The Takeaway

Court Ruling Shakes Up Fate of Death Penalty

Friday, July 18, 2014

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional. Judge Carney argues that the lack of certainty over when, and more importantly if an execution will take place constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

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Life of the Law

One Reporter on California’s Death Row

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What do we really know about death row in California? When we don’t know we create, we imagine.


Death, Sex & Money

Jane Fonda After Death and Divorce

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Her mother committed suicide when she was 12 years old, and Jane Fonda says it took fifty years and three marriages and divorces before she finally felt whole.

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NYPR Archives & Preservation

Kurt Vonnegut: "Fates Worse Than Death"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

His edgy 1982 “sermon” took on the question of whether hydrogen bombs would deliver us from more terrifying circumstances. The full audio recording is now available for the first time.
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On The Media

Data after Death

Friday, June 06, 2014

We don’t know for certain who owns our digital legacies after we die. A group of legal volunteers called the Uniform Law Commission is trying to sort this out with model legislation they call the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, or FADA. The goal is to give executors and other legal proxies access to files created by the deceased. Bob speaks to Suzanne Brown Walsh, attorney and chair of FADA, about the act.

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Studio 360

Finding poetry in a pine box

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Scene: Kansas City
From KCUR's 
Arts & Culture desk, a service of Kansas City Public Media

A doctor with stage IV prostate cancer decided he doesn't want a fancy store-bought coffin. When he asked a local artist to help him build a simple pine box, they formed an unlikely friendship.

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StoryCorps 375: Patriot Duty

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

For Memorial Day, we're sharing stories from service members who participated in our Military Voices Initiative.


TRBQ: The Really Big Questions

TRBQ: What Is A Good Death?

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The topic of death carries immense weight and affects every one of us in a different way. Some find the prospect of moving on from this life to be a scary, unwelcome feeling. Others feel at peace knowing there is an end, and that encourages them to live in a different way. On this episode of The Really Big Questions, we explore the idea of what a “good death” means.

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Slate Political Gabfest

The Political Gabfest: The "Go Ahead, Search My OkCupid Profile" Edition

Friday, May 02, 2014

Slate's Political Gabfest, featuring John Dickerson, Emily Bazelon, and David Plotz. This week: Race and the NBA with guest Mike Pesca, a botched execution in Oklahoma, and the Supreme Court on searching cell phones.


The Takeaway

For Flight 370 Families, Loved Ones Forever Missing

Monday, March 24, 2014

Today Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said there was no longer any doubt about Flight 370 — according to satellite data, the plane flew south into remote waters in the Indian Ocean and could not have landed safely.

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The Bitter End

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

We turn to doctors to save our lives -- to heal us, repair us, and keep us healthy. But when it comes to the critical question of what to do when death is at hand, there seems to be a gap between what we want doctors to do for us, and what doctors want done for themselves.

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The Truth

It's Your Funeral (part 1)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Live the death you've always wanted. Performed by Andy Moskowitz, Jackie Hoffman, Ben Jones, Damon Ketron, Phoebe Tyres, Shacottha Fields, Blanche Ames, and Rebecca Robles. Written by David Wilcox. Produced and directed by Jonathan Mitchell.


The Leonard Lopate Show

A Class on Death Teaches About Life

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nurse Norma Bowe explains why she decided to teach a college course on death and why it became so popular.

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Am I Going To Die This Year? A Mathematical Puzzle

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

What are the odds that you will die this year? Whatever they are, the mortality tables suggest those odds will double eight years from now. Death, apparently, moves closer at a curiously regular pace. Why this eight-year progression? Is it something biological? Random? What is it about eight that attracts the Grim Reaper? Let's ask.

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Selected Shorts

David Sedaris Presents Stories About Difficult Choices

Friday, December 13, 2013

David Sedaris ushers in stories about tough choices, and describes a serious (not) wardrobe crisis.

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The Takeaway

Learning About Life from"Time of Death"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Time of Death" is a new Showtime series that follows eight people as they succumb to terminal diseases, making visible the most painful moments of the dying as they confront the last months, days, and minutes of their lives. But creator and co-executive producer Miggi Hood says each episode is as much about life as it is about death. Hood joins The Takeaway to discuss how the series was conceived.


The Brian Lehrer Show

NYC Median Incomes; Statin Calculator; Death Penalty; Bread and Puppet

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

There seems to be a flaw in the calculator used by doctors to assess treatment options to lower cholesterol. Kim Allan Williams, vice president of the American College of Cardiology, discusses the tool that seems to be overestimating risk. Plus: NYU law professor Robert Blecker talks about his new book The Death of Punishment: Searching for Justice Among the Worst of the Worst; movement in the NYC median income numbers; hurdles to employment for those coming out of prison; and the 50th anniversary of Bread and Puppet.

On Being

Ira Byock — Contemplating Mortality [remix]

Thursday, November 07, 2013


On Being

[Unedited] Ira Byock with Krista Tippett

Thursday, November 07, 2013


On The Media

In Defense of Funeral Selfies

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This week, Fast Company writer Jason Feifer started a tumblr called Selfies at Funerals. Feifer’s reposting selfies posted by teens on Twitter or Instagram. It’s probably worth pointing out that, in fact, most of the pictures are actually taken before a funeral or after one. With a couple exceptions, these are pictures of kids in suits or dresses, taking a self portrait, usually in their homes.

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