Second Life is an internet-based simulation of reality–a virtual world with trees, buildings, animals and people. The “people” are animated characters who participate in the digital world, each guided by a real-world person who can make his or her “avatar” look and act however they want. For someone with physical or emotional disabilities, this chance to “dream” by way of a computer and high-speed internet connection can be a healing and empowering experience. That’s why many experts are working to make the simulation environment more accessible to them. From Boulder, Shelley Schlender reports.

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News

AP
December 13, 2017 | NPR · Rod Rosenstein is set to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to discuss special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election interference.
 

AP
December 12, 2017 | NPR · Republican Senate majority shrinks to one seat after race tainted by sexual assault allegations. President Trump, who backed Moore, congratulated Jones, as the GOP Senate candidate refused to concede.
 

December 12, 2017 | NPR · Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. would negotiate with North Korea without demanding that the country first agree to nuclear disarmament.
 

Arts & Life

December 12, 2017 | NPR · Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, talks about his top 10 quotes for 2017. The quotes span politics, Hollywood, sports and international affairs.
 

December 12, 2017 | FA · Fresh Air‘s book critic says her 2017 list is chaotic in a good way. “These books zing off in all directions: They’re fresh, unruly and dismissive of the canned and contrived.”
 

Lucasfilm
December 12, 2017 | NPR · Writer/director Rian Johnson joins the Star Wars franchise to deliver a chapter that’s fast, fun and freewheeling, even as it introduces surprising nuance to the classic Dark Side vs. Light Side beef.
 

Music

Courtesy of Jay Bee Zay and Allison Slade
December 12, 2017 | NPR · Blame the Youth, a North Carolina band, is getting ready to embark on its first tour. Lead singer and bassist Amber Daniel talks to Kam Franklin of The Suffers, who began touring three years ago.
 

Beck Harlan / NPR
December 12, 2017 | NPR · Standing on a balcony at the 9:30 Club, Margo Price sang songs from her first two albums.
 

Getty Images
December 12, 2017 | NPR · With faith and fate hanging in the balance, the most celebrated album of the year dares us to grapple with the politics of personal responsibility in America. But is anybody really listening?
 

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