Browsing articles in "World News"

Zimbabwe Swears In A New President, In The First Transfer Of Power Since Independence

Nov 24, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Zimbabwe Swears In A New President, In The First Transfer Of Power Since Independence

Zimbabwe’s new interim President Emmerson Mnangagwa gives an address after his swearing-in ceremony in Harare on Friday, marking the final chapter of a political drama that toppled his predecessor Robert Mugabe after a military takeover.

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Zimbabwe’s new interim President Emmerson Mnangagwa gives an address after his swearing-in ceremony in Harare on Friday, marking the final chapter of a political drama that toppled his predecessor Robert Mugabe after a military takeover.

Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

For the first time since the country gained independence from white minority rule in 1980, Zimbabwe has a new leader. At a packed stadium in the capital city Harare, Emmerson Mnangagwa promised not to “squander this moment” to change the culture of politics in his country.

Who Is Zimbabwe's New Leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa?

The outgoing president, Robert Mugabe, had said he would not attend the day’s festivities because he “needed time to rest.” The 93-year-old Mugabe resigned a few days ago after 37 years in power, in the face of military pressure and mass demonstrations. He has said he will remain in the country, and Zimbabwe’s state-run Herald newspaper says Mnangagwa has assured him and his family of their protection.

As NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton has reported, the past few weeks have been a time of political upheaval in Zimbabwe. On Nov. 6, Mnangagwa was fired as vice president by Mugabe, and fled to South Africa, saying he feared for his life. But the military refused to accept Mnangagwa’s dismissal, and warned that the army might intervene to restore stability. The next day, the military, which is an integral part of the governing ZANU-PF party behemoth, seized control and confined Mugabe to his residence. Under mounting pressure, the president stepped down Nov. 20.

Mnangagwa has overcome this moment of political chaos, but he faces many challenges as he steps into the presidency: corruption, economic troubles, and international condemnation chief among them.

As The Associated Press reports, “President Emmerson Mnangagwa is making a range of promises with the aim of reviving a once-prosperous economy that has collapsed amid mismanagement and international sanctions.” In his inaugural speech, he promised the international community that “all foreign investment will be safe in Zimbabwe,” and promised his people that democratic elections will be held next year as scheduled.

Still, some Zimbabweans are skeptical. As NPR has reported, it’s not clear how much of a policy change the new leader will herald.

“Zimbabweans I know — I’m Zimbabwean — we’re ululating all around the world, and we are celebrating,” journalist Michelle Faul told Weekend All Things Considered, “but we need to be cautious. This is not a revolution to bring reform. This is about an internal ZANU-PF coup to ensure that ZANU continues its one-party rule of Zimbabwe.”

“He’s no savior,” Ofeibea reported last week. “He’s cut from the same cloth [as Mugabe], the cloth that has seen Zimbabwe’s economy tumble. This was the breadbasket of southern Africa. He’s also seen as having been absolutely brutal in the ’80s in Matabeleland when there was a massacre. So people shouldn’t think of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who may come back and head an interim government, as being a savior for Zimbabwe — certainly not.”

Ellyn Rucker On Piano Jazz

Nov 24, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Ellyn Rucker On Piano Jazz

Ellyn Rucker’s light, sensual vocals and smooth, swinging piano produce a wonderfully intriguing mixture. Hailing from Colorado, Rucker broke into the jazz big leagues in the 1980s after she took up her musical career full-time. She remains a staple on the Denver music scene.

On this 1993 episode of Piano Jazz, her versatility is evident when she performs Cole Porter‘s “Everything I Love.” Marian McPartland then joins in to play the title tune from one of Rucker’s albums, This Heart Of Mine.

Originally broadcast in the winter of 1993.

SET LIST

  • “After You/Everything I Love” (Porter)
  • “But Beautiful” (Burke, Van Heusen)
  • “This Heart of Mine” (Freed, Warren)
  • “Twilight Worlds” (McPartland)
  • “Like Someone In Love” (Burke, Van Heusen)
  • “Desafinado” (Jobim, De Mendonca)
  • “Sometime Ago” (Levey)
  • “Blackberry Winter” (Wilder, McGlohon)
  • “Blues The Most” (Hawes)

Rep. Joe Barton Apologizes After Lewd Photo Becomes Public

Nov 23, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Rep. Joe Barton Apologizes After Lewd Photo Becomes Public

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, says the transcript of a recorded phone call is evidence of a crime against him. In the call, The Washington Post says he threatened to report the woman he was involved with to the Capitol Police if lewd materials he sent her became public.

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Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, says the transcript of a recorded phone call is evidence of a crime against him. In the call, The Washington Post says he threatened to report the woman he was involved with to the Capitol Police if lewd materials he sent her became public.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, apologized to his constituents in a statement Wednesday for a lewd photo of him that was published anonymously Tuesday on Twitter. The congressman said that he sent the photo to a woman he was in a consensual relationship with while separated from his second wife.

“I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down,” the statement read.

According to The Washington Post, Barton threatened to report the woman to the Capitol Police if any explicit materials became public. The Post reports that in a recorded phone call from 2015, he warned her against using the material “in a way that would negatively affect [his] career.”

The woman told The Post anonymously that her relationship with the congressman began online in 2011, when she posted about politics on his Facebook page. She told the paper that they began exchanging messages, which eventually turned into a brief sexual relationship.

Barton said in a statement that he believes the transcript of this phone call is evidence of a crime committed against him:

“This woman admitted that we had a consensual relationship. When I ended that relationship, she threatened to publicly share my private photographs and intimate correspondence in retaliation. As the transcript reflects, I offered to take the matter to the Capitol Hill Police to open an investigation. Today, the Capitol Police reached out to me and offered to launch an investigation and I have accepted.”

“The woman said she never had any intention to use the materials to retaliate against Barton,” the Post reported. The woman also told the newspaper she did not post the image of Barton that appeared on Twitter Tuesday.

The Capitol Police could not be immediately reached for comment.

Rep. Barton was first elected in 1984, and is one of the longest-serving Republicans in the House.

As The Holiday Season Gets Started, A Look Back At Aprons And Their Stories

Nov 23, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on As The Holiday Season Gets Started, A Look Back At Aprons And Their Stories

EllynAnne Geisel started Tie One On Day after she saw how much joy her gift of a baked good wrapped in an apron brought her neighbor who was dealing with hardship.

Courtesy of EllynAnne Geisel


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Courtesy of EllynAnne Geisel

EllynAnne Geisel started Tie One On Day after she saw how much joy her gift of a baked good wrapped in an apron brought her neighbor who was dealing with hardship.

Courtesy of EllynAnne Geisel

Before they dress their turkeys, mash potatoes or pull piping hot pies from the ovens this Thanksgiving, people will tie on aprons.


The Apron Book

The Apron Book

Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort, Includes One Size Fits All Pattern in back of book!

by Ellynanne Geisel

Paperback, 133 pages |

purchase

It’s the stories and people behind those aprons that have delighted EllynAnne Geisel for years.

Geisel wrote The Apron Book in 1999, after 26 years as a successful, full-time homemaker. The book, an update of which has just been reissued, is a celebration of aprons — their many patterns and uses, and stories from enthusiasts about the roles aprons have played in their lives. But early in her life, Geisel says she didn’t have much experience cooking and was worried about her abilities.

The day of her wedding, she says her husband’s aunt “gave me the 1975 edition of The New York Times Cookbook with a tucked in note that suggested if I could read, I could cook, and she had faith I could read. She was right, and 42 years later, her note still carries much wisdom.”

When her children left the home, she says she decided she wanted to try a new job as a writer. Her first subject would be the apron “as the iconic symbolic of my homemaking years.”

Aprons: Out of the Kitchen, On the Road

Adding to those she already had, Geisel started to collect aprons of all kinds, taking time to notice the different patterns, fabrics, designs, accents and most importantly, the stories behind each one.

“Using the apron as inspiration, I felt a connection to the women of earlier generations who’d tied one on … as daily domestic armor,” Geisel wrote. “I began to collect their aprons, their household linens, their kitchen utilities, their cookbooks and recipe boxes.”

Her apron collection never stops growing. EllynAnne Geisel says she still gets aprons in the mail, but has also gotten to the point where she has so many she will give them away and let the new owners know the history behind each as they tie it on.

Courtesy of David Foxhoven


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Courtesy of David Foxhoven

Her apron collection never stops growing. EllynAnne Geisel says she still gets aprons in the mail, but has also gotten to the point where she has so many she will give them away and let the new owners know the history behind each as they tie it on.

Courtesy of David Foxhoven

After she started writing about aprons and their history, Geisel says she received a letter sent with a “black checkered chef style apron.

“The writer was the niece of a housekeeper, who had worked for a famous cookbook author for many years. One of her duties was to maintain his aprons, which were serviced by a dry cleaner. Upon his death, she was allowed one item as a remembrance. She took an apron, which the niece eventually acquired. The apron, she wrote to me, was meant to be mine, for she didn’t cook and better than to toss it, she was giving it to me. There’s a dry cleaner’s twill label sewn to one of the apron’s ties, a name stamped upon the twill.”

The apron’s owner was none other than Craig Claiborne, the author of that New York Times Cookbook that had gotten Geisel started in the kitchen.

Geisel still gets aprons in the mail. They come from all over with notes about whom the original owners were and what time period they were used. But as much as Geisel is overjoyed when she gets a new apron, she is also exuberant when she can give one away.

She realized this 12 years ago around Thanksgiving time, when she wrapped a baked good into the apron along with a note and gave it to her neighbor who was dealing with a hardship.

After she saw the joy it brought her neighbor, Geisel started Tie One On Day on the day before Thanksgiving. She says it’s a way for people to continue to pass on the kindness to their neighbors through aprons, baked goods and heartfelt notes.

Your Thanksgiving Meal Prep Questions, Answered

But even when it’s not Tie One On Day, Geisel is spreading her love of aprons. Her collection has grown so large that she is able to rotate aprons in and out of her traveling exhibit, “The Apron Chronicles.”

She also gives out aprons to the women in her life and to strangers she meets, or sometimes doesn’t meet. Geisel attaches notes in which she tries to give some of the apron’s history to its new owners.

“I relate aprons and voices,” Geisel says. “I think the women’s voices are woven into the fabric, and it’s their spirit when you tie it on — you bring them back. I will never grow tired of that vision.”

FCC’s Pai: ‘Heavy-Handed’ Net Neutrality Rules Are Stifling The Internet

Nov 22, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on FCC’s Pai: ‘Heavy-Handed’ Net Neutrality Rules Are Stifling The Internet

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced Tuesday a plan to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules.

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced Tuesday a plan to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission chairman announced plans Tuesday to repeal Obama-era regulations on Internet service providers. The 2015 rules enforce what’s called net neutrality, meaning that the companies that connect you to the Internet don’t get to decide which websites load faster or slower, or charge websites or apps to load faster.

In an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says his plan to remove net neutrality rules is a way of bringing the Internet back to how it was in the 1990s.

“President Clinton got it right in 1996 when he established a free market-based approach to this new thing called the Internet, and the Internet economy we have is a result of his light-touch regulatory vision,” Pai says. “We saw companies like Facebook and Amazon and Google become global powerhouses precisely because we had light-touch rules that apply to this Internet. And the Internet wasn’t broken in 2015 when these heavy-handed regulations were adopted.”

FCC Unveils Plan To Repeal Net Neutrality Rules

Pai’s plan would require Internet service providers to disclose what they’re doing, such as allowing some sites to load faster than others. Websites could pay ISPs to give them preferential treatment — a situation Pai argues would have benefits.

A health care startup could pay to prioritize the traffic of its patients who are being monitored remotely: “That could be perk,” he says.

The chairman’s proposal, called the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, would mark a shift in authority and emphasis. Instead of the FCC regulating how ISPs operate, the Federal Trade Commission would handle enforcement of net neutrality violations.

“The FCC would still require transparency: Any business practice that would affect the offering of a service has to be disclosed to the consumers, and entrepreneurs can understand exactly how these businesses are operated,” Pai says.

“Secondly, the Federal Trade Commission has long had authority and had authority prior to 2015 for almost 20 years over this space,” he says. “And the result was pretty clear. They took targeted action against the bad apples and they let everyone else thrive in a free market. And I think consumers and companies were better off as a result.”

As NPR’s Alina Selyukh explained earlier this year, the current rules arose from incidents of ISPs meddling with traffic speeds:

“In 2015, the Democrats of the FCC decided that it was time to go all in, and what they did was essentially reclassified Internet providers, and started treating them as utility-style companies. That means they put it in the strictest-ever regulations, really expanded their oversight over the industry. Republicans at the FCC at the time really opposed this regulatory approach, so-called public utility approach. And one of the dissenting commissioners was Ajit Pai, who is now the new FCC chairman under President Trump.”

Many were critical of Pai’s announcement and vowed to fight it.

“If the FCC votes to roll back these net neutrality protections, they would end the internet as we know it, harming every day users and small businesses, eroding free speech, competition, innovation and user choice in the process,” said Mozilla, the nonprofit corporation that makes the Firefox browser and advocates for internet accessibility. “Our position is clear: the end of net neutrality would only benefit Internet Service Providers.”

“It is imperative that all internet traffic be treated equally, without discrimination against content or type of traffic — that’s the how the internet was built and what has made it one of the greatest inventions of all time,” the company added.

The ACLU also issued a statement opposing Pai’s plan.

“In a world without net neutrality, activists may lose an essential platform to organize and fight for change, and small organizations may never get a fair shot to grow and thrive,” said Ronald Newman, ACLU director of strategic initiatives. “Congress must stop Chairman Pai’s plan in its tracks and ensure that net neutrality remains the law of the land.”

Margo Price Sings About The Heartache And Beauty Of Small-Town America

Nov 22, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Margo Price Sings About The Heartache And Beauty Of Small-Town America

Margo Price’s new album, All American Made, is out now.

Danielle Holbert/Courtesy of the ShoreFire Media


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Margo Price’s new album, All American Made, is out now.

Danielle Holbert/Courtesy of the ShoreFire Media

Growing up in a small town in the Midwest, singer-songwriter Margo Price often wished she lived somewhere else — a place where the landscape wasn’t so flat, the winters weren’t so cold and the work wasn’t so hard.

“It just felt like there wasn’t much going on,” she says of her hometown of Aledo, Ill. “I always dreamed of a more romantic backdrop.”

Eventually, Price moved to Nashville, Tenn. to pursue music. But as time passed, her feelings towards her hometown changed.

“The more I’m away, I think, the more I appreciate where I came from,” Price says. “Now, when I go back, I see the beauty in it.”

Review: Margo Price, 'All American Made'

Price writes about her family and small-town roots on her latest album, All American Made. The album is more overtly feminist and political than is typical for country music. Price says her music is an expression of herself: “From the time that I was really young, I was always trying to express what was going on in my life and inside me.”

Click on the audio link to hear the full Fresh Air interview, including Price singing acoustic versions of her songs and a cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.”

Interview Highlights

On how her family lost their farm

I was about 2 or 3, and I do have a couple kind of vague memories of my grandparents packing up all their things in their home and getting rid of their dogs that they loved so much and all their animals. So there is a little bit of a memory there, just knowing the gravity of it all, just how much it affected everybody.

There was a combination of a lot of things: Big farming was coming in and the banks weren’t very generous in helping out the family after a hard year … They had invested in a lot of farming equipment that was very expensive and then a drought came … Then the bank just kind of swept it out from under them and sold it to a large corporation. But it’s very complicated and I never know if I’m getting all the details exactly right, no matter how many times I ask.

On the politics in her song, “All American Made”

It’s funny how songs kind of change their meaning as the world seems to change them for you … I think there’s just more weight in it than at the time that I wrote it.

We wrote it during the Obama years and I feel like I’ve always been one to question the people in charge. I enjoy playing the devil’s advocate and being the protagonist, and so when I wrote this song I was still upset with things that were going on. But I think America’s in just such a divided, heavy place right now … I love my country so much. I don’t want to leave. I just, day to day, wake up and read the news and feel confused and so this song has helped on some gray mornings.

On her voice training

I grew up singing in church, for sure. And I was in choir and I did jazz choir and show choir and all those things. And my mom heard me singing one day — I think I was just singing a Christmas song or something — she was washing dishes and her and my grandmother walked in, and they were shocked that I could sing the way that I could.

Margo Price, Live In Concert: SXSW 2016

After that, my mom really nourished my love of singing. And she would drive me an hour away to get voice lessons from the best voice teacher that was around … I was singing mezzo-soprano Italian songs when I was even 11 or 12, and I still find myself trying to utilize that technique, in breathing and phrasing.

On the advice she received from her great uncle, songwriter Bobby Fischer, when she was starting out

He had gold records hanging on his wall. He’s written hundreds and hundreds of songs. He wrote for George Jones a song called “Writing on the Wall.” He wrote for Reba [McEntire], he wrote for Charley Pride and Tanya Tucker — so many people.

He had just a regular job and he was living in Iowa and his wife was supportive enough when he said, “I want to go to Nashville. I want to be a songwriter.” They picked up everything and moved down here. It did seem to be this impossible dream that he had conquered. I do think that probably my mother thought that he could open all the right doors for me and it would be a nice, smooth transition.

I came to his house. He lives in Green Hills [an area of Nashville, Tenn.] I played him some songs the first week I was here and … he gave me the best advice that he could. He said, “Go home. Throw away your TV. Throw away your computer. Just sit there and keep writing.”

It hurt my feelings, but I needed that tough love to tell myself I did need to keep working at playing and hearing other people’s songs and seeing what made a good song. So I started going out to lots of open mics and listening to everybody and cutting my teeth.

On writing songs with her husband, Jeremy Ivey

A lot of times we’ll bring ideas to each other that we can’t finish. Other times, we will just sit down and start writing a song together from the get-go. It’s always different, but it’s really nice to be able to write with someone where you just talk things out in the room.

All Songs +1: A Conversation With Margo Price

We have this kind of communication where I feel like … we share a brain at this point. We’ve been together for about 14 years and so it just feels like we’re talking through things, talking the song out. And if an idea is dumb, then we are very quick to tell the other person, and if it’s great, we nourish it and encourage it.

On she and Ivey selling their car and her wedding ring so they could record her first album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter

We kind of put all of our eggs in one basket. It was really scary. He just came into the kitchen one morning and he’s like, “That’s it! We’re never going to be able to save up enough money to make the record that you need, so I’m just going to sell the car.” And I tried to talk him out of it, but he … sold it to CarMax, and he came home and then we booked the studio time the very next day …

On 'Midwest Farmer's Daughter,' Margo Price Hits Her Breaking Point — And Big Break

I went to about three different pawn shops and none of them wanted to give me very much [for the ring] because there’s a crack in it and it’s missing one of the little side diamonds on the side, but they were going to give me $300 and we just agreed to get rid of anything that didn’t suit us. We did sell some music equipment too, but the ring, it did kind of hit home. My husband said, “It’s just a material possession, it doesn’t matter.” While I agreed with him, I still liked my wedding ring with the chip in it, so he eventually went back and got it out of the hock for me.

On self-medicating with alcohol after the death of one of her twin sons when he was 2 weeks old

A lot of people refer to Nashville as “a drinking city with a music problem.” The bottle is talked about a lot in country music. I moved here when I was 20 and I started working in a bar. So yeah, it’s always been a slippery slope. And, of course, I medicated pretty heavily with booze after I lost my son.

It was not the way to handle things … It’s been a tough one. I feel much healthier now than when it first happened. I’ve done a lot of personal work to try to move past [the death of my son]. But there’s not a day that goes by that I wouldn’t trade my career and everything just to have him back. It’s not easy.

Amy Salit and Seth Kelley produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Sidney Madden adapted it for the Web.

In Kentucky, Transparent Pie Is Clearly A Thanksgiving Winner

Nov 21, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on In Kentucky, Transparent Pie Is Clearly A Thanksgiving Winner

Though the filling is not actually totally transparent, the name of the pie has stuck around since it first appeared in Kentucky newspapers in the 1890s.

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Though the filling is not actually totally transparent, the name of the pie has stuck around since it first appeared in Kentucky newspapers in the 1890s.

J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL

It’s only 9 a.m. on the Friday before Thanksgiving, but there’s already a line at Magee’s Bakery in Lexington, Ky., filled with people holding dense, sugary pies they’ve pulled from the bakery shelves.

Greg Higgins, the president and head baker at Magee’s, says a rush for Kentucky transparent pies is pretty typical at this time of year.

“This is a standard thing for us to do because of the number of people who are from Maysville — because that’s where the transparent name comes from, in that region,” Higgins says.

Maysville, Ky., about 70 miles northeast of Lexington, is the home of the original Magee’s Bakery, which opened in the 1930s. Magee’s is known for popularizing the transparent pie.

“It’s one of the most basic pies that you can make in terms of the ingredients, because it mainly consists of sugar and eggs and milk with a little bit of flour,” Higgins says. “You just have a pie shell with that liquid filling that you pour off and bake off.”

Higgins says most new customers are enchanted by the “transparent” name, though the pie filling is really just colorless (not totally transparent like the clear pumpkin pie from the Chicago restaurant Alinea, which has recently taken the internet by storm).

While the attention-grabbing name is unique — and first started appearing in Kentucky newspaper advertisements and articles in the 1890s — food historian Sarah Baird says the dessert actually closely resembles pies from other regions of the United States.

“When you go into Indiana you have sugar pies,” Baird says. “It’s kind of a kissing-cousin of shoofly pie, which is in Pennsylvania.”

She also mentions chess pies, originally found in New England, and Southern buttermilk pies. All of these have the same simple sugary liquid filling that is baked down in a shell.

Baird did some in-depth research on the origin of the transparent pie for her book Kentucky Sweets.

She thinks part of its original popularity — and the popularity of similar variations — was due to its accessibility to rural families.

“What everyone in my research kept coming back to over and over is that it’s a pie that doesn’t require something expensive like pecans,” Baird says. “They are kind of farm ingredients, right? You are going to have all those ingredients in the pantry or on the farm. You can go get the eggs, you will have the cream.”

She says the actual origin of the transparent name is still kind of a mystery — but it’s something that is definitely unique to the Maysville area.

Back at Magee’s, Greg Higgins recalls a conversation in which he tried describing a chess pie — a dessert that has the same basic ingredients as a transparent pie — to a friend from Maysville.

“And they say, ‘You mean a transparent pie?'” Higgins says. “That’s just what they know.”

TK

TK

Transparent Pie Recipe

Though Magee’s prefers to keep its transparent pie recipe in-house, here’s one family recipe from Sarah Baird that you can try at home.

One 9-inch pie (8 servings)

Active time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Additional tools: pie plate, rolling pin

For the crust

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup of granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

1 ½ tsp water, chilled

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, chilled

For the filling

8 tbs butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup (about 8 ounces) heavy cream

4 medium eggs, beaten

2 tbs all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a food processor, pulse together flour, salt, sugar, water and butter until the dough begins to come together (it will appear crumbly.) Remove dough from processor and knead gently, without overworking, until the dough is formed into a 1/2-inch thick disc. Cover with cling wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. After the crust has chilled, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rest for five minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll out the crust, then press into a pie plate or tin, crimping the edges and removing any excess dough. Set aside.

Using an electric hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until fully smooth, about 3 minutes. Add cream and eggs, beating until smooth, then stir in flour and vanilla with a large spatula. Pour filling into crust. Bake until a golden brown crust forms on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Courtney Marie Andrews, ‘Irene’ (Live At Pickathon)

Nov 21, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Courtney Marie Andrews, ‘Irene’ (Live At Pickathon)

On a hazy Saturday morning in Oregon this past summer, Courtney Marie Andrews took the Woods Stage at Pickathon just outside Portland, Ore. It was an unusual set for the Seattle-based singer, whose easy-going performance was juxtaposed with a general sense of unease in the crowd, as the region was then in the midst of a record-setting heat wave and one of the worst wildfire seasons in recent memory.

Luckily, the fire smoke had yet to reach the festival grounds at Pendarvis Farm, and the trees overlooking the Woods Stage offered plenty of cooling shade from the sweltering heat. So by the time Andrews launched into her closing song, a beautiful ’70s country-folk revival tune called “Irene,” any feeling of anxiety in the crowd had long since passed. Andrews’ soothing voice probably didn’t hurt, either.

Every month this year opbmusic and NPR Music will present another episode from the Pickathon Woods Stage. These videos are hand-picked by opbmusic to showcase some of the most exciting performances captured at Pickathon. Look for the next premiere in late December.

The Pickathon Woods Series was made possible by support from Klean Kanteen.

Spit Test May Help Reveal Concussion Severity

Nov 20, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Spit Test May Help Reveal Concussion Severity

Many children require quickly from a concussion, but some have much more severe symptoms. Competitive sports are a major source of injury.

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A little spit may help predict whether a child’s concussion symptoms will subside in days or persist for weeks.

A test that measures fragments of genetic material in saliva was nearly 90 percent accurate in identifying children and adolescents whose symptoms persisted for at least a month, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

That’s in contrast to a concussion survey commonly used by doctors that was right less than 70 percent of the time.

If the experimental test pans out, “a pediatrician could collect saliva with a swab, send it off to the lab and then be able to call the family the next day,” Steven Hicks, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Penn State Hershey, told NPR in May, after presenting preliminary results at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco. Hicks is the lead author of the study and consults for a company that hopes to market concussion tests.

A reliable test would help overcome a major obstacle in assessing and treating concussions, which affect more than one million children and adolescents in the U.S. each year. Many of the injuries are related to sports.

In most cases, concussion symptoms last only a few days. But up to 25 percent of young patients “go on to have these prolonged headaches, fatigue, nausea, and those symptoms can last sometimes one to four months,” Hicks says.

And, right now, there’s no way to know which kids are going to have long-term problems, he says.

Spit Test May Reveal The Severity Of A Child's Concussion

“Parents often say that their biggest concern is, ‘When is my child going to be back to normal again?’ ” Hicks says. “And that’s something we have a very difficult time predicting.”

Hicks and a team of researchers have been looking for an objective test that might help.

They knew that, after a concussion, injured brain cells try to heal themselves. As a part of this process, brain cells release tiny fragments of genetic material called microRNAs. Some of these fragments eventually turn up in blood and even in saliva.

The team did an experiment that involved 50 concussion patients between the ages of 7 and 18.

“When they came to our medical center and received the diagnosis of concussion, we evaluated them with some standard survey-based tools and then we also got a sample of their saliva,” Hicks says. Most samples were collected about a week after the injury.

The team measured levels of many different microRNAs in the samples, and eventually they identified a handful that let them predict how long symptoms would last. They also identified one microRNA that predicted which children would have a specific concussion symptom: difficulties with memory and problem solving, Hicks says.

A saliva test could greatly improve care for young people who don’t have obvious symptoms of a concussion, says Manish Bhomia, an adjunct assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.

“A lot of children get mild concussion and oftentimes it goes ignored,” he says.

A reliable lab test would help ensure that children who have a head injury don’t go back to school, or to the soccer field, before their brain has healed, Bhomia says.

And microRNAs offer a promising way to assess concussions in adults as well as children, says Bhomia, whose research involves a range of “biomarkers” for traumatic brain injury.

But saliva may not be the best place to measure microRNAs, Bhomia says. A better option, he says, might be blood samples, which tend to contain greater numbers of the genetic fragments.

A previous version of this story was published on May 4, 2017, in Shots and aired on Morning Edition.

Tinsel Tales 4: NPR Christmas Stories Told Through Song

Nov 20, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Tinsel Tales 4: NPR Christmas Stories Told Through Song

Tinsel Tales 4

Tinsel Tales 4

Each year, NPR collects some of its favorite Christmas stories from the archives into an hour-long special hosted by Lynn Neary. This year, we revisit interviews with musicians about their Christmas albums.

Some, like Katie Melua and Sting, celebrate tradition and winter mystery in their Christmas songs. Others, like Kenny Rogers and Amy Grant, find spirituality and stability in holiday music. Jon Batiste and Anthony Hamilton bring new energy to old favorites on their Christmas albums.

Whether you’re already a fan of these songs or just hearing them for the first time, check out the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page to hear some of the albums mentioned in the show.

Anthony Hamilton Brings Home Holiday Funk

Soul singer Anthony Hamilton wanted to try making a Christmas album, but he was wary of repeating the formulas that have shaped holiday records for years. In 2014, he talked to NPR’s Arun Rath about his album, Home For The Holidays, which includes the 1968 James Brown number “Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto.”

Song list:

  • “It’s Christmas”
  • “Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto”
  • “Little Drummer Boy”
  • “The Christmas Song”
  • “Home For The Holidays”

Kenny Rogers’ Rules For Living Well

Kenny Rogers may have become an international superstar because of the 1978 hit song “The Gambler,” but he also performed an annual Christmas and Hits tour for decades. In a 2015 interview with NPR’s Rachel Martin, Rogers talked about his holiday album, Once Again It’s Christmas, and admits he’s deeply spiritual at this time of year.

Song list:

  • “Once Again It’s Christmas”
  • “Some Children See Him”
  • “The Gambler”
  • “That Silent Night”

Katie Melua, A Georgian Voice Made Good In The West, Comes Home

In 2016, British superstar Katie Melua returned to her homeland in Eastern Europe to record with a Georgian women’s choir. Her album, In Winter, features songs in English, Georgian and Ukrainian. In this interview with NPR’s Lakshmi Singh, Melua also shares stories of growing up in the country of Georgia after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Song list:

  • “If You Are So Beautiful”
  • “All-Night Vigil – Nunc Dimittis”
  • “The Little Swallow (Carol of the Bells)”
  • “Plane Song”

Sting Performs Discusses New Album If On A Winter’s Night

We wouldn’t call Sting‘s album a Christmas album, exactly, in the sense of Bing Crosby or Nate King Cole. The songs on If On a Winter’s Night reveal a glimpse into the heart of winter, with songs that celebrate tradition and mystery. In 2007, Weekend Edition host Scott Simon spoke with Sting about recording traditional folk songs with musicians in his northern English hometown.

Song list:

  • “The Burning Babe”
  • “The Snow It Melts The Soonest”
  • “Christmas At Sea”

Amy Grant On Faith, Songwriting And Christmas Blues

Amy Grant, the queen of Christian pop, opened up to NPR’s Ailsa Chang about the longing she feels at Christmas, the importance of family and faith and the steady power of music. Her 2016 holiday album, the fourth in her 40-year career, is called Tennessee Christmas.

Song list:

  • “Tennessee Christmas”
  • “Melancholy Christmas”
  • “To Be Together”
  • “December”

Have Yourself A Sullen Little Christmas

This may be the season of happy music — songs of joy, goodness and light — but something about this time of year also inspires a different sort of song. Melancholy Christmas songs are so popular because they seem to capture the way many people actually feel. In 2013, NPR’s Steve Inskeep, Stephen Thompson and Travis Larchuk shared some sad (and sarcastic) holiday selections.

Song list:

  • Hem, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
  • Harvey Danger, “Sometimes You Have To Work On Christmas”
  • David Mead, “The Smile of Rachael Ray”
  • Garfunkel and Oates, “Year End Letter”
  • Low, “Blue Christmas”
  • Trey Parker, “Dead, Dead, Dead”

A Very Jon Batiste Christmas

Jon Batiste talked to Morning Edition host David Greene in 2016 about creating songs that evoke holiday imagery. He also finds joy in making longtime favorites sound new by adding bluegrass banjos, soul singers and his trusty melodica. His holiday album is called Christmas With Jon Batiste.

Song list:

  • “Winter Wonderland”
  • “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman”
  • “What Child Is This?”
  • “Silent Night”
  • “O Tannenbaum”

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