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All Tech Considered
3:40 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Digital Detox, Step 1: Step Away From The Phone

Take a break from catching up on social media and emails — even if it's only for a few days.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 10:15 am

The summer months are upon us again. It's the season to sit outside, decompress and finally put those accumulated sick days to good use: It's vacation season.

Vacation traditionally means taking a break from all of the stresses, worries and routines of our daily lives. We put the work down in order to pick up a cool drink and a new novel.

So let's make sure we have everything:

Flip-flops? Check.

Suntan lotion? Check.

Cellphone? Laptop? iPad? Hmm.

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Business
4:09 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Puma's Pink And Blue Cleats Make A Bold Play At The World Cup

Italy's Mario Balotelli sports Puma's new evoPOWER Tricks cleats.
Frank Augstein AP

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 5:25 pm

Athletes aren't the only ones battling for supremacy on the World Cup pitch: Shoe brands are fighting for glory, too.

For the most part, it's the fluorescent Nike Vapors versus the Adidas Adizero Battle Pack cleats. But while those brands dominate the soccer market, Kyle Stock of Bloomberg Businessweek says Puma has a counterattack: the mismatched pink and blue soccer cleats called Tricks.

"You see a lot of yellows out there and oranges and reds, but in the blur of the feet, you notice [the Tricks]," Stock tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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Environment
5:31 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Plastics Don't Disappear, But They Do End Up In Seabirds' Bellies

Plastic floats ashore in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Bay Ismoyo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:33 pm

The vast majority of debris in the ocean — about 75 percent of it — is made of plastic. It can consist of anything from plastic bottles to packaging materials, but whatever form it takes, it doesn't go away easily.

While plastic may break down into smaller and smaller pieces, some as small as grains of sand, these pieces are never truly biodegradable. The plastic bits, some small enough that they're called microplastics, threaten marine life like fish and birds, explains Richard Thompson, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University in the U.K.

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Music Interviews
3:49 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

A Young Man's Loneliness, And His Soulful Falsetto

British singer Sam Smith has just released his debut album, In the Lonely Hour.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 7:36 am

The British singer Sam Smith broke through with a dance song: His is the voice snaking through "Latch," by the electronic-music duo Disclosure. It became an international club anthem.

In the U.K, he's mentioned in the same breath as superstars Adele or Florence and the Machine. He already has a sold-out U.S. tour, and he has performed on Saturday Night Live. Smith, 22, is now releasing his debut album, In the Lonely Hour. His songs of love and loss are powered by his moody, soulful voice.

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U.S.
4:52 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Home, Food Or Health Care: A Choice Many Renters Can't Afford

As the number of renters in Los Angeles increases, construction of new apartments isn't keeping pace with demand, resulting in rents higher than many can afford.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 1:56 pm

The mortgage crisis that devastated the economy has received endless attention, but it's not just homeowners who have suffered badly in this economy.

As of 2012, renters made up 35 percent of American households. Their numbers are growing, reversing a decades-long uptick in homeownership.

And in the past 50 years, the percentage of income they're spending on the rent has increased dramatically. A quarter of renters are spending more than half their income on rent.

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Around the Nation
4:11 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

From Resumes To Romance, Giving Young Dads The Skills To Succeed

Members of the L.A. Fathers Program practice a role-playing exercise — standing on chairs and yelling to see what it feels like when an adult yells at a child.
Courtesy L.A. Fathers Program

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 5:38 pm

On a Wednesday night, just a few days before Fathers Day, a group of young men gather in a classroom on the fourth floor of Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. There's food — pizza, soda and cookies — and the men stack their paper plates high before settling into their seats around the table in the center of the room. The meeting is about to begin.

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Movie Interviews
4:24 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

A Tip From Ben Stiller: On Set, A 'Chicken' Is Not What It Seems

When Ben Stiller hears "chicken in the gate," rarely does he actually present someone with a live chicken.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 11:14 am

Each line of work has its own cryptic code: words and phrases that would baffle any outsider. These terms may sound like nonsense to someone with untrained ears, but to those who operate in a certain world, their meanings are as clear as day.

To get a better handle on some of the stranger things people say at work, All Things Considered is kicking off a new series called "Trade Lingo." It's a quest to mine the jewels of meaning beneath the jargon.

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Author Interviews
4:31 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Former BP CEO: 'Glass Closet' Still Holds Many Gay Workers Back

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 7:30 pm

"It was time to leave the building."

So begins a new book by John Browne, former CEO of the energy giant BP. But that sentence could easily have read: "It was time to leave the closet."

During his 12 years as CEO, he never discussed his sexuality in the workplace. That changed in 2007, when his relationship with a male escort was exposed and Browne resigned amid an ensuing scandal. At the time, he said in a statement, "I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private."

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Poetry
4:29 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

New Poet Laureate: 'The Meaning Has Always Stayed The Same'

Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia, has been named the nation's next poet laureate.
Holly Wright Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 6:43 pm

The Library of Congress announced Thursday that the nation's next poet laureate will be Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia.

"I'm very honored and flattered to be picked, but also somewhat confused," the poet told The New York Times. "I really don't know what I'm supposed to do. But as soon as I find out, I'll do it."

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The Salt
4:05 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Don't Be A Jerk. There's A Lot More To Island Cooking

The pillars of Caribbean cuisine, framing the front of a streetside stall.
Ellen Silverman Courtesy of Media Masters Publicity

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 3:29 pm

Anyone who has eaten many plates of blackened, mangy-looking jerk chicken might get the impression that Caribbean cooking is fairly limited. The cuisine of most of the English-speaking islands is often lumped under the umbrella of stews, dumplings and pineapple-strewn desserts.

But Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau say there's much more to island cooking. They're sisters and cooks based in Jamaica, and their cookbook Caribbean Potluck introduces a new way of thinking about food from their homeland.

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