Let me tell you about the day my husband bolted into the room and asked, "Are you free for lunch on Sept. 21?"
It was the middle of July, and I'm not Oprah. Usually, I can be booked for lunch at a moment's notice. But I played along. I flipped through my virtual calendar, scrolled down to the very date in question, and gave it a good stare.
'Yup, I'm open!' I told him.
"Good," Ken said, 'because I got us tickets to see Coach Saban."
Ahead of high-profile talks in China by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, there was a high-impact leak. Photos emerged of a second Chinese stealth fighter jet — one that had been rumored but never seen before.
The J31, as analysts call it, shows how fast China is moving.
Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian was born two blocks from where he now lives in what is called Deep East Texas.
"We were not wealthy people, [we were] common laborers, but that was typical in rural East Texas at that time," he says.
When he was growing up, Christian says, by first or second grade, an East Texas boy would accompany his father or grandfather on a hunting trip. But before a boy got a gun, he had to learn how to act — how to address the other men respectfully, to watch how it worked.
Homegrown rebels have done most of the fighting against the Syrian government troops. But Islamist militants from abroad, including some with links to al-Qaida, are now joining the fight against the government in growing numbers.
The local rebels are not pleased with this development, and there is growing tension between the groups that share a desire to oust President Bashar Assad but little else.
Until a few weeks ago, the border crossing at Bab al-Hawa on Syria's northern frontier with Turkey was the site of a training camp for a militant Islamist group.
The fundraiser where the Romney video was recorded was held in Florida. And today, in that politically important state, reaction was mixed about Romney's unscripted remarks. NPR's Kathy Lohr gathered some views from people at a retirement community.
Vice President Joe Biden has been an important surrogate for President Obama this year, as he was four years ago. Biden especially excels at connecting with white, working-class voters — a group with which the president has struggled.
It all began last year, when the Library of Congress presented Samuel Beckett's Ohio Impromptu alongside a piece of music by composer Dina Koston, which responded to the text. A New York group, the Cygnus Ensemble, played the music, while Washington, D.C., director Joy Zinoman staged the play, for one night only.
In the U.S., the pap smear has become a routine part of women's health care, and it's dramatically reduced cervical cancer deaths. But in Africa and other impoverished regions, few women get pap smears because the countries lack the laboratories and other resources necessary to offer them.
Last week, Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told a meeting of the agency in Vienna that he is aggravated by Iran's unwillingness to show the IAEA what's going on at a base called Parchin.
"Iran should engage with us without further delay on the substance of our concerns," he said. "We need to stop going around in circles, discussing process."
Now to a development surrounding Mitt Romney's campaign. After several days of stumbles on the trail and internal squabbling spilling into public view, Romney's campaign vowed to get back to substance today. Romney delivered a speech to a Latino group in Los Angeles today touting his economic plan and touching on immigration. But the spotlight was stolen by a report on the website Mother Jones.
Each week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, bring you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your cleverness skills. We take a trend in the news and challenge you to help us satirize it with a song title, a movie name or something else wacky.
This week's challenge: The owner of a 77-pound dachshund named Obie is blogging about her efforts to slim him down by 40 pounds. If she succeeds, we can probably expect a book.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with President Obama on the campaign trail. He was in the battleground state of Ohio today, but he spent much of his time talking about China. President Obama even announced a new trade complaint against China during a campaign stop in Cincinnati.
For the past six years in a row, the World Bank has rated the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business. Drawn in part by this reputation, money and talent are pouring into the island nation's growing technology sector.
One of Facebook's co-founders recently renounced his American citizenship and relocated to Singapore, where he has been investing in tech startups.
Anthropologists believe early humans evolved in Africa and then moved out from there in successive waves. However, what drove their migrations has been a matter of conjecture.
One new explanation is climate change.
Anthropologist Anders Erikkson of Cambridge University in England says the first few hardy humans who left Africa might've gone earlier but couldn't. Northeastern Africa — the only route to Asia and beyond — was literally a no man's land.
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what do you do when there are no apples? It's a question western Michigan's apple growers are dealing with this season after strange weather earlier in the year decimated the state's apple cultivation.
Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the U.S. after New York and Washington, but the state's apples will soon be in short supply. Now in the middle of harvest season, growers are picking only 10 percent to 15 percent of their normal crop.
Believe it or not, there's a lot of food involved in wet-plate photography. Egg whites (albumen) are used to make the glass plates adhesive to the light-sensitive chemicals. And one way to keep the plates from drying out after processing is to coat them in honey. It's also physically demanding, so you get really hungry.
Just a reminder now that Round 9 of our Three-Minute Fiction Contest is open. It's where we ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes, so no more than 600 words. In each round, we have a judge with a new challenge. And this time, it's novelist Brad Meltzer, and he's come up with this.
BRAD MELTZER: Your story must revolve around a U.S. president who can be fictional or real.