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Now Hear This: March 2010

Cane Mutiny
Are you carrying a weapon? The Transportation Security Administration says that since 2002 it has confiscated more than 200 canes with concealed swords or knives, many from astonished older travelers who inherited the canes, found them at antique shops or received them from charities.

One such traveler was Saeed Sanjideh of San Jose, Calif., who was recently stopped by airport security. The retired deli owner, 78, was surprised when TSA officers pulled a 16-inch sword from his walking stick, a gift from his wife. He was eventually cleared to board his flight.

They Write the Songs
Ever wonder how certain songs came to be and why they’re so popular? That’s the inspiration behind a new book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song by Jo-Ann Geffen, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. The book provides the scoop on 101 songs from their creators, including Lamont Dozier (“Stop! in the Name of Love”), Hal David (“What the World Needs Now”) and Melissa Manchester (“Midnight Blue”).

Geffen, a Los Angeles publicist, interviewed a host of songwriters for the book. “The free-flowing tone of those conversations allowed their personalities and voices to be felt and heard,” she says.

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