Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

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 vegetables 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.


Assaying The Legacy Of 'The Big Screen'

Oct 18, 2012
Originally published on October 18, 2012 9:56 am

"The fact is I am quite happy in a movie, even a bad movie," admits Binx Bolling, the hero of Walker Percy's 1961 novel The Moviegoer. It's the same for a lot of us — cinema affects us in ways we don't always understand, and even the worst films appeal to our nostalgia and sense memories in manners that defy the normal rules of taste and logic. (Currently, on my DVR: La Dolce Vita, a classic I know I should see at some point, and Gymkata, a truly terrible 1985 martial-arts flick I've watched a dozen times. Guess which one I'm going to turn on tonight?)

In The Big Screen, British-American film critic and historian David Thomson attempts to answer some fundamental questions about the world's favorite hobby. How do we relate to the movies? "The cinema is the embodiment of 'let there be light,' " he writes. But where does the light come from? Does it illuminate us or blind us?

Of course, these are difficult and possibly even unanswerable questions. But Thomson — arguably the world's most intelligent student of the cinema — proves remarkably up to the task. The Big Screen is beautiful and expansive, "a love letter to a lost love" that has the capacity to change the way we look at film.

Thomson's book is essentially a collection of new essays, covering movies from D.W. Griffith's brilliant but notoriously racist The Birth of a Nation to the critically reviled Adam Sandler "comedy" Jack and Jill. While there's not an even remotely boring chapter in the book, the centerpiece of the volume is formed of two long essays, "Sunset and Change" and "Film Studies," in which Thomson jumps from topic to topic breathlessly, almost suddenly, but with transitions that somehow make more sense than they should.

It's like listening for an hour to a smart, hyperactive friend discuss the art he loves the most; the downloading of information leaves you a little exhausted but mostly elated. Thomson has a gift for making his original observations sound almost obvious — film noir, he writes, "is the one genre that admits we'll lose," and Casablanca is "fake, foolish and fanciful beyond belief" but is still "the best fun."

And while he's unafraid to dive into the canons of some of cinema's most celebrated but challenging directors — Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman are both discussed — he takes a refreshingly democratic view. The Passion of Joan of Arc and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel earn Thomson's thorough consideration, as do The Ten Commandments and Deep Throat. He thoughtfully, if grudgingly, considers the impact of hardcore pornography on viewers ("It resembles a weekend in Las Vegas, and breeds as many dismayed losers") and takes on the mediocre-at-best career of filmmaker George Lucas ("a great entrepreneur, and a marker of industry ... [with a] contented lack of personality").

But all of the history, all of the opinion, is in service of answering those previously stated questions. And these: What does film do to us? Does it isolate us or contribute to a common cultural language? There are no sure-thing conclusions in art, but Thomson's guess is as good as any: We watch movies to see ourselves from unrealistic angles, because we crave the feeling of desire, and we love the artifice, the uncertainty. "It's an impossible venture," Thomson writes, "but it is a legacy of American film — the gift of unreality." Or, in the words of Joan Didion, "We tell ourselves stories in order to live." Movies, for many of us, are life, and for about 90 minutes, in the comforting darkness of a theater, we can pretend that nothing will ever end.

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