NPR Blogs

The Salt
12:33 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

From Humors To Self Control: The Evolution Of A Well-Balanced Diet

How a wealthy table set with a second course in the month of January would look, according to Mary Smith of Newcastle, in her 1772 book, The complete house-keeper and professed cook.
British Library

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 3:11 pm

Chances are you're familiar with the phrase "a well-balanced diet." Two to three servings of meat, poultry or fish; three to five servings of vegetables — you know the drill. When we talk about being "well-balanced" today, we're usually talking about the specific nutrients we put into our body.

While this might seem like a relatively new development — a product of the past 50 years of fitness programs and diet regimes — as it turns out, this idea goes back much further.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Report: Man Given Boots By NYC Police Officer Has Apartment He Could Use

The photo that touched many hearts: New York City Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo gives a shoeless man a pair of boots on a frigid night last month. That man was later identified as 54-year-old Jeffrey Hillman.
Jennifer Foster NYPD via Facebook

Jeffrey Hillman's bare feet on a frigid night in New York City last month inspired a police officer to buy the seemingly homeless man a pair of warm boots — a moment captured in a heartwarming photo that went viral.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Tue December 4, 2012

In Damascus, Bracing For The Worst

A Syrian soldier aims his rifle during clashes in the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Sunday. There is frequent fighting in and around Damascus, and residents are increasingly worried about a major battle for the capital.
HOPD AP/SANA

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 2:47 pm

Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country, and there has been limited information about many parts of the country. In this essay, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.

The people of Damascus seem to be bracing for the worst, fearing that a revolt now 20 months old is building to a ferocious fight for control of the capital.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:47 am
Tue December 4, 2012

New Superhero, 3,200 Years Old, Turns Air Into Wood Superfast

Robert Krulwich NPR

This is for you, Martina Navratilova, for you, Nolan Ryan, for you, Methuselah, for you, Jimmy Carter, and for all of you reading this if you're on the "wrong" side of 50 but still pumping. This week, we've got ourselves a role model, a poster boy for robust old age.

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Shots - Health News
11:16 am
Tue December 4, 2012

At Small Companies Insurance Extensions Have More Limits

Now that the layoffs are official, it's time to talk about health insurance.
iStockphoto.com

When it comes to health insurance, working for a small company often means making do with less than employees get at big firms.

Small companies offer coverage less often. Even when they do make it available, it may cost more and be less comprehensive. One reason: Small employers just don't have the bargaining clout with insurers that larger firms have.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Crime On The Farm: Hay Thefts Soar As Drought Deepens

That's a valuable commodity: A hay bale at a farm in Eatonton, Ga., earlier this year.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

  • Sheriff Bobby Whittington talks with NPR's Renee Montagne

Your crime fodder ... sorry, make that blotter ... news of the day.

From St. Louis:

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Living On Food Stamps: Newark Mayor Cory Booker Starts Challenge Today

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:02 am

A campaign to raise awareness about the struggles of low-income Americans who depend on food stamps gets a high-profile plug today as Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., begins a week of living on $30 worth of food.

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Monkey See
9:51 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Sundance 2013: Who Cares About Ashton Kutcher? Bring On Jesse And Celine!

Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in jOBS, directed by Joshua Michael Stern, which will close the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Glen Wilson Sundance Film Festival

The headline out of yesterday's announcement of the films that will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013 had to do with jOBS (if it is up to me, I will never obey that silly typography again), the Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher wearing '70s facial hair.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Top Stories: Iran Claims Drone Capture; Typhoon Bears Down On Philippines

Philippine Air Force troops use a rubber boat to evacuate residents from floods in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines earlier today (Dec. 4).
Bobby Lagsa EPA /LANDOV
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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Three 'Should Read Stories' About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

How long and how late will talks go? (The Capitol dome.)
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images
  • Mara Liasson, on 'Morning Edition'
  • Renee Montagne and Tamara Keith, on 'Morning Edition'

The back-and-forth continues between the White House and Republican leaders in Congress about how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to begin.

The big news Monday was the "counteroffer" put forward by House Republicans.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Report: Benghazi 'Talking Points' Watered Down By CIA, Not White House

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Allison Joyce Reuters /Landov

"A highly cautious, bureaucratic process that had the effect of watering down the U.S.'s own intelligence" led to the controversial "talking points" that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used when she spoke about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Tue December 4, 2012

U.S. Disputes Iran's Claim To Have Captured Drone

A screen image from the video released by Iranian TV of what the military there claims is a captured U.S. drone.
Press TV

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 1:50 pm

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Shots - Health News
3:50 am
Tue December 4, 2012

The (Huge And Rarely Discussed) Health Insurance Tax Break

The largest tax break in the federal code doesn't appear on the forms the average person fills out each year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:56 am

What's the largest tax break in the federal tax code?

If you said the mortgage interest deduction, you'd be wrong. The break for charitable giving? Nope. How about capital gains, or state and local taxes? No, and no.

Believe it or not, dollar for dollar, the most tax revenue the federal government forgoes every year is from not taxing the value of health insurance that employers provide their workers.

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The Two-Way
6:24 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Newly-Released Color Photo Shows A Bloodied George Zimmerman

A photograph of George Zimmerman on the night he shot Trayvon Martin.
GZlegalcase.com

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:26 pm

George Zimmerman's defense team just released a photograph they say was taken the night he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

A black-and-white photocopy of the picture had already been released, but this photo is the first high-resolution and clear view we've gotten of Zimmerman on the night of the shooting.

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The Salt
5:15 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Can Big Food Kick Its Obesity Habit? Does It Really Want To?

A sign protesting a beverage tax in Richmond, Calif. The U.S. soft drink industry has fought proposals that would put a tax on sugar sweetened beverages like sodas and energy drinks.
Braden Reddall Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 1:11 pm

A few days ago, two big names in food policy squared off for a formal debate on the following proposition: There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the food and beverage industry's interests and public health policy interests on obesity.

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