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The Salt
6:35 am
Sun November 17, 2013

MSG, Seasoned For A Comeback

According to legend, Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda discovered the food additive monosodium glutamate in 1908 after contemplating the meaty flavor of seaweed soup.
Jung K Oh iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:20 pm

Umami, that savory fifth taste — in addition to bitter, sour, sweet and salty — has become a sought-after flavor in the culinary scene.

Not quite so beloved is the umami additive monosodium glutamate — MSG, as it's more popularly known. For decades it's been vilified, maligned and, some say, misunderstood.

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The Kennedy Assassination, 50 Years Later
5:34 am
Sun November 17, 2013

Listening In: Cronkite, Lady Bird On The Death Of A President

CBS newscaster Walter Cronkite announces the death of President John F. Kennedy.
CBS/Landov

The image of Walter Cronkite taking off his glasses as he announced President John F. Kennedy's death on Nov. 22, 1963, is one that seems seared into our collective memory — even for those of us who weren't around to see it live.

Nearly 40 years later, Cronkite revisited that moment and the rest of that unsettling day in a piece that aired on All Things Considered on Nov. 22, 2002.

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My Guilty Pleasure
5:22 am
Sun November 17, 2013

If Being A Teen Wasn't Awkward Enough: A Date With 'Your Mom'

iStockphoto

I read my guilty pleasure junior year of high school; a time when for many young men guilty pleasure means something else. I heard about a book of essays by Ian Frazier that was supposedly very funny. So I asked my Mom for a ride to the mall.

Back then there was no Amazon. Well, there was, but it was in South America. Fortunately, asking Mom if she'd like to go to the mall was sort of like asking Chuck Schumer if he'd mind going on television. Three minutes later, we were in the car. Mom asked the name of the book I was getting.

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It's All Politics
5:22 am
Sun November 17, 2013

How Texas Changed, And Changed The Nation, Since JFK

The presidential motorcade travels down Main Street in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was shot.
Cecil Stoughton UPI /Landov

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 12:57 pm

Texas wasn't exactly a backwater in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, but it wasn't the economic and political powerhouse that it has become today.

Over the past 50 years, three of the nation's presidents have hailed from Texas.

"For the past few decades, Texas politicians have found a natural habitat on the national political stage in the way Dominican shortstops have found a natural habitat in baseball," the humorist Calvin Trillin wrote a couple of years ago.

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Photography
2:55 am
Sun November 17, 2013

In The Streets Of Iran, A Fashion Shoot Bursting With Color

A photo that was featured in FSHN Magazine's 2013 couture issue.
Afra Pourdad

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 11:24 am

Iran is a notoriously closed society, so this was an unusual milestone: It was recently the setting for a high-fashion magazine shoot, published in California-based magazine FSHN.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sun November 17, 2013

A Young Brit Takes On The American Songbook

Anthony Strong.
Thibault Stipal Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 11:24 am

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Sun November 17, 2013

At The Tiny Desk Or A Sold-Out Arena, John Legend Delivers

John Legend's latest album, Love in the Future, is out now. Legend also appears on the soundtrack album for the film 12 Years a Slave.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 9:56 am

John Legend has a way of writing songs that create a sense of intimacy. The Grammy-winning soul singer recently performed at one of NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts. The performances are exactly what they sound like: just a musician in a cubicle with an audience that's really, really close — no frills, no fuss.

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World
5:43 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

UN: Nearly 2 Million Displaced By Typhoon

More than a week after Typhoon Haiyan decimated parts of the Philippines, many residents there are still awaiting help to secure food and shelter. The official death toll has climbed to more than 3,600. And the United Nations now estimates that the storm left nearly 2 million people homeless.

Television
5:41 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

Republican-Filled 'Alpha House' Aims For Bipartisan Laughs

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Fans of "Doonesbury" have been doing without the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip since the summer. The strip has been on vacation. But its creator, Garry Trudeau, has not exactly been chilling at the beach. Trudeau spent the last several months in a New York film studio making a sitcom called "Alpha House." The show is being launched online on Amazon. It chronicles the misadventures of four fictional Republican senators who share a Washington, D.C., townhouse. Jon Kalish visited the set and has this story.

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Movie Interviews
5:29 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

At 13, 'Book Thief' Star Picks The Screen Over The Balance Beam

Sophie Nelisse says years of training as a gymnast taught her to focus in ways that helped her acting on the set of The Book Thief.
Jules Heath Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 8:38 pm

At 13, Sophie Nelisse is already making big career decisions. She started training to be a gymnast at the age of 3 and has long had dreams to represent Canada in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"If you want to train at a national, international level, you have about [one] week of break per year," Nelisse tells host Arun Rath. "So I was training about six hours per day."

She put that part of her life aside when she was given another opportunity of a lifetime: to play the lead in the film The Book Thief.

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