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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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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

China Kicks Out New York Times Reporter

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:56 pm

China has effectively expelled a reporter working for The New York Times by refusing to extend his media credentials, the newspaper said Monday.

The reporter, Chris Buckley, has been forced to leave China, New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson said in a statement.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:26 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Another Year And I'm Still Here: A New Year's Meditation

Rogier Wieland Vimeo

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 12:17 pm

Updated Jan. 1, 2013: I've added a postscript to this post. You can find it at the bottom of this page.

Look at yourself. Right now.

You are muscle,skin, bone, brain, blood, warmed by energy, and all of you, every cell, even the subsets of those cells, all trillions and trillions of them, are going to tire, waste and depart. In 10 years almost every bit of you will have been replaced by new bits.

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Books
12:16 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

A Child Of The Slums Becomes A "Queen" Of Chess

Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 2:22 pm

Phiona Mutesi is a teenager living in Katwe, the biggest and possibly toughest slum in Uganda's capital city. She's also a rising star in competitive chess.

Her story is told in the book The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster.

But when she first started the game, Mutesi wasn't hungry for glory; she was just hungry. A local chapter of a Christian charity hosted a chess program, and it lured Mutesi, her brother and other children with the promise of a meal.

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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.

Arts & Life
11:48 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Why Black Men Tend To Be Fashion Kings

Tell Me More intern Azmi Abusam
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:38 pm

For many, style is much deeper than articles of clothing; it's a statement of identity. Black men have a unique relationship with fashion, one that can be traced all the way back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Monica L. Miller, the author of Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity, spoke with Tell Me More's Michel Martin about the past, present and future of black men's fashion.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Mon December 31, 2012

NFL Firings Begin: Bears, Bills, Browns, Chiefs And Eagles Dismiss Coaches

Andy Reid as he left the field Sunday in New Jersey. His last game as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles was a 42-7 loss to the New York Giants.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 2:12 pm

They're calling it "Black Monday" over at NFL.com.

It's the Monday morning after the end of the National Football League's regular season, and some teams that didn't make the playoffs are wasting no time in parting ways with their coaches.

So far, no huge surprises in who's being fired:

-- Lovie Smith, from the Chicago Bears.

-- Chan Gailey, from the Buffalo Bills.

-- Pat Shurmur, from the Cleveland Browns.

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The Salt
11:14 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Green Grapes And Red Underwear: A Spanish New Year's Eve

Ringing in the New Year in Spain requires eating a dozen grapes and wearing a very specific kind of undergarment.
Jeff Koehler

If the thought of watching the ball drop in Times Square again is already making you yawn, consider perking your New Year's Eve celebration with this tradition from Spain: As midnight nears on Nochevieja, or "old night," the last day of the year, the entire country gathers in front of television screens or in town squares, clutching a small bowl of green grapes and wearing red underwear. More on the underwear later.

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Music
10:44 am
Mon December 31, 2012

'Fresh Air' At 25: A Live Musical Tribute

Terry Gross, shown above in 1987, has been host of Fresh Air since 1975, when it was broadcast only in greater Philadelphia.
NPR's Fresh Air

This show was originally broadcast on May 11, 2012.

Friday, May 11, 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the day Fresh Air became a daily national NPR program. Before that, the show was broadcast only on WHYY in Philadelphia. How long ago was May 11, 1987? On Fresh Air's first edition, TV critic David Bianculli reviewed the finale of the TV series Hill Street Blues.

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