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The Salt
11:58 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Pakistani Juice Drink Packs A Sweet And Spicy Punch

A man drinks aloo pokhara, a heart-comforting prune juice in Islamabad.
Abdul Sattar NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:54 pm

You don't often see a man cheerily quaffing from a half-pint mug on a street corner in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

But the drink in this gentleman's hand is as innocent as a newborn kitten.

It's called aloo bukhara juice, and contains tamarind and dried plums, or prunes, if you prefer.

Summer's reaching a punishing peak here - it's 104 degrees Fahrenheit - so I assumed he was just drinking to keep cool.

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Parallels
10:33 am
Fri June 13, 2014

In A First, Afghanistan Is Set To Change Leaders At The Ballot Box

Abdullah Abdullah shakes hands with supporters at an election campaign rally in Ghor province. He'll face off Saturday against former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani.
Omar Sobhani AP

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 6:42 pm

Afghanistan is about to get a new leader for the first time since the Taliban were driven out in 2001 and replaced by the current president, Hamid Karzai.

Saturday's presidential runoff will be a historic event in Afghanistan, marking the first time in the country's long and often painful history that power has changed hands through the ballot box.

Karzai is barred from running again, and the only two names on the ballot will be Abdullah Abdullah, an ophthalmologist and former foreign minister, and Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister and World Bank official.

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NPR Ed
9:56 am
Fri June 13, 2014

iPads In Special Ed: What Does The Research Say?

An iPad in a classroom. So what?
Eric Westervelt NPR

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 1:36 pm

This week, NPR Ed's Eric Westervelt visited a special education classroom in New York City where iPads are being used in a novel way. Students with a range of severe disabilities, including developmental, mental, physical and autism spectrum disorders, are using apps alongside traditional instruments to help express themselves through music.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Crazy Bad Luck: It's Friday The 13th With A Full Moon

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 5:59 pm

  • Korva teaches us how to say paraskevidekatriaphobia

Today is a bad day for those with paraskevidekatriaphobia. It's also a bad day for those with selenophobia. For those with both, don't look at the calendar or the sky.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia, for those of you who haven't had a chance to Google the term (like your blogger did), is the fear of Friday the 13th. Selenophobia is the fear of the moon. Today is not only Friday the 13th, but there was also a full moon in the Eastern time zone early this morning (12:11 a.m., to be precise).

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The Salt
8:38 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Exercise And Protein May Help Good Gut Bacteria Get Their Groove On

Rugby and meat: a treat for the gut? A study suggests yes. Here Tony Woodcock (left) and Owen Franks of the All Blacks rugby team turn sausages on the barbecue in 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Phil Walter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 10:46 am

Each month, it seems, we discover a new reason to appreciate the billions of bugs hanging out in our bellies. Why? They are far more influential than we ever thought.

As our colleague Rob Stein reported in his Guts and Glory series, the bacteria in our gastrointestinal tracts and on our skin may be doing everything from guiding the workings of our minds to helping us either fend off or become more predisposed to certain diseases.

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