Still at Home for the Holidays

Like many Americans, Jacob Underwood, a 39-year-old who works in finance, will be staying put for the holidays because of the pandemic. “I usually travel somewhere exotic,” he said. “It’s very sad.” But his residential building, One Manhattan Square, an 80-story glass tower on the Lower Manhattan waterfront, is coming to the rescue with some…

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Music During Surgery May Aid Recovery

Patients undergoing surgery who listen to soothing talk and music while under anesthesia may wake up feeling less pain and require less pain medicine. German researchers randomly assigned 385 surgery patients to one of two groups. The first wore earphones during their operations, listening to an audiotape that played soothing background music along with positive…

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No One Loves Arby’s Like I Do

My childhood was defined by two rituals: three hours of Mormon Church service on Sundays and a trip to Arby’s almost as regularly. The Arby’s location in my Texas hometown possessed all the visual splendor that the church I was raised in did not: stained glass and smoky wood paneling, sauce packets stored in a…

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How to Collect Salt

“You need ocean water,” says Kuuleialoha Gaisoa, 45, whose family has been harvesting salt in Hanapepe, on the west side of Kauai, for generations. In Hawaiian, the word for salt is pa’akai, meaning “to solidify the sea,” and the salt from the patch that Gaisoa works is known throughout the islands for its sweet, briny…

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Kernels of history

Earlier this year Douglas J. Kennett, a UC Santa Barbara professor of anthropology, demonstrated that maize, or corn, became a staple crop in the Americas 4,700 years ago. It turns out he was just beginning to tell the story of the world’s biggest grain crop. In a new paper in the Proceedings of the National…

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