Mythili Rao is an associate producer at The Takeaway. Since joining the show, she has has worked as a news writer, day-side and live show producer, day and evening manager and web-editor.
At The Takeaway, Mythili works to bring unique voices and perspectives to the day's major national, international and economic stories -- from a barbecue restaurant owner who hobnobs with North Korean leaders to an ordinary college graduate saddled with debt or even a former arms-runner. She has produced a series of pieces utilizing listener-driven content, including stories about rejection, beauty, death, regret, and nostalgia. At the 2012 Miami Book Fair International, she produced a set of author round-tables about love and death. During the 2012 election cycle, she created a Takeaway series called Don't Mention It, which highlighted issues ignored by the candidates, and produced The Takeaway’s crowd-sourced 2013 inaugural poem.
She is a contributing writer for The Daily Beast, where she regularly reviews books for the site's “Hot Reads” feature. Her reporting, essays and book reviews have also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, The Nation, The Millions, Newsweek, and other publications.
Mythili majored in English and Political & Social Thought at the University of Virginia and holds a Master's degree in English & American Literature from NYU.
The 2014 Paralympic Winter Games begin Friday in Sochi, with athletes representing more than 45 nations. Though it wasn't always this way, today the games are as elite in the sporting world as the traditional Olympics. A look at the history and culture of the Paralympics with Paralympic historian and author Dr. Ian Brittain. As these athletes compete over the next 10 days, the public will undoubtedly observe the highest levels of athleticism. What does it takes to have "flow" and physical abilities to their limits? Steven Kotler explains.
On Wednesday, College Board President David Coleman announced that SAT is getting re-calibrated. Its vocabulary words will be less arcane and more in alignment with what students encounter in college courses. The 9-year-old essay section will become optional, and will be scored separately. The math questions will focus now focus on linear equations, functions, ratios, percentages and proportional reasoning. There are other changes, too. Julia Ryan, writes for and produces The Atlantic's Education Channel. She's been following the changes to the SAT and weighs in on whether the SAT is still a good metric to test student aptitude.
Is the Ukraine crisis a reassertion of Russian pride and is Crimea becoming the symbol of Russia's reemergence as an empire in Eastern Europe? Many on Capitol Hill and in academia have long argued that the moment would come when Russia would try to get back some of what it lost after the fall of the Soviet Union—is this new crisis an "I told you so" moment from the voices in D.C. who never believed the Cold War is over? Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington Correspondent, and Michael Hirsh, Chief Correspondent for the National Journal, join The Takeaway to explain.
The role of music within Islam has long been a source of deep controversy and debate in the Muslim world. Some Islamic scholars believe music is strictly forbidden, while others have found ways to incorporate music elements in their worship and spirituality. It's the intersection of faith and rhythm that Hisham Aidi charts in his new book, “Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture.” In "Rebel Music," Aidi explores the myriad ways practitioners of Islam around the world have used music to express their faith–and politics–in times of transition.
Russian forces in Crimea, violent protests in Kiev, escalating tensions between West and East. Here's a breakdown of the proposals Congressional leaders are crafting in response to the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
With Russia in the spotlight, China is watching the unrest in Ukraine from the sidelines. In recent years, China has invested a total of $10 billion dollars in Ukraine, and pledged $8 billion more last December. Jonathan Fenby, China director of the research company Trusted Sources, and Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University, examine China's financial interests in the region, and the Chinese investment in the outcome of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
The international community is on edge as the crisis between Ukraine and Russia continues to develop. Today The Takeaway examines the crisis in Crimea from the Russian and Ukrainian perspectives. Dmitry Babich, political analyst for the Voice of Russia Radio, explains the view from Moscow. Representing the Ukrainian-American perspective is Borys Potapenko, former president and current vice chair of the Ukrainian Congress Committee in Detroit.
You'd expect people in wealthier communities to pay higher premiums, and more moderate or low-income communities to pay lower premiums, but it doesn't always work out that way. Here's why.
The tensions surrounding Ukraine's relationship with Russia have deep historic origins. Ukraine is a place with a culture and society entirely distinct from that of Russia, and yet one that was intimately familiar. Nowhere is this more evident than the literature of the region. Nikolai Gogol, regarded by many as the “father of Russian literature,” was actually born in what is today part of Ukraine. Anne Lounsbery, Chair of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, tells The Takeaway what Gogol’s life and writing have to teach us about Russia and Ukraine.
How miserable has your winter been? Is it the worst winter ever? The worst winter since that one winter when you were a kid? If you’re a Minnesotan, there’s no need to be so imprecise. For the last several decades, Pete Boulay, Assistant State Climatologist at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, has been measuring just how miserable winters are with his Winter Misery Index. It scores each winter on how cold it is, how much it snows, and how long snow stays on the ground to measure exactly how much misery the winter has inflicted.
Who is in charge in Ukraine? Will President Yanukovych face charges of mass murder? How might Ukraine move forward during this uncertain time? What action should the international community take? The Takeaway explores this and more with Andriy Kulykov, a reporter for Ukraine Public Radio; Oleh Rybachuk, chief of staff to former President Viktor Yushchenko; Regina Smyth, an expert on Russia and associate professor of Political Science at Indiana University; and Nicolai Petro, a political science professor at the University of Rhode Island currently stationed in Ukraine's third largest city, Odessa, for a Fulbright Scholarship.
For the past few days, live video from Kiev's Independence Square has been streaming in real time, giving people around the world a first-hand glimpse at the scope and scale of the protests.
Back during the time of the ancient Greeks, the word "hero" was used in a very different way. For the ancient Greeks, it didn’t just describe someone who was victorious or noble. It also described people who stood out for unexpected acts—sometimes problematic ones too. Even today, what’s heroic at the Olympics isn’t sheer mettle or technique. David Wallechinsky, president of the International Society of Olympic Historians, has seen more than a few Olympic heroes in his years of watching the games.
"Network," the 1976 film directed by Sidney Lumet, won four Academy Awards that year. But almost 40 years later, more significant than any of its accolades is the lasting statement the film made about the television industry—it seems to have seen into the future of our media culture. Dave Itzkoff, culture reporter for our partner The New York Times, is author of a new book on the classic film. It's called “Mad As Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies.”
In Tennessee, a vote was held over the weekend that many believe could be a nail in the coffin for organized labor. Workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant voted against joining the United Auto Workers union—the move was opposed every step of the way by the state's governor and other members of the GOP. Kristin Dziczek, director of the Industry & Labor Group at the Center for Automotive Research, joins The Takeaway to describe why this vote caused such a fight. Andy Berke, the Mayor of Chattanooga, also weighs in.
In honor of President's Day, we take two historical looks at the American presidency. First Mark Forsyth looks back at the word's humble origins and traces just how it came to have the heft it has today. The second recounts how a small angry mammal changed the course of history. WNYC reporter Jim O'Grady says that President Jimmy Carter's bizarre encounter with a crazed swimming rabbit on a Georgia lake crystallized an emerging sense that Carter was a man in over his head.
Chicago's Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy is working to prove that the old way maybe isn't always best. At Sarah E. Goode, students attend high school for six years, graduating with a high school diploma and an associate's degree. Rana Foroohar, assistant managing editor at Time Magazine reported on this story in a cover story for the latest edition of the magazine. Stan Litow, IBM vice president of corporate citizenship and one of the innovators behind the Sarah E. Goode school explains what his dreams for this model look like.
Last year, more than 5 billion school lunches were served to over 30 million students across the country through The National School Lunch Program. In total, more than 224 billion lunches have been served since the program’s start. But with every lunch comes new criticism of the program. Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition and Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, has given this issue much thought. She joins The Takeaway to discuss the main obstacles to better lunches and what the lunch program of the future should look like.
Meet the founders of The Hummus, a new humor site with a Muslim-American lens and headlines like, “Muslim Daughter Feared Missing After Father Calls 38 Times Within 5 Minutes” and “Conversion Of Ryan Gosling To Islam Halts Arranged Marriages Nationwide.”
Today marks 100 years since the birth of the man who forever changed the harmonica. Larry Adler, who died in 2001, spent his life transforming the harmonica from a folksy toy for amateurs into an instrument with a home in concert halls. Harmonica player, Robert Bonfiglio, was a friend of Adler’s and he joins us to mark Larry Adler's 100th birthday.