On-air challenge: You will be given two words starting with the letter P. Name a third word starting with P that can follow the first one and precede the second one, in each case to complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, given "peer" and "point," you would say "pressure," as in "peer pressure" and "pressure point."
Robyn Hitchcock turns 60 this weekend. The British singer and guitarist has traveled a long way to this point, beginning in the 1970s as the frontman of proto-punk group The Soft Boys and continuing through a solo career that has produced hundreds of songs. He's even appeared in a few films: Jonathan Demme showcased the singer in Storefront Hitchcock and gave him a cameo as a Russian operative in the 2004 verison of The Manchurian Candidate.
Whether you love it or you hate it, you know it: "Hava Nagila." Maybe you grew up listening to Harry Belafonte's rendition, or found yourself in a chair being hoisted into the air by a singing crowd at your wedding or bat mitzvah. The kitschy Jewish standard lends itself particularly well to group singalongs and celebrity covers — but where did it come from?
Before the fight to win women equal footing in the workplace, there was the fight against Hitler and Hirohito. In the depths of World War II, everyone in America had to pitch in, men and women alike. And in 1943 the government offered war jobs, lots of them, in a town called Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Where is it on a map? What do they do there? What will I do there? The government didn't give any answers to those questions — and still the recruits, many of them young women, streamed in.
Hey, Julia ......... it's me ....... Kind of glad you're not picking up — this'll be easier. Maybe.
So. Here goes. I'm going to ask you to do something for me. It's not an ordinary best friend kind of favor — God, I wish it was. I wish I just needed you to pick up my dry cleaning or something ...... Anyway. Here it is. It's big ..... I need you to somehow explain to David (and I guess everyone else ...... damn) that I won't be there on Saturday. I just can't do it. This won't make any sense, I know. You'll think I'm insane. Everyone will .......
I don't really want to say this on a message, but I just can't wait any longer.
You know how we were snuggled up under the blanket in the park last week? Yeah, that was nice. Our six-month anniversary. And we got into a fight about something so stupid as exactly how long we've been dating, and whether it was from when we met at Starbucks or when we went on our first date. Heck, we ended up at that same Starbucks on our first date anyway.
That was our first real fight. Another milestone, huh?
If they can block the Keystone XL pipeline, they can keep Canada from developing more of its dirty tar sands oil. It takes a lot of energy to get it out of the ground and turn it into gasoline, so it has a bigger greenhouse gas footprint than conventional oil.
NPR's Bob Mondello and Tamara Keith read excerpts from Round 10 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. Saturday's excerpts are from the stories "Call Me?" by Anna Geletka of Greenville, N.C., and "Leave Me In London," by Taylor Sykes of West Lafayette, Ind. Read the full stories below and see other submissions and past winners on our Three-Minute Fiction page.