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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

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!":


Dreams Of Travel To The Moon, And Beyond

Aug 29, 2012

The recent passing of Neil Armstrong brings back vivid memories of being huddled with my cousins in front of a large b&w TV on July 20, 1969, incredulous eyes popping out of our heads.

The transformative power of this most amazing feat was such that, even in distant Rio de Janeiro to a 10-year-old boy, the image of an American astronaut actually walking on our natural satellite quickly acquired the power of a mythic vision. If Man could do this, if American science could do this, I wanted to do this too.

Given the realities of growing up in Brazil in the 1970s, it was to my imagination that I turned. I proceeded to learn the science of how to go to the moon and, no less importantly, dove into fictional tales of travel to its surface.

As space pioneer Robert H. Goddard said, "It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow."

In perhaps no other area is science's debt to fiction as clear as in space exploration.

Looking at some of the first fictional narratives of travel to the moon, one is doubly struck by how freely the imagination runs in the absence of actual data, and by how remarkably difficult it is to transform imagination into reality. To dream of going to the moon and actually landing there are two very different things. Both should be celebrated as complementary aspects of our humanity, as dreamers and as inventors: every invention starts with a dream.

The first fictional tale of a trip to the Moon on record apparently belongs to the Roman rhetorician and satirist Lucian (c. 120 CE), who, in spite of being credited as Roman, was ethnically Assyrian and wrote in Greek. In a feat that inspired many of the first who wrote of imagined trips to other worlds, such as Johannes Kepler, Cyrano de Bergerac, Jonathan Swift and Voltaire, Lucian tells the story of how he, in the company of 50 other sailors, set off to the explore the oceans to see where they ended when:

"a sudden [and] most violent whirlwind arose and carried the ship above three thousand stadia, lifting it up above the water, from whence it did not let us down again into the seas but kept us suspended in mid air. In this manner we hung for seven days and nights, and on the eighth beheld a large tract of land, like an island, round, shining, and remarkably full of light ..." (Note: one stadium equals 607 feet.)

Once on the Moon, the explorers get embroiled in all sorts of adventures, including a war against the kingdom of the sun and its creatures which, in a tradition Lucian links to Homer and the monsters of his Ulysses, tend to be bizarre. War, it seems, is an inescapable condition of human-like creatures, a sort of incurable infirmity. Or, as Lucian wrote, "Well may they say war is the parent of all things."

I wonder what the stoic and quietly heroic Neil Armstrong made of stories such as Lucian's. Although he deemed himself "a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer," he also had moments of deep inspiration, as in his statement to a 2001 NASA oral history project:

"Looking back, we were really very privileged to live in that thin slice of history where we changed how man looks at himself, and what he might become, and where he might go."

To this now grown-up boy, Armstrong remains a beacon of light in a world in dire need of such heroes.

You can keep up with more of what Marcelo is thinking on Facebook and Twitter @mgleiser.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit