Yesterday, millions of Americans logged on to snag some Cyber Monday savings. But a number of independent bookstores decided to play on that name with a new tradition: Cider Monday. They invited customers to step away from the computers and stop by for a free cup of apple cider. The celebration was first proposed by The Toadstool Bookshops in New Hampshire. They promised their servers would not be overloaded and would, in fact, give you a smile.
Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 8:56 am
Despite its title, British writer and illustrator Isabel Greenberg's The Encyclopedia of Early Earth is not mere history, with its assiduous accounting of dusty facts, but is instead a compendium of funny, sad and surprisingly moving fables from the pre-history of a world that exists only in Greenberg's febrile imagination — one that bristles with capricious gods, feckless shamans, daring quests and, of course, doomed love.
Let's turn to a country in the region that's been racked by violent protest in recent days. And now the capital, Thailand, is suddenly calm. Riot police have taken down barricades and left their defensive positions around Government House, which is the symbolic seat of power there. Protesters are now inside, moving about freely.
To get a better idea of what this all means in a country of nearly 70 million people, where the big industry is tourism, we turn to reporter Michael Sullivan in Bangkok. Good morning.
NPR's Planet Money team has manufactured a T-shirt. All this week we're following its journey around the globe. Today, the T-shirt makes a detour in the Pacific Ocean. Cotton from America gets shipped to a factory in Indonesia where it gets transformed into yarn.
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Close to added close to two million jobs to the workforce this year. Not all of fit the nine to five mold. Much of the newly hired are working fragmented, unpredictable hours. From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz has this report.
We begin NPR's business news starts some mobile browsing.
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GREENE: Millions of consumers - maybe including you - went online yesterday searching for deals on Cyber Monday. This is the biggest e-commerce shopping day. Online sales for the day hit $2 billion. That's up nearly 20 percent over last year.
Ever since the Year 2000, 15-year-olds from around the world have taken a test every three years to gauge their reading, math and science skills. It's called PISA, short for Program for International Student Assessment.
And as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, the results of the U.S. are being described as sobering.
OK. So federal judges, in secret, have blasted the National Security Agency for years, for violating rules governing U.S. surveillance programs. Then the judges have gone ahead and approved those programs anyway. We know this because of leaks by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and from documents released by the government. They have revealed new information about how the secret court works. NPR's Carrie Johnson has this report on whether it is possible for the court to control the NSA.
The writer Yuval Levin contends that our divisive political culture comes down to two competing ways for Americans to view their country.
YUVAL LEVIN: You look at the world, it's imperfect. There are good things and bad things. Are you struck first and foremost by the good or are you struck first and foremost by the bad? Do you think this is something to build on or do you think we've got to start over?
Goldman Sachs has given hundreds of millions of dollars to charity in recent years. In part, its effort to do good has been shaped by the battering its reputation took during the financial meltdown in 2008 when Goldman traders were accused of misleading investors.
The efforts of companies to look good in the public eye may seem positive but there is also a disturbing side of doing good work, as NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam tells our own Steve Inskeep.
Its open enrollment season at many work places, which means opportunities to make changes in your retirement savings plans. The investment company Charles Schwab has found that many American workers lack the confidence to effectively manage their retirement savings.
In search of advice, we called up The Washington Post's financial columnist Michelle Singletary. Glad to have you back.
MICHELLE SINGLETARY: Oh, it's my pleasure to be here.
Outside the glittering new Perez Art Museum Miami, finishing touches were still being applied late last month to the spacious plazas and gardens surrounding the $220 million building. Next door to the art museum, a new science museum is also going up. When it's all complete, the 29-acre Museum Park will provide a focus and a gathering spot on Biscayne Bay for those who live in, work in and visit downtown Miami.
San Francisco has long been a desirable place to live — and that's even more true today as the city is basking in the glow of another tech boom. But the influx of new money and new residents is putting a strain on the city's housing market.
The city has the highest median rent in the nation, and evictions of longtime residents are skyrocketing.
Ground zero for San Francisco's eviction crisis is the Inner Mission District. Until recently, this edgy neighborhood was home to a mix of working-class Latinos, artists and activists.
Governments around the world have agreed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). That would require an 80 percent reduction in energy sources like coal, oil and natural gas, which emit carbon dioxide into the air.
Nations are far from that ambitious path. There are big political and economic challenges. But technologists do see a way — at least for the United States — to achieve that goal.