All Things Considered on WLRN

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel

In-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hear two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special - sometimes quirky - features.

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Book Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

A Biography Of Your Cubicle: How This Became The Modern Workplace

empty cubicles
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 11:33 am

I remember my first office desk well. It was the roaring '90s in Manhattan. "Silicon Alley," they called it. I was fresh out of college, working at a Web design company. The office had an open layout. We all shared long tables. I did have a window that looked onto a stone wall. I was given a computer, a drawer and a fancy ergonomic chair.

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U.S.
4:48 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Postal Workers Protest At Staples Over Shift In Jobs

Postal workers take part in a march in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to protest the opening of U.S. Postal Service counters at Staples stores.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:17 pm

U.S. postal workers took to the streets Thursday to protest in front of Staples office supply stores around the country. At issue is a decision to open Postal Service counters in Staples stores — something they say is siphoning away union jobs.

The postal workers' grievances come as their employer faces pressures to find new avenues of business.

Both the American Postal Workers Union and the leadership of the U.S. Postal Service lay claim to be fighting for the same cause: safeguarding the long-term future of one of the largest employers in the country.

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Shots - Health News
4:46 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Rural Hospitals Weigh Independence Against Need For Computer Help

Dr. Billy Oley (left) talks with Dr. William George in the Beartooth Billings Clinic in Red Lodge, Mont. The hospital became part of the Billings Clinic system in exchange for help with its digital medical records.
Eric Whitney for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:17 pm

One of the biggest challenges American hospitals face right now is moving to electronic medical records from old-fashioned paper files.

The switch is costing tens of billions of dollars, eating up tons of staff time, and it's especially tough for the country's 2,000 rural and small-town hospitals.

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Health Care
4:37 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

How One State Convinced Its 'Young Invincibles' To Get Health Insurance

A 2008 ad trying to convince uninsured Massachusetts residents to get signed up for health insurance.
Sawyer Miller Advertising

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 12:45 pm

Buying insurance doesn't always feel like it makes economic sense, especially for young healthy people. So why are they still willing to pay?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Technology
11:06 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

FCC To Propose Change To Net Neutrality Rules, Media Report

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to put out new Internet traffic rules tomorrow that will change the practice of net neutrality. Joining me now to talk about that is Wall Street Journal reporter Gautham Nagesh, who covers the FCC. Gautham, welcome.

GAUTHAM NAGESHI: Thanks for having me.

BLOCK: And, first, why don't explain what we mean when we say net neutrality.

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The Salt
6:42 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

President Obama shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before a private dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo on Wednesday. At Sukiyabashi Jiro, people pay a minimum of $300 for 20 pieces of sushi chosen by the patron, Jiro Ono.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:06 pm

President Obama kicked off the first leg of his tour of Asia on Wednesday with some sushi diplomacy.

He dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a revered and tiny temple of sushi in Tokyo called Sukiyabashi Jiro. The subterranean restaurant, with just 10 seats at the counter, was made famous by the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Scientists Pinpoint Source Of Antarctic 'Quack'

A minke whale photographed in Antarctica last year. The minke, smallest of the baleen whales, turned out to be the mysterious "bio-duck."
Tony Beck/Barcroft Media Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:51 pm

For decades, researchers and submarine crews in icy waters off the coast of Antarctica have been picking up a mysterious quacking sound.

The "bio-duck," as its called, has been heard on and off since Cold War patrols picked it up on sonar during the 1960s.

"It goes 'quack, quack, quack, quack,' " says Denise Risch, a marine biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "It has this almost mechanical feel to it."

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Economy
4:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Big-Time Home Sales Stoke Hope For Northeast Housing Market

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Spring is the time house hunters expect to see a slew of listings. But in many parts of the country, inventory is pretty low. When that happens, home prices go up. WSHU's Kaomi Goetz takes a look at the housing market. She checked out a listing that led to a history-making home sale in Connecticut.

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Latin America
4:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Chile Wildfire Litters Questions In The Ash Of Burned-Out Homes

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:06 pm

Transcript

ALEXANDRA HALL, BYLINE: ...side of the port town that tourists often don't see.

MARGARITA GATILLON: (Foreign language spoken)

HALL: This is Margarita Gatillon. She's talking about the tents - all of the tents that have replaced her neighbors' houses. Driving by, they're hard to miss: residents sleeping in campsites underneath the frames of what used to be their homes. Margarita's house, however, is the last house standing at the top of the hill.

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Technology
4:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

New Browser Plug-in Would Literally Annihilate This Headline

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:49 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This next story is literally about the word...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Literally.

CORNISH: ...literally. As in a literal sense or manner.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

That's also the name of a free Internet browser extension created by New York programmer Mike Lazer-Walker.

MIKE LAZER-WALKER: So all it does, you install it in your Web browser, and then any website you visit, any time the word literally is printed, it instead replaces it with figuratively.

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Sports
4:50 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

A Knuckleball No More: World Cup Soccer Ball Gets A Redesign

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 1:12 pm

John Eric Goff, the chair of the physics department at Lynchburg College, explains the science of the 2014 World Cup soccer ball. The Adidas Brazuca is expected to perform better than the version used in South Africa in 2010.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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All Tech Considered
4:39 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Online Sales Taxes Shift Consumer Behavior, Study Shows

Monica Chavez packs up a box at an Amazon.com fulfillment center Dec. 2, in Phoenix.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 5:34 pm

Technically, consumers are supposed to pay taxes on things they buy online. In fact, few do.

Congress is considering a bill called the Marketplace Fairness Act that would force many online sellers to collect sales taxes for the first time.

In the meantime, some states have already enacted so-called Amazon taxes, forcing the giant online retailer to collect sales taxes the same way traditional brick-and-mortar stores do.

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Music Reviews
4:35 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Album Review: 'Abracaco'

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:19 am

Caetano Veloso has been making music for over 40 years, and he's among the best known singers in his native Brazil. Banning Eyre says that Veloso's new album, Abracaco, is one of the most engaging in his epic career.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Impact of War
4:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Ex-Ranger Recalls The Friendly Fire That Killed Pat Tillman

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 6:38 pm

Ten years ago Tuesday, former NFL star Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Steven Elliott was one of the Army Rangers who fired on Tillman, and he told his story recently on ESPN's Outside the Lines.

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All Tech Considered
5:30 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Searching The Planet To Find Power For The Cloud

MidAmerican Energy's wind farm in Adair, Iowa. Facebook is working with MidAmerican to build a similar wind farm near Wellsburg, Iowa, where it will help power Facebook's planned data center.
Courtesy of MidAmerican Energy

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:55 am

You hear the term "the cloud" or "cloud computing," and you picture something puffy, white, clean and quiet. Cloud computing is anything but.

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