Economy
11:17 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Even Finish Masks Volatile Year For U.S. Economy

A trader walks in New York City's financial district on Sept. 12, a day when stocks fell early based on fears that the Greek government would default, then rallied on news that China might buy Italian debt. This year, what sent the market into a tailspin often took place overseas.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 3:16 pm

2011 was a year of crisis and revolution, and that took a big toll on the world's financial markets. In the United States, stocks lurched along for much of the year, losing and gaining ground over and over again.

Stock prices are ending the year just about where they were at the beginning, and anyone who invested in anything but the bluest of blue chip stocks probably didn't make much money. And yet, the flat trend lines masked a huge amount of volatility, says Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank.

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Education
10:48 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Big Education Grants Threatened By Teacher Spats

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 3:58 pm

Teachers and school districts say they agree that better teacher evaluations are needed, but they can't agree on the details. Now, those disputes threaten federal grants meant to encourage education reform.

Take New York state, which has a lot of failing schools. Those schools got more than $100 million in federal School Improvement Grants. In exchange, districts promised to phase in new evaluation systems.

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Music News
10:47 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Leaders Wanted: Protest Songs From The Arab Spring

Tunisian rapper El Général's "The President of the Country" is an essential song of the Arab Spring.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 2:40 pm

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Music Interviews
10:46 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Winter Songs: The Frozen Tale Of 'Lord Franklin'

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 12:24 pm

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Fri December 30, 2011

'An Extraordinary Battle': Judge Claims SEC Misled Court In Citi Case

A man walks by a Citibank branch at the U.S. bank Citigroup world headquarters on Park Avenue, in New York in 2008.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruffled feathers back in November when he refused to approve a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commision and Citigroup.

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It Was A Good Year For...
10:01 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Answering The Question 'What Was It A Good Year For?'

A word cloud featuring readers' submissions to the question, "What was 2011 a good year for?"
NPR

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 3:56 pm

For many people, 2011 wasn't a great year. When the economy wasn't sluggish, it was turbulent. And all manner of disasters seemed to rotate through the headlines. But in some states, and some neighborhoods, people got along just fine. Look closely at the worlds of business and sports, music and politics, and you'll find a few people and places that had it pretty good in 2011.

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Brain Candy
10:00 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Making Resolutions That Stick In 2012

Many have fallen of the new year's resolution bandwagon soon after adopting a new diet or quiting smoking. So how can you achieve year-end goals and start the year on a positive note? Roy Baumeister, co-author of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength , has some tips.

Science
10:00 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Exploring Science At The End Of The Earth

Every year thousands of scientists visit Antarctica. Some study the gas plume from the active volcano, Mount Erebus. Others map the ever-changing ice caves. But they all face the same challenges of working on extreme terrain. Two researchers and a photojournalist discuss how research is done on the frozen continent.

NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri December 30, 2011

NASA Probes Set To Orbit The Moon Over New Year's

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 11:00 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. The New Year's countdown has begun, not at the clock in Times Square but this one for two NASA probes set to orbit the moon this weekend. The twin spacecraft, GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B are expected to enter lunar orbit 24 hours apart, one on New Year's Eve, the other on New Year's Day.

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Science
10:00 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Year in Review: Science Stories of 2011

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 11:00 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. When you look back on 2011, what will you remember, the Fukushima nuclear disaster following the tsunami? What about the death of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and the pioneer of personal computing? How about the world's population reaching seven billion?

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