National

The Salt
1:00 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Why We Toast: Uncorking A New Year's Tradition

A happy-looking 1930s couple toasts.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:42 pm

The act of toasting feels natural: You lift your arms in affirmation and drink in honor of an occasion or a loved one.

It's what millions will do this week as they ring in the New Year, but why? Like shaking hands or saluting, toasting is a habit with incredibly foggy beginnings, so we here at The Salt decided to dig into it, for the sake of science.

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Books
12:00 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Diana Vreeland's Rise To 'Empress Of Fashion'

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is under the weather. Despite challenging economic times, many of us will dress up for New Year's Eve. Over the next few minutes, we'll focus on the unique history of American fashion. Coming up, a discussion about why fashion is so important for many African-American men.

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Economy
11:50 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Is Our Economy Better Than Theirs?

The countdown is on to a new year — and the fiscal changes that are on the other side of midnight. But what else is on the cards economically for 2013, both here and overseas? Guest host Celeste Headlee puts the question to the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy.

The Two-Way
10:39 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Good Riddance! 'Fiscal Cliff' Tops List Of 'Words To Be Banished'

Be gone!
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 11:44 am

Oh, if only someone could enforce this "edict."

Michigan's Lake Superior State University is out with its 38th "List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness," and right there at the top is a two-word combination that none of us in the media seem able to avoid, especially not today:

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Music
10:21 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Hip-Hopping With A Harp

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 7:46 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now I would like to tell you about a special performer, someone many people have called one of a kind. She is a native Washingtonian. She fuses pop, R&B and hip-hop and she does all that while accompanying herself on an instrument you don't see very often in contemporary music - her harp.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THERE'S NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU")

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Education
10:21 am
Mon December 31, 2012

How 'Deferred Action' Will Affect Classrooms

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up: Why did the Oscar-winning filmmaker of "The Hobbit" devote his time, money and moviemaking skills to an entirely different project about a long-ago crime in Arkansas? We'll speak with Peter Jackson and one of the men featured in a new documentary "West of Memphis." That's in just a few minutes.

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Movie Interviews
10:21 am
Mon December 31, 2012

The Hobbit Filmmaker Turns To Crime Documentary

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Monkey See
9:03 am
Mon December 31, 2012

2012 In Review: 4 Great Graphic Novels We Haven't Told You About Yet

Ok, same drill as last Friday's post about my favorite ongoing comics series of 2012: We've highlighted a lot of great graphic novels over the past year, many of which belong on "Best of 2012" lists.

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It's All Politics
7:28 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Not Your Father's (Or Mother's) Congress

Marco Garcia AP

Despite what has been called a status quo election, life is far from static on Capitol Hill. The 113th Congress will bring with it generational and some historic changes, including the first all-female delegation for a state (New Hampshire), and the fewest number of military veterans in the Senate and House since World War II.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Year Ends As It Began, With Lawmakers Headed Toward The 'Fiscal Cliff'

The U.S. Capitol. Will lawmakers avoid the "fiscal cliff" or go over?
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 2:05 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Scott Horsley reports
  • From 'Morning Edition': David Welna reports

(Scroll down for updates.)

Well, here we are. It's New Year's Eve and with just hours to go before the end of the year and the arrival of the so-called fiscal cliff, Democrats and Republicans in Washington are still trying to strike a deal that heads off automatic increases in taxes, automatic deep spending cuts in a variety of programs and the automatic expiration of some jobless benefits.

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Around the Nation
7:12 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Possum Drop Will Be Held In Brasstown, N.C.

Transcript

STEVEN INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A New Year's tradition will change in Brasstown, North Carolina. Instead of the Times Square Ball, Clay's Corner Store lowered a love possum in a box. Store owner Clay Logan tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press we aren't pessimistic or optimistic. We're opposumistic. But nobody asked the possum. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued. Now Mr. Logan says he'll drop a stuffed animal, or road kill, depending on what's available. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
7:04 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Popular Baby Names For 2013

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Business
5:43 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Best Car Deals To Be Found This Time Of Year

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We are in a great season to buy a car. Automakers and dealers are offering lots of incentives. And those incentives are just one of the factors in what may end up as the best year for the auto industry since 2007, before the height of the financial crisis. So why has it been a good year? Well, when millions of people hold off on their car purchases for years, that pent up demand, along with cheap credit, will eventually drive stronger sales.

Here's NPR's Sonari Glinton.

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Around the Nation
5:43 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Secretary Clinton Hospitalized With Blood Clot

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 6:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's turn to some other developments we're following very closely. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in a New York City hospital this morning. She is being treated for a blood clot. Now, a State Department spokesman said this stems from a concussion Clinton sustained earlier this month. The blood clot was discovered during a follow-up exam yesterday.

We're joined in the studio by two of our colleagues, NPR foreign affairs correspondent Jackie Northam and NPR science editor Rob Stein. Good morning to both of you.

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Shots - Health News
3:30 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Research Moratoriums And Recipes For Superbugs: Bird Flu In 2012

Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., use eggs to see if the Asian strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus has entered the U.S. in this photo from 2006.
Andy Manis AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:46 am

For scientists who study a dangerous form of bird flu, 2012 is ending as it began — with uncertainty about what the future holds for their research, but a hope that some contentious issues will soon be resolved.

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