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.


Celebrating Autumn All Year Round ... By Becoming A Leaf

Oct 29, 2012
Originally published on October 29, 2012 11:04 am

It is autumn, and where I live the leaves are peaking; there is a riot of them everywhere, narrow ones, broad ones, droopy ones, crunchy ones. Leaves come in so many shapes, hues, textures — the closer you look, the more differences you see. Botanists have names for every leaf type, and clumped together, says writer Robert Dunn, they sound like free verse poetry ...

pinnate, ciliate, barbellate, bearded, canescent, glabrous, glandular, viscid, scurfy, floccose, arachnoid, and my favorite, tomentose (covered with woolly hairs).

But to us, they're just leaves, and this week they're just winding up their show, taking a last shot at the sunshine before they catch a breeze and waft away. This is their brief time to be admired.

Which we do. And then we go on to other things. That's why I'd like to introduce you to a better class of leaf admirer.

The creatures I'm talking about don't drive to a Vermont hotel for one weekend a year. No, they spend every day of their lives not just liking leaves, but pretending to be leaves, which I think is a much higher form of praise.

Check out these leaf mimic katydids. They're not content to just look like a plain green leaf. "That would be too easy," says entomologist and wildlife photographer Piotr Naskrecki.

"No, their bodies are perfect replicas of leaves that have been chewed up, torn, rotten, dried up, partially decayed, or covered by fungi. Some even have fake holes in their wings (fake, because the holes are in fact thin, translucent parts of the wing membrane.)"

This next one, a Costa Rican Leaf katydid, goes a step further. It looks like a leaf that's been eaten, or has what's called a "necrotic" or diseased edge. A monkey looking around for a juicy katydid to munch on would have a hard time seeing this as anything but a leaf.

This isn't, by the way, a standard act of mime. You won't find thousands of katydids with the exact same bite-on-the-edge look. "No two individuals are alike," says Piotr Naskrecki. In fact, "you can find individuals whose appearance is so dramatically different that one would feel justified to place them in different species." But they're not. These are, you should excuse the expression, artists: individuals pretending, in their very different ways, to be a leaf.

The biological explanation is that the tamarind monkeys who want to eat them are excellent hunters. They comb through foliage, unfurl leaves, and look closely for insects hiding in plain sight. If katydids had 10 standard imitations, the monkeys would learn those types and spot them every time, but says Piotr, "when every individual in the katydid population looks slightly different, then the task of finding them is much more difficult."

And now comes my finish: This is the most beautiful deceit of all – and it's seasonally appropriate!

This here is a leaf katydid from Guyana. See if you can find it.

These insects don't have hidden colors under their wings that they can flash to frighten predators. They're just boringly brown. So when a predator approaches, they do what October leaves do where I live. They float gently to the ground and play dead.

Meryl Streep would be jealous.

You can learn about these katydids in more detail on Piotr Naskrecki's blog, called "The Smaller Majority". He takes the photos, he tells the stories, he knows the science. He also posts all the time, so if you are hungry for bug stories of every sort, check him out. He also has a new book, just published, called Relics.

But if your passion is leafy, not buggy, then may I suggest yet another great leaf appreciator. This one doesn't just gaze at leaves, or pretend to be one; instead, he scissors them into startlingly funny shapes, taking leaves to places they've never been before. His name is Christoph Niemann, and if you haven't seen his leaves, you haven't experienced the full possibilities of autumn.

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