Arts & Life

1:23am

Fri October 12, 2012
The Salt

Kelp For Farmers: Seaweed Becomes A New Crop In America

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 9:02 am

Oyster fisherman Bren Smith on his boat, The Mookie. Smith decided to try his hand at seaweed farming, collaborating with ecology professor Charles Yarish.
Ron Gautreau Courtesy of Bren Smith

A new kind of crop is being planted in the United States, and it doesn't require any land or fertilizer. Farming it improves the environment, and it can be used in a number of ways. So what is this miracle cash crop of the future?

It's seaweed.

Charlie Yarish, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, loves seaweed. In nature, he says, when seaweed turns a rich chocolate color, that means the plant is picking up nitrogen, a process called nutrient bioextraction.

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3:48pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Argo': A Rescue Mission With Real Hollywood Style

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

John Chambers (John Goodman) serves as a guide to the ins and outs of the movie business for CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck).
Claire Folger Warner Bros. Pictures

Ben Affleck's new thriller, Argo, chronicles a secret CIA rescue mission — a mission that remained classified for years. When details finally came to light, the operation sounded like something only Hollywood could come up with. As we find out, there's a reason for that.

It's 1979, and the Iranian public's hatred for their U.S.-backed shah erupts when he leaves the country. A crowd grows around the U.S. Embassy in Tehran — they're climbing the gates and taking dozens of Americans hostage.

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3:02pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Books

From Boy King Of Texas To Literary Superstar

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Domingo Martinez is the author of The Boy Kings of Texas. He has been nominated for a National Book Award in the nonfiction category.

Yesterday morning I'm lying in bed and the phone rings. It's way too early. I'm thinking — "Wow, bill collectors are calling earlier and earlier."

Except it wasn't a bill collector. It was Alice Martell, my agent. She was calling to tell me that I'd been nominated for the National Book Award.

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2:50pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Music Interviews

'Looper': A World Of Musical Clicks And Pops

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the science-fiction thriller Looper.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

When you think about the great music of science fiction, a few staples spring to mind — say, the theme from the classic Star Trek series, or John Williams' compositions for the Star Wars movies.

Nathan Johnson, the composer for the new time-travel thriller Looper, wanted to break with tradition. Instead of going for that slick, orchestral sound, he immersed himself in the world of the film to find his source material.

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2:23pm

Thu October 11, 2012
The Salt

How A Sleepy Pennsylvania Town Grew Into America's Mushroom Capital

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Four hundred million pounds of mushrooms come from farms in Chester County, Pa.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Here's an astonishing fact: Half of America's mushrooms are grown in one tiny corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, near the town of Kennett Square.

But why? It's not as though this place has some special advantage of climate or soil, the kind of thing that led to strawberry fields in Watsonville, Calif., or peach orchards in Georgia. Mushrooms can grow indoors. They could come from anywhere.

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