NPR Staff

What would you do if a stranger stopped you on the street, asked to take your picture and asked to hear your story?

For the past five years, photographer Brandon Stanton has been doing exactly that — on the streets of New York, no less — and thousands of people have said yes. Stanton has been not only collecting their stories and images, but also sharing them on his blog, Humans of New York.

A new James Bond movie tends to mean a few things: a new villain, two new Bond girls (one of whom may or may not be painted gold), and — perhaps most dependably — a new song playing behind the opening credits. Fifty years of Bond films has left much music to be analyzed, and the Oxford University Press does just that in a new book called The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism.

Jamie Cullum, musician and BBC Radio 2 host, is constantly searching for the freshest sounds in jazz music. A frequent guest on Weekend Edition, he recently visited the program to share new music from Matthew Halsall & the Gondwana Orchestra, Daymé Arocena and Sons of Kemet. The sounds range from Coltrane-influenced spiritual jazz to acoustic club music informed by the traditional sounds of Ethiopia and West Africa.

Screenwriter Abi Morgan told Margaret Thatcher's life story in The Iron Lady, and co-wrote the controversial film Shame, about a sex addict. Her stories for movies and television have gotten Oscar nods, BAFTAs and plenty of other awards.

In 1989, the New York Times wrote this about a 21-year-old up-and-comer from New Orleans: "Harry Connick, Jr. may have what it takes to inject the world of traditional jazz with a shot of Hollywood glamour."

Anheuser-Busch, the company behind both Budweiser and Beck's, has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit. The plaintiffs claim the megabrewer misled customers by trumping up Beck's German roots and insinuating that it was an imported beer.

Now, for more than 100 years, Beck's has been brewed in Germany. But in 2002, the company was bought up by big international brewers, eventually becoming part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, based in Belgium.

Oprah Winfrey lifts the popularity of almost anything she embraces. On Monday, Weight Watchers announced that the billionaire media mogul would be giving it her midas touch by acquiring a 10 percent stake in the diet company.

Winfrey will join the board and will lend her name and image to Weight Watchers marketing. Shares of the company more than doubled by the end of the day.

Pop singer Garrett Borns, known more commonly by his stage name BORNS, became an instant sensation when his song "Electric Love" went viral earlier this year. The song, hailed as an "instant classic" by Taylor Swift, catapulted BORNS into the national spotlight before he'd even started to prep his debut album. Now, that album, Dopamine, is out. Much like his breakout hit, it looks to capture pleasure, longing and fantasy.

In the new film Room — based on the novel by Emma Donoghue — a young woman, held captive for seven years, breaks free with her son, who's never seen the outside world. All he knows is the world of Room, of Table and Lamp and Skylight, and occasionally Old Nick, the man who kidnapped his mother.

So if I say Aunt Jemima, you think what? Fluffy pancakes and waffles?

For sure.

Loving hospitality?


But for some, the title, the image, even the updated version sans headwrap, evokes other feelings, including anger, over a racial stereotype of a black woman with no apparent life of her own. One who is happiest in the kitchen getting ready to serve her white folks.

Well, just who were the real Aunt Jemimas, the real black cooks and chefs whose craft and skill did so much to define American cuisine?

Gotta grab a reader with the first sentence? Here's one from Fredrick Forsyth: "We all make mistakes, but starting the Third World War would have been a rather large one."

Forsyth has written masterful thrillers for more than 40 years, from The Day of the Jackal to The Dogs of War to The Odessa File and The Kill List. He's said he won't write an autobiography. But he doesn't mind sharing a few stories about the life and times that have shaped him, and his work.

City on Fire, the new novel from Garth Risk Hallberg, bears a price tag that may give some people pause. Not the listed $30 purchase price on the store shelf — the $2 million advance he received to write his first novel.

Secretary of State John Kerry stepped before a packed auditorium Thursday. He was at Indiana University for the opening of a school of international studies.

"I have managed to completely forget that when running for president in 2004, I was crushed in Indiana," he quipped.

Kerry was welcomed Thursday as he promoted the Obama administration's recent international agreements, like deals on Pacific trade and Iran's nuclear program.

The transformation of a young boy protected from war into a child soldier perpetrating war is at the center of the new film Beasts of No Nation.

The boy — named Agu — lives in an unnamed African country. He loses his family and his world when government troops hunting down rebels destroy his village. Agu escapes into the forest, only to be recruited into the rebel cause: A battalion of child soldiers. For them, survival depends on the brutal acts they're ordered to carry out.

From floating old food in Jell-O molds to casseroles to cold pizza, the way we reuse and eat leftovers in America is special.

And it turns out that if you track our relationship with leftovers over time, you will understand a lot about our economy and how we live.

In mid-November, diners at the New York restaurants Gramercy Tavern and The Modern may notice something new on their menus: higher prices, across the board.

Many people have experienced the magic of a wonderful teacher, and we all know anecdotally that these instructors can change our lives. But what if a teacher and a student don't connect? How does that affect the education that child receives?

Is there a way to create a connection where there isn't one? And how might that change things, for teachers and students alike?

From his roles in Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the Dick Van Dyke Show and, most recently, the Night at the Museum movies, actor Dick Van Dyke has been in our collective consciousness for a very long time.

Though he seems to be ageless, the Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winning star turns 90 next month. And to help mark the occasion he's published a new book with author Todd Gold, Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging.

Colum McCann first won fans around the world with his bestselling novel Let The Great World Spin. The Irish author is now releasing a new collection of short fiction — a novella and three stories — called Thirteen Ways of Looking. They're tales that deal with parenthood, loss and just how arbitrary life can be. In one story, a mother searches desperately for her adopted and disabled son who has gone missing on coast of Ireland.

Steve Jobs was a man whose vision helped change how the world sees and uses technology. He was also an indifferent father, a selfish colleague and a mercurial, even abusive, boss.

A new film from director Danny Boyle shed light on all these facets of the complex founder of Apple. Boyle, together with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and leading man Michael Fassbender, set out to create a tightly wrought record of one of the late 20th century's most iconic figures — which Boyle found to be a tall order.

As the debate over gun ownership and gun control is renewed following the shooting deaths of nine people, including the gunman, at an Oregon community college earlier this month, there's the voice of an evangelical leader whose views might be different from what some would expect.

When you think of a nuclear meltdown, a lifeless wasteland likely comes to mind — a barren environment of strewn ashes and desolation. Yet nearly 30 years after the disaster at the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl, in the former Soviet Union, a very different reality has long since taken root.

In and around Chernobyl, wildlife now teems in a landscape long abandoned by humans. The area has been largely vacant of human life since 31 people died in the catastrophe and cleanup.

Ted Hughes left behind a path of personal tragedy and destruction — and also some of the most beautiful poetry in the English language. The British Poet Laureate was the husband of writer Sylvia Plath, who famously committed suicide following his affair with Assia Wevill. Just six years later, Wevill took her own life, and also the life of the young daughter she had with Hughes.

Shemekia Copeland has blues in her blood: She is the daughter of the late great Texas blues musician Johnny Clyde Copeland, and a lot of her early music sounded like it. Now, at 36, she's doing things a little differently. Her latest record, Outskirts of Love, carries the weight of her experiences and showcases the growing she's done since she began recording music as a teenager.

It's Oct. 1, two days before the season's first Saturday Night Live goes on air. Guest host Miley Cyrus is rehearsing, rumors are flying that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is going to be on the show — and executive producer Lorne Michaels is in his office overlooking studio 8H, worrying.