Kristen Meinzer is an associate producer for The Takeaway and co-host of The Takeaway's Movie Date podcast.
Prior to working with The Takeaway, Kristen was a development producer for CBS News Productions; an associate research scholar with the Center for Media, Culture and History; and a freelance producer and blogger for WNYC's Soundcheck, VH1's The Fabulous Life, and The Discovery Channel's Anatomy of a Pandemic (in which she also got to play a dead person).
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer explains to Kristen what red shirts signify in the Star Trek universe, Kristen confesses to having a crush on a certain Star Trek character, and their special guest, Scott Rosenberg, reveals which Enterprise crew member he'd most like to see headlining a spin-off series. It's all in honor of the highly anticipated "Star Trek Into Darkness."
They vowed to go where no one has gone before. But can the crew of the Enterprise really go new places without paying tribute to the old? And what are those old places that brought us to where we are now? David Goodman, author of "Star Trek Federation: the First 150 Years," shares his knowledge of the history, characters, and adventures that make up the Star Trek universe, and weighs in on whether the newest film, "Star Trek Into Darkness" would make Gene Roddenberry proud.
Renee Landers, professor of law at Suffolk University in Massachusetts and faculty director for the health and biomedical concentration there, shares her knowledge about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Massachusetts and how it compares to the health reforms that took place back in 2006.
Just a couple of years ago, the health care budget situation in Oregon was bleak. Oregon was facing a $2 billion deficit in its Medicaid program. The Obama administration cut a deal with Oregon to bail them out, but Oregon had to keep its Medicaid spending growth rate 2 percent lower than the rest of the country. Since then, Oregon has made great strides in cutting costs while expanding Medicaid programs, and becoming something of a testing ground for the Affordable Care Act.
In the wake of a Minnesota case in which nine Somali immigrants left the U.S. to fight with Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia, and the Boston bombing, Americans are re-thinking our understanding of home-grown terrorism. While Congressman Keith Ellison, Democrat from Minnesota’s fifth district, is certainly concerned about these recent cases, as the first Muslim representative elected to Congress, he also cautions against undue surveillance of Muslim communities.
Today, as The Takeaway broadcasts from Minnesota Public Radio, we look at the music scene in the Twin Cities, where some of the nation's biggest headliners got their start, from Bob Dylan to Prince. Musician Jeremy Messersmith acts as a tour guide around Minneapolis/St. Paul.
One of the most traditionally lefty states in the U.S., Minnesota is home to some of America’s biggest liberal household names, including Hubert H. Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone, and Al Franken. But more recently, we’ve seen decidedly un-liberal people rising through the political ranks in Minnesota like Michelle Bachman and Tim Pawlenty. Is Minnesota a bellwether of the rest of American liberalism as a whole? Ralph Brauer, native Minnesotan and author of the "Strange Death of Liberal America," offers his thoughts.
Is "The Great Gatsby" great? It's been the question on movie enthusiasts' minds for the past several months. Rafer and Kristen weigh in on the Leonardo Di Caprio-led movie, share their knowledge of the book, and compare the film to prior adaptations. They also weigh in on another Long Island movie about class differences hitting theatres this week: "Peeples," starring Kerry Washington and Craig Robinson.
In this week's look at new movies, Rafer and Kristen discuss complicated family reunions, party crashing, and what happens when eccentric Australian directors take on American classics. It's all in honor of two new releases: "Peeples" and "The Great Gatsby."
Some critics argue that the new Metropolitan Museum's exhibition on punk fashion is proof that punk is over. But if punk is everywhere, including a museum exhibit, is punk over; or has it officially won? Kelly Maxwell mulls over this question in a new piece for Bust Magazine.
In recent years, the bicycle has gone from a mode of transportation, to an object that comes with rights that cities acknowledge and cater to. For those who’ve been entrenched in the bike world over the decades, it’s been quite a journey. Charlie McCorkell is among them. He’s been biking around Manhattan since the 1960s. And in the seventies, he opened what’s become one of New York’s most popular bike shops: Bicycle Habitat, in Soho.
Last week, while working on a story about your typical American community, New York Times writer Annie Lowrey asked via twitter, “What is the most perfectly average place in America?” Almost immediately, the internet lit up with nominations: Knoxville, Albany, and Jacksonville, to name just a few. But not everyone likes being average.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen discuss Gwyneth Paltrow's abs, Kate Hudson's divisive acting skills, action sequences that make Kristen clap, and the best terrorism-themed movies for making out during. It's all in honor of this week's two terrorism-themed films: "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" and "Iron Man 3."
An organization in Eugene, Oregon is trying to get pregnant women to stop smoking by paying them in the form of a department store gift cards. Will it be effective? Kristian Foden-Vencil of Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.
Since President Enrique Peña Nieto took power in December, Mexico’s agenda has shifted from fighting the drug wars to modernizing the economy. And President Obama’s administration has made it clear that during his visit to Mexico today he’ll also be focusing on the economy - as well as immigration - rather than on drug cartels.
The location of an infamous massacre in 1890, and a violent standoff in 1973, has again become the subject of introspection and dispute, as the land of Wounded Knee, South Dakota - which fell into non-Indian hands years ago - goes up for sale. Stew Magnuson has reported extensively on Wounded Knee and the land dispute there. He’s the author of “The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder” and “The Battle of Whiteclay.”
NBA player Jason Collins publicly came out yesterday, and is being showered with attention - both good and bad - as a result. It's know how it feels to be in his position. But one person who might understand is Esera Tuaolo. Back in 2002, Tuaolo became the third former NFL player to come out. This was two years after he’d retired, and three years after he’d made it to the Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons.
Temple Grandin discusses her thoughts on the expanding autism spectrum, the supposed link between vaccines and autism, and her new book "The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum."
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen talk about why we should all aspire to the motto, "do be a doer," as opposed to "don't be a don'ter." They also discuss middle-aged sex, wedding hook-ups, and Chef Boyardee. Special guest Cate Contino Cowit gives her insights as well. It's all in honor of the new action-crime-comedy, "Pain and Gain" starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Anthony Mackie; and the romantic comedy, "The Big Wedding," starring Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Robin Williams, and Topher Grace.
Mira Nair discusses her new film, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist." Based on Mohsid Hamid’s bestselling novel, it tells the story of Changez, a young man from Pakistan climbing the corporate ladder in the U.S., until world events change his life. The film stars Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, Keifer Sutherland, and Kate Hudson. Mira Nair is also the award winning director of “Monsoon Wedding,” “Mississippi Masala,” “The Namesake,” and many other films.