Sam Evans-Brown

A lot of Americans are struggling to lose a whole lot of weight, and they try all kinds of crazy things.

Ernest Gagnon — a man from Billerica, Mass. — decided to shed pounds by getting into the often intense, high-adrenaline sport of cyclocross: racing road bikes on obstacle courses.

Two years ago, Gagnon tipped the scales at 570 pounds. He was depressed and embarrassed to leave the house.

If there is one thing that the mobile-computing era has made clear, it's that kids love touch screens. Because those touch screens — smartphones, iPads, Kindles and the like — are an inevitable added distraction to the classroom, schools across the country are struggling to deal with the growing prevalence of the technology.

But a growing number of schools are embracing these hand-held, Internet-ready devices by creating policies that put them to use in the classroom.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Athletes all over the country are competing to secure their places on the Summer Olympics team. At the same time, Winter Olympians are doing what they can to stay in shape. For cross-country skiers, that means roller skiing. New Hampshire Public Radio's Sam Evans-Brown reports roller skiing has become a competition sport in its own right.