Heidi Glenn

NPR wants to read how sports has touched your life — in poetry form.

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The field of 2020 presidential candidates with health care overhaul plans is crowded, and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., is drawing lines of distinction between his proposal and his competitors' plans.

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When you hear a big idea from a presidential candidate, do you ever want to ask: How would that work?

Two undecided voters John Zeitler, a 48-year-old attorney for an insurance company, and Hetal Jani, 36, who runs a nonprofit focused on education and mentorship, wanted to know more about the "freedom dividend" proposal from first-time presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

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Beto O'Rourke wants to ban and buy back assault-style weapons. Exactly how he would persuade others to get on board is unclear, and two undecided Texas voters recently pressed him on how he would build consensus for his plan and whether it would hold up in conservative courts.

What do you want to ask the 2020 presidential candidates?

Off Script, a new NPR series about presidential hopefuls, gives voters the chance to sit down with candidates and get answers to their questions.

Tom Gasko loves vacuum cleaners. He not only repairs them, he has a collection of hundreds of vintage and modern models, which are on display in a museum and repair shop in Rolla, Mo.

His fascination with vacuum cleaners began early. It started when he was a toddler, with his mother's Rainbow cleaner. At 6, he began repairing his neighbors' broken vacuums.

The Blooper Burger is what happens when ALL the food is stacked between two slices of Texas toast: four cheeseburger patties, a footlong hot dog, four chicken tenders, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapenos and tater tots.

There's also American cheese and nacho cheese sauce.

To some, Republican Sen. John McCain embodied principles of a bygone Washington: He sought common ground; he reached across the political divide; he had close friendships with Democrats.

His wife, Cindy McCain, would like to try to get back to those days. So to mark a year since her husband died of brain cancer, she is encouraging Americans to be more civil.

"We're missing John's voice of reason right now in so many ways," McCain tells NPR's David Greene.

New York City's Times Square has a ball drop on New Year's Eve. Tallapoosa, Ga., rings in the new year by dropping a taxidermied opossum named Spencer.

The "Possum Drop" is a tradition that career taxidermists Bud and Jackie Jones helped establish in their small town.

Bud, 88, and Jackie, 82, have been married for 62 years, and at a StoryCorps interview recorded in September, they spoke about their colorful love story — which began with a missing pet on their very first date.

Humorist David Sedaris' annual reading from "Santaland Diaries" has become an NPR institution — it debuted on Morning Edition in 1992 — and for many listeners, hearing from Crumpet the Macy's department store elf each year signals the holiday season as much as mistletoe and candy canes.

This year we asked you to pretend YOU are an elf in Santaland. We wondered what, in one sentence, your imaginary shift is like and what your imaginary elf is named.

It has been two years since the death of Philando Castile, the Minnesota man misidentified as a robbery suspect and then shot and killed by a police officer after a traffic stop.

To the world, he was a name in a major news story, but to more than 400 kids at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School, he was their "lunch man."

He was the school's cafeteria supervisor. Students there called him Mr. Phil.

Leila Ramgren, 10, a student at the school, remembers that he loved kids.

Matt Peters farmed corn and soybeans in Iowa for more than 35 years. The farm had been in his family for generations, and though he had gone to college to study law enforcement, Matt decided to make a life as a farmer.

"Matt just felt that that was where he needed to be," his wife, Ginnie, says in a StoryCorps conversation recorded in April. "Maybe not where he wanted to be, but it was where he needed to be."

Toys R Us is going out of business, its website is shuttered, its gift cards will expire soon, and some of its store locations are on the auction block.

But one businessman is determined to bring the bankrupt toy store franchise back to life.

"I will make Toys R Us a fun place again," toy mogul Isaac Larian tells NPR's Rachel Martin.

Erin Roth faced a tough choice in 2015. She needed to select a school for her daughter. And in Washington, D.C., where she lives, she faced a dizzying array of traditional and charter schools from which to choose.

Maggie Marquez and Jessi Silva grew up in the desert town of Marfa, Texas, in the 1950s, when schools were segregated. Latino children were sent to Blackwell Elementary School, and for many of them, Spanish was their first language.

Maggie, 73, and Jessi, 69, were students there, and at StoryCorps, they remember the day their school banned students from speaking Spanish — in a ceremony called the "burial of Mr. Spanish."

Air travel can be a stressful experience for all of us. But for Russell Lehmann, who has autism, a flight delay or cancellation isn't just a small inconvenience. Unexpected changes can cause him to have panic attacks — or worse.

That's what happened when Russell was trying to catch a flight from Reno, Nev., to Cincinnati in June that got delayed.

Kyle Cook and Carla Saunders are neonatal nurse practitioners at a children's hospital in Knoxville, Tenn., where they've spent decades caring for infants. In the summer of 2010, their jobs began to change.

"We had six babies in the nursery who were in withdrawal," Saunders, 51, remembers.

Ten-year-old triplets Maddy, Zoë and Nick Waters share everything from a birthday to a bedroom. But in a StoryCorps booth in Bloomington, Ind., they discover — even as they finish each other's sentences — that there are still some things they needed to learn about each other.

Social media companies are under pressure to block terrorist activity on their sites, and Facebook recently detailed new measures, including using artificial intelligence, to tackle the problem.

The measures are designed to identify terrorist content like recruitment and propaganda as early as possible in an effort to keep people safe, says Monika Bickert, the company's director of global policy management.

The Trump administration's talk of cracking down on undocumented immigrants has frightened many people living in the country illegally. And it has deterred some domestic abuses victims from appearing in court for fear they'll be spotted by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says Denver City Attorney Kristin Bronson.

Bronson tells NPR's Rachel Martin that four women — victims of what Bronson calls physical and violent assault — have not pursued cases.

In a new book, The Complacent Class, economist Tyler Cowen argues that the United States is standing still.

People have grown more risk averse and are reluctant to switch jobs or move to another state, he says, and the desire to innovate — to grow and change — has gone away.

In an interview with NPR's Rachel Martin, Cowen says he's worried that more and more communities are self-segregating — by income, education or race.

Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in Washington, D.C., New York City and Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have made Sept. 11 a recurring theme in their campaigns, but both say they will stay off the campaign trail that day and will not visit ground zero in New York City.

Here is a look at current players in the political landscape and where they were in their political careers on Sept. 11, 2001.

So you've been with your partner for a long time. It's time to start considering yourselves common-law married, a sort of "marriage-like" status that triggers when you've lived together for seven years. Right?

Nope. That's all bogus.

Where do you draw the line between inspiration and straight-up imitation when it comes to food?

A few years ago, we brought you the story of Caitlin Freeman, a pastry chef baking innovative, art-inspired cakes at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Using modern art as her muse, Freeman translated what she saw in the museum into edible form at the SFMOMA's upstairs café.

When Robin Bunevich and her boyfriend, Alex Rivas, decided to buy a place together, they knew they wanted to live in their favorite neighborhood, Astoria, Queens. They found the perfect two-bedroom, two-bath apartment last year. The purchase was a big, exciting step for the couple, who had previously been renting a place together. And just as they were getting ready to start the new chapter together, the process also had them thinking about what would happen if they broke up.

The Vatican may still announce a new pope with a smoke signal, but when it comes to connecting with his flock, Pope Francis is just a click away.

He's called the Internet a "gift from God," participated in Google Hangouts and fully embraced Twitter where every few days he broadcasts messages of mercy and forgiveness in 140 characters or less.