The work that Shaun O'Connell does is required by law, yet now he's sidelined by the government shutdown.
O'Connell reviews disability claims for the Social Security Administration in New York, checking that no one's gaming the system, while ensuring people with legitimate medical problems are compensated properly.
Billions of dollars are at stake with this kind of work, yet O'Connell is considered a nonessential employee for purposes of the partial government shutdown.
For one month each fall, residents of interior Alaska don chest waders and splash through the clear, frigid water of the Chatanika River. With large homemade lanterns hanging from their necks and spears in their hands, the fishermen keep their eyes peeled for whitefish.
Lifelong Alaskan Cory Kuryla leads his best friend Dave Ensley and me down a dark forest trail.
"We make rookies take a bite out of the first fish they catch!" he says.
David Shannon has written books about an adorable West Highland terrier, a duck on a bike and a fairy named Alice. Maybe he's tired of drawing cute. So, now the author and illustrator has done a book called "Bugs in My Hair," and it isn't about pets, forests or fantasy creatures. No, it's about head lice. David Shannon joins us from the studios of KQED in San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. I wait all week to say time for sports.
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SIMON: Playoff time in Major League Baseball. So many games, but the Cubs aren't in any of them. However, we are joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine to talk about those good clubs playing now. Thanks for being with us, Howard.
HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. If the Cubs are what you're looking for in playoff baseball, I suggest a new team, a new century.
This is "West Side Story" - on six legs. Dr. Mark Stoeckle, who's a researcher at Rockefeller University, says that New York cockroaches can be just about as territorial as the sharks and the jets. He joins us from the studios of the Radio Foundation on the Upper West Side. Thanks so much for being with us.
MARK STOECKLE: It's good to be here. Thank you.
SIMON: So are cockroaches as native to New York as poppy seed bagels?
In 1973, Erica Jong was tired of reading about silent, seething housewifes, so she introduced a new kind of female protagonist: a frank young woman who loved sex and wasn't ashamed to admit it. Fear of Flying turns 40 this year, as does its most famous phrase: "the zipless f - - - ." Jong defines it in the novel:
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:41 pm
Herman Wallace, one of the "Angola 3" inmates who survived more than 40 years of solitary confinement for the killing of a guard, died on Friday, just days after a judge overturned his conviction and ordered him free, saying he had not received a fair trial.