Male treehoppers make their abdomens thrum like tuning forks to transmit very particular vibrating signals that travel down their legs and along leaf stems to other bugs — male and female. Courtesy of Robert Oelman hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Robert Oelman

Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound

Good Vibrations Key To Insect Communication

For some insects, sound waves or vibrations are the real social media — high-speed rumbles sent through the air and along leaf stems to help the bugs claim territory, send warnings and find mates.

Stieg Larsson died in 2004, never knowing how popular his Millennium books would become. Britt-Marie Trensmar hide caption

itoggle caption Britt-Marie Trensmar

Book News & Features

The Girl Who Outlived Her Creator: Salander Returns In 'Spider's Web'

The fourth book in Stieg Larsson's best-selling Millennium series comes out internationally today — but Larsson died in 2004, so his father and brother hired a new writer to continue the series.

Almonds hang from a branch at an orchard in Firebaugh, Calif. Despite the strain of prolonged drought, in 2014, California farms sold $54 billion worth of crops like almonds or grapes, and animal products like milk. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Salt

Despite The Drought, California Farms See Record Sales

While the drought has put a strain on California agriculture, its farms actually set a record for total sales — $54 billion — in 2014. How? By pumping more water from their wells.

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Strawberry pickers in Watsonville, Calif. Many farmworkers in the state are out of work because of the severe drought. Those who do have a job are often working harder for less money. Lesley McClurg/For NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lesley McClurg/For NPR
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Almonds hang from a branch at an orchard in Firebaugh, Calif. Despite the strain of prolonged drought, in 2014, California farms sold $54 billion worth of crops like almonds or grapes, and animal products like milk. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Memories of Professor Longhair Dr. John 1:59

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Male treehoppers make their abdomens thrum like tuning forks to transmit very particular vibrating signals that travel down their legs and along leaf stems to other bugs — male and female. Courtesy of Robert Oelman hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Robert Oelman
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Song For Junior Beastie Boys 1:01

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Evan Fritz, head brewer at Manayunk Brewing Co., draws off some samples of Papal Pleasure, a beer concocted to mark Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia. It's brewed with water blessed by a local priest. Emma Lee/WHYY hide caption

itoggle caption Emma Lee/WHYY
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20 Questions Youngblood Brass Band 1:00

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Tell Me Something Good Ronnie Laws 1:56

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