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The Takeaway

If We Had a Billion Dollars, We'd Buy Unicorns and Trips to Space

Thursday, November 29, 2012

This week, the Powerball reached $550 million, the highest it's ever been. And last night, two lucky ticket holders - in Missouri and Arizona - won the jackpot. But how does one even begin to spend $550 million? The Barenaked Ladies came up with a pretty good list of what they'd buy if they had $1 million. And it got us to thinking: What if we remade their song, but replaced word "million" with "billion." And so we have, with the help of Takeaway listeners, real people on the street, and fun facts about how much you can really buy for a billion dollars.

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The Takeaway

Today's Takeaway | November 29, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

OK to Be Gay? Jewish Conversion Therapy Faces First Legal Battle | If We Had a Billion Dollars, We'd Buy Unicorns and Trips To Space | Life One Year After A Double-Hand Transplant | Five Authors of Memoirs Discuss Death

The Takeaway

The Hobbit Premiers In New Zealand, Middle Earth Goes Nuts

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Last night, the long awaited Peter Jackson directed film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” premiered in New Zealand, bringing to a climax a long, sometimes strange relationship between a nation, an industry and millions of rabid fans. Colin Peacock, host of Mediawatch on Radio New Zealand, has been closely following the ups and downs of the Hobbit movie, from Elvin enthusiasm to altered labor laws.

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The Takeaway

Fiction or Non-Fiction? A Veteran Journalist Explains Why He Ventured into Fiction

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yesterday's segment about new curriculum guidelines that would replace some beloved novels with non-fiction reading in K-12 classrooms sparked a lot of responses listener responses about the virtues of fiction and non-fiction. What's more important for a high school education: fiction reading or non-fiction reading?

Today, a veteran journalist who ventured into fiction after a storied career in the world of non-fiction weighs in. Jeff Greenfield is the author of "Then Everything Changed."

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The Takeaway

The Legacy and Lasting Influence of 'Casablanca,' 70 Years Later

Monday, November 26, 2012

On November 26, 1942, in the midst of World War II, a film called "Casablanca" premiered at the Hollywood Theater in New York City. The movie became an American icon, launching Ingmar Bergman's career and establishing Humphrey Bogart as a romantic lead. Jeanine Basinger, professor of film studies at Wesleyan University, says that the 'Casablanca' team had no idea their film would become such a major part of American film history.

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The Takeaway

Touring Brooklyn with Reggie Watts

Thursday, November 22, 2012

This summer, the Takeaway embarked on a virtual, coast to coast road trip to some of the country's greatest music cities. Our tour guides included some of the most popular recording artists and experts from each town. We kicked things off with musician and comedian Reggie Watts in the great music mecca of Brooklyn, New York.

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The Takeaway

Ken Burns on the 'Central Park Five'

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A new film, “The Central Park Five,” tells the story of how the police, the media, and the justice system upended five lives. Ken Burns wrote, produced and directed the film, along with his daughter, Sarah Burns, and son-in-law, David McMahon.

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The Takeaway

Does the Final Twilight Movie Go Out with a Bang or a Fizzle?

Friday, November 16, 2012

The final installment of the Twilight series releases today and is expected to be the highest grossing movie of 2012. The film is directed by Bill Condon, the director behind "Dream Girls," "Kinsey," and "Gods and Monsters." To review "Twilight: Breaking Dawn-Part 2" is the movie date team, Kristen Meinzer and Rafer Guzman. 

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The Takeaway

Adam Gopnik on the Meaning of Food

Friday, November 16, 2012

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, food is on most of our minds. But for Adam Gopnik, author and staff writer for The New Yorker, this is nothing out of the ordinary. In his most recent book, The Table Comes First, Gopnik explores the meaning of food — in culture, in family, and in society.

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The Takeaway

Adam Driver: Actor, Artist, Veteran

Monday, November 12, 2012

Adam Driver is best known for his role in the hit HBO show Girls, in which he plays Hannah (Lena Dunham's) boyfriend. But there's more to Mr. Driver than meets the eye. He is not only a talented stage actor and graduate of Julliard, but also a former Marine. In honor of Veteran's Day, Driver performed in a series of plays and monologues with Arts in the Armed Forces,

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The Takeaway

Movie Date: 'Skyfall,' 'Lincoln,' and 'Flight'

Friday, November 09, 2012

In this week's podcast, Rafer and Kristen catch up after more than a week of being derailed by Hurricane Sandy. On the menu: Denzel Washington's booze-filled suspense flick "Flight," the long-awaited Daniel Day-Lewis-led "Lincoln," and "Skyfall," the new James Bond movie that has Rafer wondering if nobody does it better...and Kristen wondering if something fishy is going on with her local multiplex.  

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The Takeaway

New Movie Releases: 'Lincoln' and 'Skyfall'

Friday, November 09, 2012

There are two big movie releases to talk about this week: Steven Spielberg’s historic epic, “Lincoln” and “Skyfall,” which is the latest James Bond flick, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of 007’s first film. Talking about these new movies are The Takeaway's Movie Date team: Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer.

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The Takeaway

That Song in Your Post-Election Heart

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Songs of joy, and music of mourning: Regardless of which presidential candidate you backed yesterday, your heart is, no doubt, singing a happy or sad song today. If you haven't picked out a playlist yet, John Schaeffer, host of WNYC's Soundcheck, has some suggestions for you.

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The Takeaway

Movie Date: 'Cloud Atlas'

Friday, November 02, 2012

Spanning four hundred years, and featuring an all-star cast of award-winning actors (most of whom play multiple characters), the new film "Cloud Atlas" is big, ambitious, and divisive.

Not surprisingly, Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer find themselves disagreeing about whether it's any good, whether it makes any sense, and whether it's worth ...

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The Takeaway

Real Funny Money, for Hobbit Lovers and Dwarvish Speakers

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Beginning today, New Zealand will have legal tender featuring Hobbit words and images. And it's not funny money, but real money that can be used to buy and sell goods, with pictures of Hobbits and words in both English and Dwarvish. Ed Reiter, the senior editor at COINage Magazine, explains.

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The Takeaway

The Real Sex Surrogate Behind 'The Sessions' Tells All

Friday, October 26, 2012

The new film “The Sessions” is based on the real experiences and writings of Mark O’Brien, a severely disabled survivor of childhood polio who cannot move his body, but has full sensation in it. The real sex surrogate who Mark saw, Cheryl Cohen Greene, was a consultant on “The Sessions.” She shares the story behind the story, explains her profession, and discusses the unique challenges of working sexually with people who have disabilities.

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The Takeaway

New Movie Releases: 'The Sessions,' 'Cloud Atlas,' 'Chasing Mavericks'

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday is movie day on the Takeaway. Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer weigh in, as usual. In addition to hosting the podcast, Rafer is film critic for Newsday and Kristen is culture producer for The Takeaway.

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The Takeaway

Deconstructing 'Homeland'

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Still, a closer look at the Showtime series "Homeland" has some social critics wondering: is the show really so nuanced and layered? Or is it yet another show that relies on the shorthand of us and them; American and foreigner; sane and insane?

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The Takeaway

New Movie Releases: 'Alex Cross,' 'Paranormal Activity 4'

Friday, October 19, 2012

We have three very unusual movie releases this week: “Alex Cross,” which stars Tyler Perry in his first non-Tyler Perry role; “Paranormal Activity 4,” which supposedly brings the low budget horror franchise to a close; and “The Sessions,” about a paralyzed man in his late thirties trying to lose his virginity.

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The Takeaway

One Tough Neighborhood, Two Friends, and Thousands of Photos

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We’ve seen the rough, urban neighborhood documented thousands of times by photojournalists dating all the way back to Jacob Riis in the 1800s. Over and over again, the images appear the same: children playing in alleys, kids standing on street corners, poverty, rubble, and graffiti. Andy Velazquez, now an adult, was one of those children. Brenda Ann Kenneally was his photographer.

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