trends

Business
4:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

New Popularity Of L.L. Bean Boots Sparks Scramble To Fill Orders

A surge in popularity of L.L. Bean boots has the Maine company scrambling to fill orders.
Murray Carpenter NPR

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:32 pm

L.L. Bean's iconic rubber and leather boots — long worn by practical and preppie New Englanders — have swung back into fashion with young people and are more popular than ever.

The recent surge in demand has the company scrambling to fill orders, upgrading its manufacturing equipment and adding a third shift at its Maine boot factories.

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Demographics
4:10 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Immigration Is Driving Broad Demographic Shifts In U.S., Report Says

Navy Petty Officer Jimmy Dial (left) sits with his daughter, Kimberly, beside U.S. Army soldier Henri Blandon and his daughter as the men's wives and the girls' mothers become U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony last month in Ontario, Calif.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:38 pm

Native-born Americans are making up a smaller percentage of those living in some areas of the U.S. as immigration moves to become the key factor in population growth within the next quarter-century, according to a new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts that examined county-level census data.

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Podcasts
1:30 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

A Prediction For How Serial Is Going To End

Serial producers Sarah Koenig (left) and Dana Chivvis in the recording studio.
Elise Bergeron Courtesy of Serial

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:06 pm

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show. Here's the first part of our exchange, from Code Switch editor Matt Thompson:

Hi Linda, Kat and Gene,

I think we're still far enough away from the conclusion of Serial (ostensibly next Thursday) that predicting its ending is both brave and foolhardy, so let me lay it on you.

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Holiday Mail
7:41 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Here's Why Retailers Keep Sending You Catalogs

The number of catalogs mailed in the U.S. peaked in 2007, according to the Direct Marketing Association. It's come down since then, but last year it reached 11.9 billion.
NPR

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:51 pm

Many things made with paper have become relics because of computers and the Internet: the Rolodex, multivolume encyclopedias, even physical maps.

Now take a look in your mailbox or somewhere around your house. There's a good chance you'll see a shopping catalog, maybe a few of them now that it's the holiday season.

"I ignore them," says Rick Narad, a professor at California State University, Chico. "I get them in the mail sometimes, and they don't make it into the house. I walk past the recycling bin, and they go right in."

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Sweetness and Light
10:05 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Deford: What's Wrong With Pro Athletes Taking A Stand?

Members of the St. Louis Rams raise their arms to protest the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo., before a game last month. The players faced a backlash from St. Louis police and have been asked to apologize.
L.G. Patterson AP

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:23 am

A common complaint I've long heard was that current athletes were selfish and not politically involved like their passionate forebears –– players like Jim Brown, Billie Jean King, Bill Russell and Arthur Ashe.

My response was, "Well, how many of the modern athletes' peers are especially engaged in social controversy?" It wasn't fair to compare the sensibility of the athletes of, say, 1995 or 2005 to those of 1965; the apt comparison is with other members of their own cohort.

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Treating Cancer
11:20 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Doctors Are Slow To Adopt Changes In Breast Cancer Treatment

New evidence on the effectiveness of medical treatments can take a long time to influence medical practice.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 4:58 pm

Cancer doctors want the best, most effective treatment for their patients. But it turns out many aren't paying attention to evidence that older women with early stage breast cancer may be enduring the pain, fatigue and cost of radiation treatment although it doesn't increase life expectancy.

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Disease
12:50 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

CDC Warns That The Flu Season May Be A Bad One

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, got his flu shot in September.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 7:21 pm

We may be in for a nasty flu season. That's the warning out today from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is worried because the most common strain of flu virus circulating in the United States is one called H3N2. In previous years, H3N2 strains have tended to send more people to the hospital than other strains — and cause more deaths, especially among the elderly, children and people with other health problems.

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Online Business
3:37 am
Thu December 4, 2014

A Syrian Entrepreneur Looks To Build The Amazon Of The Arab World

Ronaldo Mouchawar, a native of Syria, is the founder of Souq.com, which is now considered the leading e-commerce site in the region. He says his company, which is based in Dubai, reflects a quiet transformation that is taking places in parts of the Arab world.
Courtesy of Souq.com

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 9:11 pm

When Ronaldo Mouchawar was working in a Boston engineering firm he dreamed of moving back to the Arab world. Born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, he had come to the U.S. to study, then got a high-paying job, but he believed he "owed something" to his home region.

It turned out his ticket back was a smart idea at the right time.

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Television
3:17 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Hate The Idea Of 'Peter Pan Live'? NBC Is Counting On It

NBC is hoping you might just hate Peter Pan Live! (starring Allison Williams) enough to watch it.
Virginia Sherwood AP

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 10:40 am

It's one of the biggest ironies of NBC's gamble tonight with the blockbuster production Peter Pan Live!

This incredibly earnest TV musical just might succeed if enough people hate it.

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Music Technology
5:13 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Pandora's New Deal: Different Pay, Different Play

David Lowery, of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, says he's wary of the way Pandora pays for music.
Cooper Neill Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 12:18 pm

The Internet radio service Pandora made its name by creating personalized stations using tools such as "like" and "dislike" buttons for listeners. But a deal between Pandora and a group of record labels has raised concerns that the company is favoring certain songs over others because it's paying the musicians behind those songs a smaller royalty.

When Pandora emerged a decade ago, its big selling point over traditional radio was that it created a station just for you, as the company's Eric Bieschke told NPR last year.

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Local Food
6:32 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

The turkeys at Kate Stillman's farm don't have to be loaded on a trailer and driven hundreds of miles this year. They now meet their ends on the same farm where they lived their lives.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 11:22 am

It's a busy time of year for turkey farmers around the country. And these days, with the growth of the local food movement, small family farms are struggling to keep up with all the orders for birds. So, we went to find out what one New England farmer is doing to get her gobblers from the field to the table. Enter the "abattoir."

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 13, 2014

The Young and Restless in Connecticut

Downtown Hartford on the Connecticut River.
Ricky Aponte Creative Commons

More young people are moving to the heart of cities, according to a report from think tank City Observatory. This includes cities that we usually think of as “economically troubled,” like Buffalo, Cleveland, and, yes, even Hartford. Some of these cities have been losing their overall population, but gaining in their numbers of college graduates in their 20s and 30s.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Is America Still Awash in a Sea of Twee?

Credit Thai Weber / Flickr Creative Commons

This is one of those shows where you may start by saying, "huh?"  But with any luck, 30 minutes from now, you'll start to say, "Oh!" 

I got interested in the word "twee" and in the idea that it's a mostly undocumented cross-platform artistic movement.

There is no question that, in the 1990s, a musical movement called "twee pop" arose, first in England, spearheaded by a label called Sarah Records. Acts like The Field Mice and Talulah Gosh were embraced as twee by fans who wore their twee-ness with pride.

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Costumes
6:56 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

So For Halloween You're Dressing Up As ... A Sexy Ebola Nurse?

Dallas-area resident James Faulk turned his yard into an Ebola treatment center for Halloween. But he has a serious side: His Twitter account raises funds for Doctors Without Borders, a group active in the fight against the virus.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 9:53 am

People living in the United States have little to no reason to fear contracting Ebola, a deadly viral illness causing an epidemic in West Africa. Yet on Friday night, some Americans will dress up in hazmat suits akin to what health workers wear when treating an Ebola patient.

And, of course, there's even a "sexy" version.

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Immune System
3:57 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Unlikely Marriage Of Diseases: TB And Diabetes Form A 'Co-Epidemic'

Domitilia, 57, is a diabetic patient in the Dominican Republic who contracted tuberculosis. She's now cured of TB after two years of treatment.
Javier Galeano The Union

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 3:04 pm

The world is facing a double-barreled pandemic reminiscent of the dual epidemic of tuberculosis and HIV that emerged in the 1980s – only potentially much bigger.

It's a "co-epidemic" of TB and diabetes that's beginning to affect many countries around the globe — poor, middle-income and even rich nations.

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Technology
10:03 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Pew: Gaming Is Least Welcoming Online Space For Women

A new Pew study finds that of all online environments, only online gaming is viewed as "starkly" more welcoming for men.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 11:16 am

As the ongoing, harassment-fueled controversy known as Gamergate rages into its second month with no sign of dying down, the Pew Research Center is out with new numbers on online harassment.

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Cities
9:12 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Millennials Continue Urbanization Of America, Leaving Small Towns

The Washington, D.C., suburb of Arlington, Va., was dubbed a top destination for millennials this year.
Arpad Benedek iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 6:38 am

"Most of the young people that go to college go away, and then they don't come back," says Lee Bianchi, a retired engineer who lived in Clinton, Iowa (pop. 26,647), from 1961 to 2008.

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Fast Food
5:15 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

What's Really In A Big Mac? McDonald's Says It's Ready To Tell All

McDonald's still won't reveal the recipe for its secret sauce, but it will show you how that Big Mac patty gets made.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 10:59 am

Did you hear the one about the McDonald's hamburger that still hadn't decomposed after 14 years?

And "pink slime" — how much goes into McDonald's beef?

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Religion
2:11 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

What They're Saying: Vatican's New Tolerance On Gays And The Divorced

Pope Francis attends a morning session of a two-week synod on family issues at the Vatican, on Monday.
Massimiliano Migliorato/CP PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 11:00 am

Updated at 11:00 a.m. ET

As we reported earlier, a synod of Catholic bishops meeting at the Vatican has released an interim document that signals the likelihood of a dramatic overhaul in the church's stance on gays and lesbians, as well as its view on divorced members.

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New Boom
9:31 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Getting Some 'Me' Time: Why Millennials Are So Individualistic

Millennials are often painted as the entitled, selfie-snapping generation. But many researchers say that "me" time will help young people make better decisions in the long run.
© Eugenio Marongiu iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:35 am

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

They are a class of self-centered, self-absorbed, selfie-snapping 20-somethings. This is how many critics have come to define the millennial generation.

But hold on, isn't this what was said about every generation when it was young? Minus the selfies of course.

Some scholars argue that millennials aren't entitled — they just have more time to be themselves.

Markers Of Adulthood

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New Boom
3:28 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Why You Should Start Taking Millennials Seriously

This 30-year-old millennial helped found — and now runs — Facebook. His net worth is estimated at more than $33 billion.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 12:28 pm

In the U.S., people born between 1980 and 2000 now outnumber baby boomers, and their numbers are still growing because of immigration. This generation is already shaping American life, and in a series of stories — largely reported by millennials themselves — NPR will explore how this New Boom is transforming the country.

There are more millennials in America right now than baby boomers — more than 80 million of us.

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New Jersey
10:16 am
Sat October 4, 2014

Atlantic City Falls From Glittering Resort To Bargain Basement

The Revel was one of four Atlantic City casinos to shut down this year.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 1:36 pm

The U.S. may have added jobs to its payroll last month, but the losses are still huge in Atlantic City, N.J., where four casinos have closed this year. A fifth teeters, and more than 7,000 people — dealers, greeters, cooks and maids — have been laid off.

The job losses could mean a future of boarded windows and abandoned buildings.

In the 1970s, Atlantic City had lost the glitter of its golden years — the 1940s and '50s, when it was a favored summer spot with a broad beach, the Boardwalk, pastel resort hotels and the home of the Miss America Pageant.

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American Made
7:06 am
Fri October 3, 2014

U.S. Manufacturing: A Remembrance And A Look Ahead

A worker cuts slabs of steel at a mill in Cleveland in 2004.
Ron Schwane AP

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 11:28 am

If it weren't for American manufacturing, I wouldn't be here today.

Literally.

A century ago, my grandfather moved from Poland to Youngstown, Ohio, to work in a steel mill. At the time, Ohio factories were cranking out steel slabs, tires and cars — building a mountain of wealth that the next generation could climb. And the generation after that.

But what will happen in the 21st century? Is the path that led to higher ground blocked now?

The answer is complicated.

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Social Media
7:46 am
Wed October 1, 2014

'Ello' Aims For A Return To Ad-Free Social Networking

Ello is a new, invitation-only social network that aims to thrive and survive on a business model that does not include selling user data or advertising.
Ello.co

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 1:55 pm

Vermont is known for its green pastures, farmsteads and roads free of billboards. The founders of the new social network Ello live in the state, and they want to bring Vermont-like serenity to the Internet.

"We set out to prove that a social network will survive and thrive that doesn't have a business model of selling ads to its users," says CEO and co-founder Paul Budnitz.

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Disease
6:11 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

First U.S. Case Of Ebola Confirmed In Dallas

A patient at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has a confirmed case of Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. He is being treated and kept in strict isolation.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 3:10 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that the first case of Ebola has appeared in the U.S.

A man in Dallas has tested positive for the virus, the agency said. The man flew to the U.S. from Liberia, arriving on Sept. 20, NPR has learned. He wasn't sick on the flight, and had no symptoms when he arrived.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:32 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Is a Liberal Arts Degree Still Smart?

Credit Buck Butler for Sewanee: The University of the South/flickr creative commons

What makes an educated person? Is it the desire to learn? The ability to be a critical thinker in any situation? Perhaps.

For me, an educated person has the capacity to be a critical thinker—and an optimist at the same time. An educated person has developed a curious mind, thinks critically, has empathy, and an optimistic view.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:17 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Inventions Coming Soon to Enchant Our Lives

Credit Gavid Bowy/flickr creative commons

Your kitchen cabinet glows and you simply open its doors and begin talking (on Skype) with a friend or relative you can see. (Think what this means for children and grandparents, no matter they live.)

This is the idea of David Rose, an inventor and instructor at the legendary MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His new book, Enchanted Objects, is a fascinating read, because it explains how technology, human desire, design, and purpose meet up to improve our lives.

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Crime
1:58 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Juvenile Arrests Down 40 Percent in Connecticut

Mike Lawlor in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut officials are attributing a 40 percent drop in juvenile arrests statewide over the past five years to a number of factors, including reform efforts dating back more than a decade, and a national decrease in juvenile crime. 

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Incarceration
5:38 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Crime Falls As U.S. Locks Up Fewer People, Attorney General Holder Says

In the past year, the U.S. prison population fell by roughly 4,800, the first time in decades the number has gone down, according to the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder discussed the findings in New York on Tuesday.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:20 pm

The U.S. is seeing "historic" progress in reducing both its crime and its incarceration rates, Attorney General Eric Holder said, with the federal prison population falling by some 4,800 inmates in the past year — "the first decrease we've seen in many ‎decades."

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Religious Influence
12:20 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

More Americans Favor Mixing Religion And Politics, Survey Says

President Obama closes his eyes as a prayer is offered at the National Prayer Breakfast in February in Washington, D.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:14 pm

Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe religious influence on life in the U.S. is waning and nearly half think that churches and other houses of worship should play a greater role in the national discourse on social and political matters, according to a new Pew study.

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