NPR Staff

Robert Hoge's new memoir is about his childhood — his first day of school, making friends and learning to ride a bike. But it's also about getting called "cripple," having multiple reconstructive surgeries and teaching himself how to play sports with two artificial limbs. Hoge was born with deformed legs and a giant tumor between his eyes. "The tumor formed really early during my development," he tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "So it subsumed my nose and pushed my eyes to the side of my head,...

The StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This week we hear from Jenna Henderson whose husband died while serving in Afghanistan. Sgt. First Class Chris Henderson joined the Army right out of high school in 1991. He served in Bosnia and Kosovo before deploying to Afghanistan in 2007 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. On that tour, he was killed by an IED, when he was just 35 years old.

He...

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick dropped to one knee rather than stand during the national anthem at a preseason football game Thursday night. It's an extension of the protest Kaepernick began last week when he sat as the anthem played before an earlier game, declaring, "I am not going to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." Prominent athletes have used their celebrity to call attention to social issues before. Basketball legend...

A restaurant chain that charges twice as much for a meal in one location as it does in another? You would think that's a recipe for angry customers. But Everytable in Los Angeles is betting that this will prove a successful business model, while also serving up a hefty side of social mission. Here's the concept behind the new chain: Customers walk in and grab a to-go container of pre-made, healthful meals prepared by chefs who've previously worked in some of the finest restaurants in LA and...

Pablo Escobar was one of the most notorious drug kingpins the world has ever known. His cartel — based in Medellin, Colombia — ruled in the 1980s and at one point supplied 80 percent of the cocaine coming into the U.S. The drama and danger of those days is captured in the Netflix series Narcos . Brazilian actor Wagner Moura plays Escobar in the series, and at the time it was a surprising casting choice. For one thing, Escobar is on the chubby side, and as Moura tells NPR's David Greene, "I...

The National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., is home to so much Americana, including Civil War uniforms, Dorothy's red shoes from The Wizard Of Oz , and video game prototypes. It also has an extensive collection of presidential campaign memorabilia. "We collect a fair amount of Republican, Democrat, red, white and blue stuff, but there are great objects that engage issues for 2016, that can communicate those issues and debates 100 years from now," says Jon Grinspan, one of the...

The V&E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection in Durham, N.C., is the result of an obsession that grew one oom pah-pah at a time. Vincent Simonetti started playing tuba in high school in the 1950s – and it was love at first puff. "And I would draw it in study hall. I'd draw pictures of it. I don't know why. I just became obsessed with it," he says. He and his wife, Ethel, used to run a tuba exchange that sold sousaphones, euphoniums and other members of the tuba family to high school bands. Now...

Frank Mutz's family has been keeping people cool for more than half a century. It began with his grandfather, who started installing and repairing air conditioners in the 1950s. Now, Frank is the elder in the family trade, running the Atlanta business alongside his own children, including his son Phil. "No one really dreams of air conditioning at night. You know, no one thinks, 'Oh, I cannot wait to work on that air conditioner," Phil tells his father, on a recent visit with StoryCorps. "But...

Imagine you're a teenager in Beijing in the 1960s and '70s, during the Cultural Revolution. Everything that's deemed Western and bourgeois is banned — so listening to a 78 rpm recording of Beethoven 's Fifth Symphony, powerfully transformative as it might be, is off limits. Jindong Cai, now a conductor and professor at Stanford University, was a teenager during those repressive days. He and his wife, the writer Sheila Melvin, have written Beethoven in China , a book about the tumultuous...

Enormous trucks from all over the country are rolling down highways toward Baton Rouge, La. When they get to town, their task is to clear neighborhoods where streets are lined with trash from last week's massive flood . Baton Rouge contracted with DRC Emergency Services to handle disaster response when the floods began last week. It started out rescuing people in boats, and now that the boats are docked, trucks are coming in to handle the cleanup. Kurt Thormahlen of DRC Emergency Services...

Author Lawrence Wright was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, which meant he was required to do two years of what was called "alternative service." He ended up in Egypt, teaching at the American University in Cairo. And it was there that the man from Texas started his obsession with the Middle East. Since then, Wright has written a lot about the region and about terrorism as a staff writer for The New Yorker . Now, he has compiled his many New Yorker essays into a new book...

It's been a rough summer for supporters of Donald Trump. A convention that aimed for harmony had some disharmony. The candidate picked arguments with a Gold Star family and with Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Polls have shown Trump falling behind. At a recent rally in Altoona, Pa., Trump told the crowd that the only way he could lose Pennsylvania — a state where he is polling well behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton — would be in the event of a fix. "The only way they can beat...

For voters dissatisfied with both major party candidates, there are a few other options. There's Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, and a lesser known late arrival to the scene — Evan McMullin. McMullin is running as an independent with support from the #NeverTrump movement. He has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump — and he's seen as a conservative alternative to candidate. He has blasted Trump as personally unstable on his website and "a real threat to...

Most weddings go off without a hitch. Happy couples pledge to love one another for better or worse in front of their nearest and dearest. But for a small group, they never make it to those vows. Calling the whole thing off has become a reliable plot twist in movies, but this week on For the Record, we hear three different, real-life stories about calling it quits before walking down the aisle. Stella Grizont "He was a totally nice guy. There was nothing i could say was wrong. And I so just...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sisOw0Y822U Her name is pronounced "neigh-oh," and you'll want to get it right, because soul singer Nao is one of the most buzzed-about voices to come out of London in years. The one-time backup vocalist has already made it to the BBC's "Sound of 2016" roundup of innovative new musicians — with little more than a year under her belt as a solo artist. Born Neo Jessica Joshua and raised in Nottingham, Nao traveled all over the U.K. before finally settling in East...

On Sunday, the city of Flint, Mich., will no longer be under a federal state of emergency. A new report suggests that lead levels in the city's water are dropping, though researchers still recommend caution because of the health dangers posed by even small amounts of lead. Filters have been distributed to many residents, but they don't work for everyone, and some still depend on bottled water to meet their basic needs. The problems started in April 2014, when the city's water supply was...

Sam Esmail, creator of the TV show Mr. Robot, learned the hard way that hacking isn't easy. Years ago, he made the "really ill-advised decision" to hack his girlfriend's college campus email, from his job at an NYU computer lab. "I easily got busted ..." he tells NPR's Ari Shapiro. "They traced it back to that IP address and I got fired and put on academic probation and that was the end of my hacker days." So Esmail leaves the hacking to the actors in his award-winning drama, Mr. Robot. In...

Nearly 25 years after Anita Hill accused her former boss Clarence Thomas — then a Supreme Court nominee — of making lewd advances, the fight against sexual harassment is again in the spotlight. Women are pushing to change policies at colleges across the country. Bill Cosby — once a beloved figure of American culture — is now widely reviled because of accusations of rape and assault. More recently, more than 20 women say media mogul Roger Ailes harassed them at work. It's a familiar story now:...

During the Olympics we will hear a lot about the winners. But the reality is most athletes at the games come home without a medal. Today we explore what losing does to athletes, fans and anyone who casts a vote for president. Listen to this week's episode to hear the story of judo star Jimmy Pedro , and how he dealt with a crushing defeat in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Daniel Pink also joins Shankar for a Stopwatch Science competition on all the unintended consequences of losing. Stopwatch...

In Greek mythology, the Chimera is a monster that is part lion, part goat and part snake. Far from reality, sure, but the idea of mixing and matching creatures is real — and has ethicists concerned. That's because last week, the National Institutes of Health proposed a new policy to allow funding for scientists who are creating chimeras — the non-mythological kind. In genetics, chimeras are organisms formed when human stem cells are combined with tissues of other animals, with the potential...

With Hillary Clinton having made history last month by becoming the first female presidential nominee, could it be that today's gender roles are not as egalitarian as we think? Irina Reyn's new novel, The Imperial Wife, raises such questions. The dual-narrative follows the marriages of two ambitious women immigrants: one, a rising Russian art expert in a high-end Manhattan auction house set in the present day; the other, a young Catherine the Great in imperial Russia. You'd think the marriage...

Cockroach Milk: Yes. You Read That Right

Aug 6, 2016

Pour out that almond milk — the new hip thing cockroach milk. Well, kind of. The female Pacific beetle cockroach is one of a kind. Unlike other insect species, this Hawaiian native gives birth to live young. And she feeds them a pale, yellow liquid "milk" from her brood sack. But the craziest thing: Cut open an embryonic beetle roach, and they're guts will spill out nutrient-rich milk crystals that shimmer like glitter. "I discovered that these little embryos at a certain development were...

Two retired generals spoke at the national political conventions last month — one in favor of the Democratic candidate and one for the Republican. At the Democrats' convention, Marine Corps Gen. John Allen offered a thinly-veiled swipe at Donald Trump. "But I also know that with [Hillary Clinton] as our commander in chief, our international relations will not be reduced to a business transaction," Allen said. At the Republican convention, Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn joined in the crowd's...

It may sound trite, but the Olympic Games truly are a chance to witness what unites us all as human beings: Our joy in triumph and our anguish in defeat. David Matsumoto believes this truism, but on an entirely different level. Matsumoto is a professor of psychology at San Francisco State University and a former Olympic judo coach. He has analyzed the behavior of Olympic athletes. He spoke recently with Shankar Vedantam about what his research reveals. Matsumoto and his colleagues used a high...

A few years ago, Silicon Valley engineer Bindu Reddy was raising money for a new startup. An investor offered to contribute — not because of what she was trying to do, but because she was a woman. That rubbed Reddy the wrong way, and she wrote about it — then the backlash began. Now Reddy's goal, with the new social network Candid , is to facilitate online conversations but without the trolls. She spoke to NPR's Kelly McEvers about finding the balance between free speech and moderation on...

Perhaps you've heard the famous F. Scott Fitzgerald quote that goes, "There are no second acts in American lives." Some may beg to disagree. After all, for many people, there are indeed second acts. One such example is singer and actress Heather Headley, who epitomizes this in ways few others do. Headley is a native of the twin-island republic Trinidad and Tobago in the South Caribbean, where she started singing and playing the piano in church at a very young age. She moved with her family to...

Adam Summers used to trade Snickers bars to get free CT scans of dead fish. He likes fish. A lot. Summers is a professor at the University of Washington in the biology department and School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences. "I've always been a fish guy," he says. "It's just been in my blood since I was as small as I can remember." Summers was a scientific consultant on Finding Nemo and did similar work with Finding Dory . He describes himself as a biomechanist — he studies "how physics and...

When he was in college, the thing that enraged Brett Cohen the most was celebrity culture. One day he had the idea to mock it by pretending to be a celebrity, gathering a fake entourage and walking through Midtown Manhattan. It was a big success, and then a film he made of the day went viral. But there was one small problem: Once Cohen tasted fame, even fake fame, he discovered that he didn't want to give it up. This week the NPR podcast and show Invisibilia explores how people change from...

California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has been in politics since the 1960s, and launched multiple runs for president himself. In 1992, he ran as the outsider candidate — chastising the incumbent parties that had "failed their duty." "They've placed their own interest about the national interest," he said during the speech that kicked off his campaign. They've allowed themselves to be trapped and in some cases corrupted by the powerful forces of greed. It's time for them go!" Today, Brown...

Third parties are not new to American politics. The Anti-Masonic Party emerged in the 1820s to campaign against the Freemasons, which its members viewed as a corrupt. The Free Soil Party opposed the expansion of slavery in the years before the Civil War. Others throughout history have emerged to champion various causes, like the Know-Nothings, the Progressives, the Prohibition Party, the Reform Party and many others. In a country that's been dominated by iterations of the Republicans and...

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