There are three black and white photographs of my dad that tell the story of the last few years. My brother, Andy, took them, and they are both beautiful and brutal.
The first one is of my dad on an August day in 2008. He's standing in a lake in the Adirondack Mountains. Because of his tremors he's down to 130 pounds from his normal weight of 170.
"He looks like he's out of a concentration camp, he does," my dad says about the person in the photo. "Nothing I ate, nothing I did, helped me put on weight, because it all went out through my tremors."
When Alice Ozma was in the fourth grade, her family was going through a rough patch. Her parents had just split up, and her older sister had recently left for college. Ozma was suddenly spending a lot more time alone with her dad, Jim Brozina, an elementary school librarian. So Ozma and her father made a pledge: to read together every single night for 100 days.
If it's a sunny weekend in Washington, chances are a motorcade will be leaving the White House for the golf course. President Obama typically golfs with the same small circle of friends and aides. One of his rules for a day on the course: No talking politics.
That changes Saturday. House Speaker John Boehner is joining the president for 18 holes. Vice President Biden and Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio are also coming along, turning this particular game into a much anticipated "golf summit."
This week some of the nation's biggest power tool companies sent their executives to Washington. They came to argue against tougher safety mandates for so-called table saws — the saws with large open spinning blades. NPR's Chris Arnold has this Reporter's Notebook.
Chicago officials be forewarned: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the city's new chief executive, may drop in on you with no notice and administer a snap quiz.
In a conversation with Weekend Edition Saturday, Emanuel told host Scott Simon that he did just that recently.
Between two scheduled events, Emanuel decided to make an impromptu visit to a police precinct in a high crime area which was just assigned 57 additional extra police officers as part of the new mayor's effort to get more police out of desk jobs and onto the streets.
In the 16th century, coffee shops prominently displayed coin boxes with the phrase "to ensure prompt service" written on the side. If you wanted your coffee in a hurry, you dropped a little something extra in the box, and made sure the waitress saw you do it.
This, according to at least one version of history, is where tipping began.
OK, we made that up. We can find no such thing. At least not on the various lists of official theme days in the United States.
But have you noticed? Americans give everything a special name — days, weeks, months.
Some are serious and draw attention to grave issues. June, for instance, is Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome Awareness Month — which puts a spotlight on a syndrome that leads to miscarriages, thrombosis, strokes and heart attacks. June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month and National Safety Month.
We all know that some animals seem to display emotions. If you've ever had a dog, for example, you can tell when they're feeling down and scientists have found that mammals and birds can exhibit pessimism.