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!":


To Some Runners, Zombies Are A Killer Motivator

Sep 4, 2012

Some people run for charity; some run for their health. And some run because it's the only way to escape the ravenous brain-eating zombies who chase them. No, that's not a movie plot. It's essentially the pitch for Run for Your Lives, a "zombie-infested 5K obstacle race" whose popularity has surprised even its organizers.

After they came up with the zombie idea, race co-founder Derrick Smith tells Ryan O'Hanlon of Outside magazine, he and his friend Ryan Hogan gathered a staff of seven to help them organize the first-ever Run for Your Lives event near Baltimore, Md., last October.

"Then 12,000 people showed up," O'Hanlon writes.

The draw seems to be what Smith calls "extreme distraction" — an event that's so outside the norm that it can't help but be fun. Less than a year later, Run for Your Lives has spread (yes, like a virus), with 12 races planned this year in cities from Austin to Toronto. And people are signing up by the thousands. Smith says they should finish 2012 with 75,000-85,000 participants.

During the race, waves of runners hit the course wearing "health flags" on their waists — one on each side, and one in back. Along the way, they must navigate obstacles, harried by slow-footed but determined zombies. The race allows participants to sign up for either role. And those who choose "zombie" often take their roles — and their makeup — very seriously.

The Race FAQ answers the question "Can I bring weapons to protect myself against the undead?" with the answer, "No. You only weapons will be your abilities to run away and make quick decisions. Train well."

Some runners might choose to train by using a smartphone app with the uncomplicated title, Zombies, RUN! The app gives runners a game-like atmosphere in which they can tie their real-world runs with the tasks you might need to achieve in order to survive a zombie apocalypse — things like finding cans of food, or medical supplies.

The idea for the game came to writer Naomi Alderman, she says, while she sat in a running class. There, she realized that one thing that would inspire her would be the need "to be able to out run the zombie horde," as Alderman said on All Things Considered earlier this year.

That kind of practical/fantastical motivation drives participants to pay $77 and up to take part in the Run for Your Lives race.

There's just one problem, Smith tells O'Hanlon: Everybody wants to be a zombie.

"Zombies are really popular," he says. "Maybe its supply and demand, but we don't sell as many runner tickets as we do zombies. In the first two months, we sold out all of our zombie tickets for the whole year."

The zombie cognoscenti might spot a potential loophole here — say you allow yourself to be overcome by the lifeless horde; wouldn't you then be transformed into one of the undead?

Alas, no.

"If all of your flags have been taken while you are running the course, you are NOT automatically transformed into a zombie and you may NOT take another runner's flags, chase other runners, or pick up flags off of the ground," according to the race rules.

The race draws a wide range of athletes, Smith tells Outside.

"We're getting a lot of people saying 'Hey, this is the first time I've had a reason to run,'" he says. "I think we've found a niche of people who usually had hobbies that were more indoors—like video games, like comic books, that sort of thing—but the love of zombies can get them off the couch and do something maybe a little healthier."

The group's website shows that some real thought has gone into its partnerships. There's Subaru — "the official escape vehicle of the zombie apocalypse" — and of course, the American Red Cross.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit