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Noon Edition

Teh Tarik

Are you familiar with teh tarik?

Teh tarik is a kind of tea, and the favorite national drink of Malaysia. A frothy combination of milk and steaming water poured rapidly from cup to cup makes for a delicious treat.

Malaysia announced that in 2007 they will be sending their first astronaut into space. Almost 12,000 Malaysians applied for a chance to become their country's own Alan Shepard. The selection process is down to two people, a doctor named Muszaphar Shukor, and a dentist named Faiz Khaleed. One of them will be chosen to ride on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft as part of a financial trade between Russia and Malaysia. Whoever becomes the first Malaysian in space, Shukor or Khaleed, will celebrate his country's achievement with another first-making tea in orbit.

The tea-making will be not so much an experiment in weightlessness, though some interesting physics may be involved, as an awareness raising gesture. With it, Malaysians will have joined the community of space faring people.

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