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5:07 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Ranch Dressing Is The Cream Of The Crop

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Our last word in business today: Dip it.

That's what millions of Americans are doing with ranch dressing. A new report says it is the salad topping of choice in cafeterias and restaurants in the United States. Its sales and shipments are doubled that of the number two dressing: blue cheese.

We are using ranch on salads, on broccoli, baked potatoes, chicken wings, even pizza.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Story
5:07 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Concerns Linger For N.C. Residents After Coal Ash Spill

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A federal criminal investigation is focusing on Duke Energy and a North Carolina state environmental agency. A couple of months ago, as you may recall, a storm water pipe ruptured and poured as much as 39,000 tons of potentially toxic carbon byproduct into the Dan River in North Carolina.

North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii reports.

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Religion
3:56 am
Wed April 2, 2014

For 'Lent Madness,' Reverend Pits Saints Against Each Other

Comments on the Lent Madness website have gotten heated. Mark D. writes, "So I got my wish: JS Bach is in the mix. But he's in the same bracket with the Wesleys and Thomas Merton?? This is going to be ugly."
Courtesy of Adam Thomas/Lent Madness

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

We're deep into Lent, the season when Christians prepare themselves for Easter. For those of you who have been preparing by giving up something — chocolate, or driving, or yelling at the kids — it can feel like a pretty long time.

But, some folks are looking to reframe Lent, with a little madness.

"A lot of people see Lent as the church's season of doom, and gloom, and guilt, and depression, and eating dirt," says Tim Schenck, an Episcopalian priest in Massachusetts.

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Parallels
3:55 am
Wed April 2, 2014

So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent

A group of 3,000 ordinary citizens, armed with nothing more than an Internet connection, is often making better forecasts of global events than CIA analysts. Here, a man crosses the CIA logo at its headquarters in Langley, Va.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.

It wasn't the only question she was considering; there were others:

Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?

Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich's answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn't feel much pressure because this wasn't her full-time gig.

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Paying For College
3:55 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Changing The Face Of Astronomy Research

Students from CUNY's AstroCom NYC program meet for a weekly class at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Dennis Robbins, an associate professor of science education at CUNY's Hunter College, teaches Betsy Hernandez (from left), Jaquelin Erazo, Ariel Diaz and Mario Martin.
Beth Fertig WNYC

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

Shooting for the stars is expensive.

Advanced sciences like astronomy require years of study and graduate degrees. And the soaring cost of college can be a heavy obstacle for low-income and minority students hoping to break into those fields.

A program at the City University of New York hopes to lift that burden by providing scholarships and one-on-one mentoring to underrepresented students.

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Politics
3:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

In Arkansas, Voters May Get Chance To Raise Minimum Wage

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor speaks to reporters at his Little Rock campaign headquarters on Feb. 28. A minimum wage increase on the ballot alongside Pryor could give Democrats more of a reason to show up on Election Day.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

President Obama travels to Michigan Wednesday to tout his proposal to boost the minimum wage.

Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour is one of the top agenda items for Obama and his fellow Democrats during this mid-term election year. The White House says the move would put more money in the pockets of some 28 million workers.

One test of that strategy will be in Arkansas, where proponents are trying to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November. Arkansas has some of the lowest wages in the country and it's also home to one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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Shots - Health News
3:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Small Health Insurance Co-Ops Seeing Early Success

Karl Sutton leaves his mobile greenhouse in Montana. He sells spinach as part of a farmers co-op, and likes that nonprofit business model for his health insurance, too.
Eric Whitney for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

Many of us know the names of some of the big U.S. health insurance companies — like Blue Cross, Aetna and Wellpoint. But what about CoOportunity Health, or Health Republic Insurance of New York? These are among 23 new companies started under the Affordable Care Act. They're all nonprofit, member-owned insurance cooperatives that were begun, in part, to create more competition and drive prices down.

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Code Switch
7:58 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

The Harlem Hellfighters: Fighting Racism In The Trenches Of WWI

The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel by Max Brooks, retells the story of the first African-American unit to fight in World War I.
Caanan White Courtesy of Broadway Books

The 369th Infantry Regiment served 191 days under enemy fire in Europe. They returned home one of the most decorated American units of World War I.

"The French called them the 'Men of Bronze' out of respect, and the Germans called them the 'Harlem Hellfighters' out of fear," explains Max Brooks, author of The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel about the first African-American infantry unit to fight in World War I.

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The Two-Way
7:15 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Congress Sends Ukraine Aid, Russia Sanctions Bill To White House

After weeks of political wrangling and in a rare show of bi-partisanship, Congress approved a bill calling for $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and new sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea.

On Tuesday, with a vote of 378-34, the House passed a final version of the bill, sending it to the White House for President Obama's signature. The bill passed in the Senate last week with a 98-2 vote.

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The Salt
7:07 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

School For Making Toast: The Best Food Fooling 2014

Bring your own bread (BYOB) if you're going to take the class in San Francisco to learn the art of making the perfect toast.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:39 am

Here at The Salt, we get a lot of emails from public relations firms hawking newfangled food products and services. Sometimes it's difficult to discern whether they're for real.

So when we got an email from the San Francisco Cooking School on Tuesday shilling a one-day class on How to Make Toast, we did the email version of a double take.

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The Two-Way
6:17 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

New York Student Is Accepted To All 8 Ivy League Schools

Commencement on campus of Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 7:09 pm

The odds of getting into any of the eight Ivy League schools in the country are against even the brightest students in the country.

Imagine getting a yes from all of them. That's what happened to 17-year-old Kwasi Enin of Shirley, N.Y.

Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale have all asked Kwasi to be part of their class of 2018.

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The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Mother Of Victim: More Killed By GM Ignition Switch Defect

Laura Christian, far right, talks about how her birth daughter Amber Marie Rose was killed on July 29, 2005, in a car crash that investigators determined was linked to a defective ignition switch.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 7:24 pm

The birth mother of Amber Marie Rose, the teen whose 2005 death was the first linked to an ignition switch problem that's triggered a massive recall of General Motors vehicles, says that through a Facebook group for families of victims, she's identified at least 29 fatalities due to the defect. GM only acknowledges 13 deaths.

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Parallels
5:40 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Still Reeling From Crisis, Ukraine Prepares For Presidential Vote

Boxer-turned-opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, right, dropped out of Ukraine's presidential election set for May 25. He says he will help business tycoon and politician Petro Poroshenko, left, who made a fortune selling chocolates. He favors closer ties with the West.
Anatoliy Stepanov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:11 am

After a winter of lightning-fast changes – a president ousted and a peninsula apparently lost to Russia — Ukrainians are beginning to look ahead to elections on May 25 to replace Viktor Yanukovych.

The opposition leader who seemed to have the inside track a few weeks ago, ex-world champion heavyweight Vitali Klitschko, has taken himself out of the running. Klitschko will stand for mayor of Kiev and throw his support behind billionaire Petro Poroshenko, who made his fortune in the candy business.

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Business
5:40 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Never Too Late: More Older Adults Sold On Entrepreneurship

More and more older adults are becoming entrepreneurs instead of retiring, like Paul Tasner of Pulpworks, who spoke at the 2013 Global Social Venture Competition in California.
Courtesy of Kevin Warnock

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 8:57 am

If you've ever been driven to rage and despair trying to pry open one of those plastic blister packs, Paul Tasner says it doesn't have to be that way. According to the 68-year-old Tasner, all it would take is for more products to use the packaging he's developed for his company, Pulpworks.

As you might guess from the name, it specializes in packaging made from pulp — from paper, cardboard, even sugarcane fiber — that's molded to fit a product.

"I just loved the idea of turning [what is] basically garbage into packaging," Tasner says.

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The Salt
4:52 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

It's Official: Americans Are Floating In A Pool Of Ranch Dressing

Tomatoes, pizza, Pringles — Americans are not afraid to douse everything in ranch.
Mr.Ducke/Flickr; Jamaila Brinkley/Flickr; Hajime Nakano/Flickr; Janet Hudson/Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 6:37 pm

Many a gab session of my 1980s suburban youth was fueled by Cool Ranch-flavored Doritos — after school, on a campout, on a sleepover — whenever the girls got together. We'd seek out that tangy, salty flavor, inhale a bag or two, and lick the red, blue and green flecks off our fingers when they were all gone. (Ah, the pre-calorie-counting days.)

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