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Election 2012
10:01 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

'President Gingrich' Promises Permanent Moon Base

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich made campaign stops on Florida's Space Coast on Wednesday, saying space is part of America's destiny and outlining what he called a bold plan to send Americans to the moon and beyond. Here, the former House speaker delivers remarks outside a restaurant in Coral Springs, Fla.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 8:18 am

Newt Gingrich, a self-described space nut, has long been a supporter of the U.S. space program. Now the Republican presidential hopeful is proposing what he calls a bold program that would send Americans back to the moon and beyond.

During a campaign event on Florida's Space Coast — hard-hit by the recession and the space program's uncertain future — Gingrich talked about coming of age at the time of Sputnik, the first satellite, launched in 1957 by the Soviet Union. He recalled reading science-fiction author Isaac Asimov and Missiles and Rockets magazine.

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Business
10:01 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

To Grow Business, Starbucks Thinks Outside The Cup

Barista Nicole Adams serves up a drink in March at a Starbucks in downtown Seattle. The company is expanding its coffee options to include a light roast and plans to create a new health and wellness brand.
Ted S. Warren AP

Just four years ago, Starbucks seemed to be losing its mojo. Howard Schultz, the man who made Starbucks a household name, returned to the company as CEO. He closed hundreds of stores, streamlined operations and set the company on a path to record revenues and strong profits.

Starbucks serves 60 million beverages a week, which adds up to big profits. The company reports its earnings Thursday. In a bid to further expand its consumer base, Starbucks has a new roast and plans to produce more retail products to sell outside of its coffeehouses.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Growing Pressures Prompt Plunge In Iranian Currency

An Iranian man counts banknotes after exchanging a gold coin for cash in Tehran on Monday. Gold coins were being exchanged for over 10 million rials as the Iranian currency continues to lose value against the U.S. dollar.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

The value of Iran's currency — which had been sliding steadily for months — took another plunge this week. Faced with new economic sanctions from the U.S. and Europe, the rial now seems to be in free fall.

But at least part of the dive could be linked to currency manipulation by the government itself in an effort to fund candidates in upcoming elections.

In images posted on the Internet, hundreds of Iranians are seen gathered outside the headquarters of the Bank Melli in Tehran Monday. They wanted to buy dollars, but there were no dollars to be had.

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Planet Money
10:01 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

No, Hedge Funds Can't Foreclose On The Acropolis

DIMITAR DILKOFF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 10:12 am

Greece is broke. But there's no blueprint for a country to declare bankruptcy, so Greece's creditors are sort of making things up as they go along.

"You're taking some sort of loss," Hans Humes of Greylock Capital Management told me. "But it's like, how much of a loss do you take? There's this thing called sovereign immunity. You can't go in and take the Acropolis."

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Space
10:01 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Want To Make A Giant Telescope Mirror? Here's How

Giant Magellan Telescope
Giant Magellan Telescope

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:05 am

The world's largest mirrors for the world's largest telescopes are made under the football stadium at the University of Arizona.

Why there? Why not?

"We wanted some space, and it was just used for parking some cars, and this seemed like a good use," says Roger Angel.

Angel is the master of making big mirrors for telescopes. For 30 years he has been using a method called spin casting to make the largest solid telescope mirrors in the world.

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