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Digital Life
7:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

E-Sports Reach Pro-Athletic Status, Fandom — And Money

As more money flows into the competitions, E-sports gamers are gaining legitimacy as professional athletes with honed skills.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 11:30 am

Online competitive gaming is increasingly mirroring the world of professional sports. E-sports are attracting hard-working teams that compete for millions of dollars in prize money.

Generally, gamers wage battles with one another using rapid clicks of a computer mouse. "A lot of it comes down to reflexes, but a lot of [it] is strategy," says David Gorman, a sportscaster for the popular e-sport, Dota 2. "It's very much like chess, except it's in real time. Almost like speed chess."

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Around the Nation
7:20 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Throw Me Something (Again), Mister: Mardi Gras Beads Revived

Beads are essential to celebrating Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, but what happens to the tokens when the revelry ends?
Sean Garnder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 11:30 am

In Louisiana, Mardi Gras comes each year with dozens of parades filled with marching bands, colorful floats and parade-goers who scream, "Throw me something, Mister!"

That "something" the crowd wants are beads. The goal of any Mardi Gras parade is to catch as many as possible. After the revelry, people often have so many beads around their necks they can barely turn their heads.

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Politics
6:01 am
Sun March 2, 2014

In Drafting A Presidential Budget, Cost May Outweigh Benefit

Presidents have been submitting budgets since the 1920s, but now that lawmakers have the Congressional Budget Office, is the exercise worth it?
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 11:30 am

On Tuesday, President Obama will unveil his budget proposal for the coming year. But for all the sound and fury surrounding the president's spending plan, it's likely to have very little significance. Congress routinely ignores the president's budget. And lawmakers have already settled on overall spending levels for the coming year.

That's led some to ask whether it's time to bring the curtain down on this annual exercise in political theater.

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Business
5:26 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Marching Into Spring, Realtors' Hopes Rise

Economists say strong home sales this spring could drive job creation, as well as boost personal wealth and consumer confidence.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 12:07 pm

For real estate agents, March Madness has begun.

The rush is on to throw out clutter, paint walls and clean carpets. Historic data show the peak time for selling homes is April through July, and that means this is the month for spring cleaning.

"Freshen up the landscape and add that mulch now," Dallas Realtor Jeff Duffey recommended in a phone interview. "Get your over-sized furniture out of the small bedroom and put more lamps in that dark room."

The economy has a lot riding on how well people obey Duffey's marching orders.

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Code Switch
10:28 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

'Mad Black Men': Yes, There Were Black People In '60s Advertising

Mad Black Men's protagonist, Ron Rapper, gets a skeptical look from the secretary on his first day in the office.
Mad Black Men

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 1:23 am

When Mad Men first premiered on AMC in 2007, Xavier Ruffin — a young, African-American graphic designer from Milwaukee, Wisc. — really wanted to like it.

"I wanted to be a fan of it when it first came out," Ruffin tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I just had my own personal differences. Not liking the way blacks were represented in their universe. I just couldn't get over it."

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