Maanvi Singh

The notion that you can smile your way to happiness is an enduring one.

Back in the 1800s, Charles Darwin was among the first to come up with what modern scientists further developed into the "facial feedback hypothesis." That's the idea that smiling can make you happier and frowning can make you sadder or angrier — that changing your facial expression can intensify or even transform your mood.

Halima Aden, a Somali American and Muslim model, is the first woman to pose in a burkini for Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, which hits newsstands Wednesday.

"Growing up in the States, I never really felt represented because I never could flip through a magazine and see a girl who was wearing a hijab," Aden says in a video for Sports Illustrated, as she models several colorful head-to-toe swimwear designs. "Don't be afraid to be the first."

Many studies have found that women aren't as willing as men to take risks. And so they may shy away from riskier investments or career choices, missing out on the rewards that can come from taking big chances.

The perennial question: Why? Is it nature or nurture?

Over this past year, lifestyle blogger Aileen Xu has kept a monthly gratitude list.

Sometimes it was the big stuff: "I'm grateful that my family is so understanding. I'm grateful so many people care."

And sometimes it was life's little blessings: "July 2018: I'm grateful for good hair after I shower."

A couple of weeks ago, eight-year-old Liam Ramsay-Leavitt of Martinez, Calif., was swinging on the monkey bars at school. "And then I just fell on my side," he says. "I was kind of dizzy and I had an achy head."

It turns out that he had a concussion.

The doctor said he had to miss school for a week — there'd be no homework (he didn't mind that too much) but also no reading, no recess, no video games, no chess club, no activity. "I would just say it's really boring," Ramsay-Leavitt says. "And disappointing."

By the time the infection had invaded Ange Bukabau's central nervous system and begun to affect her brain, her family didn't know what to do with her. She was acting erratic, out of control.

"I was going crazy," says Bukabau, 32, who makes her living as a vendor in a small town in Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 200 miles east of the capital, Kinshasa.

If you've ever played Tetris — whether it was at an old-school Gameboy, or just on your iPhone — then you know: It's 8-bit enchantment.

"Years of my life were lost disappearing into a game of Tetris on my Nintendo system," says Kate Sweeny, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside.

A lot changed for Minnesota-based chef Yia Vang's family when they fled persecution in Laos and, in 1988, resettled in the American Midwest. For one, "I think my parents realized they don't have to go out and kill one every time we want to eat chicken," Vang says. "So Tyson chicken tenders were always in the freezer."

But it's not just the way they lived and ate that changed — the bacteria that lived alongside and inside them probably changed as well.

In the U.S., girls and boys are both big smartphone users.

That's not necessarily the case in the developing world, says a new report released this month by the nonprofit organization Girl Effect.

The "Real Girls, Real Lives, Connected" report surveyed more than 3,000 teenage girls and boys in 25 countries, with a focus on developing nations, including Nigeria, Bangladesh, India and Rwanda, through online questionnaires and in-person interviews.

Barbecued pork or fried chicken served with a heaping side of mac and cheese or creamy potato salad, sweet tea and peach cobbler — these Southern classics, loaded with as much history as flavor, have become comfort foods for Americans from all over.

In Kerala, a tropical slice of a state that runs along India's southwestern coast, people use every part of the coconut tree. The bark is used as firewood. The leaves and husks become mats and rope. The fruit, of course, features heavily in curries, chutneys and stews. The sweet sap can be used to make palm sugar. Or, left to ferment, it can be transformed into a special, mildly alcoholic brew called toddy.

Say you're at your local coffee shop.

You order a cappuccino or a caramel macchiato and look for a cozy spot where you can settle in for an hour or two. But there's one problem: A bunch of chairs are blocking the aisle.

At this critical moment, do you: a) Contort and squeeze your body around the misplaced chairs, just in case someone had a good reason for putting them there? Or b) Move the chairs, so you can quickly sit down and start drinking your beverage before it gets cold?

When photographer Lorenzo Vitturi first visited Lagos, in 2014, he expected to find the same sort of gentrification he'd seen happening around him in London, where he's based. He imagined he'd find colorful neighborhoods being dismantled, razed and replaced with sterile skyscrapers. He anticipated chain stores and shopping malls where there were once mom-and-pop shops.

Elsa D'Silva was 13 years old. She was riding a local train in Mumbai, India, with her mother, sister and brother. And just as she was about to get off, she felt it — a hand reaching up her skirt.

"It affected my ability to use a train as a means of transport — and it still does, even still," D'Silva says. But for 25 years, she didn't tell anyone why she avoided trains.

Quick, think of a physicist.

If you're anything like me, you probably didn't have to think very hard before the names Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton popped up.

But what if I asked you to think of a female physicist? What about a black, female physicist?

You may have to think a bit harder about that. For years, mainstream accounts of history have largely ignored or forgotten the scientific contributions of women and people of color.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Over the past few weeks, NPR has explored how discrimination affects people of all races, ethnicities and identities. Could one solution be a board game? Reporter Maanvi Singh has the story.

(LAUGHTER)

Behold, the cocktail avocado. No, that's not a weird cucumber. It's the latest in avocado innovation, on offer at British retail chain Marks & Spencer.

"I hate the term curry house," says Ranjit Mathrani, who co-owns Veeraswamy restaurant in London. "We are not a curry house."

Veeraswamy has been around since 1926 — it is London's oldest surviving Indian restaurant. Founded by Edward Palmer — the great-grandson of an English general and an Indian princess — the restaurant served not quite Indian food, but an Anglicized version of it, catering to an English clientele that craved something a bit spicy, but not overly so.

As Armenian photographer Anush Babajanyan wandered through the streets of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, she encountered something she found a bit strange. "I was walking with a friend of mine in the city's central district," she says. "And we started to see twins everywhere."

As they approached the big mosque in town, she saw more and more of them — congregations of twins, milling about the streets. Most of them were very young children, accompanied by their mothers. "And they were playing — with each other and their mothers."

Jeff Stevens decided to give up alcohol when he was 24.

He's 50 now — and he's had no regrets about going sober for the sake of his health. Except for one thing: He has really missed good beer.

"If you're drinking, you have an infinite amount of things you can drink," Stevens says. Shelves are full of craft IPAs, stouts and bitters. "Whereas only about half the bars I've been to have a non-alcoholic beer. And if they do, it's usually just one choice."

In the early 1970s, when many professional photographers were shooting in black and white, Raghubir Singh pioneered the use of color film to capture scenes from his homeland India. Back then, color photography wasn't always taken seriously. But Singh insisted that it was impossible to capture India's essence in black and white.

At first glance, you see a young girl goofing around with her friends.

But there's one crucial detail: This girl — 16-year-old Nirma — has a traditional stripe of vermilion powder smudged into her forehead. In her region in India, that's a sign that means Nirma is married.

What will it take for the people of this world to drop their prejudices, to move past intolerance — and just get along?

That's a question Princeton psychologist Betsy Levy Paluck — one of the 24 MacArthur Fellows announced on Wednesday — has dedicated her career to answering.

What do Bolivia, Belgium, Burkina Faso, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Scotland, South Africa, the United States and Vietnam all have in common?

The pervasive idea is that girls are vulnerable and that boys are strong and independent.

Chef Douglas McMaster's flagship restaurant, Silo, takes that "industrial chic" aesthetic that dominates the modern dining scene to a whole new level. Located an hour south of London, in Brighton, England, the restaurant inhabits a 180-year-old building that has been styled into something like a barn — or a grain silo. Let's call it preindustrial chic.

When we first spoke to Khaled Khatib, he had just finished working on The White Helmets, a 41-minute Netflix documentary about a group of volunteer rescue workers who were helping those caught in the crossfire of Syria's bloody civil war.

What does it mean to be resilient — to be able to face trauma and get through it?

You're resilient if you're like a stick of bamboo — able to bend with the winds rather than break in half. That's how psychologists like to explain it.

But in different cultures, the source of that strength can be very different. That's the finding in a study published in the journal Child Development. The researchers interviewed Syrian tweens and teens who had been displaced because of war.

How did Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever come to strike in Spain? And how worried should we be?

That's the question a team of epidemiologists and microbiologists has been trying to answer for the past year.

The disease is a tick-borne, Ebola-like virus. Because it's a lesser-known illness, it is often misdiagnosed. So there aren't very good official statistics on the number of cases in many parts of the world.

One of the biggest threats to global agriculture these days is a tiny, bright red weevil.

These little crimson devils eviscerate coconut, date and oil palms, and are native to South Asia. But thanks to globalization, and the fact that these tenacious buggers can fly up to 30 miles a day — over the last three decades they've spread to more than 60 countries from the Caribbean to Southern Europe.

The world loses about 3,000 adolescents each day. That adds up to 1.2 million deaths a year. And with a bit more investment, the majority of those deaths can be prevented, according to a global study released on Tuesday by the World Health Organization.

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