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!":


A Put-Upon Hardbody, But A 'Teddy Bear' At Heart

Aug 21, 2012
Originally published on August 22, 2012 8:33 pm

Set in contemporary Denmark and in Thailand, Mads Matthiesen's Teddy Bear is a sweetly muted domestic drama struggling to contain a fierce and ancient folk tale.

The hero, Dennis — a 300-pound bodybuilder with a lovable touch of Shrek — has an absent father and a tiny witch of a mother whose parenting is a twisted cocktail of dominatrix and coquette. (If your mother conducted bathroom business with you alongside at age 38, you'd have issues too.)

In a desperate bid for freedom, Dennis, a gentle giant played with quiet diffidence by real-life bodybuilder Kim Kold, journeys to a far-off land. There he plays Gulliver in Lilliput to a bunch of mischievous sex pixies — hookers and mail-order brides hovering around the age of consent.

Despite his thuggish looks, Dennis is a sensitive soul who's hungry for love. So the sex tourism goes badly, until he meets some friendly goblins — local bodybuilders for whom Dennis, to his innocent delight, is a legend — and a seasoned princess named Toi (Lamaiporn Sangmanee Hougaard). A widow who owns the gym where Dennis finds a haven from all the loveless hyper-sexuality, Toi has a lot of patience for a prince with a whole lot of baggage and next to no experience.

Back home, though, the mere existence of a rival for her son's affections brings out every potion in the wicked witch's arsenal. Played with insidious relish (and a telling lick of desperation) by veteran Danish actress Elsebeth Steentoft, Mom sulks, threatens, castrates and manipulates as needed, and for a while it looks as though she may prevail.

Dennis' graduation to adulthood makes a touching, often funny story, its protagonists' awkward decency enhanced by the stiff performances of the mostly non-pro actors. As a love story, though, Teddy Bear is a touch thin, perhaps because the warm heart it wears on its sleeve keeps cracking to reveal buried domestic horror. Talk about something rotten in Denmark.

Dennis never knew his father, nor what early terrors in her own life turned his mother into such a gorgon, so it's right that we're left in the dark too. What's hard to fathom, though, is how Dennis grew into such a mensch.

It's true that some children have mysterious survival instincts that sustain them against the odds of their upbringing, and Matthiesen makes canny use of silence to evoke the pent-up longing for emotional connection of this bossed-around man-child. Dennis doesn't say much — he doesn't know how — but his actions bespeak a soul of incorruptible purity.

Deprived as he is of the rites of passage into manhood, he seems strangely incapable of Oedipal rage. His gentlemanly separation from Mom seems lifted from some inspirational Lifetime playbook.

Yet there's aggression in the visceral physicality of Dennis's pumped-up body, with its grotesquely enlarged muscles and the threatening tattoos snaking up his enormous back to his preternaturally thick neck. At the gym — the only place where he feels competent and can express untrammeled masculinity — Shrek morphs into the Incredible Hulk. Intended or not, there's something frightening about Dennis's size, about his endless bicep-flexing. For all his civility, there's reason to give thanks that Dennis found love. If not for that, he might be an axe-murderer waiting to happen. (Recommended)

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit