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Participation Nation
7:03 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Backpacks For Kids In Punta Gorda, Fla.

Back Pack Kids in Punta Gorda.
Courtesy of Yah Yah Girls

Several years ago, Jolene Mowry, president of the Yah Yah Girls of Punta Gorda, heard about a program in another state that provided food on weekends to needy schoolchildren.

So every Friday since 2010, the Yah Yahs deliver backpacks full of healthy, non-perishable, child-friendly food to schools throughout Charlotte County. The packs are given to Back Pack Kidz who have been identified — by the principals and school nurses — as likely to be hungry on weekends.

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The Picture Show
5:38 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Our Changing Forests: An 88-Year Time Lapse

1909. Facing nearly due west from ridge northeast of Como Lake. Light selection cut in open ponderosa pine. Ground cover is comprised of perennial grasses and forbs, including basalmroot. A few low-growing bitterbrush plants can be seen in the vicinity of horses and in distance on left. A group of willows can be seen behind horsemen at left center.
Photo 87357 U.S. Forest Service

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:35 pm

Intense forest fires have been raging across the western United States this summer. So far this year, nearly 43,000 wildfires have torched almost 7 million acres of land.

As NPR Science correspondent Christopher Joyce and photographer David Gilkey report from Arizona and New Mexico this week, the forests of the American Southwest have become so overgrown that they're essentially tinderboxes just waiting for a spark.

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Joe's Big Idea
3:23 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Telescope Innovator Shines His Genius On New Fields

Roger Angel, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, stands in front of his new project: a solar tracker. Angel wants to use the device to harness Arizona's abundant sunlight and turn it into usable energy.
Jason Millstein for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:23 pm

You may not be familiar with the name Roger Angel, but if there were ever a scientist with a creative streak a mile wide, it would be he.

Angel is an astronomer. He's famous for developing an entirely new way of making really large, incredibly precise telescope mirrors. But his creativity doesn't stop there. He's now turned his attention to solar power, hoping to use the tricks he learned from capturing distant light from stars to do a more cost-efficient job of capturing light from the Sun.

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First And Main
3:22 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Wis. Business Owner Relates To Romney's Resume

Linda Wendt is the owner of a restaurant on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin. Republican Mitt Romney "has done what I've done, so I can relate to him," she says. "He knows what business goes through and what it takes to run a business."
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:47 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition is visiting swing counties in swing states for our series First and Main. We're listening to voters where they live — to understand what's shaping their thinking this election year.

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Planet Money
3:21 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Why Do Taxpayers Subsidize Farmers' Insurance?

Grandpa Traub — corn former and millionaire.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 10:16 am

This summer's drought has hit more than half the states in the country. Crops are suffering, but farmers might not be. Most farmers have crop insurance.

U.S. taxpayers spend about $7 billion a year on crop insurance. It's our largest farm subsidy.

And this subsidy goes in part to farmers — who will tell you themselves they aren't so sure about the whole idea. "I have an aversion to it," says Jim Traub, a corn and bean farmer in Fairbury, Illinois. "But you're not going to turn it down."

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