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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.

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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!":


Vince Guaraldi Didn't Just Play For 'Peanuts'

Sep 21, 2012
Originally published on September 21, 2012 12:57 pm

There must have been times in 1963, when Vince Guaraldi was riding high on his surprise hit "Cast Your Fate to the Wind," when he thought, "This is what I'll be remembered for." Not that he minded. He said taking requests for the tune was like signing the back of a check. The song's got a great hook tied to a poppy, uplifting chord sequence. He'd mostly be remembered for it, too, if soon after he hadn't written the music for a TV Christmas special that CBS didn't have much hope for.

After Dec. 9, 1965, Vince Guaraldi wasn't the "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" guy; he was the Peanuts guy. Even if Charlie Brown cartoons make you wince, you can hear that the music is a perfect fit, as light as a kids' song. The breezy syncopated bass pattern and sprightly chords of Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy" evoked Schroeder pecking at his toy piano, and that pirouetting dog. The tune was maddeningly catchy in a good way. Guaraldi would break away from the main theme just so he could bring it back.

Guaraldi was fascinated by boogie-woogie when he was young, and that rumbling left-hand bass part is boogie modernized and streamlined. He wasn't a super-virtuoso, but he was a great piano stylist who favored a pared-down, singing line, and loved to swing. His fingers were short, but they'd sprint up the keys. Guaraldi would also slip up to the good notes from below, like another great midcentury piano stylist, Nashville's Floyd Cramer.

With Guaraldi or Ahmad Jamal or Ramsey Lewis, the stuff that wears best is all about fetching rhythm and a bluesy economy. To my ears, Guaraldi's slow tunes and bossas aren't so compelling, but he could make a standard ballad snap to attention. In a 1957 version of "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," guitarist Eddie Duran flicks the offbeats under the melody, and then doubles the pressure for the piano solo. Duran is so tight with bassist Dean Reilly, the trio doesn't need a drummer.

All this music comes from a new compilation, The Very Best of Vince Guaraldi, part of the Concord Music Group's commitment to endlessly repackaging the best sellers from its vast holdings. It's barely three years since the double-album Definitive Vince Guaraldi. I wouldn't call everything on the new disc his very best, but there's plenty to make his case, especially if you think he's just for nostalgic boomers. Vince Guaraldi had range, as well as an instrumental hit right when jazz was vanishing from AM radio. He didn't just play for Peanuts.

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