For a cake the Germans call "the king of cakes" and the Japanese call "the ultimate wedding cake," the baumkuchen doesn't really look like a cake or behave like one. But it more than makes up for its oddities with rich flavor, history and symbolism.
It resembles a hollowed cross-section of a craggy tree trunk, or a planet's rings, depending on how you make it. It can have up to 21 delicate, sugary stratums, which give it a light yet chewy texture.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Nigeria has been in the news a lot lately. That's since the militant Islamic organization Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls on April 15. Professed to be against Western education, Boko Haram took the girls away from their books and their teachers and have threatened to sell them as wives and slaves.
Who says you can only "party like it's 1999"? Not us! Jonathan Coulton sings rewritten lyrics to Prince's classic hit, to describe famous events that happened in less...festive years. Let's party like it's 1775!
Rock star and self-proclaimed professional partier Andrew W.K. is nothing short of a renaissance man. While the traditionally trained piano player is best known for rollicking hits like "Party Hard" and "It's Time to Party," Andrew has also tried his hand as a TV show host, a motivational speaker and, currently, a weekly advice columnist for The Village Voice.
Many celebrities are better known by their monikers, like George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Jr. or Jennifer "J. Lo." Lopez. In this game, we created nicknames for people who already have the name "Nick." Do you know who "Mr. Mariah Carey" might be?
Mystery seems to swirl around D.D Dumbo. We'd heard all sorts of crazy rumors about this solo musician; namely, that Dumbo is a modern-day nomad whose only worldly possessions are his guitar and some crazy customized pedals. But once he arrived for one of our SXSW Backyard Sessions, here's what we discovered: Dumbo was born outside of Melbourne, Australia (birth name: Oliver Hugh Perry). He performs with a 12-string electric guitar, a simple drum set-up and some loop pedals. And he prefers to let his eclectic, drone-filled music speak for itself — so, alas, no comment on the nomad rumors.
The death toll in the coal mine explosion in Turkey keeps rising, and anger over the incident has spread around the country. Thousands of people staged protests after a speech from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which he suggested such accidents are unavoidable.
Officials say at least 282 mine workers have died in the incident in the city of Soma. That figure seems certain to rise, as about 100 people are still missing. The mine explosion is already being called the deadliest industrial disaster in Turkey's history.
Flanked by a six-piece choir dubbed "The Chromettes," the Canadian electro-funk duo Chromeo recently unleashed a set of dance music on a small audience at Apogee Studios in Santa Monica. With David "Dave 1" Macklovitch on guitar and lead vocals and Patrick "P-Thugg" Gemayel on synths and Talk Box, Chromeo bounced between older hits and favorites from its new album White Women — including the catchy "Jealous (I Ain't With It)."
Huck Finn and Jim set out from Hannibal, Mo. on a July afternoon in 1835 aboard a raft. But this is not Mark Twain's tale: In Norman Lock's brief and brilliant fabulist novel The Boy in His Winter, Huck and Jim sweep down the Mississippi toward the Gulf of Mexico as though in a dream, caught in mythic time. "We were held in the mind of the river, like a thought," Lock writes.
Poor Johannes Kepler. One of the greatest astronomers ever, the man who figured out the laws of planetary motion, a genius, scholar and mathematician — in 1611, he needed a wife. The previous Mrs. Kepler had died of Hungarian spotted fever, so, with kids to raise and a household to manage, he decided to line up some candidates — but it wasn't going very well.