Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

If you've had a manicure lately, chances are you probably had it done at a nail salon run by people of Vietnamese heritage.

The salons are everywhere — in nearly every city, state and strip mall across the United States. So how did Vietnamese entrepreneurs come to dominate the multibillion-dollar nail economy?

Filmmaker Adele Free Pham set out to answer that question in a documentary called Nailed It. Growing up in Portland, Ore., she says, she observed that all the nail salons around her were Vietnamese run.

Already a bold trendsetter on the pop stage, Rihanna is also breaking barriers in the makeup and fashion industries.

The 31-year-old Barbadian singer has partnered with the historic LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton fashion house, becoming the first woman of color to have a label under LVMH and the first woman to start an original brand for the world's largest luxury group.

The new label is named Fenty, after the last name of the singer (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty). It's an expansion of her cosmetics empire of the same name, launched in a 2017 partnership with LVMH.

A dolphin swims by at an exhibit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

It was the morning after the election of America's first black president, and Kwame Onwuachi was hungover. He'd been partying all night. He was dealing drugs to survive after he dropped out of college. He was, he says, lost.

But when he saw President Obama, something clicked. "I thought, I can do anything. And I immediately flushed everything that I had down the toilet and was like, I need to find myself," Onwuachi recalls.

Around this time every year, tens of thousands of flamingos flock to Mumbai to feed. But this year, there are almost three times more than the normal amount in the city — about 120,000.

The reason for the influx is currently a mystery. But some scientists believe that pollution in the birds' natural habitat might be one factor at play.

Over the past few years, Miami native Trenise Bryant has seen her neighborhood, the African-American enclave of Liberty City, start to change. Bryant grew up in one of the area's oldest public housing projects, Liberty Square. Lately, rents have gone up, and Bryant has seen people priced out and forced to move away.

One factor driving this, Bryant says, is climate change.

Every week, Jorge needs to earn $364.08. His handwritten budget is taped to the wall of the windowless shed where he lives in Miami. Inside the tiny space, there's barely enough room for a twin bed and a battered dresser; his kitchen consists of a blender and a microwave. There's no running water, and mosquitoes fly in through the open door.

The little that he earns needs to cover more than just his living expenses — Jorge has diabetes and cancer to manage, and he needs to support his five children back home in Ecuador.

If you want healthy plants, some people say you should talk to them. If you want to make delicious cheese, try playing hip-hop music.

That's the finding of a recent experiment by researchers in Switzerland who set out to determine how sound waves might affect the microorganisms that give cheese its flavor.

Art thieves stole a Flemish masterpiece valued at 3 million euros from a small Italian town church last week. Or so they thought.

To their surprise, the painting they stole was actually a fake. Town leaders and the Carabinieri, Italy's military police, had been tipped off about the planned heist and replaced the original painting, Pieter Brueghel the Younger's The Crucifixion, with a replica.

The musical leg of SXSW 2019 has taken over Austin, Texas, once again and Alt.Latino's Felix Contreras has been standing amidst the food stands, venues and musical equipment cases to check out all the best Latin talent making noise.

"South by Southwest is becoming more important for Latin music every year," Contreras says. "More and more bands from Latin America, Spain and the U.S are coming here. I've been coming for 10 years and I used to be able to see most of the bands I needed. Now, its impossible."

What do you eat in space? How do you sleep in space?

And just what does one do all day long in space?

Children from the Georgetown Day School in Washington D.C., recently had a chance to ask their most burning questions to NASA astronaut Anne McClain.

They are roughly the same age that McClain was when on her first day of preschool she announced that she wanted to become an astronaut.

Before sunrise and illuminated by lantern light, the faithful gathered to pray, as they have many times before, at La Lomita chapel in Mission, Texas.

The chapel is made of simple white adobe, and Roy Rogers' song "Blue Shadows On The Trail" plays from a battery-operated radio in the chilly pre-dawn gloom as Rev. Roy Snipes makes his way down the aisle to preside over the Mass.

Kashmir Hill wanted Amazon out of her life, completely.

It was the first week of a six-week experiment in living without tech giants. She had a virtual private network, or VPN, that would keep her devices walled off from any Amazon product. She would avoid Whole Foods and power down her Kindles.

But she had a problem. A small, chipper problem.

Alexa.

She couldn't connect her Amazon Echo to the VPN. But if she just unplugged the smart speaker, someone, like her husband, might forget and plug it back in.

The premise for 99 Nights in Logar came from one very vivid memory of a fearsome family guard dog. "He was this massive, beastly dog and he hated me for some reason," says author Jamil Jan Kochai.

Kochai was born in Pakistan and grew up in the U.S. As a kid, he traveled to Logar, Afghanistan, to visit with his family. One day, the guard dog got loose. "He was such a powerful dog that they were literally afraid he might kill someone," Kochai recalls.

Isa Burke, Eleanor Buckland and Mali Obomsawin met as young girls at a fiddle camp one summer and bonded over their love of folk music. Now in their 20s, the ladies make up the folk trio Lula Wiles. Together, the women are giving folk music a new reputation with the band's sophomore album, What Will We Do, released on Jan. 25.

In the latest social media craze, people are sharing photos comparing how they looked 10 years ago with how they look today. Dubbed the "10-Year Challenge," the viral fad has attracted everyone from celebrities like Mariah Carey and Justin Baldoni, to environmentalists seeking to highlight the impacts of climate change.

This story is part of our ongoing "Missed Connections" series, and it begins at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Ore.

Greg McKelvey says the day he crossed paths with police officer Andrew Halbert eight years ago left him deeply affected. This month, McKelvey reflected on the incident in a Twitter thread that went viral.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The daylight is dwindling away. The solstice arrives on Friday. So let's listen to some warming songs from Eastern Europe that celebrate the season upon us.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MOMCI KOLEDARCI")

KITKA WOMEN'S VOCAL ENSEMBLE: (Singing in Bulgarian).

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Holiday home decorations can be store-bought or homemade, handed down in a family from generation to generation. But what about from one homeowner to another?

ALISON LAPOINTE: When we were walking through the house for the inspection...

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Roll over Spot, Buddy and Rover. Say hello to Cardi B, Harry and Groot! These are just some of 2018's popular names for dogs.

Kate Jaffe is a dog name curator for Rover, the dog and cat service provider. She says that this year pop culture dog name names are in.

"We saw the royal wedding surging as inspiration for dog names," she says. "In fact, dogs named Harry and Meghan were both up about 130 percent this year."

While conducting research deep in the archives at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland last summer, Patricia Hall, a music theory professor at the University of Michigan, discovered something unexpected. Professor Hall unearthed manuscripts of music arranged and performed by prisoners in the Nazi death camps. A buoyant foxtrot titled "The Most Beautiful Time Of Life" stood out to Hall, and has now been recorded by Michigan's Contemporary Directions Ensemble.

When looking up at the stars, it's hard not to wonder what else — or even who else — could be out there. The resilience of franchises like Star Trek in pop culture prove we've always believed in the possibility of life beyond our own solar system. But it wasn't until about a decade ago that we were able to locate and identify those distant planets of our dreams.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

President Trump says he's planning to pull out of an international arms control agreement. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, it's a treaty signed by President Reagan designed to reduce the dangers of nuclear war.

Vijay Gupta's life work has been to make music accessible to all.

That passion caught the attention of others and earlier this month the Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist was awarded a 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship — also known as the genius grant.

Pages