Photographer Michael Forster Rothbart has taken pictures of Bhopal and spent two years living in Chernobyl. He’s also photographed the Semi Polygon nuclear test site in Kazakhstan. He has first-hand knowledge of what happens once the news cameras leave and life continues in places changed forever by nuclear disaster. He shares some of the images and stories that have stayed with him after traveling through towns hit by calamity.
Yoko Ono Lennon experienced the devastation of WWII on Japan. Since then, she's moved to the United States and worked as an artist and musician. She speaks strongly about pain, love, and her reverence for planet Earth. In the wake of Japan's quake and tsunami, she has been thinking of her home country and contributing to the Red Cross. She encourages others to do the same, or to participate in the rebuilding of Japan in a more hands-on way if they can. Amidst the pain and the destruction, she is hopeful that her country can rebuild.
The earthquake in Japan devastated a country, but it also had a geological effect on the earth, changing the length of our days. According to physicists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, last week’s earthquake actually resulted in our days being shortened by 1.8 microseconds. Dr. Jean Dickey, a physicist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains that the mass of the earth changed in such a way that the rotation changed. However, she says that the days change fairly often following atmospheric changes and that, while the earthquake had a devastating effect on Japan, the length of the day is not something to be concerned about.
This week, Rafer and Kristen look at the newest imagining of Red Riding Hood and discuss their favorite fairy tales on film. Along the way, Rafer explains why fairy tales make men feel like objects and Kristen explains why she'd like them to be a little more like Sophie's Choice.
We commonly describe the time we live in as “the information age.” More dramatically, some, like Eric Schmidt of Google, say we’re in the midst of an “information explosion.” But what, exactly, is information? Is it an idea? The documentation of an idea? James Gleick explores these questions in his new book “The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood.” He joins us from Tampa, Florida.
Historians usually stick to facts, but sometimes it’s fun to play the "what if" game with history. What if president-elect John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in December 1960? What if Robert Kennedy had lived through Sirhan Sirhan's attempt on his life and became president in 1968? What if Gerald Ford had corrected a misstep in the 1976 presidential debate with Jimmy Carter and won a second term?
In today’s world, it’s not unusual to wake up alone, drive to work alone, and eat our meals alone. It’s expected that most of our communicating will take place through machines, rather than face to face. And it’s not unusual for us to develop relationships with those machines, whether they’re our cell phones or GPS devices. But what does all this isolation do to us? And does technology make our isolation better or worse?
When we think of spies in love, we might imagine the wacky but passionate Boris and Natasha. Alternatively, we might think of Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, depicting Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson in the movie “Fair Game.” But what’s life really like for an undercover couple? Robert Baer and Dayna Baer know. They are two dedicated CIA agents, who had more or less given up on their personal lives, but fell in love on a mission to Sarajevo.
How can we live longer, healthier lives? It’s a question that for centuries has enticed explorers to travel the globe and many others to suffer through everything from chemical peels to bizarre diets. Is the secret in a good attitude? A lasting marriage? Strenuous exercise? Can we control it at all? Leslie Martin, along with Howard Friedman, is the author of a new book called “The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study.” Leslie Martin talks about the book, and dispels some long-held myths about longevity.
In this week's Movie Date podcast, Rafer and Kristen look at the new Johnny Depp animated lizard cowboy vehicle, "Rango," and debate whether the film's grissly characters and graphic violence make it the best or worst children's movie ever.
You may know Josh Radnor best as the "I" of the Emmy-award winning TV show "How I met your Mother." But Radnor is also a director and writer, and today, his debut film "Happythankyoumoreplease" hits theatres, in limited release. The film centers on a young man named Sam, played by Radnor, and on his friends, all of whom are trying to figure out how to grow up and find love. But Sam’s journey takes an unexpected twist when a little boy named Rasheen decides to follow him home one day, and Sam decides to keep him. Radnor talks about his new film and about making the transition from small screen to silver screen.
Movie Date co-host and Newsday movie critic, Rafer Guzman gives us his take on the weekend's releases: the conspiracy theory romance “The Adjustment Bureau,” which stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt; the eighties-themed romantic comedy “Take Me Home Tonight,” which stars Topher Grace and Anna Faris; and the new animated feature “Rango,” in which Johnny Depp stars as a lizard cowboy.
The music industry has been criticized in recent years for having too many manufactured stars, and not enough artists; too many middle men making money, and not enough musicians being paid. But some are trying to forge a new way for a viable music market, like Stephen Nawara. He is a Detroit entrepreneur who has created a new site that lets customers to pay want they want, even if that amount is nothing at all.
They say that history is written by the people in power. And for centuries in the Western world, that meant that stories by and about people descending from Africa were barely touched upon in the history books. The Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) is trying to change that. A web-based multi-media project, the DDFR encourages people with African ancestry to submit family photos, along with stories, from their own attics and shoeboxes.
In England, and around the world, all eyes may be on Kate Middleton, the future queen. But long before Middleton or even Queen Elizabeth I, women of the monarchy were attracting great attention and wielding surprising power in England. Helen Castor is a historian who’s been delving into the lives of these powerful, but largely unrecognized women, as far back as nine hundred years ago. She’s the author of “She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth.”
“Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” is the most expensive Broadway production in history, and may very well be the most talked about musical in decades. Boasting a $65 million budget, a score by U2’s Bono and the Edge, twenty seven daredevil flying scenes, and direction by Tony award-winner Julie Taymor, it appears to have all the ingredients for success. But the show has also been plagued by a seemingly endless supply of unintended drama: injuries, postponments and more. Tired of it all, and convinced he could deliver a better Spider-Man musical sooner, Justin Moran wrote and produced his own Spider-Man musical.
"The King's Speech" took home best picture and three other trophies last night at the 83rd Academy Awards. Meanwhile, "Inception" also won four awards, mostly in technical categories. Other memorable moments included an exasperated Melissa Leo dropping the "f-word" while accepting her Oscar for best supporting actress, and co-host James Franco appearing on stage in a dress.
If you missed last night's broadcast, don't fret. Rafer Guzman, film critic for Newsday, and co-host of The Takeaway Movie Date Podcast with Takeaway producer Kristen Meinzer, are here to help with their Oscar hangover cure: a hearty mix of the winners, losers, and surprises that will be heating up YouTube and the water cooler conversations today.
A little over a week ago, in the midst of the heated debates around our nation’s proposed federal budget cuts, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) attracted national attention. After 240 of 241 House Republicans voted to strip Planned Parenthood of government funding, Moore spoke up. But rather than just explain that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider of reproductive health care, she chose to tell her personal story of growing up as a poor, single, teenage mother. Congresswoman Moore joins us from Wisconsin to talk about her story and her thoughts on reproductive health funding.
After nearly four hours of winners and losers and montages and speeches and glitzy gowns and fancy jewels, all I can say is … not every Oscars can be magical.
Or, more accurately, the Oscars can be downright boring.
Immediately after the end of the Civil War, Congress drafted and pushed to ratify the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution, which were intended to guarantee African-Americans full equality under the law. But despite these amendments, Jim Crow laws quickly took hold of much of the nation, stripping African-Americans of such basic rights as serving on juries and voting without the penalty of a poll tax. What went wrong?