John Lennon would have turned 70 this weekend. A movie coming out Friday looks back fifty-some years ago, before anyone knew Lennon's name, when he was simply a teenager growing up in Liverpool, England.
The film, called "Nowhere Boy," focuses on John Lennon’s youth: growing up, discovering music, becoming reacquainted with his estranged mother and being raised by his fiercely protective Aunt Mimi.
The world may best know Glenn Beck and Rand Paul as Tea Party leaders. But Beck and Paul also happen to be avid readers, and both have mentioned their fondness for Ayn Rand and her dystopian novel "Atlas Shrugged."
Widely celebrated by Tea Party leaders, Ayn Rand's books have become centerpieces of the Tea Party’s literary canon; over the last year and a half, sales of her books have tripled as a result over the past year and a half.
How did this happen? What other books are on the Tea Party’s list of favorites? And what similarities does their canon bear to those of other political movements?
A case coming up before the Supreme Court today will test the limits of free speech.
In Snyder v. Phelps, the anti-gay protestor Fred Phelps is being sued by the father of Matthew Snyder, a 20-year-old Marine who died in Iraq. In 2006, Phelps' group, the Westboro Baptist Church, picketed 1,000 feet from Snyder’s funeral with signs saying “You are Going to Hell” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.” The father wants to see the WBC punished for "intentional infliction of emotional distress."
Rafer and Kristen discuss this past weekend's hit, "The Social Network."
Since its publication in 2005, millions of people have read "Freakonomics." The best selling book, written by economist Steven Levitt and New York Times reporter Stephen Dubner, examines pop culture and everyday life through the economic lens of incentives. The result was unexpectedly funny and popular enough to have spawned a newly emerging media empire, including Freakonomics Radio and "Freakonomics: The Movie."
In the 80's, the infamous McMartin Preschool sexual abuse trial ignited a hysteria about child sexual abuse. The McMartin trials never found anyone guilty, however, and several of the children, now adults, have come forward, saying no molestation ever happened. Across the nation, though, tens of thousands of people became convinced that they had repressed – and recovered – memories of awful abuse.
Meredith Maran, a journalist and author, found herself caught up in it. She began to believe that her own father had molested her, and at age 37, she accused him. Ten years later, she realized that he was innocent and recanted. But it was almost too late.
Snooki did not invent celebrity – and chances are she won't break it either.
That's according to Professor Fred Inglis, author of "A Short History of Celebrity." Inglis is a cultural historian, and he takes the long view on our fascination with the likes of Tiger Woods, Marilyn Monroe and Angelina Jolie. Over the past 200 years, says Inglis, it has become easier and easier to live vicariously.
The military ads we see on television often claim that enlisted men and women have the opportunity to gain valuable job skills while serving our country. Whether the dream is to be an engineer or a journalist, the promise is that the military can help that dream to come true. But are these promises real? And what do real veterans face when trying to find work?
133 C Street Southeast is a nondescript red-brick building in Washington DC. Behind the bricks, however, the building registered as a church and affiliated with a secretive Christian group known as “The Family.”
C Street friends and “Family” have included Strom Thurmond, Pat Robertson's father (Absalom Willis Robertson), John Ashcroft, and some of the biggest names in government.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford shares ties with C Street. In fact, he disclosed the truth about his extra-marital affair with his friends there before the affair went public.
But Sanford’s isn’t the only sex scandal linked to C Street. And sex scandals are, in fact, only one of many questionable things linked to the brick structure on Capitol Hill.
This week, the NAACP’s president, Benjamin Jealous, did something previously unheard of for the organization: He encouraged members of New York’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center to work with him and specifically, to attend the NAACP march for jobs and justice in Washington next month.
Today, one of the greatest screen villains of the past quarter century returns in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”
This time, Gordon Gekko, again played by Michael Douglas, returns to the investment banking world just in time to see it crash and burn ... and of course, in time to benefit from it crashing and burning.
But while some fans of Gekko and "Wall Street" are thrilled with the prospect of a sequel, we’re more interested in knowing whether the movie is good, the facts accurate, and what we might learn from it.
55 years ago, Allen Ginsberg wrote his beat generation poetic masterpiece, "Howl." Almost immediately after its publication in 1956, the poem's publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books, was arrested and charged with obscenity. In a landmark legal case, a judge ruled in 1957 that the poem was not obscene.
A new movie, "Howl," starring James Franco, John Hamm, and Mary Louise Parker, follows the story of the poem and the man who wrote it.
Rafer and Kristen (and special guest New York Times Wall Street and finance reporter Louise Story) discuss "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."
If you were a child anytime in the past fifty years, you’re likely familiar with the strange, wonderful worlds of Roald Dahl.
His children’s books – which include classics like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “The Witches” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” – have been translated into dozens of languages and turned into hugely popular films.
But he also wrote some of the creepiest stories out there for adults, including “Lamb to the Slaughter,” in which a woman kills her husband with a frozen lamb chop, then cooks and feeds it to the detectives who come to investigate, and “the Smoker” – which follows a man’s attempts to claim the fingers from people’s hands through wagers.
Julianne Moore is one of the most accomplished actors of our day. She’s appeared in dozens of critically acclaimed films—including "The Hours," "Boogie Nights," "A Single Man," and "The Kids are All Right." She’s been nominated for four Oscars. She’s won a Golden Globe.
Rafer and Kristen discuss "Easy A" and the history of teen sex comedies.
As the economic climate continues to suffer, the number of former workers seeking Social Security disability benefits has spiked.
Ten years ago, roughly five million disabled workers collected Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Today, more than eight million ex-workers do. And as the economic climate of America continues to suffer, the number of SSDI applications continues to rise. This year, they’re up 21 percent over last year.
This year marks the thirtieth year since the disease smallpox was eradicated. The disease has been around since roughly 10,000 BC, and killed approximately thirty percent of its victims. Over the course of history, it struck millions, including such famous survivors as George Washington, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln.
Now eradicated for three decades, what lessons can we take away from how we dealt with smallpox?
Sharing his insights is Dr. Walt Orenstein, Deputy Director for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Amy Julia Becker is like a lot of mothers in America. She’s in her early thirties. She’s married. She has two kids, and a third on the way.
But here’s where she might be considered slightly different: of her two children, one has Down Syndrome. And when it comes to her current pregnancy, she and her husband have decided NOT to have the fetus screened for Down Syndrome.
Katherine Schwarzenegger descends from Kennedy bloodlines and Hollywood royalty. She’s educated and beautiful and has been afforded more privileges than most of us could ever hope for. But she also wants the world to know she’s a real person - a person who, not that long ago, was a young girl facing the same pressures that young girls everywhere in America face.