Mary Jane's soda is one of a handful of new herbal products aimed at chilling-out today's stressed-out consumer.
Credit Courtesy of Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda
Caffeine-laden drinks and herbal pick-me-ups now keep many of us going through the day and well into the night. But what happens when it's time to relax, unwind and even go to sleep? Older insomniacs may reach for a glass of wine, warm milk or some chamomile tea. But the new relaxation rage is soda and brownies.
"Relaxation drinks are sort of the initial backlash to the energy drink craze. If I'm nervous or if I am having a bad day, I can just crack open a Mary Jane's instead," says Eric Shogren.
Chinese explorer Zheng He sailed on diplomatic and business missions in the early 1400s, reaching as far as northeast Africa. This sculpture of Zheng He is on display in the Asian Reading Room at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Credit Maggie Starbard / NPR
This month, NPR is examining the many ways China is expanding its reach in the world — through investments, infrastructure, military power and more.
When the United States took over from Britain as the predominant world power 100 years ago, the transition was like one between brothers — or cousins, at least. And the two countries remain close allies to this day. The rise of China in relation to U.S. predominance presents a somewhat different challenge — with decades of sometimes outright hostility and an ongoing fractious relationship.
Quiet but not ambient, the music of BOBBY provides relief from rock and dance records built around insistent, thumping beats. The band's songs often feel like many songs in one, with multiple rhythms playing out simultaneously, and I like the result more and more.
Erik Friedlander's new album, <em>Bonebridge</em>, comes out June 14.
Credit Claudio Casanova / AAJ Italia
The history of jazz cello is full of strings attached. Upright bass players — among them Oscar Pettiford, Percy Heath, Harry Babasin, Ray Brown and Ron Carter — have occasionally strayed. But their contributions to the diminutive violoncello are often overshadowed by their work on its bigger, heavier cousin.
Marissa Nadler's new self-titled album comes out June 14.
Credit Courtney Brooke Hall / Courtesy of the artist
Since her 2004 debut, Boston's Marissa Nadler has drawn a big response from a small crowd. Her dreamy, fragile folk songs are revered among an assortment of tastemakers, but they haven't yet broken through to a larger audience. Her new self-titled album, recorded at the same Philadelphia studio where Sharon Van Etten made last year's Epic, should help change all that.
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty answers questions after speaking at the Cato Institute May 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. Pawlenty is the latest Republican candidate to announce his intention of campaigning for the presidency of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Why does the 2012 presidential race look more like a film festival? Plus a Pentagon official trying to make Afghanistan rich, a sociologist who says you can only have 150 friends, culture and trends of the 70s and 80s, and musician Moby's newest release.
The new documentary Rejoice and Shout, which opens in select theaters this weekend, celebrates the history of gospel music in America as told through some of its most famous and influential icons.
Director Don McGlynn, a veteran of the music documentary genre, wanted to trace gospel from its earliest roots to its current incarnation in the music world. The film even plays the first known recording of gospel music, a record made in 1902 by the Dinwiddie Colored Quartet.
The alliance says it is targeting military compounds and forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, whom they accuse of taking cover among the civilian population. Some of the strikes, which are now being launched from helicopters, are striking targets very near civilian areas.