In one of the eight stories in Karen Russell's new collection, a group of dead presidents has been reincarnated as horses. Rutherford B. Hayes, a skewbald pinto, frantically licks the palm of a girl in a secret code that he's worked out, revealing his true identity and asking her to alert the authorities. "Ha-ha!" the girl laughs. "That tickles."
I know, you're probably thinking: "Dead presidents reincarnated as horses? Oh, come on, Meg, that sounds like the plot of so many short stories."
Daniel Riscoe, Jenna Hart, Anthony Chau and Caroline Lloyd (all students from the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J.) carry donated Christmas trees across Island Beach.
Credit Adam Cole / NPR
Alexandra Jones-Twaddell and Malley Chertkov add a Christmas tree to the growing line in Island Beach State Park. The two high-schoolers joined fellow students from the Peddie School to help rebuild dunes that had been flattened by Superstorm Sandy.
Credit Adam Cole / NPR
Ray Bukowski (far right), manager of Island Beach State Park, organizes members of the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.
For nearly a month, school bus drivers and aides have been on strike in New York City. They're fighting for job protections. The strikes has left thousands of children without yellow bus service. And while many are able to take public transit to school, students with disabilities who rely on door-to-door bus service have had a harder time. Yasmeen Khan from member station WNYC reports on how families are scrambling to get their kids to and from school.
YASMEEN KHAN, BYLINE: At least the Noris-Weitzman family has a car.
Richard Kessinger loves to hit the gym. But some days he needs a little something to get him pumped up for his weightlifting routine.
"You might be a little bit sore. You might be tired. You might have had too many beers the day before," says Kessinger, 23, of Arlington, Va. "So you might start putting up a set and you get a few reps in and you're like, 'I'm not feeling this. I can't keep going.' "
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama was in Chicago today, promoting what he calls ladders of opportunity to the middle class. It's the latest stop of his post-State of the Union tour, fleshing out the proposals from Tuesday night's speech. At a high school near his southside Chicago home, the president said reducing urban gun violence is essential to economic development.
An illustration of what asteroid 2012 DA 14 may look like as it approaches Earth.
Credit Aaron Kingery / NASA/MSFC
This image shows asteroid 2012 DA14 and the Eta Carinae Nebula, with the white box highlighting the asteroid's path. The image was taken using a 3" refractor equipped with a color CCD camera. The telescope is located at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia and is maintained and owned by iTelescope.net.
Lines of voters wait to cast their ballots as the polls open in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Nov. 6.
Credit Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
Desiline Victor, 102, of North Miami, awaits the start of President Obama's State of the Union address, which she attended Tuesday in the U.S. Capitol. The president spoke about Victor's long wait to vote last year.
Credit Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images
Voters wait in long lines to cast their ballots on Nov. 6 at Victory Elementary School in Bristow, Va.
One of the more memorable moments in President Obama's State of the Union address this week was his introduction of an elderly woman sitting in the House gallery. The president said that Desiline Victor had to wait three hours last year to vote in North Miami.
"Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line to support her," Obama said. "[Because] Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read, 'I Voted.' "