Sharon Van Etten was once an aspiring songwriter in Tennessee, but she had no idea how the music industry worked. So she moved to New York City and took an unpaid internship working for a record label.
"I started doing mail orders and then learned my way around the music blogs," Van Etten says in an interview with Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "I didn't know what a music blog was at the time."
January's weather looked like spring in much of the country, and today's monthly employment report suggests it's spring in the job market, too. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the economy added 243,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month.
JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Nobody expected that job creation in January would be this strong, or that the unemployment rate would fall again to 8.3 percent – nobody including John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo.
The social network filed to go public earlier this week and is hoping to raise $5 billion in a huge IPO. The markets are buzzing, but what might it mean for an individual investor? Melissa Block gets the story on how high profile IPOs work from Dennis Berman, Marketplace editor at The Wall Street Journal.
Audie Cornish talks to our regular political commentators — E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of the New York Times — about the new unemployment figures and the presidential primary race.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with fresh evidence that the U.S. economy is on the mend. The unemployment rate fell unexpectedly last month to 8.3 percent. And according to the Labor Department, U.S. employers added nearly a quarter million workers to their payrolls. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, it's not only good news for the economy and the nation, it's also good news for President Obama and his re-election campaign.
The New York Giants' Brandon Jacobs is a 6'4", 270 pound running back. And with that kind of size, you think he'd be able to run right through would-be tacklers, especially when he only needs to pick up a few yards. But he often can't — Jacobs's stats are below average in those situations. A couple NFL greats and a physics professor have the answer.
The Mona Lisa is one of the most enigmatic and iconic pieces of Western art. It has inspired countless copies, but one replica at the Madrid's Museo del Prado is generating its own buzz: conservators say that it was painted at the same time as the original — and possibly by one of the master's pupils, perhaps even a lover.
Workers fill a pauper's grave at Homewood Memorial Gardens, south of Chicago, with remains from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, which is now catching up on its backlog of indigent burials.
Credit Scott Olson / Getty Images
Sisters Bernice Terry (from left), Kim Dent and Sheila Hostetler hold pictures of their brother, Brian Warren, from his memorial service as well as a flier they distributed during the more than two weeks they believed he was missing.
Losing a loved one in any circumstance can be a painful experience, but for some families in Chicago, that pain is being compounded by what's been happening at the Cook County morgue in recent weeks. In the words of one observer, it's "a moral travesty."
When her first child was born, Pamela Druckerman expected to spend the next several years frantically meeting her daughter's demands. In the U.S., after all, mealtimes, living rooms and sleep schedules typically turn to chaos as soon as a baby arrives. That's the reason one friend of mine used to refer to his child as a "destroying angel."
Freddie Mac is a gatekeeper in the mortgage market. In many cases, the taxpayer-owned mortgage company controls who qualifies to refinance a mortgage and who doesn't. Well, NPR has learned that Freddie Mac has been making financial wagers, betting against American homeowners being able to refinance. And now some lawmakers want to put a stop to it. NPR's Chris Arnold has been reporting this story in partnership with ProPublica.org. He has this report.
Many investors are expecting Facebook to file papers for an initial public offering sometime later this week. The company, which was founded in a Harvard dorm room less than a decade ago, is expected to be valued at nearly $100 billion by Wall Street.
And if these early reports are true this is shaping up to be the biggest Internet IPO ever.
Just a little more than a day left before voters in Florida have their say in the GOP primary. The latest polls by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times show Mitt Romney with an 11-point lead over Newt Gingrich, with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul trailing far behind. Newt Gingrich, who's had trouble getting support from establishment Republicans, picked up a nod from a decidedly non-establishment figure - one of his former rivals, Herman Cain.
A radical Islamist group in northern Nigeria has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombing attacks last week that left more than 200 people dead. Boko Haram's campaign of violence has left minority Christians on edge in the city of Kano.
And sticking with presidential politics for a moment, speaking a second language has recently become something of a liability for those aspiring to live in the White House. It turns out very few American presidents have had a strong command of a second language, most of them in the early days of the Republic, and that language, it was French.
John McWhorter wrote about this recently in The New Republic, and he's with me now. John, bonjour.
In 1902, director Georges Melies released his magnum opus: Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To the Moon), often considered the first science-fiction movie ever. Even if you've never heard of Melies, you've probably seen the film's most famous shot: a moon with a human face, wincing at the spaceship that has just crashed into its eye.
One morning many years ago, a little boy in Brooklyn named Peter woke up to an amazing sight: fresh snow.
Peter is the hero of the classic children's book by Ezra Jack Keats, The Snowy Day, which turns 50 this year. Peter has a red snowsuit, a stick just right for knocking snow off of trees, and a snowball in his pocket. And, though this is never mentioned in the text, Peter is African-American.
As he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich almost always works the name of Ronald Reagan into his speeches.
In fact, it's become so common that Gingrich's name-dropping has become an issue itself.
Sometimes Gingrich invokes the name of Ronald Reagan to associate himself with the policies of the former president.
"When I worked with President Reagan, we adopted a lower tax, less regulation, more American energy policy, and it led to 16 million new jobs," Gingrich said at a speech in St. Petersburg, Fla., this week.
Today marks the start of an exciting project at All Things Considered called NewsPoet. Each month we'll be bringing in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's news.
The first poet to participate is Tracy K. Smith. She has received degrees in English and creative writing from Harvard College, Columbia University, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Her latest book of poems is titled Life on Mars.
<strong>'Tonight' Show:</strong> Playing an alcoholic, unpopular superhero, Will Smith rouses himself from a park bench pass-out to stare down a curious kid in 2008's <em>Hancock</em> — a movie almost titled <em>Tonight, He Comes.</em>
Credit Relativity Media / The Kobal Collection
<strong>'Sheep,' Shorn:</strong> Ridley Scott's <em>Blade Runner,</em> released in 1982, was based on the Philip K. Dick story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
Shrek, Hitch, Gattaca: What's in a name? Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet — but for Hollywood the question is more like, "Would that rose, by any other name, sell as many tickets?"