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.


What Makes A Horror Game Go Bump in the Night?

Oct 31, 2012

The first computer game that really frightened me to the bones was 1994's The 7th Guest. It's certainly primitive compared to today's games, but parts of it were indubitably scary. Even early on, when a kind of Steadicam slowly led me up a Victorian mansion's stairs, there was a feeling of uncomfortable dread. Don't go there, I said to myself. Yet, like so many ill-fated protagonists in the movies, I went there. And when ghosts moved about on the second floor — damn — that was eerie. It was like that "cold spot" in Robert Wise's The Haunting. Because the setup created such foreboding tension, I saw the ghosts in The 7th Guest just as distinctly as I felt the cold spot.

Back then, horror-based games were influenced more by movies and TV than anything else. The 7th Guest game developers admitted they wanted to make an interactive film inspired by horror movies and David Lynch's Twin Peaks. So their game was derivative, even as it raised genuine goose bumps.

Today, The Walking Dead series of episodic games feels influenced to some extent by The 7th Guest. It, too, is a point and click adventure, meaning that you place your mouse pointer in the area where you want to go. Click a mouse button, and you're there. But it feels like you have more at stake in this tense, apocalyptic world full of zombies, blood and starvation. That in itself makes the effort more effective than its predecessor, made nearly 20 years ago.

To find out why, let's begin with a definition from an older tome by a true master of horror. According to Stephen King's definitive Danse Macabre, horror "is a dance — a moving, rhythmic search. The good horror tale will dance its way to the center of your life and find the secret door to you that you believed no one but you knew of ... The gross out level is one thing, but it is on that second level of horror that we often experience that low sense of anxiety which we call 'the creeps.'"

The effect of video games on the mind can be compared to the effects of popular novels, just like King's. During the course of hours and hours of immersion, characters' personalities and histories stay with you — especially when the narrative, dialogue and dramatic tension are strong. The Walking Dead game is more about experiencing unsettling emotion than it is about killing zombies. While dealing with a zombie can amp up adrenaline, the feeling of shocking dread that leads to panic can be far more affecting. So when a character you care deeply about is killed in Episode 4, that's a horror that stays with you.

By that time, you have talked to the people of this game, and you have forgotten they're made of bits and bytes. You have listened attentively to their hopes and fears. And when you can't save them from the undead because you aren't quick enough in the game, it has a devastating effect. It's not just horror — not just "the creeps," but the game builds in terror, too, defined by King as "a pervasive sense of disestablishment; that things are in the unmaking." The gross zombies are out to get you, yes. But they are not as frightening as the possible unmaking, as it were, of family, community and civilization.

The discovery of weird, haunted creeps in the dark and ugly things that go bump in the night is an important part of BioShock, one the scariest games ever made. At one point, you move into a barely lit room and witness the shadow of a demented mother singing "Hush Little Baby" to what you think is her infant lying in a black, antique stroller. The mere sight is the stuff of nightmares. The game's writer, Ken Levine, studied both horror and terror in everything from Lost to The Shining to hone its frights. And it worked: BioShock is a superior game that should be studied by anyone who dares to develop interactive entertainment in this decade. And played by anyone who wants to be well and truly scared.

Horror and terror don't just seize you when you're the victim, either. You get another side entirely in the just-released Assassin's Creed III, a game that's steeped in the details of American history. In it, in a kind of Halloween costume ball dress-up, you play a stealthy assassin around the time of the American Revolution. You meet both important and minor figures of the era: both Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Church, the first Surgeon General. But as you engage in the evils that you must in order to solve a great, overarching mystery, you can see the effects of the terror and horror you inflict on those who live in the New World when you sneak up and annihilate them. The look on the face of just one of many Redcoats I attacked is the look I must have had while seeing myself attacked in The Walking Dead. In the circle of horror, it's either scare or be scared. And in either case, you, the game player, must deal with the consequences.

Harold Goldberg is the author of All Your Base Are Belong to Us (How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture).

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit