Kristen Meinzer

Associate Producer

Kristen Meinzer appears in the following:

Thirty Years After The Eradication of Smallpox

Monday, September 20, 2010

This year marks the thirtieth year since the disease smallpox was eradicated. The disease has been around since roughly 10,000 BC, and killed approximately thirty percent of its victims. Over the course of history, it struck millions, including such famous survivors as George Washington, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln.

Now eradicated for three decades, what lessons can we take away from how we dealt with smallpox?

Sharing his insights is Dr. Walt Orenstein, Deputy Director for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Choosing Not to Test for Down Syndrome

Monday, September 20, 2010

Amy Julia Becker is like a lot of mothers in America. She’s in her early thirties. She’s married. She has two kids, and a third on the way.

But here’s where she might be considered slightly different: of her two children, one has Down Syndrome. And when it comes to her current pregnancy, she and her husband have decided NOT to have the fetus screened for Down Syndrome.

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Katherine Schwarzenegger Tells Girls How to 'Rock What They've Got'

Friday, September 17, 2010

Katherine Schwarzenegger descends from Kennedy bloodlines and Hollywood royalty. She’s educated and beautiful and has been afforded more privileges than most of us could ever hope for. But she also wants the world to know she’s a real person - a person who, not that long ago, was a young girl facing the same pressures that young girls everywhere in America face.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman on Acting and Directing

Friday, September 17, 2010

He's most known for his acting roles in "Boogie Nights", "Happiness" and "Capote". But in this memorable 2010 interview, the Academy Award winning actor, who died Sunday in his Greenwich Village home, talks about trying out an altogether different role: film director.

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Movie Date: I'm Still Here

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rafer and Kristen look at the recent strange tale of Joaquin Phoenix in what might (or might not) be a hoax documentary, "I'm Still Here."

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Becoming a Parent in a State That's Outlawed Gay Adoption

Monday, September 13, 2010

To people in Miami, Charles Perez is a familiar face. He used to be a television news anchor, and he’s currently writing a book called “Confessions of a Gay Anchorman.”

But behind Charles’s familiar face and authoritative television presence is a journey to parenthood that has been incredibly difficult, at times. Charles and his husband wanted to adopt a child. But in the state of Florida, it’s still against the law for gay and lesbian people to adopt. In order to adopt, they temporarily moved to Illinois, and then later to Kansas, where they were eventually able to adopt their daughter.

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Movie Date: Machete

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Kristen and Rafer look at 'Machete': its over-the-top violence, serious political message and "Mexploitation" aesthetic.

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Discrimination and Language: The Word 'Boy'

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Sometimes a word is just a word. But other times, it’s an indicator of something more troubling on the part of the speaker. Take, for example, the word “boy.” When being used to refer to a small child, most of us don’t think twice. But when the word “boy” refers to an adult black man, and the speaker is his white supervisor who’s just passed him up for a promotion, it takes on a much different meaning.

It’s for this reason that John Hithon, an employee of the Tyson chicken processing plant in Gadsden, Alabama, sued his employers for workplace discrimination.

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For the Love of Clooney

Friday, September 03, 2010

The newest George Clooney vehicle, "The American," opened nationwide on Wednesday, and critics expect huge audiences in the coming days. Clooney plays an assassin, holed up in Italy for one last assignment. Given the film's star, one can expect intrigue and romance along the way, but does the newest Clooney film really show Clooney at his best? And what, exactly, is Clooney at his best?  

We look back at Clooney’s films with two people who know his work well, and we’re asking, what's the best version of Clooney, and what makes Clooney's appeal is so broad?

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Andre Agassi Opens Up

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Andre Agassi is widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, as well as one of the most charismatic players in the history of the game. But despite his record wins and huge prize earnings, which total over thirty million dollars, Agassi admits in his autobiography, “Open,” that he actually hates tennis with a passion.

Agassi joins us to discuss where his true passions lie, the role his family played in pressuring him to be a champion, and how he managed to write so honestly in his new book, “Open: An Autobiography.” 

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Traffic Jams and China's 60-Mile, 11-Day Gridlock

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

For nearly two weeks, a stretch of highway outside Beijing saw monster gridlock, which stretched out over sixty miles and trapped drivers on China's National Highway 110 for days. It had been expected to last until mid-September, but last Thursday, after eleven days, the traffic jam suddenly broke.

Many people, of course, are wondering: Where did it go? How did it start? And could this kind of jam happen again?

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Movie Date: 'The Last Exorcism'

Monday, August 30, 2010

Equally scared and entertained by "The Last Exorcism," Rafer and Kristen discuss low-budget horror movies, and what can make them so effective.

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Concussions in Teens, and Potentially Irreversible Brain Damage

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's back to school time, when more kids are spending time in gym class and after-school sports. However, it's not all fun and games, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The report is called “Sport Related Concussion in Children and Adolescents,” and it reveals just how dangerous concussions can be to developing humans, interfering not only with physical health, but learning.

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Five AD: Katrina After the Deluge

Friday, August 27, 2010

For most people living outside of the Gulf, Hurricane Katrina was a tragedy represented by tens of thousands of nameless faces. People waved frantically from rooftops or crowded into the Superdome, returning home only to find their houses and possessions destroyed. However, for fans of the award-winning graphic novel “A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge,” by Josh Neufeld, there are very specific names and faces attached to Katrina. Those people aren't just characters in a book either – they are real people. Five years after the hurricane, we follow up with two of them to see where their lives – and their city – are today.

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Being Jane Lynch

Friday, August 27, 2010

This weekend, television fans around the world will be tuning into the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast. And if they’re devotees of "Glee," they’ll likely be cheering for Jane Lynch, who plays cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on Fox’s musical phenomenon. "Glee" is nominated for 19 Emmys — including a best supporting actress nod for Lynch. She's also nominated for a guest spot on "Two and a Half Men."

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The End of the World As We Know It?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All this week, we've been talking with our friends from Scientific American about endings — how cultures fade, and natural resources dwindle. Today, we’re focusing on something even bigger: the end of human life as we know it — in other words, the apocalypse. The question of course, is how will it happen? Nuclear war? a killer virus, or perhaps an environmental disaster?

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Should There Be a Safer Way to Text and Drive?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why isn't there a better way to text while driving? That’s a question that Joel Johnson, editor at large of Gizmodo.com asked in a recent column.

So far, he’s received over 500 responses to his column, most of which suggest that people who text and drive should simply give it up, use the phone instead, or die behind the wheel because they deserve to. However, Johnson insists that, in a world where most people text and drive, his question is valid. If we can't stop it, why not make it safer?

What do you think? Should texting while driving be outlawed or be made safer?

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Who's to Blame For America's Egg Contamination?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Half a billion eggs suspected of carrying salmonella have been recalled in what’s become the largest egg recall in U.S. history. And many people are wondering: How did this happen? Is it the fault of the factory farming industry? Or the government? And what can be done to prevent widespread food contamination from happening in the future?

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    My Fair Butterhead: State Fair Foods, Culture and History

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    This week, more state fairs kick off than at any other time of the year. Fairs will open in Nebraska, New York, Maryland, Texas, and Minnesota, which attracts more fairgoers in its twelve days than any other state fair in the country (last year nearly two million visitors passed through the Minnesota fair's gates).

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    Movie Date: Jennifer Aniston

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Inspired by this week's "The Switch," Rafer and Kristen consider Jennifer Aniston's highly varied filmography

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