(Morton Fox)

Pizza Math: A 12″ Pizza Is Over Twice As Big As An 8″ Pizza

Even if you only vaguely remember taking math in your formative years, you’ll recall calculating the area of circles, maybe wondering what application this could ever have to your future real life. Well, do you eat pizza? Knowing how to calculate the area of a circle in square inches is a very important skill that will serve you well… as long as you like leftover pizza. [More]

8 Things We Learned From Planet Money’s Cotton Seed To T-Shirt Project

8 Things We Learned From Planet Money’s Cotton Seed To T-Shirt Project

Have you ever wondered about the people who made your clothes? Not just the people who sew the fabric pieces together, but the people who produce the fabric, transport it from place to place, grow or extract the raw materials, and every other phase of creating a single item of clothing? [More]

Ben Popken On NPR Talking About Shrinking Food, Higher Prices

Ben Popken On NPR Talking About Shrinking Food, Higher Prices

I got to verbally joust with the wielders of the Grocery Shrink Ray yesterday on NPR on the Diane Rehm show. Scott Faber vice president, the Grocery Manufacturers Association talked about how food makers have to pass on their rising costs somehow and I agreed, but took issue with deceptively designed packages and the misleading marketing practices. Just be upfront about it! [More]

House Votes To Stop Funding NPR

House Votes To Stop Funding NPR

Although it’s unclear whether the government will actually stop funding National Public Radio and place the public news source in jeopardy of shutting down, the U.S. House of Representatives took a step in that direction Thursday, voting to strip the organization of federal funding and forbidding radio stations from using public grants to pay NPR. [More]

So What Does A $777 Burger Actually Taste Like?

So What Does A $777 Burger Actually Taste Like?

For some reason we can’t fathom, our siblings at Consumer Reports didn’t include the $777 burger at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas in its survey of the country’s best and worst burgers. So it was left up to the folks at NPR to try out the high-priced hamburger for those of us who either can’t afford or would never, ever in a million years spend that much on a food product. [More]

Private Prisons Worked To Pass AZ Immigration Law

Private Prisons Worked To Pass AZ Immigration Law

A new NPR investigation uncovers evidence that the controversial Arizona immigration law came to pass thanks in large part to an intense lobbying campaign by a group that stood to profit from its enactment: private prisons. [More]

Reporters Convert Toxic Assets Into Gold

Reporters Convert Toxic Assets Into Gold

Those crazy NPR Planet Money kids took the money they had left over from their failed toxic asset investment – affectionately known as “Toxie” – and put it all into the next big bubble: gold! For $419 they got one shiny gold coin. In 6 months they’ll sell it, regardless of prices, and in the meantime, report on what happens to it. [More]

NPR's Pet Toxic Asset, "Toxie," Dies

NPR's Pet Toxic Asset, "Toxie," Dies

To see what would happen, reporters for NPR’s Planet Money pooled their money and bought a toxic asset for $1,000. At 99% off, it seemed like a bargain. This week, “Toxie,” as they dubbed their pet, gave up the ghost. Contrary to expectation, she was killed not by foreclosures, but by loan modifications, which reduced the amount of cash flowing into the bond. Planet Money tells the whole story in this awesome and hilarious animation. [More]

Ben Popken On NPR This Morning Re: Comcast NBC Merger

Ben Popken On NPR This Morning Re: Comcast NBC Merger

I was on NPR this morning chiming in about the Comcast NBC merger that’s hurtling like a freight train through Washington (spoiler alert: not a fan). Here’s the clip. At the end, the reporter says that when he asked Comcast about their coming first in our Worst Company in America contest, they dismissed the entire affair as a “cheap stunt.” We take offense. A trophy that cost $30 and had to be air-mailed from Japan is not cheap. [More]

Clip Of Ben Popken On NPR Talking About Mail-In Gold

Clip Of Ben Popken On NPR Talking About Mail-In Gold

If you didn’t catch Consumerist on NPR last Friday, here’s the clip of me on All Things Considered chatting about mail-in gold buyers: [More]

Cash4Gold: Catch Ben Popken Monday On All Things Considered

Cash4Gold: Catch Ben Popken Monday On All Things Considered

Tune in Monday to NPR’s All Things Considered to catch an interview I did with them about Cash4Gold, aka the story that will never die. [More]

Visualizing The Devolution Of Privacy On Facebook

Visualizing The Devolution Of Privacy On Facebook

This chart shows how the default privacy settings on Facebook have gotten less, well, private, from 2005-2010. Created by Matt McKeon based off an EFF timeline, it helps visualize how Facebook has grown increasingly permissive with your data as it has grown in size, power, and revenue. What might tomorrow bring? Perhaps in the future Facebook will create placeholder profiles for people who haven’t signed up yet, using data gleaned from Zabasearch and LexisNexis. Check out Matt’s site for an interactive version.

The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook [mattmckeon via NPR]

NPR Exposes Documentary Hucksters Preying On Non-Profs

NPR Exposes Documentary Hucksters Preying On Non-Profs

NPR just wiped the floor with Vision Media, the company that demands big bucks from non-profits and startups to pay for what they say will be a retired and beloved anchorman Hugh Downs-hosted public TV show about them. Invariably, NPR found, the shows never broadcast and the limited few that do air as paid commercials. Once again, it just goes to show, never do business with anyone from Boca Raton. [More]

Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me! Uses Our Sexy Costumes Gone Too Far Stories

Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me! Uses Our Sexy Costumes Gone Too Far Stories

Two Consumerist stories were used for a clue in this week’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! on NPR. The question was:

In Which NPR And Congressional Oversight Panel Chair Elizabeth Warren Hate Each Other

In Which NPR And Congressional Oversight Panel Chair Elizabeth Warren Hate Each Other

While we were concentrating on other things (Snuggie testing, for example), there has apparently been something of a backlash going on against NPR’s Planet Money podcast for its rude treatment of Congressional Oversight Panel Chair Elizabeth Warren. NPR’s Adam Davidson has since expressed regret that he talked over Ms. Warren in a rude way — but despite the mea culpa, a series of links about the issue has popped up in our inbox more than a week later.

Power Trip: Interactive Map Shows the U.S. Electric Grid

Power Trip: Interactive Map Shows the U.S. Electric Grid

This is the weirdest weather map you’ve ever seen. Sort of. It shows the solar power capacity of different regions of the U.S. It’s the coolest-looking slide from an interactive map compiled by NPR to illustrate this week’s series about America’s power grid. It shows power sources and where they’re located, and also the larger infrastructure that carries our electricity from those sources to our homes.

Shampooing Every Time You Shower? It May Be Too Much

Shampooing Every Time You Shower? It May Be Too Much

Shampooing every day isn’t only wasteful, it can also harm your hair, according to NPR. Back in the olden days, when waterfalls passed for high-pressure showers, people would shampoo only once a month. That wasn’t enough, but if you shampoo more than three times a week, you’re actually making your hair oilier because your glands need to work overtime to replace the natural oils you’re washing away.

The Comcast Throttling Scandal And Its Consequences, Summarized

The Comcast Throttling Scandal And Its Consequences, Summarized

NPR spoke with Daniel Roth, a senior writer at Wired Magazine, over the file sharing fiasco that Comcast found itself in about a year ago—the one where a Comcast customer discovered that the company was secretly impersonating his computer to interrupt bittorrent transmissions.