NPR Staff

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Many Americans are familiar with the astronaut heroes of the 20th century space race — names like Gus Grissom and Neil Armstrong. But who did the calculations that would successfully land these men on the moon?

Several of the NASA researchers who made space flight possible were women. Among them were black women who played critical roles in the aeronautics industry even as Jim Crow was alive and well.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

It makes sense that Y La Bamba's latest album, Ojos Del Sol, is a bilingual journey through cultures and genres. After all, the project comes from frontwoman Luz Elena Mendoza, who carries her multiple identities with pride.

Mendoza's parents are both from Michoacan, Mexico. She was born in San Francisco, but her family soon relocated to southern Oregon, where both of her parents found jobs working at sawmills. Music was a large part of her childhood.

For American drivers filling up with premium at the gas station, AAA has a message for you: unless your owner's manual calls for premium, you're wasting your money.

More than 16 million Americans buy premium even though their cars don't need it, according to a new study released by AAA this week. The association found that premium gas does not improve performance or gas mileage in cars that only require regular-grade fuel.

Eimear McBride's new novel, The Lesser Bohemians, is an old story written in a new way: A May-December romance — or perhaps May-August — between 18-year-old Eily, an Irish drama student who comes to London in the 1990s, and a devilish rake of an older man, an actor, of course, named Stephen.

The novel is full of intricate, imaginative wordplay — and sex that can be similarly characterized — crafted by one of the most imaginative young talents in fiction.

The Amazon series Transparent is about a transgender woman named Maura who for decades was known to her kids as Mort, or Dad. Actor Jeffrey Tambor plays Maura and has just won a second Emmy for his performance. "When those roles come along, you don't run away," he tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "It's a perfect role, you know? I thought I was gonna do Lear, but I'm gonna do Maura."

A disturbing feature of this election cycle has been the growth in anti-Semitic hate speech online.

Jewish journalists, in particular, have received insults, slurs and threats over Twitter and other social media.

The Anti-Defamation League announced this week it is hiring a representative in Silicon Valley to work with tech companies to help fight anti-Semitic abuse online.

The U.S. government wants to help you take your hands off the wheel.

The Department of Transportation on Tuesday issued its Federal Automated Vehicle Policy, which outlines how manufacturers and developers can ensure safe design of driverless vehicles, tells states what responsibilities they will have and points out potential new tools for ensuring safety.