Multi-music hyphenate Pharrell Williams hit it big earlier this year with the song, "Blurred Lines," which he co-wrote. Now Williams has blurred the lines of what makes a music video. The 24-hour-long music video for his new single, "Happy," has people dancing and lip-synching down Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles as the song loops over and over. Mimi Valdes, Williams' creative director, was on set for every day of the 11-day shoot, and she tells Robert Siegel and Melissa Block about the process.
Duke University is known for its basketball team. It's often at the top of the rankings and always a contender in the NCAA tournament. But this year, Duke's fans have something else to cheer about: their football team has had a standout season. Now, the university is hoping to capitalize on that success.
Egyptians are preparing to vote on a new constitution, again. When the last constitution was approved, President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was in power. He was ousted in July. The latest constitution was drafted by the military-backed government that ousted Morsi. Nathan Brown, who studies constitutionalism and rule of law in the Arab world, talks to Robert Siegel about what's at stake in the process, and the criticism the draft constitution has received. Brown is a professor at George Washington University and a scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
As the year draws to a close, so does the reign of emerald, Pantone's 2013 color of the year. That intense green must make way for Radiant Orchid, the recently crowned color of 2014. Melissa Block talks with Pantone Color Institute director Leatrice Eiseman, who runs the color search, about what the hue she calls "beguiling," and describes as "a member of the purple family with a strong fuchsia-pink undertone."
Robert Siegel talks with criminologist George Kelling, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, about the career and policing style of William Bratton, who was named NYPD Police Commissioner Thursday.
Chinese authorities have threatened to toss out all of the reporters for The New York Times and Bloomberg in China after 18 months of blockbuster stories exposing corruption among the elites — including, in the Times case, the family of Premier Wen Jiabao, who ruled for a decade, and Bloomberg's reporting on Li Keqiang, who took over in March. It is a reaction that has not been seen since the earliest days after the thawing of relations between the U.S. and China in the mid-1970s.
NPR's Planet Money team is manufacturing its own T-shirt. After the women's shirt was assembled in Colombia, they voyaged by container ship to Miami. The container, a big standardized box that moves easily from truck to ship to train, is the unsung hero of the global economy. It was invented in the 1950s and dramatically reduced shipping costs, ushering in a new era vastly different than the world retired stevedores remember. There's a whole lot more about what it takes to make a simple T-shirt — the journey from cotton to completion — here.
Congress still has a long to-do list and not much time left. The House hopes to wrap it up next week — just as the Senate returns from a Thanksgiving break. On many lawmakers' lists are efforts to complete a farm bill before milk prices go off the "dairy cliff." That on top of tough budget negotiations.