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The Salt
9:22 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Electronic Tongues Are The Beer Snobs Of The Future

Personally, we're most looking forward to having robot drinking buddies.
Bongo Entertainment Inc.

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 2:01 pm

If beer is the new wine, robots are the new beer snobs. Well, sort of.

Researchers in Barcelona have developed an electronic tongue that really knows the difference between a pilsner and a bock.

For now, it looks less like a slick, futuristic robot and more like a big of clump sensors. It's still a prototype, but its creators say it could some day replace human taste testers.

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Kitchen Window
9:21 am
Wed February 5, 2014

A Meal To Honor Early African-American Cookbook Authors

David Betts/Metropolitan Photography

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:24 am

The earliest African-American cookbook authors brought me back to a food career I thought I had left behind. Years ago, I was a pastry chef, but I changed course and went to graduate school for a doctorate in American history. Lately, I've been drawn back into the food world thanks to these authors and their determined pursuit of independence and equality through their cooking and writing.

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It's All Politics
5:04 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

More Access To Health Care Means Millions Can Quit Or Cut Hours

Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman at a White House press briefing Tuesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 5:59 am

What might have been a routine update on the state of the federal budget Tuesday instead became the newest front in the ongoing political war over President Obama's signature health care law.

At issue: a revised estimate about how many people would voluntarily leave the workforce because they can get health care without necessarily holding down a job.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Look Ma, No Cables: Flea Cops To Playing Air Bass At The Super Bowl

The Red Hot Chili Peppers band members Flea, center, and Anthony Kiedis perform during the halftime show of the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 3:07 am

The annals of faking it on stage have a new chapter: After Internet sleuths pointed out that the guitarist and bassist for The Red Hot Chili Peppers did not have their instruments plugged in during their performance at the Super Bowl half time show last Sunday, Flea, the bassist, admitted that they were in fact only pretending to play.

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Watch The Creationism Vs. Evolution Debate: Ken Ham And Bill Nye

Bill Nye, left, and Ken Ham take the stage to debate evolution and creationism Tuesday in Kentucky.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 2:13 pm

Does it damage children to teach them biblical creationism? What are the costs of denying evolution, one of biology's core tenets?

Those questions were asked Tuesday night, in a live debate between best-selling Christian author Ken Ham and Emmy Award-winning educator Bill Nye ("the Science Guy") at the Creation Museum of Petersburg, Ky.

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Shots - Health News
4:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Cancer Cases Rising At An Alarming Rate Worldwide

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in the West, while lung and liver cancers are the top problems in Asia.
Courtesy of the World Health Organization

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 5:20 am

As countries modernize around the world, they're increasingly being hit with one of the curses of wealth: cancer.

There are about 14 million new cancer cases globally each year, the World Health Organization reported Monday. And the trend is only getting worse.

The global burden of cancer will grow by 70 percent over the next two decades, the WHO predicts, with an estimated 22 million new cases and 13 million deaths each year by 2032.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

The View From Down There: FDA Approves Pill Cam For Colon Exams

Outfitted with two color cameras that run on batteries, the PillCam Colon capsule is being billed as a less invasive and less expensive option to a colonoscopy.
Given Imaging

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:43 am

Patients who undergo colon screenings might breathe a little easier now that U.S. regulators have approved a pill containing two cameras. The PillCam Colon is minimally invasive and runs on batteries, its maker says. And as you might imagine, it's disposable.

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Around the Nation
3:43 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Spike In Heroin Use Can Be Traced To Prescription Pads

Experts say today's heroin problem can be traced back to the aggressive prescribing of opioid drugs like OxyContin about 15 years ago.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 5:02 pm

The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has brought attention to a grim reality of drug abuse in America — most notably with the increasing use of heroin.

Hoffman was found dead in his apartment on Sunday, and New York police are investigating his death as a possible drug overdose. Hoffman struggled with drug addiction throughout his career.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Obama Secures Funding To Help Connect Students To Internet

President Obama records students on a classroom iPad while visiting a seventh grade classroom before speaking about goals of connecting students to next generation broadband and wireless technology within five years on Tuesday, at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 2:30 pm

President Obama on Tuesday announced that technology companies had pledged $750 million in equipment and services that would help connect students to the Internet.

USA Today reports:

"Money from Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and other companies, combined with $2 billion from the Federal Communications Commission, will help connect up to 15,000 schools and 20 million students.

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The Salt
3:17 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

When His Pit Burned Down, Southern BBQ Master Took Hogs On Tour

Pitmaster Rodney Scott seasons a roasting hog behind a barbecue restaurant in Birmingham, Ala. Scott has been touring the South with a makeshift barbecue pit to raise money to rebuild his family's cookhouse after it burned down in November.
Debbie Elliott/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 5:00 pm

In the tiny town of Hemingway, S.C., the Scott family has been selling barbecue out of its roadside general store for nearly a half-century. The smoky, vinegary pork has reached legendary status around the South.

So when the Scotts' wooden cookhouse went up in flames late last year, barbecue brethren cooked up a plan to get them back in business. What resulted is a part road trip, part old-fashioned barn-raising tour called Rodney Scott's Bar-B-Que in Exile Tour.

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It's All Politics
2:39 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

RNC's Priebus Insists Minority Outreach Effort Is Built To Last

Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music gospel choir perform Tuesday at the Republican National Committee's awards lunch at Washington's Howard Theatre.
Frank James NPR

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:56 am

Much of politics is about symbols and gestures. And there were plenty of them at the historic Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

Under Chairman Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee vows to be much more serious about outreach to African-Americans than ever before.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:30 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Eureka! First Life In The Universe

Are humans, and our fellow travelers on Earth, latecomers to the game of life?
Illustration iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:46 am

It's easy to know what creativity means in the arts. Tom Waits produces an album that sounds like someone banging on a steel pipe and manages to make it both sweet and haunting. Merce Cunningham takes ideas about pattern and chance and invents an entirely new language for dance. In the movie Nebraska, Bruce Dern so fully inhabits the character of an old codger that you forget he's acting the part.

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Book Reviews
2:27 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

A Widow's Quiet Life Leaves Room For Sex, Guns And Literature

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 5:00 pm

As of last week, what I knew about Beirut could fit in a sandwich bag. What I knew about being a blue-haired, 72-year-old woman, never mind a widow and a shut-in, was a whole lot less. Now, one week later, I'm much more informed, and I'm happy to encourage you to become so, too.

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Around the Nation
2:22 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Case Sheds Light On The Murky World Of Asbestos Litigation

Companies have set aside more than $30 billion for victims of mesothelioma, a form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure, since 1980.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 5:00 pm

This is a case about a bankrupt company, legal shenanigans, and a rare type of cancer.

You may have seen TV commercials about mesothelioma, mainly caused by inhaling asbestos — minerals many companies once used in insulation and other products.

According to a 2011 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, companies have set aside more than $30 billion for mesothelioma victims since the 1980s. Asbestos lawsuits have played a role in about 100 companies' going bankrupt.

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Planet Money
2:21 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Can Homemade Liquor Jumpstart A Local Economy?

Edgar Gonzalez tries to fix bugs in the bottling machine before a state inspector comes to oversee their first batch of mezcal for export.
Marianne McCune NPR

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 5:00 pm

Back in 2004, the tiny towns across the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico had a problem. Everyone was leaving. There were no jobs, and people were flocking to California looking for work.

No one knew how to stop the mass exodus but some thought a local liquor, mezcal, might prove to be the answer. Mezcal is made from a plant called maguey, a type of Agave. Much like Champagne, there is only one place in the world that you can make mezical: the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico and the surrounding area. Most of it is produced in the valley and sold cheap to big liquor companies.

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