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4:37am

Sun December 21, 2014
The Salt

For Norwegian-Americans, Christmas Cheer Is Wrapped Up In Lefse

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 1:01 pm

Megan Walhood loves the unique toasty potato flavor of lefse. "There's something so comforting about soft, starchy things," she says.
Deena Prichep for NPR

For many Norwegian-American families, the biggest Christmas treat isn't foil-wrapped chocolate or sugar-dusted cookies. It's lefse, a simple flatbread.

Lefse are sort of like soft tortillas, made mostly out of mashed potatoes (with a little fat and flour mixed in to form a tender dough). They're usually spread with butter and sugar, or rolled up with a bit of lingonberry jam. And families that make them make them by the dozens.

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9:17pm

Sat December 20, 2014
The Salt

In Wineries Vs. Weather, Drones To The Rescue?

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 1:43 pm

An unmanned aerial vehicle films vineyards in France. Drones like this one are also being used in Califiornia, as part of a broader "precision farming" movement designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Sami Sarkis Ocean/Corbis

Tucked behind a hill in Sebastopol, Calif., with a 5,400-square-foot cave that holds some 500 barrels of wine, DRNK Wines exudes the quiet charm that a visitor might expect. But the grapes in some of the wines that are sold here are under a growing threat — which is why DRNK's winemaker, Ryan Kunde, can sometimes be seen in various vineyards testing his fleet of drones. Their mission? To one day collect aerial images that will help determine the vines' vigor, ripeness, flavor and harvest dates, which due to rising soil temperatures have inched up in Sonoma County over the past few years.

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6:26pm

Sat December 20, 2014
The Salt

Want To Enhance The Flavor Of Your Food? Put On The Right Music

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 6:40 pm

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste.
iStockphoto.com

Here's an experiment: take a bite of whatever food you have nearby and listen to some music, something with high notes. Now, take another bite, but listen to something with low notes.

Notice anything?

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste. They've found that higher-pitched music — think flutes — enhances the flavor of sweet or sour foods. Lower-pitched sounds, like tubas, enhance the bitter flavors.

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5:16pm

Sat December 20, 2014
Food

How Tinseltown Got Tipsy: A Boozy Taste Of Hollywood History

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 6:40 pm

iStockphoto

If the bars of Los Angeles could talk, they'd have an awful lot of tales to tell — old Hollywood was full of famously hard drinkers. And while LA's watering holes are keeping their secrets, one author, Mark Bailey, has uncorked a slew of stories from the city's plastered past.

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5:06pm

Sat December 20, 2014
Asia

While U.S. Focuses On Sony Hack, Some Of The World Is In The Dark

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 6:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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5:06pm

Sat December 20, 2014
Latin America

Renewed U.S.-Cuba Ties Could Mean Big Things For Cigar Market

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 6:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Think Cuba, think cigars. David Savona is the executive editor of Cigar Aficionado magazine. David, welcome to the program.

DAVID SAVONA: Thanks, glad to be here.

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4:21pm

Sat December 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Many States Now Have $2 Gasoline, Analyst Says

On Cue in Oklahoma City, was reportedly the first station to lower regular unleaded below $2 a gallon. Now, 24 states have $1.99 gasoline.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Remember when we told you earlier this month that a gas station in Oklahoma City had lowered its price for regular unleaded to $1.99 a gallon?

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2:38pm

Sat December 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Decorated Tuskegee Airman Lowell Steward Dies At 95

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 3:45 pm

This July 1943 photo provided by the Los Angeles Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen Inc., shows Lowell C. Steward after his graduation from flight training at Tuskegee Army Air Field, in Tuskegee, Ala. Steward, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross among other awards, died on Wednesday at age 95.
AP

Lowell Steward, one of the famed World War II Tuskegee Airmen, has died at age 95 at a hospital in Ventura, Calif., his family says.

Steward, a Los Angeles native who flew 143 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among other awards, died on Wednesday.

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12:58pm

Sat December 20, 2014
The Two-Way

U.N. Reports More Than 7,000 Ebola Deaths Since March

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 1:58 pm

Health workers rest outside a quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu, Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone on Friday. The World Health Organization says the number of Ebola deaths in the current outbreak has exceeded 7,000.
Baz Ratner Reuters/Landov

The number of people who have died from the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola has crossed the 7,000 mark, the World Health Organization reports, after it recorded another 392 deaths from its previous total of 6,900 earlier this week.

The total number of infected, nearly all of them in West Africa, is at 19,031, up from 18,569 in the previous report. More than 99 percent of all infections and deaths have occurred in three countries — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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10:59am

Sat December 20, 2014
Movies

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 12:05 pm

A worker carries a poster for the movie The Interview away from its display case at a theater in Atlanta. "It feels like the margin's narrowed about what kind of movies Hollywood will be making," says veteran Hollywood producer Stephanie Striegel.
David Goldman AP

President Obama is not the only one thinking about the precedent set when Sony decided not to release the comedy The Interview. Around Hollywood, the action drew immediate rebuke as celebrities took to Twitter — like director and producer Judd Apatow:

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel agreed, writing, "An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent."

In writing rooms and comedy clubs in Los Angeles, however, the conversations are more nuanced.

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