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.

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Cities: Salvation Or Infestation?

Oct 23, 2012
Originally published on November 5, 2012 4:30 pm

Last week I completed my series on physics and cities for the NPR Cities Project and, in the process, managed to piss off a more than a few people.

The problem, in their eyes was my use of a simple metaphor: cities as an infestation. In their eyes I was a city hater, an anti-civilization tree hugger, a Birkenstock-wearing, back-to-nature, tofu-eating, Luddite. No matter that I'm a native of the greatest damn metropolitan hub on the planet (that's right, New York, I am looking at you!), somehow my use of that image meant I was blind to the virtues of cities.

So I thought I would set the record straight, not about how much I love cities but about the basic idea behind the piece. Here is the question: Is a sustainable high tech culture possible and, if so, what does it look like?

There are lots of ways to formulate an answer: policy, politics, population etc. But for me there is a different perspective that shifts the emphasis entirely. What happens if we look at the history of life in the context of the history of the planet as a whole? The problem of sustainability is, after all, inherently taken from a planetary perspective.

By looking at the history of life and the planet together we see how biotic activity can change its own planetary environment. The early forms of Earth's life were anaerobic bacteria, creatures that could not survive in an oxygen-rich environment. But, through their own activity, that is exactly what was created. All that oxygen forced them, literally, from the Earth's surface. So, from these microbe's perspective, their own population growth might have appeared to be an infestation – i.e. they were overrunning the planet in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening or obnoxious.

Which brings us around to cities. Some time around 6,000 years ago (give or take a few) we began organizing ourselves into a city building species. The agricultural revolution, 5-6,000 years previous to that, had made food surpluses possible. Cities were the cultural revolution that made effective use of those surpluses. Since then cities have been the engine of our greatest achievements, the cauldron of our most fecund flights of imagination and the test beds for our most daring innovations.

The steady, relentless push into cities was wildly accelerated with the birth of industry and our discovery of fossil fuels. Now urban complexes ring our continents and the shift of humans from rural to city life continues apace.

So what's the problem? Well, it can be stated pretty simply. There are lots of lines of evidence telling us the current model for cities is unsustainable. Climate change and the stresses it its likely to exert on our economies is the most obvious example of how are current model fails. But does that mean cities themselves are the problem and we should all move back to the farm?

Of course not.

What it means is we have to rethink how cities work and this is where it gets exciting. Urban agriculture and rooftop farms could be part of the solution. There are proposals to make buildings more like plants so that they can get everything they need right where they sit. There are opportunities for using Big Data to make urban energy consumption hyper efficient. In a thousand-thousand ways — some big and some small — there are opportunities to reimagine how cities work and how we work within them. That is pretty awesome.

With seven billion people and counting, it is likely that the density and efficiencies cities enable might be our only hope for a vibrant, high-tech and sustainable civilization. And with 70 percent of the world's population expected to move into cities by 2050, do we really have any choice?


You can keep up with more of what Adam Frank is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter: @AdamFrank4

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.