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11:13am

Thu August 20, 2015
The Salt

At Farm To Ballet, Watch Vermont's Cows And Tomatoes Do Arabesques

Dancers Rini Lovshin-Smith, Lindsay Halman, and Marya Carmolli play leaves of lettuce in Vermont's Farm to Ballet project.
Courtesy of Sujata Gupta

In a grassy Vermont field as a horse skitters in the distance, dancer Chatch Pregger is scaling a makeshift barn. He stretches his arms outward, holding an E for East in his hand. As the chicken feathers on his head flutter in the breeze, it's easy indeed to imagine him as a graceful weathervane rooster.

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11:03am

Thu August 20, 2015
NPR History Dept.

16 'Spiffy' Words College Students Used In 1916

Originally published on Thu August 20, 2015 3:30 pm

Barnard College student council in 1916
Library of College

Just about a century ago, an international student at a college in the United States was telling someone what she likes best about the English language: American slang. "I must learn it," she said. "It is so unexpected."

For example, she was surprised to learn — according to a November 1916 edition of the Delta Delta Delta sorority publication, the Trident -- that "brick" was the masculine equivalent of "peach" because the former was a "term of approval" for a man and the latter was a term of approval for a woman.

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10:46am

Thu August 20, 2015
Ask Me Another

This Is Not App-ening

Who needs an app that tells you if it's dark outside? Apparently, somebody does: it is a real thing that exists (no, we can't believe it either). In this quiz, we'll find out about other apps that are too weird to be true, and some others that we made up just for fun.

Heard in Sir Patrick Stewart: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

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10:46am

Thu August 20, 2015
Ask Me Another

Totally False Eponyms

An eponym is something that is named for a person. In this game, we pretend that some everyday words could be etymologically traced to a famous namesake. What kind of fuel might be named for the bald star of The Fast and the Furious franchise?

Heard in Sir Patrick Stewart: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

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10:46am

Thu August 20, 2015
Ask Me Another

Sir Patrick Stewart

Sir Patrick Stewart on the AMA stage.
Mike Katzif NPR

Growing up, Sir Patrick Stewart never dreamed of being a knight. "I just dreamed [that] there was some food for the next meal," he told Ophira Eisenberg on the Ask Me Another stage in Brooklyn. As a boy, Stewart's heroes were distinguished thespians — Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Alec Guinness and Sir John Clements. But recently, Stewart's friend Sir Ian McKellan pointed out to him, "You know, Patrick... those actors, those remote heroes, those gods we admired so much — it's now us!"

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10:46am

Thu August 20, 2015
Ask Me Another

Scientific Rhyme-a-rific

Science is more fun with some wordplay. In this game, we satisfy the science nerds and the word nerds with some clues to rhyming pairs of words. The catch? One of the words is a tricky scientific term — get ready for some "friction fiction"!

Heard in Sir Patrick Stewart: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

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10:46am

Thu August 20, 2015
Ask Me Another

Spoiled It Through The Grapevine

Honey, honey, yeah! We've rewritten Heard It Through The Grapevine to be about famous film endings that you've probably heard about through the grapevine. No spoiler alerts necessary.

Heard in Sir Patrick Stewart: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

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10:46am

Thu August 20, 2015
Ask Me Another

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

For his VIP game, Sir Patrick Stewart is quizzed on the meanings of Shakespearean insults.

Heard in Sir Patrick Stewart: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

10:46am

Thu August 20, 2015
Ask Me Another

One Vowel At A Time

Can we buy some vowels, please? In this final round, each answer contains each of the five vowels-- a, e, i, o, u-- exactly once. You don't need no education to ace this one!

Heard in Sir Patrick Stewart: Brush Up Your Shakespeare

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10:35am

Thu August 20, 2015
Shots - Health News

Does This Phylum Make Me Look Fat?

Bacillus subtilis may look like pasta under the microscope, but the bacteria are common in the gut of humans. Could the microbes be contributing to our belly fat? Too soon to tell, scientists say.
BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

We would all love a simple weight-loss plan. Beyond carbs and fats, some studies have hinted that a key group of gut microbes — from the phylum Firmicutes — might be more common among people who are overweight.

Thinner people, these studies suggest, might have more bacteria from the phylum known as Bacteroidetes. Maybe we just need to reestablish a Bacteroidetes-favoring gut to more easily lose weight, some people have said. A stack of diet books has already jumped on the notion.

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