Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

For the Japanese, Christmastime means sponge cake. But a nationwide butter shortage has led to mandatory butter rationing, forcing cake bakers to seek out substitutes.

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The creator of Clifford The Big, Red Dog died last Friday . Norman Bridwell wrote about 150 Clifford books that were translated into 13 languages and sold nearly 130 million copies.

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LiquiGlide

LiquiGlide is a coating that helps that last bit of ketchup or mustard slide out easily without shaking or squeezing the bottle. Now, the company is expanding to other kinds of uses and industries.

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Daniella Cheslow for NPR

Some Christians in Israel and the West Bank celebrate Eid el-Burbara on Dec. 17. The feast honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale.

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In Gay Berlin, Robert Beachy describes the rise of a gay subculture in the 1920s and '30s, how it contributed to our understanding of gay identity and how it was eradicated by the Nazis.

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