Finally today, we want to take a minute to say goodbye to an important figure in American politics and education. Former Congressman William Gray III died yesterday at the age of 71. Gray was a Democrat who represented Pennsylvania's 2nd District from 1979 to 1992. He was the first African-American to serve as majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Beginning in 2014, most people, including students, will have to have health insurance, whether or not they are claimed as a dependent on their parents' tax returns.
The federal health law says if they don't, they or their parents will face penalties.
While expansion of coverage under the health law has helped about 3 million young people get insurance through their parents' plans, many remain uninsured or have coverage through student health plans.
A Tunisian appeals court has freed rapper Ala Yaacoubi, who last month was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting police officers with his song "The Police Are Dogs."
Critics had said the arrest of Yaacoubi, 25, who performs under the name Weld El 15, was a sign of repression in Tunisia, where mass rallies overthrew former leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at the start of the Arab Spring in 2011. As NPR reported that summer, several rap songs became anthems for that shift.
Producers throw a bunch of people into a house, where they're stuck for about three months. All day and all night, they're watched by cameras, and they can be watched online — these are the so-called "live feeds," which are sort of like watching the security cameras in the most boring juice bar in Los Angeles. (I wrote about touring the house in 2010; it's very creepy.)
Humans have long relied on the sense of taste in the struggle to survive and multiply. A bitter taste alerts us to a plant that may be poisonous. A sweet taste tells us that a plant is likely high in calories and can help sustain us.
This morning, as I perused the headlines, I saw a few items about the new Lone Ranger movie, and rather than being struck by interesting thoughts about the racial politics of Johnny Depp's Tonto, I abruptly remembered this joke: "Where does the Lone Ranger take his trash?" "To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump." You know, because of the music?
And then I thought, "Who built the Lone Ranger's luxury apartment building?"
"Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Trump Trump."