It may be hard to imagine that people can distill their thoughts on a topic as complicated as race into just six words. But thousands of people have done just that for The Race Card Project, in which NPR host/special correspondent Michele Norris invites people to send in their microstories about race and cultural identity.
On cable TV, there's a whole truckload of reality shows that make fun of working-class, white Southern culture. They are some of the most popular and talked about new shows, too, such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty.
MTV tried cashing in on the redneck TV trend with its own hyped-up platform for young Southern kids behaving badly, Buckwild. It played like a Southern-fried version of Jersey Shore. Its stars were a dimwitted crew of young people in West Virginia drinking hard and riding pickup trucks through ditches filled with mud.
You expect to find great trees in city parks and botanical gardens. But you might not expect to find ancient or unusual trees in the inner city or smack dab in the middle of a highway.
Benjamin Swett has a love of trees so deep that he's written pamphlets about them, created photo exhibits and now has a new book, New York City of Trees. His book has pictures and stories of some 60 trees in the city.
I took a walk with him to some of the great trees, often in unexpected places.
George Zimmerman, charged with murder in the Trayvon Martin shooting, is back in court. His lawyers say prosecutors have adopted unethical tactics that have hampered Zimmerman's defense. The case goes to trial in May and Zimmerman's lawyers say the government is making it hard for them to be ready.
Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans are expected to get health insurance, but some critics wonder how the nation will pay for so many new patients. Those who crafted the law say it's possible to care for more people at less cost if medical care is better organized. Sandy Hausman reports on what that might look like.
SANDY HAUSMAN, BYLINE: St. Francis Family Medicine near Richmond, Virginia, is like many medical practices in America, evolving into a medical home where patients will come first for all their care.
The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.
On NBC's Parks and Recreation, former stand-up comedian Retta plays office manager Donna Meagle. Donna is mostly in the background of the show, but is known for obsessing over her Mercedes SUV and for creating the Parks and Rec Treat Yo Self holiday.
Retta says this character is quite different from the roles she was offered in the beginning of her acting career.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. With just a few words, NBA journeyman Jason Collins made sports history. "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black, and I'm gay." With that announcement in the May 6th edition of Sports Illustrated, Collins became the first man still active in a major team sport to come out.
Most reaction has been positive. Earlier today, President Obama actually returned to the microphones at the end of that news conference to say a few words.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As the investigation continues into the Boston Marathon bombings, countless questions remain about the two prime suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This past Sunday, the Washington Post ran a long profile that offers a complicated portrait of the family.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today marks the 100th day of President Obama's second term. At his inauguration he set up an ambitious agenda and revived his campaign theme of hope.