Startups really are changing the world… in China at least

This is such a cool story {npr}:

When Cici Xu isn’t working as an accountant, she’s driving around Shanghai picking up passengers for People’s Uber, the American company’s nonprofit ride-sharing service that operates in nine mainland Chinese cities.

Xu, 40, makes about $1,300 a month as a driver, but says she doesn’t really do it for the money.

“I hope to meet different people,” she says, explaining her new hobby at a downtown café recently. She wants to “make life more colorful and get to know a different Shanghai. I’ve now discovered, I’m addicted to this work.”

Philly’s Underground Global Warming Contribution

Eye-opening report from NPR’s State Impact:

In fact, a methane leak’s warming impact over the next 20 years could be 84 times that of carbon dioxide, according to several estimates. And methane, which makes up the main component of natural gas, has been pouring out of cracks in our sidewalks and streets from those leaky pipes for decades.

But nobody knows how much. Pennsylvania’s Climate Impacts Assessment, published in October 2013, never mentions methane emissions from distribution lines. And there are no state, federal or local regulations on methane emissions.

Smoothie Recipes

I make smoothies a lot. I think it’s fun to use whatever ingredients you have on hand and experiment with different combinations. It’s easy to experiment when you’re making smoothies; you just toss in different stuff.

I usually text a good flavor combination to a friend who also has a Vitamix and also makes smoothies. This story about sharing recipes on Twitter {npr} gave me the idea to tweet my smoothie recipes.

But twitter can be clunky for that sort of thing so i made a site that automatically pulls in my latest smoothies. check it out here: smoothies.marchummel.com

Cheers.

NPR One

New today from NPR: a great new way to experience public radio. It’s called NPR One. Upon opening the app for the first time, one confirms their local NPR affiliate and presses play. If you like what you hear, tap the “Interesting” button. If not, skip it. (You can also teach the app what you like by searching for topics and shows you enjoy.)

The more you use the app, the more it will learn about your interests. And the whole thing looks gorgeous and works great.

I’ve been using NPR One for about an hour so far, and it’s already provided me with an interesting mix of stories ranging from local news to a story from the NPR archives about why mammals need sleep.

It functions in a manner similar to Swell, the podcast app Apple has just reportedly purchased {tech crunch}.

It seems like a very forward-thinking move for NPR. It fulfills an emerging trend analogous to the gradual switch in listener habits moving from listening to music on iPods to streaming it on Spotify. Why bother managing episodes on a podcast app when you can use a service like NPR One instead?

It’s also a great way to get exposed to local news and break free from the filter bubble.

Planet Money Makes a T-shirt

NPR Planet Money T-Shirt

NPR’s Planet Money is tracing the manufacturing process of a t-shirt from the very beginning.

It all started with a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $half million.

They met garment workers, sea captains, customs officials and cotton farmers along the way.

Check out video from their journey, listen to the podcast and watch Alex Blumberg (whose voice This American Life listeners will recognize) on Colbert.

Beyond the merits of the story itself, this is a great case study for story-telling across media, and the power of a story to sell a product. I’m not particularly keen on the design, but the more I follow their journey, the more I want it.