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