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, last week’s earthquake actually resulted in our days being shortened by 1.8 microseconds. Dr. Jean Dickey, a physicist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains that the mass of the earth changed in such a way that the rotation changed. However, she says that the days change fairly often following atmospheric changes and that, while the earthquake had a devastating effect on Japan, the length of the day is not something to be concerned about.

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Movie Date: Fairy Tales on Film

Friday, March 11, 2011

This week, Rafer and Kristen look at the newest imagining of Red Riding Hood and discuss their favorite fairy tales on film. Along the way, Rafer explains why fairy tales make men feel like objects and Kristen explains why she'd like them to be a little more like Sophie's Choice.

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James Gleick's Information Overload

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We commonly describe the time we live in as “the information age.” More dramatically, some, like Eric Schmidt of Google, say we’re in the midst of an “information explosion.” But what, exactly, is information? Is it an idea? The documentation of an idea? James Gleick explores these questions in his new book “The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood.” He joins us from Tampa, Florida.

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'Then Everything Changed': Big Moments in American History

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Historians usually stick to facts, but sometimes it’s fun to play the "what if" game with history. What if president-elect John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in December 1960? What if Robert Kennedy had lived through Sirhan Sirhan's attempt on his life and became president in 1968? What if Gerald Ford had corrected a misstep in the 1976 presidential debate with Jimmy Carter and won a second term?

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Jonathan Coe on 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim'

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

In today’s world, it’s not unusual to wake up alone, drive to work alone, and eat our meals alone. It’s expected that most of our communicating will take place through machines, rather than face to face. And it’s not unusual for us to develop relationships with those machines, whether they’re our cell phones or GPS devices. But what does all this isolation do to us? And does technology make our isolation better or worse?

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The Spy Who Loved Me: A True Life Story

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

When we think of spies in love, we might imagine the wacky but passionate Boris and Natasha. Alternatively, we might think of Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, depicting Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson in the movie “Fair Game.” But what’s life really like for an undercover couple? Robert Baer and Dayna Baer know. They are two dedicated CIA agents, who had more or less given up on their personal lives, but fell in love on a mission to Sarajevo.

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Surprising Tips for Living Longer

Monday, March 07, 2011

How can we live longer, healthier lives? It’s a question that for centuries has enticed explorers to travel the globe and many others to suffer through everything from chemical peels to bizarre diets. Is the secret in a good attitude? A lasting marriage? Strenuous exercise? Can we control it at all? Leslie Martin, along with Howard Friedman, is the author of a new book called “The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study.” Leslie Martin talks about the book, and dispels some long-held myths about longevity.

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Movie Date: Why Rango is Possibly the Most Unconventional Animated Feature

Friday, March 04, 2011

In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen look at the new Johnny Depp animated lizard cowboy vehicle, "Rango," and debate whether the film's grissly characters and graphic violence make it the best or worst children's movie ever.

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Josh Radnor on 'Happythankyoumoreplease'

Friday, March 04, 2011

You may know Josh Radnor best as the "I" of the Emmy-award winning TV show "How I met your Mother." But Radnor is also a director and writer, and today, his debut film "Happythankyoumoreplease" hits theatres, in limited release. The film centers on a young man named Sam, played by Radnor, and on his friends, all of whom are trying to figure out how to grow up and find love. But Sam’s journey takes an unexpected twist when a little boy named Rasheen decides to follow him home one day, and Sam decides to keep him. Radnor talks about his new film and about making the transition from small screen to silver screen.

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Movies: 'Adjustment Bureau,' 'Take Me Home Tonight,' 'Rango'

Friday, March 04, 2011

Movie Date co-host and Newsday movie critic, Rafer Guzman gives us his take on the weekend's releases: the conspiracy theory romance “The Adjustment Bureau,” which stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt; the eighties-themed romantic comedy “Take Me Home Tonight,” which stars Topher Grace and Anna Faris; and the new animated feature “Rango,” in which Johnny Depp stars as a lizard cowboy. 

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