According to numbers released Tuesday, Twitter's one-year-old video-sharing app Vine now has about 40 million registered users. The app lets users shoot a maximum of six seconds per Vine, so we wanted to know why the limit's set at six seconds and not a second longer.
We've been collecting stories of first jobs this week -- the unusual and the everyday. On Monday we heard from "The Simpsons" writer Michael Price about working in a mall; yesterday truck driver Don Holzschuh recalled working at an amusement park in Minnesota.
Today's story takes us to New York, with writer and filmmaker dream hampton. Her first paid job was as a census taker in New York, making $10 an hour.
"Being a census taker, I thought I was doing a great service. Coming from the east side of Detroit, I knew what it meant to have funds diverted away from your community because you had not been counted," she said. "Now that I think of it, I learned a lot. That was good training because I never went to journalism school. So I think that taking the census as an 18-year-old was an excellent way to hone some pretty good interview skills and to get stories out of people who were absolutely unwilling to tell them."
Melissa Block talks with Lolis Eric Elie, a writer and editor behind the HBO series Treme about a new cookbook written in the voices of the show's characters. Elie says it reflects both old New Orleans traditions and more recent influences.
Shopping for school supplies is no longer just about picking up some pencils and a few notebooks. Julie Langley is the mother of a 7th grader in West Des Moines, Iowa. She says as her daughter grows, so does the number of things she’s asked to bring to school every year.
“A CD-ROM, a flash drive,” she says. “The only thing we don’t need to buy is stuff for P.E.”
As schools face budget cuts, schools are asking more of parents like Langley -- printer paper, dry-erase markers, and cleaning supplies. A survey by the National School Supply and Equipment Association found that more than a third of teachers have asked parents to help stock the classroom when school budgets fall short. The shopping list keeps getting longer, says NSSEA spokeswoman Adrienne Dayton.
"Now the lists appear to be 30 items, sometimes totaling $50 worth of materials that really they’re asked to bring right from the beginning, if they can afford it,” Dayton says.
Some parents are being asked to do even more. Dan Lazar is the principal at Greenfield Elementary in Philadelphia. The school is facing a $175,000 shortfall. SoLazar is asking parents to pony up more than $600 per student this year.
“This is something I never want to have to do again,” Lazar says. “I don’t think I would have agreed to do it if the situation wasn’t so dire.”
The money will be used to help pay for everything from office paper to salaries for classroom assistants. Lazar says other Philadelphia schools are also asking parents for big contributions.
And the city is not alone. The same is true in New York City, where Lazar says parent-teacher groups often ask for hundreds of dollars per child.
“My concern in all of this -- and has been from the start -- is those schools…where the parents aren’t able to give,” Lazar says. “And that scares me and it saddens me, because those are our neediest kids.”
Joanna Crane organizes a school supply drive for needy families at the Red Rock Area Community Action Program south of Des Moines. She says the bumped-up supply lists are starting in preschool now.
“Paper plates, and cups, and Clorox wipes and sanitizer,” Crane says.
Crane says it’s just too much for some families -- like Christina Dale’s. The 29-year-old mother of three recently came in to the center to pick up free backpacks, pencils, and notebooks. Dale works full-time, but she says her children’s back-to-school needs can add up to hundreds of dollars she doesn’t have.
“Once you factor in the new school clothes, new shoes, the fact that they have to have a separate pair of shoes just for gym, and regular shoes to wear -- it gets very expensive,” Dale says.
And that’s before you even get in the school door. Then, there may be a whole new round of expenses.
“There may be fees to help defray the cost of uniforms; there may be fees…for additional courses that may be offered after the school day,” Domenech says. “They’re all over the place.”
People who had taken LSD, psilocybin or mescaline at any time in their lives were no more likely than those who hadn't to wind up in mental health treatment or to have symptoms of mental illness, a Norwegian study finds.
NPR correspondent and former All Things Considered co-host Noah Adams recalls a day he spent with the famed crime writer in Detroit.
From Maria Sharapova to Maria Sugarpova?
That's not a typo. The Russian-born tennis superstar says she considered temporarily changing her last name for the duration of the two-week U.S. Open to promote her line of snacks and sweets. But after careful consideration decided against the move, according to ESPN.
"Maria has pushed her team to do fun, out-of-the-box-type things to get the word out about Sugarpova," Max Eisenbud, Sugarpova, rather, Sharapova's agent, told ESPN. "In Miami, we're going to fill a glass truck full of candy and drive it around town. This was an idea that fell along those lines. But, at the end of the day, we would have to change all her identification, she has to travel to Japan and China right after the tournament and it was going to be very difficult."
Of course, the publicity she's garnered from the non-story of her name change won't hurt her candy line either. As noted by Forbes, requesting a name change with the Florida Supreme Court costs virtually nothing -- and in this case, there wasn't even a request submitted.
Whether the name ploy will translate into sales remains to be seen. Sharapova launched her line of premium candies in 2012 investing $500,000 of her own money into the company. The gummy candies are available in countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
According to Forbes, Sharapova is the highest paid female athlete in the world -- earning $29 million this year, $23 million alone just from endorsements. Forbes says her career prize money of $26.7 million ranks third all-time behind both of the Williams sisters -- Venus and Serena.
It looks like would-be Maria Sugarpova won't be joining the likes of these famous athletes, who (some, infamously) changed their names:
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Lew Alcindor) - basketball player
- Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.) - boxer
- Cameron F. Awesome (born Lenroy Thompson) - boxer
- Bison Dele (born Brian Carson Williams) - basketball player
- World B. Free (born Lloyd Bernard Free) - basketball player
- Nenê (born Maybyner Rodney Hilário) - basektball player
- Chad Ochocinco (born Chad Javon Johnson) - football player
- JR Sakuragi (born Milton "J.R." Henderson) - basketball player
- Stylez G. White (born Gregory Alphonso White, Jr.) - football player
- Metta World Peace (born Ronald William Artest, Jr.) - basketball player
Soccer fans are strutting in Afghanistan today, after their national team defeated neighboring Pakistan in a friendly match sponsored by FIFA, soccer's governing body. Before Tuesday's match in Kabul, the two teams had not played each other in more than 30 years.