NPR Staff

You're at a cafeteria, you've got your lunch ... and then you just don't know where to sit. You don't want to sit alone, but you also don't know who would be friendly and let you sit with them. Sixteen-year-old Natalie Hampton has been there. She's an 11th grader from Sherman Oaks, Calif., and the creator of a new app called Sit With Us. Hampton spoke about the app with All Things Considered Host Audie Cornish. A transcript of their conversation follows, edited for clarity. This is a great...

In the mid-1960s, Larry Kane was a young, straight-arrow radio news guy who lucked into what had to be the greatest assignment in the history of rock: flying from show to show with The Beatles . Ron Howard's new documentary, Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years , follows the band through their early years on tour. It also features Kane, the reporter who got to ride along when The Beatles traveled through the U.S. in 1964. Kane was 21 years old and working as a reporter in Florida when he...

Tim Gunn, Emmy-winning co-host of the show Project Runway, says the fashion industry is not making it work for plus-size women. In an article for The Washington Post, he called it a disgrace . Gunn, a fixture in the fashion world and a longtime design educator, is calling on designers to get over their disdain, lack of imagination or cowardice and make clothes for women who are above size 12. He tells NPR's Kelly McEvers that the fashion industry needs to adjust itself to take advantage of...

UNGA began this week. In case the acronym is unfamiliar, that's the United Nations General Assembly, which has just commenced its 71st session. The Assembly is the time for member nations to gather and discuss international issues. Think you know UNGA? Take our quiz to test your knowledge. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR .

The nation's first lighthouse celebrates 300 years off the Boston coast on Wednesday. It's called Boston Light and it's manned by Sally Snowman. "I jokingly say 'womanned.' I'm the 70th keeper of Boston Light. The first 69 were all men," Snowman says. This isn't just a job. For Snowman, this is a lifestyle. She knows the mechanics, all of the history, she even dresses in period clothing. "I just think it as the best government housing in the United States," she says. When you bring up...

Since Angel Olsen's first album in 2010, she's carved out a smoky, country-flavored corner of the indie rock world for herself. Her distinctive voice delivers taut meditations on love and loneliness, sometimes with a shout and other times with more of a whisper. Her music earned her critical acclaim, but also a reputation as a tortured soul — one she wasn't really looking for. Her new album puts that reputation to rest: It's called My Woman , and the 29-year-old artist says her latest work...

On Sept. 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur died, six days after he was targeted in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Twenty years later, Tupac has become a celebrated figure around the world. He's not only a lodestar of hip-hop, but a global cultural phenomenon. Recent attempts have even been made to resurrect him: He performed in CGI form with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre in 2012 and conversed, through some studio wizardry, with Kendrick Lamar on the last track of To Pimp A Butterfly . Writer Kevin Powell...

Between his bands The White Stripes , The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather , as well as his more recent solo work, Jack White has won 12 Grammy awards and sold millions of albums. The through-line of his work has always been a big electric blues sound, but his latest album, released this week, strips all that away. White joined weekends on All Things Considered to chat with guest host Ray Suarez about Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 , a 26-track compilation of new and old songs performed on...

Robert Glasper is always making music. Solo or with his quartet, the Robert Glasper Experiment, he's released 9 albums and collaborated with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Kendrick Lamar, investigating the sounds and rhythms of jazz and hip-hop in equal measure, The Robert Glasper Experiment includes Casey Benjamin on sax, Derrick Hodge on bass, and Mark Colenburg on drums — with occasional cameos on record from Glasper's young song Riley. Their new album is ArtScience , out next week, and...

With the grim milestone of 500 homicides already passed this year in Chicago, police are grappling with a toxic mix of illegal firearms and gang culture. And social media is added to that mix with gang-affiliated Facebook pages, Twitter handles and YouTube channels. Images of a kid getting beat down or worse are easy to find online. Or you can look at social media as data to be mined, says Desmond Patton , a professor at Columbia University and a former social worker in Chicago. Patton is...

On Sept. 11, 2001, two men arrived at the ticket counter late for American Airlines Flight 77 out of Dulles International Airport. This was before the days of the Transportation Security Administration, when airport security was quite different from what it is today. At the time, the man working at the counter, Vaughn Allex, followed procedure and checked them through. Those two men were among the five hijackers who crashed that flight into the Pentagon — killing 189 people, including...

It's a classic summertime treat, the kind you might get from an ice cream truck. It's a sugar cone, in the shape of a taco, filled with light vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate with nuts on top. It's the Choco Taco. But where did this highly engineered dessert come from? Food writer Jason Cohen took a deep dive into the history of the Choco Taco and how it is inspiring high-end chefs and ice cream vendors across the country. He tells NPR's Audie Cornish the story of how this novelty was...

The StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This week we hear from Jenna Henderson whose husband died while serving in Afghanistan. Sgt. First Class Chris Henderson joined the Army right out of high school in 1991. He served in Bosnia and Kosovo before deploying to Afghanistan in 2007 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. On that tour, he was killed by an IED, when he was just 35 years old.

He...

We can't print the full name of LOLO's new album, In Loving Memory of When I Gave a S*** . But the woman born Lauren Pritchard wants you to know that she does still care –- about some things. "The meaning of the title is, I grew up in a really small town in Tennessee, and it's sort of the buckle of the Bible Belt," she says. "And I always tried to be a good, sweet little Southern girl, but I wasn't. I wasted a lot of energy trying to be what other people wanted me to be, and I can't be anyone...

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick dropped to one knee rather than stand during the national anthem at a preseason football game Thursday night. It's an extension of the protest Kaepernick began last week when he sat as the anthem played before an earlier game, declaring, "I am not going to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." Prominent athletes have used their celebrity to call attention to social issues before. Basketball legend...

A restaurant chain that charges twice as much for a meal in one location as it does in another? You would think that's a recipe for angry customers. But Everytable in Los Angeles is betting that this will prove a successful business model, while also serving up a hefty side of social mission. Here's the concept behind the new chain: Customers walk in and grab a to-go container of pre-made, healthful meals prepared by chefs who've previously worked in some of the finest restaurants in LA and...

Last year, Ceceley Chambers visited a Massachusetts home for people with memory loss. As a chaplain who has worked with seniors and hospice patients, Chambers knew the residents liked having kids around. She just wasn't sure her 9-year-old son, William, would feel the same about being there. "My original thought was, 'Oh no,' " William tells her, on a recent visit with StoryCorps. "I was a little afraid." But as it turns out, he really liked it there. "They were very thoughtful," he says. ...

Pablo Escobar was one of the most notorious drug kingpins the world has ever known. His cartel — based in Medellin, Colombia — ruled in the 1980s and at one point supplied 80 percent of the cocaine coming into the U.S. The drama and danger of those days is captured in the Netflix series Narcos . Brazilian actor Wagner Moura plays Escobar in the series, and at the time it was a surprising casting choice. For one thing, Escobar is on the chubby side, and as Moura tells NPR's David Greene, "I...

The National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., is home to so much Americana, including Civil War uniforms, Dorothy's red shoes from The Wizard Of Oz , and video game prototypes. It also has an extensive collection of presidential campaign memorabilia. "We collect a fair amount of Republican, Democrat, red, white and blue stuff, but there are great objects that engage issues for 2016, that can communicate those issues and debates 100 years from now," says Jon Grinspan, one of the...

The V&E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection in Durham, N.C., is the result of an obsession that grew one oom pah-pah at a time. Vincent Simonetti started playing tuba in high school in the 1950s – and it was love at first puff. "And I would draw it in study hall. I'd draw pictures of it. I don't know why. I just became obsessed with it," he says. He and his wife, Ethel, used to run a tuba exchange that sold sousaphones, euphoniums and other members of the tuba family to high school bands. Now...

One of America's most distinguished men of letters says he believes that speech, not evolution, has made human beings into the creative, imaginative, deliberate, destructive, and complicated beings who invented the slingshot and the moon shot, and wrote the words of the Bible, Don Quixote , Good Night Moon , the backs of cereal boxes, and Fifty and Shades of Grey . The Kingdom of Speech is Tom Wolfe's first non-fiction book in 16 years. Wolfe tells NPR's Scott Simon that speech is "the...

William James Stokes is the son of a church man, and on his first album he comes right out with it. The Preacher's Kid is the singer and rapper's debut as Sir the Baptist, a name he felt suited his origins in the Bronzeville district of South Side Chicago. "I grew up in a Chicago area where they called it 'Chi-raq' — and I felt like if I was gonna be the voice crying out in the wilderness, I would want to be John the Baptist," he says. Stokes spoke with NPR's Scott Simon about playing...

If you've seen Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book or the Toy Story movies, you've seen the work of animator Floyd Norman; for decades, he has helped bring Disney and Pixar classics to life. Now 81, Norman still works for Disney, where he has plied his trade, on and off, since he became the studio's first African-American animator in the 1950s. Norman's love of art began long before his Disney job, as he reveals in a new documentary, An Animated Life. "Any empty surface was a blank canvas for me...

Frank Mutz's family has been keeping people cool for more than half a century. It began with his grandfather, who started installing and repairing air conditioners in the 1950s. Now, Frank is the elder in the family trade, running the Atlanta business alongside his own children, including his son Phil. "No one really dreams of air conditioning at night. You know, no one thinks, 'Oh, I cannot wait to work on that air conditioner," Phil tells his father, on a recent visit with StoryCorps. "But...

Enormous trucks from all over the country are rolling down highways toward Baton Rouge, La. When they get to town, their task is to clear neighborhoods where streets are lined with trash from last week's massive flood . Baton Rouge contracted with DRC Emergency Services to handle disaster response when the floods began last week. It started out rescuing people in boats, and now that the boats are docked, trucks are coming in to handle the cleanup. Kurt Thormahlen of DRC Emergency Services...

Imagine you're a teenager in Beijing in the 1960s and '70s, during the Cultural Revolution. Everything that's deemed Western and bourgeois is banned — so listening to a 78 rpm recording of Beethoven 's Fifth Symphony, powerfully transformative as it might be, is off limits. Jindong Cai, now a conductor and professor at Stanford University, was a teenager during those repressive days. He and his wife, the writer Sheila Melvin, have written Beethoven in China , a book about the tumultuous...

It's been a rough summer for supporters of Donald Trump. A convention that aimed for harmony had some disharmony. The candidate picked arguments with a Gold Star family and with Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Polls have shown Trump falling behind. At a recent rally in Altoona, Pa., Trump told the crowd that the only way he could lose Pennsylvania — a state where he is polling well behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton — would be in the event of a fix. "The only way they can beat...

Author Lawrence Wright was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, which meant he was required to do two years of what was called "alternative service." He ended up in Egypt, teaching at the American University in Cairo. And it was there that the man from Texas started his obsession with the Middle East. Since then, Wright has written a lot about the region and about terrorism as a staff writer for The New Yorker . Now, he has compiled his many New Yorker essays into a new book...

In the their new book, Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money and Power , Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher of The Washington Post tell the story of Donald Trump's rise as a businessman, a political candidate, but above all, as a brand. This sentence from the book captures the proliferation of the Trump brand: "Trump summoned reporters to a press conference at Trump's Bar, located on the ground floor of Trump Tower, close to Trump Grill, just steps away form Trump's Ice...

It's a big summer for conventions, the Olympics — and Barbra Streisand . She's on tour in nine cities across North America, and has a new album of duets called called Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway. Her collaborators include Anne Hathaway, Daisey Ridley, Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jamie Foxx, Melissa McCarthy, Antonio Banderas, and a host of other film stars. "The concept came to me when I was sent a version of a Marvin Hamlisch song called 'Any Moment Now,'" she explains. "It was such...

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