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Why Legos Are So Expensive — And So Popular

Legos often cost twice as much as similar blocks from a rival toymaker. So why are Legos so much more popular than other brands?
NPR

Rules Could Make TV Commercials Quieter

CALM is an acronym for a new law that takes effect Thursday. It stands for the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, and it means you won't have to jump for your TV remote the second commercials air. The law says the volume of commercials needs to be the same as the programs they're coming out of.
WAMU 88.5

Environmental Outlook: "American Canopy" by Eric Rutkow (Rebroadcast)

How America's trees and forests shaped the nation.

NPR

Obama, Boehner Star In 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Of the 535 members of Congress, not many are in the loop about negotiations to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases in the new year. Lawmakers are waiting to see what President Obama and John Boehner come up with — and some are nervous about having to quickly vote on a bill despite misgivings.
NPR

Post-Sandy, Newly Unemployed Struggle To Stay Afloat

While the storm did not influence the nation's jobless figures as much as expected, there are still thousands of people who are unemployed in Sandy's wake. Many businesses on the East Coast are still making repairs or have closed entirely, leaving many families in limbo.
NPR

Who Needs College? Young Entrepeneuer Bets On Bright Idea For Solar Energy

Eden Full dropped out of Princeton to found a startup company that brings the solar panel technology she invented to developing countries as part of a fellowship. The unusual program, funded by tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, gives young people $100,000 to skip college and focus on their work and research instead.
NPR

From Belgium To Piggly Wiggly: U.S. Beer Fans Snatch Up Elusive Ale

To many beer fans, the arrival of the elusive Westvleteren 12 Trappist ale in American shops today is a chance to try a beer they've only read about on beer-geek blogs and sites. But finding the beer can be tricky, and some stores sold out of their allotment within hours of opening Wednesday.
NPR

More Shoppers Gravitate Toward 'Brand Stories'

This week we are exploring the evolution of the American shopping experience. In the second installment in this series, Audie Cornish explores the influence of the Internet on the brick-and-mortar retail world. Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, founder of the design website Apartment Therapy, says that as shoppers move online, the physical store has morphed into more of a showroom for products that are later purchased on the Web, and a place to tell a brand's "story."

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