And You Call Yourself an American?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What is essential knowledge for an American citizen? For the government, that's not a philosophical question, it's a pragmatic list of essential civic knowledge, codified in the citizenship test. Think you could pass? Try it out with this practice test from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services department.

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Bumper Music for June 5, 2012

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Two themes in today's bumper music: Venus coming directly between Earth and the Sun, and an audio essay by co-host John Hockenberry about how The Beach Boys, who released "Surfin' Safari" fifty years ago.

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Listeners Respond: What Would You Put in "The American Bible"?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today we asked our listeners to respond to our interview with Stephen Prothero, who's new book "The American Bible" attempts to bring together the core texts of the American experience.

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Bumper Music for May 30, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Aaron Freeman, Ween frontman, announced the band's breakup yesterday to Rolling Stone from his home in New Jersey. In Ween's honor, which was formed 25 years ago by Freeman and his high school classmate Mickey Melchiondo, today's bumper music is Ween-only.

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Excerpt: 'So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America'

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Peter Edelman is among the most outspoken antipoverty advocates in the United States. Currently a law professor at Georgetown University School of Law, Edelman has became a household name in 1996 after he resigned from his position in the Department of Health and Human Services in protest against President Bill Clinton signing of the welfare reform bill into law. In his new book, "So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America," Edelman explores the intricacies of poverty in America. You can order the book here.

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Excerpt from 'Memoir of a Debulked Woman' by Susan Gubar

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"When I heard the diagnosis of ovarian cancer on November 5, 2008, I assumed it was a death sentence. Lying on a gurney in a hospital hallway, I concentrated on accepting my impending mortality with equanimity. Scientific advances have not yet made a significant impact on detection or treatment and ovarian cancer remains largely incurable."

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Excerpt from Patricia Ellis Herr's 'Up'

Friday, May 11, 2012

The following is an excerpt from "Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure" by Patricia Ellis Herr. You can also listen to The Takeaway's interview with Herr and her daughter, Alex.

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Excerpt from John Irving's 'In One Person'

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I’m going to begin by telling you about Miss Frost. While I say to everyone that I became a writer because I read a certain novel by Charles Dickens at the formative age of fifteen, the truth is I was younger than that when I first met Miss Frost and imagined having sex with her, and this moment of my sexual awakening also marked the fitful birth of my imagination. We are formed by what we desire. In less than a minute of excited, secretive longing, I desired to become a writer and to have sex with Miss Frost — not necessarily in that order.

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Letter: My social studies class think girls who posted about murder deserved expulsion

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Karen Washington, a social studies teacher at Watertown High School in Massachusetts, sent us this message in response to Monday's story about a group of girls who were expelled for talking on Facebook about killing several peers and a teacher. Ms. Washington used the story as the foundation for a classroom discussion. She describes what her students had to say.

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Listeners Respond: Advice for College Graduates

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

We had a great response to today's conversation about this year's crop of college graduates. Check out this collection of responses from viewers, who called, texted, and posted advice for those facing the job market for the first time.

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Bumper Music with The Replacements

Friday, May 04, 2012

What better way to start the weekend than with the iconic '80s alternative/punk band The Replacements. Today we heard "Kiss Me on the Bus."

Here is the rest of the playlist: 

Vitamin String Quartet – Dissident  

The Who – Pinball Wizard

R.E.M. – Leave

The Replacements – Kiss me On the Bus

Bonobo – Sleepy Seven

Broken Social Scene – Romance to the Grave

Budos Band – Monkey See Monkey Go

Gil Scott Heron – Almost Lost Detroit

Leos Janacek – String Quarter Number 2

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Tell Us About Your Family Tree

Friday, May 04, 2012

You've been telling us about your family trees and just how gnarled and suprising they can get. What surprises in your family's history have you uncovered? You can add them in the comments below:

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A Listener Responds: Technology Helped Me Get Over My Stutter

Friday, April 27, 2012

After we aired the segment "Lonely in a Digital Age" on Wednesday, we got lots of responses from listeners. Many agreed with our guest, Sherry Turkle, who argued that our digital-saturated society has sacrificed conversation in favor of connection. However, we also heard from those who believe that digital innovations have allowed them to communicate in ways previously impossible.

Lauren Howie is a 26-year-old leasing consultant in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a speech impediment, and she told us how technology has helped her communicate.

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The Danger Assessment

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Danger Assessment was created by Jacquelyn Campbell, Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. The Assessment is a screen that helps police, advocates, judges and others determine the likelihood that an abuser will murder his or her partner.

 

DANGER ASSESSMENT
Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Ph.D., R.N. Copyright, 2003; www.dangerassessment.com

Several risk factors have been associated with increased risk of homicides (murders) of women and men in violent relationships. We cannot predict what will happen in your case, but we would like you to be aware of the danger of homicide in situations of abuse and for you to see how many of the risk factors apply to your situation.

Using the calendar, please mark the approximate dates during the past year when you were abused by your partner or ex partner. Write on that date how bad the incident was according to the following scale:

1. Slapping, pushing; no injuries and/or lasting pain
2. Punching, kicking; bruises, cuts, and/or continuing pain
3. "Beating up"; severe contusions, burns, broken bones
4. Threat to use weapon; head injury, internal injury, permanent injury
5. Use of weapon; wounds from weapon
(If any of the descriptions for the higher number apply, use the higher number.)

Mark Yes or No for each of the following. ("He" refers to your husband, partner, ex-husband, ex- partner, or whoever is currently physically hurting you.)
___1. Has the physical violence increased in severity or frequency over the past year?
___2. Does he own a gun?
___3. Have you left him after living together during the past year? 3a. (If have never lived with him, check here___)
___4. Is he unemployed?
___5. Has he ever used a weapon against you or threatened you with a lethal weapon? (If yes, was the weapon a gun?____)
___6. Does he threaten to kill you?
___7. Has he avoided being arrested for domestic violence?
___8. Do you have a child that is not his?
___9. Has he ever forced you to have sex when you did not wish to do so?
___10. Does he ever try to choke you?
___11. Does he use illegal drugs? By drugs, I mean "uppers" or amphetamines, “meth”, speed, angel dust, cocaine, "crack", street drugs or ___mixtures.
___12. Is he an alcoholic or problem drinker?
___13. Does he control most or all of your daily activities? For instance: does he tell you who you can be friends with, when you can see your family, how much money you can use, or when you can take the car? (If he tries, but you do not let him, check here: ____)
___14. Is he violently and constantly jealous of you? (For instance, does he say "If I can't have you, no one can.")
___15. Have you ever been beaten by him while you were pregnant? (If you have never been pregnant by him, check here: ____)
___16. Has he ever threatened or tried to commit suicide?
___17. Does he threaten to harm your children?
___18. Do you believe he is capable of killing you?
___19. Does he follow or spy on you, leave threatening notes or messages, destroy your property, or call you when you don’t want him to?
___20. Have you ever threatened or tried to commit suicide?

____ Total "Yes" Answers

Thank you. Please talk to your nurse, advocate or counselor about what the Danger Assessment means in terms of your situation.

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Walmart Responds to Bribery Allegations

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Walmart has issued a press release in response to allegations that they bribed Mexican officials.

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Excerpt: 'Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile'

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Were it not for the subway, New York as it is today would not exist. At a crucial time in the city's history, the engineers of this ingenious subterranean railroad cleared the streets of impossible congestion and decanted the population of the teeming, insalubrious tenements of the Lower EastSide to the farthest corners of the boroughs. Because it was able to move so many people so quickly, the subway became the ultimate urban density amplifier, allowing the apartment buildings and office towers of Manhattan to be built side-by-side, and turning a 26-square-mile island of gneiss, marble, and schist into one of the world's greatest metropolises, where millions could live and trade services, goods, and ideas swiftly and efficiently.

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Excerpt: "The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Problem and What We Can Do About It"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The fact is that income inequality is real; it’s been rising for more than twenty-five years. —President George W. Bush, January 2007

During the past thirty-three years the difference in America between being rich and being middle class became much more pronounced. People with high incomes consumed an ever-larger share of the nation’s total income, while people in the middle saw their share shrink. For most of this time the phenomenon attracted little attention from the general public and the press because it occurred in increments over one third of a century. During the previous five decades—from the early 1930s through most of the 1970s—the precise opposite had occurred. The share of the nation’s income that went to the wealthy had either shrunk or remained stable. At the first signs, during the early 1980s, that this was no longer happening, economists figured they were witnessing a fluke, an inexplicable but temporary phenomenon, or perhaps an artifact of faulty statistics. But they weren’t. A democratization of incomes that Americans had long taken for granted as a happy fact of modern life was reversing itself. Eventually it was the steady growth in income in equality that Americans took for granted. The divergent fortunes of the rich and the middle class became such a fact of everyday life that people seldom noticed it, except perhaps to observe now and then with a shrug that life was unfair.

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Bumper Music with Ian Dury and The Blockheads

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today's track list features Ian Dury and The Blockheads, which were active from 1977 until Dury's death in 2000. Now they're simply known as The Blockheads. The video above, from BBC Four, shows Dury and the Blockheads performing one of their best-known songs, What a Waste. It doesn't have a date, but it looks to be circa 1978. 

Resistencia Suburbana – Taxman

Junior Parker – Taxman

Soulive – Taxman

R.E.M. – Laughing

Tool – Reflection

Umphrey’s McGee – Pequod

Patrick O’Hearn – So Flows the Current

The Blockheads – What a Waste

Caribou – Jamelia

Him – Universal Peoples

Talkdemonic – Starry Dynamo

Trey Anastastio Band – Sidewalks of San Francisco

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Bumper Music for April 16, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Usually these bumper music lists are just made up of established artists, but thanks to our new listener music project, we featured David A. Arnott and his track, Brown Baby. Check it out.

David A. Arnott – Brown Baby

Beastie Boys – Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament

Pinback – Soaked

Caribou – Great Canadian Weekend

Malko Malko – Silks

Mercury Program – Arrived/Departed

The Brutalist School – Like Powder

Paco De Lucia – Chanela

Bruce Hornsby – Song B

Scenic – Skylight

Ugress – Hovercraft Expedition

Bambi Molesters – The Kiss Off

Aphex Twin – Hexagons

Dalek – Tarnished

Nicolas Jarr – Too Many Kids Finding Rain in the Dust

Isis – Dulcinea

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Scientists Identify Most Relaxing Song Ever Produced

Monday, April 16, 2012

MARCONI UNION - WEIGHTLESS by Just Music label

Here are the top 10 most relaxing tunes:
1. Marconi Union - Weightless
2. Airstream - Electra
3. DJ Shah - Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)
4. Enya - Watermark
5. Coldplay - Strawberry Swing
6. Barcelona - Please Don't Go
7. All Saints - Pure Shores
8. Adele – Someone Like You
9. Mozart - Canzonetta Sull'aria
10. Cafe Del Mar - We Can Fly

http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/music/scientists-discover-most-relaxing-tune-ever

Your take: What music keeps you calm? Comment here or go to our Facebook page to join the conversation.

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