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1:50 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

'The Fall Of The House Of Dixie' Built A New U.S.

Random House

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Lincoln issued on Jan. 1, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. The document declares that all those held as slaves within any state, or part of a state, in rebellion "shall be then, thenceforward and forever free."

Historian Bruce Levine explores the destruction of the old South and the reunified country that emerged from the Civil War in his new book, The Fall of the House of Dixie. He says one result of the document was a flood of black men from the South into the Union Army.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

It's In The Books: 2012 Was Warmest Year On Record For Lower 48 States

July 22, 2012: In Baltimore, John Rose tried to keep cool during one of the year's heat waves.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 2:37 pm

Last year "marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States," the National Climatic Data Center just confirmed.

This probably won't surprise many, but "a record warm spring, second-warmest summer, fourth-warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn" combined to make the year's average temperature 55.3°F.

That's "3.2°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year."

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

European Union Reports Highest Unemployment Rates Ever For Eurozone

In Badalona, Spain, people waited outside an employment office last summer.
Albert Gea Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 3:24 pm

In the European Union, unemployment rates in the region that uses the euro currency are at their highest ever, as a returned recession, falling income levels and persistent debt concerns trouble the region's economy, as its latest statistics show.

After nearly five years of economic crises, the European Union is also seeing more divergence between its member nations, particularly in the north, where economies have resilience, as opposed to the south, where unemployment rates are an average of more than 7 points higher.

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NPR Story
1:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Your Teen Wants A Smartphone? Here's The Fine Print

Some 23 percent of those aged 12-17 say they have a smartphone, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:57 am

When Janell Burley Hofmann's son turned 13, she faced a question: Was it finally time to give him a smartphone?

She decided he was responsible enough to handle it, but not without signing an 18-point contract regarding appropriate use of the iPhone.

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NPR Story
1:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

What We've Learned About Fat And Fitness

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 2:39 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Ari Shapiro, in Washington. Just one week into January, you may be noticing the effects of people's New Year's resolutions. For example, there may be no spots on the treadmill at your gym; no kale on the supermarket shelves. Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions and this hour, we'll explore what we've learned in the last year about how some people keep fit, and why others have a hard time dropping pounds.

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NPR Story
1:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

The Art And Strategy Of The Hashtag

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 2:20 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now, this week, the American Dialect Society announced its word of 2012, and the winner comes from Twitter. The word is hashtag. The symbol for a hashtag looks like the pound sign on your phone. Five years ago, Twitter introduced it as a way to organize tweets and sort through trends. Now, hashtags are everywhere. Movie trailers use them to promote the latest blockbuster, shirts and hats sport the hashtag #YOLO for you only live once. Hashtags even pop up in conversations with friends like hashtag #eyeroll.

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Middle East
1:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

President Bashar Assad: His Inner Circle And His Options

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 2:36 pm

The United Nations released statistics estimating that more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011. In his first public appearance in six months, President Bashar Assad addressed a crowd of supporters in Damascus Sunday to outline new structural reforms within the government.

Your Money
1:26 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Havens Are Turning Hellish For Tax Avoiders

A man enters a UBS bank in Hong Kong last month. The Swiss banking giant agreed in 2009 to identify the names of its U.S. account holders, part of a push by banking regulators to make it harder to hide income.
Dale de la Rey AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 7:43 am

Time was that a Swiss bank account was synonymous with confidentiality and keeping assets from prying eyes. No more.

Last week, Switzerland's oldest bank, Wegelin & Co., pleaded guilty in a New York court to helping Americans hide $1.2 billion from the Internal Revenue Service over a decade-long period. Wegelin's plea, and a $57.8 million fine, forced the bank to shut its doors. It follows a $780 million settlement with UBS in 2009 that forced the Swiss banking giant to identify the names of its U.S. account holders.

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The Salt
1:03 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Elvis Left The Building Long Ago, But His Food (And Music) Lives On

A still-trim Elvis Presley enjoys a sandwich in 1958. His love of fatty foods hadn't caught up to him yet.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:12 pm

Elvis Presley was better known for his music than his gourmet tastes. But he did have a famous affinity for the fried goodness of the American South — and he had the waistline to prove it.

In honor of what would have been the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 78th birthday, let's take a look at some of his legendary eating habits.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:52 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Check It Out: 'The Human Face Of Big Data'

The Human Face of Big Data." href="/post/check-it-out-human-face-big-data" class="noexit lightbox">
Shwetak Patel (foreground), a MacArthur Fellow, recognized that every device in a home has a unique signature that can be used to track energy usage. The data collected by Patel's system showed that digital video recorders were responsible for 11 percent of this home's power use, just one example of The Human Face of Big Data.
© Peter Menzel 2012 from The Human Face of Big Data

I am just starting to dig into a beautiful new book/project that I wanted to pass along to our 13.7 readers. Its called The Human Face Of Big Data and it is a remarkable attempt to capture the profound transition we are all living through.

The Human Face Of Big Data is a book, a blog, an app and a whole lot more. As the website puts it:

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