The Brattleboro Reformer has many colleagues around the country producing news for our "sister" papers. The Daily DFM is a "top picks" of today's national news. Consider it a collection of "things you should know, today."

1. 5 reasons to care about the farm bill even if you aren't a farmer

2. Solar-powered, soda can furnaces help heat homes

By Anthony Cotton/The Denver Post

Aaron Brown has built water heaters for schools in Costa Rica and done charity work all around the world. But the Metropolitan State University of Denver professor says some of the most rewarding work he's ever done is happening in a Denver neighborhood.

"You don't have to go to far off places to help people - there are plenty of things to do right here," Brown said about the Westwood neighborhood. "With this project you feel a lot more rewarded and you see a direct, very local benefit."

Brown, who teaches mechanical engineering at Metro State, is working with students and a local nonprofit to build solar powered furnaces for homes in the neighborhood. With empty soda cans as one of the main parts of the design, the furnaces cost around $30 to make and are expected to save about the same amount in monthly energy costs.

Anderson said the electricity used by the fans costs about two cents a day. Cool air is drawn into the unit's base and then heated as it travels up through drilled holes in the 144 aluminum cans, which have been heated by the sun. The air then exits through ventilation holes at the top of the unit. While there has to be a supplemental source of heat at night, the units reach up to 170 degrees during the day. One unit, installed in November, heated a room from 60 degrees to 90 degrees in 20 minutes.

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3. 5 things you missed at CES: Connect your devices on the go

By Michael Corones

Audi's autonomous car drives on stage during the Audi keynote at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Audi's autonomous car drives on stage during the Audi keynote at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Las Vegas. Jack Dempsey/AP

1. Tablet/laptop hybrids

Tablets are great for consuming content, but lack the ability to be useful in a work environment. A lot of the big names in the industry appear to have gotten the hint, as this year at Consumer Electronics Show an array of tablet/laptop hybrids in the Microsoft Surface mold have been unveiled:

ASUS announced the Transformer Book T100, a 2-in-1 ultra-portable laptop with 10-inch tablet, and the bigger and more powerful Transformer Book T300. Both run Windows 8. In addition, the even more robust Transformer Book Trio runs both Windows and Android and can triple as a desktop PC.

HP introduced the HP Pro X2 410, a light, thin hybrid that runs Windows and is designed for business users.

Lenovo showcased two Miix 2 tablets that run Windows and use magnets to connect to a keyboard.

Sony's Vaio Fit 11A joins 13-inch, 14-inch and 15-inch models in the Vaio | Flip line as a conventional Windows 8.1 notebook PC with the ability to switch between laptop, tablet and viewer modes.

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4. Why cinnamon rolls could be dangerous to your liver

By Jan M. Solsen/AP

Cinnamon rolls are sold at a bakery in Copenhagen, Denmark on Aug. 4, 2010.

Cinnamon rolls are sold at a bakery in Copenhagen, Denmark on Aug. 4, 2010. POLFOTO, Per Folkver/AP

Easy on the cinnamon! That advice from Denmark's food authority has rankled pastry chefs whose cinnamon rolls were found to violate the European Union's spice rules.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration recently discovered that Danish cinnamon rolls and twists contained more coumarin - a chemical compound in the most common variety of cinnamon - than EU rules allow. Excessive intake of coumarin can cause liver damage.

So the agency asked Danish bakers to reduce the amount of cinnamon they sprinkle in the dough for sweet treats like the "kanelsnegel" (cinnamon roll) and "kanelstang" (cinnamon twist).

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5. VIDEOS: Crews attempt to retrieve frozen construction equipment under I-91 bridge

By Reformer Staff