Andy Carvin

They have assembled in front of the hospital by the dozens: church groups, families, even a motorcycle club, their engines revving at full throttle. Mothers encouraged their shy children to squeeze through the crowd and place a bouquet of flowers at the base of a makeshift shrine. A member of the crowd conducted an impromptu choir, inviting others to join in and sing a hymn together.

For more than a month now, throngs of well-wishers have gathered outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, praying for the health of former President Nelson Mandela.

As protests against the Turkish government enter their third week, activists are taking increasingly creative measures to maintain their momentum.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shown no sympathy for the tens of thousands of protesters who've taken to the streets across the country. In fact, he seems to have energized the protesters by calling them capulcu, or "looters" in Turkish.

Demonstrators have gleefully embraced the label, spreading it far and wide on social media and turning a local protest into an event that has attracted international attention.

As news broke about the NSA collecting telephone records through Verizon, people took to Twitter to voice their opinions. As an experiment, NPR senior strategist Andy Carvin asked his followers to respond to the hashtag #CallsTheNSAKnowsAbout. Their responses ranged from the hilarious to the poignant.