Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 2:27 pm
By Ian Buckwalter
New Year's Eve 1995 fell on a Sunday, and given that it was before we all started reading our news on LCD screens, chances are pretty good you had a Sunday paper delivered. And that day's paper had something special wrapped up inside.
On this week's show, we are lucky enough to be visited in the absence of our buddy Glen by the lovely Audie Cornish, who, in her spare time, is one of the hosts of a little afternoon show called All Things Considered. Audie took some time away from the Actual Hard News beat to chat with us about a few things and to gracefully accept a surprising comparison to Ron Burgundy. (It's a long story.)
Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.
Behind all our material goods, from iPhones to sneakers, is a narrative of exploited Chinese workers with bleak lives. Reporter Leslie T. Chang says that's a disrespectful narrative. She sought out workers in a Chinese megacity and tells their stories.
The story of David and Goliath has transcended its biblical origins to become a common shorthand for unlikely victory. But, asks author Malcolm Gladwell, is that really what the David and Goliath story is about?
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:45 pm
If you go back to the 1970s, people with a serious coffee habit often had an accompanying habit: smoking.
And that's why early studies gave coffee a bad rap. Clearly, smoking was harmful. And it was hard for researchers to disentangle the two habits. "So it made coffee look bad in terms of health outcomes," Harvard researcher Meir Stampfer explained to me.
But fast-forward a quarter century, and the rap on coffee began to change.
Food labels have become battlegrounds. Just last week, voters in Washington state narrowly defeated a measure that would have required food manufacturers to reveal whether their products contain genetically modified ingredients.
Supporters of the initiative â€” and similar proposals in other states â€” say that consumers have a right to know what they're eating.
But there are lots of things we might want to know about our food. So what belongs on the label?
Every night, author Roald Dahl told his children a story: "Most of them [were] pretty bad," he admitted in a 1972 BBC4 interview, "but now and again you'd tell one and you see a little spark of interest. And if they ever said the next night, 'Tell us some more about that one,' you knew you had something. This went on for quite a long time with a story about a peach that got bigger and bigger and I thought, 'Well heck, why don't I write it.' "
That bedtime story became Dahl's first children's book, James and the Giant Peach.