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'Pearl Earring' Is The Crown Jewel Of The Frick's Dutch Exhibit

New York City is home to more paintings by Johannes Vermeer — eight — than any other city. And until mid-January, it's playing host to one more: the world-renowned Girl with a Pearl Earring. Critic Lloyd Schwartz says, since the painting's 1994 restoration, "It's even more breathtaking than I remembered."
NPR

Fast-Food Workers Cry Poverty Wages As McDonald's Buys Luxury Jet

Thousands of restaurant workers protested Thursday in cities around the country, calling for an increase in wages to $15 an hour. Many fast-food workers make so little that they rely on public assistance to get by, even as profits at many franchises have nearly doubled in recent years. But not everyone agrees that raising the minimum wage will fix the problem.
NPR

'King Cocktail' Serves Up Prohibition History, Hangover Cure

Prohibition ended 80 years ago today. To mark the occasion, Dale DeGroff, the man many credit with reviving the art of the cocktail, joins NPR to talk about the era's lasting effect on American life, current trends in bartending, and to share a few of his favorite recipes.
NPR

Telemundo's 'Highly Unusual' Resurrection of 'El Señor'

Telemundo announced that its telenovela El Señor de los Cielos (Lord of the Skies) will be back for an unheard of second season. This is a radical departure from traditional telenovelas, which have a clear beginning and a definitive ending.
NPR

Mushroom Foraging: When The Fun(gi) Hunt Gets Out Of Hand

Foraging for fungi and other wild edibles has grown in popularity in the U.S. and abroad in recent years, fueled by guidebooks, Internet buzz and hype from chefs. As a result, some known mushroom hunting grounds are taking a beating.

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Norman Rockwell's 'Saying Grace' Sells For $46 Million At Auction

The sale of the famous painting of a woman and boy bowing their heads in prayer at a table in a bustling restaurant set a record for Rockwell's art.
NPR

A Holiday Photo Book That Puts Families In An 'Awkward' Position

Matching long johns. Kick lines in skis. Peeing on Santa's lap. Every family has these cringe-worthy moments, immortalized on film, that embody the particularly joyous brand of awkward that the holidays bring. And thanks to Mike Bender, co-author of Awkward Family Holiday Photos, the rest of us can rubberneck.
NPR

Why $7-Per-Gallon Milk Looms Once Again

House and Senate negotiators are meeting to reconcile their two different versions of a new farm bill. If they don't reach agreement, the nation faces going over "the dairy cliff" – a reversion to 1949 farm policy that would cause a big spike in milk prices.
NPR

Cookie-Baking Chemistry: How To Engineer Your Perfect Sweet Treat

A cookie in the oven almost looks like a monster coming alive. It bulges out, triples in size and then stiffens into a crisp biscuit. So how does an oven turn raw dough into a delight? A new animation explains the chemistry behind great baking so you, too, can unleash your inner mad scientist in the kitchen.
NPR

Underground Cities And 'Ghost' Miners: What Some People Do For Gold

South Africa's Mponeng gold mine is a 2.5-mile-deep network of chutes and tunnels that employs about 4,000 miners. Of course, that number doesn't include the miners who wander its tunnels clandestinely, stealing and refining ore. In a new book, journalist Matthew Hart investigates why gold and crime sometimes go hand in hand.

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