New Documents Show Sweeping NSA Surveillance of Americans | Why Bacteria Can Be Good for Us | Revitalizing & Reinventing Immersion Theater

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Clark's anemonefish snuggles into the bulbous tentacles of its host anemone. This is an example of a mutualistic symbiosis. (Ethan Daniels/Shutterstock)

New Documents Show Sweeping NSA Surveillance of Americans | The End of an Era: Final Set of Nixon Tapes Released | Mapping Our Digital DNA | North Carolina Overhauls Election Process | Symbiotic Relationships & The Circle of Life | Why Bacteria Can Be Good for Us | Revitalizing & Reinventing Immersion Theater 

New Documents Show Sweeping NSA Surveillance of Americans

Yesterday, U.S. officials released new documents showing that the NSA may have unintentionally collected as many as 56,000 emails from Americans between 2008 and 2011, and private telecommunications providers like AT&T were involved in the data gathering. Siobhan Gorman, the intelligence correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, explains.

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The End of an Era: Final Set of Nixon Tapes Released

On Wednesday, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum released the last set of secret recordings from the 37th president. The 340 hours of tape cover April 9th through July 12th, 1973, a period of some success and serious turmoil in the Nixon Administration, according to Luke Nichter, professor of history at Texas A&M University-Central Texas and manager of the website Nixontapes.org. Nichter joins The Takeaway to discuss the historic tapes.

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Mapping Our Digital DNA

Cesar Hidalgo and a team of researchers at MIT have created a platform for individuals to access their metadata. It’s called “Immersion” and it uses your email’s metadata to create a bubble map of your connections to others, providing a snapshot of our online selves that provide a glimpse into our work lives and personal lives, and test our understanding of privacy.

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North Carolina Overhauls Election Process

Last week North Carolina became the latest when the Governor signed an election law overhaul that includes a voter ID requirement, reduces early voting hours, and prohibits same-day registration. Michael Tomsic is a reporter for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina. He says what started as a simple voter ID bill took on a new life after the Supreme Court's ruling in June.

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Symbiotic Relationships & The Circle of Life

When studying nature, we often focus on predatory relationships. But there are other kinds of relationships in nature as well. Some, like the suckerfish and shark, fall under the category of commensalism. Others, like coral and algae, are built on mutualism, or symbiosis. Katie McKissick, also known as “Beatrice the Biologist” online, explains.

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Why Bacteria Can Be Good for Us

We have long been fighting bacteria with a whole host of anti-bacterial sprays, soaps, and sanitizers. But when it comes down to it, there is no escaping the 100 trillion bacterial cells that live with us all the time on our skin, in our mouth, and in our intestines. For the forthcoming edition of WGBH's Innovation Hub, host Kara Miller has been exploring that impact that good bacteria can have on our health.

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Revitalizing & Reinventing Immersion Theater

Theater, one of the oldest forms of entertainment, is again embarking on this tradition of immersion. While interactive theater isn’t new, it is growing in popularity as audience members are encouraged to drink, socialize or take part in a production without being dragged on stage. Charlie Herman, the business and economics editor for Takeaway co-producer WNYC, explains the latest developments in immersion theater.

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