Around the country, voters headed back to the polls yesterday to cast ballots in mayor and gubernatorial contests and to vote on a host of ballot initiatives. Anna Sale, a reporter for WNYC, has been covering races in New York City and neighboring New Jersey. Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington Correspondent has been following the Virginia gubernatorial race.
Can data and algorithms help motivate kids to be more active? That’s the goal of a new project being pioneered in Snohomish County, Washington. Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer and director for the Snohomish Health District explains what the program hopes to achieve. Ben Waber, CEO of Sociometric Solutions and author of “People Analytics: How Social Sensing Technology Will Transform Business” talks about the broader implications of these kinds of practices.
What is glamour? Is it a $900 red dress, the curve of a leg emerging from that dress, or the way a woman in the red dress carries herself as she walks into the night? Virginia Postrel, author of “The Power of Glamour,” explores these and other questions in her new book on the topic.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. He's also the narrator "Dark Universe," a new show about the stuff our cosmos are made of: dark matter.
The latest revelations from NSA leaker Edwards Snowden about the agency's surveillance practices involve a program called MUSCULAR. By tapping into the data centers that connect Yahoo and Google to users around the world, the program gave the NSA secret access to millions of digital records about who sent or received emails and when. Stewart Baker, former general counsel to the NSA, says that American citizens should be relieved by how closely the agency is tracking potential threats in order to maintain security.
Takeaway listeners share scary Halloween stories from their childhood, and R.L. Stine, the author of several scary series for children, including "Goosebumps," describes one particularly frightful Halloween from his childhood. What's your scary Halloween story? Leave a comment, give us a call at 1-877-869-8253, or record your own message using your computer right here.
President Obama wasn't aware of many of the NSA's surveillance activities, like the one that monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to the The Washington Post. Rep. Alan Grayson, Democrat from Florida’s 9th district, argues that he and his colleagues are kept in the dark by the intelligence community, as well. He says that as a result, America's democracy is at risk.
Joshua Greene, author of “Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap between Us and Them,” joins The Takeaway to discuss how our collective groupings affect the moral decisions we make.
British Prime Minister David Cameron appears ready to crack down on The Guardian, the news organization at the center of the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's leaks. Louise Mensch is a former conservative member of Parliament. She's called for the government to crack down on The Guardian from the beginning. She explains her stance against The Guardian, and how she hopes the Snowden saga will finally end.
Three days ahead of its deadline, the Syrian regime submitted a formal declaration of its chemical weapons arsenal and its plans for destroying that stockpile. Is this a sign that change is possible in Syria? Robin Wright, a joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center, weighs in. She's the author of "Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World."
This week, as we mark a year after Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard, our friends at the documentary team Retro Report are looking back at another major storm, and the lessons from its recovery. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, it caught the state of Louisiana complete off-guard. James Perry, director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, examines the lessons from Hurricane Katrina.
After German Chancellor Angela Merkel received intelligence from her government that her phone was under surveillance, President Obama called Chancellor Merkel and reassured her that her phone was not being tapped. That conversation came just a few days after he had to offer similar reassurances to French President François Hollande. David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for our partner The New York Times, joins the Takeaway to discuss this latest diplomatic riff.
The Takeaway travels back in time with our friends at Retro Report, a documentary team focused on shedding new light on stories from the news archives. Today’s report takes us back to 1992 when 79-year-old Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico, ordered a fateful cup of coffee from a McDonald's drive-through. Lieback's coffee spilled onto her lap, and she sued the fast food chain. Retro Report producer Bonnie Bertram reflects on the case, and explains the details of her investigations.
Congress still has to reach a long-term plan for taxing and spending policies, and once again come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling in 2014. Otherwise, the Treasury Department will be unable to pay its bills. W. Michael Blumenthal, former Treasury Secretary and author of the new memoir, “From Exile to Washington: A Memoir of Leadership in the Twentieth Century,” reflects on the nation's fiscal climate and his own time in office.
David Pogue hosts the NOVA series "Making Stuff," which begins tonight at 9 PM Eastern on PBS with the episode “Making Stuff: Faster.” Other episodes in the series, produced by our partner WGBH, include "Making Stuff: Wilder," "Making Stuff: Colder," and "Making Stuff: Safer." Pogue, a tech columnist for our partner The New York Times, joins The Takeaway to discuss the latest cutting-edge "stuff" in science and technology innovation.
Newly unearthed letters and diaries of President William Howard Taft show that the famously "corpulent" president pursued several modern dieting techniques, including keeping a food diary and seeking the council of a "physical culture man"—his year's version of a personal trainer. Dr. Deborah Levine, assistant professor of health policy and management at Providence College, discusses her findings about President Taft.
On Thursday morning, the Swedish Academy named Canadian Alice Munro as the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. Not a stylist nor a writer of experimental fiction, Munro is a self described old fashioned storyteller. Her disciples and fellow writers describe her as creating small worlds that convey addictive wisdom. Radhika Jones, executive editor at TIME magazine, explains the significance of this choice.
Just around the corner an even bigger national fiscal catastrophe is looming. In September the U.S. Treasury warned Congress that if the nation's debt limit is not raised by October 17th the U.S. will run out of cash to pay off its debts. What exactly is a debt ceiling? And why will so much be at stake in this next political fight? James Surowiecki, a financial columnist for The New Yorker, joins The Takeaway to explain.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act requires all financial institutions around the world to report to the IRS the earnings and assets of U.S. citizens living abroad in an effort to crack down on tax evasion. But complying with the law is long, complicated, and expensive—and as a result, more Americans abroad are relinquishing their U.S. citizenship. Ruth Freeborn, an American living in Canada, and Jackie Bugnion, tax team director at American Citizens Abroad, explain why.
Over the weekend armed members of the terrorist group Boko Haram are believed to have killed as many as 50 students at a Nigerian University. The massacre comes on the heels of the four-day siege on Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, by the Somali terror group Al-Shabab. The Takeaway was joined by David Cook, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University to discuss these most recent events and what it may mean for the region.