For most of us, the office vending machine is good for a mid-day pick-me-up; that's pretty much it. But for one Japanese man it is much more. He hosts a blog called "I Take a Picture of the Vending Machine Every Day or So, I'm Very Sorry." Since 2005 he's taken nearly daily pictures of the same vending machine. Over the years the sodas move, the ads change, and there was that true moment of drama - the machine started taking digital payments.
Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 11:00 am
Walking a line meant to show both resolve and willingness to trust in diplomacy, Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea on Friday not to engage in more warmongering — but also said the U.S. is willing to talk with that communist state if it's serious about discussing denuclearization.
"No one is going to talk for the sake of talking," Kerry said, but the U.S. does want to see a peaceful resolution of the latest crisis on the Korean peninsula.
The late President Hugo Chavez appeared constantly on TV, and attacked media that criticized him. Now, only one opposition TV station remains. The left-leaning president called Globovision part of a right-wing conspiracy. Though Chavez is gone, the station's end may also be near.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Steve Inskeep is reporting for us this week from Caracas, Venezuela. I'm David Greene, in Washington, Where the Senate is now officially moving towards debate on gun control legislation. To get there, Democratic leaders had to defeat a Republican filibuster yesterday, and they did so with the help of 16 Republicans. The procedural vote was a victory for gun control supporters, but as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, more battles lie ahead.
And our last word in business today is, what do you want on your burger? The CEO of Burger King Worldwide is stepping down. Forty-three-year-old Bernardo Hees has been wearing the Burger King crown since 2010, when the fast food chain was bought out by 3G Capital.
In Los Angeles, a former partner at KPMG, one of the big four accounting firms, has been charged with insider trading.
As NPR's Nina Gregory reports, Scott London is accused of trading tips for money and gifts.
NINA GREGORY, BYLINE: The details in the Justice Department's criminal complaint against Scott London read like bad fiction. Bags of hundred dollar bills wrapped in $10,000 bundles, a Rolex worth an estimated twelve-thousand dollars, secrets shared at the country club and covert recordings of phone calls.
Hugo Chavez, the late president of Venezuela, had a touch for the dramatic. He appeared on television all the time. It turns out, he also admired dramatic acting. In the 1990s, when he was in prison for an attempted coup, he never missed an episode of his favorite TV drama.
Once he gained power, a deeper drama developed. Venezuela was a huge exporter of Latin-American multi-episode dramas called telenovelas, until President Chavez's government changed that. NPR's Jasmine Garsd reports.
The slums in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, are among the biggest in Africa. There is crushing poverty, high unemployment, poor sanitation and rampant crime. It is not the kind of place where you'd expect a burgeoning yoga scene to take root, but that's what reporter Jill Craig found.
A top executive at News Corp. dropped a bombshell this week when he said the company is considering taking Fox's over-the-air network to cable. The announcement follows a court win for a startup company that streams broadcast channels online.
That startup's CEO, arguably the most feared man in television right now, is soft-spoken and rather techy.
In 1998, John Curtis and David Wikiera adopted a son from Vietnam and named him John Wikiera.
"I had always wanted to be a parent," Curtis tells his now 11-year-old son during a visit to StoryCorps in Rochester, N.Y. "So it was a dream I had, but I never dreamed would come true because Papa and I are gay. But we had some friends who started thinking about adoption and that got us thinking.
The tax code is full of complicated loopholes and deductions that require professional translation. So I called a bunch of accountants and tax lawyers and asked them: What are your favorite, most confusingly named deductions — and what do they actually mean?
Intangible Drilling Costs
"The government will pay you to dig a hole in the ground," says Howard Rosen, a CPA in St. Louis. "You can write it all off immediately."
The cherry blossoms are finally in bloom in Washington, D.C., and what better way to celebrate these beautiful Japanese gifts than with a haiku? Our callout on Facebook and Twitter yielded hundreds of spring haiku submissions. With the help of Ellen Compton, Roberta Beary and Kristen Deming of the Haiku Society of America, we selected 20 and made videos inspired by the top three.
streetlamps in the haze ... this morning the stone lions catch cherry blossoms — Judy Totts
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. A stunning revelation today from a member of Congress. It came from Republican Doug Lamborn, of Colorado, during an exchange on Capitol Hill with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Lamborn cited a Defense Intelligence Agency report on North Korea's military capability, one that had not yet been released. Here's what Rep. Lamborn said.
Currency traders were stunned last week by aggressive action from Japan's central bank. The Bank of Japan embarked on a bond-buying program that, by one measure, is twice the size of the extraordinary moves by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve in the United States. The BOJ's move is an effort to shock the Japanese economy out of more than a decade of sluggish growth and deflation.
"A man of genius makes no mistakes," James Joyce wrote in Ulysses. "His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery." Looks like Ireland's Central Bank has taken that message to heart.
The bank announced Wednesday the launch of a limited-edition coin to honor the Irish writer. The coin features a portrait of Joyce and a quotation from Ulysses, arguably his most famous novel. Trouble is Joyce was misquoted.
A Democrat on the committee of the Jefferson County (Kentucky) Democratic Party says a liberal SuperPAC was responsible for surreptitiously recording a strategy session between Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and some of his campaign aides.
As Mark reported on Tuesday, a McConnell aide is heard saying that actress Ashley Judd, who mulled a run against McConnell, was "emotionally unbalanced."
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 5:13 am
The Pentagon's intelligence arm has "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have developed the technology to create nuclear weapons that are small enough to fit on a long-range missile.
NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment says such a weapon would probably not be very reliable. This is the first time the U.S. has concluded that Pyongyang's nuclear efforts have reached this point.
For all his success as a stand-up comic, as one half of the brilliant HBO sketch comedy Mr. Show With Bob & David and as the hapless Tobias on Arrested Development, David Cross has struggled to find his footing in the movies, remaining relegated mainly to forgettable character roles. (The controversy within the comedy world over his mercenary appearances in the Chipmunks movies has overshadowed the rest of his long cinematic resume.)
Pretty but inert, To the Wonder is a vaporous mystery wrapped in a gauzy enigma — a cinematic riddle that'll appeal principally to those eager for another piece, however tiny, of the puzzle that is Terrence Malick.
To the Wonder continues in the lyrical-to-a-fault mode of the writer-director's The Tree of Life; in fact, this film includes some footage originally shot for that one. But it excludes Rachel Weisz, Amanda Peet, Barry Pepper, Jessica Chastain and Michael Sheen, who all reportedly played roles that vanished from the final cut.
Responding to the death of Margaret Thatcher earlier this week, film director Ken Loach told The Guardian: "Mass unemployment, factory closures, communities destroyed — this is her legacy. She was a fighter, and her enemy was the British working class."
Have mercy on any famous filmmaker's son who hopes to follow in his father's footsteps. The comparisons will be inevitable.
How can fils possibly live up to pere? Maybe it's not such a problem if dad is, say, churn-'em-out schlockmeister Uwe Boll. But do you really want to smear the name of Pops Cronenberg by turning out a pile of junk?
This Monday, every player in Major League Baseball will wear the same number on his jersey: 42, which was Jackie Robinson's number when, in 1947, he became the first black player in the majors, playing first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Today, baseball celebrates April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day. But 66 years ago, not everyone saw his hiring as cause for celebration — and the earnestly grandiose biopic 42 means to illuminate that history-making moment, in which racial vitriol met its match in a ballplayer who let his talent do the talking.