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The Salt
10:00 am
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 10:42 am

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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Krulwich Wonders...
9:26 am
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 9:17 am

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 In 10 years almost every bit of you will have been replaced by new bits.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
9:00 am
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
8:50 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
8:14 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
7:44 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
7:39 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 8:44 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
7:21 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Hip-Hopping With A Harp

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:46 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
7:21 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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Movie Interviews
7:21 am
Mon December 31, 2012

The Hobbit Filmmaker Turns To Crime Documentary

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Best Music Of 2012
7:12 am
Mon December 31, 2012

In Memoriam: Musicians We Lost In 2012

Whitney Houston performs in 1988.
David Corio Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:26 am

NPR Music remembers the singers, instrumentalists, songwriters and personalities who died in 2012. Explore their musical legacies by launching our musical interactive here or by clicking on the image.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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It's All Politics
7:11 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Is The Party Over For The Tea Party?

Tea Party supporter William Temple of Brunswick, Ga., protested outside the Supreme Court in June as justices debated the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law.
David Goldman AP

It's a little bit early, but the Tea Party is hitting its sophomore slump.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Top Stories: 'Fiscal Cliff' Deadline Nears; New Year's Celebrations Begin

In Sydney, Australia, early today, New Year's Eve celebrations included fireworks and a big kiss.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Good morning.

Our early headlines on this last day of 2012:

-- Year Ends As It Began, With Lawmakers Headed Toward The 'Fiscal Cliff'.

-- Secretary Clinton's Condition 'Extremely Common'.

Other stories making headlines include:

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Secretary Clinton's Condition 'Extremely Common'

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Dec. 4 in Brussels, before she fell ill.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 2:12 pm

  • From 'Morning Editon': Jackie Northam and Rob Stein

Update at 5:04 p.m. ET Clot Located Behind Right Ear

The clot that has put U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a New York City hospital for treatment and observation is located behind her right ear, in a vein that's in the space between her brain and skull.

A statement by her physicians released by the State Department said the clot did not result in a stroke or neurological damage.

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It's All Politics
4:28 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Not Your Father's (Or Mother's) Congress

Marco Garcia AP

Despite what has been called a status quo election, life is far from static on Capitol Hill. The 113th Congress will bring with it generational and some historic changes, including the first all-female delegation for a state (New Hampshire), and the fewest number of military veterans in the Senate and House since World War II.

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The Two-Way
4:19 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Year Ends As It Began, With Lawmakers Headed Toward The 'Fiscal Cliff'

The U.S. Capitol. Will lawmakers avoid the "fiscal cliff" or go over?
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 11:05 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Scott Horsley reports
  • From 'Morning Edition': David Welna reports

(Scroll down for updates.)

Well, here we are. It's New Year's Eve and with just hours to go before the end of the year and the arrival of the so-called fiscal cliff, Democrats and Republicans in Washington are still trying to strike a deal that heads off automatic increases in taxes, automatic deep spending cuts in a variety of programs and the automatic expiration of some jobless benefits.

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Around the Nation
4:12 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Possum Drop Will Be Held In Brasstown, N.C.

Transcript

STEVEN INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A New Year's tradition will change in Brasstown, North Carolina. Instead of the Times Square Ball, Clay's Corner Store lowered a love possum in a box. Store owner Clay Logan tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press we aren't pessimistic or optimistic. We're opposumistic. But nobody asked the possum. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued. Now Mr. Logan says he'll drop a stuffed animal, or road kill, depending on what's available. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
4:04 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Popular Baby Names For 2013

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR Story
2:43 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Secretary Clinton Hospitalized With Blood Clot

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's turn to some other developments we're following very closely. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in a New York City hospital this morning. She is being treated for a blood clot. Now, a State Department spokesman said this stems from a concussion Clinton sustained earlier this month. The blood clot was discovered during a follow-up exam yesterday.

We're joined in the studio by two of our colleagues, NPR foreign affairs correspondent Jackie Northam and NPR science editor Rob Stein. Good morning to both of you.

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NPR Story
2:43 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Sex Men Charged In India's Fatal Gang-Rape

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In India, protestors are vowing to keep up their fight until there is justice for the young victim of a gang rape. The young woman died this weekend after injuries she suffered in the vicious attack. The incident has renewed demands for action against sexual violence. Delhi police say the accused will be formally charged with murder. From New Delhi, here's NPR's Julie McCarthy.

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