Planet Money
3:38 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

What A Very Old Menu Tells Us About The Price Of Steak

Matt Sayles Associated Press

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 11:08 pm

Delmonico's, the New York City steakhouse, has been around forever.

The New York Public Library's archival menu collection doesn't go back quite that far. But it does have a Delmonico's menu from 1918. The archive also, sort of randomly, has a Delmonico's menu from 1988. Delmonico's current menu is online.

One item that's on all three menus: filet mignon.

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Sports
3:05 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

What Life Holds For Athletes After The Olympics

American swimmer Carrie Steinseifer, left, hugs Nancy Hogshead after they tied for the gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle competition during the 1984 Olympics.
Courtesy of Nancy Hogshead-Makar

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:14 pm

As a kid, Nancy Hogshead-Makar wanted to be the best swimmer in the world. At 14, she got her wish when she was ranked number one in the world for 200-meter butterfly at age 14. Four years later, she was part of U.S. team that boycotted the Moscow Olympics, and at 22, she swam in five Olympic finals at the 1984 Los Angeles games, winning three gold medals and one silver medal.

"I knew that the 1984 Olympics were really going to be my swan song," she tells NPR's Lynn Neary. She retired after those games and went to finish out a year and a half at Duke University.

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Economy
2:50 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Back-To-School Shoppers Open Wallets, But Carefully

Shoppers walk along Chicago's Michigan Avenue last month.
Sitthixay Ditthavong AP

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 5:29 pm

After months of sitting on their wallets, Americans went shopping in July. The uptick reported Tuesday is boosting economists' hopes for a reasonably strong back-to-school season. And retailers are looking for clues about how the holiday shopping season will turn out later in the year.

"This is a good report," Chris Christopher, an economist with IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm, wrote in an assessment of the latest report. "It indicates that consumers came back after hunkering down" during the year's first half when sales were "dismal."

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Europe
2:49 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Germans Confront The Costs Of A Nuclear-Free Future

A worker on a newly constructed transmission tower near Buetzow, Germany, earlier this month. The German government plans to shut down nuclear power plants and is seeking to replace that production with power from renewable energy sources, especially wind turbines and solar parks. New power transmission lines will be needed.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

After Japan's Fukushima disaster last year, Germany announced a groundbreaking energy plan: It would phase out all of its domestic nuclear power in a decade and make a transition to safer, carbon neutral energy.

The goal is to have solar, wind and other renewables account for nearly 40 percent of the energy for Europe's largest economy in a decade, and 80 percent by 2050.

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Presidential Race
2:44 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Tale Of The Tape: The VP And His Challenger

Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Evan Vucci/Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:49 pm

Who Is He?

Joe Biden: Biden, whose own presidential aspirations sputtered in 1988 and again in 2008, brought to the Democratic ticket foreign policy chops and an ability to relate to working-class voters. In his 36 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, he became known as more pragmatist than ideologue. He has also made a somewhat dubious name for himself because of his volubility and not infrequent verbal stumbles. But he has parlayed those potential liabilities into an effective, if occasionally unpredictable, campaign trail presence.

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Movie Interviews
2:28 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Julie Delpy, Keeping It Real In '2 Days In New York'

Julie Delpy stars in 2 Days in New York, which she also directed, produced and co-wrote.
Jojo Whilden Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Actress Julie Delpy first beguiled American audiences in 1995, playing the enigmatic French student in Richard Linklater's film Before Sunrise. Ever since, Delpy has enjoyed life on the Hollywood fringe, preferring indie projects where she can help shape her roles.

She co-wrote the Oscar-nominated script to Linklater's sequel, Before Sunset, and has also begun directing her own projects. For her latest, 2 Days in New York, she directed, produced and helped write the script.

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NPR Story
2:27 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

How Books Shaped The American National Identity

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This 1951 copy of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is one of 88 books on display as part of the Library of Congress' "Books That Shaped America" exhibit.
Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:14 pm

Books can change the way we think and can continue to influence events long after they were written. The Library of Congress exhibit "Books That Shaped America" features 88 books — from Thomas Paine's Common Sense to Dr. Seuss' The Cat In The Hat — that have influenced national identity.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:22 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Family's Fight Against Bipolar Disorder Leads To Shock Therapy Success

Linea Johnson, left, and her mother, Cinda, in May 2012 at the launch of their book on the family's struggle with Linea's bipolar disorder.
Tommy Voeten

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 2:56 pm

The Mayo Clinic's confirmation Monday that Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is receiving care there for bipolar depression is a reminder that the condition, which affects around 2.3 million Americans, can be treated.

But figuring out the right treatment for each patient can be a long and difficult road, as a new memoir called Perfect Chaos: A Daughter's Journey to Survive Bipolar, a Mother's Struggle to Save Her shows.

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Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Tammy Smith: First Openly Gay U.S. General

Army Brigadier General Tammy Smith, right, with her wife, Tracey Hepner.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:47 pm

Army Reserve officer Tammy Smith was promoted to the position of Brigadier General on August 10, 2012. In doing so, she became the first gay general to serve openly in the U.S. military.

"I'm just so thrilled that I'm able at this point to present Tracy as my family," she tells NPR's Lynn Neary. "We're indeed a military family."

Gen. Smith talks about her career in the military and the significance of her recent promotion.

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Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

The Anatomy Of A Hate Group

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:47 pm

The murders of six people at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., by a gunman with ties to white supremacists has raised questions about the prevalence and influence of hate groups in America — who they are, what they do, and how they recruit new members.

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