Big-hearted Americans always rush to give money after a disaster. Just how much and how fast is often determined by technology. After the earthquake in Haiti, texting small donations, for example, became a new standard practice.
This time around, Hurricane Sandy has shown crowdfunding websites are a simple tool for quick-response giving. Anyone can go on these sites and ask for money to rebuild or to help their neighbors rebuild. Friends, family and strangers chip in.
Earlier this summer, I looked for Edward Hopper's Morning Sun at its home in the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. In the painting, a woman sits on a bed with her knees up, gazing out a window. She's bare, but for a short pink slip. The iconic Hopper is a must-see, but on the day I visited, it was on loan to an exhibition in Madrid.
The Orange Country Register in suburban Los Angeles is expanding its newsroom. Not only that — the owners are emphasizing print, not digital.
In the past few weeks, longtime Register editor Ken Brusic has hired some two-dozen positions: critics to review food, TV and cars, a society columnist and investigative reporters. He's still looking for a movie critic, a magazine writer and many more reporters.
North Korea is preparing to launch a long-range rocket as it rounds off a tumultuous year marked by the sudden death of leader Kim Jong Il last December, the ascension of his 20-something son, and the humiliating failure of a rocket launch in April.
NPR recently interviewed five North Koreans in a northern Chinese city, gaining a rare glimpse of that eventful year through North Korean eyes. They were all visiting China legally, having left North Korea within the past few months.