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The Salt
1:00 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Why We Toast: Uncorking A New Year's Tradition

A happy-looking 1930s couple toasts.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:42 pm

The act of toasting feels natural: You lift your arms in affirmation and drink in honor of an occasion or a loved one.

It's what millions will do this week as they ring in the New Year, but why? Like shaking hands or saluting, toasting is a habit with incredibly foggy beginnings, so we here at The Salt decided to dig into it, for the sake of science.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

China Kicks Out New York Times Reporter

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:56 pm

China has effectively expelled a reporter working for The New York Times by refusing to extend his media credentials, the newspaper said Monday.

The reporter, Chris Buckley, has been forced to leave China, New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson said in a statement.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:26 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Another Year And I'm Still Here: A New Year's Meditation

Rogier Wieland Vimeo

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 12:17 pm

Updated Jan. 1, 2013: I've added a postscript to this post. You can find it at the bottom of this page.

Look at yourself. Right now.

You are muscle,skin, bone, brain, blood, warmed by energy, and all of you, every cell, even the subsets of those cells, all trillions and trillions of them, are going to tire, waste and depart. In 10 years almost every bit of you will have been replaced by new bits.

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Books
12:00 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Diana Vreeland's Rise To 'Empress Of Fashion'

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is under the weather. Despite challenging economic times, many of us will dress up for New Year's Eve. Over the next few minutes, we'll focus on the unique history of American fashion. Coming up, a discussion about why fashion is so important for many African-American men.

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Economy
11:50 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Is Our Economy Better Than Theirs?

The countdown is on to a new year — and the fiscal changes that are on the other side of midnight. But what else is on the cards economically for 2013, both here and overseas? Guest host Celeste Headlee puts the question to the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy.

The Salt
11:14 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Green Grapes And Red Underwear: A Spanish New Year's Eve

Ringing in the New Year in Spain requires eating a dozen grapes and wearing a very specific kind of undergarment.
Jeff Koehler

If the thought of watching the ball drop in Times Square again is already making you yawn, consider perking your New Year's Eve celebration with this tradition from Spain: As midnight nears on Nochevieja, or "old night," the last day of the year, the entire country gathers in front of television screens or in town squares, clutching a small bowl of green grapes and wearing red underwear. More on the underwear later.

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Music
10:44 am
Mon December 31, 2012

'Fresh Air' At 25: A Live Musical Tribute

Terry Gross, shown above in 1987, has been host of Fresh Air since 1975, when it was broadcast only in greater Philadelphia.
NPR's Fresh Air

This show was originally broadcast on May 11, 2012.

Friday, May 11, 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the day Fresh Air became a daily national NPR program. Before that, the show was broadcast only on WHYY in Philadelphia. How long ago was May 11, 1987? On Fresh Air's first edition, TV critic David Bianculli reviewed the finale of the TV series Hill Street Blues.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Good Riddance! 'Fiscal Cliff' Tops List Of 'Words To Be Banished'

Be gone!
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 11:44 am

Oh, if only someone could enforce this "edict."

Michigan's Lake Superior State University is out with its 38th "List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness," and right there at the top is a two-word combination that none of us in the media seem able to avoid, especially not today:

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Music
10:21 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Hip-Hopping With A Harp

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 7:46 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now I would like to tell you about a special performer, someone many people have called one of a kind. She is a native Washingtonian. She fuses pop, R&B and hip-hop and she does all that while accompanying herself on an instrument you don't see very often in contemporary music - her harp.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THERE'S NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU")

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Education
10:21 am
Mon December 31, 2012

How 'Deferred Action' Will Affect Classrooms

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up: Why did the Oscar-winning filmmaker of "The Hobbit" devote his time, money and moviemaking skills to an entirely different project about a long-ago crime in Arkansas? We'll speak with Peter Jackson and one of the men featured in a new documentary "West of Memphis." That's in just a few minutes.

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