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12:47 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Still Bill: 5 Bill Withers Covers

Bill Withers posing for a portrait around 1973.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

5 Reasons Why The Israeli-Palestinian Fighting Is Different This Time

The Israelis and Palestinians have clashed repeatedly over the Gaza Strip, but the recent upheavals in the Middle East have changed the dynamics this time. Here, a Palestinian woman is helped after being injured in an Israeli strike in Gaza City on Monday.
Bernat Armangue AP

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 8:49 am

This round of Israeli-Palestinian fighting may seem almost identical to all the battles that came before. After all, the Israelis and Palestinians waged an intense fight over the Gaza Strip just four years ago, in December 2008 and January 2009.

But since then, the Arab Spring and its aftermath have radically altered the dynamics of the Middle East. Here are several reasons to look at this clash from a different perspective:

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The Salt
12:03 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Sandwich Monday: Breathable Chocolate

NPR

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:17 pm

[If you were about to note that this doesn't look like a sandwich, keep in mind the Sandwich Draft Principle applies.]

With Thanksgiving a few days away, you have to save as much stomach room as you can. That means, of course, breathing your food. To that end: Le Whif Breathable Chocolate. They're like little plastic chocolate cigarettes, filled with some kind of chocolate powder.

Ian: It's a powder. We're breathing Chocothrax!

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Mon November 19, 2012

27 Animals In 'Hobbit' Movie Died At Farm Where They Were Housed

A promotion for J.R.R. Tolkien's classic, which is now being made into a movie trilogy, at the Frankfurt Book Fair last month.
Arne Dedert EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:33 pm

Just days before the movie's premiere, there's word that during the filming of director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as many as 27 animals used in its production died at the farm in New Zealand where they were housed.

Animal wranglers tell The Associated Press that there were "bluffs, sinkholes and other 'death traps' " at the farm. Three horses died, along with "six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens."

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:05 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Why Not Say It Simply? How About Very Simply?

xkcd: "Another thing that is a bad problem is if you're flying toward space and the parts start to fall off your space car in the wrong order. If that happens, it means you won't go to space today, or maybe ever."
xkcd

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 11:27 am

There are people (and I hear from them constantly) who think if a subject is sophisticated, like science, the language that describes it should be sophisticated, too.

If smart people say torque, ribosome, limbic, stochastic and kinase, then the rest of us should knuckle down, concentrate and figure out what those words mean. That's how we'll know when we've learned something: when we've mastered the technical words.

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