Best described as someone who likes to "sit in the woods and stare," Molly fell in love with science in the ponds, wildlife and fields of Ohio. She studied biology as an undergrad, and then spent time living on couches searching for a destiny she could only describe as "writing about science," at which point Molly wound her way to NYU's science reporting program to become a journalist. As one, she's had the jam-packed experience of reporting and producing stories for radio, magazine and Live events, including Scientific American and National Geographic Adventure; the World Science Festival; and WNYC's The Takeaway and Freakonomics Radio. It feels pretty surreal to call Radiolab home, but that's not stopping her from saying that it's so.
Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in what seemed to be a victorious day for capitalism. We look back 20 years while countries around the world today continue capitalist experiments and attempt to weather the current economic crisis. Meanwhile, a new BBC World Service poll says that only the U.S. and Pakistan believe capitalism is working today. We speak to Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson, author of "The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World."
Today, President Obama follows up on a campaign promise: He is sitting down with 564 Native American and Alaskan Native leaders as part of the White House Tribal Nations Conference. It is the first time tribal leaders have been invited to the White House since Bill Clinton did it in the '90s. Can something be gained from bringing so many leaders together in one place, or is it all just for show? For answers, we turn to Ivan Posey, chairman of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe in Wyoming; Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, director of Indian Health Service for the Obama administration; and Victor Merina, senior correspondent for Reznet, a Native American news web site.
According to BBC correspondent David Loyn, Afghanistan is considered the 175th most corrupt nation in the world. But some ingenious people are trying to fight that corruption … with cell phones. In a pilot program, officials are attemping to eliminate graft by paying police officers their monthly wage via mobile phones.
Details are still coming in from a suicide bombing against U.N. forces that left nine dead in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. To find out what life is like in the city right now, we talk to two civilians: American ex-pat Sarah Chayes, who works with NATO, and Fareedoone, a 25-year old Afghan university student in Kabul. We also speak with Afghanistan expert Michael Semple to find out if yesterday's attack signals a shift in tactics — is the Taliban now deliberately targeting civilians?
A wave of obesity blamed (at least in part) on kids slurping cheap slushies and scarfing chips from local convenience stores has the Los Angeles City Council considering an unusual proposal: limiting the development of new corner stores in South L.A. Is the council's proposed moratorium a smart way to address a public health epidemic? Or is it an unfair attack on the convenient storefronts that serve low-income neighborhoods, where big chain grocery stores don't dare to enter?
We speak to public health expert Dr. Deborah Cohen; Lark Galloway-Gilliam, the executive director of a nonprofit health policy and education organization in South Los Angeles; and Jeff Lenard, the spokesperson for the National Association of Convenience Stores.
"The problem is that we have too many food cues that make us hungry, and make us eat too much. People were designed to overeat."
—Public health expert Dr. Deborah Cohen, on the danger that the kinds of cheap, highly processed foods usually available in convenience stores pose to public health
Aid groups are rushing into Indonesia on the heels of a second earthquake that shook the country yesterday. Indonesia's Health Ministry says nearly 3,000 people may still be trapped under rubble after a powerful earthquake two days ago. Aid organizations are mobilizing a relief effort.
We speak with Bill Horan, the president of Operation Blessing International, about what his organization is seeing on the ground in Indonesia as relief efforts get underway in earnest after this week's earthquakes.
We then talk with Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist from the U.S. Geological Survey. After three earthquakes in three days in Indonesia and the Pacific Islands, followed by tremors in California and Peru, we ask: How interrelated are all these seismological events?
At the beginning of his presidency, Bill Clinton spent hours in private, secret interviews with close friend and Pulitzer prize–winning journalist Taylor Branch. They talked about Monca Lewinsky and the Oklahoma City bombings; they dished about world leaders and soon-to-be president George W. Bush. Now, after years, Branch has amassed his own musings about the talks into a more than 700-page tome. We ask him about his book, "The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With the President."
(click through to read the first chapter of "The Clinton Tapes")
A Los Angeles–based clothing company is laying off 1,800 immigrant employees in the coming weeks at the behest of the Obama administration. And it's not just any company — it's American Apparel, a business that has made a name for itself for paying its workers a better-than-fair wage and offering in-factory massages. (And, yes, they have also made a name for themselves with their over-the-top "sex sells" advertising.) Are the layoffs at American Apparel the start of a larger storm to come, in which more companies will be asked to let immigrants go? New York Times immigration reporter Julia Preston gives us the details.
For more, read Julia Preston's article, Immigration Crackdown With Firings, Not Raids, in today's New York Times.
Launched missiles and secret nuclear facilities: Iran's had a busy few days. Now, they are headed into a week of negotiations with world leaders to explain themselves. Most notably, they are going before the U.N. Security Council on Thursday. We talk with Gary Sick, senior reseach scholar at Columbia University; and Baqer Moin, former head of the Persian service for our partners, the BBC. Sick takes a look at what world leaders want to see from Iran, while Moin considers the situation from the Iranian people's point of view.
"People have said for years that the U.S. played checkers, and Iran plays chess. Maybe even three-dimensional chess. The question has always been: Are we really up to this game? Can we play in that kind of a league where we've got a very clever adversary who is clearly holding some cards and who is willing to play them very adroitly...I personally think we can do this."
—Gary Sick, senior research scholar at Columbia University, on U.S. negotiations with Iran
The numbers are out: After four months of steadily increasing, home sales tapered off in August. We speak to Nicholas Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, for a look at the national housing scene. Then, we take a look at the market from the perspective of three local players: Behrooz Shahidi, a realtor in New Jersey; Ken Ebaugh, a senior mortgage banker with Paramount Bank near Detroit; and Eric Mattinson, who is a first-time home buyer from Greensboro, N.C.
Today, global leaders descend on a small American town known as Pittsburgh, as the G-20 world summit gets underway. Local Pittsburgh residents are happy to have the attention (even if downtown security is a nightmare), but they are eager to note that even when world leaders aren't flocking to the city, there's a lot to do. We hunted down three Steel City locals for their hometown perspective: Justin Strong, Sabina Deitrick and Seán Sebastian.
Estimates say that starting now, the number of people around the world who have dementia will double every 20 years. That means today's caseload of 35 million victims will balloon to 70 million by 2030, then leap to an astounding 115 million by 2050. The news is in a report out yesterday from Alzheimer's Disease International. (Read the report's Executive Summary [PDF, 24 pages, 746KB])
We're left wondering: is the United States prepared for this increase? And why haven't we heard about this before now? We speak to David Shenk, author of the book "The Forgetting: Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic," and Renee Packel, a 73-year-old caregiver whose husband has Alzheimer's.
"He was an attorney, he was a very, very brilliant man. Now he's just a shell. He really cannot follow any conversation...He can't see a glass in front of him because it doesn't just affect your memory: it affects how you see, how you think. He basically has to be cared for all the time."
—Renee Packel, 73-year-old caregiver whose husband has Alzheimer's on her husband's condition
Today, at a one-day U.N. summit, President Obama will talk face-to-face with Chinese President Hu Jintao. The two aim to get beyond roiling trade disputes to attempt an agreement on global warming legislation. What factors are separating these two at the table? Here to tell us is David Biello, energy and environmental editor at Scientific American.
NASA has long been the government agency meant to lead the charge to the future, at least in the public's imagination. A report to Congress from an independent body of experts has put NASA's future into question. In a hearing before the U.S. House of Representative's commmittee on science and technology, the panel said the Constellation program, meant to replace the aging space shuttle fleet and drive human space exploration, was "fatally flawed." To explain the issues that the experts found, where the problems come from, and where NASA might go from here is The Takeaway's go-to space expert, Miles O'Brien.
President Obama is traveling across the nation to rally people behind health care reform. One of this biggest stops happened yesterday, with a speech in Pittsburgh before hundreds of members of the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor union. The labor movement was one of now-President Obama's biggest supporters during his campaign. How does the group feel about the president, and his policies, eight months in? We talk with Cecil Roberts, the president of the United Mine Workers of America, and labor journalist Philip Dine about the current relationship between the president and workers.
If you missed the president's speech at the AFL-CIO convention, here it is:
Yesterday, we asked listeners to send us questions about health care. From "insurance co-ops" to "sole proprietorship," our very own Washington correspondent and healthcare whiz Todd Zwillich addresses listeners' queries, conundrums, and confusion over health care reform.
This week, the Senate Finance committee is set to release the first draft of their health care bill. In fact, the proposed legislation was originally slated to be released today ... so what's holding things up? Here to explain the unfinished details is our own Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich. Plus, this bill might contain plans for cooperative health insurance providers. Listeners asked us to explain what these companies look like, so we called up Peter Fallow, CEO of Group Healthcare Cooperative of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Timothy Jost, law professor and health policy expert.
Yesterday, at an otherwise Apple-standard products announcement, the master of ceremonies was someone who has been out of the spotlight for months: Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Jobs had been away from his position as the company's leader on sick leave, for what turned out to be a liver transplant. In an unusually revealing speech at Wednesday's show, Jobs spoke about his illness. We speak to Wired senior editor, Steven Levy, who was at the event.
D. FENCE! D. FENCE! It's that time of year again. Pull out your hoodies and foam fingers; your beer cozies and the ability to clap in sync. It's the first day of the season for the NFL and everyone is talking quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Brett Favre, and...Michael Vick. The best competitors at the U.S. Open continue towards the final rounds, but American teenager tennis phenom Melanie Oudin lost last night. Here to tell us what to watch out for out on the field is The Takeaway's sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin. And he's even got some gossip for those of you that don't take a liking to men in helmets and shiny pants. (Gasp!)
A relatively innocuous (albeit negative) documentary on Hillary Clinton released during the 2008 election season may lead to something bigger than itself. Today, the United States Supreme Court will return from its summer vacation to hear a case instigated by the film. It is, in fact, the second time the case has been brought before the nation's highest court, but this time it comes with greater weight: the potential to overturn campaign finance laws that have existed for the last 100 years. To take us from the film to the court case we are joined by Nate Persily, law professor at Columbia University; and Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent for our partner the New York Times.
For more, read Adam Liptak's article, Supreme Court to Revisit ‘Hillary’ Documentary, in the New York Times.
Check out some of the documentary, Hillary: The Movie or watch part one below: