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.


Sunflowers Seen Flying Through Empty Desert. Why?

Nov 2, 2012

I've been hearing strange wind stories all my life. The best ones are both wildly improbable but still true, like how the Empire State Building gets hit by wafts of barley flying in on jet streams from Iowa, or how tons of sand from the Saharan desert rain down every year onto Brazilian rainforests. You never know what the wind will bring. The wind decides.

Here's a new one. I found it in Craig Childs' latest book, which is an adventure/science tale that takes you to extreme environments all over the world. In a chapter about deserts, something utterly improbable happens.

To set the scene, Craig and his friend Devin are hiking across an isolated, treeless Mexican sea of sand, dunes in all directions, nothing around, nothing near, no sound but the wind. Craig is pausing to rest.

Then, out of the blue, he sees something.

"A single yellow sunflower petal blew over the dune crest. It was captured for a moment in the small, swift drum of air where I was reclining. The petal circled several times, ticking and tapping.

"So there was life. Somewhere. I wondered, could it be a flower abandoned years ago, buried, dried and only now exhumed? Or was it grown from a stray rain, didn't get far enough to seed?

"I almost snatched it with my fingers, but it quickly kept going. I was watching it flutter away, clicking across the sand, when a second petal took its place in the lee. Like the one before, it tumbled several times and then shot off. A third followed, and after that another. I crawled to the crest to look over, wondering what I was to see, perhaps an army of sunflowers blowing in my direction?

"Across glinting sand, I caught sight of a train of a few flower parts jogging ahead of one another in the wind. Petals continued arriving in twos or threes by themselves until every one had been presented. It seemed impossible, something I did not know could happen in the world, a flower anatomically divided but unaccountably kept together. How many miles had it traveled in this fashion?

"Next came the detritus of pistils and stamens, an excited trail of nuptials jumping into place. Last to go were bits of dried leaves and stem hurrying to catch up. For a while, I couldn't move. Why in the world would one sunflower be in the middle of the desert? And how could this have happened to it, caught in a self-organizing wind, an act of chance that seemed highly unlikely."

Is there some way to explain what happened here? A rogue sunflower, from where he doesn't know, scampers by, leaping through the air and is gone, followed by a parade of sunflower parts, moving in a tight cluster — Why? Maybe some seeds got loose, got wet, sprouted and got carried away? Or maybe on a far distant road, someone hurled sunflowers in anger into a curiously stubborn breeze? Surely there's an explanation.

But Craig knows, and we know, that whatever it is, the wind won't tell.

Craig Childs'book is Apocalytic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth. Our illustrator, Vin Liota, is a reporter/producer/designer who frequently contributes to NOVA Science Now and ABC News. Last time he was here, he drew images of human hair growing very slowly. He can do anything.

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