It's been wet in Texas this year — exceptionally wet, as a matter of fact. With record amounts of rain, Texas is more than a little hot, green and rife with happy insects.
Take the tarantula hawk, for example. In case you've never heard of it, it's a wasp that's so big, and so nasty, that it attacks tarantulas — who happen to be quite big and nasty themselves.
So, what does a happy tarantula hawk look like? Ben Hutchins, an invertebrate biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, takes NPR's Wade Goodwyn through all the gruesome wasp-on-tarantula details.
This book is personal, written as a letter to his teenage son Samori. In it, we see glimpses of the hard West Baltimore streets where Coates grew up, his curiosity at work on the campus of Howard University and his early struggles as a journalist.
The nation's capital is sweaty and sweltering right now, but Washington locals and visitors can find a seaside getaway in the most unlikely of places. In the middle of downtown D.C., the National Building Museum has installed a 10,000-square-foot indoor "beach" that has attracted kids, tourists and workers looking for an out-of-the-ordinary lunch break.
He thinks he can help his homeland — the youngest nation in the world. Today marks the fourth anniversary of its independence. But there's little celebration. The country is being ripped apart by civil war.
Yet Gai, who suffered through years of violence and pain as a refugee, believes he can play a role in moving South Sudan toward peace and safety.
Against all odds, the 34-year-old is an incredible optimist.
It's a bit of an understatement to call Judd Apatow busy.
His new book, Sick in the Head, a 500-page collection of Apatow's conversations with some of the greatest minds in comedy, is on the New York Times best-seller list. Meanwhile, his film collaboration with the white-hot Amy Schumer, Trainwreck — his fifth movie as a director — is set for release within two weeks.
Oh, and he just wrapped up shooting another movie that's due out next year.
Walking through the farmers market this time of year is a wondrous thing: juicy tomatoes, rows of jewel-toned eggplants, fragrant basil and sweet yellow corn. But then, you see bunches of greens that look like weeds, stuff with names like kohlrabi and purslane, and suddenly, you feel intimidated. Other people know what to do with these greens, why don't I?
Everyone has had the dream in one form or another. You are about to take a big test when you realize you don't know anything about the subject. You are on stage but you haven't memorized the lines. You have to make a speech but you haven't written it.
It's your basic performance anxiety nightmare.
But if you are a musician, performance anxiety, better known as stage fright, can ruin your career — maybe before it even gets started.
Louisa Hall was a nervous speaker when she was little. At school, kids teased her and said she talked like a robot.
"I think I was just so nervous that I kind of couldn't put any real animation in my voice," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. "But ever since then I've kind of looked at robots or looked at machines and wondered whether they were just having trouble acting human."