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How the 40-hour work week became the norm

Friday, November 05, 2021

With the pandemic causing many workers and businesses to rethink our collective relationship with work, several companies are experimenting with a four-day work week.


Hollywood Production Crews May Strike Due To Unglamorously Low Wages And Long Hours

Thursday, September 23, 2021

IATSE, a union which represents film crews, has asked their members to grant them the authority to strike. Conditions have worsened in the pandemic for people who work on sets for film and television.


Late Eccentric Art Dealer Forrest Fenn's Treasure Hunt Ends After A Decade

Friday, May 21, 2021

Eleven years ago, a now-deceased millionaire hid a treasure and published a riddle that would help hunters find it. The chase spawned partnerships, marriages, but also burglary and even deaths.


Music Streaming Giants To Pay $424 Million In Royalty Fees

Friday, March 19, 2021

Streaming has revolutionized the music business, including how songwriters get paid. Now the 20 biggest streaming platforms have been ordered to pay $424 million in unmatched royalties to artists.


YouTube Influencer Develops Online Resource For People Living In Vehicles

Thursday, March 04, 2021

For some people, giving up their house or apartment and living on the road is a choice. But for many Americans priced out of the housing and rental markets, living in a vehicle is a necessity.


Nonfiction Techniques Underpin Film 'Nomadland'

Saturday, February 20, 2021

In the new film Nomadland, director Chloe Zhao blends fact and fiction. The film follows the life of the modern-day American nomad in the aftermath of the 2008 housing and financial crises.


The Story Of The New Blue Pickup Truck Emoji

Monday, February 15, 2021

Among the latest batch of new emoji is an unassuming blue pickup truck. The story of how that symbol got onto our devices offers a window into the big and sometimes dark money that companies are spending to influence the way we communicate.


How The Writers Guild of America Declared Victory Over Hollywood's Talent Agencies

Friday, February 12, 2021

The Writers Guild of America declared victory after grappling for nearly two years with Hollywood's biggest talent agencies over how agents make their money.


Genetic Gold Rush: How Supreme Court Heard A Case On Patenting Human Genome

Friday, November 27, 2020

By the mid-2000s, an estimated 20% of the human genome had been turned into intellectual property. NPR shares the story of how the Supreme Court answered the question: Who do genes belong to?


The Nation's Dog Supply Chain Has Broken During The Pandemic

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Some of the U.S. animal shelters have reported having all their dogs fostered during the quarantine. But it is not just that the pandemic made people want pets more — a dog supply chain has broken.


Why Are Stores Are Running Low On Toilet Paper? It's Not Just Hoarding

Friday, April 03, 2020

Why are supermarkets running out of toilet paper? It's partly the same psychology behind a bank run — and partly about bottlenecks in supply chains.


It's The Age Of Peak TV, Yet Screenwriters And Their Agents Are Fighting

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Over 500 scripted TV shows were produced in the U.S. in 2019. But that record output is happening amid an ongoing battle between screenwriters and Hollywood's biggest talent agencies.


Why The DOJ Is Concerning Itself With The Old Anti-Trust Paramount Consent Decrees

Friday, December 06, 2019

The Paramount Consent Decrees were enacted more than 70 years ago to keep Hollywood studios from monopolizing film distribution. Now the Department of Justice has filed to terminate them.


Planet Money Investigates The Origins Of The Sperm Bank

Friday, November 22, 2019

Sperm banking has become a lucrative international business. But until the 1980s, it was a niche industry.


'Honey Boy' Marks Actor Shia LeBeouf's Screenwriting Debut

Friday, November 08, 2019

In the film Honey Boy, Shia LeBeouf tells his life story and stars as his father. It draws from his turbulent childhood as a Disney star and his conflicted relationship with his father.


How Some Companies In Germany Are Trying To Cut Down On The Number Of Retail Returns

Friday, November 01, 2019

The rise of online retail has meant the rise of online returns. One country where that is particularly apparent is Germany. Some companies there are trying to find ways to cut down on the costs.


The Boom And Bust Of Iceland's Tourism Bubble

Friday, October 11, 2019

The now-defunct budget airline WOW got Iceland hooked on tourism. The island nation's economy was reshaped by the tourism boom, and WOW's bankruptcy is changing things again.


'Cold Case Hammarskjöld' Investigates The Mystery Of Deadly 1961 Plane Crash

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Filmmaker Mads Brügger's new film, Cold Case Hammarskjöld, is a controversial investigation into the mysterious plane crash that killed U.N. General Secretary Dag Hammarskjöld over Zambia in 1961.


Episode 904: Joke Theft

Saturday, April 06, 2019

We follow the founder of f*ckjerry and comedian Jim Mendrinos into the world of comedy. Where a whole series of informal sanctions are deployed to protect jokes from theft.


Instagram Account Hit With Shame Campaign After It Steals Jokes

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Stealing jokes is as old as comedy itself and it has become increasingly rampant and profitable on Instagram. One social media campaign may be forcing a major Instagram account to change its behavior.