Jul 30, 2017

Ah, the sounds of summer camp: Crickets, campfires ... cellphones sewn into stuffed animals

Getting kids to spend a week or two unplugged and immersed in nature is hard enough, administrators say – but it's made more difficult by helicopter parents in need of constant connection. Even camp-provided online updates aren't enough: "They'll get that phone call: 'Hello, camp director, I was on your website and I don't see them. Are they OK? Were they sent to the hospital?' "
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Obamacare repeal effort is dead. For sure, this time. Maybe?

John McCain helped scuttle Republicans’ last-ditch effort early Friday and Senate leaders from both parties suggested the time had come for a more bipartisan approach. But later in the day, House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump seemed to suggest the GOP might continue to pursue the repeal that Republicans have championed for seven years.

“We'll get it done, we're going to get it done,” the president said.
Chelsea Beck/NPR

Not just a trend, a through-line: Amplifying women’s powerful contributions to popular music.

It's arguable, says critic Ann Powers, that “beyond getting the groceries, lists are fundamentally lies.” But they’re also a valuable way to start conversations, she says — and that’s still badly needed when it comes to women’s place in music history. Most “best albums” or “top performers” lists have just a couple of female artists anywhere near the top, and that becomes self-reinforcing. So nearly 50 women who play a role in public radio have come together to create a new canon.

These 150 albums deserve more R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Suharu Ogawa for NPR

For some summer camps, the problem isn’t homesick campers — it’s parents who can’t let go

Few sleep-away camps allow Internet access or cellphones. Kids get used to the break, but some parents used to hourly status updates have a harder time, even helping their kids sneak phones in or mailing them inside care packages. The college-age camp counselors also seem to have a tougher time disconnecting, administrators say.

Even the counselors’ parents can be a pain.
LA Johnson/NPR

When an NBA player's opinion can convince kids the planet is flat, what's a science teacher to do?

There's a lot of bad information out there online. One professor recommends that teachers help kids understand empirical reasoning and the scientific method — and hope they find their own way away from sketchy propaganda and conspiracy theories. And students aren't the only ones at risk:

A recent study shows science teachers themselves can be receptive.
SS Mirza/AFP/Getty Images

A horrifying crime in Pakistan is taken to a tribal council. It hands down an even more unspeakable sentence.

After a 12-year-old girl was raped by a teenage boy, her family didn't go to law enforcement. Instead, they went to a traditional panchayat, an influential pseudo-legal body led by local landlords. They couldn't convince the rapist to marry his victim, so they chose a different punishment: On their orders, the victim's brother raped the accused teen's sister.

Now both families have brought in the police.
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