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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!":


Let's Rush To Judgment: 'Liberal Arts'

Aug 21, 2012

Josh Radnor has been playing the much-maligned — and I would perhaps say overly maligned — Ted Mosby on How I Met Your Mother since 2005. We've known for a while that he's ultimately interested in being a filmmaker — his 2010 film Happythankyoumoreplease got mixed reviews, but won an Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Now, he's back with Liberal Arts, co-starring Elizabeth Olsen, whose last big splash wasMartha Marcy May Marlene. It opens in limited release in the U.S. on September 14.

I see two possible gut-level problems with this film. First, what Radnor is doing here reminds me far too much of the ultimately unsatisfying path taken by Zach Braff (uch), whose Garden State I liked, but who then appeared in some really annoying stuff, especially the icky trapped-between-two-supermodels fantasy The Last Kiss, which he didn't write or direct but which is frankly gross anyway.

The second problem is that the trailer reminds me too much of a lot of other indie films, especially those containing — and pardon me for employing this term, which is now a cliche, but it applies — the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. It doesn't help that Radnor has taken a character who's already younger than he is and called her "Zibby." Which probably sounds perfectly fine on the women who are actually named Zibby (who do exist), but which can sound in an indie movie like either it's made up to sound whimsical or it's perhaps a hamster's name. In other words, I don't think it's inherently a silly name, but I fear that the script thinks it's a "fun" name.

On the other hand, Josh Radnor is not Zach Braff, and it's not his fault they're both dark-haired young dudes who came out of sitcom success to direct indie movies about tortured dark-haired young dudes tempted by young and beautiful waifs.

And while I really only know Olsen from Marcy so far, she does seem like a wonderfully earthy actress, even in this trailer, and I'm not sure they're playing the notes of wackiness that so often make the MPDG frustrating. As much as I don't like that cliche, I also don't want to see every young actress shoved into it just because she happens to be young and involved in a romantic plot. With a mope. And named "Zibby."

On the other-other hand, there has to be a way of structuring a trailer so it doesn't seem quite so much like every other trailer.

What do you think?

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