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 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.

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

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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.


Be Nice To The Moon. Stop Writing On It

Oct 15, 2012
Originally published on October 15, 2012 12:09 pm





This is the moon as Morse code.

Beautiful, yes, but not right. The moon isn't a dot. It's too elegant, too pale, too ghostly to be a bit of "information." It's got moods, changes, and on certain nights it's got a man on it, with eyes and a mouth, and yet some people treat the moon as if it's something you can write on.

All over the world, ham radio operators and Morse code enthusiasts beam dot, dash messages straight at the moon, then wait 2.7 seconds for the signal to bounce back. They call these "E.M.E." transmissions, which stands for "Earth-Moon-Earth" or — more popularly — "moonbouncing." I suppose it's fun to smack little beeps against a sleepy rock 239,000 miles away and have those beeps come flying back at you. Plus, it's easy.

Moonbouncing With The Morse Resource

Anybody with a good transmitter and an antenna "capable of being rotated in both the azimuth and elevation planes" (ask your hardware store or any ham radio jock to explain) can bounce messages off the moon. You don't even have to know Morse code. There's a shortcut. Just type your message ("Happy Birthday, Munchkins!") onto a screen at The Morse Resource and in less than a minute they translate it into long and short beeps you can hurtle moonward. The moon must be twitching.

Not so long ago, a Scottish artist, Katie Paterson, turned Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata into Morse code (yup, you can do that, too) and bounced it off the moon. Some musical phrases got trapped in moon craters and didn't come back, which she found so intriguing, she put the ricocheted, fragmented Moonlight Sonata on a player piano and you can now see her moonbounced, Morse-coded piece being not performed by anyone, the keys going up and down on their own, on YouTube.

The latest insult (for those of us who think being Morse-coded upon is a kind of diss) took place in the dirt of Mars itself. A few weeks ago, NASA began testing its newest rover, Curiosity. They turned it on and let it move a little, and it turns out Curiosity's wheels have little grooves in them that are dots and dashes of Morse code, spelling J ... P ... and L ... for Jet Propulsion Laboratory. You can see them here.

Why dig Morse-coded signals into the soil on Mars? So that NASA can look down from orbiters above and measure how far the rover has gone. Every time they see a new "J", "P" and "L" in Morse, they know the rover has moved a full turn of its wheels, which is a specific distance. It's like a measuring stick. Here's JPL engineer Armen Toorian, to demonstrate ...

I have no argument with NASA's need to measure, or with artists' desire to play Beethoven in odd places, or with ham operators' idea of fun. In each case, the moon is being used as a tablet to write or bounce Samuel Morse's code on. The moon isn't going to complain. Walls don't complain when kids zap them with graffiti. But that doesn't make it right.

This is a Do Unto Others thing. The moon, in its quiet, moonish way, must be peeved.

A fantasy: If I were the moon goddess, Artemis, I'd be asking Zeus to take a bolt of lightning and zap 'em back, so they feel what it's like to be "bounced" on. Take that, Scottish composer! Rover engineer! Ham radio guy! Nothing too painful. Just pings. In Morse.

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