What happens to civilizations when the food runs out? This happened in ancient Rome and to the Mayans, but can we take lessons from the past in order to have a more secure future?
To most children, summer vacation means sun, fun and a long break from school. But for many parents, each summer brings with it the same difficult question: what to do with the kids? Working parents often grapple with leaving children unattended during the workdays, and childcare can take a toll on the pocketbook. How young is too young for a child to be left home alone?
This week, moviegoers are can choose from abstinent vampires (again), a mamma's boy, and some racially questionable martial arts kids. We refer of course, to: "Twilight Eclipse," "Cyrus," and "The Last Airbender." Rafer Guzman, Takeaway contributor and Newsday critic, shares his opinions on the big releases, and lets us know what we should see and what we should avoid.
“The Last Airbender” is the live-action feature film based on the highly successful animated series on Nickelodeon. It’s also the center of a growing controversy about casting and race. The series features Asian settings, costumes, architecture, and character and location names that incorporate Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian phonemes — such as “Aang,” “Fong” and “Sing.” And yet, when casting the motion picture, the studio chose four white actors to play the leads. When one of the actors dropped out, he was replaced by Dev Patel of “Slumdog Millionaire” fame, but it’s still the case that three of the four leading actors are white.
This Fourth of July, many of us will be enjoying a hot dog or three. But if you’re one of a few select Major League Eating athletes in Coney Island, you’ll more likely be eating forty, fifty, or sixty — in the space of only ten minutes. We refer, of course, to the competitors in the crown jewel of all competitive eating events: The Coney Island Nathans Hot Dot Eating Contest; which, since 1916, has taken place on July 4th, Independence Day.
The FAA recently acknowledged that unmanned aircraft, sometimes called drones, are evolving from military assets into potential tools for all manner of civilian and domestic law enforcement uses. In aviation parlance they're now called unmanned aircraft systems or "UASs" and vary widely in size, shape, function and how they are controlled. UASs can have a wingspan as big as a Boeing 737 or just a few feet, smaller than a radio controlled model airplane. But are they safe? And what do they say about issues of privacy?
For better or worse, the beach book is the Rodney Dangerfield of publishing. It gets no respect.
But Patrik Henry Bass says that, despite their bad rap, we shouldn’t be ashamed of diving into and savoring the fluffiest of literary concoctions. The senior editor for Essence magazine, and a lover of a wide variety of genres, Patrik says there are loads of delicious beach books hitting shelves right now – and that we don’t necessarily have to respect them to enjoy them.
Patrik's top five picks for the season (as well as two bonus suggesions) are after the jump.
Rafer and Kristen talk about the good, bad and ugly of Tom Cruise's strange and successful career, from "Rain Man," to "Oprah," to "Knight and Day."
This Fourth of July weekend, a lot of us will be eating hot dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob, and hamburgers. But when we’re done feasting on the char-broiled delicacies that have come to represent our nation’s independence, how should we finish it all off?
Bill Yosses has some suggestions. He’s the official White House Pastry Chef, and author, along with Melissa Clark, of a new cookbook called “The Perfect Finish.” Chef Yosses joins us live from the White House, where he gives us the scoop on everything from what he serves official visitors to the first family's favorite sweets.
Below, Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark's red, white and blue berry buttermilk bundt cake with orange glaze.
What is it like getting older when you’re part of the first generation of gay people to live fully out of the closet? And who cares for you as you exit the world? We explore these issues with Laurie Young, aging policy analyst at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Brenda Austin, a retiree in her late sixties, who lives in New York and has been out of the closet since the 1950s.
What will the biggest movie at the box office be this weekend? It very well may be "Knight and Day," the new romcom-action send up of the action movie genre with megastars Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.
James Mangold, director of "Knight and Day," joins the program to talk about why his new action comedy isn't that different from his Oscar-winning film "Walk the Line," and how "Girl Interrupted" (another of his Oscar winners) and "3:10 to Yuma" have more in common than one might see at first glance.
Takeaway film contributor, Rafer Guzman reviews this weekend's big movies.
The Adam Sandler powered "Grown Ups" is positioned to lead the box office. The film follows Sandler and fellow comedians (Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider) who play childhood friends who still can't quite grow up. But, says Rafer, don't expect any surprises from this one.
In "Knight and Day" Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz join up in the fast-paced, action-comedy; and although the plot is implausible, Cruise is at his best in a long time.
Thanks to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, many aspects of our private lives are made public – whether it’s where we ate dinner last night or the person with whom we chose to eat that meal.
Of course, most of these bits and pieces are benign, or, depending on who you ask, even boring. But for some people - specifically gay people who are closeted or trying to come out - they can serve as an announcement about their sexual orientation.
It's summer time, and what better time to enjoy a fruit pie or the triumph of culinary competition? We're doing both in The Takeaway's summer fruit pie smackdown.
Serving as the judge is Emily Elsen, third-generation pie maker, featured chef on the Cooking Channel's Unique Eats, and owner (along with her sister Melissa Elsen) of Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Shop in Brooklyn, NY. (recipes after the jump.)
With the unemployment rate for people in their twenties hovering around 15 percent, it’s tempting for recent college grads to just skip the terrible job market and stay in school. And many of them are doing just that. Last year, there was a 6 percent increase in graduate school enrollment, and this year, 27 percent of college grads will go to grad school instead of entering the job market. But Takeaway work contributor Beth Kobliner says it might not be the best choice for everyone.
Most people know Michael Chabon as the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.”
And most people know his wife Ayelet Waldman as the controversial essayist who once ruffled feathers by claiming she was more in love with her husband than her kids.
But behind Chabon and Waldman’s high profile writing careers is a very real family, consisting of two parents, four kids, and – as Ayelet writes in her book, “Bad Mother ” - her own mental illness.
Fifty years ago this summer, Harper Lee’s only book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” was published. Popular with critics and readers from the beginning, it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and a year later was adapted for film, with Gregory Peck starring as Atticus Finch, and Mary Badham as his daughter, 'Scout.'
Today, in honor of To Kill a Mockingbird’s anniversary, we talk with Mary Badham, about her Oscar-nominated role in the film.
This week, thousands of gaming professionals from around the world are gathering in Los Angeles for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo. Buzz is building around new gaming toys, including Microsoft's "Kinect": a camera-based controller that watches your every move, and lets your body serve as the joystick. But while these new technologies will change how we play video games, Tom Bissell says videogames have already begun changing in a more fundamental way.
Do you have a favorite treat from Michigan or dish from Minnesota? Have you ever had Vernors soda, or squeaky cheese curd? For this week's food segment, we continue our state-by-state journey to find our favorite regional foods from around the country with our friend Ed Levine of SeriousEats.com.
It's the time of year when companies around the nation ask employees and employers to have what's usually an awkward conversation: the 'performance review.' We'll be hearing from a management professor who thinks we should simply do away with them entirely. Do you have to do one? Do you have to conduct one? Are they helpful, or is there a better way to get the information across?