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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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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!":

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The Stinkin' Thinkin' of Young Abe Lincoln

Sep 21, 2012

The most beloved, most studied, most-likely-to-get-played-by-Daniel-Day-Lewis man to ever hold the office of President of the United States was himself a house divided.

Scholars have chronicled Abraham Lincoln's lifelong struggle with depression for decades. Historian Joshua Wolf Shenk's 2005 book, Lincoln's Melancholy, delved deeply and with great empathy into Lincoln's condition, revealing how he struggled to manage his bouts of despair — which he referred to in private correspondence as "The Hypo" — even as he was gaining national renown for his wit.

That haunted quality is one of the things that draws us to Lincoln. We see it in photos and busts of the man, as if his chemical imbalance somehow etched those soulful furrows into his brow like wind carves a rockface.

Now, cartoonist Noah Van Sciver, whose 4 Questions strip runs weekly in the Denver alt-weekly Westword (and whose comic book series Blammo is, as mentioned here before, pretty great) has produced his first book-length comic, a historical graphic novel called The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln which focuses on a particularly dark period in Lincoln's life, long before his Presidential term.

Although The Hypo is painstakingly researched, the book is no dry accretion of biographical detail. That's because Van Sciver approach's is so deeply, palpably personal, even idiosyncratic.

His loose, freehand style creates a world where every straight line wobbles a bit, where right angles invariably come out wrong, and everything feels slightly off-plumb. The deliberate and expressive roughness of his linework — which evokes a time before mass-production, when imperfections in furniture and architecture still testified to the human hands that wrought them — gently insinuates itself as we read.

The Hypo begins with young Abraham Lincoln arriving in Springfield, Illinois to start up a law practice. As he rides into town on the back of a donkey, Van Sciver depicts the sky above him as a featureless white expanse. But as the book progresses, and Lincoln's life grows darker — he sinks deeper into debt, his law practice dissolves, his relationship with Mary Todd founders — that sky lowers and grows increasingly oppressive.

Van Sciver darkens his backgrounds with hatching and cross-hatching and intricate detail — in his hands, the sinuous patterns of ivy on a room's wallpapers take on the menacing appearance of choking tentacles — and often frames Lincoln such that, even in the grandest ballroom, the ceiling seems to press down on him.

Van Sciver accomplishes what even the most rigorous and thorough historical accounting cannot. We gain a singular purchase on Lincoln's pysche, we feel what he feels. The Hypo offers us a singular chance to see the world through the eyes of a brilliant, deeply troubled man who does not realize he is destined for greatness — who cannot even imagine getting out of bed the next morning.

Those looking for an inspiring account of an American legend "overcoming" depression through ennobling adversity won't find such a tidy, wouldn't-it-be-pretty-to-think-so narrative here. Even as the book closes on what would seem a happy moment — Lincoln's wedding to Mary Todd — Van Sciver lets us see the doubt and melancholy returning to his features.

Inspiring? No. But achingly familiar, relatably human and — most of all — profoundly real.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.