It’s Friday and, as usual, that means we talk about movies here at the Takeaway. This week’s big openers are the animated Pixar sequel “Cars 2” and “Bad Teacher,” starring Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake.
As the adage says, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” But who decides on which terms to use and when? And is the US a mite too eager to define people as terrorists? These questions are posed by two new films, premiering this week at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.
Eugenics laws allowed more than 30 states to sterilize people "undeemed to breed" for nearly a century. While it is irrevocably associated with the super-race fetish and ethnic cleansing of Nazi Germany, much of the murky original research took place on Long Island, at the same laborotory where DNA was first identified.
It’s report card season around America, the time of year when thousands of students and parents wait on pins and needles for what they hope will be good grades. But this year, some, if not many parents, may find themselves disappointed. And here’s why: student test scores tend to drop along with a community’s economy – regardless of whether their own parents have lost their jobs.
Around the world, driving is a common part of a woman's everyday life, but in Saudi Arabia, religious edicts prevent women from being able to practice this simple act—even though it’s not technically illegal for them to do so. Saudi women decided to quietly and peacefully revolt last Friday, by driving. Many drove their cars, or rode with other female friends who hold international drivers’ licenses; and they plan to continue doing so in the days and weeks ahead.
Today, tennis fans around the world will be tuning into the world-renowned grass court tennis tournament in London, the Wimbledon Championships. One of the four grand slam tennis championships, it is also the oldest and considerably the most prestigious. Here to talk us through the ins and outs of Wimbledon is a man who won four grand slam singles titles: American tennis champion Jim Courier.
In 1990, a group of women in Saudi Arabia did something almost completely unheard of. They got behind the wheels of their cars and they drove. Afterward, they were severely punished, and both the women and the movement fell quiet. However, last month, a single mother named Manal Al-Shafif picked up the torch. Angry and frustrated, she uploaded footage of herself driving. As with the women before her, she was severely punished. This time, however, the movement did not fall quiet.
This weekend, movie goers have a wide range of options to choose from. For mainstream audiences, there’s “The Green Lantern,” which stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, and Peter Sarsgaard. For families and kids, there’s “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” starring Jim Carey and Angela Lansbury. And for the indie crowd, “The Tree of Life,” directed by Terrence Malick and starring Brad Pitt, goes into wide release. If you could only see one, which would it be?
Father’s Day is this weekend, and in honor of the big day, we’re looking at some of our favorite fathers in fiction. Patrik Henry Bass, Takeaway contributor and senior editor at Essence magazine, says there are lessons to be learned from dads in novels like "Shoeless Joe" and "About a Boy," which tells the story of a man who learns how to grow up from a young boy.
Father’s Day is this weekend, and in honor of the big day, we’re looking at a kind of father that doesn’t always get a lot of attention: single dads. One recent calculation using 2010 Census data found the number of single father families nationwide jumped 27 percent in the past decade and nearly doubled since 1990.
On Sunday night, theatre lovers, music lovers and “South Park” fans will all be cheering for one musical at the Tony Awards: “The Book of Mormon,” which is nominated for 14 Tonys—more than any other show this year. Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame and Robert Lopez of “Avenue Q,” it centers on a group of Mormon missionaries in Africa. Along the way, there are songs about closeted homosexuality and maggot infestations, and more than a few jokes at the expense of Mormons.
For months, JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg have been keeping audiences guessing about their new film, “Super 8.”
Here’s what we know about: It centers on a group of pre-teens in the late 1970s who witness a train crash while making their own low-budget film. After the crash, the kids begin to notice strange things happening in their town.
It’s hard to imagine it now, but in the mid-1920s, the U.S. only had 250 routes for cars. Today, there are more than 55,000 auto bridges, close to 4 million miles of road, and an intricate system of high speed super highways that connect every major city in the country.
These superhighways — which allowed drivers to travel long distances at high speeds — redefined American cities and culture.
Jim Lehrer will no longer be the main face of PBS' "NewsHour." He was the show's anchor for 36 years, but there has not been a lot of fanfare around his departure. "I didn't want to make a big to-do about it," he says. He reflects on reporting on the Kennedy assassination and what he has learned about politics and history. His new book, "Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain" comes out in the Fall; he will continue moderating Shields and Brooks on Fridays. So what's next? "I want to write better books," Lehrer tells us.
Since 1996, Gallup has been polling Americans about gay marriage. In the past, the majority of their respondents were opposed to it being legally recognized. But last month, for the first time, the majority of respondents said they were in favor of gay marriage being legalized. Why are Americans changing their minds?
In this week's Movie Date: Rafer Admits something that's never happened before and may never happen again. Kristen Rejoices. Both agree that "X-Men: First Class" is the kind of superhero film that succeeds in being relatable to the real world, and maybe the first great superhero movie of the summer (sorry, "Thor"). Take a listen.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian died at age 83 Friday morning at a Michigan hospital. Kevorkian was a controversial figure; outspoken on assisted suicide, the doctor said he helped 130 people who had chosen to end their lives. Terry Youk's brother, Thomas, was euthanized in 1998 with the help of Jack Kevorkian. He supported his brothers challenging decision. Professor of political science at Dickinson College, Jim Hoefler is an expert in biomedical ethics and end-of -life decision making. He says that Jack Kevorkian "muddied the waters" in the end-of-life debate by choosing to help people who weren't in dire circumstances.
Before there was a Michael Jordan or Martina Navratilova, long before Tiger Woods or even Jackie Robinson, there was a woman named Babe Didrikson Zaharias who dominated sports for a quarter century. To the delight and fascination of the public, she was able to beat top athletes, both male and female, at sports ranging from bowling to diving. She earned Olympic gold medals in the hurdles and javelin, all-American status in basketball, dozens of golf championships, and a spot on ESPN’s list of top ten North American athletes of the century.
There’s only one new film being released widely this weekend, and it’s a big one: "X-Men: First Class," a prequel to the X-Men films that were so popular between 2000 and 2006. Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday co-hosts the Movie Date podcast with Takeaway producer Kristen Meinzer. They talk about the mutant powers they'd each like.
Thirty years ago this week, Dr. Michael Gottlieb identified a new disease in a paper he wrote for the CDC. Characterized by a severely damaged immune system, and primarily afflicting gay men, the syndrome would come to be known as AIDS. In the years since, over sixty million people — of both genders and all sexual orientations — have died of AIDS. Antiretrovirals have been developed, however there is still no cure.