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.

"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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After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":


'Curiosity' Signals From Mars That We Can Solve Our Problems On Earth

Aug 7, 2012
Originally published on August 7, 2012 9:36 pm

Our world seems so broken now and so much of it seems our own fault. The whole of our infrastructure — from highways to high schools, power-grids to public universities — seem on the verge of crumbling. The resources to repair or expand these arteries of public life are gone, we are told, in part because four years ago the economy was jerked to halt through (what appear to be) selective acts of titanic greed and apocalyptic mismanagement.

So we turn to our political structures to solve these great issues, only to find they are frozen. Serious debate and discourse have become impossible and, it seems, only the loudest, most intransigent, most divisive voices are given the stage.

Meanwhile, the respiration of the planet — its pathways of atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere — have all shifted, an unintended consequence of our own culture building. The climate is changing. Yet we can't even begin a serious conversation about that reality. We face radical new challenges that demand a new kind of national maturity. Our response suggests that we've come down with a national contagion of puerile incompetence.

And then along comes Curiosity.

By now everyone has seen the insane set of maneuvers required to get a ton of mobile robot laboratory onto the surface of Mars. The "7 Minutes of Terror" video went viral precisely because it showed just how hard, how impossible, this problem was to solve.

"Rocket powered 'skycrane'? Yeah, that's gonna work"

But it did work. The nearly 10,000 men and women working on the Mars Science Laboratory applied their best efforts, their most serious efforts and they solved their problem. They stepped up to the plate, worked together night and day and made it happen. And who were these people? Where did they come from?

Curiosity could never have built, could never have flown and could never have completed its daring touchdown onto the floor of Gale Crater without the overlapping efforts of government, universities and private industry. Some of these folks probably voted Republican in the last election and some voted Democrat. Some go to church each week and rely on the power of faith. Some don't understand what faith means. None of that matters. They worked together and solved an impossible and unsolvable problem.

Now that the fruit of their efforts is shaking the Martian dust off its chassis and prepping for its real mission (searching for signs of ancient life), we can step back and understand Curiosity's real meaning for us as Americans and as citizens of the only (known) habitable world in this solar system.

We can solve problems. We can solve really big, really scary and really impossible problems. We can do amazing things. But we can only do these things when, collectively, we step up and take on the mantle of adulthood. We can only do these amazing things when we set aside the childish pleasures of fits and tantrums and rise to the level of responsibility that maturity demands.

The challenges we face — from climate change to resource depletion — have appeared just now because we are at a turning point in our evolution. You don't alter you planet's atmospheric chemistry unless you have reached a certain level of, let's say, "ability". But to paraphrase Spiderman's uncle, abilities come with responsibility and responsibility demands maturity. As a species, we are called to new kinds of behaviors never before seen in the entire history of our evolution. Curiosity shows that, perhaps, we are ready. It shows us that we can face impossible challenges and find real, successful solutions.

We can do anything if we are creative, if we are responsible in our collaborations, if we step up to the demands of our families, our communities, our nation and our planet as adults.

You can keep up with more of what Adam Frank is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter @AdamFrank4. His latest book is About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit