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.


'We Killed': Women In Comedy, From Stand-Ups To Sitcoms

Oct 16, 2012

We Killed: The Rise Of Women In American Comedy is a sprawling oral history that grew out of a Marie Claire piece. It has the loose structure of most similar books (of which there are more and more), though the introduction unfortunately ties it to the tired "women aren't funny" assertions that apparently we're not through talking about yet. I must admit, I'm a bit biased against this approach, since for me, women trying to respond with seriousness to "women aren't funny" is a little like astronauts trying to respond with seriousness to "the sun goes around the Earth." In both cases, it's certainly unfortunate if anyone who's in charge of anything believes it, but it's not a belief likely to be vulnerable to dissuasion through logical argument if it's still held at all.

Yael Kohen, who put the book together, bounces around various parts of American comedy, from stand-up to sitcom to late-night, and some sections are substantially more interesting than others. The Saturday Night Live story has been told so many times that devoting two long sections to it here, influential though the show may be in the formation of a comic's career, makes the book a bit of a retread for people who like either pop culture history or comedy history.

The stand-up sections, though, are substantially stronger. Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers are identified as early pioneers, and while they both talked about being married a lot, they did it quite differently. It was, Kohen's interview subjects posit, Elayne Boosler who first found significant success as a single, sexually active woman doing stand-up about her own life.

But perhaps the woman who looms largest in these sections is Mitzi Shore, who ran The Comedy Store in Los Angeles beginning in the 1970s and remained enormously influential in building stand-up's boom years of the 1980s. (She's also Pauly Shore's mother, though it is not suggested that this is one of her more important contributions.) And then there's Merrill Markoe, who talks about sacrificing career opportunities for herself in order to support the career of her boyfriend, the up-and-coming comic David Letterman.

Where We Killed is best is where it isn't just people talking about who was good and who was bad, but where it explores specific issues: Shore's creation of the "Belly Room," a special room at the Comedy Store for women comics to work, was seen by some as a great opportunity to have the space you needed and by others — no matter its upstairs location — as a subpar, substandard subbasement where they were kept off the main stage. And Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, spoken of so reverently by comics who launched their careers there, is not uniformly remembered with fondness, since some women recall feeling like only certain kinds of women were welcome, and where, reports Kohen, Boosler once told The New York Times they made her throw away her regular confident-person material and wanted her to open with a joke about being ugly.

Some of what's here is well covered territory; Ellen DeGeneres doesn't say much about her coming-out experience that's different from what she's said before, and the treatments of Mary Tyler Moore and other comic actresses are too brief to be satisfying. But it does touch on a wide variety of challenges that really are specific to funny women — how vulgar to be, how cute to be, how sexy to be, how self-deprecating to be (the term comes up over and over), and, crucially, to separate the challenges in your career that have everything to do with being a woman from the ones that have nothing or only something to do with it.

What makes a story like this a little poignant, of course, is that to the degree there's a history of it being hard for women to break into comedy, the ones that would be most interesting to know about aren't the ones who made it anyway, whose names you know. They're the ones who didn't make it, who couldn't figure out how to navigate around the obstacles. And if they're out there, it's hard to say how you'd find them.

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