"There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know…"
That’s former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, talking about what we know and don’t know, with regard to weapons of mass destruction. But when it comes to the secretary himself, what do we know?
Remember that international exam last month that embarrassed a lot of Americans? The scores, you might recall, ranked U.S. children firmly below average in math and finally, after years, average at science. The test is called the Program for International Student Assessment exam, or PISA. And as it so happens, next year’s version of the PISA will feature a new section on financial literacy. But why financial literacy? And how well (or not well) will American kids do this next time around?
What do you think? Should kids be required to learn financial literacy? Why or why not? At what age do kids need to learn financial literacy?
There was a time when just about every man, woman, and child in America could see all the best picture Oscar nominees before the big night; a time when the number of nominees was so manageable that you could see one movie a week between the nominations announcement and the awards show and still see them all. More innocent times, more innocent days, I remember them well. It’s hard not to. It was only two years ago. But then 2010 came along and changed everything. Or, more accurately, changed everything back.
Why do some of us believe in God? Why do we grapple for meaning and a sense of purpose in our everyday lives? Author, Jesse Bering explores whether humans are evolutionarily designed to believe in a higher power in his new book, “The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life.”
Most of us prefer to fast-forward through TV commercials in our everyday lives. But on Super Bowl Sunday, the ads are almost as hyped as the game itself.
Featuring celebrity endorsements, special effects, and the kind of humor that pushes the envelope, Super Bowl ads have the potential to become iconic, and our digital age, viral. Not surprisingly, this also means the price of a commercial is high. For this past weekend’s game, companies paid approximately three million dollars per thirty second spot. (Check out some of the ads after the jump.)
Some of us learned about the Amistad revolt in our school history classes. Some of us only know about it because of the 1997 movie starring Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins. But many of us still know little or nothing about those involved in the 1839 slave ship revolt that became a symbol for the abolitionist movement. In his new book, “Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels,” Kevin Young attempts to change this.
In honor the people in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere who have been rising up, Kristen and Rafer share their favorite movies that celebrate the revolutionary spirit.
It’s February 4, less than three and a half weeks before the Academy Awards telecast. For some people, three and a half weeks might seem like the perfect time to start discussing the big awards show. But if I had my way, everybody in America would be talking about the Oscars every day of the year. I already do. And now I'm blogging about the big show as much as I possibly can.
This Sunday, football fans around the country will be cheering on two teams that have come to be known for their colors, their devoted fans, and their long history in the NFL. Of course, there’s at least one other thing the teams are also known for: their names, which are linked to proud professions and industries unique to each region.
Today is the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event attended by President Obama and organized by “The Family,” a Washington-based fellowship of Christian politicians. “The Family” is also known for its close affiliation with the Ugandan politicians who proposed making homosexuality a capital offense. A coalition of religious leaders are now calling on President Obama to recite a prayer for David Kato, a prominent, Ugandan gay rights activist who was bludgeoned to death in January, at the National Prayer Breakfast today.
For cultures that follow the lunar calendar, today is New Year’s Day. Here in the U.S., many of us simply refer to it as Chinese New Year. But the truth is that communities in and from Vietnam, Korea, Mongolia, Tibet, and elsewhere have their own traditions and foods built around the day. Kelly Choi is the host of "Top Chef Masters" and is a Korean-American. She is personally acquainted with the Korean New Year, or “Seolnal,” as it’s often called. She shares her recipes for the celebration.
Recipes after the jump.
All of her life, Jane McGonigal has been interested in games. At the tender age of ten, she programmed her first game on a Commodore 64. In the years since, she’s designed award winning alternate reality games and massively multiplayer online games — some of which celebrate the fun of dancing, others that deal with human extinction.
When Jasmin Darznik was three, she and her family moved to the U.S. from Iran. Growing up, she had little knowledge of her parents’ lives before immigration. But when she was in her early twenties, Darznik came across a picture of her mother as a young teenage girl, wearing a wedding veil. That picture piqued her curiosity, and led her down a path of family history filled with abuse, neglect, and a half sister she knew nothing about.
For over 75 years, Pennsylvania Germans have gathered in what they call Groundhog (or “Groundsaw”) Lodges to celebrate their language, traditions, and culture. The most important day in lodge culture is, of course, today, Groundhog Day. However, it's hard to think of spring, when more than 30 states are under blizzard warnings, with snow hitting much of the country.
Egypt has a key role as an ally to both Israel and Gazan Palestinians. It's one of the few countries that has a relationship with both groups. As the political ground shifts yet again in the Middle East, we take a look at one Palestinian doctor and how he came to be an advocate for peace in Gaza.
Every day, nearly 7,000 people in America die. And when the deaths are unexpected, sudden or suspicious, it’s presumed that a thorough investigation will take place.
Though you might expect a thorgough and high-level investigation from TV shows like CSI, the reality is quite different. In over 1,300 counties across the United States, elected coroners are in charge of death investigations — many with no medical or scientific background. To run for coroner in most counties, all you need is a high school diploma.
The biggest movie news of the week, and the second biggest movie news of the year, happened this week: The nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards. Kristen and Rafer size up the field of Oscar contenders, how "The King's Speech" became the favorite and why "True Grit" was redeemed. And Kristen laments the lack of diversity in this year's lineup.
Twenty five years ago today, NASA launched the Challenger, sending one of its most highly anticipated and diverse space crews ever into space. The astronauts included one African American, one Asian-American, one Jew, and two women, one of whom was a school teacher named Christa McAuliffe. And the mission ended only 73 seconds into flight, when the Challenger exploded nine miles above the Atlantic. Millions of people across the world, including McAuliffe’s students and fellow teachers, watched the tragedy live and in repeated news clips. We’re joined today by two people who knew our first official teacher in space.
When the Oscar nominees were announced on Tuesday, Takeaway producer, Kristen Meinzer noticed that they were — by her measurements — the least culturally and racially diverse in over a decade. Kristen is here with Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday and co-host for the Takeaway’s Movie Date podcast, to discuss race and the Oscars.
To many people, Alan Lomax is simply the man who introduced the world to Woody Guthrie (and legendary folk songs like “This Land is Your Land”). But for Alan Lomax, Guthrie was just one of thousands of musical discoveries made over the course of more than half a century. Lomax, who served as Assistant Folk Song Archivist for the Library of Congress in the 1930s, recorded music from some of the most remote corners and people on earth — including Caribbean field workers, pygmies and black American prisoners. But how much do we know about the respected oral historian, producer, and interviewer?