National News

Photos: After A Storm, A Red Sky, Double Rainbow Over Atlanta

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 04:14

Sunset and a strong storm happened at just the right time for a celestial treat. The resulting rainbows were so stunning, they were documented all over Twitter.

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N.J. Nets, Devils Owner Gave Millions To Local Causes

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:52

We remember Lewis Katz, who once said, "Life is meant to have as much fun as you can conjure up." Katz made a fortune as a sports team owner and gave millions of it away.

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Obama Reassures Allies As He Honors D-Day Sacrifices

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:52

President Obama has had an eventful visit to Europe, which included attending the 70th D-Day commemoration in Normandy.

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Pink The Pelican Released After Pouch Surgery

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:52

In April, a California brown pelican's pouch was brutally slashed. Pink the pelican was released this week after successful surgery. NPR's Scott Simon talks with veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Duerr.

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Like 'Doctor Who,' Syrian Activists Hang In Limbo Post-Election

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:52

President Bashar Assad's election victory is another sign that exiled Syrian activists may never safely go home. One activist compares it to the fate of the time-traveling, British TV cult hero.

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Senate Bill Would Crack Down On Auto Defects

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:52

A GM investigation revealed the company's failure to fix a deadly defect in its cars. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., about a law that would require more transparency.

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The Long-Range Staying Power Of The B-52

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:52

The B-52 bomber has recently undergone an overhaul of its communications systems. The aircraft has remained in continuous service since 1955. We look at what makes it so remarkable and enduring.

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Vets Bring A 'Level Of Selflessness' To Service In Congress

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:52

The number of veterans in Congress is at its lowest since World War II. NPR's Scott Simon talks to Seth Lynn of the Veterans Campaign about how he's trying to get those numbers back up.

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Obama Returns To U.S. To Face Prisoner Release Issue

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:52

This week the veterans health care scandal gave way to a new political storm over the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, as Washington editor Ron Elving tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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No One Judges The Ride At Americade

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:52

This week, bikers in the Northeast are flocking to Lake George, N.Y., for a motorcycle rally called Americade. Some 50,000 visitors take to the streets in tattoos, leather jackets and revving engines.

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Ukraine's New President Vows Not To Give Up Crimea

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:52

Ukraine's new president, Petro Poroshenko, was inaugurated Saturday. Analyst Olexiy Haran tells NPR's Scott Simon that the Chocolate King, as he's known, hopes to mend ties with Russia.

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Actor Tracy Morgan Injured In A Car Accident In New Jersey

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 03:30

The actor was scheduled for a stand-up gig at a Delaware casino. A tractor trailer is thought to have crashed into a bus limo carrying six passengers, including Morgan.

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It's jobs day, so here's a picture of a career fair

Marketplace - American Public Media - Sat, 2014-06-07 02:26

Friday morning the Labor Department reported that the U.S. added 217,000  jobs in May, and the unemployment rate stayed the same at 6.3 percent.

Whether it’s here at Marketplace, elsewhere online or in newspapers, stories about the latest unemployment numbers need pictures. In the past, news outlets used images of people in line at the unemployment office. But nowadays, people can sign up for jobless benefits by phone or online.

So today, when news photographers need fresh pictures of lots and lots of unemployed people, they take their cameras to career fairs. Then, each month when the jobless numbers come out, like clockwork, scores of websites and newspapers will dutifully use these photos, repeatedly, in their stories reporting the news.

This endless monthly wallpaper of career fair images got us wondering about what actually happens inside them. Does anyone actually get jobs, or are they a waste of time for job seekers? What kind of companies show up? Who makes money off these events? Are they changing as the economy slowly improves?

Find the answer to all those questions and more, by clicking that play button on the audio player above.

Because, let’s be honest, you can only learn so much about job fairs by looking at these stock photos:

Job fairs are normally held in drab hotel ballrooms

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Organizers sometimes try to dress the joints up with balloons, but it makes it look worse, really. However it apparently makes the image more appealing to photo editors. This particular shot has been used over and over.

Job fairs involve a lot of silently waiting in line

Career fairs tend to be packed, with lines wrapping around the block and job seekers arriving hours before they open to get the first crack at employers. Job seekers do a lot of talking to prospective employers, but hardly talk to each other at all. So while waiting to get in front of employers, they play with their phones…

John Moore/Getty Images

 …stare at their resumes or jot down notes.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Job fairs keep office supply companies in business

The printed resume is something of a dying artifact as the job application process has steadily moved online. But the printed page is alive and well in the world of job fairs, where job seekers tote stacks of resumes from table to table, which are in turn stacked high with pamphlets and promotional materials from the employers.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Job fairs give Millennials a chance to expand their love of vintage items

By introducing them to items their parents refer to as “paper,” “clipboards” and “pens.”

Natalie Behring/Getty Images
Job fairs are an excellent place for briefcase enthusiasts to see these objects at use in the wild.

Possibly, the best place.

John Moore/Getty Images

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Iraq Militants Storm University, Take Dozens Of Students Hostage

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 02:26

Police and army officials say the attack took place Saturday morning when gunmen stormed Anbar University near the provincial capital Ramadi,

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A Small Device Helps Severely Nearsighted Drivers Hit The Road

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 01:50

Dustin Jones is visually impaired, but after he got a bioptic telescope he started driving. About 40 states allow severely nearsighted drivers to use this technology on the road.

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A Small Device Helps Severely Nearsighted Drivers Hit The Road

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 01:50

Dustin Jones is visually impaired, but after he got a bioptic telescope he started driving. About 40 states allow severely nearsighted drivers to use this technology on the road.

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Job Outlook Brightens For Graduates, Though Problems Linger

NPR News - Sat, 2014-06-07 01:46

The Class of 2014 is coming into a labor market that now offers a record number of jobs. But May's employment report also shows 9.8 million people remain out of work, and the jobless rate is stuck.

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Armed Man Killed In Attack On Atlanta Courthouse

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-06 15:26

The man, who was scheduled to plead guilty to drug-related charges later Friday, was armed with an assault rifle, grenades, smoke bombs and tear gas.

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American Detained In Honduras: 'We Came With An Open Heart'

NPR News - Fri, 2014-06-06 15:18

Six Americans remain in a rural Honduran prison after being arrested last month on suspicion of smuggling weapons into the country.

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Why Restoration Hardware sends 15-pound catalogs

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-06-06 14:10

When the upscale home furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware sent out its annual catalog in 2011, it was 616 pages long. The company was criticized by environmentalists for the move. In the face of that criticism, Restoration Hardware increased the size of its annual tome. In fact, this year’s edition is actually 11 individual catalogs, bounded together in plastic, at a grand total of 3,000+ pages. 

To call it a "catalog" is a bit of an understatement.  In fact, the company has come up with many other names for it, including "Magalog," "Source book" and "Inspiration file".  We wanted to know why it was so big (and, in the meantime, we came up with some uses for it as well...)

We were wrong: The once-a-year Mega-gantalog is actually part of the company’s strategy to reduce waste.

Brian McGough, a managing director of retail at Hedgeye, says most retailers put out catalogs quarterly or monthly. But because Restoration Hardware puts out its Gargantalog once a year, it actually produces less paper than many of its competitors.

“Williams-Sonoma, who no one ever talks about them and their catalogs, they print three times as many pages annually,” says McGough.

Restoration Hardware previously shipped smaller catalogs 10 times per year. But by moving to the one Megalog, the company’s gotten higher sales for fewer pages “and additionally,” says CEO Gary Friedman, “we ship all our Source books bundled together vs. separately, which is also significantly more efficient.”   

Friedman says his company is applying the same strategy to its stores, closing many of them and moving to fewer but larger locations.

Restoration Hardware takes its design cues from antiques, says Kit Yarrow, a professor of business at Golden State University.“They are really trying to create this sense of faux authenticity, if that makes any sense.”

The company produces so many products that only about 20 percent can fit in a store. The only place big enough to show them all is its catalog/source book/Magalog and website, which accounts for nearly half of all sales. 

Hopefully, the incredibly versatile Ginormolog doesn't become a stand in for Restoration Hardware's home furnishings. Though we're actually finding it pretty useful:

 

 

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