Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought — and crushed — in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

Oxymoronic, isn't it, the idea of a "good psychopath"?

But in their just published book, The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success, Andy McNab and Kevin Dutton argue that relying on some psychopathic traits can lead to a more successful life.

For years I was convinced that there exists among us a strange, unidentified species of animal — something between bug and bird — jetting around gardens and flowers and trees.

Not too long ago one of these natural UFOs buzzed past me in broad daylight. Too big to be a bee, too itty-bitty to be a bird. Slow enough to glimpse, but too fast to identify.

Not exactly a hummingbird ...

Nor a bumblebee ...

What the heck was it?

The mystery was finally solved when a friend told me about ...

... the hummingbird moth.

The Great American Junk Drawer can be an accidental time capsule, a haphazard scrap heap, a curious box of memories and meaninglessness. It can also serve as a Rorschachian reflection of your life.

You know what we're talking about: The drawer of detritus. The has-been bin. That roll-out repository where you toss your odds and ends. Sometimes very odd odds and ends. Sometimes whatnot never to be seen again.

Perhaps this is the sound of history repeating itself.

In the early days of his first term, President Obama was painted as "the anti-Bush" and many of his ideas — for instance his foreign policy and his approach to global terrorism — were considered non-Bushesque initiatives.

Wait a minute. Weren't we told by Simon and Garfunkel: "Slow down, you move too fast. You've got to make the morning last"?

And by some other philosopher to "stop and smell the roses"?

Now we learn from new research that walking slow can be a bad thing — or at least reveal that you might be slouching toward Alzheimer's.

Desk Desk Evolution

Jul 30, 2014

Now that Weird Al week is long past, we can mull over the merits — and demerits — of Al Yankovic's new mishmash of novelty music: Mandatory Fun.

A Surge In Concierges

Jul 11, 2014

Steve Sims is the founder of Bluefish, a luxury concierge service that takes care of rich people. As Steve posted on Reddit recently: "We've arranged everything from supersonic military jet flights in Russia, submersible dives in the Atlantic Ocean to view the Titanic, sunsets in the Serengeti, deep-sea dives with great whites, performing with rock stars, to flights into space for our clients."

Cinema sites abound with lists such as Top 10 Movies ForThe Fourth Of July from Forbes and 12 Patriotic Movies by the Los Angeles Times. After all, Hollywood knows that Americans love to celebrate American celebrations.

Celebrating Independence Day on July Fourth is as American as burgers and dogs on the grill, lemonade in plastic cups, apple pie on paper plates, baseball, fireworks and Sousa marches.

Except for those Americans who don't celebrate it at all.

One reason Internet memes — the quirky photos with societal observations that are passed along like genes or around like germs — work so well, is that they tap into something of the moment, a fleeting notion that captures the here and now.

Ante-millennium America was ho-hum about soccer as a sport, because it is a game with: nonstop motion, international players, loose rules and corruption, low expectations of scoring and an imprecise ending.

Glance at the map above, Second Largest Religious Tradition in Each State 2010, and you will see that Buddhism (orange), Judaism (pink) and Islam (blue) are the runner-up religions across the country.

No surprises there. But can you believe that Hindu (dark orange) is the No. 2 tradition in Arizona and Delaware, and that Baha'i (green) ranks second in South Carolina?

While tornadoes continue to tear across America's midsection — taking lives and destroying property — we continue to search for explanations of the phenomenon, in hopes of developing better warning systems and protection.

But after decades of research, funded by decamillions of dollars, the fundamentals of wind funnels remain somewhat mysterious.

Can you feel it?

Like discrete clouds beginning to gather before a storm.

Not a trend, really. Not yet. But a tendency toward a trend. A trendency.

In France, many high-level politicians — such as Prime Ministers Francois Hollande, Jacques Chirac and Valery Giscard d'Estaing — developed their statecraft skills at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration.

When we posted the first Art in a Jar in April, we learned a couple of lessons: 1) Folks liked the idea. 2) The puzzle was way too easy.

So we try, try again.

The Puzzle

The challenge: Guess the masterpiece — by looking at its pieces — in the jar.

Please post your guesses in the comments section.

The Expert

The Bilderberg annual conference is convening at the end of May in Denmark. Or so it's reported.

For folks who have never heard of Bilderberg, it's an invitation-only confab of high-powered people who jawbone about world issues. Its mission, according to its official website, is at once simple and complex: "to foster dialogue between Europe and North America."

Fads sweep across America like thunderstorms.

The club sandwich — a mouthwatering mélange of meats, cheeses and salad greens double-stacked among three slices of mayo-slathered bread or toast — is a portable picnic for one. A movable feast.

"I order a club sandwich all the time," the late comedian Mitch Hedberg quipped. "And I'm not even a member."

Say what you will about the morality of marijuana, now that 21 U.S. states — and the District of Columbia — have passed some type of pot-friendly legalization, selling weed is big business.

Considering the month of April alone, the State Department said it was "deeply concerned" about each of these situations: justice in Turkey; peaceful challenges of official Chinese policies; restrictions of freedom in Egypt; a Ugandan raid on a U.S.-funded medical facility; the humanitarian crisis in Burma and certain actions of the Republika Srpska, among other various and diverse issues — many extremely serious.

To a lot of us, music is essential. So are animals. Often the two coincide, as we discovered when we asked people to Tell Us The 6 Songs Of Your Life.

For folks of a certain age, How Much Is That Doggy in the Window? is the first song they remember. Cat lovers cite Our House by Crosby, Stills and Nash, which refers to "two cats in the yard." The Bob Marley song Three Little Birds is a favorite of many.

Just when you think the Ku Klux Klan – with its sordid history of racism and violence – is a thing of the past, it rears its ugly, white-sheet-hooded head.

In the aftermath of the tragic killings at Jewish Community Centers in Kansas City on April 13 – and reports that the accused gunman belonged to a KKK group in North Carolina – you wanted to see if there is other news about the KKK in contemporary America.

In the past several years, as more and more people are connected through more and more social media, the idea of turning personal grievances into class actions has been popping up, well, more and more.

What a week it's been for giant pandas. We know because for the past seven days, we have been Google Frecking for pandas.

Google Frecking is an info-gathering game we devised — at the suggestion of our creative editor — for drilling a little deeper into a subject that intrigues us. In this case: pandas.

Last weekend we set up a Google Alert for pandas. We directed Google to send us news about pandas "when it happens" and we asked for "all results."

The approximate moment when grumpiness kicks in for men, according to a recently released report, is around age 70.

Then you'd better get off his lawn.

Researchers found that as men grow older — from, say, 50 on — they have fewer obstacles and annoyances to worry about in life and, furthermore, they are more equipped to deal with adversity. But around age 70, life — or at least the perception of happiness — begins to go downhill.

In recent pursuits, we have come upon accounts of once-practiced — and somewhat, shall we say, curious — sports that have long since faded into obscurity.

Perhaps in a calmer, more innocent era — if there ever was such a thing — April Fools' jokes made more sense. Nowadays the world seems overrun with Impractical Jokers, Crank Yankers and Ali G-type tricksters. And gags that once might have made us smile make us just, well, gag.

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