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8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

'Backstage With' Fred Willard and Martin Mull

Martin Mull and Fred Willard are comic partners in many minds. They helped create Fernwood Tonight in the late 1970s, and while they went on to solo careers in films and stage, they were reunited to play one of TV's first gay couples on Roseanne. Host Scott Simon sat down with the duo for the public television show Backstage With.

8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Gingrich Tries To Scoop Up Votes In Fla.

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. We begin with the latest in the Republican race for president. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney campaigned in Florida yesterday. Mr. Gingrich made appearances before two communities whose votes he hopes to win in Tuesday's primary. He spoke to Latino home builders and businesspeople in the morning, and had a rally with a group of Republican Jewish voters in the afternoon. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

GOP Candidates Court Hispanic Voters

Republican candidates' efforts to win Hispanic voters have intensified in advance of the Florida primary, airing ads in Spanish and contending over immigration. Host Scott Simon speaks with Maria Elena Salinas, co-host of Noticiero Univision, about Hispanic voters' role in the Republican primary and the upcoming presidential election.

8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Wolves Attract Tourists, But Reality Lurks

A niche industry of tour companies is taking people into wolves' habitat at Yellowstone National Park. Montana Public Radio's Dan Boyce went on an expedition with a man who recognizes the problems wolves bring to the landscape even as he makes his living off of them.

8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Egyptians Divide As They Celebrate Together

This week, Egyptians marked the first anniversary of the uprising that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Deepening political divisions between pro-Islamist and secular protesters marred the event, erupting into violent scuffles. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Changes Stir Cuba's Communist Conference

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Your Letters: On Propaganda And Appreciation

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters. Last week we spoke with Christian Bale who stars in the new film, "The Flowers of War." The movie takes place in China during Japan's violent occupation of Nanjing in 1937. "The Flowers of War" has been criticized as being part of an effort by the Chinese government to improve China's image in the world.

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8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

Sports: Finals Down Under; A New Tiger In Detroit

The women's finals in the Australian Open are already over. In baseball, power-hitter Prince Fielder has returned to his childhood team, the Detroit Tigers, for which his father played. Host Scott Simon talks sports with Howard Bryant of ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com.

8:00am

Sat January 28, 2012
NPR Story

A Short Talk About The World's Longest Interview

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 3:03 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

What do you do when the conversation lags? Our friend Richard Glover of the ABC in Sydney, Australia might know. This week he and sports author and journalist Peter FitzSimons set a new Guinness World Record for Longest Radio or TV interview: 24 hours, with only an occasional loo break. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The record-setting interview did not take place "this week." It was actually in December 2011.]

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7:40am

Sat January 28, 2012
Simon Says

A Fan's Notes On Pro Sports, Brain Damage

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 1:31 pm

Trainers help Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy after he took a hit during a game in December. In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, 23 of 44 NFL players said they would try to hide a brain injury rather than leave a game.
Don Wright AP

I will watch the Super Bowl next weekend, along with several billion other people. I expect to cheer, shout and have some guacamole.

But as a fan, I'm finding it a little harder to cheer, especially for my favorite football and hockey players, without thinking: They're hurting themselves.

Not just breaks and sprains but dangerous, disabling brain damage.

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7:12am

Sat January 28, 2012
The Salt

Deception Diet: How Optical Illusions Can Trick Your Appetite

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 2:12 pm

The Delboeuf illusion makes one dot appear larger than the other. But they're the same size. Your brain is misled by comparing the dots to the surrounding circles.
Washiucho Wikimedia Commons

Think you know how to avoid overeating? Think again.

Research suggests that choices, like how much to eat during a meal, are often made subconsciously. Trouble is, our brains are hard-wired to mislead us in lots of little ways, which can have a big impact on our diets.

Take the Delboeuf effect, an optical illusion first documented in 1865. It starts with two dots of equal size. But surround one dot with a large circle and the other dot with a small one, and suddenly the second dot looks bigger.

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6:24am

Sat January 28, 2012
Election 2012

Why New Photo ID Laws Mean Some Won't Vote

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 12:55 pm

Stickers at a Nevada polling place on Election Day 2010.
Max Whittaker Getty Images

The argument over whether voters should have to present photo identification at the polls usually splits along party lines. Republicans who favor the requirement say it prevents ballot fraud. Democrats and election rights groups who oppose it say it is meant to suppress turnout.

And people of all political stripes wonder what all the fuss is about.

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6:19am

Sat January 28, 2012
Television

'Smash' Stars An 'Interesting Tribe': Theater People

Ingenue or Leading Lady: Ivy Bell (Megan Hilty, left) and Karen (Katharine McPhee, right) compete for the coveted lead role in a new Marilyn Monroe Broadway musical in Smash, which premieres Feb. 6 on NBC.
Will Hart NBC

NBC's new drama, Smash, plumbs the drama behind the curtain. The series is the story of a Broadway musical — from the first idea, to auditions, rehearsals and the big premiere.

Theresa Rebeck is the show's creator and executive producer. She's also a screenwriter, playwright and a Broadway veteran — with a hit play "Seminar," that's now on Broadway.

Rebeck tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon that Smash is a "workplace drama — it's just that the workplace is a musical."

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6:18am

Sat January 28, 2012
Mitt Romney

'Battling Was Won': Romney Gets Boost In Florida

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 1:07 pm

Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno endorsed Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Orlando, Fla., on Friday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

After his second-place finish in the South Carolina primary, Mitt Romney arrived in Florida armed with money and organization. He's used both to stop Newt Gingrich's momentum. With three days until the primary, polls give Romney a solid lead over Gingrich in Florida.

Florida is a big state, but Romney and Gingrich's paths have crossed often this week. There were the two debates, and in Miami on Friday, Romney, like Gingrich, spoke to the Hispanic Leadership Network.

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6:18am

Sat January 28, 2012
Author Interviews

'How It All Began': A Lively Ode To Happenstance

Viking

British writer Penelope Lively was in her late 30s before she began her career writing children's books. Now, four decades and 20 works of fiction later, she has just released the novel How It All Began, in which she explores the capricious role that chance plays in our lives.

Lively's lifetime habit of storytelling began when she was growing up in Egypt during World War II. She spent a lot of time alone and amused herself by making up stories, which often involved embellishing the classics with her own personal touch.

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6:16am

Sat January 28, 2012
Latin America

Law-Abiding Mexicans Taking Up Illegal Guns

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 5:53 pm

Police stand near the scene of a murder in Juarez, Mexico. The country suffers from drug cartel-related violence despite some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

In Mexico, where criminals are armed to the teeth with high-powered weapons smuggled from the United States, it may come as a surprise that the country has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.

Law-abiding Mexicans who want a gun to defend themselves have no good options. Either they fight government red tape to get a legal permit, or they buy one on the black market.

After an outbreak of violence, one embattled community in northern Mexico called Colonia LeBaron has begun to ask if it's time for the country to address its gun laws.

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6:15am

Sat January 28, 2012
Politics

The Smart Politician's Guide To Avoiding Scandal

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 6:06 pm

When former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin addressed attendees at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 6, 2010, she appeared to have notes written on her left hand.
Ed Reinke AP

Politics may be show business for ugly people, but you don't have to be ugly about it yourself.

It's become a cliche to describe the endless series of Republican presidential debates as a reality show. But lately a lot of politicians have been acting as though they were looking to secure a spot on the "now trending" lists of Internet search engines.

Secretly donating sperm to lesbians in New Zealand? Seriously?

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6:18pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Presidential Race

GOP Candidates Wrangle Over Reagan's Legacy

President Ronald Reagan rides his horse at his Rancho del Cielo, "Ranch in the Sky," located outside Santa Barbara, Calif., in April 1985.
Pete Souza AP

As he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich almost always works the name of Ronald Reagan into his speeches.

In fact, it's become so common that Gingrich's name-dropping has become an issue itself.

Sometimes Gingrich invokes the name of Ronald Reagan to associate himself with the policies of the former president.

"When I worked with President Reagan, we adopted a lower tax, less regulation, more American energy policy, and it led to 16 million new jobs," Gingrich said at a speech in St. Petersburg, Fla., this week.

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6:03pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Salt

Beyond Black Beans And Rice: Cuban Chefs Go Modern

Lobster salad, pineapple sorbet and truffle oil-infused black sesame seeds, as prepared by Cuban Chef Luis Alberto Alfonso Pérez.
Robert Vesco

Ham sandwiches, hot-pressed and gooey with cheese. Neat piles of black beans and rice. Grilled chicken.

This is the simple, filling fare served at Cuban restaurants around the world. And like the iconic, rusty Studebakers that line the streets of Havana, Cuban food hasn't changed much since the 1950s. The communist government's stranglehold on the economy, combined with the U.S. trade embargo, has meant that Cuban chefs haven't picked up the modern cooking techniques, or exotic ingredients, that have invigorated the cuisines of much of the rest of the world.

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5:54pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Poetry

NewsPoet: Tracy K. Smith Writes The Day In Verse

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:40 pm

Tracy K. Smith poses for a portrait outside of NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Today marks the start of an exciting project at All Things Considered called NewsPoet. Each month we'll be bringing in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's news.

The first poet to participate is Tracy K. Smith. She has received degrees in English and creative writing from Harvard College, Columbia University, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Her latest book of poems is titled Life on Mars.

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5:30pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

'Welcome Home Heroes' Parade For Iraq Vets Set For Saturday In St. Louis

Veterans of the war in Iraq will be honored Saturday morning in St. Louis in what organizers say is the first major welcome home parade in the nation.

Local KSDK-TV reports that "75 floats, two marching bands and the Budweiser Clydesdales" will be involved.

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5:22pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Education

Higher Dropout Age May Not Lead To More Diplomas

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 6:19 pm

President Obama delivers the commencement address for Kalamazoo Central High School's class of 2007 in Kalamazoo, Mich. The state requires students to stay in school until they turn 18.
Charles Dharapak AP

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on every state to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18. "When students don't walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma," he said.

The White House cited studies that showed how raising the compulsory schooling age helps prevent kids from leaving school. And while some of that is true, some of it is also wishful thinking.

For New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education Paul Leather, the president made the right call in his address.

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5:22pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Romney's Unlikely And Persuasive Defense Of The 'Individual Mandate'

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney offered a spirited defense of the individual mandate during Thursday night's GOP presidential candidate debate in Jacksonville, Fla.
Matt Rourke AP

For a candidate who keeps vowing to repeal the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney sure can make a convincing argument on its behalf.

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4:58pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Planet Money

Rethinking The Oreo For Chinese Consumers

Kraft Foods has reinvented the Oreo for Chinese consumers. It's latest offering in China: straw-shaped wafers with vanilla-flavored cream filling.
Kraft Foods

Everyone knows what an Oreo cookie is supposed to be like. It's round, black and white, and intensely sweet. Has been for 100 years. But sometimes, in order to succeed in the world, even the most iconic product has to adapt.

In China, that meant totally reconsidering what gives an Oreo its Oreoness.

At first, though, Kraft Foods thought that the Chinese would love the Oreo. Who doesn't? They launched the product there in 1996 as a clone of the American version.

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4:42pm

Fri January 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Revs Up House Democrats For Election-Year Fight

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 10:09 am

Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat., introduces President Obama at the House Democratic Issues Conference on Friday in Cambridge, Md.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

President Obama flew out to Maryland's Eastern Shore on Friday to fire up his rank and file in Congress.

House Democrats have spent the past few days in their annual retreat, regrouping and strategizing for the year to come. Lawmakers say their hopes for success — in the economy and in politics — depend on sticking together and sending the same message to Americans.

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4:30pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Multiple Views Add Perspective To Colten Moore's Extreme Crash At X Games

Colten Moore lost his hold on his snowmobile in mid-air.
X Games

4:01pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Middle East

U.N. Atomic Agency To Visit Iran For New Probe

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 6:19 pm

The International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, is sending a team to Iran on Sunday to further look into the country's nuclear program. Here, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the agency, is shown at an IAEA meeting in Vienna on Nov. 18, 2011.
Ronald Zak AP

A senior delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency visits Iran on Sunday in a renewed attempt to probe aspects of Iran's nuclear program that could be connected to nuclear weapons work.

For years, the IAEA has been trying to get answers to some very uncomfortable questions about Iran's nuclear program.

Iran insists it has only a peaceful, civilian nuclear program, and so far it has refused to discuss evidence that it is engaging in some nuclear weapons work. But international pressure on Tehran is growing.

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3:53pm

Fri January 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Heading Into Final Fla. Swing., GOP Candidates Keep Courting Latino Voters

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 6:19 pm

Fresh from a confident debate performance, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was jaunty as he campaigned at the Hispanic Leadership Network's lunch in Miami on Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Fresh from Thursday night's debate, the two leading Republican presidential candidates, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, traveled across Florida on Friday.

Gingrich and Romney spent the morning in Miami, where they are both looking to shore up support from Florida's Hispanic community.

Gingrich started the day talking to an influential business group, the Latin Builders Association. Later, he spoke before the Hispanic Leadership Network — a group devoted to building Republican support among Latinos.

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3:45pm

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

In Egypt: Charges, Trial Could Be Next, Says Sam LaHood

While he says it is "patently false" for anyone to say that the International Republican Institute offices he directs are in any way behind the anti-government protests in Egypt, American Sam LaHood told All Things Considered host Melissa Block this afternoon that he's been warned by the organization's attorney that he and others may soon be charged and brought to trial by authorities there.

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3:42pm

Fri January 27, 2012
Movies

Movie Titles That Might Have Been

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 6:19 pm

'Tonight' Show: Playing an alcoholic, unpopular superhero, Will Smith rouses himself from a park bench pass-out to stare down a curious kid in 2008's Hancock — a movie almost titled Tonight, He Comes.
Relativity Media The Kobal Collection

Shrek, Hitch, Gattaca: What's in a name? Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet — but for Hollywood the question is more like, "Would that rose, by any other name, sell as many tickets?"

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