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Technology
5:54 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Why 140 Characters, When One Will Do? Tracing The Emoji Evolution

NPR

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:01 pm

You may have heard that 250 more emojis, the little smiley face icons and other symbols you can send in text messages, are coming to a cellphone near you.

The story of the emoji starts in Japan in the mid-1990s. Back then, pagers were all the rage with teenagers.

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Business
6:45 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

For Tipped Workers, A Different Minimum Wage Battle

States may have their own higher wage laws, but the federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 an hour.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 8:14 am

The federal minimum wage for tipped workers has been $2.13 since 1991. That pay rate tends to get lost in the larger debate over whether to raise the national minimum wage for nontipped workers, which is $7.25 an hour.

In theory, the money from tips should make up the difference in pay — and then some. But according to a White House report, tipped workers are more than twice as likely as other workers to experience poverty.

Living On Tips

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Movie Interviews
6:11 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Behind Optimus Prime (And Eeyore), One Man's Signature Voice

Voice actor Peter Cullen arrives at the premiere of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in June 2009.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 8:20 am

Transformers: Age of Extinction has smashed its way to the No. 1 spot at the box office. Director Michael Bay's film franchise has consistently topped charts since the first film arrived in theaters in 2007.

The live-action films have embraced the latest in visual affects — but the movies have also called back to the series' past, through the voice of Peter Cullen.

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Code Switch
6:22 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

'Everything I Never Told You' Exposed In Biracial Family's Loss

Everything I Never Told You is Celeste Ng's debut novel about a Chinese-American family living in 1970s Ohio. She is currently working on a second novel and a collection of short stories.
Kevin Day The Penguin Press

It's May, 1977, in small-town Ohio, and the Lee family is sitting down at breakfast. James is Chinese-American and Marilyn is white, and they have three children — two girls and a boy. But on this day, their middle child Lydia, who is also their favorite, is nowhere to be found.

That's how Celeste Ng's new novel, Everything I Never Told You, begins.

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All Tech Considered
5:21 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Modern Video Games Go Beyond 'Jumping On Blocks'

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:35 pm

The video game BioShock Infinite received widespread praise for having a rich narrative packed with philosophy when it debuted last year. The game sold millions of copies.

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Men In America
6:02 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

The New American Man Doesn't Look Like His Father

While life has changed significantly for American men in the past half-century, notions of masculinity remain tied to those that may have been passed down from this father to the son on his shoulders.
Evans/Three Lions Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 11:36 am

This summer, All Things Considered is exploring what it means to be a man in America today. In some ways, the picture for men has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. More women than men are going to college, and the economy is moving away from jobs that traditionally favored men, like manufacturing and mining. Attitudes have also changed on the social front, with young men having more egalitarian attitudes toward women and expectations of being involved fathers.

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All Tech Considered
4:40 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 11:15 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
5:09 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 6:25 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
6:15 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 8:33 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
4:25 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 8:36 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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