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6:02 am
Sun January 19, 2014

A Half-Century Later, Fearing's 'Big Clock' Still Ticks On

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 1:50 pm

Even if you've never read Kenneth Fearing's noir novel The Big Clock, it's likely you already know its basic story and its biggest twist: the book was (very) loosely adapted as the popular (and pretty excellent) 1987 thriller No Way Out, starring Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman and Sean Young.

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4:16 am
Sun January 19, 2014

From Ashes To Ashes To Diamonds: A Way To Treasure The Dead

Most of the diamonds synthesized from cremated remains come out blue, due to trace amounts of boron in the body. These diamonds, made from the ashes of animals, were created through the same process used to make diamonds from human remains.
Courtesy Rinaldo Willy/Algordanza

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 10:59 am

Diamonds are supposed to be a girl's best friend. Now, they might also be her mother, father or grandmother.

Swiss company Algordanza takes cremated human remains and — under high heat and pressure that mimic conditions deep within the Earth — compresses them into diamonds.

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The Salt
4:16 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Cooking With Conifers: An Evergreen Trick That's Newly Hip

Gabrielle Hamilton prepares pine needles at Prune Restaurant in New York City.
Julia Gillard

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 12:17 pm

If you still have your Christmas tree up in your living room because you just can't bear the thought of throwing out all that fine pine scent, then you may be an evergreen addict. If you still have it up because you're too lazy to take off the ornaments, then you may be a hoarder, but that's another post.

Fear not, conifer connoisseurs. You don't have to wait for the holidays to surround yourself with spruce. American chefs from coast to coast are using evergreens to develop unique flavors in dishes, from white fir and sorrel broth to pine needle vinegar to smoked mussels.

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5:36 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

Long-Term Unemployed Wearily Watching Capitol Hill



Also this week, there was more tough news for Americans who rely on federal unemployment benefits.

At the end of last year, Congress failed to extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which helps the long-term unemployed. And on December 28th, about 1.3 million people lost benefits.

This week, members of Congress brought the program back up for debate, but they could not agree on how to pay for the benefits. And each week, the number of people losing their unemployment checks grows. They're watching Congress closely.

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Author Interviews
4:50 pm
Sat January 18, 2014

'I'll Take You There': The Staple Singers' Rise From Church To Fame

Mavis Staples performs at the 2013 Waterfront Blues Festival at in Portland, Ore.
Anthony Pidgeon Redferns via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 5:36 pm

Today, the voices of Roebuck "Pops" Staples and his four children — Cleotha, Mavis, Pervis and Yvonne — are woven into America's DNA. As the Staple Singers, the family created a sound that was part blues, part gospel and part folk, breaking down musical walls and inspiring civil rights leaders.

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