In August, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta began a billboard and television ads to raise awareness about childhood obesity, modeled after a successful anti-meth campaign. However, some health officials are concerned that the images and text in these ads are unnecessarily aggressive, and add to the stigma overweight children already face. In addition to sparking a month-long online protest in January, this controversial campaign has also inaugurated a discussion over whose "fault" childhood obesity is.
Approximately one-third of adults and 17 percent of children in the U.S. are obese. While this public health crisis has spawned a billion dollar diet industry, reality shows dedicated to weight loss, and the First Lady's "Let's Move" program, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta didn’t think these were enough to discourage children from making unhealthy choices. The hospital launched a billboard and digital campaign featuring obese children with derogatory narration and captions. The ads are powerful, but they’ve also been criticized for stigmatizing overweight children.
This week’s big releases offer up some variations on Hollywood's most beloved genres: "Safe House," a CIA mole-thriller with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds; "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," a kid-friendly sci-fi adventure starring The Rock and Michael Cain; and the tear-jerking amnesia romance "The Vow" starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.
At a time of turmoil and unrest, the future of the Syrian government and its people are at stake. Farid Ghadry, the Syrian-born co-founder and president of the U.S. based Reform Party of Syria, predicts the outcome of the uprisings and what Syria will look like if the Assad regime does indeed fall. As a lobbyist for regime change in Syria, Ghadry talks about how the international community can help the Syrian people in their battle for political reform.
David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times and contributor to WQXR's The Washington Report, explores the history of Syria from the Ottoman Empire to the present day dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. At a time where civilians are under attack by Assad's oppressive regime, Sanger explains the president's rise to power and his family's 40-year reign. He goes in-depth about the complicated relationship with Israel and Syria's ties to Hezbollah.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower is most commonly remembered as a vocal opponent of communism and a leader who ushered in one of America's most prosperous eras. But a new national memorial in Washington D.C. offers a different image: designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, the proposed monument features Eisenhower as a young, barefoot boy in Abilene, Kansas, gazing on images of his adult accomplishments. This has been met by criticism, mostly from Eisenhower's family.
In 1961 Malcolm X came to Brown University to publicly rebut an article published in the school newspaper that criticized the Nation of Islam. Fast-forward to 2011. A Brown University student was assigned to create a historical narrative using anything in the school library and stumbled across one of the oldest recordings of Malcolm X in existence, heard by virtually no one since its initial taping.
Whether or not you buy into the idea of American exceptionalism, the U.S. constitution is an exceptional document: the way in which it was crafted, how it secured the rights of citizens, and how 94 percent of nations have modeled their own charters after it. But if you ask Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the constitution is exactly that: historically exceptional, but now a tad out of date. In a recent interview in Egypt, she stated: "I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012."
In line with her comments, a new study has found that fewer and fewer nations are modeling their constitutions after ours.
Since its humble beginnings in the Bronx during the 1970s, hip hop has become a global musical phenomenon with attendant forms of style and protest. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of hip hop's recent impact is in the Arab world where formed the soundtrack to the revolution with rappers like Hamada Ben Amor from Tunisia, Cheikh Oumar Cyrille from Senegal, and Mohamed el Deeb from Egypt.
In a world where one team must face off against another not once, but twice, on the world stage tempers will flare, bodies will be pushed to the limit, and reveling fans will discover if the underdog can triumph over tragedy… or if the top dog will rise again. Cliched? Absolutely, but appropriate: just as they did in 2007, the New England Patriots will face off against the New York Giants in this year's Superbowl.
On Tuesday, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the largest breast cancer advocacy organization in America, pulled $650,000 in funding from Planned Parenthood. In the days afterward, the Komen foundation's move has pleased pro-life activists and organizations while outraging others at the seeming contradiction: Planned Parenthood screens 170,000 women a year for breast cancer. New York mayor Mike Bloomberg has vowed to give Planned Parenthood $250,000 and several top Komen staff and board members have quit in protest.
If you've got a copy of the Dictionary of Regional English, you know that "hotdish" is a casserole-style meal popular throughout Minnesota. A "quahog" is common word for "clam" in New England. And "Euchre" is a card game beloved by Midwesterners of all stripes. Next month the final volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English, or DARE, will be released by the Harvard University Press.
Don Cornelius, the creator of "Soul Train," died Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He began his career as a journalist who wrote passionately about the civil rights movement. After noticing the lack of African American music on popular television, he created the Chicago-based show "Soul Train" in 1970 to showcase the funky blending of gospel and R&B that is soul music. It quickly gained an audience and went into syndication nationally a year later. Celeste Headlee looks back on why "Soul Train" was groundbreaking and reflects on the may ways that Cornelius' legacy lives on.
Jessica Ahlquist, a 16-year-old-junior at Cranston High School West, is an outspoken atheist who believes that prayer should not be on display in public schools. Last month she expressed her views at school board hearings and a federal judge ruled in her favor deeming prayer's presence at Cranston High School to be unconstitutional. In retaliation, residents have threatened Ahlquist and others like State Representative Peter G. Palumbo have called her "an evil little thing."
What if all we had was time? What if our youth was everlasting, but the time we has was limited? In this futuristic sci-fi thriller everyone stops aging at the tender age of 25. The only problem is that the time you have left is a commodity. People trade minutes and hours instead of dollars, leaving a cup of coffee to cost you about 90 seconds, give or take. This is the world that Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried find themselves in as their characters navigate this post-apocalyptic experience. As always we hear from Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway.
Ten years ago this week, Wall Street Journal South Asia bureau chief Daniel Pearl was abducted and killed by Pakistani militants. His grisly murder shocked the world, heralding the end of innocence for many foreign correspondents. It also became a rallying cry for those supporting the war on terror as well as those in Afghanistan and Iraq. But for those who actually knew Pearl, it was something else entirely.
In 1961, Ezra Jack Keats wrote and illustrated his first children’s book. It was called "The Snowy Day" and it told the story of Peter, a young, African-American boy in Brooklyn, enjoying the season's first snowfall. The book was immediately popular. Prior to its publication, no other mainstream children’s book had featured a black hero in a non-caricatured way.
Like "Snakes on a Plane" before it "Man on a Ledge" tells you exactly what to expect out of this thriller. There's a man, of course, and he is on a ledge. But what he's doing there, how he will get off, and what happens in between? We won't spoil the plot for you but our Movie Date podcasters will put this movie in context of other "literal-title movies" and let you know if it is a good date or not. As always we hear from Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and Kristen Meinzer, culture producer for the Takeaway.
Late January means as many action releases as June and July. Liam Neeson returns to the big screen this weekend with the icy survival flick "The Grey." This Friday also sees "Man on a Ledge," starring Sam Worthington as a police psychologist negotiating with a pack of diamond thieves, whilst on a ledge of course. Find out which flicks are worth seeing, and which ones should wait until DVD release.
Although his father was the first candidate to release their tax returns, the impetus for Massachussetts governor Mitt Romney making his financial life public — and the rallying cry of Gingrich-boosting Super PACs — is the assertion that Romney is too rich and therefore too out of touch to be president. Throughout the decades, Americans have elected very wealthy men to the White House without any fanfare. Yet with record rates of unemployment that many are experiencing over a period of years, the issue of class in the U.S. has gained a new significance.