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Around the Nation
5:24 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Inside A Fireworks Artist's Studio: 'The Sky Is The Canvas, And Fire's My Paint'

Fireworks light up the sky above the Brooklyn Bridge during Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular in 2014.
Mark Lennihan AP

Designing a vast fireworks show is a bit like composing music. There's the opening to think about, of course, and the grand finale — and all the intricacies with which the colors and displays intermingle in between.

For Jim Souza, the president of Pyro Spectaculars, this is his art.

"The sky is the canvas," he says, lending another metaphor, "and fire's my paint."

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The Salt
5:17 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Aphrodisiacs Can Spark Sexual Imagination, But Probably Not Libido

The Birth of Venus, by Sandro Botticelli, depicts the goddess of love floating on a giant scallop shell. The word aphrodisiac derives from her Greek name, Aphrodite.
Sandro Botticelli via Wikimedia

What do we know about the power of food to rev up sex drive? Not much.

"Really, science has not figured out what determines sexual motivation and sexual attraction. If we knew the answer to that, we'd probably be richer than Pfizer after they invented Viagra," says Dolores Lamb, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

She hasn't seen any compelling evidence that any particular food can intensify desire.

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News
5:14 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Charleston Reporters Tell The National Story Of Local Violence

Crowds gather to pay their respects outside Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., in a pool photo by the Post and Courier.
Pool Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 6:11 pm

For the The Post and Courier, the newspaper in Charleston, S.C., it's been a crazy three months. The regional paper has been driving the coverage of the shootings at the Emanuel AME Church.

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Technology
5:08 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

In A Twist, Tech Companies Are Outsourcing Computer Work To ... Humans

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Religion
5:06 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

In A Time Of Grief And Recovery, A Sunday Sermon Foretold

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
5:06 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Metamorphosis On The Pitch: Americans Make Changes To Inch Closer To World Cup

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Strange News
5:06 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Millions Of Mummified Dogs Found In Ancient Egyptian Catacombs

Researchers discovered ancient animal mummies piled up in heaps inside a catacomb. Many of the mummies were in poor condition.
Courtesy of Paul Nicholson

In catacombs south of Cairo, researchers have discovered burial sites filled with huge numbers of mummified animals — nearly 8 million of them, mostly dogs.

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Author Interviews
5:04 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

If Robots 'Speak,' Will We Listen? Novel Imagines A Future Changed By AI

Courtesy of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins

Louisa Hall was a nervous speaker when she was little. At school, kids teased her and said she talked like a robot.

"I think I was just so nervous that I kind of couldn't put any real animation in my voice," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. "But ever since then I've kind of looked at robots or looked at machines and wondered whether they were just having trouble acting human."

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Europe
5:04 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

As Greece Stares Down Its Money Troubles, A Decisive Vote Looms

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

U.N.: Report On Iran's Atomic Program Possible By Year's End

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (not pictured) at a hotel in Vienna on Friday.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 5:20 pm

Yukio Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, says that if Iran cooperates, the agency could issue a report on the country's past atomic research by the end of the year.

NPR's Peter Kenyon, reporting from Vienna, says that progress is also being reported on sanctions relief for Tehran — but a deal has yet to be finalized.

"With cooperation from Iran, I think we can issue a report by the end of the year," Amano, the head of the U.N. agency, says.

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