Many sounds, sights and traditions have long been hallmarks of December…from decorating a Christmas tree to the singing of carols. And at least one seasonal tradition is specific to the workplace: the holiday bonus. But where did this tradition come from? And in our current economy, will it disappear?
Carrie Fisher, perhaps best known for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, is also something of a real-world Hollywood princess. As the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and the late Eddie Fisher, Fisher's entire career and family life have been well documented by the media. In her one-woman show, "Wishful Drinking," Fisher re-tells the stories of her life. A cut-down version of the show premiered Sunday night on HBO. We talk with Carrie Fisher about growing up in a Hollywood family, and whether she's ever outlived the Princess Leia legend.
We frequently hear the term “values” discussed with regard to American politics, culture and life. But what are "American values?"
This whole week, we’ll be delving into that question. We're talking with experts and real people, both, and we’d love to hear from you as well: What do you consider to be "American values?"
We’re kicking off the series today with Toby Miller, a British-Australian-US interdisciplinary social scientist and author of “Makeover Nation: The United States of Reinvention.”
"The Fighter" is the latest movie from director David O. Russell and stars Mark Wahlberg as boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his coach, (played by Christian Bale). Rafer and Kristen discover each other's true feelings about the movie (hint, they don't agree.)
Even if you’re not a sports fan, chances are you know the name Meadowlark Lemon. For 24 years, he played with the Harlem Globetrotters. Over the past five decades, his audiences have included popes, kings, and every U.S. president since Eisenhower. In total, he’s played over 16,000 career games — more than any other player in basketball history.
The holiday movie season is officially in full swing. Today, nine movies hit the big screen, and the Takeaway Movie Date podcast co-hosts give us their opinions on three of them: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," "The Fighter," and "The Tourist."
A soon-to-be-released film about marital drama just won a rare victory. “Blue Valentine,” starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, was initially given an NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Association of America. The stated reason? Because the film contains “a scene of explicit sexual content.” Many people familiar with the scene described it as a fairly tame sex scene in which William's character receives oral sex. The studio and film's cast and crew appealed the rating, which was changed yesterday by the MPAA. The film is now rated R.
It may seem like just yesterday that you first heard The Sugar Hill Gang or Run DMC, but the hip hop business is pushing forty. For many of the years that hip hop has been around, Dan Charnas has been working in the business - as a scout, a promoter, and a journalist. Dan is the author of a new book called “The Big Payback: the History of the Business of Hip Hop.” Charnas walks us through some pivotal moments in the hip hop business, and how those moments have informed our culture and the entertainment industry.
During the early 1800s, when the word “scientist” had yet to be coined, a fever for novel animals and plants swept Europe and led dozens of crazed amateurs to the most alien places on earth in search of specimens. You know the names of some of these adventurers; one would become a president of the United States. But even those whose names have been forgotten by most of us lived lives of great adventure, and sometimes great foolishness.
We frequently hear the term “values” discussed as regards American politics, culture and life. But what are "American values?" Are they about family? If so, what kind of family? Are they about religion? If so, is it religion as a separate entity from the government, or religion as an ideology that informs government?
During the week of December 13th, we’ll be delving into the values we frequently equate with being an American. We’ll talk with experts and real people, both, and we’d love to hear from you as well: What do you consider to be "American values?"
The mythology of Native American warriors permeates a vast swath of American history and culture: from the stories we see played out on the big screen to the questionable names of some of our professional sports teams. And among the American Indian warriors, the name that is perhaps best known is that of Crazy Horse, the Sioux warrior famous for his involvement in Custer’s last stand.
Rafer and Kristen find agreement on the creepiness of Daron Aronofsky's new thriller with Oscar-buzz, "Black Swan," debate the ending, and decide that a movie can sometimes be good even if it offers more questions than answers.
We speak with Colin Firth about his latest film, “The King’s Speech,” which centers on Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI. Firth plays Albert George, unexpectedly forced to take the throne after the death of his father and abdication of his older brother. As World War II looms, George must overcome his lifelong stuttering problem and address the nation.
Darren Aronofsky's dark ballet film "Black Swan" opens today, and it's already being mentioned as a contender for Oscar season. But the film elicited very different reactions from our movie contributors, Kristen Meinzer and Newsday film critic Rafer Guzman.
In 1970, three young alumni from the Harvard Lampoon started a national version of their campus humor magazine. It was called National Lampoon, and in the forty years since its launch, the Lampooon's humor and former members have permeated television, film, and just about every other cultural outlet in America.
The holiday season is approaching quickly, and if you’re like millions of other Americans, books will be on your to-give list. What books should you be giving? Which books are most likely to be enthusiastically received — regardless of whether you're giving them to an e-reading enthusiast or couch potato?
Patrik Henry Bass, our friend and senior editor at Essence magazine, is here with some tips, and offers (after the jump) his favorite books of 2010 for this gift-giving season.
Hanukkah kicks off at sundown tonight. And while the festival of lights is famous for a lot of things — like potato latkes and eight nights of presents — it’s often underappreciated for its music.
That changes today. Indie music star Ben Kweller reminds us that there’s plenty of good Hanukkah music. He joins us from his tour bus, which is currently parked in Birmingham, Ala.
Here is Ben Kweller's full list of favorite Hanukkah songs:
Thirty years ago, Anne Rice exploded onto the literary scene with her gothic novel “Interview with the Vampire.” Since then, she’s sold over 100 million copies of her books and explored not just vampires, but also witches and the life of Christ.
Her newest book, out today, is called “Of Love and Evil.” It’s the second book in her “Songs of Seraphim” trilogy, and it follows the saga of a former government assassin and an angel as they travel back to 15th century Rome to unravel the mystery of a poisoning.
Earlier this month, a bill to extend benefits for three months for the long-term unemployed was defeated in Congress. The cost of extending benefits would have equaled roughly $12 billion.
But while Capitol Hill has thus far been unwilling to spend $12 billion for the unemployed, Republicans on the Hill have also announced their intention to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. The price tag to do so for 2011? Roughly $36 billion.