How much power should corporations wield in Washington? It's an enduring question — and now the Sunlight Foundation has devised a new way to gauge that power.

It's a hot summer day outside Lincoln, Neb., and Jack Chappelle is knee-deep in trash. He's wading in to rotting vegetables, half-eaten burgers and tater tots. Lots of tater tots.

"You can get a lot of tater tots out of schools," Chappelle says. "It doesn't matter if it's elementary, middle school or high school. Tater tots. Bar none."

Six Words: 'With Kids, I'm Dad. Alone, Thug'

Nov 17, 2014

NPR continues a series of conversations from The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words.

Marc Quarles is African-American, with a German wife and two biracial children — a son, 15, and daughter, 13. The family lives in Pacific Grove, a predominantly white, affluent area on California's Monterey Peninsula.

Lots of things can trigger an asthma attack, but one of the most common causes is odor — anything from the heavy scent of perfume to a household cleaner.

How much is it OK for a human to love a dog? Is it really necessary to know how to cook? Why do women want to have children?

Meghan Daum's new collection of essays considers those questions, among others — and also grapples with what it means to be part of Generation X.

"I guess technically we're middle aged, if you're in your mid-forties," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. "But that just doesn't sound right."

"It's almost like, are we in the twilight of youth? That sounds almost worse. That sounds not good."

Know your genetic history

Nov 16, 2014

One of the many thoughts that arise when a genetic condition is diagnosed is if there’s a possibility that it would be passed on to children.

This week on “Take Care,” genetic counselor Vickie Venne talks about the importance of knowing your family history and how genetic counseling can help families. Venne, the former president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, is author of “The Genome Book: A Must-Have Guide to Your DNA for Maximum Health” and was the first licensed genetic counselor in the United States.

Advice to help you prepare for disaster

Nov 16, 2014

There is a lot more that goes into preparing for any disaster than one might think. The usual flashlight and batteries just won’t cut it.

This week on “Take Care,” Commissioner Jerome Hauer shares advice on how to prepare for a disaster. Hauer is head of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

Protecting young people from sexual predators would seem to be a universally-held value in this country: No state has an age of consent lower than 16.

But in some courtrooms, attorneys argue that children can make decisions about whom they have sex with — and in some cases, those attorneys are winning.

One of those cases is currently under appeal in California. In 2010, a 28-year old middle-school math teacher began a six-month sexual relationship with a 14-year-old female student at his school.

If you're an Android user, there's a chance that earlier this week your phone or tablet alerted you about a new update to its operating system. Yearly system updates are a part of the modern smartphone experience, and, like clockwork, Apple and Google typically issue them every fall.

The newest version of Google's Android OS, codenamed Lollipop, is something a little different. Lollipop isn't just an update; it's Google's vision of how we should interact with the Web on our phones, tablets and computers.

It's a festive time in Oman, the sleepy sultanate on the edge of the Persian Gulf. The national day is Nov. 18, marking Oman's liberation from Portugese colonization, and the capital Muscat is bedecked with banners, scarves and flags. The spicy-sweet smell of frankincense is everywhere, as are images of Oman's absolute monarch for the past 44 years, Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

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