Nylon stockings became all the rage. Black fedoras were the "pure quill" — meaning the real deal. Bing Crosby crooned Only Forever on the console. And Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American actor ever to take home an Oscar.
Ah, 1940. Three score and 12 years ago, America was in a very different place — economically and culturally.
But on April 2, 2012, when the National Archives releases detailed data from the 1940 census, we will get an even keener idea of how much — or how little — this nation has really changed in the past 72 years.
Queen Elizabeth is marking 60 years on the throne, and Johnny Walker wanted to do something special. The whiskey label released a new blend called Diamond Jubilee. It's been distilling since 1952, and a bottle costs $200,000.
Over the weekend, The Orlando Sentinel reported that two experts it consulted believe the voice heard calling for help in the background during a 911 call to police is not that of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who says he acted in self defense when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla.
We have all felt the ethereal siren song of other universes — the thrilling suspicion that touching a certain ring may in fact suck you into a Wood Between the Worlds, or that if you walk just so between platforms nine and 10 at King's Cross Station, you might find yourself departing from platform nine and three-quarters. For some, the tingling sensation of magical lands fades after leaving childhood behind. But I still peer curiously into wardrobes, and thus here are three blazingly intelligent adult novels for the untamable Alice in all of us.
The official report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis puts per capita personal income in Arizona last year at $35,875. That's a 3.9 percent increase over the prior year. But that was not enough to keep pace with the rest of the nation were income went up 4.3 percent. The result is that Arizona remains in 40th place. Economist Tom Rex of Arizona State University said the numbers were to be expected.
"We're very, very cyclical in Arizona," said Rex. "I'm not surprised that we'd have another pretty mediocre year. Things will turn here over the next couple of years."
The rising cost of oil isn't just a hit to the family budget. Businesses are hurt, too. Few are more affected than firms like FedEx. It deploys nearly 700 planes and tens of thousands of trucks and vans every day to deliver packages around the world. And few business leaders are more focused on finding alternatives to petroleum-based fuels than FedEx CEO Fred Smith.
Shortly after Smith founded Federal Express, the 1973 Arab oil embargo almost killed it. The experience imprinted Smith with a keen interest in the price and availability of oil.
Tax Day 2012 is looming — and after we file our returns, many of us will try to figure out what to do with the seemingly innocuous but possibly crucial documents we use to prepare our returns. Filing electronically can make those records easier to manage. But what should we really keep, and for how long?
Most experts recommend holding on to financial records for three years after they're used in a tax return — that's the amount of time the IRS has to audit taxpayers.
Why are these hard-to-pronounce ingredients added to everything from a burger served in schools to veggie burgers in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store? We try to answer that on this edition of Tiny Desk Kitchen.
It turns out the answers are as varied as the ingredients. But as we yearn to know what's in our food and how it's made, these kinds of ingredients with unfamiliar names make people suspicious.