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Pilots teach endangered whooping cranes how to migrate

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Each year Joseph Duff dresses up like a bird, gets behind the controls of his ultralight plane and leads a group of endangered whooping cranes to the warmth of Florida. The 1,250-mile flights have taught ancient migration routes to dozens of birds raised in captivity. Scientists praise this unorthodox method to boost the wild population of a nearly extinct species. They say it's a rare example of man-made salvation amid the environmental destruction wrought by people.


The latest in fashionable skiwear: safety helmets

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“Style” and “fashion” never used to be words associated with ski helmets, but that’s changing as helmets have gone from clunky to cool. Safety isn’t the motivation—helmets have never been a required safety feature of the ski ensemble—but it’s an added benefit to a hip head accessory.


Shopping for kitty or puppy? Consider pierced earrings -- or a tattoo

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Three heavily pierced “gothic kittens” were recently seized from a Pennsylvania home, stirring up controversy over the fringe practice of pet body art. Some pet owners say there’s no harm in tattooing and piercing their animals to give them their own unique style.


Where the wild things say aah: vets that cater to exotic pets

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A turtle can now have its own personal doctor. A growing number of veterinarians are treating reptiles, birds and other small mammals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. That's a relief for pet owners who need to treat a constipated frog or diagnose a parrot’s tumor.


Tired of leaky lids, coffee guzzlers seek the perfect fit

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The perfect cup of joe is no longer just about what's in the brew; it's also about what sits on top. What were once simple plastic lids are now engineered with strategic grooves and interlocking and moving parts.


In failing economy, Foreign Service test attracts record numbers

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With a new president who promises to strengthen alliances abroad at a time when private companies are cutting their rosters, thousands are looking to the Foreign Service as a future career path.


In search for spiritual nourishment, fasters follow the Daniel diet

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A fasting movement that claims to be modeled on practices from the Bible has spread over the country, attracting thousands of men and women. The Daniel Fast is a popular 21-day diet based on a figure in the Bible, but nutritionists have mixed views on the practice.


Acai: The $15 million berry

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Cancer cure. Skin rejuvenator. Weight-loss wonder. The health claims associated with the diminutive acai berry have helped to create a $15 million market around products containing the fruit. Now, as the Better Business Bureau steps in to warn consumers about acai scams, the plot thickens around one healthy—and very hyped—berry.


Only 3.14 More Shopping Days Until Pi Day.

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Pi, the infinite number created by dividing the circumference of a circle by its diameter, has captivated thinkers from Newton to Einstein. Now it is cause for celebration. All over the country, thousands will pause on March 14, or Pi Day, to whoop it up.


For curly girls, it’s no straight sell

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In the battle to control curly hair there are two defenders of the frizz: Ouidad and Devachan. Ouidad (who only goes by her first name) has developed the “carve and slice” way of cutting curly hair while Devachan created the “no poo” method, in which you never shampoo your hair. There are fanatical fans of each philosophy, and as more stylists are being trained in these schools of thought, the methods are spreading across the country.


Secret speakeasies alive and well

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Secret entrances, buzzers and passwords: Speakeasies are back with a vengeance.


Umami: the new way to smell flavors without paying through the nose

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While the sale of luxury goods has tumbled in the economic downturn, foodies remain dogged in their pursuit of affordable treats. Umami, the art of savoring foods through unexpected flavor combinations and sensory deprivation, is quickly garnering popularity among bargain-hunting gourmets.


How many David Smiths are too many? He says two.

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Sharing a name with others isn't a problem—until they show up in our professional lives and wreak havoc.


Bicentennial (and Obama) means boom times for Lincoln presenters

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Abraham Lincoln presenters are more popular than ever, thanks to the 16th president's 200th birthday and the election of Barack Obama. Thrilled with the flood of offers, they are eager to introduce Lincoln and his attributes to new audiences.


Why manners matter, in business as in life

Forget the economic stimulus and mortgage relief. What will get American back on its feet is good manners.


Inspired by Obama, hip-hop community braces for change

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Barack Obama inspired hip hop artists during the campaign. But now that he's in office, what's next for music?


Have your beer—and drink it gluten-free too

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Love beer but can't tolerate gluten? Lament no longer. A growing number of breweries are offering gluten-free varieties. Drink up.


Does a pack a day keep the economic stress away?

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In an uncertain economy, some smokers have tried to curb their habits to save money, but find their efforts stalled—because of stress over the economy. According to a recent study, during recessions smoking may actually increase.


Interactive design: where fashion, technology and art meet and mingle

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More young designers are incorporating technology into fashion, but their clothes are not of a metallic-cyborg-meets-Spock variety. Some are more art than high fashion, but they hint of a future where our clothes are more than just a covering, when they become performance pieces that promote social interaction.


Wedding bands record couples’ vows

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Marriage on the brain? Allergic to the norm? With Fakurako Shimizu’s “I Do” wedding bands, couples can wear their partner’s voices on their fingers. Whispering sweet nothings has never been so simple or understated.