KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Nina Kravinsky

Not long ago, the red sandstone walls of the Dolores River Canyon in southwestern Colorado towered over roaring rapids that teemed with native fish.

Now, it's largely empty.

Drought compounded by climate change has left the once robust river a ribbon of cobblestones, a trickle of water and small, shallow pools.

"It's really an unfortunate and tragic, incredible canyon with sort of a meek river that was once really a giant, wonderful symbol of the Wild West," said Jim White, an aquatic biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Last month, Pastor Danny Reeves was fighting for his life in the intensive care unit at Dallas' Baylor University Medical Center. He had COVID-19, and he wasn't vaccinated.

Now, the senior pastor at First Baptist Corsicana in north central Texas regrets not getting the shot earlier, and he plans to tell his congregants his story on Sunday when he returns to the pulpit.

"I was falsely and erroneously overconfident," Reeves told NPR's Debbie Elliott on Morning Edition.

Benjamin Banneker – a free Black man born in 1731 – is best known for a land survey that established the original borders of Washington, D.C. But the naturalist also broke ground in another field: cicada research.

Banneker first observed the cicadas at his Maryland home as a teenager in 1740s. He spent the next 50 years documenting their unique life cycles — the bugs come out of the ground for only a few weeks every 17 years. His observations were among the earliest known to be documented.

For many small museums across the country, it's been over a year since their doors have been open to visitors, putting them in the same life-or-death situation as much of the rest of the arts sector.

Some smaller museums have struggled with accessing federal grants. And unlike large institutions, they don't have large endowments and can't fall back on deep reserves.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

The pandemic has devastated the art sector, and hundreds of small museums are trying to keep from having to close forever. Here's NPR's Nina Kravinsky.

Opera Philadelphia has, of course, spent the last year unable to stage live works in theaters. In response, they started creating original works written for the camera, to be shared and viewed online as part of an ongoing effort to bring a wider range of voices into the repertory.

The world of matchmaking won't have to rely on luck, as much as math, thanks to one very accomplished teenager.

Yunseo Choi, a senior at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, came up with a matching theory that can be applied to people looking for a life partner.

Instead of matching a finite number of people, the 18-year-old figured out how to pair an infinite number of potential couples.

The idea being that when your options are infinite, your matched date will likely be better suited for you.

For members of Luminous Voices, a professional choir ensemble in Alberta, Canada, rehearsing and performing safely during the pandemic has meant getting into their cars, driving to an empty parking lot and singing with each other's voices broadcast through their car radios.

This "car choir" solution is one that college music professor David Newman — an accomplished baritone himself in Virginia — came up with so that ensembles could sing and "be" together.