National News

Path To Television's Future May Be Paved In Virtual Reality

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 12:00

On display at South by Southwest is an attempt to create the future of storytelling. HBO is working with Oculus — maker of virtual reality goggles — to put the audience right into Game of Thrones.

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Pending Russian Response, Kerry's Travel Plans Are Up In The Air

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 12:00

Before Secretary of State John Kerry agrees to visit Russia, the State Department says it wants to see concrete evidence that Russia's ready for serious discussions on ending the crisis in Ukraine.

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Earthbound Tensions Don't Reach Russian-American Space Partnership

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 12:00

U.S. astronaut Mike Hopkins is expected to land in Kazakhstan, and despite diplomatic tensions, the Russians plan to pick him up. It's another sign that U.S. and Russia remain tied at the hip in space.

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Keep Austin Wary: Snowden Streams Warnings To Tech Conference

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 12:00

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden addressed the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, urging developers to build encryption systems to stifle government snooping.

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In Crimea, Public Relations Can Be As Dangerous As Politics

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 12:00

In Ukraine, a dangerous "information war" is being waged by volunteers who are trying to win support in Crimea, where there is a near-total information blackout of pro-Ukrainian opinions.

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Broadening Search for Malaysian Airliner Still Yields Only Theories

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 12:00

As dozens of ships and aircraft search a widening swath of the Pacific Ocean, few details are known about the fate of a Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared Friday.

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Groups Use Cash Prizes To Encourage Saving

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 12:00

Organizations are trying to find ways to get people with lower incomes to save more. One program urges families to set aside a part of their tax refunds so they have money for emergencies.

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Freshly Baked Art: Cookies That Are A Feast For The Eyes

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 12:00

For an online community of crafty bakers, a cookie is more than just crumbly delights. They're taking cookie decorating to new heights of intricacy, from carnival carousels to beach-themed treats.

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The Ragged Edge: A Runner Chasing Greatness Finds His Muse

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 11:50

The Boston Marathon is in sight and Eric Ashe is going for broke as he chases his dream of being an elite runner. The quest is about more than the discipline of running. It's about the art of racing.

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Memories Can Go Astray When We Step Outside Our Bodies

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 11:47

Virtual reality can make people feel like they are experiencing the world outside of their bodies. The sensation can make it hard for the people to remember what happened to them.

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My first job: Big-rig truck washer

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-03-10 11:45

ESPN college sports commentator Rece Davis has built a career as an expert on college hoops and football, but his first job was far from the glamour of March Madness: At 13, he got his first job cleaning trucks on Saturdays in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Davis says back then this was a great job. He could make $40, sometimes more, for five or six hours of work.

He said his objective was always to finish the job before the early games for college football came on, and there was one thing that repeatedly threatened that:

"You just hope that the guy driving the truck hadn't gone through fresh tar on the road because (if he did that) you were there forever."

Davis says scrubbing tar off trucks helped him learn early about work ethic and dependability.  But he says, he didn't escape without being a little traumatized by his first job.

"That's why now I almost always just drive through the car wash. I don't remember the last time I even manually washed my car." 

The guy behind nutrition facts and energy guides

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-03-10 11:25

A couple of weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration and First Lady Michelle Obama announced changes to the official Nutrition Facts label.

Burkey Belser is the graphic designer who did the original label. He says: "It's as if my dog died and I got a new puppy I liked, but not as much as old Spot."

Belser did the original label for free because Congress hadn't designated funds to pay him. He was paid for the Energy Guide label though -- that bright yellow sticker on your appliance that says how much it costs to run it.

Belser says the key in designing these types of labels is to design it for all Americans to read, which means removing anything that might slow down someone who has poor literacy skills, or for whom English might be a second language. That's why there's no punctuation on his original design.

"The goal is to be clear...while I always, and any designer hopes that they're going to have an artistic presentation, artistry plays second fiddle to getting the idea across."

The new nutrition facts label hasn't been formalized yet and Belser has his own ideas about how'd he update it.

Here are the current nutrition label (left), the FDA's suggested nutrition label (middle), and Belser's suggested nutrition label (right):


And just for kicks, here's the original label from the 1970s:

Which public radio host are you?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-03-10 10:59

This final note about online polls and surveys. The social media team at WFAE in Charlotte have come up with a new one: Which public radio host are you?

It's got some reasonably relevant questions: Who would you most like to interview? What's your favorite public radio show? What should your college major have been?

So, I took it. And, honestly, I don't know how I didn't come up with me. 

Who did I get? Apparently the internet thinks I should be Audie Cornish, the co-host of NPR's All Things Considered. 

Companies are falling over themselves to go public

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-03-10 10:27

We're not very far into 2014, but you can already call this the year of the IPO. So far, more than 40 companies have gone public. That's more than double last year at this time and the most since the economic boom year of 2007. "And the party’s just starting," says John Fitzgibbon, founder of IPO Scoop. He says the IPO boom is all about the strong stock market. "It’s very simple approach. Good stock market equals good IPO market. Lousy market, kiss it goodbye."

The stock market has been a bit bumpy, but worries about a crash are easing. Investors now want to put their money into companies they think will deliver solid returns. "The increase in the activity for the IPO market is really a statement of how much the market had been held back in the previous last few years," says David Menlow, president of IPO And Menlow says many companies feel they’ve gotta go public before the other guy. "They’ll be a sense of urgency as we move through the year and businesses will expand and as a result we’re expecting all boats to rise with the tide."

Menlow expects we’ll see the IPO pace keep up through the end of the year.


Sandwich Monday: The Dunkin' Donuts Eggs Benedict Breakfast Sandwich

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 10:01

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a bold new idea from Dunkin' Donuts: an Eggs Benedict sandwich. Finally, a gourmet brunch the same diameter as your cup holder.

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What If Ukraine Still Had Nuclear Weapons?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 09:58

Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons two decades ago when Russia and the U.S. pledged to respect its sovereignty. Amid the current crisis with Russia, some Ukrainians now say that was a mistake.

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Smithsonian Institution Gets A New Director

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 09:46

Cornell University President David Skorton has been named the Smithsonian's next secretary. Skorton, a cardiologist and amateur jazz musician, will be the first physician to lead the nation's attic.

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Arm candy for her: The Ken doll

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-03-10 09:32

From the Marketplace Datebook, here’s a look at what’s coming up on March 11:

Family Trust Wins Supreme Court Fight Against Bike Trail

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 09:32

"They want to bring a train through here, that's fine," a Wyoming landowner says. "We never expected and we never agreed to a bicycle trail." His family is fighting a rails-to-trails conversion.

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SXSW highlights: Neil Young and custom Oreos

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-03-10 09:01

We're only a couple days into the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival, but Marketplace Tech has already been hard at work covering the most important panels and interviewing the biggest names in the tech industry.

Check out the slideshow above for pictures of our experience so far

From raising our hands at Julian Assange's skyped-in appearance to visually confirm that yes, we could hear him in spite of a shoddy internet connection, to testing out crazy flavor combinations from Oreo's cookie printer, the festival has been everything we hoped for and nothing we expected all at the same time. Throw in a conversation with actress Rosario Dawson? We'll take it.

Still to come: a conversation with Biz Stone on his forthcoming book, Things A Little Bird Told Me, our coverage of Edward Snowden's panel discussion, and Neil Young joins us to talk about his new music streaming service called Pono.

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