Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays from 8-10 a.m.

Saturday mornings are made for Weekend Edition Saturday, the program wraps up the week's news and offers a mix of analysis and features on a wide range of topics, including arts, sports, entertainment, and human interest stories. The two-hour program is hosted by NPR's Peabody Award-winning Scott Simon.

Drawing on his experience in covering 10 wars and stories in all 50 states and seven continents, Simon brings a humorous, sophisticated and often moving perspective to each show. He is as comfortable having a conversation with a major world leader as he is talking with a Hollywood celebrity or the guy next door.

Weekend Edition Saturday has a unique and entertaining roster of other regular contributors. Marin Alsop, conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, talks about music. Daniel Pinkwater, one of the biggest names in children's literature, talks about and reads stories with Simon. Financial journalist Joe Nocera follows the economy. Howard Bryant of EPSN.com and NPR's Tom Goldman chime in on sports. Keith Devlin, of Stanford University, unravels the mystery of math, and Will Grozier, a London cabbie, talks about good books that have just been released, and what well-read people leave in the back of his taxi. Simon contributes his own award-winning essays, which are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant.

Weekend Edition Saturday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States, and around the globe on NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

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5:53am

Sat February 2, 2013
The Upstate Economy

North Country sustainability plan considers environment, economy

The plan was unveiled at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake last week.
Credit Sarah Harris/Innovation Trail

The North Country Sustainability Plan was unveiled last week. It tackles energy, land use, transportation and water and waste management across seven counties.The Adirondack North Country Association, Ecology and Environment Inc., and Essex County spent much of the past year compiling the plan. They enlisted the help of another 200 people from around the region for the working groups.

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5:17am

Sat February 2, 2013
The Salt

How To Save A Public Library: Make It A Seed Bank

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 3:07 pm

The seed library is a partnership between the Basalt Public Library and the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute. Seed packets encourage gardeners to write their names and take credit for their harvested seeds.
Courtesy of Dylan Johns

Despite the cold and snow, some signs of spring are starting to break through in Colorado. The public library in the small town of Basalt is trying an experiment: In addition to borrowing books, residents can now check out seeds.

In a corner of the library, Stephanie Syson and her 4-year-old daughter, Gray, are just finishing a book with a white rabbit on the cover.

When Gray approaches the knee-high shelves filled with seed packets, she zeroes in on a pack labeled "rainbow carrots."

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5:17am

Sat February 2, 2013
Around the Nation

Undocumented In The U.S.: 11 Million And Counting

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 8:06 pm

While a vast majority of undocumented immigrants in the United States come from Mexico, many also come from Central American nations, China, parts of Africa and India.
David McNew Getty Images

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and it's a number you might have heard a lot about this week from Washington lawmakers.

Since the 1970s, Jeff Passel, now senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, has been keeping tabs on a group that actively tries to stay off the radar. He says many actually do participate in the census count and other surveys.

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5:12am

Sat February 2, 2013
Simon Says

History Sometimes Rewards Those Who Are Sidelined

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 5:26 am

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith looks on from the sidelines during the overtime period against the New York Giants on Jan. 22, 2012, in San Francisco.
G. Newman Lowrance AP

You might look for a player along the sidelines in the Super Bowl on Sunday named Alex Smith and wonder, as he might, if he'll be the next Wally Pipp or Ken Mattingly.

Pipp was the Yankee first baseman in 1925 who had a headache and was told to take two aspirin and sit out the game. A young player named Lou Gehrig took his place — and stayed at first base for 14 years, becoming one of baseball's most storied players.

Pipp wound up working in a screw factory. He was a good sport who told fans in later years, "I took the two most expensive aspirin in history."

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5:34pm

Fri February 1, 2013
Deceptive Cadence

Treasures In The Attic: Finding A Jazz Master's Lost Orchestral Music

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 5:13 pm

Stride piano pioneer James P. Johnson had dreams of becoming a successful symphonic composer.
William Gottlieb

7:43am

Sat January 26, 2013
NPR Story

Egypt Looks To Secure Loan As Feeding Families Gets Harder

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Egyptian military's been deployed to the streets of Port Said today. Riots erupted in that city last night just northeast of Cairo after a controversial court verdict. At least 25 people have been reported dead. The violence comes amid mass street protests in Egypt against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

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7:43am

Sat January 26, 2013
NPR Story

As Apple Flounders, Samsung Gains Strength

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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7:43am

Sat January 26, 2013
NPR Story

EU Money Sends Migrants Stuck In Greece Home

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Mohammad Afzaal, a 35-year-old house painter from northeastern Pakistan, has signed up for a voluntary repatriation program run by the International Organization of Migration and financed by the European Commission.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Like many of the estimated 350,000 undocumented migrants living in Greece, Mohammad Afzaal is trapped in a devastated economy.

He slipped into Greece 11 years ago, when he was 24, and found good work in Athens as a house painter. He wired a chunk of his earnings to his family in the northeastern Pakistani city of Gujrat.

"Each month, I sent 200 or 300 euros back home to my wife, parents and brothers and sisters," says Afzaal, a slight man with a trim black beard. That's around $270 to $400. "I supported seven people."

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6:33am

Sat January 26, 2013
Author Interviews

Dave Barry's 'Insane' Miami Mixes Refugees, Gangsters, Escorts And A Burmese Python

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Putnam

It wouldn't do to call Insane City "a typical Dave Barry novel." What kind of thing is that to say about a book? The story begins with a bachelor dinner that goes off the rails, then brings in Russian mobsters, the fourth-place finisher in the Miss Hot Amateur Bod contest, a goodhearted escort and her "sales representative," if you please, an albino Burmese python — or is that a Burmese albino python?

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5:28am

Sat January 26, 2013
Simon Says

'Ebony' Editor Began Life Black In Nazi Germany

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Hans Massaquoi told his story in Destined to Witness: Growing up Black in Nazi Germany. The former managing editor of Ebony magazine died on his 87th birthday last Saturday.
Matthew P. D'Agostino AP

The proudest moment of Hans Massaquoi's boyhood was when his babysitter sewed a swastika on his sweater. He was a 7-year-old boy in Hamburg who wanted to be part of the excitement of the times he saw. But when his mother got home, she snipped off the swastika.

He also wanted to join the Hitler Youth. "They had cool uniforms," Massaquoi wrote years later, "and they did exciting things — camping, parades, playing drums."

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5:27am

Sat January 26, 2013
It's All Politics

For GOP Comeback, Leaders Urge Stepped-Up Outreach

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, shown at the Republican National Convention in August, has been re-elected to another two-year term.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

In their first big party gathering since Election Day, Republican leaders from around the country met in Charlotte, N.C., this week.

The GOP is promising a great deal of change in advance of the next election, but one area where there will be no change for the party is in its leadership. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was elected to another two-year term.

In his acceptance speech, he cited a simple reason why Republicans failed to win the White House and lost seats in the House and Senate in November.

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5:27am

Sat January 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Administration Takes Gun Control Fight Outside Washington

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Vice President Joe Biden participates in a round-table discussion on gun violence at Virginia Commonwealth University with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on Friday. The panelists included people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.
Steve Helber AP

The Obama administration is taking its push for gun legislation outside of the Beltway — possibly in a nod to the obstacles any gun control bills will face in Washington.

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden held a round-table discussion in Richmond, Va., speaking with people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

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2:03am

Sat January 26, 2013
Music News

The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Jimmy Van Heusen with Frank Sinatra in the 1950s. Van Heusen wrote dozens of songs for the crooner and became Sinatra's close friend and confidant.
Courtesy of Burns Media Productions

You've never heard of Jimmy Van Heusen? Well, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has. You certainly know many of his songs, says Brook Babcock, Van Heusen's grandnephew and president of his publishing company.

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2:03am

Sat January 26, 2013
Music Interviews

Petra Haden Covers Classic Film Scores With A Single Voice

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Petra Haden's new album is titled Petra Goes to the Movies.
Courtesy of the artist

Petra Haden had a problem when she was a child: "I remember watching Looney Tunes cartoons and having the music stuck in my head," the singer and violinist says.

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3:29pm

Fri January 25, 2013
Regional Coverage

Onondaga Historical Association celebrates their 150th birthday

The Onondaga Historical Association turns 150 this year. Friday night they hold a Jubilee Celebration in Syracuse University's Carnegie Hall that also marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

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5:31am

Sat January 19, 2013
NPR Story

Is A Fresh Start In Washington Possible?

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:13 am

Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about whether the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans can find some common ground and overcome the political gridlock that characterized much of the president's first term.

5:31am

Sat January 19, 2013
NPR Story

For Justice Sotomayor, Books Unlocked Imagination

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a new autobiography out about her life and her career in law. Earlier this week, we broadcast portions of her interview with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Today, Nina talks to the justice about the role that books have played in her life.

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5:31am

Sat January 19, 2013
NPR Story

House GOP Backs Off Debt Ceiling Demands

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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3:06am

Sat January 19, 2013
Regional Coverage

Researcher looks to make firefighters' work a bit easier

Tyler Hale, a firefighter in Cayuga Heights, tested leather and rubber boots to measure their effects on joint and muscle movement.
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

Tyler Hale is a 25-year-old volunteer firefighter with the Cayuga Heights Fire Department. Wires connecting small plastic sensors snake up his arms and legs and down his back and Huiju Park, an assistant professor at Cornell University, directs Hale through a series of movements.

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2:03am

Sat January 19, 2013
Music News

Jin, 'The Chinese Kid Who Raps,' Grows Up

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:25 pm

After a failed career at home in the U.S., the Chinese-American rapper Jin found an unexpected second chance at stardom on the other side of the world.
Louis Trinh Courtesy of artist

2:03am

Sat January 19, 2013
Music Interviews

A Bagpipe-Slinging Spaniard Finds A Home In New York Jazz

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 2:18 pm

On the new album Migrations, Cristina Pato plays the gaita, a bagpipe from her native region of Galicia in northwest Spain.
Courtesy of the artist

Cristina Pato is a jazz pianist from Spain who also plays flute and sings. But on her new album, Migrations, there's a striking sound not often heard in jazz: a bagpipe. Pato has been playing the traditional gaita (pronounced "GY-tah"), a version of the bagpipe from her native region of Galicia, since she was 4 years old.

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10:29am

Sat January 12, 2013
Simon Says

Cheating Might Buy Home Runs, But No Hall Of Fame

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:23 pm

The Baseball Hall of Fame is a tourist attraction, not a papal conclave. And the people who cast votes for the Hall are sportswriters, not the College of Cardinals.

But there was something momentous this week when the Baseball Writers Association elected no one to the Hall of Fame. Not Roger Clemens, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards. Not Barry Bonds, who hit a record 762 home runs. Not Sammy Sosa, who hit 60 or more home runs in a season three times.

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8:36am

Sat January 12, 2013
Simon Says

Baseball Hall Of Fame Snub Draws The Line

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 9:22 am

There was something momentous this week when the Baseball Writers Association elected no one to the Hall of Fame. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon remarks on the rebuke, rare in a sport where bad behavior is routine.

6:51am

Sat January 12, 2013
Business

A Nightmarish Week For Boeing's Dreamliner

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Of course, this last week has been kind of a nightmare for Boeing and its new 787 Dreamliner. In three separate incidents in as many days, airline carriers reported problems with brakes, with fuel leaks and a battery fire. The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a comprehensive review of the new plane. Joining us now to talk about Boeing's new 787 is Joe Nocera, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and our man on finance and other matters. Joe, thanks very much for being with us.

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6:51am

Sat January 12, 2013
Politics

What Would Obama Do (If There's No Debt Ceiling Deal)?

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

You might've chuckled a bit this week, if you heard about the trillion-dollar platinum coin plan, to perhaps address Washington, D.C.'s debt ceiling stalemate. But it will certainly be no laughing matter if the U.S. Congress refuses to raise the borrowing limit, and the U.S. government defaults on its debt. Global financial markets would likely plummet.

NPR's John Ydstie reports on some of the options the president has if he and Congress cannot reach an agreement.

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6:51am

Sat January 12, 2013
Sports

Making Sense Of The NFL Playoffs

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Hey, it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: In the NFL playoffs this weekend, will the Falcons, Seahawks and Ravens soar? Will the Broncos buck, the 49ers strike gold, the Patriots run up the flag, the Texans remember, and the Packers pack up and go home? How many ridiculous phrases can I work into a sentence?

NPR's Tom Goldman joins us now to help us make sense of all of 'em. Tom, thanks for being with us.

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5:35am

Sat January 12, 2013
Author Interviews

NBA Star Aims To Inspire Young Readers With 'Slam Dunk'

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Scholastic & Klutz

Amar'e Stoudemire is known as "STAT," an acronym for "standing tall and talented." He's an 11-year-old basketball player who wants badly to learn how to dunk — that's Amar'e the character, anyway.

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5:34am

Sat January 12, 2013
Books

The Seedy Underbelly Of The Belle Epoque, 'Painted'

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:54 pm

Just who is The Little Dancer, Aged 14? Who is the actual girl, cast 2/3 of her life size by Edgar Degas?

That little dancer was Marie van Goethem, one of three sisters left to fend for themselves after their father dies and their mother begins spending her washerwoman's income on absinthe.

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5:34am

Sat January 12, 2013
History

World War II Exhibit Asks Visitors, 'What Would You Do?'

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Using touchscreens, visitors decide how they would make wartime choices.
Courtesy National WWII Museum

For many, the stakes and the scale of World War II are hard to fathom. It was a war fought around the world, against powerful, determined regimes in Europe and the Pacific; some 65 million people died. And as the number of people who have actual memories of the war dwindle — as of next year, there will be fewer than 1 million living veterans — the mission of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans becomes all the more urgent.

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2:03am

Sat January 12, 2013
Music Interviews

A Night Out With Sam Cooke: 'Harlem Square' Turns 50

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Sam Cooke in the studio in the early 1960s.
Courtesy of Legacy Recordings

Fifty years ago Saturday, Sam Cooke stepped onstage at a club in Miami. He'd come a long way to get there.

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