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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

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.

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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.

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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.


A Historical Account Of Revolution In Present Tense

Oct 15, 2012
Originally published on October 15, 2012 10:10 am

H.W. Brands is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace.

Every year, I have my graduate students read the great works of history, from classical times to the present. They gamely tackle Tacitus, ponder Plutarch, plow through Gibbon. Then they get to Thomas Carlyle and feel like Dorothy when she touched down in Technicolor Oz.

Carlyle's account of the French Revolution, published in 1837, broke the mold of historical writing by imbuing it with a passion that captured the drama and excitement of the events he depicted. Not for Carlyle the Olympian detachment of Gibbon, who rendered distant judgment on the final days of Rome; rather, Carlyle wades into the mob attacking the Bastille and takes his readers with him. "Roar with all your throats, of cartilage and metal, ye Sons of Liberty ... for it is the hour!" he commands.

Carlyle wrote elsewhere on the heroes of history — the great men who moved world affairs — but in this book, his heroes are the ordinary men and women who, transcending themselves and becoming the spirit of the time, seize history and make it their own. "The huge City has awoke, not to its week-day industry: to what a different one!" he declares:

"The working man has become a fighting man; has one want only: that of arms. The industry of all crafts has paused; -except it be the smith's, fiercely hammering pikes; Paris is in the streets; -rushing, foaming like some Venice wine-glass into which you had dropped poison. The tocsin, by order, is pealing madly from all steeples."

The students in my class are apprentice historians, joined by the odd novelist and screenwriter. We discuss the background of Carlyle's book — how his friend John Stuart Mill asked him to write it to fulfill a contract Mill had made with a publisher but wanted out of, how Carlyle left the only copy of the manuscript at Mill's house, where the maid mistook it for trash and tossed it in the fire. And how the mishap and the required rewriting simply sharpened Carlyle's focus and intensified the emotions he conveys.

I ask the students to explain the immediacy of Carlyle's writing. How does he embed us so deeply in his story, surround us with the swirl of the events he describes? The students examine and reflect; eventually they realize that Carlyle writes history in the present tense. He doesn't tell us what happened; he tells us what is happening.

This isn't done these days, and it wasn't done in Carlyle's day. It's a tricky business, foreshortening the field of view and inviting narrative stumbles. But it re-creates the most fundamental truth of history: that the past was once the present, with a future as unknown to its inhabitants as our future is to us today.

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