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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7:35am

Sat November 23, 2013
Sports

Trail Blazers Stretch Winning Streak To Nine

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 11:18 am

Portland's NBA team is riding a hot streak. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Tom Goldman about the Trail Blazers, a new champion in chess, and how John F. Kennedy's assassination set a precedent for how sports commissioners handle cancelling games after tragedies.

7:35am

Sat November 23, 2013
Around the Nation

Rivals Help Level Playing Field For Tornado-Shattered Team

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 11:31 am

A Panther Pride sign cheers Washington High School's undefeated football team amid debris from last week's tornado.
Anthony Souffle MCT /Landov

Competition and compassion meet on the field in Springfield, Ill., Saturday, when two central Illinois high school football teams face off for a spot in the state championship. One team is a perennial powerhouse, but the other is from a town that was all but leveled by a tornado.

Last week, linebacker Kevin Scott and the rest of the Washington Community High School Panthers were celebrating. They'd just made school history with a 12-0 record, capped off with a Saturday win that sent them to the semi-finals.

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7:35am

Sat November 23, 2013
History

JFK Had The Wit To Lampoon Himself

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 11:18 am

Host Scott Simon looks back at the witticisms of President John F. Kennedy, with a little help from late night TV host and comedian Conan O'Brien.

5:25am

Sat November 23, 2013
Television

Sarah Silverman, Serving Up Sinfully Divine Comedy

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 11:18 am

Nothing's sacred in We Are Miracles — but then as Sarah Silverman told Terry Gross in 2010, "there's a safety in what I do because I'm always the idiot. ... I'm always the ignoramus no matter what I talk about or what tragic event, off-color, dark scenario is evoked in my material."
Janet Van Ham HBO

Sarah Silverman is funny — sweet, bawdy, innocent, outrageous, Emmy-winning, milk-through-your-nose funny. And her new comedy special, We are Miracles, debuts tonight on HBO.

Performing in front of a live audience, the comedian takes on religion, pornography, childhood, politics and stereotypes, and no one's left standing. (No really: One punchline involves Hitler being assigned "Heil Marys" as penance.)

Silverman tells NPR's Scott Simon that she thinks good comedy comes from "some kind of childhood humiliation or darkness."

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5:23am

Sat November 23, 2013
The Salt

Time To Mix Up The Manischewitz Turkey Brine For Thanksgivukkah

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 11:35 am

Manischewitz-brined turkey centers the Thanksgivukkah feast, surrounded by challah-apple stuffing, sweet potato bourbon noodle kugel, horseradish-spiked mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts with pastrami and pickled onions, and latkes with cranberry applesauce.
Macey J. Foronda for BuzzFeed

You may have heard that this Thursday isn't just Thanksgiving — it's also the holiday of Hanukkah. It's a once-in-a-lifetime convergence people are calling Thanksgivukkah. Which naturally raises two questions: How did this happen? And, more importantly, what do we cook for Thanksgivukkah dinner?

For more on the math of Thanksgivukkah, listen to my story on Weekend Edition. For more on the food, read on.

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4:21am

Sat November 23, 2013
Television

Allons-y! Why We've Been Traveling With 'Doctor Who' For 50 Years

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 11:18 am

Jenna Coleman plays Clara, companion to Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith. The relationship between the Doctor and his companions is at the core of Doctor Who's long-lived appeal.
Adrian Rogers/BBC

This afternoon, millions of fez-wearing fans around the world will tune in to a very special episode of Doctor Who. The venerable British sci-fi series turns 50 today — though the time traveling alien Doctor himself is probably somewhere on the wrong side of 1,000.

From scrappy, low-budget beginnings (bubble-wrap monsters, anyone?), Doctor Who has become a global phenomenon. Only soap operas can match it for longevity and popularity. So what's the secret to the Doctor's appeal?

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7:30am

Sat November 16, 2013
Author Interviews

Pro Wrestling Mythology Plays Out In 'Squared Circle'

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF WRESTLING EVENT)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Welcome to the grandeur, the magnificence, the beauty and the brilliance of the greatest love event in all of entertainment. Welcome to WrestleMania.

DON GONYEA, HOST:

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7:30am

Sat November 16, 2013
Technology

Advertisers Try To Grab Online Eyes

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Don Gonyea. Some news this week got us thinking about how radically our viewing habits are changing. The broadband service company, Sandvine, released a study that shows that Netflix and YouTube now account for more than half of the data we consume on fixed networks, which is to say at home or work. It's just one more bit of evidence that Americans are increasingly turning to online video sources for news and entertainment, rather than TV, which mean advertisers have to do the same.

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7:30am

Sat November 16, 2013
Sports

Chess Superstar Battles Chess Sex Symbol

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 11:22 am

The World Chess Championship, underway in India, features a faceoff between the sport's heavyweights. Guest host Don Gonyea can't help but inject politics to his conversation with NPR's Tom Goldman, as this week President Obama used sports metaphors to talk about the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

5:29am

Sat November 16, 2013
Movie Interviews

On The Timeless Appeal Of 'Calvin & Hobbes'

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 6:39 pm

Joel Allen Schroeder dove into the world of Calvin & Hobbes for Dear Mr. Watterson, an admiring documentary about the strip.
Gravitas Ventures/Submarine Deluxe

Bill Watterson brought an end to Calvin & Hobbes in 1995, after just 10 years of writing and drawing the comic strip. But to his many devoted fans, that shockheaded boy and his tiger are as important today as they were when they first appeared in daily papers all around the country.

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5:28am

Sat November 16, 2013
Health

Despite Early Stages, Alzheimer's Affects Couple's Big Picture

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 11:22 am

Pansy Greene, 73, is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. She and her husband, Winston, have been married for 57 years. She says her secret to maintaining a normal life is to stay active and positive.
David P. Gilkey NPR

NPR has been following Pansy and Winston Greene, a California couple struggling with an Alzheimer's diagnosis. Three years ago, Pansy learned she had Alzheimer's disease, and over this past summer, the couple told NPR that their day-to-day lives haven't changed much. That's still true. But on this second visit, they each seem to be looking at the future a bit differently.

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2:03am

Sat November 16, 2013
NPR Story

The Soulful, Swinging Sounds Of Stax: A Look Back

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 11:22 am

Memphis' Stax Records was an international sensation, putting out hits like Sam and Dave's "Hold On, I'm Coming," "Green Onions" by Booker T. and the MGs and Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness." But behind the music, Stax's story features racial harmony in a city with a troubled history. There are tragedies, lost opportunities and legal disputes, but also some of the most soulful music you'll ever hear.

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7:14am

Sat November 9, 2013
Sports

The Losingest Texas Football Team

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 11:24 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

It's been a rough spell for the Scarborough High School football team in Houston. Very rough, actually. The Spartans are on a 46-game losing streak, the longest in Texas. Their last win was in September 2009. That means this afternoon's game against the Washington High School Eagles is the last chance for this year's seniors to earn a victory.

We're joined now by Scarborough head coach Jayson Merren. Welcome.

COACH JAYSON MERREN: How are you doing?

GONYEA: Good. And by senior defensive lineman Justin Steward. Hi Justin.

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7:14am

Sat November 9, 2013
Sports

Lessons From The NFL Bullying Scandal

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 11:24 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

GONYEA: The basketball and hockey seasons are just getting going, and the big story in sports is still the drama inside the Miami Dolphins. We're referring, of course, to the bullying of second-year lineman Jonathon Martin, by veteran offensive lineman Richie Incognito. The story revealed a history of racial slurs.

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7:14am

Sat November 9, 2013
Theater

'We Will Rock You': A Bohemian Musical

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 11:24 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Don Gonyea. Whether or not you're a fan of rock and roll, you've surely heard at least one of the hits by Queen. The British band dominated the airwaves in the '70s and '80s and now their music is rocking the world again, this time in a jukebox musical called "We Will Rock You."

The show has been running in London for a dozen years but now an Americanized version is touring the United States and Canada. NPR's Allison Keyes was at the opening show in Baltimore.

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5:23am

Sat November 9, 2013
Commentary

Many Rooting For Down-On-Its-Luck Detroit And Its New Mayor

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 6:55 pm

Mayor-elect Mike Duggan speaks at his election night celebration in Detroit on Tuesday.
Paul Sancya AP

Detroit is a place where I worked for many years as a journalist, where I absorbed the town's rich automotive, labor and civil rights history, where I sat in blues clubs and watched baseball from the upper deck of old Tiger Stadium.

It's a place that I really think of as home.

Detroit elected a new mayor this week.

He is 55-year-old Mike Duggan, a longtime county official, and later a successful CEO of the region's leading medical center.

But one might reasonably ask why someone — anyone — would want the job of mayor of Detroit.

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5:20am

Sat November 9, 2013
Code Switch

Asian-American Lawyers Act Like '22 Lewd Chinese Women'

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 11:24 am

Attorney Francis Chin (center) runs through his lines with Yang Chen at a rehearsal for 22 Lewd Chinese Women, the latest trial re-enactment by the Asian American Bar Association of New York.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

A cast of New York lawyers and a federal judge debuted a new production on Friday off-off Broadway — all the way in Kansas City, Mo.

Attorneys have gathered there for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's annual convention. For the past seven years, the meeting has featured dramatic re-enactments of historic trials involving Asian-Americans.

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5:18am

Sat November 9, 2013
Europe

Bearing Witness To Nazis' Life-Shattering Kristallnacht

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 2:26 pm

View of a destroyed Jewish shop in Berlin on Nov. 11, 1938, after the anti-Semitic violence of Kristallnacht. The pogrom unleashed Nazi-coordinated attacks on thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses.
Keystone-France Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

On a busy street in Berlin's shabby-chic district of Kreuzberg, the gray and dirty pavement glistens with little brass cobblestones. Millions of these stones are embedded in sidewalks all over Europe. They commemorate the last address the city's Jewish residents called home before the war.

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11:36am

Sat November 2, 2013
Sports

Red Sox Rise From Civic Embarrassment To World Champs

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. I wait all week to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: This week, the World Series was won, basketball began again and Serena Williams sure finished strong. Joining us now, Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine, from the studios of New England Public Radio. Howard, thanks so much for being with us.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott.

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11:36am

Sat November 2, 2013
Middle East

Brooklyn Hipster Finds The 'Big Sulk' In Iran

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hey honey, why don't we spend the year in Tehran? Well, that's kind of what Hooman Majd asked his wife, Karri, a yoga instructor who was born in the Midwest, not the Middle East. Mr. Majd was born into a politically prominent family in Iran. He came to the U.S. when he was eight months old. He became a music executive and a writer for GQ, The New Yorker and other publications.

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11:36am

Sat November 2, 2013
National Security

A Controversial Week For The NSA

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, the National Security Agency fought back against criticism of it's operations following leaks from former contractor Edward Snowden that have revealed some of the scale of the agency's surveillance of Americans and people overseas, including heads of state of U.S. allies. NPR's Larry Abramson has been covering the story and joins us. Larry, thanks so much for being with us.

LARRY ABRAMSON, BYLINE: Hi Scott.

SIMON: Bring us up to date. What happened this week that's pushed the scandal into the news again?

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7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Politics

Some In Congress Have Behaved Badly From The Start

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The shutdown of the U.S. government has sparked lots of finger-pointing and name calling in Congress. But our friend A.J. Jacobs says this is hardly the nastiest dispute in the history of our democracy. A.J., an editor-at-large at Esquire Magazine - until they come to their senses - joins us now from New York. A.J., thanks so much for being with us.

A.J. JACOBS: Thank you for having me.

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7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Politics

D.C. Tourists Shell Out Admission Fees Amid Shutdown

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The government shutdown is now entering its second week. That's left many lawmakers with little to do and many tourists in Washington, D.C. wandering wanly through the streets of the city, wondering how to spend their pre-planned vacations. NPR's Alan Yu checks in with some of them.

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7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Sports

'Fun' Teams Out Of Baseball Playoffs

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's time now for sports and we have to begin with the sad and tragic story. The two-year-old son of Adrian Peterson, the great running back of the Minnesota Vikings died this week apparently of abuse and allegedly by a boyfriend of the little boy's mother. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi Scott.

SIMON: Hard to know what to say.

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6:07am

Sat October 12, 2013
The Salt

Women, The 'First Brewers,' Lean Into Craft Beer-Making

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 10:09 am

Meg Gill is the president and co-founder of Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. Her brewery is favored to win awards at the Great American Beer Festival.
Melissa Kuypers NPR

Thousands of beer aficionados are in Denver this weekend for the Great American Beer Festival. Some 600 breweries from around the country are represented at the marquee event for the craft-brewing industry.

And while this annual competition has long been male-dominated, that's starting to change.

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6:02am

Sat October 12, 2013
StoryCorps

With Veteran's Life In Peril, His Parents Take Up The Fight

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:28 pm

The Schei family in 2010 (from left): Anneka, Gordon, Erik, Deven and Christine.
Courtesy of the Schei family

In October 2005, 21-year-old Army Sgt. Erik Schei was shot in the head during his second tour in Iraq. The bullet shattered the top half of his skull.

Christine and Gordon Schei got the phone call about their son's injury at around 4 a.m. Christine Schei says her husband was "white as a sheet" and shaking after answering.

A sniper had struck their son; a bullet "entered above his right ear and exited above his left," Gordon Schei says.

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6:01am

Sat October 12, 2013
It's All Politics

Would The U.S. Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 3:31 pm

A view of the German Bundestag, or federal Parliament, in Berlin.
Michael Sohn AP

There are many reasons for the gridlock in Washington. Some are recent developments, as the U.S. becomes more politically polarized. Others are structural, built into the American political system.

Regardless, the extreme paralysis that has recently become the norm in D.C. almost never happens in Western European democracies.

"You're asking: Do other democracies have this problem? And the answer is: Not many," says Jane Mansbridge, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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2:03am

Sat October 12, 2013
Music Interviews

Electronic Music's Godfather Isn't Done Innovating

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Morton Subotnick performs at New York's La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in 2004. The pioneering electronic composer recently created a mobile app for children.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

Morton Subotnick could fairly be called electronic music's first hitmaker. His 1967 album Silver Apples of the Moon was an international sensation. Or, in his words, "It was like a bombshell."

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8:03am

Sat October 5, 2013
Sports

Baseball Swings Into Playoffs

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. I wait all week to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Playoff time in Major League Baseball. So many games, but the Cubs aren't in any of them. However, we are joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine to talk about those good clubs playing now. Thanks for being with us, Howard.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. If the Cubs are what you're looking for in playoff baseball, I suggest a new team, a new century.

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8:03am

Sat October 5, 2013
Research News

NYC Cockroaches Stick To Their Neighborhoods

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is "West Side Story" - on six legs. Dr. Mark Stoeckle, who's a researcher at Rockefeller University, says that New York cockroaches can be just about as territorial as the sharks and the jets. He joins us from the studios of the Radio Foundation on the Upper West Side. Thanks so much for being with us.

MARK STOECKLE: It's good to be here. Thank you.

SIMON: So are cockroaches as native to New York as poppy seed bagels?

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