If you could travel back in time about 8 million years, you'd find a creature in an African tree that was the ancestor of all current apes and humans. And that creature in all likelihood would have spent a big part of its day munching leaves and fruit — pretty much what apes eat now.
The U.S. economy started showing signs of recovery in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Four years later, the economy is slow to recover in some areas. The stock market and housing are showing signs of growth, while unemployment still lags behind.
Like all great traditional Boston foods — the Boston Cream Pie, Boston Baked Beans, the Chicago Pizza at the Pizzeria Uno near Fenway — the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich is about to go national. Someday, Bostonians will talk about how they heard it play when it was just a cool, local sandwich.
Ian: I never realized how pointless bagels were before.
Miles: I like a breakfast that forces me to take a nap right after waking up.
The traditionally collegial U.S. Senate was never a natural fit for Frank Lautenberg, the wealthy New Jersey businessman whose headstrong, CEO style could rankle.
But the five-term senator, who died early Monday at age 89, managed to serve as a passionate and able advocate for a tight collection of causes, from gun control and public health to Israel and mass transit.
At Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan, midnight dinner service will end this month. It's part of the drawdown of the Afghan war. That may not sound like a big deal, but former U.S. Army paratrooper David Brown says the Marines at Leatherneck will be losing more than food. He says they'll be losing a venue for camaraderie and support. Across the military, leaders are looking for places they can save money by cutting programs and services.
Teachers endure bored, misbehaving, or totally tuned out students, often with little recognition. In a commentary in The Chronicle of Higher Education, professor Charles Rinehimer pays tribute to the completely engaged students who gave him the strength to deal with tough cases.
When writer Stacy Horn was 26 years old, she was divorced and miserable. So she decided to audition for the Choral Society of Grace Church in New York. Horn made the cut and joined the community choir as a soprano.
She chronicles her 30 years with the group in a new memoir, Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness in Singing With Others. She talks with NPR's Ari Shapiro about how singing made her life more bearable.
For 24 years, Ding Zilin has sought justice for the death of her 17-year-old son, Jiang Jielian, on June 3, the night before Chinese authorities cracked down on protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Now, the 76-year-old despairs that she will die before she is allowed to mourn her son on the spot where he was killed. She stands in front of a small shrine to her son in her Beijing home.
Credit Louisa Lim / NPR
A woman reads a book in front of portraits of Tiananmen victims at the June 4 Memorial Museum run by pro-democracy activists at City University in Hong Kong on Monday, the eve of the 24th anniversary of the crackdown.
Credit Vincent Yu / AP
A paramilitary police officer stands guard at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Monday.
Credit Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters/Landov
Wang Nan was 19 years old when he was shot dead during the crackdown on Tiananmen Square. Chinese authorities recently pressured his mother, Zhang Xianling, not to go to Hong Kong — the only place on Chinese territory where June 4 is commemorated — in the days ahead of the anniversary.
Ding Zilin has spent the past 24 years on one mission: seeking justice for the death of her son, 17-year-old Jiang Jielian, who was shot in the back by Chinese soldiers on the night of June 3, 1989.
This year, her mood is one of black despair.
"It's possible that before I leave this world, I won't see justice," the frail 76-year-old told me. We're sitting in the living room of her Beijing home, near a shrine to her son that includes a wooden cabinet holding his ashes.
The nation's largest retailer announced Monday that it will be delivering produce from farms to stores faster by buying fruits and vegetables directly from growers.
The plan is to source about 80 percent of fresh produce directly, explained Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of the food business for Wal-Mart U.S., during a conference call that we participated in Monday morning.
In many instances, Sinclair says it will be possible to "cut out the middleman," but he added that local wholesalers will continue to "play an important role for us in the areas we serve."