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.
Early Friday morning, Netflix released the entire second season of its show "House of Cards." Though Netflix refuses to release the viewership numbers, when looking at the hype online, and the estimates by one internet provider that 15 percent of their Netflix subscribers watched the show over the weekend, it's safe to say that the show is a hit. But just how realistic is the show about a corrupt majority whip? A real former whip—Congressman David Bonior—joins us today to share his insights.
Over the last few years, technology has transformed how we understand and consume the news. A few decades ago, most of us read the morning paper or tuned in to the evening news, but those habits have changed with the growth of the internet and cable. As the news audience splinters, author Alain de Botton worries that the public isn't getting the whole picture. In his new book, "The News: A User's Manual," he argues that we need better training on how to consume and decode the news.
Also on Today's Show: At least half a dozen states are looking to change their laws around alcohol this year, including allowing grocery stores in some states to sell either liquor and/or wine, reducing taxes, and eliminating mandatory “Sunday closing,” among other things...Our Movie Date team reviews this weekend’s releases, which include: “Winter’s Tale,” “Robocop,” “Endless Love,” and “About Last Night.”
How do we make love last? Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and professor at the Center for Human Evolution Studies at Rutgers, explains her recent research on the scientific underpinnings of long-lasting romance. The Takeaway also gets relationship advice from one couple, Jack Connelly and Bob Gaither, who began dating 37 years ago, in the late 1970s. At that time, they truly defied the odds as a gay couple and an interracial couple. They share their story, along with the relationship lessons they've learned over the past few decades together.
Kansas state lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow individuals and businesses to cite their religious beliefs and deny services or goods to a gay couple getting married or entering a civil union. Joining The Takeaway to weigh in is Kansas State Representative Barbara Bollier, one of 19 Republican House members to vote against the bill. And Allen Rostron, a professor of constitutional law at University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Red-headed women are often perceived as fiery and dangerous. But their male counterparts are associated with different stereotypes - they're clownish, weak and maybe a bit hefty. Scott Harris, director of "Being Ginger," and Anne Margaret Daniel, a professor and blogger for the Huffington Post who specializes in the social history of red-heads, discuss why people across the world judge those with red hair.
This week, just nine months after the Boy Scouts of America lifted their longtime ban on openly gay scouts, 17-year old Pascal Tessier became the first openly gay member to be officially recognized as an Eagle Scout. But in six months, Pascal will no longer be allowed to be a part of the Boy Scouts of America. That’s because he’ll be turning 18, and according to the BSA guidelines, openly gay adults are not welcome.
Also on Today's Show: The winter storm system that shut down much of South and mid-Atlantic yesterday is now taking its toll on the Northeast. The challenge from this storm has come in form of ice...After three years of brinkmanship, confrontation and threatened defaults, both the House and the Senate have agreed to raise the debt ceiling without conditions until March of 2015.
From the unusual origins of Craigslist's "Missed Connections" to the science behind eHarmony, we take a look at the tech powering online dating sites.
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.
Also On Today's Show: Alaska has been experiencing abnormally warm weather this winter, which is presenting all sorts of challenges and even dangers...A federal lawsuit reveals that the corn refinery and sugar industries secretly funded Washington-based non profits and experts to grab market share and promote health risks of the opposing party's products.
Thanks to a fragile but extended truce, the United Nations has been helping move hundreds out of the old city of Homs, but thousands of Syrians—including children, the sick and the injured—remain. Dina Elkassaby is in the Syrian capital of Damascus. She works for the U.N.'s World Food Program and describes how her aid agency is working to assist evacuees amid the cease-fire.
Ice and a nasty wintry mix is causing major problems in states from Louisiana to North Carolina, effectively shutting down roads, closing schools, and cancelling flights nationwide. According to reports, the sleet, snow and freezing rain has left more than 100,000 homes and businesses without power. To get a sense of how people are coping, The Takeaway turns to Joshua Stewart, Morning Edition Host for Georgia Public Broadcasting; Pat Duggins, News Director for Alabama Public Radio; and Kearns Little the co-owner of Little Hardware in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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.
The top dogs have been separated from the under dogs, crowning one canine best in show. This year there were nearly 3,000 entrants from around the world at the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. But in the end, the judges could crown only one and they selected a 5-year-old wire fox terrier named Sky, giving that breed its 14th win in the 138th edition of Westminster. Here to tell us more about the winner, the losers, and the headline makers is Sarah Montague, WNYC’s resident dog expert.
One day away from the opening ceremonies at the 2014 olympics and many still wonder: is Sochi safe? President Barack Obama says Americans are fine to go to the games. But Representative Bill Keating (D-MA) is less than sure. He explains his concerns over the upcoming games from the lack of information sharing between the US and Russia to the limited privacy from the Russian government.
The power of the Tea Party continues to divide and fracture House Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner has decided to stand strong and push forward with immigration reform, but the Tea Party has made it clear they will fight back against legislation. What is on the table for immigration reform this time around? And what is at the heart of the GOP split? For answers, we go to Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich.
In advance of the State of the Union on Tuesday, we're creating a Takeaway to do list called "SOTU To Do,"—and we need your help. What should be on Obama's to do list? Tweet us @TheTakeaway using #SOTUToDo and we'll make our own, listener-sponsored to do list for the president. But first, Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich examines the topics President Barack Obama will likely cover on Tuesday.
Though heavy snowfalls can conjure feelings of frustration for commuters, a bed of freshly packed snow can also bring back memories of days passed when thick snow meant a day at home from school. Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington Correspondent, gives us some of his best snow day memories. Lester Laminack is the author of the children's book "Snow Day!" When he's not writing books he's a professor of education at Western Carolina University. He joins The Takeaway to explain how snow days bring back childhood memories.