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The Salt
2:01 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Secret Menus Give Restaurants A Not-So-Secret Boost

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 7:06 am

When you're trying to decide where to eat, knowing what's on the menu is important. But for restaurants trying to bring customers through the door, what's not on the menu is just as important.

Secret menus aren't new. In-N-Out Burger has had one for years. But experts say more companies are now adding secret menu items, which are even catching on overseas in places like the United Kingdom and Singapore.

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Latin America
2:00 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Mexico's 'Crisis Of Disappearance': Families Seek Answers

A woman holds a sign that reads, "We demand justice after two years," during a Jan. 11 protest outside the government palace in Monterrey denouncing the disappearance of family members in the state of Nuevo Leon.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 7:47 pm

Maximina Hernandez says she begged her 23-year old son, Dionicio, to give up his job as a police officer in a suburb of Monterrey. Rival drug cartels have been battling in the northern Mexican city for years.

But he told her being a police officer was in his blood, a family tradition. He was detailed to guard the town's mayor.

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Hollywood Jobs
11:05 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

For Film Set Decorators, Tiny Details Count

The third floor of the Warner Brothers Prop House holds a host of antiques available for rent by set decorators working on television and films. Each of the building's four floors is as big as a football field.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 2:07 pm

Picture Rick's smoky cafe in Casablanca, Lincoln's office at the White House of the 1860s, or the Mos Eisley cantina on the desert planet of Tatooine: A production designer came up with the overall look of those movie sets. But the booze on Rick's bar or the pens on Lincoln's desk — it took a set decorator and a crew to make them look authentic and believable.

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The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Considers Accelerating Replacement Process

Pope Benedict XVI leads the Ash Wednesday service at the St. Peter's Basilica on Feb. 13.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:43 pm

Pope Benedict XVI is considering issuing a decree that would speed up the process of appointing his replacement.

By canon law, a papal conclave starts between 15 and 20 days after the papacy becomes vacant. But as The New York Times reports, that takes into account a papal funeral.

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Shots - Health News
5:33 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

In Reversal, Florida Gov. Scott Agrees To Medicaid Expansion

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, long a foe of the administration's health overhaul, reversed course and agree to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid in the state.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:25 am

Perhaps Florida Gov. Rick Scott's motto should be "never say never."

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Shots - Health News
5:33 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Print Me An Ear: 3-D Printing Tackles Human Cartilage

Larry Bonassar shows off an ear that he and his colleagues at Cornell University built out of living cartilage cells with the help of a 3-D printer.
Lindsay France Cornell University Photography

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:34 am

An ear, unsurprisingly, is difficult to make from scratch. Ear cartilage is uniquely flexible and strong and has been impossible for scientists to reproduce with synthetic prostheses.

If a child is born without one, doctors typically carve a replacement ear out of rib cartilage, but it lacks the wonderfully firm yet springy qualities of the original ear. And it often doesn't look so good.

So why not print one?

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Cool Photo: A Black Spot, The Size Of Six Earths, Appears On The Sun

The bottom two black spots on the sun, known as sunspots, appeared quickly over the course of Feb. 19-20, 2013.
NASA/SDO/AIA/HMI/Goddard Space Flight Center

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 8:42 pm

Over the course of two days in February, scientists watched something amazing happening on the surface of our sun: A giant black spot grew to over six Earths in diameter.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center released a picture of the sun, which shows the spots in deep black.

NASA explains that it's hard to know the full extent of the spots, because it's on a sphere "not a flat disk." NASA adds:

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Middle East
4:33 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

A West Bank Story, Told Through Palestinian Eyes

Emad Burnat, a Palestinian who co-directed the Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras, displays the cameras destroyed by Israeli settlers and security forces. The film focuses on a Palestinian village protesting Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank.
Kino Lorbor Inc. AP

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 7:49 am

The Academy Award-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras tells the story of Bil'in, a modest Palestinian village perilously close to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

After the Israeli government began putting up its West Bank separation barrier, Bil'in resident Emad Burnat picked up a video camera, and in 2005 began a multiyear documentary project.

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The Salt
4:13 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Smaller But Better? Organic Tomatoes May Pack More Nutritional Punch

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 1:05 pm

A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE finds that tomatoes grown on organic farms were about 40 percent smaller than conventionally grown tomatoes. The upside? They pack more of a nutritional punch. The researchers found the organic tomatoes had significantly higher levels of vitamin C, sugar and lycopene.

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It's All Politics
4:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Republicans Make 'Benghazi' A Frequent Refrain

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., confer at the start of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week on the appointments of military leaders. McCain and Graham have been among the Republicans pushing the Obama administration for answers about the Benghazi attack.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 5:02 pm

The White House hopes the Senate will confirm Chuck Hagel next week as defense secretary.

Republicans delayed the vote for the same reason they scuttled Susan Rice's bid to be secretary of state: Benghazi.

The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last September killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya. And Benghazi has since become a rallying cry for Republicans.

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