Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought — and crushed — in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

Celebrating Independence Day on July Fourth is as American as burgers and dogs on the grill, lemonade in plastic cups, apple pie on paper plates, baseball, fireworks and Sousa marches.

Except for those Americans who don't celebrate it at all.

One reason Internet memes — the quirky photos with societal observations that are passed along like genes or around like germs — work so well, is that they tap into something of the moment, a fleeting notion that captures the here and now.

Ante-millennium America was ho-hum about soccer as a sport, because it is a game with: nonstop motion, international players, loose rules and corruption, low expectations of scoring and an imprecise ending.

Glance at the map above, Second Largest Religious Tradition in Each State 2010, and you will see that Buddhism (orange), Judaism (pink) and Islam (blue) are the runner-up religions across the country.

No surprises there. But can you believe that Hindu (dark orange) is the No. 2 tradition in Arizona and Delaware, and that Baha'i (green) ranks second in South Carolina?

While tornadoes continue to tear across America's midsection — taking lives and destroying property — we continue to search for explanations of the phenomenon, in hopes of developing better warning systems and protection.

But after decades of research, funded by decamillions of dollars, the fundamentals of wind funnels remain somewhat mysterious.

Can you feel it?

Like discrete clouds beginning to gather before a storm.

Not a trend, really. Not yet. But a tendency toward a trend. A trendency.

In France, many high-level politicians — such as Prime Ministers Francois Hollande, Jacques Chirac and Valery Giscard d'Estaing — developed their statecraft skills at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration.

When we posted the first Art in a Jar in April, we learned a couple of lessons: 1) Folks liked the idea. 2) The puzzle was way too easy.

So we try, try again.

The Puzzle

The challenge: Guess the masterpiece — by looking at its pieces — in the jar.

Please post your guesses in the comments section.

The Expert

The Bilderberg annual conference is convening at the end of May in Denmark. Or so it's reported.

For folks who have never heard of Bilderberg, it's an invitation-only confab of high-powered people who jawbone about world issues. Its mission, according to its official website, is at once simple and complex: "to foster dialogue between Europe and North America."

Fads sweep across America like thunderstorms.

The club sandwich — a mouthwatering mélange of meats, cheeses and salad greens double-stacked among three slices of mayo-slathered bread or toast — is a portable picnic for one. A movable feast.

"I order a club sandwich all the time," the late comedian Mitch Hedberg quipped. "And I'm not even a member."

Say what you will about the morality of marijuana, now that 21 U.S. states — and the District of Columbia — have passed some type of pot-friendly legalization, selling weed is big business.

Considering the month of April alone, the State Department said it was "deeply concerned" about each of these situations: justice in Turkey; peaceful challenges of official Chinese policies; restrictions of freedom in Egypt; a Ugandan raid on a U.S.-funded medical facility; the humanitarian crisis in Burma and certain actions of the Republika Srpska, among other various and diverse issues — many extremely serious.

To a lot of us, music is essential. So are animals. Often the two coincide, as we discovered when we asked people to Tell Us The 6 Songs Of Your Life.

For folks of a certain age, How Much Is That Doggy in the Window? is the first song they remember. Cat lovers cite Our House by Crosby, Stills and Nash, which refers to "two cats in the yard." The Bob Marley song Three Little Birds is a favorite of many.

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