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Nicholas Schmidle's story for the August 20 issue of The New Yorker is titled “Rocket Man: The ace pilot leading Virgin Galactic's billion-dollar quest to make commercial space travel a reality” (online: "Virgin Galactic's Rocket Man"). Schmidle reports on Virgin Galactic, the company owned by British billionaire Richard Branson, which is in a space race with Blue Origin owned by Jeff Bezos and SpaceX owned by Elon Musk to be the first to bring commercial space travel to market. August 17, 2018
Airline pilot Patrick Smith discusses his book, Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel. Smith breaks down common fears, corrects misconceptions, and shares his appreciation for the wonders of flying. August 14, 2018
USA Today reporter Alison Young discusses her new investigation, “Deadly Deliveries: Hospitals Know How to Protect Moms. They Just Aren’t doing It.”The investigation found that American women continue to suffer life-altering injuries or death due to preventable complications from giving birth. USA Today examined the cases of 150 women and the records of 75 birthing hospitals to track how well doctors and nurses are following recommended procedures. They found a startling lack of adherence to those procedures. Each year, more than 50,000 are severely injured and about 700 mothers die, making the U.S. the most dangerous place in the developed world for women to give birth. August 9, 2018
Biologist Nathan Lents of "This World of Humans" podcast discusses his new book Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes, which highlights broken genes, pointless mutations, and other things about our bodies that just do not work. Some examples of these “human errors” include the fact that our irises are facing backwards, our sinuses drain upside down causing us to have 200 times as many head colds than dogs, and how we are some of the only animals on earth that cannot produce our own vitamin C. Each of these errors can be traced back to mutations in our DNA and the process of evolution, which is more flawed than we might think. August 9, 2018
Jonathan Albright is known for his ability to connect the dots between seemingly disparate stories about internet trolls and fake news. His work has led him to become America's pre-eminent expert on the dissemination of fake news and the Research Director at Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. He discusses his research methods and will also be in conversation with Wired senior writer Issie Lapowsky, who recently wrote a profile of Albright. August 2, 2018
With a drastic increase in ICE arrests and DACA’s uncertain future, many of New York’s estimated 500,000 undocumented residents fear for their safety. New York Magazine editor Genevieve Smith and Ivy Teng Lei, a DACA recipient from China, discuss the new investigation, “City of Fear,”reported in partnership with The Marshall Project. July 30, 2018
Ecologist Matt Wilkins and Environmental Sociologist Rebecca Altman, discuss the evolution of plastic in the environment, the problems it’s causing today and what we can do about it. Wilkins will discuss his new article in Scientific American, “More Recycling Won't Solve Plastic Pollution: It’s a lie that wasteful consumers cause the problem and that changing our individual habits can fix it.” Wilkins goes into the corporate greenwashing of the Keep America Beautiful campaign, which has deep historical roots shifting the environmental responsibility from plastic producers to the individual, and their legacy of fighting against policies that hold producers accountable. Altman, the daughter of a plastic producer, places the petro-chemical industry in context, explains just how micro-plastics are seeping into the food chain, and debunks some common myths about plastic, recycling, and sustainability. July 26, 2018
Bryce Covert and Zoë Carpenter discuss their recent pieces for The Nation: Covert’s “Will Red-State Protests Spark Electoral Change?” and Carpenter’s “These Kids Are Watching Their Parents Die.” Covert’s piece looks at how austerity measures across Republican-held states have not only gutted their social safety nets, but also hindered the states’ recoveries from the recession. Carpenter’s cover story focuses on West Virginia, an epicenter of the opioid crisis, and looks at the children growing up in the shadow of addiction, where public schools have become the safety net of last resort. She ties together disparate threads of disaster exacerbating the epidemic to show how an economy gutted by plant closures and a state-inflicted austerity regime have left towns hollowed out by drugs, with no social safety net left to mitigate disaster. July 24, 2018
Andrew Jacobs, a reporter for The New York Times, discusses his article, “Opposition to Breastfeeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials.” Recently, the World Health Organization presented a resolution aimed to promote breastfeeding and restrict the promotion of infant formula. Jacobs tells us the backstory on how the U.S. reacted to the resolution. Critics argue that the Trump administration is going against decades of evidence that supports breastfeeding, siding with the corporate interests of formula manufacturers instead of the best interests of newborns. Jul 18, 2018
Journalist Will Doig discusses his new book, High-Speed Empire: Chinese Expansion and the Future of Southeast Asia. Today, China owns a network of 14,000 miles of high-speed rail, far more than the rest of the world combined, and it is now pushing its railway expansion further into Southeast Asia. The Pan-Asia Railway portion of China’s One Belt One Road initiative could transform Southeast Asia, bringing shiny Chinese cities, new economic growth, and waves of migrants where none existed before. But this growth may have negative consequences for some countries. Jul 16, 2018
Mother Jones senior reporter Tim Murphy tells the story of the housing crisis in Cairo, Illinois, and how the city has been affected by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and its secretary, Ben Carson’s, crusade against fair housing. Murphy dives deep into the consequences of Carson’s reign at HUD, a department lacking the staff and the will to carry out its mission. With HUD failing to ensure fair and equal housing, the public housing situation in America is now going from bad to worse, and cities like Cairo are forced to pay the price. Jul 11, 2018
My first time being a guest on live radio!
Jan 24, 2018
Freelance reporter and former WNYC producer Sam Anderson talks about his recent reporting for Latino USA, “The Rise and Fall of a Latin King.” The half hour piece looks at the history of the Latin Kings and its transformation from a street gang to a social organization. Antonio Fernandez, who came to be known as King Tone, rose up through the ranks of the gang and wanted to radically change the Latin Kings from within. Sam Anderson looks at the challenges Fernandez faced in enacting this vision and how the police, FBI, and Fernandez’s own actions ultimately got in the way of its realization.
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The city of Rutland, Vermont plans to accept 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugees later this month. But the issue has sharply divided the residents of this small city, which is struggling with America's opioid epidemic and the crime that has come with it. Jan 9, 2017
The Takeaway came to you live Monday through Thursday this week from the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia! July 28, 2016
The Takeaway is coming to you LIVE Monday through Thursday this week from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland! July 21, 2016
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WNYC urban affairs reporter Cindy Rodriguez, the Data News Team's Jenny Ye, and freelance investigative reporter Lisa Riordan-Seville take an in-depth look at the most popular and successful low-income housing program in the country - Section 8 - and discover how it’s working and how it’s not in New York City. May 16, 2016
Rebecca Solnit, author and contributing editor at Harper's magazine, talks about her new article, "The Habits of Highly Cynical People," and how naïve cynicism among Americans has led to complacency in lieu of activism. May 2, 2016
A public poll in the UK didn't go as planned. The British government has pushed back against the internet's choice to name an expensive research vessel "Boaty McBoatface." Uri Friedman, staff writer for The Atlantic covering global affairs, says this is representative of a fairly common dynamic in which the people express their opinions, but the government ultimately interprets the public good. April 27, 2016
Following the decision not to indict two Cleveland police officers involved in the death of Tamir Rice, New York Times reporter Shaila Dewan examines the legal obstacles to officer conviction and how law enforcement is addressing police shootings. January 4, 2016
Did you bring your kids to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens"? Will they carry it with them for the rest of their lives like you did? Kevin Maher, Emmy-nominated comedy writer and host of Kevin Geeks Out, joins listeners to reflect on the role of Star Wars in our lives then and now. December 28, 2015
Borrowing a page from satirist Ambrose Bierce's classic, Jason Zweig, personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the author of The Devil's Financial Dictionary, uses humor to break down Wall Street mumbo jumbo into usable information for investors. Nov 30, 2015
Slate has a new "Dear Prudence" columnist: Mallory Ortberg, co-founder of the website The Toast. She talks about her new role and gives listeners advice on everything from stressful Thanksgiving situations to general life woes. Nov 25, 2015
The filmmaker, writer and journalist Sebastian Junger explores the reasons that despite fewer soldiers seeing combat, PTSD rates are on the rise. May 29, 2015
Fifty years ago in San Francisco, the Grateful Dead was formed. Bill Kreutzmann, a founding member of the Grateful Dead and the co-author (with manager Benjy Eisen) of Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead, looks back and shares stories of the band. May 7, 2015
Eugene Rumer and Rajan Menon, co-authors of Conflict in Ukraine: The Unwinding of the Post--Cold War Order, offer historical context on the Russian/Ukraine conflict and talk about what's at stake for both countries and the West. April 16, 2015
Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University and author of The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically, argues for "effective altruism" where donors give only where their time and money do the most good for the most people. April 14, 2015
David Graeber, an American anthropologist at London School of Economics and author ofDebt and The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, shares how bureaucracies got that way. April 7, 2015
Zoe Cormier, a journalist and the author of Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science, explains how we evolved as pleasure-seekers. May 24, 2015
Stuart Eve, a partner at L - P: Archaeology (a UK-based commercial archaeology firm) and an honorary research associate at University College London, explains his augmented-reality device which takes you into the past by surrounding you in its senses. May 16, 2015