Ailsa Chang

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At the heart of Esperanza Spalding's new album, Songwrights Apothecary Lab (S.A.L.), is a question: "What do you need a song for?" In pursuit of answers, Spalding, a Grammy-winning jazz singer and bassist, assembled a team of more than just other musicians; she created a laboratory of sorts, gathering neuroscientists, psychologists, ethnomusicologists and more. "We are like shipwrights," Spalding says in an interview with NPR's Ailsa Chang. "We build things.

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Updated August 13, 2021 at 6:32 PM ET

As of Friday, the Taliban have captured more than a dozen of Afghanistan's 34 provincial capitals, and are estimated to hold two-thirds of the country.

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Dev Patel can kind of imagine what it was like to sit with the Knights of the Round Table — he felt that way on his first red carpet and, to some extent, he still feels that way now.

"You're surrounded by all these incredible legends, these knights among us," he says.

In the new movie The Green Knight, Dev Patel plays young Gawain, the nephew of the famed King Arthur. It's based on the poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," one of the best known stories in the King Arthur legend.

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On April 30 of last year, armed militiamen entered the Michigan State Capitol Building looking for Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: (Yelling) Open the door.

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You've probably heard of the five stages of grief. I mean, they're pretty firmly lodged into American pop culture. There's...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT")

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Last night, the city of Milwaukee celebrated the number 50, the Milwaukee Bucks' first NBA title in 50 years.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Jaimi Butler is a lifelong Utahan. She grew up near the Great Salt Lake.

JAIMI BUTLER: Great Salt Lake is a weird place. And it's smelly, and it is one of the buggiest places on the face of the earth.

Soccer player Megan Rapinoe, swimmer Katie Ledecky and gymnast Simone Biles are among the 11,000 athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics beginning this week on July 23.

More than 600 athletes from across the U.S. are headed to Japan to represent Team USA, and they'll have to navigate the twists and turns of this year's unusual Olympic Games.

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