Almost forty-four years after the U.S. won the race to the moon, famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin is making his case for a new focus – Mars. In his new book out today - "Mission To Mars: My Vision For Space Exploration" he makes the argument for continued space exploration both robotic, and human. Author, veteran astronaut, and space advocate Buzz Aldrin joins “Starting Point” to discuss the next steps for space exploration.
As if being a full-time writer, performer, and story producer on E! Channel's top rated show “Chelsea Lately” was not enough, Heather McDonald has decided to pen a new book which she says has “material not suitable for small children, nuns, or mature adults.”
The book, “My Inappropriate Life,” covers McDonald’s life as a mother and performer. This morning the veteran comedy club performer, who also stars in the E! Channel spin-off “After Lately,” joins “Starting Point” to give her hysterical take on balancing family with fame.
McDonald, who also had a supporting role in the movie "White Chicks" which she co-wrote with the Wayans brothers, says her book really captures her double life as a comedian and mother.
"I do crazy sketches and characters and I do very off-topic kind of conversations,” she says. And then “I have this other life – a very conventional life where my kids go to catholic school, my son is a Boy Scout and so sometimes the worlds collide and I feel inappropriate a lot.”
Recently the mother of three broke the law by driving in the carpool lane on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles with a stuffed monkey in a car seat that she dressed in her son’s Red Sox cap and little league outfit. McDonald, who was trying to save time commuting says the incident made her fantasize about having another baby to which her husband responded: “I would rather you be arrested and go to jail.”
Another New Years, another resolution to lose weight has fallen off track. In fact, 80% of those who started a diet at the beginning of the year have already stopped. But there might be a solution!
Author and former "Celebrity Fit Club" diet expert Dr. Ian Smith says he can get you back on track. In his new book “Shred: The Revolutionary Diet,” Smith promises to help people lose four inches and two clothing sizes in six weeks. This morning Dr. Smith explains his plan to Soledad O'Brien on “Starting Point.”
Dr. Smith says the philosophy of this book focuses on two components. The first focuses on meal spacing, where a person should eat every three to four hours, four meals a day, three snacks, small meals. This ultimately “keeps your metabolism revved up and prevents insulin spikes that cause weight gain,” Smith says.
The second element of the diet revolves around “diet confusion,” which he says is borrowed from “muscle confusion where you change the type of food you eat and the volume to keep your metabolism revved so you’re not always eating the same foods.”
To truly put his diet to the test, Dr. Smith had 5,000 people try the “Shred” diet and found that the average weight loss over six weeks was 20 pounds.
“You can lose weight without exercising but if you want to maximize your weight loss and beyond that and live longer you need to have physical movement – about 35 minutes, four days a week,” Dr. Smith adds.
Dr. Smith says people are able to stick to “Shred” because “its not a diet, it’s a lifestyle plan.” He adds that the diet instructs you to “Eat good, healthy food that’s regular food [and] you don’t always eat perfectly.” In fact he says you can have bacon, pancakes and pizza on this diet but in moderation. He notes that the diet is also flexible for diabetics, vegetarians, vegans and those who have mental conditions or food preferences.
On Thursday, the nominees for the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards were announced and like any year there are some surprises and snubs. This morning TV critic and blogger Alan Sepinwall, of "What's Alan Watching" joins “Starting Point” to weigh in on some of the best Television shows and how the past 15 years of TV have transformed TV viewing. Sepinwall is also the author of a new book titled "The Revolution Was Televised."
Sepinwall says, “The TV dramas on cable in particular over the last 15 years have replaced the kinds of movies that adults used expect to see.” He adds, “Now the movies are just blockbusters and really really low budget art films and not a whole lot in between.” As a result Sepinwall says viewers who are looking to indulge themselves in serious dramas will most likely look to HBO, FX, AMC and SHOWTIME.
When it comes to broadcast shows like “Lost”, “Friday Night Lights” and “24”, Sepinwall says “the threshold is higher and you have to attract a certain audience.” He adds that “Lone Star” was “FOX’s attempt to do an AMC style show’ but was cancelled after two episodes because it lacked the appropriate amount of viewers.
When asked what show he would chose for the best television series of all time, Sepinwall says, “it was either ‘The Sopranos or The Wire.’” Sepinwall says “The Sopranos” ending was “certainly talked about the most of any television series ever.”
With more and more viewers navigating towards watching their favorite TV shows online, Sepinwall says one drawback is that networks and other TV facets might not have the money to produce these kinds of shows. On the other hand, he says newer businesses like Netflix are starting to produce their own shows which is “their attempt to be the next HBO.”
With the fiscal cliff getting closer and a deal seemingly far off, President Obama and congressional republicans continue to dig in on taxes. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows an overwhelming majority of Americans are siding with the president and of the republicans polled a big shift seems to be taking place with a majority now favoring compromise. Despite the stalemate in Washington, there are those like Nate Garvis who believe ordinary citizens can help move America forward outside of the walls of the ballot. Garvis is a senior fellow at Babson College and a former vice president with Target and this morning he joins “Starting Point” to discuss his new book – "Naked Civics."
Garvis says he is not expecting to see the end of the fiscal cliff crisis any time soon and “if Washington, D.C. wants to play Lucy holding the football, we as the American people don’t have to play Charlie Brown charging at it every time.” He adds, that the American people have to look at challenges differently “not as polarized hyper partisanship as how much or how little government we throw at these challenges but … as a marketplace of innovation.”
Garvis says getting involved in the marketplace is not the only focus but it is also about how people get involved. He adds, “The biggest driver of our fiscal woes are entitlements and the biggest driver of that are healthcare but we don’t have a healthcare system.” He says we have a “sick-care system” that is based on two ideas: that if people get sick then they can be fixed and that death is optional.
Another way to understand the importance of getting involved is through environmental stewardship, Garvis says. “The more products and services that we’re buying everyday surrounding our lives with, the better off the planet is and the better off our economy is… it’s as approachable as dish soap that doesn’t pollute.”
Negotiations are still stalled in Washington over the fiscal cliff but a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal show that 67% of Americans would accept a compromise on one or both the biggest sticking points – increasing taxes and cuts in federal spending. Republican leaders say government overspending is the root of our economic problems but author William Janeway says collaboration between government and private industry is what moves America forward. This morning Janeway joins “Starting Point” to discuss his new book "Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy." His book has been ranked among 2012's best books by the Financial Times.
Janeway says, “That the only time that the government has had the scale and the mass and the momentum to create that opportunity for private industry is when it’s had a completely legitimate mission.” He adds that the government should be investing in the low carbon industries.
Keeping on the topic of the possibility of finding a solution on expanding carbon, TheBlaze.com Columnist Will Cain says Janeway has “narrowed the field to what government elects to invest in [and] crowded out this natural chaos of capitalism.” Janeway says however, “there’s no reason you have to do that” and explains that in today’s modern world, the government would make the request for a specific product and buy it whether it comes from a major corporation or “three guys in a garage.”
During his five-decade career, photographer Steve Schapiro likes to say he has photographed everything from presidents to poodles. Schapiro has captured the special moments of rock stars, film stars and politicians of the 60's and '70's as well as photos of migrant workers and the Selma March with Martin Luther King. In his new photobook "Then and Now" Schapiro compiles some of his best and most iconic images. The book contains more than 170 photos – some of which have never been published before. He joins “Stating Point” this morning to discuss some of his most iconic photos and his new book.
Schapiro says it has always interested him, “to capture all the different elements that make up our country.” He tells the story behind him capturing an iconic photo of Actor Marlon Brando when he was hired to photograph “The Godfather.” Schapiro says, “Brando let me photograph his makeup session… and in the middle of it he just gave me this wonderful look which luckily I caught.” Reminiscing on a picture he took of Actor Dustin Hoffman leaping in a narrow hallway he says, “[Dustin] is a delight. He is a delight on and off camera. He just has such spirit and you know such wonderful feeling and humor all the time…This was just a moment after they had been feeling and it just was a spontaneous event.”
Schapiro admits that he always wanted to be a “Life Magazine” photographer and “one of the things that interested [him] was the migrant worker situation in America.” He talks about his very first story where he spent four weeks documenting the lives of the migrant workers through his photos and an essay and reflects on one particular photo of a cabin wall where a child once wrote “I love anybody who loves me.”
In the London Olympics this summer, Gabrielle Douglas made history by becoming the first American gymnast to win both a team and individual gold medal in the same Olympic Games. Douglas has now written a book about her incredible journey to the Olympic podium called "Grace, Gold & Glory."
Douglas tells Soledad O'Brien this morning on "Starting Point" that right before the start of the Olympic Games, she considered quitting gymnastics and working at Chick-fil-A because she was homesick for her family, but her brother convinced her to go. "We've always been two peas in a pod ever since we were little, so he just told me to keep going and push yourself," she says.
In the book, Douglas opens up about the struggles her family has faced, including being homeless. She attributes the source of her strength to her faith and her mother. "I think the thing that's gotten me through was my mom. She's a fighter, and she sacrificed pretty much everything for me to accomplish my dreams."