What if you could explain economics and finance in the form of a poem? Jess Walter writes about exactly that in “The Financial Lives of the Poets," a novel that centers on a journalist who gives up newspaper work to offer online financial advice in free verse. The book comes out in paperback this month, just in time for the two-year anniversary of the financial crash that led to the current economic recession.
Jess tells us about the economy, poetry, and whether there's anything that's too awful to smile about or turn into a haiku.
Meanwhile, we're asking you: Send us your haikus about the economy. It can be anything about the recession, the recovery, the stimulus, your personal situation or the president's policies. Just remember the 5-7-5 form: five syllables, then seven syllables, then five syllables. We'll read the best ones on the air with Jess.
Text us yours to 69866 with the word TAKE, or call it in to 877-8-MY-TAKE.
Rafer and Kristen look at the recent strange tale of Joaquin Phoenix in what might (or might not) be a hoax documentary, "I'm Still Here."
To people in Miami, Charles Perez is a familiar face. He used to be a television news anchor, and he’s currently writing a book called “Confessions of a Gay Anchorman.”
But behind Charles’s familiar face and authoritative television presence is a journey to parenthood that has been incredibly difficult, at times. Charles and his husband wanted to adopt a child. But in the state of Florida, it’s still against the law for gay and lesbian people to adopt. In order to adopt, they temporarily moved to Illinois, and then later to Kansas, where they were eventually able to adopt their daughter.
Some people know Martin Landau as the debonair master of disguise in TV history — from his role on “Mission Impossible.” Some remember him best as the groundbreaking, sexually ambiguous henchman in “North By Northwest.” However, most people remember him fondly as Bella Lugosi in “Ed Wood” — a role that garnered him an Academy Award.
But the magic of Martin Landau is that, to a certain extent, many of us don’t remember him at all. Rather, we remember the characters he plays – each with his own unique desires, language, and history. Landau virtually disappears into each one.
No matter what one's position on a given war, it’s often hard to put language on it. War is so colored by politics and the press, it’s sometimes hard to understand why people are fighting—as our recent wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan make abundantly clear.
But literature can help us. It can give us the context to understand war, because even if there are politics in a story, they’re deeply personal—they’re about people, and not just soundbites. Novels often recognize that there really aren’t concrete winners and losers. And, more often than not, they acknowledge the surreality of war.
Our friend, Patrik Henry Bass, senior editor at Essence Magazine, has read many books about war. And he’s here with some that have helped him to better understand how it touches people’s lives.
Tired of PB and J? Had it up to here with ham and cheese? In honor of back-to-school season, we revisit and remix the lunchbox, with sandwiches that surprise, but don't require you to break a sweat.
Melissa Clark leads us in our journey. The author of "In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About the Food You Love," she also shares her mother's sandwich theory of life. (Recipes after the jump)
Kristen and Rafer look at 'Machete': its over-the-top violence, serious political message and "Mexploitation" aesthetic.
Sometimes a word is just a word. But other times, it’s an indicator of something more troubling on the part of the speaker. Take, for example, the word “boy.” When being used to refer to a small child, most of us don’t think twice. But when the word “boy” refers to an adult black man, and the speaker is his white supervisor who’s just passed him up for a promotion, it takes on a much different meaning.
It’s for this reason that John Hithon, an employee of the Tyson chicken processing plant in Gadsden, Alabama, sued his employers for workplace discrimination.
We’ve all heard of single women in their thirties freezing their eggs for later use. But Gillian St. Lawrence has taken the idea somewhat further.
Gillian is thirty. She’s been happily married for nearly ten years. She and her husband, Paul St. Lawrence, both want children... just not yet. They don’t, however, want to face the potentially lower fertility rates and higher genetic disorder rates that might come if they decide to get pregnant years down the road. They’ve opted to create and freeze five embryos, which they’ll implant in ten or fifteen years, when they feel more ready.
The newest George Clooney vehicle, "The American," opened nationwide on Wednesday, and critics expect huge audiences in the coming days. Clooney plays an assassin, holed up in Italy for one last assignment. Given the film's star, one can expect intrigue and romance along the way, but does the newest Clooney film really show Clooney at his best? And what, exactly, is Clooney at his best?
We look back at Clooney’s films with two people who know his work well, and we’re asking, what's the best version of Clooney, and what makes Clooney's appeal is so broad?
Andre Agassi is widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, as well as one of the most charismatic players in the history of the game. But despite his record wins and huge prize earnings, which total over thirty million dollars, Agassi admits in his autobiography, “Open,” that he actually hates tennis with a passion.
Agassi joins us to discuss where his true passions lie, the role his family played in pressuring him to be a champion, and how he managed to write so honestly in his new book, “Open: An Autobiography.”
For nearly two weeks, a stretch of highway outside Beijing saw monster gridlock, which stretched out over sixty miles and trapped drivers on China's National Highway 110 for days. It had been expected to last until mid-September, but last Thursday, after eleven days, the traffic jam suddenly broke.
Many people, of course, are wondering: Where did it go? How did it start? And could this kind of jam happen again?
Equally scared and entertained by "The Last Exorcism," Rafer and Kristen discuss low-budget horror movies, and what can make them so effective.
It's back to school time, when more kids are spending time in gym class and after-school sports. However, it's not all fun and games, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The report is called “Sport Related Concussion in Children and Adolescents,” and it reveals just how dangerous concussions can be to developing humans, interfering not only with physical health, but learning.
For most people living outside of the Gulf, Hurricane Katrina was a tragedy represented by tens of thousands of nameless faces. People waved frantically from rooftops or crowded into the Superdome, returning home only to find their houses and possessions destroyed. However, for fans of the award-winning graphic novel “A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge,” by Josh Neufeld, there are very specific names and faces attached to Katrina. Those people aren't just characters in a book either – they are real people. Five years after the hurricane, we follow up with two of them to see where their lives – and their city – are today.
This weekend, television fans around the world will be tuning into the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast. And if they’re devotees of "Glee," they’ll likely be cheering for Jane Lynch, who plays cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on Fox’s musical phenomenon. "Glee" is nominated for 19 Emmys — including a best supporting actress nod for Lynch. She's also nominated for a guest spot on "Two and a Half Men."
All this week, we've been talking with our friends from Scientific American about endings — how cultures fade, and natural resources dwindle. Today, we’re focusing on something even bigger: the end of human life as we know it — in other words, the apocalypse. The question of course, is how will it happen? Nuclear war? a killer virus, or perhaps an environmental disaster?
Why isn't there a better way to text while driving? That’s a question that Joel Johnson, editor at large of Gizmodo.com asked in a recent column.
So far, he’s received over 500 responses to his column, most of which suggest that people who text and drive should simply give it up, use the phone instead, or die behind the wheel because they deserve to. However, Johnson insists that, in a world where most people text and drive, his question is valid. If we can't stop it, why not make it safer?
What do you think? Should texting while driving be outlawed or be made safer?
Half a billion eggs suspected of carrying salmonella have been recalled in what’s become the largest egg recall in U.S. history. And many people are wondering: How did this happen? Is it the fault of the factory farming industry? Or the government? And what can be done to prevent widespread food contamination from happening in the future?
This week, more state fairs kick off than at any other time of the year. Fairs will open in Nebraska, New York, Maryland, Texas, and Minnesota, which attracts more fairgoers in its twelve days than any other state fair in the country (last year nearly two million visitors passed through the Minnesota fair's gates).