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Hostess Shuts Down, Twinkies' Future Filled With Uncertainty

The Twinkies brand could be rescued by another company. But how would the nuclear-grade snacks as we know them hold up?

Five stories North Texas is talking about: preserving the Twinkie, mourning the Midland crash, understanding Formula 1 and more.  

Time to stock up on Twinkies like its Y2K, or at least the early ‘90s. Hostess, based in Irving, laid off a whopping 18,500 workers after a strike and is shutting down the company.

The just-baked Twinkies and loaves of Wonder Bread will still ship out as scheduled, The Dallas Morning NewsKaren Robinson-Jacobs reports. Brands and assets will be sold, but we can’t know for sure yet what the fate of the cream-filled death snack will be.

The real question is, what exactly would we be losing? Steve Ettlinger, author of Twinkie, Deconstructed, broke the Twinkie down (or tried to; it still remains intact) for the New York Times’ Well Blog.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Does anyone know whatever happened to the 'Solid Gold Twinkie'?

A few other vintage commercials from Hostess include: 

-- Justin Martin

Officials Look Into Midland Veterans Crash

Investigators are in Midland after the awful collision between the veterans float and train yesterday that left 16 injured and at least 4 killed. Army Sgt. Joshua Michael, 34, a Hereford native and former Amarillo resident, was one of those 4. He saved his wife’s life by pushing her off the float. Ricky Treon of the Amarillo Globe-News has more on Michael’s life and heartbreaking accounts of the crash.

Reuters has the latest on the investigation by the National Safety Transportation Board.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

Formula 1: Not Just An Economic Engine

We know this weekend’s Formula 1 race in Austin is a huge deal for the city’s profile, and around the world. But how exactly is it different from other races on the actual track? KUT’s Matt Largey has an explainer in which he talked to Bill Dollahite, owner of the racing school Driveway Austin, about what’s important to know: “It’s a whiteboard with nothing on it except for a set of rules,” for starters.

And we’ve had a bit of a break lately from the Austin-versus-Dallas identity discussion. But today, voices of folks from Vancouver to Portland who’ve come to the state capital for the race this weekend weighed in on Austin’s vibe. Proves a fun listen for any Texan or ex-pat.

-- Lyndsay Knecht

UT Dallas Creates Artificial ÜberMuscle Material

Ok, ÜberMuscle is my word. But its valid.

Scientists from around the globe worked with UT Dallas' NanoTech Institute to create what could be the strongest muscle-like material on earth.

In a MacGyveresque process that transforms graphite & wax into nanotube yarns, scientists crafted a material that can lift 100,000 times it’s own weight, is 10,000 times thinner than a human hair, 100 times stronger than steel, and has four times the power-to-weight ratio of the common internal combustion engine.

Dr. Ray Baughman of UT Dallas’s NanoTech Institute explains carbon nanotube yarns.

Officials are quick to note that its NOT ready to replace human muscle... yet.

UT Dallas has more on the possibilities for this breakthrough material.

-- Justin Martin

Cranberry Relish Recipe Lasts, And Lasts …

In case you weren’t aware, loyal listeners, NPR’s Susan Stamberg’s mom makes cranberry relish, and the Morning Edition correspondent is still promoting it on the radio this time of year. This year, Stamberg allows Lynne Rossetto Kasper of Splendid Table to comment -- not revise -- the how-to.

If anything, the dish could prove an annual conversation piece. Here’s to ritual.

-- Lyndsay Knecht