A Scottish restaurant's competition to see who could eat the spiciest curry — and raise money for charity in the process — has ended in painful trips to the emergency room for at least two participants.
The Kismot restaurant of Edinburgh, which serves Indian and Bangladeshi food, challenged competitors to eat its hottest curry. At least 20 people answered the bell. But problems became evident almost as soon as participants began eating the curry.
Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 3:08 am
As the U.S. winds down military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and troops come home, many are eager to start work in the civilian sector. But it's been tough: The federal government reports the unemployment rate for young veterans has hovered around 30 percent this year.
Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 2:02 am
Occupy Wall Street is getting a shot in the arm, as some of America's largest unions have announced that they're now supporting the movement. The gain in momentum comes as off-shoots of the original Manhattan group plan marches and protests around the nation.
As the U.S. marks the 10th anniversary of its involvement in the Afghan war this week, a Pew Research Center report shows some wide differences between the way military members and the general public view the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Pew researchers talked to nearly 4,000 people, split almost evenly between military veterans and civilians. Paul Taylor, the editor of the study, said he wanted to explore this unique moment in American history.
Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 2:13 pm
School lunch is a topic of endless fascination here at The Salt and, really, wherever parents of school age children compare notes. If we don't have time to pack their lunch, what exactly are the 32 million kids, including ours, eating?
Well, the secret of what's on the lunch tray has been out for some time in Chicago Public Schools, thanks to a blog called Fed Up With Lunch, and now the whole world knows who's been behind it.
They are the Nobel literature bridesmaids. Every year, they appear on Ladbrokes' betting site alongside their odds of winning. Les Murray: 16/1. Cees Nooteboom: 33/1. Claudio Magris: 40/1.
Perennial names probably more familiar to American readers include Haruki Murakami (7/1), Chinua Achebe and Amos Oz. The latter two aren't even ranked by Ladbrokes this time around. If recent history is any indicator, that means they've got a decent shot of winning. The Ladbrokes lads, after all, did not bother to place odds for such recent winners as Herta Muller or Elfriede Jelinek.
A dispute involving Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and the nation's largest Spanish-language TV network, Univision, has spilled over into the presidential primary. At least five Republican presidential candidates say they will not take part in a debate planned by Univision in January, before the Florida primary.
Making the case that some of the tax increases that would partly pay for President Obama's $447 billion jobs bill are aimed at Americans who are not that rich, the Senate's Democratic leaders are proposing a 5 percent tax on annual incomes above $1 million instead.
If you or your mate shaved this morning with one of those thin-foil electric shavers, that face probably brushed up against a strange form of matter called a quasicrystal. Norelco is unlikely to get a Nobel Prize for that invention, but the man who discovered quasicrystals, Daniel Shechtman, will get this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry. And it didn't come easy.
Crystals, like diamonds and quartz, hold their sparkly allure because of the way the atoms inside those rocks line up so neatly.
Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 7:45 pm
With Halloween rapidly approaching, you've probably heard about the shortage of pumpkins along the East Coast caused by the flooding rains of Hurricane Irene.
But while you may have troubling finding just the right shape or the right price for your jack o'lantern this year, there's good news for those looking ahead to the pies and cakes of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Researchers in New York are reporting an advance in creating cloned human embryos. The embryos would not be used for reproduction, but rather the creation of embryonic stem cells. Many scientists believe that human embryonic stem cells made this way could revolutionize medicine.
The advantage of stem cells made this way is that they could be personalized to an individual.
Private bankers who serve some of the world's richest families are seeing clients pile money into "catastrophe portfolios" and real estate, seeking defensive positions that might help them weather a far-reaching economic storm that has roiled financial markets worldwide.
The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a pioneer of the civil rights movement, died Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala. Shuttlesworth led Birmingham's battle against segregation — a battle that focused the national spotlight on the violent resistance to equal rights in the South and forced change. He was 89.
As Birmingham goes, so goes the nation. That belief was the driving force behind Shuttlesworth's crusade for equality.
"He was the soul and heart of the Birmingham movement," Georgia Congressman John Lewis said. It was Birmingham, he said, that brought the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth has died, according to reports. He was 89. In the 1950s, Shuttleworth's activism resulted in beatings and attempts on his life in Birmingham, where he established the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights in 1956.
Ahmad Al Shayea grew up in Saudi Arabia in a middle-class family and dropped out of high school to join a local gang. Abdullah Al-Gilani fell in love with a girl who eventually married someone else. Zeddy was an old colleague of Osama bin Laden's.
The National Cathedral, closed since sustaining extensive damage from the August earthquake that shook Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area, will reopen on Nov. 12, according to officials.
The cathedral is also trying to raise money to pay for repairs, estimated to run into the tens of millions of dollars. A statement on the landmark's website says organizers are seeking "at least $25 million" to cover its expenses through the end of 2012.
Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 8:02 am
I lied. My smartphone isn't a microscope — yet. But there are some smart physicists who want to make that transformation possible very soon, if not for you and me at first, then for doctors who don't have easy access to laboratories.
If you don't want to hear details, especially about last night's season finale of Breaking Bad, turn away from this website now. But I consider it fair game to talk in detail about TV shows once they've been televised — especially if they're doing interesting enough work to be saluted for it.
[Note: If the previous paragraph didn't convince you, maybe this will: There are many, many spoilers for Breaking Bad ahead. Proceed at your own risk.]
I was blown away by the season ender of Breaking Bad.
We inherit the darndest traits from our parents. My mom bequeathed to me that funny leg-shake she does when she's sitting. She also seems to have passed along a quick (but ... hmm ... endearing?) temper. And in the "thanks-for-that" column? Well, I'm on the skinny side. And so is she.
Our mother-daughter likeness isn't so unusual. Turns out, the "inter-generational transmission of thinness" is real. Thin parents appear to pass on "skinny genes."
The warnings from public health officials that the deaths and illnesses from listeria-tainted cantaloupes could drag on for a while are proving true.
The death toll from cantaloupes grown by Jensen Farms has hit 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest report on the outbreak. A hundred people have been sickened in 20 states, with Colorado and New Mexico the hardest hit.
A Texas affirmative action case that has the potential to rewrite law on how or whether public colleges and universities may consider race and ethnicity as a factor in admissions could be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, and soon.
Though the court, which opened its fall term this week, has not yet agreed to hear Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, constitutional experts on both sides of the issue say they believe the case will be scheduled for a hearing this year or next spring, just as the presidential election season heats up.