Switching gears now. The year is winding down and that means Oscar season is winding up. Some movies are already getting buzz, like "Lincoln," "Argo" and "Zero Dark Thirty." That last film is about the search for Osama bin Laden. Here's a clip.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ZERO DARK THIRTY")
UNIDENTIFIED MAN ##1: (as character) Do you really believe this story? Osama bin Laden?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (as character) Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as character) What convinced you?
A sad tale's best for winter, as Shakespeare wrote. The Snow Child, a first novel by a native Alaskan journalist and bookseller named Eowyn Ivey, suggests that if you face winter head-on — as do the childless homesteaders, Mabel and Jack, in this story about life on our northernmost frontier in the 1920s — you may find more hope after sadness than you had ever imagined.
Now that the Christmas feast is over, you may be looking at all the extra food you made, or the food that you brought home from the store that never even got opened.
And you may be wondering: How long can I keep this? What if it's past its expiration date? Who even comes up with those dates on food, anyway, and what do they mean?
Here's the short answer: Those "sell by" dates are there to protect the reputation of the food. They have very little to do with food safety. If you're worried whether food is still OK to eat, just smell it.
It used to be said that only old men drink rye, sitting alone down at the end of the bar, but that's no longer the case as bartenders and patrons set aside the gins and the vodkas and rediscover the pleasures of one of America's old-fashioned favorites.
Whiskey from rye grain was what most distilleries made before Prohibition. Then, after repeal in 1933, bourbon, made from corn, became more popular. Corn was easier to grow, and the taste was sweeter.