Weekend Edition

Weekends at 8-10AM
Scott Simon

Whether revealing events in small-town America or overseas, or profiling notable personalities, Weekend Edition from NPR News appreciates the extraordinary details that make up every story. This two-hour morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor, courtesy of hosts Scott Simon and Liane Hansen.

On Saturdays, Simon's award-winning commentaries sum up an idea or event related to the week's news. There are fresh reports from a cross-section of NPR correspondents on topics from religion to health to food to politics. Simon's interviews with key artists, authors, performers and personalities are always memorable.

On Sundays, Weekend Edition combines the news with colorful arts and human-interest features, appealing to the curious and eclectic. With a nod to traditional Sunday habits, the program offers a fix for diehard crossword addicts-word games and brainteasers with The Puzzlemaster, a.k.a. Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times. With Hansen on the sidelines, a caller plays the latest word game on the air while listeners compete silently at home. The NPR mailbag is proof that the competition to go head-to-head with Shortz is rather vigorous.

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3:41pm

Sun June 19, 2011
Health

A County Triumphs Over Prescription 'Pill Mills'

Portsmouth Public Health Nurse Lisa Roberts helped found the Scioto County Prescription Drug Action Team. Behind her is a memorial to victims of prescription drug abuse.
Noah Adams NPR

Ohio's pain management clinics come under tough new regulations Sunday. Many of the clinics are blamed for prescription drug abuse in a state where the leading cause of accidental death is unintentional drug overdose. In the south of the state, Scioto County is leading the fight against the so-called "pill mills."

Anybody you talk to around the city of Portsmouth can tell you about a family member, a teammate or a colleague who's been in trouble with painkillers.

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8:42am

Sat June 18, 2011
Simon Says

Vegan Pad Thai Serves As Red Meat In A Food Fight

The biggest story in the Big Apple by the end of this week may not have been Weinergate, but The Diva vs. Doc smackdown.

A judge in Manhattan Criminal Court acquitted Marcella Caprario, an opera singer, of assaulting Dr. Catherine London, a family practitioner, over a vegan tofu pad-Thai frozen dinner in the aisle of a Trader Joe's market on the Upper West Side.

According to testimony, last Jan. 9 Ms. Caprario's husband, Bill Hobbs, leaned forward to reach for the vegan entrée in the freezer section. He found his route interrupted by Dr. London's 13-year-old son, Noah.

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8:00am

Sat June 18, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Most Embarrassing Dad Moments

Following last week's interview with the Utah dad who dressed in costume every school morning to wave goodbye to his teenage son's school bus, we hear from listeners who phoned in their own memorable "embarrassing dad" moments.

8:00am

Sat June 18, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: The Value Of College; Toronto Raccoons

In our interview last week, UCLA professor Mike Ross said higher education should be measured by more than just future earning power. Also, a report by Anita Elash on the burgeoning raccoon population in Toronto drew responses from many. Host Scott Simon reads listener letters.

8:00am

Sat June 18, 2011
Sports

U.S. Open, Wimbledon Herald Summer Season

Summer sports are all about traditions. Wimbledon's strawberries and cream are synonymous with rain delays and grunts echoing across grass tennis courts. And the smell of a hot dog and the slurp of a light beer evoke baseball's more genteel imagery compared to the hooligans at the All England Club. Host Scott Simon talks about the U.S. Open golf tournament and Monday's start of Wimbledon tennis with Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine.

8:00am

Sat June 18, 2011
NPR Story

Karzai Says U.S. In Peace Talks With Taliban

Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed Saturday that Afghanistan and the U.S. are engaged in peace talks with the Taliban. Also on Saturday, there was a suicide bomber attack near the presidential palace that cost two policemen their lives. Host Scott Simon gets the latest from NPR's Quil Lawrence in Kabul.

8:00am

Sat June 18, 2011
Pop Culture

'Bohemian Rhapsody,' We Will Not Let You Go

Queen's 1975 opera-inspired hit, Bohemian Rhapsody, has been named the most popular song ever in the UK by BBC Radio 4 listeners. Host Scott Simon talks to music writer Alan Connor about the meanings behind the song's sometimes obscure lyrics.

7:48am

Sat June 18, 2011
Health

Dad Refuses To Pass Down Inheritance Of Illness

Andy Hardman

There are three black and white photographs of my dad that tell the story of the last few years. My brother, Andy, took them, and they are both beautiful and brutal.

The first one is of my dad on an August day in 2008. He's standing in a lake in the Adirondack Mountains. Because of his tremors he's down to 130 pounds from his normal weight of 170.

"He looks like he's out of a concentration camp, he does," my dad says about the person in the photo. "Nothing I ate, nothing I did, helped me put on weight, because it all went out through my tremors."

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7:48am

Sat June 18, 2011
Books

Sympathy For The 'Demon Fish'

A great white shark swims in Shark Alley near Dyer Islandin Gansbaai, South Africa.
Ryan Pierse Getty Images

Since Jaws, the combination of summertime and sharks has conjured images of killer fish stalking beaches as puffy-legged vacationers frolic in shallow waters, never suspecting that the animal which has been called the definitive predator has seen them, smelled them and now craves them.

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7:47am

Sat June 18, 2011
Books

Father-Daughter Reading Streak Lasts Nearly 9 Years

When Alice Ozma was in the fourth grade, her family was going through a rough patch. Her parents had just split up, and her older sister had recently left for college. Ozma was suddenly spending a lot more time alone with her dad, Jim Brozina, an elementary school librarian. So Ozma and her father made a pledge: to read together every single night for 100 days.

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5:58pm

Fri June 17, 2011
Music Interviews

A Jazz Man's Cuban Pilgrimage, With Band In Tow

Arturo O'Farrill's sons, Zack and Adam.
David Leach Courtesy of the O'Farrill family

Last December, pianist Arturo O'Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra left New York City for Cuba, along with O'Farrill's mother, his wife and his two teenage sons. The orchestra headlined the Havana International Jazz Plaza Festival, which was dedicated to O'Farrill's father, the legendary New York bandleader Chico O'Farrill.

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2:04pm

Fri June 17, 2011
Music Interviews

'Yo Gabba Gabba!': TV For Kids And Music Lovers

The dance-rock duo Chromeo goofs around on the set of Yo Gabba Gabba! with host DJ Lance Rock (center).
Courtesy of Nick Jr.

Yo Gabba Gabba! began on the Nick Jr. TV network as a show to entertain and educate the pre-kindergarten set. But now, with its fourth season in production, the show's popularity is stretching demographic boundaries, in part because of its musical content.

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8:00am

Sat June 11, 2011
NPR Story

Once-Friendly Turkey Cools To Border Mate Syria

The once-warm relationship between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is deteriorating and could cause Syria to lose a key ally in the region. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Deborah Amos, who is monitoring the conflict in Syria from Beirut, about the effects of the dispute on the region.

8:00am

Sat June 11, 2011
NPR Story

Trash Talk Makes For Bruising NHL, NBA Finals

Here's an old joke: I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out. That might not be so far from the truth in the Stanley Cup series between Vancouver and Boston. There's not much love lost between the combatants in the NBA Finals, either. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Tom Goldman about the championship series in the NHL and the NBA.

8:00am

Sat June 11, 2011
Author Interviews

New Bond Novel Comes With A Fresh 007

James Bond has been updated for the 21st century. Now he's a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, drives a Jetta instead of an Aston-Martin and uses iPhone apps instead of spy gadgets. The estate of the late Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, asked suspense writer Jeffery Deaver to write the book, surprising some fans with their choice of an American author. Host Scott Simon speaks with Deaver about his new book, Carte Blanche, the latest installment in the five-decade-long James Bond series.

7:00am

Sat June 11, 2011
Politics

Weak Jobs Report Puts New Pressure on Obama

With job growth slowing and President Obama's poll numbers dropping, the White House is trying to stage an intervention.

All week long, the administration took pains to show that the economy remains the president's top concern and that he is doing everything possible to bring it back.

On Thursday, the White House gave the press corps about ten minutes' warning that members of the Cabinet would be coming out to speak on the White House driveway. Only three reporters made it in time.

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5:00am

Sat June 11, 2011
Books

For A Navy SEAL, Balance Between 'Heart' And 'Fist'

Eric Greitens in Fallujah. After he returned from Iraq, Greitens founded the nonprofit group The Mission Continues. He is author of the new book The Heart and the Fist.
Courtesy of the author

Eric Greitens was a gifted young college student when a question from a Bosnian woman changed his life. It was the summer of 1994, and he had gone to the Balkans to work in refugee camps. He was on a train when he met her, and she asked him, "Why isn't America doing anything to stop the ethnic cleansings, rapes and murders?" Greitens thought he was.

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5:00am

Sat June 11, 2011
The Picture Show

Gertrude Stein Through Artists' Eyes

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:45 am

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Aix-les-Bains, France, circa 1927
Yale Collection of American Literature Contemporary Jewish Museum

Gertrude Stein, once one of the doyennes of American letters, is the center of two concurrent exhibitions in San Francisco. Both tread some familiar territory, like her friendship and patronage of Picasso and other artists. But the exhibitions also reveal some lesser-known sides of Stein.

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8:33pm

Fri June 10, 2011
Games & Humor

How Does Your Dad Rate On The Cringe-O-Meter?

Would your dad do this to you?
WaveAtTheBus

Few things can make a teenager squirm more than parents. They wear funny clothes and tell old, unfunny jokes.

But Dale Price may have earned a gold plaque in the Goofy Dads Hall of Fame.

When school bus routes were changed in American Fork, Utah, this year, 16-year-old Rain Price realized that the bus would go past his house every morning. And for 170 consecutive school mornings, his father, Dale, stood outside, waving goodbye in a different goofy costume.

Of course, Price blogged about it, too. And included photos.

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4:28pm

Fri June 10, 2011
Music News

The Secret Musical Life Of Jack Lemmon

Jack Lemmon plays the piano at New York's Old Knick Music Hall in 1947, his first job in the entertainment industry.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

It's been almost 10 years since the death of Jack Lemmon. The actor had a special gift for playing what critic Judith Crist called the "harassed man — outflanked, outranked and outmaneuvered." But he had an additional talent that wasn't heralded in quite the same way as his acting: As it turns out, he was a devoted piano player and singer.

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8:00am

Sat June 4, 2011
NPR Story

Jobs Numbers Dampen Obama's Ohio Visit

President Obama traveled to Ohio Friday to visit an auto plant. He was there to celebrate the success of the federal bailout and restructuring of the nation's auto industry. But his appearance coincided with a disappointing jobs report that showed unemployment has climbed to 9.1 percent. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

8:00am

Sat June 4, 2011
Music Interviews

Knowing Lindi Ortega By Her 'Little Red Boots'

Lindi Ortega's debut album Little Red Boots comes out Tuesday on Last Gang Records. She says her influences run the gamut from the pensive Leonard Cohen to the atmospheric Mazzy Star and Jeff Buckley, but her new CD serves some straight-up country. Host Scott Simon speaks with singer-songwriter Lindi Ortega, who has been described as Canada's answer to Dolly Parton.

8:00am

Sat June 4, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Aldous Huxley For Kids

Host Scott Simon reads listener's letters about Aldous Huxley's only children's book and an interview last week with cellist Alisa Weilerstein.

8:00am

Sat June 4, 2011
Commentary

Twin Friars Never Parted, Even In Death

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Julian and Adrian Riester entered the world together. Twin brothers born in Buffalo, New York, they played the kinds of games twins do: fooling teachers when they sometimes took each other's tests at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute.

One day during World War II, the brothers received their acceptance from the Franciscan order in the morning, and orders from their draft board that afternoon. They told their draft board they had to answer the call of God and became friars.

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8:00am

Sat June 4, 2011
Fine Art

Venus Makes A Rare Visit To D.C.'s National Gallery

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Visitors to the nation's capital will soon have a lifetime chance to see one of the most precious artifacts of ancient Rome. The Capitoline Venus will go on display next Wednesday at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She is over six feet tall and naked, covering herself with both lovely arms.

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7:24am

Sat June 4, 2011
Author Interviews

'Farishta': Afghan Fiction From The Foreign Service

Like many reporters, Foreign Service officers overseas often say they have a novel in their heads that they've been trying to write for years. Patricia McArdle actually wrote hers. A retired Foreign Service officer who has served in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, it was McArdle's final posting in northern Afghanistan that served as her great inspiration.

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7:23am

Sat June 4, 2011
Humans

Any Way You Stack It, $14.3 Trillion Is A Mind-Bender

Stacked in dollar bills, the U.S. debt would stretch to the moon and back — twice. How can a brain deal with such big numbers?
iStockphoto.com

The U.S. government is $14.3 trillion in debt. When we first neared the trillion-dollar mark in 1981, President Ronald Reagan said that the height of our debt amounted to a stack of $1,000 bills about 67 miles high. That's somewhere in the thermosphere.

Today, that pile of $1,000 bills would be floating in space, more than 900 miles above the Earth. There aren't any $1,000 bills in circulation anymore, so here's an astronomical analogy about today's debt: If you stack up 14.3 trillion dollar bills, the pile would stretch to the moon and back twice.

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4:53pm

Fri June 3, 2011
Marin Alsop on Music

Verdi's Requiem: An Opera In Disguise

Giuseppe Verdi poured operatic drama into his Requiem, written in 1874 in memory of his friend Alessando Manzoni.
Getty Images

Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem is a conductor's dream come true. Few pieces in the repertoire offer the drama of opera and the thrill of wonderful symphonic writing combined with stellar, virtuosic solo moments. But Verdi's Requiem does all that and more.

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8:00am

Sat May 28, 2011
NPR Story

Founding Father Of Rap, Gil Scott-Heron Dead

Songwriter, performer, novelist and poet Gil Scott-Heron died Friday at age 62. He was best known for a work he first recorded in 1970, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Host Scott Simon has a remembrance.

8:00am

Sat May 28, 2011
NPR Story

'X-Men's' Michael Fassbender On His Magnetic Role

About to hit theaters, X-Men: First Class is a prequel to previous X-Men blockbusters, based on characters from Marvel Comics born with an X-factor gene mutation that gives them special powers. Host Scott Simon speaks to actor Michael Fassbender, who plays Magneto in the new movie.

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