On a Wednesday night, just a few days before Fathers Day, a group of young men gather in a classroom on the fourth floor of Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. There's food â€” pizza, soda and cookies â€” and the men stack their paper plates high before settling into their seats around the table in the center of the room. The meeting is about to begin.
Each line of work has its own cryptic code: words and phrases that would baffle any outsider. These terms may sound like nonsense to someone with untrained ears, but to those who operate in a certain world, their meanings are as clear as day.
To get a better handle on some of the stranger things people say at work, All Things Considered is kicking off a new series called "Trade Lingo." It's a quest to mine the jewels of meaning beneath the jargon.
So begins a new book by John Browne, former CEO of the energy giant BP. But that sentence could easily have read: "It was time to leave the closet."
During his 12 years as CEO, he never discussed his sexuality in the workplace. That changed in 2007, when his relationship with a male escort was exposed and Browne resigned amid an ensuing scandal. At the time, he said in a statement, "I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private."
Anyone who has eaten many plates of blackened, mangy-looking jerk chicken might get the impression that Caribbean cooking is fairly limited. The cuisine of most of the English-speaking islands is often lumped under the umbrella of stews, dumplings and pineapple-strewn desserts.
But Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau say there's much more to island cooking. They're sisters and cooks based in Jamaica, and their cookbook Caribbean Potluck introduces a new way of thinking about food from their homeland.
On Friday, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Sean Burnett became the latest player this season to undergo "Tommy John" surgery. In this weekend's MLB draft, at least four players selected had already had the infamous elbow surgery as amateurs.
The operation is named after the first player to undergo the procedure to fix an injured elbow ligament, in 1974. Pitchers are particularly vulnerable to this injury.
The procedure involves taking a tendon from somewhere else in the body â€” or from a cadaver â€” and grafting it into place. Pitchers get it most often.
When she was a child, 22-year-old Ifetayo Harvey's father was sentenced to prison for cocaine trafficking.
"My dad went to prison when I was 4 years old, and he was released when I was 12," Harvey says.
Harvey is one of millions of young people who grew up with a parent in prison. A recent study from the National Academy of Sciences examined the growth of incarceration in the United States, and among the topics was the effect on kids and families when a parent goes to prison.
When Brando Skyhorse was 5 years old, his mother said she would take him to meet his father. They took a train from California to Illinois, where, at a prison, he met Paul Skyhorse Johnson, a Native American political activist who'd been incarcerated for armed robbery.
"He looked literally like the part of a stereotypical American Indian brave," Brando tells NPR's Arun Rath. "And I thought, 'Oh good God, this is my dad? This looks great!' "