Jonaki Mehta

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Former Michigan football player Jon Vaughn and fellow survivors of sexual assault have been staging a sit-in protest outside the university president's home for more than a hundred days.

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The kids aren't all right and are saying so publicly. Last week, an anonymous Reddit post went viral after a New York City high schooler chronicled a day at school. Highlights of the post included students and teachers being absent from classrooms, nose swabbing in bathrooms, and declaring study hall periods superspreader events.

The latest level of pandemic fatigue has renewed the debate on whether schools should go back to remote learning or how they can continue in-person classes safely.

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Amid the omicron surge, there is understandable anxiety among parents, particularly those with kids under 5 who can't yet get a COVID-19 vaccine.

They're wondering how to navigate life with young children, what this means for travel plans and day care, and when the vaccine will become available.

Ibukun Kalu is a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Duke University and says her hospital has already seen a rise in children being admitted.

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We're going to take you back 20 years now, just weeks after 9/11. The U.S. is on edge. The FBI is one of many government agencies tracking down leads connected to the attacks.

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Calvin was always a boy — but the world did not recognize him that way.

That's the story in the new children's book Calvin. Authors JR and Vanessa Ford show how their young protagonist navigates the complicated feelings of being a transgender kid and how he comes into expressing who he really is, with illustrations from Kayla Harren.

The Fords are also parents to two children, one who is trans and inspired this book. Ellie first raised the topic shortly after their 5th birthday — the family is now six years into their journey.

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Philadelphia councilmember Isaiah Thomas remembers when he was pulled over by police while his young son was in the car — for what he says was an unjustifiable reason.

"That is not how I wanted to introduce my son to law enforcement ... and the interaction, I just can't take back," he said.

That memory is part of why he drafted new legislation to ban police officers from pulling drivers over for minor traffic violations. He says the law is rooted in his duty to his constituents in Philadelphia — but also in his personal experiences as a Black man.

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Mariano Alvarado is a modern-day storm chaser of sorts, but it's not a hobby. It pays his bills. Alvarado was a fisherman in Honduras. Then droughts tied to climate change hit his industry.

Just a few blocks away from a stretch of busy highway in LaPlace, La. — about 30 miles northwest of New Orleans — Donald Caesar Jr., 49, walks down the street he grew up on and has lived his entire life. Even a month after Hurricane Ida pummeled Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, this street and many others in the hardest-hit areas of the state are still completely unrecognizable.

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At the moment, Tammy and Benny Alexie are staying in a cream-colored house that overlooks the Mississippi River delta. The house survived the flooding of Hurricane Ida with minimal damage because it stands on stilts. An expansive deck in the back is covered with an insect net on all four sides, a long wooden table in the middle, and a propane grill in the corner where the Alexies have been making their meals for the past six weeks. Their three children and two grandchildren are staying with them.

In the wee hours of a Saturday morning this past June, Mary Waters pulled into a grocery store parking lot in St. Louis. It was where she had been working for more than a year, stocking the freezer section.

"I sat in the parking lot, and I tried to will myself to go in, and it wasn't happening. So I just drove away," Waters said.

And she never looked back.

Waters is one of a growing number of Americans who have walked away from their jobs in 2021 — a record-setting year for job quits in the United States.

The day before a federal judge blocked enforcement of Texas' restrictive new abortion law, the parking lot of Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, La., was filled with Texas license plates. Women held the door open as the line spilled out onto the sidewalk and into the grass.

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Next, we're going to tell you the story of a dream almost deferred. It begins with a little girl raised in the segregated South of the '30s and '40s.

"I guess I'm a lot more confident... "

When Lil Nas X first dropped "Old Town Road" at the end of 2018, the country-rap banger broke the internet. In the process of wrangling viral fame, Lil Nas X's trajectory sparked debate over the racial boundaries of genre. While some might have thought this was just a teenager's 15 minutes of fame, three years and two Grammys later, Lil Nas X is rewriting the rules of unlikely stardom again.

When indie folk star José González arrived at the time to create his latest album, Local Valley, he reached for – what else – local sounds: "I took an evening, set up the stereo mic and recorded an hour of just bird songs," González says in an interview with NPR's Ari shaprio. Aside from his costars, the singer-songwriter recorded the record in the same mode, at his home studio outside of Gothenburg, Sweden, where he lives near the coast in a forest of birch and pine.

What do "Un-break My Heart" by Toni Braxton, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith and "I Was Here" by Beyoncé all have in common? The answer is they were all written by one woman — Diane Warren.

Bob Ross — the artist known for his calm voice, poofy hair and unflappable demeanor — spent 31 seasons gently encouraging at-home artists to pick up their palettes to paint serene landscapes and "happy little trees."

Actor Melissa McCarthy and her husband, filmmaker Ben Falcone, were big fans of Ross and decided to produce a documentary about his life. But as they began working on the project with filmmakers Joshua Rofé and Steven Berger, they quickly realized their subject — and the legacy he left behind — was more complex than they knew.

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Rodrigo Amarante is full of bird facts.

When we meet him at his home, sitting out on his wooden deck that overlooks northeast LA, his doors and windows are all open, sunshine cascading through them. Amarante sits cross-legged underneath a patio umbrella that he's fashioned wheels on so that it can move easily with the sun. Despite making shade, he wears round, turtle-shell sunglasses as he fiddles with a bottle-top, pondering what inspired the genesis of his second solo album.

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If there's anything the past year has put at the forefront, it's our mortality.

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MAX LINSKY: You seem very convinced that you've gotten very old.

Updated June 7, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET

In the early months of India's coronavirus pandemic, Manisha Pande recalls watching the evening news tell the public to go outside and bang pots and pans in solidarity with healthcare workers. She says that the energy was very "we're going to fight this thing together," encouraged by Prime Minister Narenda Modi.

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Rock, pop, punk and fun - these are some of the flavors Japanese band CHAI captures in their genre-fluid music.

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CHAI: (Singing) You and me, racket and ball.

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