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Waking up is hard to do, but it's easier with NPR's Morning Edition. Hosts Renée Montagne and Steve Inskeep bring the day's stories and news to radio listeners on the go. Morning Edition provides news in context, airs thoughtful ideas and commentary, and reviews important new music, books, and events in the arts. All with voices and sounds that invite listeners to experience the stories. The range of coverage includes reports on the Supreme Court from Nina Totenberg; education from Claudio Sanchez; health coverage from Joanne Silberner; and the latest on national security from Tom Gjelten. Steve and Renee interview newsmakers: from politicians, to academics, to filmmakers. In-depth stories explore topics like "digital generations" about the effect of technology on the way we live; special series delve into the intersection of science and art, and find untold stories of the country's Hidden Kitchens.

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Ashuelot Valley Environmental Observatory via Flickr

The North American Wood Frog has developed an impressive strategy for surviving cold New England winters. It doesn't seek warmth as other animals do. The wood frog goes with the cold and actually freeze in the winter months. Come spring, it thaws out, ready for mating season. 

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Good morning. I'm David Greene. Joe Dombrowski, a Michigan elementary school teacher, gave the hardest spelling test ever. He posted a video of himself going over answers. One word with spee-koo (ph).

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

Manuel Cuevas moved to the U.S. from Mexico in the late 1950s to pursue his calling as a tailor.

He started sewing when he was 7 when most kids were occupied with other things, such as playing.

"The guys at school were more about playing ball and the slingshots," 78-year-old Manuel explained to his daughter, Morelia, at StoryCorps in Nashville. "That never interested me. I was really an outcast. I'd go to bed and I'd dream about fabrics and leathers and about the things that I'm going to make the next day."

Donald Trump won the backing of the National Rifle Association and many gun owners by opposing limits to the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. But since his election and in the early months of his presidency, Trump has not been good for the gun business.

Shares of publicly traded firearms companies have fallen. The pro-gun president nicking the fortunes of the industry he vowed to protect may seem illogical on its face.

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In the heart of Beirut, architect Mona El Hallak herds a group of students together outside a monumental mansion — a vast, elegant building whose yellow walls and graceful pillars are ravaged by thousands of bullet holes.

"We are," she shouts over the cacophonous traffic, "at the intersection of Damascus Road and Independence Avenue."

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So last year, Ian Griffin, an astronomer in Dunedin, New Zealand, was able to catch a ride on the NASA SOFIA. It's a Boeing 747 airplane with an observatory on board.

IAN GRIFFIN: And on that flight it had an absolutely amazing view of the aurora australis.

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The Revolutionary War and Civil War are in the distant past, but their remnants continue to be problems today. In Charleston, S.C., cannonballs from those wars wash up on beaches or are found underground regularly.

And while some are benign pieces of history, others have the potential to explode and military bomb experts are called in to detonate them.

Detective Carl Makins, with the Charleston County bomb squad, says a lot of people don't understand how dangerous these cannonballs are.

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Good morning, I'm David Greene with some bizarre sports highlights.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ERIC ALVAREZ: Before you ask, yes, I did make this segment with things I found lying around my desk.

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Ahmed Kathrada spent decades in jail with Nelson Mandela, then spent the first years of democracy helping to shape the country's government after the fall of apartheid. Kathrada, 87, died in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning.

According to a statement posted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, he "passed away peacefully after a short period of illness, following surgery to the brain."

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