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The Storytellers Reading to Cuba’s Cigar Factory Workers –

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Cuba is world-renowned for its cigars. But there’s a deeper story behind their creation. As per a tradition that started in 1865, storytellers, or “lectores,” stand at a platform reading to hundreds of cigar makers every day. Texts range from magazine articles and news stories to dramatic readings from works …

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This Chicken is Entirely Black, From Beak to Bone –

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With a heart as black as our souls, Indonesia’s Ayam Cemani are our new goth dream queens. Known for their distinct melanin pigment, these birds are entirely black, from their feathers all the way down to their organs and bones. Thought to be the bearer of good fortune and prosperity, …

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The Voice Behind 250 of Your Favorite Cartoons –

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You’ve heard his vocal stylings as Hermes Conrad in “Futurama,” the Green Lantern in “Justice League,” Ollie Williams in “Family Guy,” and, of course, as Jack in “Samurai Jack.” As the man behind over 250 of your favorite characters, Phil LaMarr is one of the most prolific voice actors in …

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What it Feels Like to Slide Downhill at 90 M.P.H. –

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John Daly is an American skeleton racer and a two-time Olympic athlete. Sliding face-down, head-first on a slick bobsled track at 90 mph might sound insane, but for Daly, it’s the thrill that keeps him coming back. For the past 15 years, he’s been putting his life on the line …

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Inside the Mind of a Dog –

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Gregory Berns spent his entire life around dogs. So when his most beloved pet passed away, he began to wonder whether his dog reciprocated the same love and care he felt for him. As a neuroscientist at Emory University, he took his curiosity to the test. Now, he scans the …

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The Link Between Japanese Samurai and Real Indigo –

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Real indigo-dyed clothing is not like the blue you know. Richer than the chemical blues used on most fabrics today, real indigo dye comes from a plant and has a surprising range of qualities: on fabric it is antibacterial, flame resistant and repels odor and dirt. With roots in Japanese …

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The Harvard of Santa Schools –

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What goes into becoming Saint Nick? It takes more than just a red suit and white beard to don the title of Santa Claus. Every year, those that want to perfect the art of being Santa travel to Midland, Michigan, to attend the world’s oldest and longest running Santa school. …

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The Garden Masterpiece Grown From Rescued Plants –

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In Bishopville, South Carolina, Pearl Fryar is a local gardening legend. When he first moved to the small town in the 1980s, he was almost unable to build his house because neighbors feared that as an African American, he wouldn’t keep up his yard. Determined to dispel that stereotype, Fryar …

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