Mythili Rao

Associate Producer, The Takeaway

Mythili Rao appears in the following:

In Search of a Stolen Stradivarius

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Earlier this week, Milwaukee concertmaster Frank Almond was walking to a car after a performance when his 1715 Stradivarius violin was stolen by a thief. A former FBI special agent discussed the world of high art theft and the history of stolen violins.

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Syria: A Diplomatic Dance & the Music of War

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Is America's approach to Syria failing? Nancy Soderberg, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, discusses Syria's future and the Obama administration's agenda. Each morning, Syrian composer Kinan Azmeh asks himself if everything is all right—he asks this of himself, his family and his friends. Yet sometimes there is no answer to that question, as his piece "A Sad Morning Every Morning" shows. He joins The Takeaway to discuss the relationship between war and music.

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The Military's Encyclopedia of Ethical Failures

Monday, February 03, 2014

"The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failures" sounds like a whimsical title for a high-brow novel, but it is actually a very real bureaucratic laundry list of the wrong-doings of government employees. The infractions are sometimes pathetic, sometimes serious, and sometimes laughable—but they are true through and through, and they are extensive Gordon Lubold, a national security reporter for Foreign Policy has studied the encyclopedia at length. He walks us through the highlights of this report—from the funniest violations to the most egregious.

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Russian Weapons Removal & The Cold War Backpack Bomb

Friday, January 31, 2014

After the Cold War, MIT Physicist Thomas Neff developed a program to allow Moscow to sell the uranium from its retired weapons and dilute it into fuel for electric utilities in the U.S. He explains the program today. New details about portable nuclear weapons designed by the U.S. military during the Cold War describe a weapon small enough to be strapped on a backpack, but still powerful enough to potentially cause devastating damage. Adam Rawnsley of Foreign Policy magazine has the details.

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Robots and Hollywood: Fact Vs. Ficiton

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rosie from the Jetsons, R2-D2 from Star Wars, and the Terminator—here in America, our understanding of robots has been built around what we see on the big screen. But as scientists and technology companies begin developing robots and incorporating robotics technologies into our every day lives, will our Hollywood understanding ring true in reality? Erik Sofge contributes to Popular Science and writes about science fiction for Slate. He explains how Hollywood has driven our perception of robots, and how far off it is from reality.

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Synthetic Food Takes the Hassle Out of Eating

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What if you didn’t have to ever eat to get all the nutrition you need? This dream of never having to deal with the hassle of "food" is what inspired Rob Rhinehart to create a grayish, macro-nutirtious cocktail called Soylent which he concocts in an ex-garment factory outside Los Angeles. About 20,000 customers have placed pre-orders of the stuff, and more than $2 million in orders will be shipped in early March. Rhinehart explains why in the future, everyone will eat Soylent.

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A Literary Walkabout in Gary Shteyngart's Queens

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It was at the Solomon Schechter School of Queens that he first made his public debut as a writer. We do a walk and talk through some of his favorite neighborhood haunts.


The Messy, Valuable World of Bitcoin

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Today the New York Department of Financial Services begins its first of two days of hearings on digital currencies like Bitcoin. Charlie Herman, economics editor for WNYC, discusses how today's hearings could change our understanding of virtual currency. While Bitcoin may be on the rise, the currencies in emerging markets are on the decline. Gillian Tett, assistant managing editor and columnist at The Financial Times, predicted the early months of 2014 would bring this sort of turbulence.

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How to Take the Plunge & Do What You Love

Monday, January 27, 2014

Last week, we discussed this piece of common advice given to young people: "Do what you love." It sounds very simple: Follow your passion, and the money will follow. But is that always the case? Our conversation about following your dreams sparked a lot of discussion. To explore this issue in greater depth, The Takeaway hears from Jey Born and his wife Betsy Thorleifson. Together they discuss how they are making a team effort as a couple to do what they love.

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Who Really Gets to Do What They Love?

Friday, January 24, 2014

It's become popular to insist that the key to a successful career is to simply "follow your bliss" straight into a profession that you're truly passionate about. For most people, is it really practical to do what you love? And if it's not, why are we giving this advice to our young people? Miya Tokumitsu, holds a Ph.D in art history. Her recent essay in Jacobin magazine breaks down why being told to "do what you love" isn't necessarily sound advice.

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Syria's Peace Talks: A Complicated Patchwork

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Central to the Syrian peace talks is the question of how the international community should deal with President Bashar al-Assad, particularly as the evidence of war crimes continues to mount. Bente Scheller, author of "The Wisdom of Syria's Waiting Game: Foreign Policy Under the Assads," puts these talks into historical context. Marine Olivesi, a freelance reporter for PRI's The World, explores why the Free Syrian Army is no longer fighting with just Bashar al-Assad.

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A New Chapter for the Voting Rights Act?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced a new bill that takes up some of the issues identified in the Supreme Court’s June decision in Shelby Counter v. Holder. Joining The Takeaway to explain the aspects of the new bill are Erin O’Brien, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent, who has been following the politics behind the proposed update to the Voting Rights Act. 


Money Addiction: How Much Is Enough?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wealth can be a tool for investment, for development and even for change. But wealth can also be an end in itself—becoming an addiction. That was the case for Sam Polk, a former hedge fund manager. In his last year on Wall Street, Polk earned a $3.6 million bonus. He felt it wasn't enough. Today, Polk explores why Americans love and possibly have an addiction to money.

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Shunning Retirement for Start Ups

Monday, January 20, 2014

Older Americans are increasingly shunning retirement to start companies. Liz DiMarco Weinmann is 61-years-old and started Dare Force Corporation, which helps women over 40 to start new careers. Susan Price is 54-years-old and was laid off in 2008. Losing her job prompted her to go back to school for an MBA. She now works full-time and has also started her own side-business as a career coach. Together these two women explain how they made their career transitions and what the process was really like.

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What Another Round of Sanctions Will Do to Iran

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

After seven weeks of negotiations, America's nuclear talks with Iran are reaching a critical phase. If all goes well, Iran will get $7 billion in sanctions relief in exchange for agreeing to roll back its nuclear program. But much to President Barack Obama’s consternation, the Senate is considering new Iranian sanctions. P.J. Crowley, a former State Department spokesperson and a professor at George Washington University, examines the power struggle between the White House and the Senate.


Examining The Most Innovative Eras in U.S. History

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The idea of standardized service for electricity and for railroads, along with the notion of "a common carrier," was once something new—and rare. In the case of railroads, establishing train lines as "common carriers" set the stage for massive transformations. It's something Edmund Phelps, economics professor at Columbia University and winner of the 2006 Nobel prize in economics, thinks brought in one of the most innovative eras of American history—a time we stand to learn a few lessons from.

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Iraq War Vets Reflect as Al Qaeda Rebounds

Monday, January 13, 2014

Al Qaeda flags now fly over Fallujah and Ramadi, two of the major conflict zones for American troops throughout the Iraq War. For U.S. veterans who fought in the region, that news is hard to hear. Marine Michael Zacchea suffered severe injuries in a fire-fight in 2004 during what is known as the second battle of Fallujah. Benjamin Busch served two combat tours in Iraq as a Marine Corps infantry officer. David Retske is a former UAV pilot who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. Together they reflect on Al Qaeda's resurgence. 

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The Challenges of Depicting War on Film

Friday, January 10, 2014

One of the biggest challenges in American cinema has been bringing the stories of war to the civilian big screen. "Lone Survivor" is a new film by director Peter Berg  that attempts to bring the story of a mission gone wrong in Afghanistan to a civilian audience. Donna Axelson's son, Matt, was one of the SEAL team members killed in the mission. She discusses what it was like to see her son portrayed on film and shares her thoughts on how and why filmmakers should attempt to bring the realities of war to a civilian screen. 

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How Does Christie's Scandal Stack Up in NJ Politics?

Friday, January 10, 2014

In the annals of Jersey political history, in the myths and stories explored so well by the likes of Tony Soprano and Nucky Thompson,  how does the Chris Christie Administration compare? "I am embarrassed and humiliated," Governor Christie told reporters on Thursday. The 108 minute press conference was just the start of the Governor's apology tour. Congressman Rush Holt, a Democrat representing New Jersey's twelfth Congressional district, puts Christie's latest scandal into perspective.

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Is NJ Bridge Scandal Business As Usual?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

A series of traffic jams that took place over the summer in Fort Lee, NJ now appear to have implications for Gov. Chris Christie. Newly released emails show that after Fort Lee’s mayor failed to endorse Christie for re-election, a Christie aide pinged a top official with a simple request: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." Gabe Klein, former transportation commissioner for Chicago and Washington D.C., notes that it's not unusual for politicians to meddle with transportation.

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