Animal Doctor USA

Five articles from around The Times, narrated just for you.

A bite of chicken breast grown from stem cells at Upside Foods, one of several companies around the world trying to develop commercially viable meat from animal stem cells.
A bite of chicken breast grown from stem cells at Upside Foods, one of several companies around the world trying to develop commercially viable meat from animal stem cells.
A bite of chicken breast grown from stem cells at Upside Foods, one of several companies around the world trying to develop commercially viable meat from animal stem cells. Credit... Gabriela Hasbun for The New York Times

Feb. 18, 2022

This weekend, listen to a collection of narrated articles from around The New York Times, read aloud by the reporters who wrote them.

The New Secret Chicken Recipe? Animal Cells.

Tissue engineers and scientists in several countries are trying to find a commercially viable way to transform animal stem cells into a marbled Wagyu steak, briny oysters or sushi-grade salmon.

The global market for what is most commonly known as cell-based or cultivated meat could reach $25 billion by 2030, according to the consultants McKinsey Company. That would be a tiny slice of the projected $1.4 trillion meat market, but one that food companies see as a key player in the fast-growing category called alternative meat.

Growing cells into meat remains the Wild West of food production. Although companies are racing to file for patents, and guard breakthroughs in cell technology like gold, almost a decade after the first cell-grown hamburger was introduced at a packed media event, the notion of buying an engineered steak at the grocery store remains an expensive theory.

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Credit... Erik Carter

Dance, I Said — Dance! And Leave the Package on the Porch.

The combination of next-day delivery, Ring surveillance footage and TikTok has put a spotlight on Amazon drivers. But it’s also created a new main character: the package itself.

Some Amazon customers, as Gita Jackson reported recently in Vice News, are now explicitly asking the company’s drivers to deliver a performance along with the package. They are posting signs to their front doors or tapping unusual delivery instructions into the Amazon app in the hopes of capturing a spectacle on their surveillance feeds. One TikTok user sets a driver’s obligatory shimmy to Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack”; another soundtracks it with “Teach Me How to Dougie.”

“How did we get here?,” asks Amanda Hess. “It all feels like an inevitable outgrowth of Amazon’s ever-expanding product suite. Install its motion-activated Ring doorbell and your stoop becomes a stage; enroll in its Amazon Prime service, and you’ll summon an endless stream of players.”

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Meet Me at 3 A.M. for a Cup of Coffee

Written and narrated by Danielle Braff

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Credit... Evan M. Cohen

Meet Me at 3 A.M. for a Cup of Coffee.

About a year into the pandemic, Marcela Rafea began waking up consistently at 3 a.m., her mind racing.

She would creep out of bed and tiptoe into the living room, where she would meditate, try a few yoga poses and open the window to hear the leaves rustle, the cars rush by and the dogs bark.

Then, at 6 a.m., she crawled back into bed and would sleep again until her youngest child woke her for the day at 7 a.m.

Unbeknown to Ms. Rafea, she had naturally reverted back to a sleep cycle that was believed to be standard in multiple cultures beginning in ancient civilization through the early 19th century. Now that many people are making their own schedules, working from home and focusing more on self-care, there has been a return for some to the idea of a segmented sleep cycle — voluntary and, given the stress levels of the last two years, not.

So are we simply reverting to our long forgotten, natural sleep cycle? And could this be the cure for those deemed middle-of-the-night insomniacs?

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I Used Apple AirTags, Tiles and a GPS Tracker to Watch My Husband’s Every Move

Written and narrated by Kashmir Hill

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I Used Apple AirTags, Tiles and a GPS Tracker to Watch My Husband’s Every Move

Apple released chic, sleek AirTags early last year as a way to keep track of keys and purses. But every new convenience comes with a price: In recent months, people have freaked out after finding AirTags hidden in their bags and on their cars. A Sports Illustrated model, Brooks Nader, said she found one in her coat pocket after visiting a Manhattan bar. All these people received warnings on their iPhones, a feature Apple had built into the AirTag system to help prevent unwanted tracking.

When Kashmir Hill and Ryan Mac reported on this, experts were of two minds about Apple’s attempts to prevent nefarious use, with some saying the alerts were inadequate and others praising the company for unearthing a larger problem: widespread surreptitious tracking, usually done with devices that don’t notify a person of their presence.

Kashmir decided to examine both claims by planting three AirTags, three Tiles and a GPS tracker on her husband and his belongings to see how precisely they revealed his movements and which ones he discovered.

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For Beto O’Rourke, 2020 Still Haunts 2022

Written and narrated by J. David Goodman

Beto O’Rourke at a rally in the East Texas city of Tyler last week. He is seeking to become the first Democrat in decades to win a statewide race in Texas.

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Beto O’Rourke at a rally in the East Texas city of Tyler last week. He is seeking to become the first Democrat in decades to win a statewide race in Texas.
Beto O’Rourke at a rally in the East Texas city of Tyler last week. He is seeking to become the first Democrat in decades to win a statewide race in Texas. Credit... Montinique Monroe for The New York Times

For Beto O’Rourke, 2020 Still Haunts 2022

Even in deep red East Texas, even on a Tuesday afternoon, even after a failed bid for the Senate followed by a failed bid for president, Beto O’Rourke still draws a crowd.

More than 100 supporters gathered last week in a park in the city of Tyler, southeast of Dallas in the Piney Woods region. Among the friendly crowd, however, there was concern and even skepticism as Mr. O’Rourke tries to become the first Democratic governor of Texas in nearly 30 years.

The Texas primary is fast approaching but his real challenge is the general election in November, when he is expected to face the Republican incumbent, Gov. Greg Abbott. Some of Mr. O’Rourke’s comments aimed at wooing national Democratic voters in the 2020 presidential primary — such as “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15” — may have already weakened if not doomed his chances in November.

Want to hear more narrated articles from publications like The New York Times? Download Audm for iPhone and Android.

The Times’s narrated articles are made by Tally Abecassis, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Aaron Esposito, Dan Farrell, Elena Hecht, Adrienne Hurst, Elisheba Ittoop, Emma Kehlbeck, Marion Lozano, Tanya Pérez, Krish Seenivasan, Margaret H. Willison, Kate Winslett, John Woo and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner, Julia Simon and Desiree Ibekwe.

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