Arts & Life

12:40pm

Tue November 20, 2012
The Salt

Coconut Conservationist Seeks Pacific Islands For Fun And Palm Preservation

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:59 am

The diversity of coconut trees like these planted along the beach in the northern Philippines is in danger, but a French scientist has a plan.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

French adventurer-scientist Roland Bourdeix has a grand, almost surreal, vision for how to preserve a thousand or more genetic varieties of coconut trees. Imagine, as he does, turning dozens or hundreds of remote Pacific islands into coconut sanctuaries. Each island would contain just a few varieties of these trees. No others would be allowed, because the whole point of this exercise is to prevent uncontrolled mixing of genes from different varieties.

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10:45am

Tue November 20, 2012
The Salt

Why Americans Go Crazy For Pumpkin And Pumpkin-Flavored Stuff

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 2:03 pm

Pumpkins for sale at the Mt. Rogers Pumpkin Patch in the a parking lot in Centreville, Va.
Paul J. Richards Getty

At Thanksgiving, many of us will dig into the pointy tip of our first piece of pumpkin pie for the season. However, this Thursday, that nostalgic moment might feel a little less special.

This year, the word "pumpkin" seems to be creeping its way into hundreds of foods, drinks, and other products. As The Huffington Post noted recently, you can now find pumpkin-inspired beers, teas, marshmallows, soy milk, Pop-Tarts, and Pringles.

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7:38am

Tue November 20, 2012
The Salt

Tracking The Elusive 'Chocolate' Persimmon

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 7:51 am

The fabled and rare chocolate persimmon may look rotten, but it is juicy and sweet without being cloying.
Rachel Myrow NPR

When farmers from Japan settled in California more than 100 years ago, they brought Japanese persimmons, with their bright, shiny skins and sweet interiors.

Some Americans almost immediately caught onto the charm of these orange beauties, and with the help of a few prominent backers, passion for the Japanese varieties spread across the country, according to botanist Julia Morton.

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3:23am

Tue November 20, 2012
Author Interviews

Talking Turkey (And Pie) In 'Thanksgiving'

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 2:56 pm

Sarah C. Rutherford Random House

In the introduction to his new book, Sam Sifton lays it out: "Thanksgiving is not easy." Sifton knows whereof he speaks; he's now the national editor of The New York Times, but before he took on that solemn responsibility, he was the newspaper's restaurant critic and a food columnist for its Sunday Magazine.

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1:26am

Tue November 20, 2012
Movies

Controversial Casting For A Nina Simone Biopic

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:35 am

Nina Simone (left) and actress Zoe Saldana are seen in this composite image. Saldana has been cast to play the late singer in a film biopic.
John Minihan/Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

The rumors that had been around for a couple of years have finally been confirmed: At long last, there's a film in the works about the turbulent life of Nina Simone, otherwise known as the "High Priestess of Soul."

Simone was famous from the 1950s through the '70s for her music and her civil rights activism. And although she died in 2003, her voice remains popular on TV, movie soundtracks and commercials.

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