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T.J. Raphael

Digital Content Editor of The Takeaway

T.J. Raphael appears in the following:

History of the Paralympics and Superhuman Flow

Friday, March 07, 2014

The 2014 Paralympic Winter Games begin Friday in Sochi, with athletes representing more than 45 nations. Though it wasn't always this way, today the games are as elite in the sporting world as the traditional Olympics. A look at the history and culture of the Paralympics with Paralympic historian and author Dr. Ian Brittain. As these athletes compete over the next 10 days, the public will undoubtedly observe the highest levels of athleticism. What does it takes to have "flow" and physical abilities to their limits? Steven Kotler explains.

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Today's Highlights | March 06, 2014

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Also on Today's Show: An update on the trial of three Al Jazeera English journalists charged with spreading false news and belonging to a “terrorist group" with Reza Sayah, a Cairo-based CNN international correspondent. The three are among 20 journalists accused by Egyptian authorities of assisting the banned Muslim Brotherhood...How would Plato, one of the world’s greatest philosophers, reflect on the 21st century? Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, the author of "Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away," looks at whether modern-day civilizations are living up to the Greek ideals.

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Is the SAT Still the Right Metric to Test Student Aptitude?

Thursday, March 06, 2014

On Wednesday, College Board President David Coleman announced that SAT is getting re-calibrated. Its vocabulary words will be less arcane and more in alignment with what students encounter in college courses. The 9-year-old essay section will become optional, and will be scored separately.  The math questions will focus now focus on linear equations, functions, ratios, percentages and proportional reasoning.  There are other changes, too.  Julia Ryan, writes for and produces The Atlantic's Education Channel.  She's been following the changes to the SAT and weighs in on whether the SAT is still a good metric to test student aptitude. 

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In the Crimea Crisis, the U.S. Turns the Screw

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Is the Ukraine crisis a reassertion of Russian pride and is Crimea becoming the symbol of Russia's reemergence as an empire in Eastern Europe? Many on Capitol Hill and in academia have long argued that the moment would come when Russia would try to get back some of what it lost after the fall of the Soviet Union—is this new crisis an "I told you so" moment from the voices in D.C. who never believed the Cold War is over? Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington Correspondent, and Michael Hirsh, Chief Correspondent for the National Journal, join The Takeaway to explain.

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Time to Rethink Solitary Confinement & Death Row?

Thursday, March 06, 2014

There are currently 80,000 people being held in solitary confinement across America. Many of these prisoners have been there for years or decades without any human contact. In an effort to understand what these prisoners are feeling, Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Rick Raemisch submitted himself to 20 hours of “administration segregation,” more commonly known as solitary confinement. Three Oscar-winners also took action to explore how prisoners are feeling behind bars. Documentarian Alex Gibney, narrator Susan Sarandon, and producer Robert Redford, coalesced to create “Death Row Stories.”

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Ann Druyan, Wife of the Late Carl Sagan, Reflects on 'Cosmos,' Now and Then

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The original "Cosmos" aired in 1980 on PBS, and in just 13 episodes, astrophysicist Carl Sagan captured the hearts and minds of a generation. On Sunday, more than 30 years after the original series began, "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" will premiere. Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the new series pays direct homage to Sagan's original vision, in part because the original and the re-boot share an executive producer in Ann Druyan, wife of the late Carl Sagan. Today Druyan discusses the series and her life with Sagan.

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Inside the Intersection of Faith and Rhythm in Islam

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The role of music within Islam has long been a source of deep controversy and debate in the Muslim world. Some Islamic scholars believe music is strictly forbidden, while others have found ways to incorporate music elements in their worship and spirituality. It's the intersection of faith and rhythm that Hisham Aidi charts in his new book, “Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture.” In "Rebel Music," Aidi explores the myriad ways practitioners of Islam around the world have used music to express their faith–and politics–in times of transition.

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Today's Highlights | March 5, 2014

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Also on Today's Show: On Tuesday, President Barack Obama submitted a $3.9 trillion budget that calls for spending cuts, more than $1 trillion in new taxes to slow borrowing over the next decade, and more than $55 billion in new spending...It looks like scientists have discovered a positive twist on the polar vortex: It’s killing destructive insects that cost the U.S. government and homeowners billions each year...A look at some workplace tips from Toyota’s factory productivity specialist that are surprisingly low-tech. 

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Here are the U.S.'s Options in the Ukraine

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Russian forces in Crimea, violent protests in Kiev, escalating tensions between West and East. Here's a breakdown of the proposals Congressional leaders are crafting in response to the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

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China's Stake in the Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

With Russia in the spotlight, China is watching the unrest in Ukraine from the sidelines. In recent years, China has invested a total of $10 billion dollars in Ukraine, and pledged $8 billion more last December. Jonathan Fenby, China director of the research company Trusted Sources, and Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University, examine China's financial interests in the region, and the Chinese investment in the outcome of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

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Your Carl Sagan Stories

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and host of "Cosmos 2014" will revisit the passion and evangelical energy of the late Carl Sagan by examining science, the unknown, and humanity's quest for understanding in what Tyson calls "the greatest story ever told." In many ways, the return of the "Cosmos" series is the return of the intellectual comet of Carl Sagan—he believed that the future was all about understanding science. Who is your Carl Sagan mentor today? Do you have a Sagan story? What would Dr. Sagan make of our world today?

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The Crimea Crisis: Views from Moscow & Ukraine

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The international community is on edge as the crisis between Ukraine and Russia continues to develop. Today The Takeaway examines the crisis in Crimea from the Russian and Ukrainian perspectives. Dmitry Babich, political analyst for the Voice of Russia Radio, explains the view from Moscow. Representing the Ukrainian-American perspective is Borys Potapenko, former president and current vice chair of the Ukrainian Congress Committee in Detroit.

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Rep. Waxman on 40 Years in Congress

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

After four decades representing the 33rd district in the state of California, Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman has decided that this term will be his final one. Some like Big Tobacco and the fossil fuel industry will no doubt be glad to see Waxman say goodbye—he fought and won big battles to sanction or regulate those industries during his time in Congress. He sat down recently with Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich to discuss his pioneering battles and the legacy he hopes to leave behind in Washington.

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The Economy Tells a Tale of 2000 Cities

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

According to a new report out from the Demand Institute, local housing markets, when coupled with income and employment, are often the strongest predictors of local and national economic outlook. John Guarisco is the executive manager at MDI Marketing in Spokane, Washington, and Mark Dolfini is the owner of June Palms Property Management, in Lafayette, Indiana, both cities considered to be "transitional." And joining The Takeaway is Louise Keely, chief research officer for The Demand Institute and co-author of the report.

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Affordable Healthcare? It Depends Where You Live

Monday, March 03, 2014

You'd expect people in wealthier communities to pay higher premiums, and more moderate or low-income communities to pay lower premiums, but it doesn't always work out that way. Here's why.

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Today's Highlights | March 03, 2014

Monday, March 03, 2014

Also on Today's Show: The murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius gets underway Today. The trial is the stuff of global courtroom theater, with the credibility of a criminal justice system, teams of high profile lawyers, and the fate of a celebrity athlete on the line—and all in front of TV cameras...In the summer of 2007 in Minneapolis, there was a disaster on a bridge with no name. It carried 140,000 vehicles per day before it collapsed without warning one hot Wednesday afternoon, killing 13 people.

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Russia Demands Crimea Surrender

Monday, March 03, 2014

On Monday, an ultimatum was issued from Russia's Black Sea Fleet and delivered to Ukrainian forces in Crimea—the message from Russian naval forces was to surrender by 5:00 AM local time on Tuesday—or face an all-out assault. Natalia Antelava is in Ukraine reporting for PRI's The World. She provides a look at the rising tensions on the ground in Crimea. Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 1998 to 2000 and is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, weighs in on the way forward for Ukraine, Russia and the international community. 

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Fracking Takes Toll on Texas Air

Monday, March 03, 2014

Fracking has boomed in Texas, a state with a deep history of oil and energy exploration. While many have profited from the energy boom, hundreds more are finding that the air smells funny, their heads hurt, and their noses are bleeding. But with minimal regulation, and no comprehensive health studies, residents have little recourse. Lisa Song, a reporter for InsideClimate News, explains the health impacts for local residents and the politics at play in the Eagle Ford Shale.

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Literature Offers Lessons For Growing Russian-Ukrainian Crisis

Monday, March 03, 2014

The tensions surrounding Ukraine's relationship with Russia have deep historic origins. Ukraine is a place with a culture and society entirely distinct from that of Russia, and yet one that was intimately familiar. Nowhere is this more evident than the literature of the region. Nikolai Gogol, regarded by many as the “father of Russian literature,” was actually born in what is today part of Ukraine. Anne Lounsbery, Chair of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, tells The Takeaway what Gogol’s life and writing have to teach us about Russia and Ukraine.

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News Quiz | Week of February 28

Friday, February 28, 2014

Are you a newsie? Do you know what's happening from Washington to Hollywood to Pyongyang? Are you one of those people who always need to know? Do you listen to the news religiously, convinced that what you hear will give you an edge? Be smarter than your pals. Prep your dinner party factoids. Gauge your knowledge about what happened this week, as heard on The Takeaway.

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