Robert Smith http://kuer.org en Four Years Later And One Round Earlier, The Game Ends The Same http://kuer.org/post/four-years-later-and-one-round-earlier-game-ends-same Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>For the second day in a row, there was heartbreak in Sochi for American hockey. Yesterday, the U.S. women's team fell to Canada. Today, it was the men's turn losing in the Olympic semifinals. Canada now goes on to fight for the gold medal in men's hockey while Team USA can still get the bronze. Today's match was supposed to be an opportunity for the Americans to avenge their loss to Canada in the Olympics four years ago. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42471 at http://kuer.org Roundup At The Rink And On The Bobsled Track http://kuer.org/post/roundup-rink-and-bobslep-track Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Now, a roundup of some of the big stories out of Winter Olympics in Sochi today. A Norwegian athlete became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time. And there was a bruising loss for host country Russia. Its men's hockey team lost to Finland and is out of the Olympic tournament. Russian fans like Alexander Ustinov(ph) were devastated.<p>ALEXANDER USTINOV: You know, it's so bad because we lose. We lose. I can't believe it. It's so bad.<p>SIEGEL: NPR's Robert Smith has been following the tournament and joins us now from Sochi. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:19:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42363 at http://kuer.org In Bobsled, 'You Learn As You Go' http://kuer.org/post/bobsled-you-learn-you-go If there's one sport in the Winter Olympics you can do with your eyes closed, it's bobsled.<p>The bobsled brakeman does about five seconds of hard work, jumps in the sled and can then relax a bit. During the women's bobsled competition tonight in Sochi, we should keep our eyes open, because it's fun to watch.<p>The women call themselves brakemen — not brake women or brake person — in a nod to the fact that bobsled was an all-male sport until 2002.<p>Even now, the women only race two-man — not four-man — bobsled.<p>Elana Meyers is the No. 1 driver on the U.S. team. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 15:03:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42295 at http://kuer.org In Bobsled, 'You Learn As You Go' U.S. Women's Bobsled Team Features 2 Summer Olympians http://kuer.org/post/us-womens-bobsled-team-takes-center-stage Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>There is one sport in the Winter Olympics you can do with your eyes closed. To be precise, you have to do a few seconds of work, after which you can close your eyes and hope for a gold. I am referring to the brakeman in bobsled. That's the athlete who pushes the sled. Tonight, the woman's two-person bobsled starts in Sochi.<p>NPR's Robert Smith introduces us to the team.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Let's get this out of the way. The women call themselves brakemen. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:18:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42286 at http://kuer.org Bronze In Bobsled For A Team Of Steves http://kuer.org/post/bronze-bobsled-team-steves Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Team USA has been struggling to win gold. There were some hope today. Two pairs of American athletes went into their events as the best in the world. And we're going to hear now how they did, starting with two-men bobsled. America driver Steve Holcomb and his brakeman Steve Langton sounded like this on the bobsled course.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING)<p>CORNISH: The Steves were going 82.7 miles per hour. The Russian sled, piloted by Alexander Zubkov, sounded like this...<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING)<p>CORNISH: All right. Mon, 17 Feb 2014 21:13:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42270 at http://kuer.org U.S. Looks To Bobsledder Steve Holcomb To Add To Medal Count http://kuer.org/post/olympic-update-sochi Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Let's check in on the Winter Olympics now. It's been a rough time so far for team USA. They have only won four gold medals in ski and snowboard slope style and in women's snowboard half pipe. The U.S. has struggled in the more traditional sports of the Winter Olympics. That could, though, change today. The U.S. has the best bobsledder in the world, Steve Holcomb. And he races the two-man today.<p>NPR's Robert Smith joins us from the Sanki Sliding track in the mountains above Sochi. Robert, good morning.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Good morning. Mon, 17 Feb 2014 10:17:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42253 at http://kuer.org Emotions Run High For Olympic U.S.-Russia Hockey Game http://kuer.org/post/emotions-run-high-olympic-us-russia-hockey-game Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The big event today at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi is the U.S.A.-Russia men's hockey game. It is already underway in the Bolshoi Ice Dome. The U.S.A. or Russia can lose and still make the finals but the emotional stakes of these two old rivals meeting today in Russia is huge. NPR's Robert Smith is at the game. He sent us a list of how he prepared for the big event.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: You need five things to properly gird yourself for a U.S.A.-Russia hockey match. Sat, 15 Feb 2014 14:54:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42193 at http://kuer.org Head First In Sochi, An American Takes Second http://kuer.org/post/head-first-sochi-american-takes-second Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. At the Sochi Olympics today, the women raced the skeleton. That is the terrifying sled event in which an athlete plunges headfirst down the track. An American from Utah went into the race a favorite to medal. Here's NPR's Robert Smith with her story and how she did today.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Noelle Pikus-Pace was having a very fast day. Going into her final run, she was already in second place. She needed one more perfect run. Fri, 14 Feb 2014 23:12:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42181 at http://kuer.org Between U.S. And Russian Hockey, A Different Kind Of Cold War http://kuer.org/post/between-us-and-russian-hockey-different-kind-cold-war Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.<p>For a lot of Russians, the true start of the Olympics was today. Team Russia took the ice in men's hockey. At the very same time, Team USA also had their very first game. We sent a reporter to each game to see how the two rivals stack up against each other and they sent his report.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: I'm Robert Smith at the Team USA game here in Sochi. It's the red, white and blue against the red, blue and white: Slovakia. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42126 at http://kuer.org In Front Of A Home Crowd, Russia Has Hockey History On Its Mind http://kuer.org/post/us-mens-hockey-team-faces-slovakia-preliminary-round There is a weird contradiction in Olympic hockey: On one hand, these professional players from the NHL arrive in a small town like movie stars.<p>They show up a week late, trailed by TV cameras and Russians begging for autographs.<p>And then they have to go back to basics. Early Thursday, members of Team USA were on the ice, doing the kind of simple drills that you'd see in a peewee hockey league.<p>Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers was practicing his passes with Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 10:09:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42092 at http://kuer.org In Front Of A Home Crowd, Russia Has Hockey History On Its Mind Shaun White Misses The Medal Stand As 'I-Pod' Gets The Gold http://kuer.org/post/shaun-white-misses-medal-stand-ipod-gets-gold Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Now to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where American snowboarder Shaun White attempted a three-peat today. He was trying to be the first three-time gold medal winner in the half-pipe competition, actually the first American man to win three consecutive golds in any Winter Olympic event. And NPR's Robert Smith watched the action today and joins us now from outside the half-pipe venue. Robert, how did things turn out for Shaun White?<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Well, at first it was set up exactly the way he wanted it. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:58:00 +0000 Robert Smith 42017 at http://kuer.org The Norwegian Athlete Who's One Medal Away From History http://kuer.org/post/norwegian-athlete-whos-one-medal-away-history On Monday, Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen came a ski-length away from winning a 13th Olympic medal and becoming the most decorated athlete ever at the Winter Games.<p>The biathlon pursuit Olympic event — cross-country skiing with rifle shooting — is a pretty devious race. The fastest man goes first, and then everyone else in the race tries to catch him before the finish line. And in Monday's competition, Bjoerndalen went first.<p>Just to make clear: Bjoerndalen is 40. The guys chasing him are in their 20s. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 00:19:00 +0000 Robert Smith 41975 at http://kuer.org The Norwegian Athlete Who's One Medal Away From History X Games Show The Olympics What The Kids Want http://kuer.org/post/x-games-show-olympics-what-kids-want <a href="http://www.teamusa.org/News/2013/January/01/Go-For-The-Gold-Home/Go-For-The-Gold-Nick-Goepper">Nick Goepper</a> is headed off to the Olympics in a couple of days, but he's not taking it easy: He spent the weekend hurtling through the air on ESPN at the X Games.<p>The sport is slopestyle. If you've watched any extreme skiing on television, you'll know it well: Skiers hit rails and walls and massive jumps; they seem to spend more time in the air than on the snow.<p>It's old hat for kids, but brand new for the Olympics. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 00:28:00 +0000 Robert Smith 41350 at http://kuer.org X Games Show The Olympics What The Kids Want Aerial Skiing Is A Game Of Skill — And Strategy http://kuer.org/post/aerial-skiing-game-skill-and-strategy During the Winter Olympics, seeing an aerial skier perform is unforgettable.<p>It's like gymnastics in the air. And, like gymnasts, aerial skiers get points for doing a harder routine and for sticking the landing. But there's a crucial difference between the two sports.<p>In the final few rounds of aerials, you can't use the same trick twice. Tue, 21 Jan 2014 22:40:00 +0000 Robert Smith 41080 at http://kuer.org Aerial Skiing Is A Game Of Skill — And Strategy For A Better Bobsled, Team USA Turns To Race Cars http://kuer.org/post/better-bobsled-team-usa-turns-race-cars When you meet bobsled driver Steve Holcomb, he doesn't talk about his Olympic gold medal — the one he won with the four-man team at the <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124170290" target="_blank">Vancouver Olympics in 2010</a>. Instead, he talks about the one that got away.<p>Four years ago, his two-man bobsled started the Olympic run with a great push. "I was actually winning the race in Vancouver," Holcomb says. But then he "made a driving mistake, and we went from first place to sixth place in two turns."<p>Holcomb blames himself. Thu, 16 Jan 2014 08:25:00 +0000 Robert Smith 40873 at http://kuer.org For A Better Bobsled, Team USA Turns To Race Cars A Locked Door, A Secret Meeting And The Birth Of The Fed http://kuer.org/post/locked-door-secret-meeting-and-birth-fed In 1907, the U.S. economy was in the grip of a financial crisis. Unemployment was up. The stock market was down.<p>People started panicking. They were lining up overnight to pull their money out of healthy banks. This can be deadly for an economy: Healthy banks have to shut down, businesses can't get credit, they lay people off, and the economy gets worse.<p>At the time, the U.S. government had no way to deal with the panic. There was no institution that could step in to stop the run on healthy banks. So the job of stopping the panic fell to one man: J.P. Mon, 23 Dec 2013 08:43:00 +0000 Robert Smith & Jacob Goldstein 39913 at http://kuer.org A Locked Door, A Secret Meeting And The Birth Of The Fed How To Sell Coke To People Who Have Never Had A Sip http://kuer.org/post/how-sell-coke-people-who-have-never-had-sip For years, there were only three countries in the world that didn't officially sell Coca-Cola: Cuba, North Korea and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.<p>Now, after 60 years, Coke is back in Myanmar. Sanctions were lifted last year on the country. Just this week, Coca-Cola opened its new bottling plant outside of Yangon. Now all the company has to do is figure out a way to sell all that Coke to people who may not remember what it tastes like.<p>The Myanmar people missed out on billions of dollars of worldwide advertising during those 60 years. Fri, 07 Jun 2013 07:34:00 +0000 Robert Smith 30509 at http://kuer.org How To Sell Coke To People Who Have Never Had A Sip Can This Man Bring Silicon Valley To Yangon? http://kuer.org/post/can-man-bring-silicon-valley-yangon Like a proud father, Nay Aung opens up his MacBook Air to show me the Myanmar travel website he has built. But we wait 30 seconds for the site to load, and nothing happens.<p>"Today is a particularly bad day for Internet," he says. This is life in Myanmar today: Even an Internet entrepreneur can't always get online.<br /> Fri, 24 May 2013 07:15:00 +0000 Robert Smith 29782 at http://kuer.org Can This Man Bring Silicon Valley To Yangon? Why (Almost) No One In Myanmar Wanted My Money http://kuer.org/post/why-almost-no-one-myanmar-wanted-my-money When you arrive in Myanmar, you can see how eager the people are to do business. At the airport in Yangon, new signs in English welcome tourists. A guy in a booth offers to rent me a local cellphone — and he's glad to take U.S. dollars. But when I pull out my money, he shakes his head.<p>"I'm sorry," he says.<p>He points to the crease mark in the middle of the $20 bill. Fri, 10 May 2013 07:12:00 +0000 Robert Smith 29055 at http://kuer.org Why (Almost) No One In Myanmar Wanted My Money The Trick To Selling Fancy Wine From New Jersey: Don't Say It's From New Jersey http://kuer.org/post/trick-selling-fancy-wine-new-jersey-dont-say-its-new-jersey Halfway between the New Jersey Turnpike and the Atlantic City casinos is a little slice of France: Amalthea Cellars. There's an old farmhouse, and a field full of grapevines.<p>Lou Caracciolo, who founded Amalthea, is walking through the field. "Here's something I put in the ground in 1976," he says. "You have to have a feel for it, and after 30 years I have a pretty good feel for it."<p>Caracciolo calls himself a hopeless romantic. Fri, 29 Mar 2013 07:07:00 +0000 Robert Smith 27060 at http://kuer.org The Trick To Selling Fancy Wine From New Jersey: Don't Say It's From New Jersey At A Trade Show, Power Tools Fit For The Amish http://kuer.org/post/inside-amish-trade-show The Buckeye Tool Expo in Dalton, Ohio, is held in a massive hall filled with bearded men in black hats and women in white bonnets. A few horses and buggies are tied up outside.<br /> <br />The Amish have chosen to forgo many of the delights of the modern world, but they still need to drill, sand and cut wood. This trade expo shows off all the loopholes that let the Amish get their hands on power tools.<br /> Fri, 22 Feb 2013 08:46:00 +0000 Robert Smith 25381 at http://kuer.org At A Trade Show, Power Tools Fit For The Amish Should The U.S. Import More Doctors? http://kuer.org/post/should-us-import-more-doctors People around the world want the same thing from their doctors. First, do no harm. Second, take a look at this weird bump and tell me if I should get worried.<p>The job is basically the same in many countries around the world. But the pay is wildly different. The median salary for U.S. doctors is about $250,000 a year. In Western Europe, it's less than half that. Fri, 15 Feb 2013 20:18:00 +0000 Robert Smith 25097 at http://kuer.org Should The U.S. Import More Doctors? A Union Vote For Chinese Workers Who Assemble iPhones http://kuer.org/post/union-vote-chinese-workers-who-assemble-iphones The Chinese workers who assemble iPhones, iPads and tons of other electronic devices may soon be able to elect their own union representatives, the <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/48091254-6c3e-11e2-b774-00144feab49a.html#axzz2JwYvPS00" target="_blank">FT reports</a>.<p>Labor unions technically do exist in Chinese factories, but they're typically controlled by management and the government. So a union run by democratic vote of the workers would be a huge shift.<p>The workers in question are employed by Foxconn, a giant company with over 1 million employees in China. Mon, 04 Feb 2013 17:12:00 +0000 Robert Smith 24511 at http://kuer.org A Union Vote For Chinese Workers Who Assemble iPhones Shooter's Family Connections Begin To Emerge http://kuer.org/post/shooters-family-connections-begin-emerge Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>We begin this hour with the tragedy in Connecticut. This morning, around nine o'clock, a young man walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and began shooting. Sat, 15 Dec 2012 02:42:00 +0000 Robert Smith 22377 at http://kuer.org Will A $1.9 Billion Settlement Change Banks' Behavior? http://kuer.org/post/will-19-billion-settlement-be-enough-change-banks-behavior If a kid does something bad and you want to discipline him — give him a timeout, say, or take away a toy — there are some basic principles that seem to work.<br /> Thu, 13 Dec 2012 08:28:00 +0000 Robert Smith 22256 at http://kuer.org Will A $1.9 Billion Settlement Change Banks' Behavior? New Yorkers Struggle With Limited Transit Options http://kuer.org/post/new-yorkers-struggle-limited-transit-options Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>New Yorkers were ready to get back to work today. Unfortunately, the region's transportation system was not. Commuters to Manhattan overwhelmed the barely operating bus and train system. From Brooklyn, NPR's Robert Smith reports on the resulting long lines and frustration.<p>ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: There was no good option to get from Brooklyn to Manhattan today, just various flavors of bad. You want to take a train? Thu, 01 Nov 2012 21:15:00 +0000 Robert Smith 20467 at http://kuer.org Watch Our Fake Presidential Candidate's First Real Ad http://kuer.org/post/watch-our-fake-presidential-candidates-first-real-ad <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VtnjRdfo1Y</p> Fri, 19 Oct 2012 16:30:00 +0000 Robert Smith 19937 at http://kuer.org Watch Our Fake Presidential Candidate's First Real Ad The Candidate Is Fake; The Consultants Are Real http://kuer.org/post/candidate-fake-consultants-are-real When our <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/10/17/163104599/planet-moneys-fake-presidential-candidate" target="_blank">series</a> began yesterday, we brought together five economists from across the political spectrum and had them create a platform for their dream presidential candidate. It's a platform — <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/10/18/163179117/two-more-policies-economists-love-and-politicians-hate" target="_blank">Get rid of a tax deduction for homeowners</a>! Fri, 19 Oct 2012 06:53:00 +0000 Robert Smith 19907 at http://kuer.org The Candidate Is Fake; The Consultants Are Real A Tax Plan That Economists Love (And Politicians Hate) http://kuer.org/post/tax-plan-economists-love-and-politicians-hate <em>Watching a presidential campaign, it's easy to think that the nation is deeply divided over how to fix the economy. But when you talk to economists, it turns out they agree on an enormous number of issues.</em><p><em>So we brought together five economists from across the political spectrum and had them create their dream presidential candidate. Over the next few days, we'll have a series of stories on our economists' dream candidate. Thu, 18 Oct 2012 07:32:00 +0000 Robert Smith 19854 at http://kuer.org A Tax Plan That Economists Love (And Politicians Hate) Why New York Is A Hub In The Global Trinket Trade http://kuer.org/post/why-new-york-hub-global-trinket-trade <em>For more on the junk economy, see this <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/10/03/162078649/rubber-ducks-and-cheap-watches-photos-from-new-yorks-junk-economy" target="_blank">slideshow</a>.</em><p>There's a neighborhood in New York City that has always been a mystery to us. Smack dab in the middle of Manhattan, around 29th street, is the wholesale district. There you can find rows of narrow storefronts packed to the ceiling with trinkets. Racks and racks of fake gold chains. Acres of souvenir lighters and walls of belt buckles. Wed, 03 Oct 2012 10:14:00 +0000 Robert Smith 19156 at http://kuer.org Why New York Is A Hub In The Global Trinket Trade