Lead Stories

Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Inside A Fireworks Artist's Studio: 'The Sky Is The Canvas, And Fire's My Paint'

Fireworks light up the sky above the Brooklyn Bridge during Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular in 2014.
Mark Lennihan AP

Designing a vast fireworks show is a bit like composing music. There's the opening to think about, of course, and the grand finale — and all the intricacies with which the colors and displays intermingle in between.

For Jim Souza, the president of Pyro Spectaculars, this is his art.

"The sky is the canvas," he says, lending another metaphor, "and fire's my paint."

Read more
The Salt
4:17 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Aphrodisiacs Can Spark Sexual Imagination, But Probably Not Libido

The Birth of Venus, by Sandro Botticelli, depicts the goddess of love floating on a giant scallop shell. The word aphrodisiac derives from her Greek name, Aphrodite.
Sandro Botticelli via Wikimedia

What do we know about the power of food to rev up sex drive? Not much.

"Really, science has not figured out what determines sexual motivation and sexual attraction. If we knew the answer to that, we'd probably be richer than Pfizer after they invented Viagra," says Dolores Lamb, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

She hasn't seen any compelling evidence that any particular food can intensify desire.

Read more
4:14 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Charleston Reporters Tell The National Story Of Local Violence

Crowds gather to pay their respects outside Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., in a pool photo by the Post and Courier.
POOL Reuters /Landov

For the Charleston, S.C., newspaper The Post and Courier, it's been a crazy three months.

Most recently, the regional paper has been driving the coverage of the Emanuel AME Church shootings.

The small newsroom's reporters have been working flat out since, more than two weeks ago, the first word of the attack started coming across the police scanner.

Reporters were dispatched all over the city, many to the church, joining a swarm of officers and police dogs.

Read more
4:08 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

In A Twist, Tech Companies Are Outsourcing Computer Work To ... Humans

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:06 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

In A Time Of Grief And Recovery, A Sunday Sermon Foretold

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.