3:29am

Mon December 31, 2012
Environment

A Busy And Head-Scratching 2012 Hurricane Season

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:46 am

This satellite image from Oct. 28 shows Hurricane Sandy in the Atlantic Ocean before making landfall.
NASA via Getty Images

Superstorm Sandy is what most people will remember from the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. But Sandy was just one of 10 hurricanes this year — a hurricane season that was both busy and strange.

Late summer is when the hurricane season usually gets busy. But Greg Jenkins, a professor of atmospheric science at Howard University, says this year was different.

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3:29am

Mon December 31, 2012
The Salt

Cheap Bubbly Or Expensive Sparkling Wine? Look To The Bubbles For Clues

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:03 am

The bubbles in champagne tickle the tongue and transfer wonderful aromas to the nose.
iStockphoto.com

There's nothing like the distinctive "pop" of the uncorking of a bottle of bubbly to create a sense of celebration. Whether it's Dom Perignon or a $10 sparkling wine, bubbles add pizazz.

Sparkling-wine lovers sometimes point to the glittering streams of tiny bubbles as an important attribute. Why? Well, tiny bubbles are a sign of age, explains French chemist Gerard Liger-Belair, author of Uncorked: The Science of Champagne.

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3:28am

Mon December 31, 2012
Author Interviews

Death Of The (Predatory) Salesman: These Days, It's A Buyer's Market

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:46 am

iStockphoto.com

The familiar image of the salesman in American culture hasn't always been a flattering one. Just think of Alec Baldwin as the verbally abusive "motivator" of two real estate salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Daniel H. Pink, author of the new book To Sell is Human, says that this relentless, predator-style approach to selling has become outdated. He believes that the art of sales has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the previous century.

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5:42pm

Sun December 30, 2012
Book Reviews

Author Ben Fountain's Book Picks For 2013

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 6:33 pm

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and the short story collection Brief Encounters With Che Guevara." href="/post/author-ben-fountains-book-picks-2013" class="noexit lightbox">
Ben Fountain is the author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and the short story collection Brief Encounters With Che Guevara.
Thorne Anderson

Last spring, weekends on All Things Considered spoke with author Ben Fountain just as he released his widely acclaimed first novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Later in the year, it was nominated for the National Book Award.

We asked Fountain to share with us what he's looking forward to in the book world next year. He says he's read about 25 books for release in 2013 and tells host Jacki Lyden, "The state of American fiction is really strong, at least from where I'm standing."

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5:32pm

Sun December 30, 2012
Environment

2013: A Tipping Year For Climate Change?

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Cracks form in the bed of a dried lake in Waterloo, Neb. The drought withered crops and dried out lakes across the nation's midsection in 2012.
Nati Harnik AP

This year's extreme weather was one for the record books; 2012 is slated to be the hottest summer on record.

The worst drought in 50 years struck the South and Midwest, devastating the U.S. agriculture industry. Deadly floods and superstorms paralyzed the northeast and other parts of the country.

While the public is in shock by extreme weather events that have taken place, environmentalist Bill McKibben and other members of the science community say it is a result of climate change.

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5:32pm

Sun December 30, 2012
Politics

New Year's Hopes For The Future Of The GOP

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Earlier this week, former George W. Bush adviser and Republican strategist Mark McKinnon wrote that all he wants for Christmas is a new GOP. He tells host Jacki Lyden what he wants from his party going forward.

5:32pm

Sun December 30, 2012
Economy

'Fiscal Cliff' Talks Temporarily Stall

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Time is quickly running out for Congress to strike a deal blocking automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that kick in within the New Year. Despite the presence of Vice President Joe Biden at the White House and a flurry of proposals passed back and forth today between Senate Republicans and Democrats, things seem to have reached an impasse this afternoon. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that nothing will happen this evening.

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5:05pm

Sun December 30, 2012
Politics

A Look Foward: Immigration Reform In 2013

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 6:39 pm

Arizona DREAM Act Coalition staff members, other advocacy group representatives and young immigrants line up in Phoenix last August for guidance about the federal program called Deferred Action, that would help illegal immigrants avoid deportation.
Ross D. Franklin AP

This year we saw a great divide in the nation on the issue of immigration reform.

Much of the concern surrounds the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country — the majority of whom are from Mexico and Latin American countries, and about 10 percent from Asia.

President Obama won office again with 71 percent of the Latino vote. He has called pledge to reform current immigration law.

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4:50pm

Sun December 30, 2012
Around the Nation

A Tough Year For Unions, With Few Bright Spots Ahead

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Despite huge protests at Michigan's state capitol building in Lansing, Republican lawmakers in the state made the union stronghold the 24th right-to-work state in the country.
Rebecca Cook Reuters via Landov

This year was a tough one for organized labor.

In June, Scott Walker — the Wisconsin governor who banned collective bargaining for public employee unions — survived a recall election.

And, despite huge protests in Michigan, the union stronghold became the 24th right-to-work state, banning unions from requiring workers to sign up. That came just 10 months after Indiana passed a similar law.

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3:48pm

Sun December 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Fiscal Cliff Debate: Why The (Very) Few Rule The Many In Congress

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 6:15 pm

In the final hours of the latest budget crisis in Washington, several salient facts are increasingly clear.

First, the leaders of the two parties in the Senate might still put together a negotiated deal that would avert the combination of tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. The leaders would start with President Obama's top priorities, modify them to accommodate Republican preferences, throw in some measures that are GOP priorities and take the package to the floor.

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