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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!":


The Drummer Who Blows Bubbles At Gigs

Sep 4, 2012

Two bubbles found they had rainbows on their curves.
They flickered out saying:
"It was worth being a bubble just to have held that rainbow thirty seconds."

That's the poem "Bubbles," by Carl Sandburg. It contains a sentiment appropriate for a jazz musician, whose quests for even 30 irretrievable seconds of ebullient synchronicity consumes their professional lives. Incidentally, it inspired the drummer Matt Wilson to write a song. "So that's why I chose that particular poem and that particular way of writing the tune, to have that sort of enthusiasm and joy, and also just a kind of reckless abandon for life in that tune," Wilson told NPR's Guy Raz earlier this year. You can see his Arts and Crafts Quartet perform that song below — Wilson recites the poem as the music tapers off.

There are no actual bubbles, but don't put it past Matt Wilson. Here he is again: "[S]ometimes at gigs, we blow bubbles. And I think it gives people another chance to sort of feel part of it. That's what I really feel, like, that I want to do in performances, is really involve the people. I always say that the more that you can get people to laugh, the more chances you have to really touch them to cry." This is coming from the man behind the Christmas Tree-O, Armando Slice, "School Boy Thug" and breaking into costume as The Allower in the middle of delivering a commencement address.

This week, Matt Wilson leads the Arts and Crafts quartet at the Village Vanguard. WBGO and NPR Music will offer a live video webcast (and recording) of the first set on Wednesday night, Sept. 5, at 9 p.m. ET. Wilson has performed at the Vanguard many times; the first time I ever went to the venue, for instance, he was playing in the Buster Williams quartet. But this is the first time he's ever led a band there.

As for the music itself, it seems to reflect his personality. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviewed this band's latest album, An Attitude for Gratitude, earlier this year. He noted that Wilson has a serious side, but found that his band was full of endearing "odd strokes." "That's brilliant playing [from trumpeter Terell Stafford], but a little manic, which gets to the heart of this quartet's appeal," Whitehead said. "The players all get on Matt Wilson's slightly warped wavelength."

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