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Featured Article: Lapsang souchong

A black tea, Lapsang souchong has a rich color
Lapsang souchong is a black tea originally from the Wuyi region of China province of Fujian, an area that has produced some of the best teas for centuries. It a unique type of tea because the leaves are traditionally smoke-dried over pinewood fires, taking on a distinctive smoky flavor. The tea originated through a creative response to a threat to the tea crop one year, in which the villagers of Tong Mu quickly dried their crop over freshly cut pinewood. Unexpectedly, European customers enjoyed the smoky flavor and the new type of tea became popular.

A type of black tea, Lapsang souchong is not drunk specifically for health benefits, although black teas too are considered relatively healthy beverages. Also, unlike many varieties of tea, it did not originate as a specialty for the elite. Lapsang souchong is rather an example of how human beings have been able to take an obstacle and, through adopting creative measures, transform it into success.

Popular Article: John Locke

John Locke
John Locke (August 29, 1632 – October 28, 1704) was a seventeenth-century English philosopher and social activist concerned primarily with governance, political theory, epistemology,and religious tolerance. His political writings provide a pivotal philosophical defense for modern democratic institutions. As a philosopher, he was an early proponent of Empiricism. Locke also made contributions in the fields of theology, education, and economics.

Though Thomas Hobbes and especially Francis Bacon had pioneered the empirical method before him, John Locke is considered the first of the three major British Empiricists along with George Berkeley and David Hume. Locke is known for his rejection of the theory of innate ideas in favor of an emphasis on the role of sense perception, and for the expression “tabula rasa” that is associated with this position.

Locke was an important political thinker, whose Second Treatise on Government is credited with influencing Thomas Jefferson's drafting of the Declaration of Independence. He also influenced other protagonists of the American Revolution including Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton. Locke's emphasis on the role of the individual and his questioning of the Divine role of the monarchy serve to this day as key underpinnings of modern democracy.