The government is expected to shut down at least 3,000 post offices — and one hobbyist who visits post offices around the country has taken notice.

Evan Kalish collects hand-cancellation marks and blogs about it on Going Postal, where he posts photographs of each location.

Kalish, who's also a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in geospatial analytics, started his hobby right out of college — and he has run up an impressive tally of how many he's visited: 2,745.

When scientists brought the Bulbophyllum nocturnum back to the Netherlands, they were perplexed. They had found the plant on the island of New Britain, near Papua New Guinea. They knew the plant came from a rare group, but the orchid's blooms would die before opening up. At least that's what the scientists thought.

The orchid's uniqueness never became clear until one scientist brought it home with him. Here's how MSNBC tells the story:

Last in a series

Newt Gingrich was in his 20s when he was hired at West Georgia College as a history professor. He had just returned from Belgium, where he was doing research for his doctoral dissertation.

"He was very much a person of intellect," says Mel Steeley, who taught history at the college for four decades and helped bring Gingrich to the school in 1970. "He would wander across campus and didn't notice people. He'd have something in his mind, always be thinking about something. When he first came, you kind of wondered if he was a student or a professor."

From pregnancy on, parents often keep a stack of bedside reading full of advice on raising children — survival tips from the terrible toddler years through annoying adolescence. Los Angeles comedy writer Gail Parent figured she'd be done with all that once her kids turned the magical age of 21.

"Because I didn't tell my parents anything bad or negative," she says. "I let them be very peaceful about me when I was an adult. But I had told my kids to tell me everything when they were young."

Here's what it sounds like when protesters use the Occupy Wall Street "human microphone" technique to heckle the commander in chief.

U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe appealed to Congress on Monday to help him reform the Postal Service.

"We're in a deep financial crisis today because we have a business model that is tied to the past. We are expected to operate like a business, but do not have the flexibility to do so," he said at the National Press Club.

Donahoe also rejected the postal reform bills that have passed committees of the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic Senate.

Sometimes, there is such a thing as too sweet a deal. A British cupcake-maker decided to offer a Groupon deal that she says wiped out any profits she had made all year. If you're not familiar, Groupon is an Internet coupon company in which businesses offer deals to lure new customers into their shops.

First of two stories, which are part of an ongoing series on obesity in America. The first part begins in August as students start their weight-loss journey at Wellspring Academy, a boarding school in Brevard, N.C. The second checks in with the students a few months later.

Narcotic painkillers are among the most commonly used drugs in the U.S., with more than 244 million prescriptions dispensed in 2010.

The drugs help ease the pain of tens of millions of people each year. But potent narcotics also carry serious risks that can be heightened by chronic use or abuse.

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Monday's In the Moment features a conversation with Governor Kirsti Noem. Plus, "My Country No More," explores the devastating long-term impact of the North Dakota oil boom.

SDPB Community Calendar is brought to you with support from the SD Arts Council.

South Dakota Arts Council support is provided with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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