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 Montgomery-ed.org

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.

Pages

Baby Beluga, Swim So Wild And Sing For Me

Oct 23, 2012
Originally published on October 24, 2012 4:18 am

Whales are among the great communicators of the animal world. They produce all sorts of sounds: squeaks, whistles and even epic arias worthy of an opera house.

And one whale in particular has apparently done something that's never been documented before: He imitated human speech.

The beluga, or white whale, is smallish as whales go and very cute, if you're into marine mammals. Belugas are called the "canaries of the sea" because they're very vocal.

These sounds are for things like echolocation, like bats use, or for basic communication, as in, "Hello, honey, I'm home."

But a white whale at San Diego's National Marine Mammal Foundation did something very different. NOC (pronounced Nocee), as he was called, lived in an enclosure in the San Diego Bay. Biologist Sam Ridgway was there one day when divers were swimming nearby. "This one diver surfaced next to the whale pen and said, 'Who told me to get out?' And the supervisor said, 'Nobody said anything.' "

A curious Ridgway started recording NOC. And what he heard was quite strange: It had the cadence and rhythm of human speech. No words were distinguishable, but the sounds were eerily "right." Ridgway laid out audiograms of NOC's chatter, and they showed that the rhythm and pitch were different from NOC's normal sounds: They were, in fact, very similar to human speech. NOC had lowered the pitch of his sounds several octaves below normal, into the range of human speech at 300-400 hertz.

Ridgway says there's no reason to think NOC understood speech; he was just mimicking humans he'd heard. From where? "I think it was from divers using underwater communication equipment," he says.

When NOC was mimicking humans, Ridgway looked inside the whale's nose. "He did an unusual thing that we had never seen before in any of these animals," Ridgway recalls, "which was, he overinflated the two large sacs that kind of collect air to make sound."

This all took place in the mid-1980s. After a few years, NOC stopped talking. He lived to be 30 and died five years ago. Ridgway just published his research in the journal Current Biology. He says he would have done it earlier, but thought a talking whale was a "side issue."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Whales are among the great communicators of the animal world. They produce all sorts of sounds - squeaks, whistles, even epic arias. Well, a study out this week tells the story of one whale that, years ago, did something that's apparently never been documented before or since. He imitated human speech. NPR's Christopher Joyce has the story.

CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: The beluga, or white whale, is smallish as whales go and very cute, if you're into marine mammals. They're called the canaries of the sea because they're very vocal.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHALES)

JOYCE: These sounds, from National Geographic's website, are for things like echolocation, like bats do, or basic communication, as in, Hello, honey, I'm home. But a white whale at San Diego's National Marine Mammal Foundation did something different. NOC, as he was called, lived in an enclosure in the bay. Biologist Sam Ridgway was there one day when divers were swimming nearby.

SAM RIDGWAY: Well, this one diver surfaced next to the whale pen and said, who told me to get out? And the supervisor said, nobody said anything.

JOYCE: A curious Ridgway started recording NOC. And this is what he heard.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHALE)

JOYCE: Audiograms of NOC's chatter showed that the rhythm and pitch were different from normal whale sounds and very similar to human speech. In fact, NOC had lowered the pitch of his sounds several octaves below normal. Ridgway says there's no reason to think that NOC understood speech. He was just mimicking humans he'd heard.

RIDGWAY: I think there were from divers using underwater communication equipment.

JOYCE: When NOC was mimicking humans, Ridgway looked inside the whale's nose.

RIDGWAY: He did an unusual thing that we had never seen before in any of these animals, which was he over-inflated the two large sacs that kind of collect air to make sound.

JOYCE: This all took place in the mid-1980s. After a few years, NOC stopped talking and has since died. Ridgway just published his research in the journal Current Biology. He says he would have done it earlier, but thought a talking whale was a side issue. Christopher Joyce, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.