NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

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After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":


3 Clues To How Geography Fuels Innovation

Sep 5, 2012

The image of the lone genius toiling in isolation, finally emerging with a brilliant new concept is compelling, even romantic. Too bad it's not true.

Instead, innovation thrives in ecosystems, much as microbes flourish in a warm, cozy petri dish.

"There's an important geography to where innovation happens," says AnnaLee Saxenian, dean of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies how regional differences affect innovation.

"Innovation is a social process, not just an individual process," Saxenian says. Social interaction among people speeds incremental improvements in an idea. People both compete and collaborate to come up with something better. And old-fashioned physical proximity still seems to help the most, even in the age of the Internet.

Though Thomas Edison's obituary heralded him as "a solitary genius revolutionizing the world," he was not alone in that laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J. Instead, he had some 40 scientists and technicians there, laboring away on his inventions.

So having access to like-minded people is key, and the simplest way to do that is to live in a city. Which brings us to Clue No. 1: Go urban.

The world's 40 largest urban areas produce two-thirds of global economic output and 9 out of 10 patents, according to Richard Florida, a professor of business at the University of Toronto and frequent writer on innovation and regional development.

A cruise through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's most recent geographic data on patents awarded from 2006 to 2010 supports Florida's thesis. Here's the Top 10 list, with the number of patents awarded in 2010:

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (10,074)
  2. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (6,383)
  3. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA (6,290)
  4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (4,992)
  5. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA (4,330)
  6. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (4,052)
  7. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL (2,993)
  8. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN (2,827)
  9. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA (2,993)
  10. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX (2,449)

Yet two-thirds of Americans live in cities, and many of those towns are not hotbeds of innovation. What gives?

Based on population alone, the New York City region and Los Angeles should be kings of innovation — at least the kind of innovation measured by patents, not by investments or Hollywood blockbusters. While both cities made the list, they were eclipsed by the far less populous Silicon Valley, where residents were awarded 10,074 patents in 2010, almost twice as many as the 6,383 given out in the New York region. (This map of patents per capita in 1998, though dated, reflects the fact that a large number of people alone isn't enough.)

So what does the Silicon Valley have that Chicago doesn't? Clue No. 2: innovation infrastructure.

When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer in 1976 in Silicon Valley, they had no problem finding engineers and other experts willing to share technical expertise, free parts, investors and legal advice.

Silicon Valley has another advantage — Stanford University. The school has strong ties with the surrounding business community. The valley has lots of angel investors, banks and law firms that cater to tech startups — and probably most important, lots of smart people eager to learn on the job and then come up with their own world-changing (or at least fortune-making) innovation.

Education is critical to a city's success, says Edward Glaeser, a Harvard economist and author of the 2011 book Triumph of the City. And where, a generation ago, college graduates were spread relatively uniformly around the United States, now educated people tend to be concentrated in places like San Jose, Seattle, Boston and Austin — places that also happen to be at the top of the charts for patents.

But people living far from an urban hotbed of innovation needn't despair – as long as they've got friends in innovative places. That's Clue No. 3, provided by Saxenian.

She has spent years studying innovation in Silicon Valley and says the fact that 40 to 50 percent of the patents there are awarded to immigrant inventors is no big surprise — about half of the valley's workforce is foreign born.

What has surprised her is how immigrants who have marinated in the culture and ways of the valley have maintained their ties back home — and used them to funnel business and money to innovators in places like Taiwan, China and India. Those stay-at-homes have spawned their own smaller hubs of innovation.

"What has seemed to work is these places that have connected through both personal and commercial relationships," Saxenian says. It might not be as good as rubbing shoulders with lots of other would-be innovators at the fast-food joints of the valley, but it's still better than being a lone genius.

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