Polar Vortex's Breathtaking Chill Freezes Millions | Supreme Court Halts Utah Same-Sex Marriages | Stephen Frears on the Key to Genius Directing

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Commuters make a sub-zero trek to offices in the Loop on January 6, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Temperatures in the city dipped to -16 degree Fahrenheit this morning on the heals of a polar vortex. (Scott Olson/Getty)

Polar Vortex's Breathtaking Chill Freezes Millions | Supreme Court Halts Utah Same-Sex Marriages | An 8-Hour Day? Workdays & Weeks Vary Nationwide | The Burglary That Exposed FBI Surveillance | Meeting the Standard: From the Drawing Board to Your Home | Stephen Frears on the Key to Genius Directing

Polar Vortex's Breathtaking Chill Freezes Millions

As many as 200 million Americans are coping with extreme weather this week brought on by what meteorologists are calling a polar vortex. Joining The Takeaway to explain the science behind the polar vortex is Jennifer Francis, research professor at Rutgers University's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. Business owner Richard Thomas of the R. Thomas Deluxe Grill in Atlanta, GA explains how his business is coping in the frigid weather.

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Supreme Court Halts Utah Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Supreme Court has hit the pause button on same-sex marriage in Utah. Federal Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban back in December, but yesterday the Supreme Court issued a stay on the decision. Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School, considers whether this latest move is an indication that the Supreme Court is heavily focused on states rights issues.

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An 8-Hour Day? Workdays & Weeks Vary Nationwide

On its 100th anniversary, we explored the legacy of the 8-hour workday. But in today’s world, the structure and moderation of that schedule seems almost mythical. Here you'll find two people who embrace radically different ideas about the hours worked in a day. Jason Fried is the co-founder and president of 37signals, a software company based in Chicago, and Sabina Gault is the CEO of Konnect PR, a public relations firm based in Los Angeles.

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The Burglary That Exposed FBI Surveillance

On March 8, 1971, a small group of activists calling themselves the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI staged a break-in of FBI offices in Media, Pennsylvania. The files they discovered there revealed that J. Edgar Hoover had authorized the wide-scale surveillance and intimidation of anti-war protesters and other dissident groups. Retro Report producer Bonnie Bertram looks back on that break-in and its consequences.

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Meeting the Standard in a World Continually Transformed by Technology

All this week we are going to seat you next to people who might not have risky professions, but who quietly perform jobs as engineers—setting the standards for everything from nuts and bolts to usable technology in the developing world. Our series "Meeting the Standard" provides a chance for you to find out how it all works. Mark Sheehan, managing director for development standards and certification at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, joins The Takeaway.

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Stephen Frears Gets Out of the Way

The latest film by British director Stephen Frears is Philomena, the true story of BBC reporter Martin Sixsmith's effort to reveal the extraordinary tale of a mother’s search for her lost son. Whatever the subject, this filmmaker prefers stories that get to the heart of the matter, but he says that any genius in directing is about getting out of the way.

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