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The Salt
5:42 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Sip It Slow, And Other Lessons From The Oldest Tea Book In The World

A range of Darjeeling tea at Goomtee Tea Estate in Darjeeling, India.
Jeff Koehler for NPR

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:48 pm

At least 2,500 years ago, tea, as we know it, was born.

Back then, it was a medicinal concoction blended with herbs, seeds and forest leaves in the mountains of southwest China. Gradually, as manners of processing and drinking tea were refined, it became imbued with artistic, religious, and cultural notes. Under the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907), the apogee of ancient Chinese prosperity, the drink involved ritual, etiquette and specific utensils. During this period of splendor, the first book dedicated solely to tea was written by Lu YΓΌ.

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Goats and Soda
5:27 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

How Worried Should We Be About Lassa Fever?

A single Lassa fever virus particle, stained to show surface spikes β€” they're yellow β€” that help the virus infect its host cells.
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

An unidentified New Jersey man died after returning home from West Africa, where he contracted Lassa Fever, a virus that has symptoms similar to that of Ebola. Federal health officials are treating the case with caution because the virus, which commonly is spread by rodents, can occasionally spread from person to person.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Photographer Mary Ellen Mark Dies At 75

Photographer Mary Ellen Mark attends the Leica Los Angeles grand opening on June 20, 2013. Mark died Monday. She was 75.
Todd Williamson Invision for Leica

Mary Ellen Mark, the influential photographer known mostly for her humanist work, has died. She was 75.

Mark died Monday, a representative said Tuesday. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that she died in New York.

Mark's work appeared in Life, New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. Her photo essay on runaway children in Seattle became the basis of Streetwise, an Academy Award-nominated film that was directed by her husband, Martin Bell.

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It's All Politics
4:39 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Despite An Economy On The Rise, American Paychecks Remain Stuck

Seattle Space Needle elevator operator Michael Hall says despite the success of the attraction, his pay hasn't budged in four years.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:33 pm

As candidates hit the campaign trail, NPR looks at four major issues the next president will face from Day 1 in office.

For seven years, Michael Hall has been guiding tourists to the top of Seattle's Space Needle and back. It's a unique vantage point from which to watch the ups and downs of Americans' paychecks.

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It's All Politics
4:35 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

What Will The Next President Face On #Day1?

The next president to occupy the Oval Office will confront four seemingly intractable problems: stagnant wages, cybersecurity, violent extremism and federal debt.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Presidential candidates are doing what they have to do at this point in the campaign season β€” they're raising money and strutting their biographies and electoral viability to voters. We haven't heard much yet about policy papers or what they would actually do if they win. But those policy issues will matter β€” as the campaign picks up steam and especially once the next president steps into the Oval Office on Day 1.

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Goats and Soda
4:33 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Blind Waiters Give Diners A Taste Of 'Dinner In The Dark' In Kenya

At the "Dinner in the Dark" restaurant that's just opened in Nairobi, a blind waiter leads guests to their table. The photo was taken during a training session β€” that's why the lights are on.
Courtesy of is Eatout.co.ke

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:27 pm

Ignatius Agon practices his greeting: "OK, good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Ignatius and I am going to guide you into the dark."

It's Monday, and the first day of training for a new restaurant opening this month in Kenya. Diners will be served in the dark. They'll have to find their food with their forks and eat it in a pitch black room.

And the waiters are blind.

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NPR Ed
4:30 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

NYU Changes Its Policy On Reviewing Applicants' Criminal Background

New York University announced it will not require the criminal record of prospective students in the first round of the admissions process.
Jpellgen Flickr

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:27 pm

Students applying for college supply all sorts of information β€” financial records, letters of recommendation, the personal essay β€” the list goes on.

One big question they face: Do you have a criminal record?

The question appears on the Common Application β€” the website that prospective students use to apply to more than 500 schools across the U.S. and abroad.

Most students don't even think about it. But for some applicants, it's a reason not to apply.

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All Tech Considered
4:26 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Higher-Tech Fake Eggs Offer Better Clues To Wild Bird Behavior

One of these things is not like the other: A 3-D printed model of a beige cowbird egg stands out from it's robin's egg nestmates, though their shape and heft are similar.
Ana Lopez/Courtesy of Mark Hauber

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:07 pm

Since the 1960's, biologists have made fake eggs for some studies of bird behavior. But Mark Hauber of Hunter College in New York says this kind of scientific handicraft is not exactly his forte.

"I'm a terrible craftsperson," he admits.

That's why Hauber is pioneering the use of 3-D printing technology to quickly produce made-to-order fake eggs, taking a bit of old-school science into the 21st century.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Prolific Fantasy And Science Fiction Writer Tanith Lee Has Died

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:09 pm

British science fiction and fantasy writer Tanith Lee has died, according to her publisher. Lee, 67, was a prolific author who also worked in radio and television; her dozens of books include Don't Bite The Sun and Death's Master -- the latter of which was part of her popular Flat Earth series.

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All Tech Considered
3:28 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Got A Voice For Radio? The Algorithm Speaks

iStockphoto

Nearly a thousand of you heeded our call on All Tech Considered to submit a voice sample. The idea: Let a computer algorithm decide if you have a voice for radio.

Now, we've got the results.

Actor Wilbur Fitzgerald rated highly (surprise, surprise):

But most of you who responded are not actors. And it turns out, you don't need professional training to impress man or machine.

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