Marc Silver

Sustainable, sustainable, sustainable.

Sustainable. Sustainable.


Oh, excuse me. I was just counting the number of times the word "sustainable" (and its close cousin, sustainability) appear in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that the U.N. will endorse this coming weekend.

I got 75. And I probably missed a few.

The SDGs, as they're called, aim to improve life on earth, especially in poor countries — no more extreme poverty, the eradication of "a wide range of diseases," education and equal rights for all, taking care of the planet.

We're welcoming an unseen guest to our Jewish holiday celebrations this fall: My mother-in-law, Jan Dale, who died in 2005.

Since her passing, I've tried to keep Jan a presence at our festive meals with my attempts to bake some of her favorite recipes. For instance, to mark the start of Yom Kippur Tuesday night, I've made a batch of Jan's crumbly, cinnamon-scented mandelbread — that's Yiddish for "almond bread," a twice-baked cookie that's the Jewish version of biscotti.

But getting here has taken a bit of detective work.

It's not exactly clear why Dahlia Yehia was in Nepal. Was she trekking? Did she want to volunteer to help earthquake victims?

Hello pencils, hello books, hello teacher's dirty looks.

Yes, school is back in session. And students are no doubt grumbling about the end of the carefree summer.

But in some parts of the world, there are kids who don't get a chance to complain about what a drag it is to go back to school. Because they really want to go to school ... only they're not able.

Taylor Swift's video for her new song "Wildest Dreams" launched a storm of Internet criticism, including a searing review on this blog.

Yes, it's a cliche: "Yoga saved my life."

Google the phrase, and you'll get 12 million matches!

But when Walter Mugbe says it, he really means it. It's not an exaggeration. It's the truth.

OK, so maybe it was the photo of the painted goat that first caught our eye. (After all, we are Goats and Soda).

But there are many other gems from the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

Muhammad Yunus just had a milestone birthday. On June 28, he turned 75. It's a big moment for a man who's had many big moments in his life — most notably the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for founding Grameen Bank, which loans small sums, aka "microcredit," to the poor, mainly women, so they can start their own businesses.

Yunus stopped by NPR last week — he was in Washington, D.C., for a conference — wearing the long, open-necked "kurta" shirt of his native Bangladesh. "[A tie] looks funny on me," he joked.

The Trevor Noah countdown has begun. The South African stand-up comedian will begin hosting Comedy Central's Daily Show on Sept. 28. And what better way to get ready than ... by doing comedy.

Ruhy Patel, 17, lives in Doylestown, Pa. When she was 15 she was planning to run for student council office. "All the other people running were boys," she says, "and people were like, 'Well, you're not going to win.' You feel intimidated because you're the only girl in the room. It makes you question if you'd be OK in the field of politics."

Did she drop out? No.

Did she win? "I did!"

"I feel like it kind of makes you want to try harder when people say no," says Patel.

She was only 15 minutes late. That's amazing! After all, she is the first lady of the United States. She has a busy schedule. She was scheduled to speak to the Girl Up Leadership Summit at 11:15 a.m. And by 11:27ish she was in the house.

"You all look amazing," Michelle Obama told the 200-plus activists who represent some of the world's 1,000 Girl Up clubs. They'd come to Washington, D.C., to bond, to learn about girls' issues and to lobby Congress.

Update: New time is 1 p.m. ET

What's life like for a 15-year-old girl in Zambia? In Brazil? In Nepal? In the United States?

Starting this fall, NPR will be looking at the lives of 15-year-old girls: the challenges they face, the rules they break, the advice they'd give to a little sister.

What do you lose when one of the world's languages disappears?

Maybe it's a word that has two meanings — and the double meaning gives you a different way of thinking about things.

Like the word iya. In the endangered Latin American language of Kukama, it means "heart." But it also means "fruit."

Their gourds tell a story — and earn them a living. That gourd in the photo — the one on the left? It is covered with miniature pictures of a potato harvest in Peru. There's even a wee burro hauling the day's crop.

That gourd will sell for around $800.

A curious detail appeared in stories about the death this week of a 17-year-old boy from Ebola.