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Before Brandon Taylor became a writer, he was a biochemistry researcher, breeding microscopic worms in a lab.

BRANDON TAYLOR: I come from a very working-class background in rural Alabama. And so for me, going into science, even with my, you know, small graduate stipend, that was the most money anyone in my family had made.

CORNISH: But Taylor was also the only black queer man in his program doing a job that was already isolating by nature.

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The museum faced a docent dilemma.

When Ellen Owens, director of learning and public engagement at the Penn Museum, looked at her pool of docents, she saw a wonderful — and aging — group of largely white people. Docents explain exhibits to visitors and show them around the galleries. Owens thought that having docents from a range of ages and backgrounds might be a good way to connect with more diverse communities who might not otherwise be drawn to the Penn Museum.

For the past six months, NPR's Audie Cornish has held a series of conversations with women navigating the male-dominated world of comedy. Here are some highlights.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. It's President's Day, and today, we take a look at the Trump presidency through the eyes of two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters from The Washington Post, Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. I spoke with them in January when their new book was published, but our interview was preempted on most stations by special coverage of the impeachment trial in the Senate. Today, we'll air that interview along with an update on events since it was recorded.

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A senior Taliban official says the group may sign a peace deal with the United States by the end of this month. That deal would start the process of an American withdrawal from Afghanistan if it can be pulled off. NPR's Diaa Hadid is on the line with us from Kabul.

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Public schools in Puerto Rico were shut down after a string of earthquakes and aftershocks a few weeks ago. One school collapsed entirely; other buildings had cracks through them. Kids had to stay at home while safety inspections were carried out.

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As cities across China remain on quarantine lockdown to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, the epidemic is testing the country's ability to get food to its citizens.

Restaurants and cafes have been closed since the end of January, leaving grocery stores as one of the few options for buying food. With families encouraged, or sometimes forced, to stay at home, supplies are often hoarded. Shipments of food from other cities across China take time, as many places have closed off roads.

In love, timing is everything, the saying goes. The same is true for fruit and nut orchards in California's Central Valley, which depend on a synchronized springtime bloom for pollination. But as winters warm with climate change, that seasonal cycle is being thrown off.

Cold is a crucial ingredient for California's walnuts, cherries, peaches, pears and pistachios, which ultimately head to store shelves around the country. The state grows around 99% of the country's walnut and pistachio crop.

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Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

In 1979, Jane Whaley and her husband, Sam, started the Word of Faith Fellowship church in North Carolina.

In recent years, the organization has been investigated for alleged abuse of its congregants — and has faced other charges ranging from fraud to human trafficking.

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A new documentary, Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution, introduces us to heroes of the American Revolution who aren't typically found in history books. They are a writer, a double agent, a martyr and a soldier — and they are all black.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the executive producer. He is a Hall of Fame basketball player, writer, activist, and in 2016 the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Singer, writer and producer Natasha Khan moved to LA to write scripts and music for film after her 2016 release, The Bride. The release marked the end of her recording contract with EMI and she wasn't sure she'd write another album as Bat for Lashes.

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Forecasters in Mississippi are bracing for what could be one of the most devastating floods in the state's history, as days of heavy downpours stoke fears that a river in the state capital of Jackson will continue to swell beyond its banks and threaten the homes of thousands of people.

Flooding has already began to ripple across parts of Jackson and surrounding areas, and state and federal officials are working to contain the severity of the flooding in the face of additional rainfall expected in the days ahead.

Slow Burn premieres Sunday February 16th on EPIX.

Slow Burn isn't the first hit podcast to be adapted into a television series, and it won't be the last. In this, the age of streams and verticals, of IPs and platform-agnosticism, we are about to be deluged with content that began life nestled in millions of earbuds.

Redlands, Calif., is known for its orange groves, its Victorian homes, and its small-town feel. Sixty miles east of Los Angeles, the city is home to about 75,000 people. But that number is expected to get a lot bigger.

"Redlands is already changing," says Mayor Paul Foster, "and this is just more of the future that's coming."

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