Lou Nasti runs a factory in Brooklyn that makes animatronic Christmas displays. He's been at it for almost 44 years. Neda Ulaby/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Neda Ulaby/NPR

The giant sequoia is a snow tree, says scientist Steve Sillett, adapted for long winters in the Sierra Nevada. But it's a fire tree, too. Thick bark protects it from burning in lightning-caused fires, which open cones and clear the understory, allowing saplings to find light and prosper. Michael Nichols/National Geographic hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Nichols/National Geographic

Giorgio Pasticcerie Italian bakery is owned by a father-and-daughter pair: Giorgio, who moved to Hoboken from Italy, and his daughter, Mary Grace, a first-generation American. John Delaney hide caption

itoggle caption John Delaney

Edward Hopper is well-known in the U.S. for paintings such as Nighthawks (1942)pensive, lonely portraits of people sitting together yet alone. He was less well-known in France, but an exhibit of his work at the Grand Palais has drawn impressive crowds. The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection/Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago hide caption

itoggle caption The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection/Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

After coloring, styling and photographing the rice, chef and food stylist Caitlin Levin made coconut rice. "It taste the same," she says. Henry Hargreaves hide caption

itoggle caption Henry Hargreaves