Rosie from the Jetsons, R2-D2 from Star Wars, and the Terminator—here in America, our understanding of robots has been built around what we see on the big screen. But as scientists and technology companies begin developing robots and incorporating robotics technologies into our every day lives, will our Hollywood understanding ring true in reality? Erik Sofge contributes to Popular Science and writes about science fiction for Slate. He explains how Hollywood has driven our perception of robots, and how far off it is from reality.
In the first season of "The West Wing," the White House hosts an open house for "Big Block of Cheese Day," a nod to President Jackson, who hosted a similar event for the American people. This year, the Obama Administration has adopted the tradition. Today the White House is hosting a virtual "Big Block of Cheese Day" over social media. Eli Attie, writer and producer for "The West Wing," discusses the tradition, from the Jacksonian Era to the fictional Bartlet Administration to the Obama White House today.
Artist, composer and performer R. Luke DuBois developed his signature style through data mining. In his 2008 piece, "Hindsight is Always 20/20," DuBois isolates the most frequently mentioned words from State of the Union Addresses that span from George Washington to George W. Bush. As President Barack Obama prepares for the 2014 State of the Union Address, DuBois examines word patterns in State of the Union Addresses over time, and describes how a president's rhetoric reflects their era.
Hillary Clinton has yet to declare her candidacy for the 2016 presidential race, but the Clinton machine is well-oiled and ready for action. Amy Chozick, reporter for Takeaway partner The New York Times, is the author of "Planet Hillary," the cover story in this week's New York Times Magazine. She explains how the Clinton campaign machine is gearing up for 2016.
One of the biggest challenges in American cinema has been bringing the stories of war to the civilian big screen. "Lone Survivor" is a new film by director Peter Berg that attempts to bring the story of a mission gone wrong in Afghanistan to a civilian audience. Donna Axelson's son, Matt, was one of the SEAL team members killed in the mission. She discusses what it was like to see her son portrayed on film and shares her thoughts on how and why filmmakers should attempt to bring the realities of war to a civilian screen.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in the violence in South Sudan that erupted last month, following a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar. The Takeaway talks with Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, about the roots of the current crisis. Deb Dawson, of Fargo, North Dakota also weighs in. Dawson works closely with Sudanese Lost Boys and Lost Girls both in the U.S. and abroad.
The International Monitoring System is the world’s first planetary surveillance network. The system has picked up everything from the sounds of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami to the sounds of whales near the Juan Fernandez islands and much more. Randy Bell, Director of the International Data Centre Division of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), explains how the nuclear detection system has yielded unexpected scientific discoveries.
While the world saw a host of dramatic changes in 2013—an elected government replaced by the military in Egypt, a new pope in Rome, a resurgent Bashar al-Assad in Syria—2014 will likely see greater shifts in politics and the international economy. Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the Eurasia Group, a global political risk research and consulting firm, examines the top risks facing the U.S and the world in 2014.
Fifty years ago, New York City was a very different place when it hosted visitors from around the world for the World's Fair of 1964-65. Joseph Tirella, author of “Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World’s Fair and the Transformation of America,” examines how the 1964-65 World's Fair represented a changing United States, a country transfixed by technoogy and rapid transition.
More than five years ago, photographer Rachael Jablo developed chronic migraines. As a side effect of the medication she took to help treat those migraines, Jablo developed aphasia which caused her to lose her ability to remember language. Slowly, she was able to speak but could no longer remember certain words to identify simple objects or feelings. Eventually, she came up with the idea of using photography as a way to relearn language.
It's been a strong year for soccer in America. But is it enough to raise the profile of the game and gain popularity here in the States? Grant Wahl, senior writer for Sports Illustrated, weighs in.
Just before his visit to the U.S. back in September, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made a bold statement to the West by freeing 11 political prisoners. But one American of Iranian descent — with no political ties — is still being held at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, which has held political prisoners since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Former US Marine Amir Hekmati has been detained at Evin for more than two years. His Congressman, along with the United Nations and his family, including his sister Sarah Hekmati, are desperately seeking his release.
"I can't walk down the street without people stopping me to say thank you," says the 84-year-old, who shot to stardom this year after winning the Supreme Court Case that made gay marriage legal. "It's thrilling."
As Gary Walsh on "Veep" and Buster Bluth in "Arrested Development," actor Tony Hale has perfected the art of sycophancy. Gary and Buster each desperately, hilariously, seek acceptance from the powerful women in their lives: Gary is at Vice President Selina Meyer's beck and call, while Buster caters to the ultimate matriarch, Lucille Bluth. Hale reflects on his banner year, reprising the role of Buster in Netflix's reboot of "Arrested Development," and winning his first Emmy for "Veep."
In our series of profiles of Iranians, both in and outside of Iran, we speak with musician Raam, of the post-punk band Hypernova. The band left Tehran six years ago after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cracked down on working musicians. Raam reflects back on the year in Iran and the future of musicians in that country.
While Olympic Games often attract critics -- as London and Beijing residents can attest -- the road to Sochi may be the most corrupt yet. The new BBC documentary "The Putin Project" examines the corruption and disruption in Russia as the country prepares for the 2014 Olympic Games. Lucy Ash, an investigative reporter for the BBC, and Anastasia Uspenskaya, BBC Russian Service reporter, discuss the documentary and what lies ahead for Russia and the world as the Sochi Opening Ceremonies approach.
After almost a year in office, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren tells The Takeaway she knows she can make a difference. “For all the things that are broken around here, the truth is there are a lot of tools in the tool box to make change,” she says. Helping the unemployed is high on Warren's agenda. The Massachusetts Democrat recently introduced a bill that would prohibit companies from checking the credit history of potential employees. Warren argues that an individual's credit rating does not accurately reflect his or her potential to do a good job and often discriminates against women, seniors, students and minorities. Her legislation could face opposition from certain business groups, though.
Nearly half of all college students have had suicidal thoughts. Donna and Phil Satow co-founded The Jed Foundation after they tragically loss their youngest son Jed to suicide during his sophomore year of college. Misha Kessler is a recent college graduate and can speak first hand to this struggle. Together they discuss their experiences with the distress that college students face and ways people can actively get involved.
"The Luminaries" is the fascinating new novel written by Eleanor Catton, the 2013 Man Booker Prize winner. Described by the New York Times as "doing a Charlotte Bronte-Themed crossword puzzle while playing chess and Dance Dance Revolution on a Bongo Board," the novel is wildly unique. Catton is the youngest person to win the Prize and only the second to win from New Zealand, and she joins The Takeaway to discuss the wild wave of enthusiasm for her work.
John Hickenlooper, Democratic Governor of Colorado, has had quite a year on the national stage. From extreme weather that caused deadly landslides, to becoming one of two states that voted to legalize marijuana, Gov. Hickenlooper has been the center for high praise and high criticism. His state has also become a political battleground, even as Hickenlooper famously campaigned to stay above the partisan fray. Hickenlooper joins us to take a look back at 2013.