Climate skeptics point to 15 years of no warming trend as a reason to doubt global warming. But Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research can explain a good bit of that temperature plateau — and he argues the Earth has continued to warm appreciably, even though our thin blanket of atmosphere hasn't.
By the standard of normal golfing mortals, Tiger Woods has had an incredible summer. He's won multiple tournaments and millions of dollars in prize money. What he didn't do was win any of golf's four major championships. And those major wins are his measure of success.
Most charities get money from donors and spend it on things they think will help people — schools, medicine, farm animals. GiveDirectly just gives money away. And that poses a challenge to the more traditional charities.
Putin issued the 10-week ban along with other orders designed to tighten security. All of this comes in the shadow of newly-passed anti-gay laws.
The next time you're in a CVS pharmacy and drug store, and you're buying a pack of gum, you might want to think twice when the clerk asks you if you want your receipt.
"You have this moment when you're standing at the counter where you're sort of like, 'Is it really this long?'," says Katie Manderfield, a contributor to Fast Company and senior editor at Group SJR that tracks digital trends. "And I think that's the moment that a lot of consumers have been documenting and capturing and uploading onto Twitter and Facebook."
If you haven't been to a CVS lately, you might not know how long these receipts can go. But the Internet has noticed and it's become a meme.
"My colleague Matt Mirandi actually just noticed that this meme was happening and that people were sort of hilariously documenting these really really long receipts," Manderfield says."And then of course once we found the requisite parody account, which is CVS_Receipt, we knew it was bound to become something big."
But, can CVS turn that free press mocking them into dollars at stores?
"We wanted to use it as a case study to see what was happening with this trend, and to see how CVS could really leverage the laughs," says Manderfield. "Especially with these sort of memes that happen organically, it's not necessarily something CVS would choose under their own volition ... but the good news at the end of the day is that people are talking about CVS."
But, the Internet has weighed in and those receipts still are pretty long. "They'll hold their receipt up to a 7-year-old or next to their huge german shepherd dog ... it's a little ridiculous."
Think you know TV show homes? Play our new brain game and match the famous home with its TV show. Play now.
Many of us still believe owning a home is the American Dream. Marketplace Money puts homeownership under the microscope. What should you know before you buy? What apps are out there to help you search for a home? And what is the skinny on short sales?
Plus, we developed a new brain game to test your housing pop culture knowledge. Homes have been featured in some of our favorite TV shows through the years. From Blanche's Miami home in "Golden Girls" to the "Full House" in San Francisco with DJ, Stephanie and Michelle Tanner. Your challenge is to match the famous TV home with its TV show.
And for any home buyers out there, check out our infographic of 10 mistakes you should avoid. Happy house hunting!
As speculation begins about who will replace Steve Ballmer as CEO, NPR's Steve Henn has some advice for his successor: Take bigger risks — and more of them. Do more to encourage innovation and don't forget the PC just yet.
Travelers can tell you that getting a glimpse into another person's culture can help erase ethnic prejudices. A laboratory experiment found that to be true, but only if people feel that they have a choice in the matter.
Nasdaq halted trading Thursday for about three hours due to a technical glitch. Things were fixed just before the market closed, and the day after no problems were reported.
"I think this is another instance that we see that the way we trade securities now has just become immensely complicated, and how in the last 10-15 years, new and better technology -- along with all these participants finding new ways to get around regulations -- have found ways to make things really complicated to make a little more money," said FT Alphaville's Cardiff Garcia. "The immediate effect of what happened yesterday was something akin to everybody taking a long lunch and then catching up on their work later. But it is troublesome that these kinds of things just seem to keep happening, and there's got to be a way to make these systems more robust."
"I mean, it's going to happen again," said The Guardian's Heidi Moore. The CEO of Nasdaq "gave an interview and he considered himself happy if they could get above 99 percent reliability in doing these. Imagine that -- he's just conceding -- 'you cannot get 100 percent.' And he's right."
And we've got our Weekly Wrap #longreads suggestions.
Heidi Moore recommends:
- As we talk more and more about the surveillance state, this week The Guardian has questioned not just the scope of the intelligence collected on Americans, but also its accuracy. A great example is mild-mannered author William Vollmann, who sued for his FBI file and found that the leading lights of intelligence once suspected him of being...the Unabomber.
- A great New York Review of Books analysis of musician Questlove, a "hip-hop evolutionist."
- The bastardization of the French baguette into something doughier and less crusty is a metaphor for humanity itself: it speaks to national identity, changing tastes in food, and the be-blanding of globalization.
Cardiff Garcia suggests:
A military jury has sentenced Robert Bales, the U.S. staff sergeant who admitted killing 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, to life in prison without parole. During the punishment hearings held this week, Bales was confronted by family members of victims and people who survived the March 11, 2012, attacks.
Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech is copyrighted, limiting its presence online. One organization, however, has decided to provide ready access to the video.
During the court martial, Maj. Nidal Hasan acted as his own attorney and seemed intent on seeking the death penalty. The military jurors begin the sentencing phase on Monday.
The housing sector has been a bright spot for the economy. But a drop in sales of new homes last month has some economists thinking that higher mortgage rates might be sapping some of that sector's momentum.
Jennifer Fitzgerald's ex-boyfriend abandoned her car in an employee parking lot at Chicago's O'Hare in 2009. It sat there collecting tickets until last year.
The wildfire burst into Yosemite National Park on Friday after growing to more than 105,620 acres, the U.S. Forestry Service says. More than 2,000 firefighting personnel are working on the blaze known as the Rim wildfire, which is only 2 percent contained.
Further fallout from the National Security Agency leaks dominated the news as the partner of a Guardian reporter was detained in the U.K. and word emerged that hard drives at the newspaper had been destroyed. And Steve Ballmer's departure announcement raised speculation about who will succeed him as Microsoft's CEO.
Syrian children account for 1 million of the 1.75 million Syrians who have fled their country since the beginning of the upheaval in 2011, the United Nations says.
You've made it. You are settled in life. You are on the path for financial security. Homeownership means more than just a picket fence or a two-car garage. It's emotional and personal. Even with the clouds that hung over the housing market the last few years, it was hard to get away from this idea -- that buying a place is part of the American Dream. It's certainly a part of the economic recovery. We still pay close attention to home sales, prices, inventory.
The National Association of Realtors says existing home sales topped an almost four-year high in July. So what do you need to ask yourself before you enter the market? We're getting some advice from Alison Rogers, a real estate agent and a columnist for Time.com.
What is the right moment to get in?
"Sometimes people have a desire to own a house. You have to remember that purchase of your single-family home isn't an investment, it's a consumption. I would certainly recommend that people have saved up a 10 percent down payment and feel that they're going to stay in the house for at least five years," says Rogers.
Rogers says first-time home buyers are always surprised to find out how expensive it is to own a piece of property.
"When you're considering purchasing, ask the current homeowner for his or her utility bills, his or her property tax bills, and also factor in the idea that you'll probably be making one major repair a year. I would just add in maybe 2-3 percent of the house's purchase price in my head as annual maintenance," says Rogers. "For maintenance, for example, if you're buying a $400,000 house, I would think of wanting to have $8,000 in annual maintenance costs. That sounds like a lot, but if you're replacing a roof or have boiler problems, it starts to add up."
Nowadays, people are looking at mortgage rates, which have been low for the past few years, but are now starting to creep up. Rogers says the rates are still historically very low.
"We've seen a bounce from 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent, which is very scary if you're thinking of buying. But historically anything below 6 percent is still a very low mortgage rate. I wouldn't use the rising rates as a reason to be too hasty in my decision [to buy]," says Rogers. "I wouldn't panic and I wouldn't make a decision you're going to regret based on just seeing those numbers move around."
Rogers says people shouldn't think of a home as a way of building wealth. She says building wealth is a wonderful extra of buying a home and is a worthy purchase you should save up to make, but you shouldn't expect price appreciation.
"The price appreciation that we got in this country in the '90s and the '00s really was whipped cream on top of the sundae. It wasn't something you should have expected and you shouldn't necessarily expect it to repeat," says Rogers.
Could it possibly be true that watching videos on my smartphone uses as much electricity as two refrigerators?
“This is an example of a claim that sounds interesting, but really has no basis in fact,” says Jonathan Koomey, a research fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University.
Koomey has devoted years of his professional career to fighting this refrigerator analogy. It first came up more than a decade ago, by the same author, then making the claim that a Palm Pilot used the same electricity as a fridge.
Koomey says fighting it again now is pretty frustrating, “I’d rather not have to spend time rehashing this stuff.” But, the claim is back. So Koomey is back; figuring out just how much electricity goes into making and using my smartphone.
By his calculation, it’s about 60 kilowatt-hours.
Mark Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and the author of the phone-equals-refrigerator claim, estimates it’s closer to 700 kilowatt-hours.
Mills is author of a report called The Cloud Begins with Coal, sponsored by the mining and coal industries. He says he wants to get people thinking about how much electricity these devices use. And he doesn’t think the controversy around the refrigerator analogy distracts people from his bigger point.
“The debate makes it an interesting conversation, like we’re having,” says Mills.
He stands by his calculations and his main assertion: “It is accurate: it uses a lot of electricity. Now if someone were to say, it’s not equal to a refrigerator or equals half a refrigerator or a tenth of a refrigerator, that’s still a big number.”
Why use this analogy again? Why compare a phone to a fridge, when Mills got so blasted the first time?
“If I came up to you and remarked to you that there is a one-headed cat around the corner from your house you would be totally uninterested,” says Bruce Nordman, a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory*, “but if I said there was a three-headed cat you’d be amazed that it exists and want to go see it; so these fantastical assertions naturally attract people’s attention, whether or not they are real.”
Nordham says the idea that our phones use as much energy as a fridge is basically that three-headed cat; it’s not real. And still, these things get picked up, and passed around.
Which raises another question -- why?
“Thinking about a smartphone, a tiny small device, that sits in our pocket using the same amount of energy as a huge refrigerator, seems so amazing that we just have to share us with someone else,” says Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton school and author of "Contagious: Why Things Catch On." “It’s a neat little factoid that makes us look smart, even if in this case, it’s not actually true.”
He says the controversy around it helps makes it sticky and it taps into a broader conversation about the environment. “If everyone is talking about the environment, they are looking for something to add to that conversation,” Berger says. “We all know that gas prices are up, what's there to say that’s new? But if I can plug in a new fact to that conversation, it’s going to get talked about a lot.”
Even if that fact isn’t factual.
Robin Thicke may have the hit song of the summer, but Marvin Gaye's family says it sounds too familiar — like the melody in Gaye's "Got to Give It Up." Both sides are lawyering up, and the Barbershop guys weigh in on the dustup.