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7:17pm

Sat December 20, 2014
The Salt

In Wineries Vs. Weather, Drones To The Rescue?

An unmanned aerial vehicle films vineyards in France. Drones like this one are also being used in Califiornia,as part of a broader "precision farming" movement designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Sami Sarkis Ocean/Corbis

Tucked behind a hill in Sebastopol, Calif., with a 5,400-square-foot cave that holds some 500 barrels of wine, DRNK Wines exudes the quiet charm that a visitor might expect. But the grapes in some of the wines that are sold here are under a growing threat — which is why DRNK's winemaker, Ryan Kunde, can sometimes be seen in various vineyards testing his fleet of drones. Their mission? To one day collect aerial images that will help determine the vines' vigor, ripeness, flavor and harvest dates, which due to rising soil temperatures have inched up in Sonoma County over the past few years.

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4:40pm

Sat December 20, 2014
The Salt

Want To Enhance The Flavor Of Your Food? Put On The Right Music

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste.
iStockphoto.com

Here's an experiment: take a bite of whatever food you have nearby and listen to some music, something with high notes. Now, take another bite, but listen to something with low notes.

Notice anything?

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste. They've found that higher-pitched music — think flutes — enhances the flavor of sweet or sour foods. Lower-pitched sounds, like tubas, enhance the bitter flavors.

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3:16pm

Sat December 20, 2014
Food

How Tinseltown Got Tipsy: A Boozy Taste Of Hollywood History

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 4:40 pm

iStockphoto

If the bars of Los Angeles could talk, they'd have an awful lot of tales to tell — old Hollywood was full of famously hard drinkers. And while LA's watering holes are keeping their secrets, one author, Mark Bailey, has uncorked a slew of stories from the city's plastered past.

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3:06pm

Sat December 20, 2014
Around the Nation

Montana Shooter Found Guilty Despite State's 'Castle Doctrine'

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 4:40 pm

Diren Dede, a 17-year-old German exchange student, was fatally shot in the head and arm when he entered the garage of Markus Kaarma in Missoula, Montana, on April 27. Kaarma claimed it was self-defense, but a Montana jury recently found him guilty of deliberate homicide.
Oliver Hardt Getty Images

More than 30 states have laws that allow people to use deadly force if they have a reasonable fear for their life or property. But this week, a Montana jury said that type of law has its limits, finding a homeowner who shot a teenager in his garage guilty of deliberate homicide.

In the early hours of April 27, a motion detector alerted homeowner Markus Kaarma someone was in the garage of his home in Missoula, Mont. He went outside and almost immediately fired four shotgun blasts, killing 17-year-old Diren Dede, a German exchange student.

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8:59am

Sat December 20, 2014
Movies

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 10:05 am

A worker carries a poster for the movie The Interview away from its display case at a theater in Atlanta. "It feels like the margin's narrowed about what kind of movies Hollywood will be making," says veteran Hollywood producer Stephanie Striegel.
David Goldman AP

President Obama is not the only one thinking about the precedent set when Sony decided not to release the comedy The Interview. Around Hollywood, the action drew immediate rebuke as celebrities took to Twitter — like director and producer Judd Apatow:

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel agreed, writing, "An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent."

In writing rooms and comedy clubs in Los Angeles, however, the conversations are more nuanced.

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