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Writer And Activist Amiri Baraka Dies At Age 79

Born LeRoi Jones, the influential poet and award-winning playwright didn't shy away from social criticism and controversy.
NPR

A Former Child Soldier Imagines 'Tomorrow' In Sierra Leone

Ishmael Beah was 12 when he was orphaned by Sierra Leone's civil war and recruited as a child soldier. He described the ordeal in his 2007 memoir, A Long Way Gone. Now, Beah's debut novel, Radiance of Tomorrow, tells the story of a shattered community struggling to rebuild itself after war.
NPR

Blending Red Wine With Porter Ale: A Crossover Beer Worth The Buzz?

Two of mankind's oldest beverages are being mashed together in a new generation of brews. These beer-wine blends, boasting layered, complex flavors, are part of a broader trend of experimentation, as craft brewers seek to distinguish themselves in a crowded field.
NPR

No Rain On His Parade: Parisian Preserves Art Of Umbrella Repair

When an umbrella breaks, most people just throw it away and buy another one. That's sacrilege to Thierry Millet, who says fixing a much-loved parapluie is like giving a bit of youth back to its owner. France's government says the tiny shop run by the self-proclaimed "last umbrella repairman" is a "living heritage."
NPR

In An Age Of Slavery, Two Women Fight For Their 'Wings'

Sue Monk Kidd, the author of the best-selling The Secret Life of Bees, takes on both slavery and feminism in her novel The Invention of Wings. It's a story told by two women: Hetty, a slave, seeks her freedom, while Sarah, her reluctant owner, rebels against her family to become an abolitionist.
NPR

This GMO Apple Won't Brown. Will That Sour The Fruit's Image?

A small Canadian company has created a genetically engineered apple that doesn't go brown when you slice it. It's waiting for approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But some apple producers are worried that this new product will taint the apple's wholesome, all-natural image.
NPR

A Cheesy Meltdown: Kraft Warns Of Velveeta Shortage

Kraft confirms that shortages are in store of its creamy processed cheese — part of a popular concoction with salsa served on a nacho chip or two. One reason? Seasonal demand — in other words, it's Super Bowl time.
NPR

Think You're Cold And Hungry? Try Eating In Antarctica

The polar vortex putting much of the U.S. in a deep freeze may have you reaching for the comfort cookies. But in Antarctica — where the coldest temperatures on Earth have been recorded — 5,000 calories a day isn't a bad idea. One thing the continent's history teaches us: When life is stripped down to man versus the most brutal elements, bring plenty of snacks.
NPR

Top Diets Of 2014 (Hint: It's Probably Not What You Think)

Of 32 diets ranked by a panel convened by U.S. News & World Report, the DASH diet came out on top. Never heard of it? It's not a buzzword, but it's been around for a long time, and there's solid evidence that it works, not just for weight control but also to lower high blood pressure.
NPR

Sherlock's Expiring Copyright: It's Public Domain, Dear Watson

The famous sleuth has discovered that U.S copyright law is anything but elementary. A federal judge recently ruled that elements of the Sherlock Holmes characters are now both licensed property of the Doyle estate and in the public domain. The Doyle estate plans to appeal the decision.

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