Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 3:07 am
What do you keep in your desk drawer at work? Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway recently investigated what was in her colleagues' desk drawers, and wrote a column about her findings. She talks to Renee Montagne about some of the items people have, and why they hold on to them.
Owners of Toyota vehicles that experienced sudden and unintended acceleration have reached a settlement requiring the carmaker to pay as much as $1.4 billion in claims. A judge will review the proposal Friday.
For the first time in five years, the U.S. housing sector contributed to economic growth in 2012. The foreclosure crisis is evolving and working its way through the system, although there are still lingering concerns.
The Mayan people of Mexico and Central America received quite a bit of attention this month thanks to a misinterpretation of their calendar. Word spread all over the globe that the ancient culture had predicted the world would end on Dec. 21.
The news attracted tens of thousands of tourists, who flocked to Mayan sites to await the prophecy. Since the world didn't end, the tourists went home. And now the modern-day Mayas go on with their lives marked by high rates of poverty and dependent on migration.
A screengrab from the "Kony 2012" online video about the Central African warlord Joseph Kony, which skyrocketed in popularity after its release in March. It was criticized, then forgotten, just as quickly.
Credit via YouTube
"JB Fan Video" got more than 1 million views in 48 hours. Within weeks, it was largely forgotten.
Connecticut has suddenly become the epicenter of the nation's gun control debate in a way no one there could have foreseen. The Newtown school shootings have brought calls for restrictions on firearms, in the state that once led the world in creating modern weaponry.
If you drive past Hartford on the interstate, you'll see the blue onion dome high atop the factory that once was the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company. The gunmaker has long since left its Hartford factory, but it still makes guns nearby.
American bartender Harry Craddock mixes a drink at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1926. Craddock is known for helping to popularize the Corpse Reviver, one of the drinks featured in historian Lesley Blume's book about vintage cocktail culture.
Credit Chronicle Books
Lesley M. M. Blume is an author, journalist and cultural observer based in New York City. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair and Slate.
It's the holiday season and for some people that means celebrating with friends, family and cocktails. But instead of settling for the standard martini or Manhattan, author and historian Lesley Blume suggests you reach for a taste of bygone cocktail culture.
In Let's Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition, Blume outlines more than 100 lesser-known oldies that are both delicious and delightful. She joins NPR's David Greene to discuss cocktail history and how to make vintage recipes part of a modern-day party.
If Dick Wolf's record in television is any indication, his debut novel, The Intercept, could be the first of dozens.
These days, Wolf says, episodes of the Law & Order franchise he created run or rerun an average of 109 times a week. He jokes with NPR's Robert Siegel that one secret to the series' longevity is how many of the shows originally aired at 10 p.m.
"The reason it repeats so well, in my opinion," he says, "is because half the audience has fallen asleep and can't remember: How does this end?"
Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 5:24 pm
A plaintiffs' attorney says Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a settlement exceeding $1 billion in a class-action lawsuit involving complaints of unintended acceleration in its vehicles. Robert Siegel talks with NPR's Sonari Glinton about the deal, which still needs a judge's approval.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference in Washington on Dec. 12. Some economists worry the Fed has set the stage for inflation as well as stock and housing bubbles by keeping interest rates low.
The Federal Reserve continued to keep its foot on the accelerator in 2012, using unusual tactics to try to boost economic growth. But there's disagreement among economists about whether the Fed's policies were effective or whether the risks to the economy outweighed the rewards.
Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 5:27 am
Owners of Toyota vehicles that experienced sudden and unintended acceleration have reached a settlement that could require the carmaker to pay as much as $1.4 billion in claims, according to the auto maker and the law firm representing Toyota customers.
U.S. District Court Judge James Selna, at whose direction the many lawsuits over the "runaway car" fears were consolidated in 2010, will review the proposed settlement Friday.
Katie Alonzo was stunned when doctors told her they couldn't get a drug her 10-year-old daughter, Abby, was taking to fight lymphoma.
"When a doctor says, 'This is what you need to take.' And then all of a sudden somebody tells you, 'Well, that is what you need to take but this isn't available so we're going to try this instead,' it's very scary," say Alonzo, who lives in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
In 2007, when Virginia's Prince William County ordered police to check the immigration status of anyone they had "probable cause" to suspect was in the U.S. unlawfully, the impact was swift at family restaurant Ricos Tacos Moya.
"Suddenly nobody showed up," says Stacey Moya, an employee, and daughter of the owner. "Nobody was around. Not one soul. We would go hours without any customers, any clients. Nothing."
This week, we've truth squadded the recent biopics Hitchcock and Argo, and today, we turn to Hyde Park on Hudson. The new film tells the story of a love affair between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his distant cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley. But how much of this is fact and how much is fiction?
Now to a scientist looking back at the year that's about to end, commentator Adam Frank is an astrophysicist. And in the category of science, he is confident about the headline for 2012.
ADAM FRANK: Something remarkable has happened that may etch this year into history for centuries to come. Twenty-twelve's importance comes not through elections, economic shifts or the new movements in art. No, 2012 may well be remembered for something far more elemental.
This was the year that climate change got real for Americans.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
Seven point seven percent, that's the current unemployment rate. It's a full percentage point lower than this time last year. That sounds like progress, a modest number of new jobs are being added every month. But labor force participation, a measure of both people who are working and those who are actively looking for work, is at its lowest point in three decades.
In today's Washington Post there's a story about former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey accompanied by his wife and to quote the story "an aide holstering a handgun at his waist" entering the Washington headquarters of the pro-Tea Party group FreedomWorks right after Labor Day. Armey was the chairman and according to the Post story, he was claiming control of Freedom Works. The headline of that story is - Freedom Works Tea Party Group Nearly Falls Apart in Fight Between Old and New Guard.
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel and we begin this hour with fighting in Syria and the terrible impact of that fighting on children. In a few minutes, we'll hear from a refugee camp in Turkey, where families have fled the violence. First, today the Syrian regime appeared to suffer another high level defection. NPR's Peter Kenyon is monitoring that news and other developments from Istanbul.
PETER KENYON, BYLINE: The day began with rebel fighters announcing a new offensive in the northern Raqqa Province.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
Today in Russia, parliament gave final approval to a measure that's designed as a slap in the face to the United States. The bill would bar Americans from adopting Russian children, and it would ban U.S.-funded political groups from operating in Russia. The measure comes in retaliation for American legislation that President Obama signed earlier this month. NPR's Corey Flintoff joins us from Moscow to talk about what all this means. Hello, Corey.
Bad winter weather is making life difficult for hundreds of thousands of holiday travelers. Yesterday and today, much of the middle and eastern half of the U.S. was hit with blizzard-like conditions. As NPR's Pam Fessler reports, the storm's next stop is New England.
PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: The band of nasty weather has been working its way up from the South, where on Christmas Day residents of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama got a rare and destructive surprise.
Brain scans using Amyvid dye to highlight beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. Clockwise from top left: a cognitively normal subject; an amyloid-positive patient with Alzheimer's disease; a patient with mild cognitive impairment who progressed to dementia during a study; and a patient with mild cognitive impairment.
It's been a mixed year for Alzheimer's research. Some promising drugs failed to stop or even slow the disease. But researchers also found reasons to think that treatments can work if they just start sooner.
Scientists who study Alzheimer's say they aren't discouraged by the drug failures. "I actually think it was a phenomenal year for research," says Bill Rebeck, a brain scientist at Georgetown University.
As the year comes to a close, many people turn attention to giving back through charitable donations. With the economic recovery, many are seeking out more information to be sure that the donations go to the intended cause.