I do this nerd thing, I also have a few audio blogs that I post now and then as well, rumor has it those are fun.
1. If you want to record multiple people with one mic, look for an omnidirectional mic. Most mics are unidirectional (in various response patterns, such as cardiod, hypercardiod, etc). An omni mic picks up sound from all directions.2. The NBER decides when recessions start and end. They declare the end of a recession when the stats start getting better, not when they return to what they were. Things could remain miserable for a long time even though the recession is "over".For example, one statistical measure the NBER looks at is the number of jobs lost. The US economy needs to generate (net) 150k jobs a month just to account for new entrants into the labor markets. So, the NBER could legitimately say that things are getting better once the massive layoffs and firings stop and when hiring resumes, once jobs start getting created rather than lost. However, until the economy is creating 150k jobs a month, things are still getting worse. (And the 150k/month only keeps up with new workers, it doesn't do anything to dig out of the ~8 million job hole that the recession put us into.)