Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Heirloom vegetable varieties are prized for a number of reasons. Imagine, growing the same pole beans or butter beans that your great grandfather grew. Even if you don’t have seeds from an ancestor, you can enjoy the boost in flavor that many heirlooms have over modern hybrid varieties. But there is a place for new hybrid varieties, too. When exotic diseases make their way across oceans and our entire supply of wheat, or corn or another valued commodity is threatened, plant breeders work frantically to come up with a resistant variety. That “in-breed” resistance can only be duplicated by growing a hybrid population. To do that these plant breeders go back to the stock-piled genetic banks of heirloom varieties that are evaluated to find at least one plant with resistance. Then by crossing and backcrossing, a new resistant hybrid with required traits can be developed.


You could think of this week's meme as the Rorschach test of the Democratic base. Depending on who you ask, it's either light-hearted and fun, or a symbol of gender bias and discrimination.

A major natural gas storage well in Southern California is still leaking, though less so than back in late October, when the giant gas leak was first reported. More than 5,000 families and two schools have been relocated since then, and the local utility that operates the facility is now facing several legal actions.

In its ongoing effort to combat violent extremism, Twitter announced Friday that it has suspended more than 125,000 accounts since mid-2015 because of what it called their connections to terrorist or extremist groups, primarily ISIS.

NPR's Aarti Shahani reports that the company says there is no "magic algorithm" to identify terrorist content on the Internet, so it is forced to make challenging judgment calls based on "very limited information and guidance."

With the Iowa caucuses in the books, the focus of the political world has shifted to the first-in-the-nation-primary state, New Hampshire. New Hampshire voters, with their contrarian reputation, head to the polls Tuesday. Expect the unexpected.

Here are five things to know about how it all works:

1. Voting is straightforward

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The Jordanian movie Theeb has been nominated for a best foreign language film Oscar. It's a beautiful, sweeping story set in 1916 in an area of western Saudi Arabia then known as the Hejaz. The film's director, Naji Abu Nowar, says Theeb covers a pivotal moment in the region's history.

"The First World War is kicking off ... and the war is coming toward this area of Hejaz," he tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "The British are ... inciting the Arab tribes to revolt against the Ottoman imperialists. And so you're on the brink of a massive change."

News services say at least seven people, including a baby and a 40-year-old man, have been killed in an earthquake in Taiwan.

A magnitude 6.4 quake shook the southern city of Tainan just before 4 a.m. local time Saturday. The shallow quake caused severe damage to several large structures, including one residential building where authorities say hundreds live.

NPR's Elise Hu, in Taiwan, tells All Things Considered that residential building was 17 stories tall but collapsed down to the height of about four stories.

On Friday's All Things Considered, I have a story about how a recent federal court ruling is restricting when police may use Tasers in the five Southeastern states covered by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. In a nutshell, police there may no longer shock a nonviolent, noncooperative suspect with a Taser stun gun— even if he is trying to escape custody.

All that is solid melts in the presence of funk. Maurice White — the prolific songwriter, singer, producer, arranger, bandleader, organizer and conceptualist at the helm of multi-platinum act Earth, Wind & Fire who transitioned on Thursday at 74 after a 25-year struggle with Parkinson's Disease — gifted us with years of optimistic, exuberant music that could instantly evaporate your frown into thin air.

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