The Salt
3:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Kitchen Time Machine: A Culinary Romp Through Soviet History

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:38 am

The French novelist Marcel Proust immortalized the connection between food and memory when the narrator of his novel Remembrances of Things Past bit into a madeleine and was transported to thoughts of his childhood.

But what if that madeleine were poisoned, so to speak?

That is the question underlying Russian American writer Anya von Bremzen's new memoir, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. Though it contains recipes, this is not a cookbook but rather, a history of a family and of Soviet Russia.

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Shots - Health News
3:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

For-Profit Online Insurance Brokers Gear Up To Sell Obamacare

Workers at the eHealth call center outside Sacramento, Calif., get ready to sell health insurance through the marketplaces created under the federal health care law. Sales start Oct. 1.
eHealth Inc.

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 8:34 am

When the Affordable Care Act was working its way through Congress, Gary Lauer was nervous. Part of the bill sounded grim. It said people could buy required health coverage online, but only through websites run by state and federal governments.

"That was going to pretty much delete us from the landscape," he says.

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Parallels
3:02 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Japan's Rice Farmers See Trade Deal As Threat To Tradition

Rice farmers pull a harvest festival cart down country lanes in Narita city, Chiba prefecture. The area is home to Tokyo's main airport, but also has many agricultural areas.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:38 am

The Japanese city of Narita is best known to the outside world for its major airport that serves Tokyo, the nation's capital city.

Narita is also a rural area of Chiba Prefecture, however, with a long tradition of rice farming.

Toward the end of the summer, Narita's rice farmers gather to pray for bountiful harvests. They dance, play music and ride elaborate festival carts. From afar, the wagons appear to glide through a sea of lush green paddy fields as villagers pull them down Narita's placid country lanes.

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The Salt
3:01 am
Tue September 17, 2013

American Farmers Say They Feed The World, But Do They?

A cornfield is shrouded in mist at sunrise in rural Springfield, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 6:30 pm

When critics of industrial agriculture complain that today's food production is too big and too dependent on pesticides, that it damages the environment and delivers mediocre food, there's a line that farmers offer in response: We're feeding the world.

It's high-tech agriculture's claim to the moral high ground. Farmers say they farm the way they do to produce food as efficiently as possible to feed the world.

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The Two-Way
2:20 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Mission Success: Costa Concordia Is Vertical

The Costa Concordia is seen after it was lifted upright on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, early Tuesday morning. Officials declared the results of the 19-hour operation "perfect."
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 12:24 pm

In an operation that took 19 hours, the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia is now in an upright position.

The head of Italy's Civil Protection agency, Franco Gabrielli, announced the ship had reached vertical and that the operation to rotate it was complete, according to The Associated Press.

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Local News
1:10 am
Tue September 17, 2013

CMPD Officer Fired 12 Times In Killing Of Unarmed Man

Georgia Ferrell clutches a stuffed animal belonging to her son Jonathan, 24, who was shot and killed by a CMPD officer on Saturday morning.
Credit Julie Rose

A Charlotte Mecklenburg Police officer charged with involuntary voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of an unarmed man over the weekend is due in court this afternoon. CMPD says Officer Randall Kerrick used excessive force in the death of Jonathan Ferrell, firing his gun 12 times and striking Ferrell with ten of those bullets. An attorney for the Ferrell family calls the criminal charge "bold" and "unprecedented," but questions whether CMPD vets and trains its officers adequately.

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Charlotte Talks
12:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Andrew Claster

Andrew Claster
Credit ydnmultimedia.com/Youtube.com

Andrew Claster was the Deputy Chief Analytics Officer for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. He helped create and lead the Obama Analytics team of more than 50 analysts, statistical modelers and engineers. The team used predictive modeling, data analysis and technology to revolutionize political polling and individual-level voter targeting. And obviously, Obama won re-election. So how much of the efficiency, and ultimate victory, of the campaign can be attributed to Claster’s team and his model for analytics? He says his work dramatically increased the efficiency of voter contact, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, research, advertising, marketing and communications online and offline. And now he is selling his model to public and private companies. A conversation with Andrew Claster, when Charlotte Talks, Tuesday, Sept. 17.

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Animals
7:52 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Earwax From Whales Keeps Record Of Ocean Contaminants

A blue whale (and human diver) swimming off the coast of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, in April 2011.
Amos Nachoun Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 8:07 am

How often do whales clean their ears? Well, never. And so, year after year, their earwax builds up, layer upon layer. According to a study published Monday, these columns of earwax contain a record of chemical pollution in the oceans.

The study used the earwax extracted from the carcass of a blue whale that washed ashore on a California beach back in 2007. Scientists at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History collected the wax from inside the skull of the dead whale and preserved it. The column of wax was almost a foot long.

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The Two-Way
7:24 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

JPMorgan To Get Whale Of A Fine For Trading Losses

JPMorgan Chase will reportedly pay a $700 million fine to settle allegations that it made risky trades out of its London office that led to more than $6 billion in losses.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:38 am

Authorities are set to slap banking giant JPMorgan Chase with a massive fine over the bank's huge trading losses in London last year, confirms NPR's Jim Zarroli.

Though details of the deal are still pending, several reports put the amount at more than $700 million. It comes on the heels of the bank's having recently paid $410 million to settle charges that it manipulated energy markets.

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Code Switch
7:12 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

'It Could Have Been Me': The 1983 Death Of A NYC Graffiti Artist

A passenger boards a subway car painted with graffiti, in New York in 1984.
AP

"It could have been me. It could have been me."

These were the words uttered by painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was deeply shaken after he heard the story of a black graffiti artist who was beaten to death by New York City police. Seeing his own life reflected in the death of a fellow artist, Basquiat went on to create Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), not only to commemorate the young man's death, but also to challenge the state-sanctioned brutality that men of color could face for pursuing their art in public spaces.

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