Meet the founders of The Hummus, a new humor site with a Muslim-American lens and headlines like, “Muslim Daughter Feared Missing After Father Calls 38 Times Within 5 Minutes” and “Conversion Of Ryan Gosling To Islam Halts Arranged Marriages Nationwide.”
Today marks 100 years since the birth of the man who forever changed the harmonica. Larry Adler, who died in 2001, spent his life transforming the harmonica from a folksy toy for amateurs into an instrument with a home in concert halls. Harmonica player, Robert Bonfiglio, was a friend of Adler’s and he joins us to mark Larry Adler's 100th birthday.
The most lucrative position in publishing today belongs not to “literary” fiction or inspirational self-help books. It’s the $1.4 billion dollar romance novel that's on top in 2014. Jesse Barron, assistant editor at Harpers magazine set out to better understand the romance industry by attending the first annual Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the RNC, he met Angela Knight, a best-selling romance author based in Spartanburg, South Carolina who quit her job as a crime reporter when her novels took off.
As the controversy around Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow continues, it's hard to determine the facts in any particular case of sexual assault. What we know for certain is that many cases of sexual abuse go unreported and un-prosecuted. Sasha Weiss, an editor at NewYorker.com, and Dr. Margaret Moon, Assistant Professor in Pediatrics and Clinical Medical Ethics at Johns Hopkins University discuss what the Farrow-Allen case has to teach us about the boundaries between private life and politics.
The biggest drug store in the country, CVS, announced this week that it plans to stop selling cigarettes in all of its stores across the country. What does this move mean for the tobacco industry? Are we witnessing the end of cigarette companies as we know them—or does this just signal a change in the market as we know it? Stanton Glantz, medical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, has been following the movements of the tobacco industry for years, and thinks CVS's decision is a significant one.
Three years ago this month, protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square reached a fever pitch—and the voice of the people was heard. But in the months and years since, Egypt’s future remains in limbo. At the end of January, news that interim military leader General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi planned to run for the presidency left much of the world wondering if true democracy will ever have a place in Egypt. It's a question Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, the director and producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Square,” have grappled with.
Conventional scientific understanding holds that there are only six classic emotions: Happy, surprised, afraid, disgusted, angry, and sad. That is until now. A new study finds that, in fact, we don't even have six emotions—but only four "basic" emotions: Happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted. Dr. Rachael Jack of the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow, is one of the scientists behind this new finding. She joins The Takeaway to explain how we categorize emotions.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.