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.

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.

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 vegetables 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.


So, Would You Eat A Panda?

Oct 18, 2012

A Chinese scientist recently suggested that prehistoric humans ate pandas. The evidence, based on cut marks on panda bones, strikes me as thin, but the report led me to a thought experiment.

How would people in the modern world react if the some population or subculture today made panda-foraging a goal? I imagine most of us would be horrified, and not only because the panda is an endangered species. The panda has become a symbol of cuteness, an animal we love to love.

Although some pretty neat research is underway seeking a genetic substrate for certain taste preferences, anthropologists know that what people choose to eat and what we find out of the question to eat is a deeply cultural matter. What we consume is bound up in a specific time and place with family, tradition, and ethnic identity in complicated ways.

Many of us can probably remember a time when, traveling far from home, we felt incredulous at what foods people around us were eating with nonchalance — or with lip-smacking enthusiasm.

Years ago, newly arrived in Gabon, West Africa, and about to study captive chimpanzees, I dined at a small rural restaurant. Selecting chicken from the menu, I was urged to try another dish: monkey. I couldn't imagine eating a monkey! I was after all, devoting my professional life to observing monkeys and apes, whom I knew to be thinking and feeling creatures. When my chicken and French fries arrived, I discovered coarse black hairs nestled among the food. Part of the monkey had slipped onto my plate after all.

I picked out and discarded the monkey hairs. But I ate the chicken without a second thought.

These days, I couldn't eat that chicken any more than I could eat the monkey. Although not in ways as complex as primates, chickens do, science tells us, think and feel.

I still very occasionally eat fish. And I seem to have a harder and harder time understanding how any of us draw the line about what we will and won't eat.

In the same way that panda-eating wouldn't be acceptable to most of us in this country, there was outrage expressed when a Colorado restaurant put lion on the menu for a special event. The lion was soon enough removed from the menu, but other exotic species such as kangaroo and water buffalo were not.

So what is it about lions and pandas — and cats and dogs? What keeps these animals off our dining tables, when we readily consume, say, pigs and chickens? And we don't just eat pigs and chickens, we rhapsodize about eating them. In last Sunday's Food magazine of The New York Times, Mario Batali wrote blissfully about the odd foods he encountered on a visit to Tokyo, ranging from pork uterus to chicken kneecaps, using words like "exciting" and "heavenly."

Of course, I'm generalizing. Millions of vegetarians and vegans don't eat chicken kneecaps, or any other part of chickens, turkeys, pigs, lambs or cows. I don't either. People in that category hope, for the animals' sake and for the sake of human health, that people lucky enough to have an economic choice in the matter will eat less of these creatures or none at all.

So are we non-meat-eaters bucking cultural tradition, and forging a new identity based on what we don't eat instead of what we do eat? We're not just non-panda-eaters, like everyone else. In this country, at least, we are still an anomaly, and an evolutionary anomaly at that.

In the Homo lineage, according to new research by anthropologist Henry Bunn on our hominid ancestors from Olduvai, Tanzania, we've been big-game hunters for longer than I'd ever thought: about 2 million years. We've been eating meat for longer than that, via scavenging or taking small game opportunistically.

Our evolutionary history, though, cannot explain what each of us finds delectable or disgusting today. And it shouldn't, and doesn't, define our dietary choices, either.

You can keep up with more of what Barbara is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape

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