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#NPRreads: 4 Reads To Keep You Young This Weekend

Elderly women dance in a zumba dance during the global climate change awareness campaign Earth Hour at a park in Manila in 2015.
Ted Aljibe
AFP/Getty Images
Elderly women dance in a zumba dance during the global climate change awareness campaign Earth Hour at a park in Manila in 2015.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

From Nancy Shute, Co-Host of Shots, NPR's health blog:

The aging beat can be a bummer, and good news stories about getting old can end up sounding like a chirpy promo for AARP insurance. But as journalist Linda Marsa points out, a lot of people are getting old while staying remarkably healthy. Her doctor didn't believe that she could be 67, not on medications and with the blood pressure of a 30-year-old. In this article for the science magazine Nautilus, Marsa digs into why 65 may no longer be the right benchmark for "old," and how to become part of the growing cadre of the healthy old.

From National Desk Correspondent Jennifer Ludden:

Trying to steer my two middle school boys away from various electronic screens feels like a battle I lose a little bit more every week. Yet I recognize this is now their social life. The other day my younger son streamed a movie on a laptop while texting with a friend as they watched "together."

The Washington Post digs into this reality, profiling a day in the life of 13-year-old Katherine. The eighth grader shares the random series of things she looks at on her smartphone, and explains the strategy behind likes, lols, and tbh (which I learned means "to be honest.")

Then there's this heartbreaking comment:

"'I don't feel like a child anymore,' she says, 'I'm not doing anything childish. At the end of sixth grade' — when all her friends got phones and downloaded Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter — 'I just stopped doing everything I normally did. Playing games at recess, playing with toys, all of it, done.'"

The article offers no judgment, no advice. Katherine's dad is muddling through this technological revolution much like my husband and I are. Which is comforting, in a way. Now, like him, I finally need to go figure out Snapchat.

From Science Correspondent Joe Palca:

The Death of a Study tells the crazy history of the National Children's Study. It was designed to study 100,000 children from conception to age 21. Scientists felt that information gained from the study would help reveal the factors contributing to the incidence of various diseases, from asthma to autism. But after spending $1.3 billion over 14 years, federal officials killed the study with virtually nothing to show for it. I know quite a few of the dramatis personae in this saga, and while I haven't reported every detail myself, from what I know it seems accurate.

From digital editor Joe Ruiz:

This article is my recital, I think it's very vital

To rock (and write), that's right (on deadline)

It's Tricky is the title, here we go

My rhyming skills notwithstanding, and with apologies to Run-DMC...

The Washington Post spoke with most everybody involved (RIP, Jam Master Jay) with the production of "Walk This Way," the 1986 mashup of Aerosmith and Run-DMC that brought the rappers to the masses, re-invigorated Aerosmith's career, and eventually found its way into my headphones some years later and hooked me on rap and hip-hop.

The video of unreleased footage is genius at work, even if you can tell the musicians may not have seen just how ground-breaking this song could, and eventually would, be. The piece even dives into the iconic music video.

Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels says:

"Rick gives us this yellow notebook pad. He tells us, 'Go down to D's basement, put the needle on the record.' We go down to my basement and put on the record and then you hear 'Backstroke lover always hidin' 'neath the covers' and immediately me and Joe get on the phone and say: 'Hell no, this ain't going to happen. This is hillbilly gibberish, country-bumpkin bulls---.'"

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Jennifer Ludden helps edit energy and environment stories for NPR's National Desk, working with NPR staffers and a team of public radio reporters across the country. They track the shift to clean energy, state and federal policy moves, and how people and communities are coping with the mounting impacts of climate change.
Joe Ruiz
Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, "Joe's Big Idea." Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. Palca is also the founder of NPR Scicommers – A science communication collective.