The Salt
4:22 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Prison Gardens Help Inmates Grow Their Own Food — And Skills

Prisoners build an organic vegetable garden in the prison yard of the medium security unit at San Quentin State Prison in December.
Kirk Crippens Insight Garden Program

Last week, we reported on the correctional industry's enduring practice of punishing certain inmates with a bland, lumpish food known as "the loaf."

Fortunately, there are also more encouraging stories to tell about prison food.

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My Guilty Pleasure
4:21 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Caped Crusader, Or Cruel Sadist? Miller Makes One Fan Wonder

Courtesy of DC Entertainment

When I was a kid, my local comic book store was a seedy, subterranean hole. I never saw other kids there — only adults and teenagers, who came alone and seemed furtive and abashed. We guiltily pored over the spandex-covered torsos and gore-splattered pages in separate corners.

Now, as an adult, I live partially in Seattle and partially on the Internet, two places where comics and graphic narratives are as respected and celebrated as any other medium. No one hides in the corner, and I read comics without shame — almost. One comic book hero remains a guilty pleasure.

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Around the Nation
4:20 am
Sun January 12, 2014

A Black Church's Dilemma: Preserve A Building, Or Our Identity?

Centennial Baptist Church in Helena, Ark.
Dave Anderson

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 9:51 am

The towers framing the majestic roof of Centennial Baptist Church reach for the heavens near downtown Helena, Ark. The elaborate red brick church stands out in a neighborhood that's seen better days, given the boarded-up homes and businesses nearby.

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The Two-Way
6:49 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Main Contractor Behind HealthCare.gov To Be Replaced By Accenture

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 7:08 am

Updated 8:50 p.m.

The main contractor behind the embattled Affordable Care Act enrollment site, which suffered major technological issues after its Oct. 1 debut, will be replaced early this year.

Accenture will replace CGI Federal, the IT contractor that built HealthCare.gov, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Saturday. CGI Federal's contract expires on Feb. 28.

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Politics & Government
4:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Report: Part of John Doe Examining Links Between Walker and Funders, Falls Apart

Special prosecutor examined some records and found no violations of campaign finance laws

The special prosecutor looking into campaign finance activities of Gov. Walker and some conservative organizations has reportedly ended parts of the probe.

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Around the Nation
4:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Flies Into Retirement

The Trans World Airlines Douglas DC-9, a twin jet aircraft designed to take off and land on runways of less than 6,000 feet, is shown in this 1966 photo, less than a year after its first commercial flight.
AP

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 5:48 pm

It's the end of an era in aviation. The McDonnell Douglas DC-9, a plane that once ruled the skies, is finally retiring.

The DC-9 first took flight in 1965 and production stopped in 1982. While most airlines phased the planes out in the '90s, Delta overhauled its fleet and kept them in the air, until now.

On Monday, Delta Flight 2014 from Minneapolis to Atlanta marked the last scheduled commercial flight for a DC-9 on a major U.S. airline.

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Theater
4:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Bringing 'Dead Authors' To Life For Book-Smart Comedy

The late science fiction author H. G. Wells, shown here in 1944, is the ostensible time-traveling host of the Dead Authors Podcast. Comedian Paul F. Tompkins plays the role at the Upright Citizens' Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 5:40 pm

H.G. Wells looks remarkably good for having died in 1946.

That's because he's being played by comedian Paul F. Tompkins.

Tompkins assumes the role every month for a series called "Dead Authors" at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Author Interviews
4:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

American Literature And The 'Mythos Of The Boozing Writer'

The title of Olivia Laing's new book was taken from Tennessee Williams' 1955 play, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.
John Lent AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 12:24 pm

There is a long history of alcoholism in American literature. The heavy drinking of writers like Ernest Hemingway and Hart Crane inspired a kind of myth of the American writer as a genius armed with a typewriter and a bottle of whiskey. The success of writers like Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald also gave rise to the belief that alcohol somehow stoked their creativity.

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The New And The Next
4:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

A Feminist Walks Into A Diet Clinic

Samantha Schoech is a writer and co-editor of the book The Bigger the Better, the Tighter the Sweater.
Courtesy subject

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 1:42 pm

Samantha Schoech has struggled with weight for most of her life.

"I am sort of a lifelong yo-yo dieter and like many women, weight is a frustrating topic for me," she tells NPR's Arun Rath.

As a feminist, she faces another struggle — the tricky prospect of balancing society's expectations of body image, without giving into them, and also wanting to be healthy.

She wrote about this tension in a piece for Ozy.com.

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Opinion
4:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

A New Rule For The Workplace: 'Hug Sparingly'

Research psychologist Peggy Drexler says one way to resist an unwanted hug at work is with a stiff handshake.
Simone Becchetti iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 5:40 pm

Everyone loves hugs right? Well, no. And for those who aren't fans, things can get really awkward.

In a recent piece for TIME.com, research psychologist Peggy Drexler declared: "I am not a hugger. And I am not alone."

She calls for an end to the "hugging arms race," particularly at work.

"It's something that's in the zeitgeist, but we really haven't made any rules," she tells All Things Considered host Arun Rath. "My own rule is: I won't hug if you don't."

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