When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who has already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

North Carolina band Blame the Youth has been playing together in and around Charlotte for three years.

Resident chef Kathy Gunst shares her culinary ideas to celebrate Hanukkah with Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young.


John’s Traditional Potato Latkes

The starchier the potato you use, the crisper the latke will be. Use a good high-starch potato, like Yukon Gold. Get the oil nice and hot — but not burning — and the pancakes will be golden brown on the outside with relatively little grease.

It may be hard to imagine a composer being inspired by public hearings and court cases. But Lake Erie and its problems take center stage in a new oratorio from Cleveland composer Margaret Brouwer.

Elizabeth Miller (@llmiller12) of Great Lakes Today has more on the piece and its recent premiere.

Thousands of firefighters working on little sleep have started to make more progress in their effort to contain the remaining fires in Southern California. The Thomas Fire, the fifth-largest in modern California history, is now 20 percent contained, up slightly from Monday. But the threat remains.

An international team of scientists have announced the discovery of a previously unknown species of prehistoric penguin.

The bird waddled around off the east coast of New Zealand between 55 and 60 million years ago. And it was a giant as far as penguins go. The researchers estimate that it probably weighed about 220 pounds and was around 5 feet 10 inches tall.

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