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Renewed Fighting Threatens Truce In Eastern Ukraine

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-15 04:16

Pro-Russia separatists who control the city of Donetsk appear to have launched a push to take the city's airport, which is still defended by Kiev's forces.

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Navigating a data driven education

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-15 03:08

Meet the most measured, monitored and data-mined students in the history of education.

Your children.

From the time they get on the school bus, until they close their laptops at night, there’s a good chance data are being collected on their whereabouts, their learning patterns, their classroom behavior, what they eat for lunch, the websites they browse on their school computers, and maybe even the amount of sleep they get.

It’s all part of what we’re calling The Quantified Student.

Schools have always gathered basic data on kids—attendance, grades, disciplinary actions—but now that those records are digital, a school can better spot trends and patterns. 

Most states also gather student data in what are known as state longitudinal data systems, with the underlying theory that "better decisions require better information.

There are no laws requiring that states publish a list of the types of data they collect on students, and it can be hard information to track down.  Marketplace has put together a list of data nearly every state collects. 

One of the main reasons for this student data grab is the belief that the more educators know about how a child learns, the better learner he can be.  The more you know who is struggling with which part of the lesson, the better you can tailor an education to that child.

If you've been around a school in the last few years, it's likely you've heard the buzzwords associated with the data-driven classroom: individualized learning, personalized learning, differentiated learning

They’re all based on data. And in some schools, millions of pieces of data are being collected on individual children every week.

Parents may know  little about what is being collected, or how it is being used.

A lot of  student data collection is baked into the way schools run. Student data management services like Pearson PowerSchool gather data on 13 million kids every year. Learning software programs can gather millions of points of data on how a child learns in a single day.

There are laws that allow parents to set some limits on what student data is collected and who can see it.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) limits how school records can be shared.  It also gives parents the right to request a record of their child's data and to opt-out of some data sharing.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) limits the data that can be collected online from children under the age of 13. 

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) requires parental consent before minors participate in some school surveys. 

States have also passed their own laws to safeguard student data.

But, privacy experts say there's still a whole lot more work to do--to make sure student data doesn't fall into the wrong hands or get gobbled up by marketers and other parties interested in targeting kids with products and services.

If we've learned anything over the last few months, between the NSA revelations and the massive retailer data breaches, it's that our personal information may not be as private as we'd like to believe.

To embed the "State by state guide to student data collection" widget, paste the following code into your page.
<iframe src='http://marketplace.org/sites/default/iframes/learningcurve/sldsmenu.html'style='border:0;width:300px;height:896px'></iframe> span.introduced {background-color:#8CD195; height:20px; width:20px; float: left; margin-right: 5px; } span.rejected {background-color:#DF876A; height:20px; width:20px; float: left; margin-right: 5px; } span.newlaw {background-color:#6FC4C1; height:20px; width:20px; float: left; margin-right: 5px; } span.federal {background-color:#909185; height:20px; width:20px; float: left; margin-right: 5px; } .billinfo p{ margin-left:25px; margin-right: 25px; } div.info.legend {display:none;} p.bodyheader{ color: #222; margin:15px; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.4; } .iconsection { margin-top: 0px; font-family:"Trebuchet MS", Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #222; font-size: 10px; margin-right:15px; line-height:1.1; list-style: none; margin-left: 0px; padding-left:0px; display: none; } #projectmap{ position: relative; } .iconlist{ /*margin-bottom: 3px;*/ clear: left; margin-left: 0px; height: 40px; margin:0px; display: none; } p.textheader{ font-family:"Georgia", sans-serif; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold; background-color:#333; color:#fff; padding:.5em 1em; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; margin-bottom: 5px; } /* Modal styling */ #state p { padding:10px 15px; margin:0!important; font-size:1.4em; font-family: helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight:bold; color:#fff; background-color:#990000 } #statecontent li { font-size:.85em; } #close_modal { position:absolute; right:-10px; top:-10px; } #close_modal img { width:25px; cursor:pointer; } #map { width: 100%; max-width: 740px; height: 425px; z-index:1; padding-top: 5px; } #billinfo{ position:absolute; display:block; top:0; height:100%; left:0; width:100%; background-color:#333; background-color:rgba(0,0,0,.85); z-index:5; } #statecontent { z-index:1000; position:absolute; background-color:#ddd; width:70%; top:250px; margin-left:-35%; left:50%; border-radius:3px; } #billtext{ overflow-x: hidden; overflow-y: scroll; height: 300px; } .info { padding: 6px 8px; font-weight: bold; background: white; background: white; box-shadow: 0 0 15px rgba(0,0,0,0.2); border-radius: 5px; opacity: 1.0; } .upright { visibility: hidden; opacity: 1.0; background-color: white; } .info h4 { margin: 0 0 5px; color: #777; } button.filter { -moz-box-shadow: 0 1px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.5); -webkit-box-shadow: 0 1px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.5); border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0,0,0,0.25); text-align: left; font-size: 9px; color: #0000FF; background-color: #FAFAFA; padding-bottom: 5px; height: 37px; width: 160px; margin-left:0px; margin-right:0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; font-family: Georgia,"Times New Roman","DejaVu Serif",serif; } /************ LEGEND ************/ .maplegend { list-style:none; padding:0; margin-top: 0; float: left; padding-top: 3px; } .maplegend li { margin0; font-size:.75em; font-family:helvetica, sans-serif; height:20px; margin-left:-16px; } .iconsection{ float: left } .filtersection{ width:100%; } button.reset{ background-color: white; box-shadow: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 8px; color: #0000FF; } button.filterbrowser { -moz-box-shadow: 0 1px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.5); -webkit-box-shadow: 0 1px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.5); text-shadow: 0 -1px 1px rgba(0,0,0,0.25); border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0,0,0,0.25); text-align: left; font-size: 9px; color: #0000FF; background-color: #FAFAFA; float: left; margin-right: 5px; clear: left; margin-top:-3px; height:42px; margin-left: -12px; padding-left: 0px; } .filter:hover{ background-color: #CEE3F6; } p.tooltips { position: relative; display: inline; margin-left: 5px; margin-right:5px; } p.tooltips span { position: absolute; width:270px; color: #0000FF; background: #FAFAFA; border: 2px solid #03C4FF; height: 120px; line-height: 20px; text-align: center; visibility: hidden; border-radius: 25px; padding-top:20px; } p.tooltips span:before { content: ''; position: absolute; bottom: 100%; left: 50%; margin-left: -12px; width: 0; height: 0; border-bottom: 12px solid #03C4FF; border-right: 12px solid transparent; border-left: 12px solid transparent; } p.tooltips span:after { content: ''; position: absolute; bottom: 100%; left: 50%; margin-left: -8px; width: 0; height: 0; border-bottom: 8px solid #FAFAFA; border-right: 8px solid transparent; border-left: 8px solid transparent; } p:hover.tooltips span { visibility: visible; opacity: 0.9; top: 30px; left: 50%; margin-left: -76px; z-index: 999; } @media only screen and (max-width: 568px){ #map{ height: 250px !important; } .iconsection{ display: block; } .iconlist{ display: block; } #icondesktop{ display:none; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 768px ) { #statecontent { width:300px; margin-left:-150px; } .iconsection{ display: block; } .iconlist{ display: block; } #icondesktop{ display:none; } }

Student data privacy laws around the nation

In 2014, many states considered or passed new legislation protecting student data. You can see which states responded to which issues by clicking on the icons below. You can also click on each state for more details about its laws.

Cloud-computing restrictionsStates which have passed or considered legislation restricting cloud-computing services and vendors.

Limits marketing to studentsStates which have passed or considered legislation restricting the use of student data for marketing

Limits data sharingStates which have passed or considered legislation restricting how student data is shared.

Increases transparencyStates which have passed or considered legislation making the data-collection process more transparent.

Limits data collectionStates which have passed or considered legislation limiting the kind of information that schools and agencies can collect.

Reset view

Laws:

Bills:

  • States with new privacy laws
  • States with legislation introduced in 2014
  • States where legislation was defeated
  • States which rely solely on federal laws
  • New laws or legislation restricting cloud-computing services and vendors.
  • New laws or legislation restricting the use of student data for marketing
  • New laws or legislation restricting how student data is shared.
  • New laws or legislation making the data-collection process more transparent.
  • New laws or legislation limiting the kind of information that schools and agencies can collect.

Sources: Marketplace research and Data Quality Campaign data

var icons = [] var cloudicon = '' var marketingicon = '' var sharingicon = '' var transparencyicon = '' var collectionicon = '' var stateData2 = [] var law = document.getElementById('law'); var bill = document.getElementById('bill'); var billinfo = document.getElementById('billinfo'); var statespan = document.getElementById('state'); sorting(dandata, "cloud") var clouddata = syncData(dandata,statesData); sorting(dandata, 'collection') var collectiondata = syncData(dandata,statesData) sorting(dandata, 'sharing') var sharedata = syncData(dandata,statesData) sorting(dandata, 'transparency') var transparencydata = syncData(dandata,statesData) sorting(dandata, 'marketing') var marketingdata = syncData(dandata,statesData) //function to sort JSON object by filters function sorting(json_object, key_to_sort_by) { function sortByKey(a, b) { var x = a[key_to_sort_by]; var y = b[key_to_sort_by]; return ((x < y) ? -1 : ((x > y) ? 1 : 0)); } json_object.sort(sortByKey); } //displays description of each bill function billPanel(state){ var i = 0; var firstlaw = true; var firstbill = true; law.innerHTML = ""; bill.innerHTML = ""; bill.style.visibility = "hidden" while(databills[i].State != state){ i++ } if(databills[i].State != null){ statespan.innerHTML = '

' + databills[i].State + '

'; do{ if(databills[i].billlaw == "law"){ if (firstlaw){ law.innerHTML = '

' + "Laws:" + '

'; firstlaw = false } law.innerHTML += '

' + databills[i].BillNumber + '

' + databills[i].Summary + '
' + '

' + databills[i].Status + ", " + databills[i].Date + '

'; law.style.visibility = "visible"; }else if (databills[i].billlaw == ""){ if (firstbill){ bill.innerHTML = '

' + "Bills:" + '

' + "This state considered legislation at some point in its 2014 legislative session. The bill, or bills, were neither passed nor voted down. Many states are near the conclusion of their legislative year, but some of these bills could still be passed. Many states considered multiple bills. The types of issues that the legislation addressed are described by the icons accompanying each state on the map." + '

' + "To read the legislation in full, click on each bill‘s number." + '

'; firstbill = false } bill.innerHTML += '

' + databills[i].BillNumber + '

' + '' + '

' + databills[i].Status + '

'; bill.style.visibility = "visible"; }else if(databills[i].billlaw == "dead"){ if (firstbill){ bill.innerHTML = '

' + "Bills:" + '

' + "Legislation was considered in this state, but was voted down. To read the rejected legislation in full, click on each bill’s number." + '

'; firstbill = false } bill.innerHTML += '

' + databills[i].BillNumber + '

' + '' + '

' + databills[i].Status + '

'; bill.style.visibility = "visible"; }else{ law.innerHTML += '

' + "This state follows federal laws governing student data. The two main student data laws are the Federal Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children‘s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA)." + '

' + "FERPA limits how, and with whom, a student‘s educational records are shared. It also gives parents the right to look at their child‘s records."+ '

' + "COPPA limits the data a company can collect online from a child under the age of 13, and would be the main source of restrictions for any company that receives student data." + '

' + "A bill was introduced in Congress in July to update FERPA with new restrictions on using student data for marketing, a mandate for more transparency on what data is being collected, and new requirements for data security." + '

' } i++ } while (databills[i].State == state) } } var buttonpushed; //create the map if(parseInt(window.innerWidth) < 786){ var zoom = 3 }else{ var zoom = 4 } var map = L.map('map').setView([39.8, -97], zoom); L.tileLayer('https://{s}.tiles.mapbox.com/v3/dabendschein.j88bdg63/{z}/{x}/{y}.png', { attribution: 'Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA, Imagery © Mapbox', maxZoom: 13 }).addTo(map); map.scrollWheelZoom.disable(); // control that shows state info on hover var info = L.control(); info.onAdd = function (map) { this._div = L.DomUtil.create('div', 'info upright'); var emptystate = " " var emptyicons = [] this.update(emptystate, emptyicons); return this._div; }; info.update = function (state, icons) { this._div.innerHTML = '' + state + '' + '
' + icons[0] + " " + icons[1] + " " + icons[2] + " " + icons[3] + " " + icons[4]; }; info.addTo(map); function filter(criterion) { buttonpushed = criterion if (criterion == 'cloud'){ stateData2 = clouddata }else if (criterion == 'collection'){ stateData2 = collectiondata }else if (criterion == 'sharing'){ stateData2 = sharedata }else if (criterion == 'marketing'){ stateData2 = marketingdata }else{ stateData2 = transparencydata } map.removeLayer(geojson) geojson = L.geoJson(stateData2, { style: restyle, onEachFeature: onEachFeature }).addTo(map); } function reset(){ map.removeLayer(geojson) geojson = L.geoJson(statesData, { style: style, onEachFeature: onEachFeature }).addTo(map); } //puts map geographical data in same order as map information data function syncData(dandata, statedata){ var newlist = [] for(i=0; i < dandata.length; i++){ var x = 0 while(statedata.features[x].properties.name != dandata[i].State){ x++ } newlist.push(statedata.features[x]) } return newlist; } // get colors from JSON data function getColor(d) { var i = 0; while (d != dandata[i].State){ i++ } return dandata[i].fill; } //new state colors for filter buttons function reColor(d) { var i = 0; while (d != dandata[i].State){ i++ } if(buttonpushed == "cloud"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].cloud }else if(buttonpushed == "collection"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datacollection }else if(buttonpushed == "sharing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datasharing }else if(buttonpushed == "marketing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].marketing }else{ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].transparency } var fill = dandata[i].fill; if (fieldvalue == "x"){ return dandata[i].fill; }else{ return "#6B6B73"; } } function getLineColor(d){ var i = 0; while (d != dandata[i].State){ i++ } if(buttonpushed == "cloud"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].cloud }else if(buttonpushed == "collection"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datacollection }else if(buttonpushed == "sharing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datasharing }else if(buttonpushed == "marketing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].marketing }else{ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].transparency } if(fieldvalue != "x"){ return "white"; }else{ return "yellow"; } } function setWeight(d){ var i = 0; while (d != dandata[i].State){ i++ } if(buttonpushed == "cloud"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].cloud }else if(buttonpushed == "collection"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datacollection }else if(buttonpushed == "sharing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datasharing }else if(buttonpushed == "marketing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].marketing }else{ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].transparency } if(fieldvalue != "x"){ return 2; }else{ return 4; } } function setDash(d){ var i = 0; while (d != dandata[i].State){ i++ } if(buttonpushed == "cloud"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].cloud }else if(buttonpushed == "collection"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datacollection }else if(buttonpushed == "sharing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].datasharing }else if(buttonpushed == "marketing"){ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].marketing }else{ var fieldvalue = dandata[i].transparency } if(fieldvalue != "x"){ return '3'; }else{ return ''; } } function style(feature) { return { weight: 2, opacity: 1, color: 'white', dashArray: '3', fillOpacity: 0.6, fillColor: getColor(feature.properties.name) }; } function restyle(feature) { return { weight: setWeight(feature.properties.name), opacity: 1, color: getLineColor(feature.properties.name), dashArray: setDash(feature.properties.name), fillOpacity: 0.9, fillColor: reColor(feature.properties.name), }; } function highlightFeature(e) { icons = [] var layer = e.target; var panel = document.getElementsByClassName("upright"); if (layer.feature.properties.name != null){ panel[0].style.visibility = "visible"; layer.setStyle({ weight: 5, color: 'yellow', dashArray: '', fillOpacity: 0.7 }); displayIcons(e) } function displayIcons(e){ var i = 0; while (layer.feature.properties.name != dandata[i].State){ i++ } if (!L.Browser.ie && !L.Browser.opera) { layer.bringToFront(); } if(dandata[i].cloud == "x"){ icons.push(cloudicon) }else{ icons.push(" ") } if(dandata[i].marketing == "x"){ icons.push(marketingicon) }else{ icons.push(" ") } if(dandata[i].datasharing == "x"){ icons.push(sharingicon) }else{ icons.push(" ") } if(dandata[i].transparency == "x"){ icons.push(transparencyicon) }else{ icons.push(" ") } if(dandata[i].datacollection == "x"){ icons.push(collectionicon) }else{ icons.push(" ") } info.update(dandata[i].State,icons ); } } function displayInfo(e) { document.getElementById("billinfo").style.display="block"; var layer = e.target; var i = 0; while (layer.feature.properties.name != dandata[i].State){ i++ } billPanel(dandata[i].State); displayIcons(e) } var geojson; function resetHighlight(e) { geojson.resetStyle(e.target); var panel = document.getElementsByClassName("upright"); panel[0].style.visibility = "hidden"; info.update(); } function zoomToFeature(e) { map.fitBounds(e.target.getBounds()); } function onEachFeature(feature, layer) { layer.on({ mouseover: highlightFeature, mouseout: resetHighlight, click: displayInfo }); } geojson = L.geoJson(statesData, { style: style, onEachFeature: onEachFeature }).addTo(map); map.attributionControl.addAttribution('Population data © US Census Bureau'); var legend = L.control({position: 'bottomright'}); legend.onAdd = function (map) { var div = L.DomUtil.create('div', 'info legend'), labels = []; // labels.push(' ' + "Bill"); // labels.push(' ' + "Bill Defeated"); // labels.push(' ' + "State Law"); // labels.push(' ' + "Federal Law"); div.innerHTML = labels.join('
'); return div; }; legend.addTo(map); document.getElementById("billinfo").style.display="none"; function closeModal() { document.getElementById("billinfo").style.display="none"; // document.getElementById("state").style.visibility="hidden"; // document.getElementById("bill").style.visibility="hidden"; // document.getElementById("law").style.visibility="hidden"; // document.getElementById("statecontent").style.visibility="hidden"; }

PODCAST: Tip your hotel workers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-15 03:00

Federal Reserve policymakers won't raise interest rates at their meeting this week, but they may offer clues about when. More on that. Plus, if you are checking out of a Marriott hotel this week, you might see for the first time an envelope inviting you to leave a tip for the housekeeper. The company is adding the envelopes to 160,000 rooms in the US and Canada to remind guests that even though they might not see the person who cleans their room, that doesn't mean they shouldn't tip. And about 10 minutes after many of us threw out our entire collections of vinyl records, the digital generation went out and bought a turnable. We look into the rise in popularity of the vinyl record.

Leaders Meet In Paris To Forge Fight Against Islamic State Militants

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-15 02:57

Representatives from more than 20 countries have gathered in the French capital to form a coalition to defeat the insurgency.

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Covering Up With The Hijab May Aid Women's Body Image

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-15 02:04

A few studies have found that modest clothing is connected with a healthier body image. So a British psychologist looked at whether the hijab protected women against the pressure to be thin.

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HBO 'seriously considering' selling online access

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-15 02:00

HBO, with its hit shows like "True Detective" and "Game of Thrones," made $1.8 billion in operating profits in 2013. But it made that money from cable subscribers — not Internet viewers.

There is no stand-alone Internet subscription to watch new episodes of HBO's shows. CEO Jeff Bewkes of Time Warner, which owns HBO, recently said directly selling online streaming access, and competing more directly with Netflix and Amazon, was "becoming more viable, more interesting."

HBO might seem to have a lot of negotiating clout in this battle, because its content is very desirable and, as the cliché goes on the Internet, content is king.

"That's the gambit, right," says Dan Porter, head of digital at William Morris Endeavor. "The gambit is that content is king and while you might alienate the cable people you have the leverage. You could certainly say that that is true for professional sports."

Porter believes the NFL can afford to sell access to its games online, because the cable industry can't survive without it.

"I don't know if HBO is there," he says. HBO also isn't an independent company. "It's part of Time Warner," says IDC analyst Greg Ireland. "Time Warner has other pay TV channel properties."

Those channels may be harder to sell when they don't come with an exclusive pass to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

Some numbers behind HBO:

6.8 million

Average number of same-night viewers of Game of Thrones' last season.

13

Consecutive years in which HBO has won more primetime Emmys than any other network.

1.8 billion

Operating profits for HBO in 2013.

4%

HBO revenue growth in 2013.

21%

Netflix revenue growth in 2013.

15%

HBO subscriber growth over the last year.

16%

Netflix subscriber growth over the last year.

On pins and needles for the next words from the Fed

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-15 02:00

Federal Reserve watchers are obsessed with two words right now: “considerable time.” 

That’s how long the Fed says it'll hold interest rates near zero after next month, when it stops pumping money into the economy by buying bonds.    

The Fed holds a meeting this week. Now, everybody's wondering, what’s next? An immediate increase in interest rates?

“No,” says Jonathan Lewis, chief investment officer of Samson Capital Advisors. “I would say the economy has strengthened and so therefore that’s why they might change their language. They’ve got good reason to change the language. But not good reason to act.”

OK, so what does the Fed say after its meeting? It has to pick its words carefully. 

“So, this is the trick that they really have to pull off," says Kevin Logan, chief US economist at HSBC Bank. "How to change their language without creating the impression that they’re likely to raise rates sooner.”

Because no one expects an interest rate hike until the middle of next year.

Any words to the contrary from the Fed would spook the financial markets, and nobody wants that. 

Covering Up With The Hijab May Aid Women's Body Image

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-15 02:00

A few studies have found that modest clothing is connected with a healthier body image. So a British psychologist looked at whether the hijab protected women against the pressure to be thin.

» E-Mail This

Vinyl record sales have jumped to 6 million

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-09-15 02:00

If you think the debate over digital or analog has long been answered, then you probably have not stepped into an independent record store such as Dusty Groove in Chicago. 

It is one of the nation’s top independent sellers of vinyl records, which have experienced a sales boom in the last seven years — going from 1 million to 6 million sales in 2013. This year, vinyl is likely to surpass last year’s total. 

 

Nova Safo

Of course, vinyl sales are still dwarfed by digital downloads. Nielsen SoundScan, which measures point-of-sale of recorded music product, says there were almost 50 billion video and audio streaming downloads in 2013. But vinyl’s resurgence has been dramatic enough in an industry of dwindling sales that record companies have begun to pay attention and, for the first time since the invention of the CD, to increase the number of titles they release on vinyl. 

“What’s great about the vinyl revival is seeing a generation that I think the music industry had written off 10 years ago as people that were only going to download and maybe only steal, seeing these people become very active, aggressive consumers of a physical item,” says Rick Wojcik, the owner of Dusty Groove. 

Wojcik has been in the vinyl business for almost 20 years, having opened his store first as an online operation and then adding a physical store to appease customers who would show up at his address only to be disappointed by the lack of a physical retail space. 

And that, Wojcik says, is the story of Chicago, a place where vinyl never lost its appeal and where more than 30 record stores cater to vinyl enthusiasts. 

“Our vinyl sales were always high, and they haven’t spiked, because we cared about vinyl,” Wojcik says. “What has happened in recent years is that this sort of activity is now taking place on a playing field that’s being recognized in the larger business community, by the record industry itself.”

Even outside of the music industry, there is now a jumping on board of the vinyl bandwagon. Urban Outfitters is now one of the nation’s largest vinyl record stores. Even the supermarket company Whole Foods has begun carrying vinyl records is certain markets. 

Wojcik is cautiously optimistic, but he says there is a danger in the recent vinyl book for the smaller independent stores that had up to this point differentiated themselves (and stayed in business) thanks to their vinyl offerings. 

Nova Safo

“I know that a lot of stores that are small and struggling, like most record stores are always kinda dancing on a razor’s edge of finances, are really worried that they’re going to be overstuffed with vinyl, because the amount of production has just expanded greatly in 2014,” Wojcik says. 

Much of the sales boom has been driven by people like Lindon McCarty, 27, who was shopping for a record at Dusty Groove. For him and his group of friends, the appeal of vinyl is obvious. 

“It sounds clearer to me. It sounds like, close your eyes, and you’re in the actual room that it was recorded in,” McCarty says, adding that he is a musician and his friends are all “music snobs.” 

Wojcik says in addition to the sound and the large album covers that CDs and MP3s can’t duplicate, vinyl — when holding original prints — offers a chance to have a piece of history. 

“It’s like reading a hardcover book versus a paperback book, or an ebook” Wojcik says. 

Yes, but does vinyl actually sound better? Wojcik gave a comparison demonstration to prove that it does. The results are in the web-extra audio clip on this page. 

I’ll give you a hint: I went into the demonstration thinking one thing, and left thinking another. 

The Streets Are Empty As The Shells Keep Falling In Eastern Ukraine

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-15 00:52

The precarious cease-fire is in danger of collapse after repeated violations by both sides. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley traveled through Donetsk as the shelling spread through residential neighborhoods.

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Hillary Clinton Keeps Iowa Crowd Guessing About Her Presidential Plans

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-15 00:52

Clinton, who says she hasn't yet decided on a 2016 presidential run, was in Iowa Sunday for the first time since she lost the 2008 caucuses to Barack Obama. She attended Sen. Tom Harkin's steak fry.

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Millions Of Americans' Wages Seized Over Credit Card And Medical Debt

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-15 00:52

One in 10 working Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 is getting his or her pay docked for not paying debts. And in most states, the law allows a quarter of wages to be withheld.

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Philip Morris Sues Uruguay Over Graphic Cigarette Packaging

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-15 00:35

The country requires photos of decaying teeth and gruesome hospital scenes on every pack. Philip Morris sees this as a violation of a trade agreement and is suing Uruguay for $25 million.

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Creating Your Baby's Last Name? Tennessee Says No

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-15 00:32

A Tennessee family invented a new surname for their kids, completely different from their own, and discovered that their state's law bars them from doing that.

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Patients Vulnerable When Cash-Strapped Scientists Cut Corners

NPR News - Mon, 2014-09-15 00:31

A shrinking pool of grant money for medical research has led competing applicants to oversell weak scientific findings, critics say. The result: Many experimental treatments are worthless.

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Q&A: Why Teaching Music Matters

NPR News - Sun, 2014-09-14 19:09

From homeless parent to Ph.D., Margaret Martin has always believed in the power of music. She founded Harmony Project, which puts instruments into the hands of kids from L.A.'s toughest neighborhoods.

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Clintons Return To Iowa To Rally Democratic Hopefuls

NPR News - Sun, 2014-09-14 13:08

The Clintons are back in Iowa at an event that is the place to see and be seen for ambitious Democrats. NPR's Arun Rath talks with national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

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Tensions In Ukraine Increase As Cease-Fire Appears To Have Dissolved

NPR News - Sun, 2014-09-14 13:08

A week-old ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has all but broken down. Shelling that was previously constrained to the airport in Donetsk reached the city over the weekend.

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Continued Killings Could Bolster Need For Action Against ISIS

NPR News - Sun, 2014-09-14 13:08

The killing of British aid worker David Haines by the self-proclaimed Islamic State provoked international outrage and could bolster U.S. efforts to build support for an anti-ISIS coalition.

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U.S. Says Allies In Middle East And Elsewhere Want To Help Fight ISIS

NPR News - Sun, 2014-09-14 12:54

On a weekend that saw extremist group the Islamic State release a video showing the murder of a Western hostage, support for a coalition to fight the group is building.

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