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The Takeaway

Stevie Pierson on Her Love Story About Brisket

Monday, November 14, 2011

What's not to love about brisket? Author Stephanie "Stevie" Pierson is convinced that a good brisket will not only satiate your appetite but improve your life. Pierson wrote "The Brisket Book" after realizing that while the delicious dish is in many cookbooks it doesn't have one of its own. They're not hard to find either, as you can pick up a brisket at your local supermarket.

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The Takeaway

Abigail Washburn on Her Banjo Mission

Monday, November 14, 2011

While the politicians engage in high level summitry, The Takeaway looks at another instrument of power — the banjo. Songwriter and banjo player Abigail Washburn is being sponsored by the State Department to carry out a ground breaking diplomatic mission of her own. She has been speaking to Matt Wells, a correspondent for Takeaway partner the BBC.

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The Takeaway

Religions and Music Come Together on 'Higher and Higher'

Monday, November 14, 2011

For as long as there's been music, seemingly mismatched artists of different religious backgrounds have teamed up on songs in unexpected ways. On the album "Higher and Higher," all the music is written by the late songwriter, Rabbi Schlomo Carlebach, who famously composed over five thousand Jewish songs during his life. And they're performed by two primary voices: one is that of his daughter, Neshama Carlebach. But the other voices are more surprising, it’s the Green Pastures Baptist Church Choir.

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The Takeaway

Movie Date: 'J. Edgar'

Friday, November 11, 2011

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The Takeaway

'All-American Muslim' Depicts Muslim-American Family Life

Friday, November 11, 2011

"All-American Muslim," a new reality TV show premiering on TLC this Sunday, takes a close-up view at what it is like to be Muslim in America through the lives of five ordinary Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan — a city known informally as "America's Muslim Capital." Newlyweds Nader and Nawal Aoude are one of the couples featured on the show, and discuss what it was like to let cameras into their lives.

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The Takeaway

Filmmaker Werner Herzog Goes 'Into the Abyss'

Friday, November 11, 2011

In a small town in Texas, two young men knock on the door of a woman’s house as she's making cookies. They ask to use her phone. But as her back is turned, they kill her and then two other innocent bystanders all so they can enjoy a brief joyride in her car. In the end, one murderer is sentenced to life in prison. The other is given the death penalty.

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The Takeaway

Movie Date: 'J. Edgar,' 'Jack and Jill,' 'Melancholia'

Friday, November 11, 2011

This week's new movie releases include "Jack and Jill," starring Adam Sandler as both the title characters, "J. Edgar," with Leonardo DiCaprio as the original head of the FBI, and a smaller film by Lars Von Trier and starring Kirsten Dunst, called "Melancholia." 

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The Takeaway

Jonathan Lethem on the Legacy of Philip K. Dick

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Science fiction author Philip K. Dick died in 1983 at 53 years old. His cultural influence is everywhere, from box office hits like "Minority Report," to the novels of the late David Foster Wallace. His dark, twisted stories about drugs, psychological disorders, and government conspiracies have won awards and left an impression on the science fiction landscape.

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The Takeaway

Michael Jackson's Doctor Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Dr. Conrad Murray, the personal physician of Michael Jackson, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star's death on Monday. Two and a half years after Jackson's death at age 50, a jury found that Murray acted recklessly when giving Jackson propofol, a surgical anesthetic Jackson used to sleep. Sharon Waxman, founder and CEO of TheWrap.com, discusses the trial.

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The Takeaway

Steve Martin on 'Give Me the Banjo'

Friday, November 04, 2011

In music, there are few things more insane than an amateur going and trying to sit down with a real player. But that's just what John Hockenberry did earlier this week, when he went to the house of comedian, author and banjo aficionado Steve Martin. A documentary called "Give Me the Banjo" airs tonight, and is narrated by Martin. But in the comedian's New York City apartment, talking about the banjo — as well as Martin's long career in comedy and interest in music — was augmented by some performance and a lesson or two. 

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The Takeaway

Movie Date: 'Harold & Kumar' and 'Tower Heist'

Friday, November 04, 2011

This week's big new releases at the multiplex are "A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas in 3D," starring John Cho and Kal Pen; and "Tower Heist," starring Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Judd Hirsch, and Matthew Broderick. Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday,;and Kristen Meinzer, The Takeaway's culture producer, are co-hosts of The Takeaway’s Movie Date Podcast, and give their reviews of this week's new movies.

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The Takeaway

Muslim Artist Conducts Surveillance on Himself

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hasan Elahi is an American citizen with a Muslim name. He's a digital artist and a professor at the University of Maryland. In 2002, when he was returning from an art exhibition in Senegal, U.S. immigration agents detained him as a terrorist suspect. Elahi was turned over to the FBI, and battery of interrogations followed. Elahi struggled to prove his innocence, though nine polygraph tests proved he did not speak Arabic and had no knowledge of how to manufacture explosives. Ultimately, his incredibly detailed accounting of his whereabouts, which he compulsively tracked with his PDA, helped Elahi walk away with his freedom. To this day, his name has yet to be fully cleared.

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The Takeaway

Lou Reed and Metallica Collaborate on 'Lulu'

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

It sounds like quite an unlikely collaboration — rock legend Lou Reed making a record backed the massively successful heavy metal group Metallica. Their new concept album, "Lulu," is out today in North America, and has left some music fans a bit bemused. A recent review in The Washington Post called it a "multi-headed hydra of unpleasantness." Ben Sisario, music journalist and reporter for The New York Timesmet with "Loutallica" recently, and has a more nuanced view of the new record.

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The Takeaway

New Book Explores the Legacy of Steve Jobs

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Walter Isaacson's highly anticipated new biography on Steve Jobs hit book shelves this week and reveals layers of a man most of us never knew. The book has kept Jobs in the global conversation and Howard Rheingold, visiting lecturer in Stanford University's Department of Communications and author of the book, "Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution," shares with us what he believes is missing from the conversation about Steve Jobs that all of us should know.

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The Takeaway

John Grisham on 'The Litigators,' Writing and Criminal Justice

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Author John Grisham has leveraged his career by doing what few in the legal profession can. He has made subjects usually relegated to the law school classroom — topics like torts and case law — into fascinating, suspenseful literature. While he is best known as a bestselling author, John Grisham has also become an advocate for criminal justice reform. He serves on the board of the Innocence Project, a public policy organization dedicated to exonerating the wrongfully-convicted.

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The Takeaway

Jesse Eisenberg on His New Role Off-Broadway

Friday, October 21, 2011

At the age of 27, Jesse Eisenberg tackled the role of a lifetime. Playing Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network," Eisenberg racked up dozens of nominations and awards. But his newest project is off-Broadway at the tiny Cherry Lane Theater here in New York. Jesse Eisenberg wrote and is starring in a new play called "Asuncion." The play explores what happens when a Filipina woman moves in with two ultra-liberal young men. Eisenberg plays Edgar, a bright, young man obsessed with saving the world.

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The Takeaway

Colson Whitehead on 'Zone One' and Zombies

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Colson Whitehead has famously tackled topics like a young man's coming of age in "Sag Harbor," the social elevation of African Americans in "The Intuitionist," and America’s industrial age in "John Henry Days." In his new novel, the award-winning Whitehead goes just as large, maybe even larger, with a look at how an imaginary apocalypse might bring out the best and worst in humans and American culture. Also, Whitehead's apocalypse includes zombies. The title of the new book, which hits stores this week, is "Zone One."

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The Takeaway

Will an American Audience Embrace Muslim Heroes?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In a recent piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer Naif Al-Mutawa, a clinical psychologist and father of five, wrote about the absence of positive Muslim characters in American entertainment. "Of all the diverse fictional characters who have inspired us," he writes, "Muslim protagonists remain very rare in American entertainment." Faced with a dearth of Muslim heroes in American media, Naif Al-Mutawa decided to create "The 99" to provide his sons with role models. It's a comic book series starring 99 superheroes, who each represent one of the 99 attributes of Allah, and use their powers to battle evil. After two years of looking for an American distributor, Mutawa has been unable to get his program broadcast in the United States.

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The Takeaway

The Booker Prize's 'Readability' Controversy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This year's winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced today. The British prize goes to "the very best book of the year" written in English by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. Past winners have been propelled to international celebrity overnight, with the winning books selling hundreds of thousands of copies around the world. But this year's shortlist has generated a new complaint. Critics of the prize say Booker Prize judges have begun valuing "readability" above artistic excellence.

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The Takeaway

Inside/Out Project Displays Art on Detroit Streets

Monday, October 17, 2011

Great works of art have come to the streets of Detroit as part of a new exhibition called Inside/Out. Proving that art can also be enjoyed outside of museum walls, The Detroit Institute of Arts has brought life-size reproductions of famous masterpieces to the streets, parks and concrete facades of Detroit. This is the second year for the Inside Out project, following its initial success in 2010. But this year, the Institute expanded the program to include more communities, and even more classic paintings.

This is the second year for the Inside/Out project, following its initial success in 2010. But this year, the Institute expanded the program to include more communities, and even more classic paintings. The hope is that the exhibition will surprise, entertain, enlighten and educate the residents. 

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