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.
Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings. We asked about the days of the month that are better or worse for your budget, and about the rhythm of the checks that come in and out of your bank account. Listener Katrina Paschal works in health care administration in Rockford, Illinois—a city with a 13 percent unemployment rate. She is lucky to have a job, but she still lives paycheck to paycheck.
As horrific as typhoon Haiyan's impact has been on the Philippines, it’s not the first time a typhoon of great magnitude has hit the region. After years in the field, disaster management experts have developed a complex set of protocols for deploying help in the days and weeks after a major natural disaster like this one. Bob Kitchen, the International Rescue Committee’s Director of Emergency Preparedness, explains some of the procedures his organization follows in situations like this.
Americans consume about 275 lbs of meat annually per person—that's more than three times the global average. In her new book, “In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America,” author Maureen Ogle traces Americans' relationship with meat through the ages, from the days when early settlers used livestock to claim land, to the 20th century rise of big producers like Tyson and Purdue and present day calls for a return to locally-sourced, organic meat.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments today over a strategy commonly used by unions to organize workers. The practice involves pressuring an employer to sign a "neutrality agreement." This case is just one of two major organized labor disputes the Court is scheduled to hear. The other involves a worker who objected to being asked to pay fees to a union she didn't support. Benjamin Sachs, a Harvard Law School professor, explains the legal arguments in both cases.
In 2003, a great blackout left nearly 50 million Americans from Ohio to New York without electricity. This week, more than 200 public and private large power companies are staging a mock-blackout. They won’t turn any lights out. But they will rehearse how they would respond in the event of another major outage. Jonathan Gruber, Retro Report Director takes a look back at the lessons of 2003's outage.
A woman in India is raped every 20 minutes, according to the National Crime Records Bureau in India. One organization is trying to change those numbers. Jameela Nishat runs the Shaheen Resource Center for Women in Hyderabad's Old City. Her organization attempts to aid and empower women—particularly those in Muslim and Dalit communities—to reclaim their lives.
Election Day has come and gone, and in addition to choosing mayors and governors, six states took up a total of 31 ballot measures. From Colorado to New Jersey and beyond, citizens weighed in on everything from the minimum wage, marijuana and genetically modified food. Joining The Takeaway to discuss these initiatives is Wendy Underhill, program manager at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Around the country, voters headed back to the polls yesterday to cast ballots in mayor and gubernatorial contests and to vote on a host of ballot initiatives. Anna Sale, a reporter for WNYC, has been covering races in New York City and neighboring New Jersey. Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington Correspondent has been following the Virginia gubernatorial race.
Can data and algorithms help motivate kids to be more active? That’s the goal of a new project being pioneered in Snohomish County, Washington. Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer and director for the Snohomish Health District explains what the program hopes to achieve. Ben Waber, CEO of Sociometric Solutions and author of “People Analytics: How Social Sensing Technology Will Transform Business” talks about the broader implications of these kinds of practices.
What is glamour? Is it a $900 red dress, the curve of a leg emerging from that dress, or the way a woman in the red dress carries herself as she walks into the night? Virginia Postrel, author of “The Power of Glamour,” explores these and other questions in her new book on the topic.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. He's also the narrator "Dark Universe," a new show about the stuff our cosmos are made of: dark matter.
The latest revelations from NSA leaker Edwards Snowden about the agency's surveillance practices involve a program called MUSCULAR. By tapping into the data centers that connect Yahoo and Google to users around the world, the program gave the NSA secret access to millions of digital records about who sent or received emails and when. Stewart Baker, former general counsel to the NSA, says that American citizens should be relieved by how closely the agency is tracking potential threats in order to maintain security.
Takeaway listeners share scary Halloween stories from their childhood, and R.L. Stine, the author of several scary series for children, including "Goosebumps," describes one particularly frightful Halloween from his childhood. What's your scary Halloween story? Leave a comment, give us a call at 1-877-869-8253, or record your own message using your computer right here.
President Obama wasn't aware of many of the NSA's surveillance activities, like the one that monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to the The Washington Post. Rep. Alan Grayson, Democrat from Florida’s 9th district, argues that he and his colleagues are kept in the dark by the intelligence community, as well. He says that as a result, America's democracy is at risk.