Singer Ian Curtis on stage in 1980 with Joy Division, whose song "Transmission" is among those explored in Greil Marcus' book The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs. Rob Verhorst/Redferns hide caption

itoggle caption Rob Verhorst/Redferns

Author Interviews

The Other Rock History

What makes an essential rock song? Musicologist Greil Marcus argues that it's not the stature of the performer, but the degree to which a song tells the story of rock 'n' roll itself.

St. Louis Rams draft pick Michael Sam watches pregame festivities before the start of the South Dakota State-Missouri NCAA college football game on Saturday, in Columbia, Mo. Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, was released by the St. Louis Rams Saturday. L.G. Patterson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption L.G. Patterson/AP

The Two-Way - News Blog

Michael Sam, First Openly Gay NFL Draft, Is Dropped By Rams

The former Missouri defensive end was edged out in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks for a spot on St. Louis' roster.

Francisco Antolin, the driver and co-founder of Tell A Story, speaks to a couple of Danish tourists who purchased some books from his mobile bookstore. The converted van travels around Lisbon and sells translations of Portuguese literature. Laura Secorun Palet/Ozy.com hide caption

itoggle caption Laura Secorun Palet/Ozy.com

Books

Travelling Books: Vintage Van Carries Literature Around Lisbon Ozy.com

A mobile bookstore, loaded with translations of Portuguese classics, drives around selling books to tourists and locals alike. The van, called Tell a Story, plans to start traveling throughout Europe.

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Hadrian's Wall marks the Roman Empire's northernmost boundary, and at one point is less than a mile from today's border between England and Scotland. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ari Shapiro/NPR

Parallels - World News

The Wall That Defined Scotland's Frontier, 2,000 Years Ago To Today

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a wall two millennia ago that kept the Scottish out. Once a grand statement, the wall also said something about the people who withstood the massive empire.

Trainer Jimmy McConnell of Shelbyville, Tenn., rides champion walking horse Watch It Now before a 2009 football game in Knoxville, Tenn. Celebrations of the breed's distinctive gait are a 75-year-old tradition, but animal rights activists say that for many of those decades, the walking horse industry has abused animals to get their knees even higher. Wade Payne/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Wade Payne/AP

Animals

Making Sure Those Walking Horses Aren't Hurting Horses WPLN

Animal rights groups say Tennessee walking horses' distinctive high-stepping gait is partly the result of trainers hurting the animals. This year, a major show is testing to try and curb abuse.

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Tiny Desk Concerts

Tiny Desk Concert: The Hazy Songs Of Sturgill Simpson

The Kentucky native writes country music about loneliness, failed dreams, drinking and drugs. Here, he performs four of his songs with a thundering voice that makes the NPR offices shudder.

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