4:19pm

Tue September 25, 2012
The Two-Way

Drinking (Coffee) On The Job: Restaurant Workers, Women Lead The Way

For many who work in the food service industry, coffee can make or break their day, according to a new survey. Many scientists and sales reps also said their day suffers if they don't have a cup.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Cooks and servers, scientists and sales reps — those are some of the workers who say they do better after drinking coffee, according to a new study. Nurses, journalists, teachers, and business executives also said they're more effective at work if they have coffee, in a survey commissioned by Dunkin Donuts and CareerBuilder.

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4:08pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Religion

For Hasidic Jews, A Slow, Steady Rebirth In Russia

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:24 pm

Dovid Karpov has been the rabbi at the Darkei Shalom synagogue since it was built 15 years ago. Like many people in his congregation, Karpov grew up in a Soviet-era family that was not religious. He says he had to learn his faith for himself.
Sergei Sotnikov NPR

About a dozen men prayed recently at Darkei Shalom, a Hasidic Jewish synagogue in the working-class neighborhood of Otradnoye in north Moscow.

Except for the Star of David on its squat tower, the building is as plain and utilitarian as the linoleum on the floor. It sits — along with a Russian Orthodox church and a mosque — on a leafy stretch of land surrounded by towering apartment blocks.

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3:43pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Mini-Counseling Sessions Can Curb Problem Drinking

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 9:10 pm

Just 10 to 15 minutes of counseling from primary care doctors can reduce the risk of "risky" drinking, a federal task force says.
iStockphoto.com

Brief counseling from primary care doctors reduces "risky" drinking, defined as having more than four drinks a day for men, three for women, a federal task force says.

About one in three Americans misuse alcohol, the panel says, with the vast majority falling in the "risky" category.

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3:37pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Branding Health Care Exchanges To Make The Sale

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Peter Lee, executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange, discusses California's health care plans in Sacramento in July.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

As states work to comply with the federal health care law, many are designing their insurance exchanges, where people will be able to shop for coverage.

But just the word "exchange" sounds to many like off-putting government-speak, and some states are eager to come up with a more appealing name for these new marketplaces.

Peter Lee directs California's Health Benefit Exchange. It's up for a new name, and Lee says they want it to sound fresh, dynamic and innovative.

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3:24pm

Tue September 25, 2012
The Salt

Greek Olive Oil Woes Echo Country's Broader Economic Challenges

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 6:39 pm

A Greek farmer drives home with his fresh pressed olive oil in barrels near Alyki, Greece. The country's pure olive oil is hard to find, expensive and poorly marketed, businessmen say.
Matthias Schrader AP

Greece is in the fifth year of a painful recession, and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. One big problem the country faces is a shortage of strong companies that know how to compete on the world market. And nowhere is this more painfully apparent than in the challenges faced by the country's olive oil business.

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3:23pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Latin America

Bolivia's Cerro Rico: The Mountain That Eats Men

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Cerro Rico, or Rich Mountain, rises like a monument in Potosi, Bolivia. It has produced silver, and hardship, for centuries. Now it may be in danger of collapse.
Carlos Villalon for NPR

Near the mountain city of Potosi in the southern highlands of Bolivia, the cone-shaped peak of Cerro Rico stands as a 15,800-foot monument to the tragedies of Spanish conquest. For centuries, Indian slaves mined the mountain's silver in brutal conditions to bankroll the Spanish empire.

Today, the descendants of those slaves run the mines. But hundreds of years of mining have left the mountain porous and unstable, and experts say it is in danger of collapsing.

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3:21pm

Tue September 25, 2012
All Tech Considered

National Security Experts Go Rogue For 'Drone Smackdown'

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 6:39 pm

Alice Beauheim, her father and Bill Love fly their homemade machines at the Drone Smackdown in Manassas, Va., on Sunday. Objections by the Federal Aviation Administration forced organizers to hold the tongue-in-cheek contest outside of Washington, D.C.
John Procter

It started as trash talk between two contributors to a national security blog. They decided to host a drone smackdown to see if one guy's machine could take down another.

Unarmed drones, of course. The kind you can put together with a toy-store model and $200 in modifications. But the game turned out to have some serious undertones.

First, a word about the location. For a moment last week, the whole drone smackdown was up in the air.

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2:04pm

Tue September 25, 2012
The Salt

Meadmakers Bottle Taste Of Maine With Roots In South Africa

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 7:16 am

A bee gathers pollen from goldenrod, a wildflower that's popular with meadmakers, in Scarborough, Me.
Melissa Beuoy NPR

A few years ago, your best chance of tasting mead might have been at a Renaissance Fair. We're going to wager the enduring memory is of overpowering sweetness and little desire for a second glass.

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1:52pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Middle East

As Numbers Swell, Syrian Refugees Face New Woes

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 6:39 pm

A Syrian refugee walks with her children at Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border, Sept. 8. Around 30,000 Syrians live at the camp, with the numbers growing each day.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Syria's refugees keep growing dramatically in number, and no country in the region has taken in more of them than Jordan — a poor, desert nation that is now hosting some 200,000 Syrians.

The conditions for the refugees are perhaps harsher in Jordan than in any other country, with many people sheltered in tents on a hot, dusty plain just inside Jordan's northern border with Syria.

At the Zaatari camp, everything is covered with a layer of sand and dirt; rows and rows of tents, once white, are now a golden color.

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1:22pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Korean Eunuchs Lived Long And Prospered

A mural in an ancient tomb in China shows a troupe of eunuchs. How long did they live?
Wikimedia Commons

Tell people you're doing a story about the life spans of Korean eunuchs, the typical reaction is a giggle or a cringe.

But if you can overcome your visceral response to the topic, a study scientists in Korea did is quite interesting, both for what they found, and the way they found it.

Several scientists have shown that there is a link between longevity and reproduction: the greater the fertility, the shorter the life span. This has been fairly well established in nonhuman animal species, but proving it's the case for humans has been tricky.

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