This is the season of night noises, chirps, buzzes, little cries. The air is telling you, "Things are going on out here," and if you like you can step out onto the porch and do what the writer Rachel Carson did back in 1956: She played a hunting game. The rules were simple: You stand outdoors, near the house. You go quiet. When you hear something interesting, you either: a) take a flashlight and go hunt for it; or b) you don't go anywhere. You just imagine it.
The best find Rachel Carson ever made, she never found.
I'm sitting in my neighborhood bakery, the Upper Crust in Austin, Texas, trying to read my newspaper and enjoy an oatmeal muffin, but I can't stop staring at the photographs on the wall. A native man, his face painted weirdly, holds a great scowling iguana on his head; a boy lies on palm fronds with a colony of giant silk moth caterpillars ornamenting his neck; small brown hands hold a luminous blue morpho butterfly up to the camera. Put down your Danish rolls, people! How can anyone finish breakfast under the spell of these bizarre tropical photos? Who is this photographer anyway?
Dad takes a cholesterol-lowering statin so he'll be around to see the kids grow up. But statins, like Lipitor and Zocor, as well as some other common adult prescription drugs are causing a rise in poisonings among children, a study says.
The big surprise is that children are at risk not just from opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, which most parents know need to be kept away from kids.
While these days it's not uncommon to meet children with gay parents, in the 1970s it was. Alysia Abbott was one of those kids. When her parents met, her father — Steve Abbott — told her mother he was bisexual. But when Alysia was a toddler, her mother died in a car accident and Steve came out as gay. He moved with his daughter to San Francisco, just as the gay liberation movement was gaining strength.
While her father had not initially wanted a child, Abbott says he enjoyed spending time with her when she was a baby. Her mother's death brought the two of them even closer.
Jean Stapleton, who won three Emmys for playing Edith Bunker on All In The Family, died Friday. NPR's Susan Stamberg offers this remembrance of her encounter with Stapleton.
I had the privilege and joy of sharing a stage in Washington, D.C., with Jean Stapleton in the 1980s. She played Eleanor Roosevelt. I played a pushy reporter (!). The Smithsonian put us together for a one-night-only appearance before an audience in one of the museum auditoriums.
Now a virus that has caused respiratory failure and 30 deaths has turned up in Italy.
The World Health Organization says lab tests have confirmed the infections in a 2-year-old girl and a 42-year-old woman with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, as it's now called.
Both of the patients, who are in stable condition, are close contacts of someone who traveled to Jordan recently, the WHO says.
Karen and Colin Rodger already had two sets of boys. When Mom got pregnant this time, the thought of more twins crossed her mind, but a doctor said the odds were 500,000 to 1. Now she's given birth to twin girls, and the family tells the Daily Mirror it's shopping for a van.
Now and then, as I am wandering through the photos from the last day or two, I come upon one that I see as a thumbnail and absolutely have to click on, simply so that I can figure out what the heck is going on.
In this case: What exactly is this guy holding?
Is it a speaker?
Is it a videogame component?
Is it for finding vibrations underground to locate poisonous snakes?
What is he holding?
I want you to ponder what you think he's holding for a moment. See what you think it is before you read further.