NPR Blogs

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:53 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Holiday Foods Tempting You? These Ancient Monks Would Have Understood

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 10:44 am

For those of us who've succumbed to food temptations this holiday season, there's comfort in knowing we're in good historical company.

Archaeologists have published a paper suggesting that some Byzantine monks in 6th-century Jerusalem consumed foods that fell outside their proscribed diet.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Wed December 26, 2012

'Housing Recovery Is Gathering Strength,' New Report On Prices Signals

A "sold" sign outside a home under construction in Peoria, Ill., in October.
Daniel Acker Landov

Home prices were up 4.3 percent in October from the same month a year before in the 20 major U.S.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Wed December 26, 2012

By Showing Ammo Magazine On NBC, Did David Gregory Break The Law?

Meet the Press host David Gregory, holding what he said was a high capacity magazine, during Sunday's broadcast.
NBC News

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 2:50 pm

Washington, D.C., city police are investigating whether NBC News' David Gregory broke the district's laws when he displayed what he said was a "magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets" on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Top Stories: Frightful Weather; Fiscal Cliffhanger; Soft Shopping Season

Will someone come back to fill it up? On Christmas Day at the Lakeside Mall in New Orleans, this shopping cart sat all alone. After what's been said to have been a soft holiday shopping season, retailers are hoping that post-holiday sales will be strong.
David Grunfeld The Times-Picayune /Landov

Good morning.

Our early headline:

-- Weather Outside Is Frightful; Tornadoes, Snow, Rain Lash Much Of Nation.

Some of the other stories making news today:

-- " 'Fiscal Cliff' To Bring President Obama Back Early From Hawaii." (Los Angeles Times)

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Weather Outside Is Frightful; Tornadoes, Snow, Rain Lash Much Of Nation

The wicked weather covers a lot of territory. (Image shows conditions as of late afternoon Wednesday, ET.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:27 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Giles Snyder on the storm

(On Wednesday, we weaved new information into the top of this post and in updates below. Thursday, we began a new post about the weather.)

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The Salt
3:22 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Don't Fear That Expired Food

The expiration date on foods like orange juice and even milk aren't indicators of when those products will go bad.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 8:57 am

Now that the Christmas feast is over, you may be looking at all the extra food you made, or the food that you brought home from the store that never even got opened.

And you may be wondering: How long can I keep this? What if it's past its expiration date? Who even comes up with those dates on food, anyway, and what do they mean?

Here's the short answer: Those "sell by" dates are there to protect the reputation of the food. They have very little to do with food safety. If you're worried whether food is still OK to eat, just smell it.

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The Salt
2:14 am
Wed December 26, 2012

The Rebirth Of Rye Whiskey And Nostalgia For 'The Good Stuff'

Templeton bottles, filled and almost corked.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:04 am

It used to be said that only old men drink rye, sitting alone down at the end of the bar, but that's no longer the case as bartenders and patrons set aside the gins and the vodkas and rediscover the pleasures of one of America's old-fashioned favorites.

Whiskey from rye grain was what most distilleries made before Prohibition. Then, after repeal in 1933, bourbon, made from corn, became more popular. Corn was easier to grow, and the taste was sweeter.

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The Salt
4:20 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Computers May Someday Beat Chefs At Creating Flavors We Crave

Does bell pepper and black tea sound appetizing? A computer may think so.
Ryan Smith NPR

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 10:06 am

Mario Batali, watch your back.

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The Salt
9:33 am
Tue December 25, 2012

'Canadian Peanut Butter' Connects Mainers To Their Acadian Roots

Robert Bisson of Bisson and Sons Meat Market in Topsham, Maine, with his granddaughter. The butcher shop sells traditional cretons during the holidays.
Lauren McCandlish NPR

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 2:08 pm

Last Christmas, we told you about tourtières, the savory meat pies Canadians serve around the holidays. Now, we bring you cretons, a Québécois delicacy found throughout Canada and parts of New England this time of year.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:48 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Instant Christmas? A Snowless Snowstorm Turns Downtown Snowy White

Kut/Vimeo

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 8:33 am

This isn't snow.

It looks like snow.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
5:45 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

We're Taking A Holiday Break

With Christmas upon us and the New Year just around the corner, we're taking a two-week break from regular posting on 13.7. You may still see a few "micro posts" over the next two weeks. But we won't be back to our regular schedule until Monday, January 7. We hope to see you again then.

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Shots - Health News
4:09 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

UOK? 'Dystextia' Alerts Doctors To Neurological Problems

Doctors used a type of MRI test to look at the blood vessels in the brain of a woman with dystextia. The test confirmed she was suffering from a stroke on the right side of her brain
Archives of Neurology

A young, pregnant woman went for a routine doctor's visit to find out her due date. As she was leaving the office, she got a text message from her husband:

Husband: So what's the deal?

Wife: Every where thinging days nighing

Wife: Some is where!

Husband: What the hell does that mean?

Husband: You're not making any sense.

Turns out the woman was having a stroke. And her garbled texting — something doctors are now calling 'dystextia' — was an early clue to the problem.

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Krulwich Wonders...
3:53 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Which Is There More Of: Kindness Or Unkindness? A Christmas Accounting

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 11:57 am

Here's a notion. It comes from Kevin Kelly, author, editor and friend. He was imagining this:

Suppose, he said, that you could count every kindness, every good deed, every smile, every caress, every act of charity, love, tenderness, every generous moment that occurred on the planet this year, and add them all up so you'd have a Total Incidence of Goodness for 2012, a grand sum.

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The Salt
3:51 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Christmas A Busy Season For Tamale-Makers

Tamales in Ofelio Crespo's home on Dec. 20.
Lauren Rock NPR

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 5:18 pm

For Christmas, Central and Mexican-American families don't crave a holiday turkey; they want a plate of steaming hot tamales.

Gustavo Arellano, author of the book Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, says that to him, tamales are more than food. They transmit Latino culture during Christmas.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

One Comment Says A Lot: Here's Why We're Grateful

Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

We want to say thank you.

Our colleague Kate Myers has been helping us look back on The Two-Way's year — the most popular posts, the most frequent commenters, the heaviest traffic days and other such measures. We'll share some of what she's found in coming days.

But something Kate just turned up strikes us as worth noting right away.

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