When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

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.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

It wasn't his lovably disheveled wardrobe, or his Elvis ring, but something else: the force of his flamboyant personality. Margolis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, didn't want to fit in with the crowd. He wanted to stand out.

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.

Pages

With Growth Of 'Hacker Scouting,' More Kids Learn To Tinker

Dec 23, 2012
Originally published on December 23, 2012 12:41 pm

Countless kids have grown up with the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts or Campfire Girls, but for some families, the uniforms and outdoor focus of traditional Scouting groups don't appeal.

In recent months, Scoutlike groups that concentrate on technology and do-it-yourself projects have been sprouting up around the country. They're coed and, like traditional Scouting organizations, award patches to kids who master skills.

Ace Monster Toys is a hacker space in Oakland, Calif., where members share high-tech tools. Normally, grown-ups congregate there, working on electronics or woodworking projects. But two Sundays a month, the place is overrun by 50 kids and their parents for the gatherings of a group called Hacker Scouts.

The kids in Hacker Scouts are not breaking into computer networks. They make things with their hands, and at this particular meeting they are learning to solder and are building "judobots," small robots made out of wooden Popsicle sticks.

On this warm fall day, Alicia Davis, 10, is wearing a wool hat she knit herself. As her dad stands nearby, she sews an LED bracelet with conductive thread.

"I've been sewing on little felt pieces with this," Davis explains. "The battery will power the LEDs and light up. It's pretty cool."

Crafting, Computers And The Physical World

Chris Cook, one of the parents active in organizing the Hacker Scouts, serves as president of the hacker space where the Scouts meet. He says the group has expressly targeted kids between the ages of 8 to 14.

"It's old enough where they're ready to start developing skills, [but] they're not so old that they've already been set in their ways," Cook says, "and they're more interested in what their peer groups are doing."

"So, we felt it's the right kind of time to expose them to how to craft with their hands — how to take things from a computer and put them into the physical world," Cook says.

The Hacker Scouts don't wear uniforms, but soon they'll be able to earn something akin to merit badges, made by the kid-friendly DIY electronics company Adafruit Industries.

Badges range from "learn to solder," "aerial quadcopter" and "high-altitude balloon" badges to the "Dumpster-diving" badge — "for when you get dirty but get some free stuff," explains Adafruit founder Limor Fried.

The thought of a bunch of Hacker Scouts Dumpster-diving may be unsettling, but recycling and repurposing are big with hacker groups. Grace McFadden, 11, of Madison, Conn., recently repurposed juice cartons into the soles of a pair of felt slippers, earning her a "salvager badge" from DIY.org, a new website for kids.

The site awards more than 40 badges for skills ranging from bike mechanic to "special effects wizard," and has started producing how-to videos for DIY projects, like a shoebox harp made from a box, a pencil and some rubber bands.

"Right now, I really like making paper airplanes and origami," McFadden says. "I have a whole fleet of paper airplanes." She learned to make them, she says, using an app on her iPod and by looking online.

A Scouting Handbook For Young Hackers

There are now 32,000 kids registered with DIY.org, which plans to organize local clubs around the country. The website even has an animated anthem exhorting kids to "build, make, hack and grow."

The site's chief creative officer, Isaiah Saxon, says the group plans to create the digital equivalent of a Scouting handbook for mobile devices.

"We hope that people's smartphones are eventually the Swiss army knife of our movement," Saxon says. "And that you go out into the woods ... point your phone at a tree and peel it open [to] learn about the wood underneath."

Saxon also plans to offer visual guides and "amazing experiences on the fly through these powerful handheld computers," he says.

As these efforts take off online, the hacker Scout movement is also spreading around the country. Seattle now has a science-focused group called "Geek Scouts," and a couple of tribes — not troops — of "Maker Scouts" are being formed in Milwaukee and Charleston, S.C.

Jon Kalish is a Manhattan-based radio reporter and podcast producer. For links to radio docs, podcasts & DIY stories, visit http://jonkalish.tumblr.com.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A lot of kids grow up participating in the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. I remember selling my fair share of Thin Mints. But it's to for everyone, the uniforms, cookie sales, and camping aren't that appealing to some families. So recently, other scout-like groups have been sprouting up around the country, and their focus is on technology, do-it-yourself or DIY projects. These are co-ed and, like the traditional scouting organizations, if you master a skill, you get a patch.

Jon Kalish reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF CONVERSATIONS)

JON KALISH, BYLINE: Ace Monster Toys is an adult hackerspace in Oakland, California, where members share high-tech tools. Normally, there are grown-ups here working on electronics or woodworking projects. But on a Sunday afternoon, this place is overrun by 50 kids and their parents for the bi-monthly gathering of a group called Hacker Scouts.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If you are doing a Judobot, you can head down the stairs into the room at the bottom of the stairs.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Compressed air rockets at this table.

KALISH: The kids in Hacker Scouts are not breaking into computer networks. They make things with their hand. And at this particular meeting they are learning to solder and building Judobots, small robots made out of wooden Popsicle sticks.

On this warm fall day, 10-year-old Alicia Davis is wearing a wool had she had knitted. As her dad stands nearby, she sits sewing an LED bracelet with conductive thread.

ALICIA DAVIS: I've been sewing on little felt pieces with this. The battery will power the LED's and light up. It's pretty cool.

KALISH: One of the parents, active in organizing the Hacker Scouts, is Chris Cook who serves as president of the adult hackerspace where the Hacker Scouts meet.

CHRIS COOK: We've expressly targeted the eight- to 14-year-olds. It's old enough where they're ready to start developing skills. They're not so old that they've already been set in their ways and they're more interested in what their peer groups are doing. So, we felt it's the right kind of time to expose them to how to craft with their hands, how to take things from a computer and put them in the physical world.

KALISH: The Hacker Scouts don't wear uniforms but soon they'll be able to earn something akin to merit badges. And the badges are made by Adafruit Industries in New York. Becky Stern and Limor Fried showed me a few of their favorites.

BECKY STERN: I like the Quadcopter Badge, so your Aerial Quadcopter. And then this is the High-Altitude Balloon Badge.

LIMOR FRIED: This is the Learn to Solder Badge, so you can learn to solder. We have the Dumpster-Diving Badge for when you get dirty but get some free stuff.

KALISH: The thought of a bunch of Hacker Scouts dumpster diving may be unsettling but recycling and re-purposing are big with hacker groups. A new DIY website for kids is awarding badges for salvaging and foraging. Eleven-year-old Grace McFadden of Madison, Connecticut, used a recycled juice carton as the soles of a pair of felt slippers she made, and got herself a Salvager Badge.

GRACE MCFADDEN: Right now, I really like making paper airplanes and origami. I have a whole fleet of paper airplanes.

KALISH: And how did you learn how to make them?

MCFADDEN: Well, I have this app on my iPod and I just looked online.

KALISH: McFadden shares photos of the stuff she makes on DIY.org - a San Francisco-based website - that awards more than 40 badges for skills ranging from bike mechanic to special effects wizard. The website has started producing how-to videos for DIY projects.

(SOUNDBITE OF A DIY PROJECT VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Shoebox harp.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: You'll need a shoebox, some scissors, a pencil and a few rubber bands.

KALISH: There are now 32,000 kids registered on DIY.org which plans to organize local clubs around the country. The website has an animated anthem exhorting kids to build, make, hack and grow.

(SOUNDBITE OF A DIY PROJECT VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Singing) Build, make, hack, grow.

CHORUS: (Singing) Build, make, hack, grow. Build, make, hack, grow...

KALISH: DIY.org's chief creative officer, Isaiah Saxon, says they plan to create the digital equivalent of a scouting handbook for mobile devices.

ISAIAH SAXON: We hope that people's smartphones are eventually the Swiss Army knife of our movement. And that you go out into the woods and can point your phone at a tree and peel it open and learn about the wood underneath. And we can provide visual guides and amazing experiences on the fly through these powerful handheld computers.

KALISH: The Hacker Scout movement is spreading around the country. Seattle now has a science-focused group called Geek Scouts. And a couple of tribes, not troops, of Maker Scouts are being formed in Milwaukee and Charleston.

For NPR News, I'm Jon Kalish.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.