Articles by: NPR Contributors

Former Bank Executive: Women, Ask For A Raise!

Former Bank Executive: Women, Ask For A Raise!

by / on April 7, 2014

As leader of the women’s network 85 Broads, Sallie Krawcheck lobbies for better gender equality in boardrooms. She also says women need to negotiate tougher to get there.

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How The Cost Of College Went From Affordable To Sky-High

How The Cost Of College Went From Affordable To Sky-High

by / on March 18, 2014

In the decades following World War II, many American families had a lot of help paying for a college education. But in the 1970s, inflation spiked and public policies began to change.

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Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn’t So Bad After All

Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn’t So Bad After All

by / on February 26, 2014

There’s been lots of debate about whether tiny amounts of the chemical have the potential to cause health problems. A new FDA study supports a previous conclusion that the chemical is safe for people.

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How Dogs Read Our Moods: Emotion Detector Found In Fido’s Brain

How Dogs Read Our Moods: Emotion Detector Found In Fido’s Brain

by / on February 21, 2014

Anyone who’s had MRI knows how hard it is to lie motionless. But the dogs that participated in this brain-scanning experiment aced the test. Maybe the treats did it.

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Would a doctor dressing neatly affect your rating? Image: istockphoto.com

Online Doctor Ratings About As Useful As Those For Restaurants

by / on February 20, 2014

More than half of people surveyed said ratings of doctors on the Web helped them pick which physician to see. Yet many ratings are based on only a few patient reviews, which can skew the results.

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Franco Phan, 22, blows smoke rings using an electronic cigarette at a restaurant in Oakland, Calif. Image: Jenny Lei Bolario/Youth Radio

Candy Flavors Put E-Cigarettes On Kids’ Menu

by / on February 17, 2014

Electronic cigarettes are often billed as safe and helpful for adult smokers trying to kick their habit. But the CDC says 1 in 5 young teens who try an e-cigarette have never smoked tobacco. And between 2011 and 2012, the devices doubled in popularity among middle-school and high-school students.

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Songwriter John Paul Keith is one of a number of artists to record songs using 1930s-era technology as part of The 78 Project.. Image: The 78 Project

That Old-Time Sound, Captured Live In The Moment

by / on February 17, 2014

Their equipment may be quaint, but the new-school folklorists behind The 78 Project have pulled off a kind of musical time travel.

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Rosa Finnegan in her nursing home. "As nice as this place is," she says, "there's an undercurrent — it's sad, also. I get up now in the morning and I'll say to myself, 'What am I gonna do all day now?' " Image: Caitrin Lynch for NPR

At 102, Reflections On Race And The End Of Life

by / on February 12, 2014

Rosa Finnegan worked until she was 101. Even now, she says, she’s still learning things about herself. “Even as old as I am,” she says, “you think you’re not prejudiced, but all of a sudden you really find out you are. How stupid I was. ‘Cause before you know it, it’s all over.”

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A customer shops for milk at a Safeway in Livermore, Calif. Although it may seem counterintuitive, there's growing evidence that full-fat dairy is linked to reduced body weight.

The Full-Fat Paradox: Whole Milk May Keep Us Lean

by / on February 12, 2014

Two recent studies add to the growing evidence that consuming dairy fat may actually fend off weight gain. Experts say it may be time to revisit the assumption that when it comes to dairy, fat free is always best.

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Composer and bandleader Maria Schneider accepts her Grammy Award. Her album Winter Morning Walks earned three awards yesterday at the pre-telecast Grammy ceremony in Los Angeles. Image: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

New Music Shines at Classical Grammy Awards

by / on January 27, 2014

In this year’s Grammy Awards, the classical music was as new as the pop. A jazz composer and a soprano captured multiple prizes, while the Academy recognized a performances by an adventurous American orchestra and a compelling young vocal group. See the full list of classical winners.

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Kate Byroade knew her family members had owned slaves. But that knowledge became even more troubling for Byroade when she learned that an ancestor once owned an 8-year-old child. Image courtesy of Shedrick Robinson

A Woman Comes To Terms With Her Family’s Slave-Owning Past

by / on January 15, 2014

Kate Byroade had always known her ancestors were slave owners, but she had been told their slaves were treated well. Understanding the truth took her on a difficult lifelong journey. Americans are shy “about calling out the great wickedness of slavery,” she says. “We should not be.”

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Nothing Focuses The Mind Like The Ultimate Deadline: Death

Nothing Focuses The Mind Like The Ultimate Deadline: Death

by / on December 31, 2013

A Swedish inventor came up with a wristwatch that counts down the seconds left in your life. He calls it “the happiness watch” because he thinks living with the reality of one’s mortality can enhance how we value our lives.

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Can Robots Manage Your Money Better Than You? Startups Say Yes

Can Robots Manage Your Money Better Than You? Startups Say Yes

by / on December 30, 2013

A handful of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs say it’s time to turn your finances over to bots. Algorithms can monitor a person’s financial behavior better than most advisers, they say, and aren’t biased by commissions or complex fee structures.

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In 2013, Federal Workers Found New Reason To Be Unhappy

In 2013, Federal Workers Found New Reason To Be Unhappy

by / on December 26, 2013

A recent survey shows that furloughs and hiring freezes conspired to dampen morale. But if federal workers are feeling undervalued, their job security remains high.

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Guitarist Harold Bradley attends the Special Merit Awards and Nominee Reception on Jan. 30, 2010, in Los Angeles. Image: Rick Diamond/WireImage

Harold Bradley: The Guitarist Of Nashville Past

by / on December 26, 2013

“Everything that was happening in the studio, that was my world,” the prolific musician says of his career as a go-to guitarist in Tennessee. Now 86, Bradley has worked across many decades and on thousands of songs.

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What Makes Tennessee’s Music So Very Special?

What Makes Tennessee’s Music So Very Special?

by / on December 15, 2013

Oxford American magazine has a few answers, not to mention one killer Tennessee mixtape. NPR’s Scott Simon speaks with editor Roger Hodge and music editor Rick Clark about assembling the magazine’s new issue on the music of Tennessee and its companion two-CD sampler.

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Path To Reclaiming Identity Steep For Vets With ‘Bad Paper’

Path To Reclaiming Identity Steep For Vets With ‘Bad Paper’

by / on December 11, 2013

Veterans with “other than honorable” discharges lose benefits like the GI Bill for school or a VA home loan. But they also can’t get VA health care and disability compensation, even for the PTSD that may have caused the bad discharge. Such veterans have a few avenues of appeal, but none are simple.

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WATCH: U.S. Air Force Band Stages A ‘Holiday Flash Mob’

WATCH: U.S. Air Force Band Stages A ‘Holiday Flash Mob’

by / on December 10, 2013

The United States Air Force Band surprised visitors of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington with a joyous performance of holiday classics.

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Da Vinci’s String Organ Must Be Heard To Be Believed

Da Vinci’s String Organ Must Be Heard To Be Believed

by / on December 1, 2013

Polish pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki has brought one of Leonardo da Vinci’s lesser-known inventions to life. He spent almost four years building the ‘viola organista’ — a unique musical instrument that looks like a piano on the outside, but sounds like a quartet of string instruments when played.

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Don’t Stuff The Turkey And Other Tips From ‘America’s Test Kitchen’

Don’t Stuff The Turkey And Other Tips From ‘America’s Test Kitchen’

by / on November 26, 2013

Jack Bishop and Bridget Lancaster of the public TV series share tips for buying, seasoning and cooking a turkey (hint: bigger isn’t necessarily better, keep lots of salt around, and give the bird a break before carving). They also give advice on how to make some of their favorite side dishes.

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