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

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!":


When TV Shows Go To College, They Fail To Make The Grade

Sep 13, 2012
Originally published on September 14, 2012 12:57 pm

I was packing up my recording equipment after interviewing TV executive Susanne Daniels — for a different story — when she said, casually, "Have you ever noticed how there's never been a really great TV show about college?"

I looked at her. Then I started unpacking my equipment again. She had just offered me a story.

Daniels should know. She used to run the WB network, back when it aired one of the most successful college-themed shows, Felicity. And it's true. When you look at American shows set in college, as worthy as so many of them are, from A Different World to Community, none are major hits.

On the other hand, something about high school makes for great television, says Dan Berendsen. He has written and executive produced TV shows including Sabrina, The Teenage Witch and The Nine Lives of Chloe King.

Of high school, he says, "You feel like you're in that bubble forever. And it is a community with politics and cliques and ... " his voice tightens, " 'What if I'm not invited to that dance?' And everything is the most important thing."

High school is, in a word, epic.

"First boyfriend, first kiss, first big exam that we flunked," agrees Susanne Daniels, ruefully. When high school shows move to college, she says, it's risky. Glee is boldly making that move today. Other shows have stumbled during the college transition, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer all the way back to Happy Days.

Berendsen says TV storytelling benefits from high school students' fixed personas: jock; theater queen; nerd. It's hard to break out of labels in high school. In college, you can try on different identities. Who you are is more in flux.

"And it's not till you go back into the real world, after college, that you start to establish who you are," he observes. "Then you re-collect a family."

Berendsen created a hit for ABC Family called Baby Daddy, and he says the best shows are almost always about families — chosen, like the ones on Boston bar stools or sharing apartments in New York, or literal, like Everybody Loves Raymond, Modern Family, The Simpsons. It should be noted that when Homer Simpson went to college, it lasted only one episode.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit



Plenty of familiar shows will return with new episodes this fall. Among them, "Glee," now in its fourth season on Fox. This year the show makes a big leap, sending some of its main characters off to college. It's a tough transition for any show. As NPR's Neda Ulaby reports, plenty have tried before and flunked.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Shows that take place in college just don't seem to work very well. You're probably thinking right now about counter examples. So let's get those out of the way. "The Big Bang Theory."


UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: 9.8 meters per second, per second. So...

ULABY: Those guys aren't in college. They already have their doctorates. "Undeclared and Greek" did not last. Or, that "Cosby Show" spinoff, set at a historically black college.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN 3: Even if you got A's in all of your finals. It still wouldn't be enough to pull your average up to maintain that engineering scholarship.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 3: Well, who can keep a B-plus average and hold down a job...

ULABY: "A Different World" did fine on NBC, but it wasn't a monstrous hit, not compared to a lot of shows set in high school or just after college. What about "Community," NBC's scrappy comedy set at a community college? Great show, not remotely a hit. And even from the beginning, it modeled itself on a movie about high school students.


UNIDENDIFIED MAN 4: This is kind of like "Breakfast Club," huh?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 5: This is getting way more like "Breakfast Club" now.

DANNY PUDI: (As Abed Nadir) The old man grabbed me, he said, hey smoke up Johnny. No Dad, what about you?

JOEL MCHALE: (As Jeff Winger) That actually was from "The Breakfast Club."


JUDD NELSON: (As John Bender) No, Dad, what about you?

ULABY: There's something about high school that makes for great television, says TV writer Dan Berendsen. Something about that Breafast Clubby essence of it.

DAN BERENDSEN: Everybody's locked in a building together all day long, going through the same experience. You feel like you're in that bubble forever and there's a community, and there's politics and there's cliques and what if I'm not invited to that dance? And everything's the most important thing.

ULABY: TV executive Susanne Daniels agrees. She used to run an entire network aimed at college-aged kids.

SUSANNE DANIELS: I have tried over the years to develop some college-based shows. And inevitably they don't really do well.

ULABY: Daniels ran the WB, back when it aired the show, "Felicity," about a curly-haired co-ed who follows her high school crush to the made up University of New York.


KERI RUSSELL: (As Felicity Porter) So did Robert Browning survive your withering critical assault?

SCOTT SPEEDMAN: (As Ben Covington) Barely. But, you know, I think my paper's pretty good.

RUSSELL: (As Felicity Porter) That's great. Every time I reread mine it makes less and less sense.

ULABY: Robert Browning. The glorious angst of Robert Browning cannot compare to the glorious angst and adolescent drama drenching high schools, says Susanne Daniels. Remember, she says, all those epic struggles against your parents, plus those high school firsts.

DANIELS: First boyfriend, first kiss, first big exam that we flunked.

ULABY: When a high school show, such as "Glee," moves to college, it's risky.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #4: Eyes on your paper, Puckerman.

ULABY: That transition is apparently harder for television shows than it is for kids in real life. When "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" went from high school to college, fans complained it was one of the weakest seasons. Same with shows ranging from "Veronica Mars" to "Happy Days."


RON HOWARD: (As Richie Cunningham) I'm in college now. Is it too much to ask to want to date college girls?

HENRY WINKLER: (As Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli) Well, that's your first mistake. You don't ask me - ask them.

ULABY: It helps in television storytelling that high schools students tend to have fixed personas - jock, theater queen, nerd. In college you can try on different identities. Who you are is more in flux, says TV writer Dan Berenson.

BERENDSEN: And it's not 'til you go back out into the real world after college that you start to establish who you're gonna be and then you recollect a family.

ULABY: Berenson created a hit for ABC Family called "Baby Daddy." And he says the best shows are about families, chosen or literal. "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Modern Family."



ULABY: "The Simpsons."


SIMPSON: I'm a college man. I am so smart, I am so smart. S-M-R-T. I mean S-M-A-R-T.

ULABY: "The Simpsons" was S-M-A-R-T. Homer's stint in college lasted only one episode. Neda Ulaby, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.