Inside one in a series of abandoned homes along a blighted block of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, filmmaker Tom McPhee walks through the remnants of a life — broken furniture, scattered knickknacks and a flooded basement.
"This is fresh water that's coming into the basement here," McPhee points out. "All of that plumbing has been ripped away 'cause someone found a value in it, so they don't care that it's running. This is all over the city."
So far this year, retail chains have announced some heavy cuts. J.C. Penney said it would close 33 stores. Macy's said it would lay off 2,500 workers. Sears will close its flagship Chicago store in April.
That's creating a glut of excess space. But that's just one of several forces changing the face of retail.
Horst Rechelbacher died over the weekend at age 72 at his farm in Wisconsin. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three years ago. Aveda was among the first to use organic ingredients for hair and skin.
Gold has reached a price of more than $1,300 an ounce — the highest since early November. Gold is up 10 percent this year after a 28 percent drop in 2013. Silver has posted even greater gains – it's up 12 percent.
This week, a federal judge in Oklahoma is considering whether a particular drug used to carry out lethal injections amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. The drug in question is prepared by a compounding pharmacy, a business that's asked to mix specific drugs - in this case, with the intention of executing a prisoner. David Miller of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists says this is not a service they're eager to provide.
Electronic cigarettes are often billed as a safe way for smokers to try to kick their habit. But it's not just smokers who are getting their fix this way. According to a survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 middle school students who've tried one say they've never smoked a "real" cigarette. And between 2011 and 2012, e-cigarettes doubled in popularity among middle and high school students.
In the past, you could go to jail for selling marijuana. Now, depending upon where you live, you could end up going to the bank.
Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states, and legislation is pending in 13 others. It's become a $1.5-billion-a-year industry, and it's expected to triple in just a few years. With legal cannabis one of the world's fastest growing market sectors, investors are seeing green.
The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.
This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about a new texting service that promises tight security. While Snapchat has become a popular way to text photos that disappear after a number of seconds, recent hacks have raised questions about its security. A service called Privatext provides an alternative that has gained interest among some professionals.