It's only days past Memorial Day, and the prospect of appearing on the beach has got some people getting their swimsuits in a twist. We're joined now by Sally Franson who blogs at the Writer's Block website. Sally, thanks for being with us again.
SALLY FRANSON: It's so nice to be back, Scott.
SIMON: So you've developed a workout for the bookish?
FRANSON: I have, you know, it's swimsuit season and it's also summer book season - time to do reading on the beach. And normally, reading and exercising don't mix until now.
Five years ago, Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed at the Wichita, Kans., church where he was an usher. Tiller was widely known for performing abortions in late pregnancy and had become a target for protests.
It was the morning of May 31, 2009, and fellow usher Gary Hoepner remembers they had finished their greeting duties and had walked out into the waiting area to get a doughnut.
Mandolin fever swept the United States in the early 20th century, and alas, they didn't have a cure in those days. The lute-like instrument was the rage on college campuses. And mandolin orchestras - hundreds spread across the country played to wildly enthusiastic crowds.
When the novel, "What Is Visible" opens, one of the most famous people in the world is about to meet a little girl who's supposed to be like her - another freak in bloom, is how Laura Bridgman puts it. The little girl is Helen Keller. Laura Bridgman was 50 years older and heralded around the world for learning language after losing four of her five senses as a child to scarlet fever.
Seoul, South Korea's making some changes to its urban landscape. The mayor's office says the women-friendly Seoul campaign will make the city more comfortable for women. They say a lot of urban design focused on men when they were the sole workers in a family and that's changed. So, they're installing pink painted parking spots reserved for women that are a bit wider and longer than the average spot and closer to elevators.
The New York Times' new executive editor, Dean Baquet, took over just two weeks ago, yet he appears perfectly comfortable in his perch atop the worlds of journalism and New York. He smokes fine cigars to relax, wears elegant loafers and excuses his decision to keep his suit coat on during our conversation by saying that's just who he is.
But Baquet's identity is wrapped up in a city and a different reality more than 1,000 miles away.
This weekend, an old, dilapidated row house will be torn down in Philadelphia. That's not unusual â€” it happens all the time in Philly's blighted neighborhoods.
But this house is getting an elaborate memorial service, complete with a eulogy, a church choir and a community procession. It's called "Funeral for a Home," and local artists and historians are using the event as a way to honor the changing history of the neighborhood.
Mississippi's Republican Senate primary has taken a bizarre and nasty turn as Tuesday's election draws near. The heated race is considered one of the Tea Party's best opportunities to unseat a longtime GOP incumbent, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran.
From NPR news this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Hear a laugh, you know someone's happy. Hear a sob, you know someone is sad. Or are they? It's been thought that no matter where you live in the world, people express emotions using the same repertoire of sounds. But NPR's social science correspondent, Shankar Vedantam, reports on new research on how emotions are expressed and understood around the globe.