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 Montgomery-ed.org

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 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/.

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Too Busy To Peel Garlic? Try The 20-Second Microwave Tip

Oct 10, 2012
Originally published on October 10, 2012 11:03 am

If I were rich, I might hire a sous chef. But for now, I'm learning to cheat time. And here's a new way I've stumbled upon to save a minute or two every time I use garlic.

Toss it in the microwave. I put the whole bulb in — 15 to 20 seconds will do the trick. It makes peeling much easier. The cloves practically slide -– or pop — out of their skins, though I won't make any promises about stickiness.

But, since I'm on the science desk, I have to ask, how does it work?

I emailed Gavin Sacks, assistant professor in the department of food science at Cornell University. "My guess is that ... the microwave will heat the water in the garlic, causing cells to rupture," he says. The resulting steam breaks the bonds between the skins and the flesh.

Any down side? Well, microwaving the garlic is akin to blanching it, which Sacks explains will partially inactivate some enzymes. "Since the pungent compound in garlic is formed enzymatically, once raw garlic is crushed or cut, it is likely that the resulting microwaved garlic will be less pungent than non-microwaved garlic."

Hmmm ... I didn't taste any difference when I tried it. Maybe it's just a weensy-bit less pungent? Or maybe I was getting used to the slightly duller flavor in the jar of pre-peeled garlic.

The tip comes from Cook's Illustrated magazine, where they've put together a bunch of readers' tips section in the November/December issue.

"We go through a lot of garlic in my house," Jack Bishop, editorial director of the magazine, tells me.

The microwave tip comes in handy especially when a recipe calls for many, many cloves of garlic that need peeling.

But really, despite some foodies' philosophical opposition to the the microwave, or perhaps the aversion that comes from getting burned by the bowl while the soup stays cold, or fears about food safety, it can be a key kitchen tool in the cook's arsenal.

As home cooks see how the pros are using the microwave on cooking shows, "I think it has come back somewhat into fashion," Bishop says. "You can actually do some smart things with it," like starting baked potatoes in it so they cook faster in the oven, and drying herbs from your garden in it.

"The microwave is really just a piece of technology, not one to be scared of," he says.

Anyway, it's worth a try. And no worries, there's no plastic involved.

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