Mythili Rao is an associate producer at The Takeaway. Since joining the show, she has has worked as a news writer, day-side and live show producer, day and evening manager and web-editor.
At The Takeaway, Mythili works to bring unique voices and perspectives to the day's major national, international and economic stories -- from a barbecue restaurant owner who hobnobs with North Korean leaders to an ordinary college graduate saddled with debt or even a former arms-runner. She has produced a series of pieces utilizing listener-driven content, including stories about rejection, beauty, death, regret, and nostalgia. At the 2012 Miami Book Fair International, she produced a set of author round-tables about love and death. During the 2012 election cycle, she created a Takeaway series called Don't Mention It, which highlighted issues ignored by the candidates, and produced The Takeaway’s crowd-sourced 2013 inaugural poem.
She is a contributing writer for The Daily Beast, where she regularly reviews books for the site's “Hot Reads” feature. Her reporting, essays and book reviews have also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, The Nation, The Millions, Newsweek, and other publications.
Mythili majored in English and Political & Social Thought at the University of Virginia and holds a Master's degree in English & American Literature from NYU.
This week our friends at Retro Report look back at a cold March night in 1989 when the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Southern Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the waters of Prince William Sound and creating one of the worst oil spills in American history. Scott Michels, reporter for Retro Report, joins The Takeaway to examine how the spill happened and what we did and didn't learn from the disaster.
Fast food appealing for so many Americans is because it’s often significantly cheaper than fresh, healthy equivalents. A new study offers one model of how to change that. By offering food stamp users a rebate of 30 cents for every dollar of fresh fruits and vegetables they purchased, the researchers were able to incentivize food stamp users to eat more vegetables and fruits by a full 25 percent. Diane Schanzenbach, Associate Professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University, authored the study.
Last year, Giving Tuesday brought $10 million in dollars of donations to charities, though it's a small sum compared to the billions of dollars spent on all other shopping days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Peter Singer, a bioethics professor at Princeton University, teaches a course on charitable giving and is the author of "The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty." He joins The takeaway to discuss why Americans don't give more.
Men and women are different—is this news? According to a new study it is. Using a technique called diffusion tensor imaging, researchers have discovered that the basic circuitry of men and women’s brains is visibly different. Ragini Verma, Associate Professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Radiology, is one of the study's co-authors. She joins The Takeaway to discuss her findings.
In the coming weeks, about 1,000 French soldiers will be taking up new posts in the Central African Republic (CAR). The French government says the violence currently being witnessed in CAR borders on genocide. Hannah McNeish, a freelance journalist just back from the Central African Republic, gives us an update on the sectarian conflict. Author Samuel Laurent is an expert on the lasting legacy of French colonial Africa and critical about his country's response to the crisis.
This week our friends at the Retro Report documentary team take us back to 1992 when Kimber Reynolds, the 18-year-old daughter of Fresno wedding photographer Mike Reynolds, was brutally killed in a robbery. Kimber's death prompted the passage of "Three Strikes" legislation. Karen Sughrue, Retro Report producer, joins The Takeaway.
HealthCare.gov can reportedly now handle 800,000 users a day. But with Americans rushing to meet the December 23rd enrollment deadline in order to get coverage by January 1st, administration officials admit the site might become overloaded. Congresswoman Diana DeGette, a Democrat representing Colorado’s 1st district, is among those who have been concerned.
On Tuesday, Pope Francis released an 84-page theological manifesto railing against what he called the “tyranny” of unfettered capitalism. The memo also calls for global leaders to fight poverty. It’s not often that the leader of a powerful institution stands before those he represents and declares a complete change of focus. Reverend James Bretzke, Professor of Moral Theology at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry puts Pope Francis's remarks into historical context.
What does your family look like? The quintessential American family has been changing dramatically in recent years. This week, we're talking about those changes and how they will be reflected at your Thanksgiving table. We're asking about your families as our partner The New York Times takes up the question. Natalie Angier is the reporter behind this effort. Andrew Solomon, author of “Far from the Tree,” writes about all kinds of different families and different kinds of love—notably his own composite clan.
The NASDAQ reached its highest levels in 13 years this week, breaching the 4,000 mark—and putting the index 33 percent higher than where it was last year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 have already set several records of their own this year. So what’s driving this spike? And what do these climbing stock prices tell us about the broader health of the economy? Rana Foroohar, Assistant Managing Editor of Time Magazine, takes a look at the forces pushing our economy and markets.
The Retro Report documentary team takes us back to 1978, when residents of Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York got some shocking news about the disposal of toxic chemicals in their community: In the 1940s and 50s, Hooker Chemical company had dumped 21,800 tons of toxic waste in the canal. Thirty-five years later, J. P. Olsen, producer for Retro Report, reports on what he found when he went back to the community.
This week, GOP governors from around the country convened in Scottsdale, Arizona for the annual Republican Governor’s Association Conference—a chance to welcome their new chairman, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The meeting is a chance for Gov. Christie to elevate his own profile and hobnob with some of the GOP's biggest donors. Matt Katz, New Jersey Public Radio reporter has been reporting on this year’s RGA conference.
Have American financial regulators and investors really learned from the mistakes that set off the financial crisis five years ago? Faisal Islam is the economics editor for Channel 4 News and author of “The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks, and Entire Nations on the Edge.” He says so much of the story behind the financial collapse is one of excessive risk and recklessness. He joins the program to provide the British perspective on global financial crisis and why the story of the collapse is actually a series of portraits rather than a series of ideas.
Did we learn from the financial crisis? Thom Hartmann, host of “The Thom Hartmann Program," doesn't think so. Hartmann is the author of a new book titled, “The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America and What We Can Do to Stop It.” In it, he warns that the U.S. economy is on track for another collapse—perhaps more devastating than the last one.
Selfie has been named by Oxford Dictionaries as the 2013 Word of the Year. Though selfies have gotten a bad rap as the crowning achievement of a narcissistic self-absorbed, self-obsessed youth culture, writer Casey Cep says young people today didn't actually invent the selfie—today’s cropped, filtered and instantly shared selfies in fact stem from a long, rich tradition of self-portraiture. Before we dismiss the selfie, she argues we should consider all that it has to offer.
What's behind our enduring fascination with all things ancient Egypt? After 30 years of studying pharaohs, mummies, pyramids, and other artifacts of ancient life along the Nile River, Bob Brier, senior research fellow at Long Island University, has a few ideas. It's a bit of escapism, a bit of exoticism—and more than a bit of admiration for a people and culture that has managed to achieve a kind of immortality. Brier's new book is called “Egyptopmania: Our Three Thousand Year Obsession with the Land of the Pharaohs.”
Janet Yellen, President Barack Obama’s nominee for chair of the Federal Reserve, gave a passionate defense of stimulus efforts in Senate hearings Thursday. If confirmed, Yellen, who currently holds the number two post at the Fed, is expected to reinforce many of the policies current Chairman Ben Bernanke has put in place. But there are some significant ways in which her economic philosophies differ from Bernanke’s. Heidi Moore, finance and economics editor for The Guardian U.S. explains.
Most Americans have probably heard the soundbite that's been echoing around the world. "Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine," Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted last week. "Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it ? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately a year ago." Stephen Marche, novelist and contributing editor for Esquire is a Toronto native. He recently wrote an op-ed in our partner The New York Times about the image of Toronto under Ford.
Today, Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar played the start of his 200th and final test match—the match that marks the coming close of his 24-year career.The “Little Master,” as he’s sometimes called, is a sports icon like no other. In 2011, he led India to a cricket World Cup victory but long before that, he captured the heart of the country with his exploits. Rahul Tandon, BBC Cricket reporter in Mumbai, reflects on day the first day of Tendulkar's last match.
Two new, distinct art projects are trying to reclaim the city of Dallas' reputation by casting a new narrative. The first is called "Dallas Love"—a rebuff to those who dubbed Dallas "the city of hate." Karen Blessen is its Executive Director. The second is a documentary film, directed by Quin Matthews, called “City of Hate: Dallas and the Assassination.” Blessen and Matthews join The Takeaway to discuss their own memories of Kennedy's death and how the city is responding some 50 years later.