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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6:00am

Sat September 8, 2012
Author Interviews

An Invitation To Join 'The Dangerous Animals Club'

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 8:16 am

Stephen Tobolowsky is an actor and writer. He also hosts the podcast The Tobolowsky Files.
Jim Britt Simon & Schuster

Stephen Tobolowsky calls his book, The Dangerous Animals Club, a group of "pieces." They are partly essays, partly short stories, partly memoir. They are anecdotes, stories and insights that are shuffled in and out of order, like cards in a deck.

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2:03am

Sat September 8, 2012
Music News

Sauti Sol: Native Sons Sing Straight To Kenya's Youth

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 9:40 pm

Sauti Sol has become the most popular band in Kenya.
Courtesy of the artist

The members of Sauti Sol rehearse in a cramped recording studio above a chapati restaurant off a noisy highway in Nairobi. Bien-Aime Baraza, Delvin Mudigi and Willis Chimano — the founding members, all 25 — have been friends since they sang together as part of a gospel ensemble in high school. When they graduated in 2005, they didn't want to stop singing, so they formed Sauti Sol. Sauti is Swahili for voice, while sol is Spanish for sun. "Voices of light."

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6:12am

Sat September 1, 2012
Presidential Race

Romney Visits Storm-Stricken La. Ahead Of Obama

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 3:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And there are a little more than 60 days left until the presidential election. Democrats are gearing up for their nominating convention, in North Carolina next week. Republicans, of course, held their convention this week, in Florida. And in a moment, we'll hear a report on President Obama's visit to a U.S. military base.

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6:12am

Sat September 1, 2012
Around the Nation

Gone But Not Forgotten, Isaac Leaves Messy Wake

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 3:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. The remnants of Hurricane Isaac have now moved north, dumping heavy rain in Arkansas and Missouri. In Louisiana and Mississippi, it will take many weeks - if not months - to clean up the mess from the flooding and torrential downpours. As NPR's Russell Lewis reports, residents there are taking things kind of in stride, even as they need to rebuild yet again.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPLASHING WATER)

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6:12am

Sat September 1, 2012
Sports

Week In Sports: U.S. Open To Be Roddick's Last

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 3:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And I wait all week to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The 2012 tennis season is in the home stretch - or is it the last set? What do we call it? The U.S. Open in New York, and it's been eventful. We'll also hit the gridiron in a moment. First, Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine joins us now from New York. Howard, good morning.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. How are you?

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6:11am

Sat September 1, 2012
Economy

The Economy: What Are The Central Bankers Saying?

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 3:31 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Every year at this time, many of the world's central bankers gather in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for an annual economic policy symposium, within sight of snow-capped mountain peaks. The economy continues to be weak in much of the world. A select group of journalists is allowed to attend - and Robin Harding, the U.S. Economics Editor of the Financial Times, is one of those journalists.

He joins us from Jackson Hole. Mr. Harding, thank you for being with us.

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6:11am

Sat September 1, 2012
Politics

The GOP Convention Is Done, But The Swag Lives On

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 3:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Finally, a story of a couple of guys on a road trip to find a few things that may be priceless. Remember, it's a road trip. Our two stars are...

LARRY BIRD: I'm Larry Bird.

HARRY RUBENSTEIN: Hi, this is Harry Rubenstein.

SIMON: Larry Bird and Harry Rubenstein are curators at the National Museum of American History. They've been in Tampa this week and will be in Charlotte next to collect stuff.

BIRD: I mean, it could be anything - banner, badges, buttons, ribbons.

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6:11am

Sat September 1, 2012
Book Reviews

'Headbangers' And The New American Pastime

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 10:24 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

Baseball is still called the national pastime, and poets still compose paeans to its subtlety and gentle pace. But in the 1970s, pro football began to become America's defining game, and it was about as subtle as a kick in the head. As Kevin Cook suggests in his new book, the '70s - the days of Mean Joe, "Mad Dog" John Madden, buttoned-up Tom Landry and Howard Cosell - the days when football was raw and unfiltered.

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5:47am

Sat September 1, 2012
'Weekend Edition's' Taste Of Summer

Swimming And Snacking On Egypt's North Coast

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 3:31 pm

Freska are small, sweet treats — thin, crispy wafers sandwiching patties of sesame, peanuts or coconut, often held together by honey or sugar.
Kimberly Adams

In the summer, many middle- and upper-class Egyptians flee the sweltering heat and humidity of Cairo to a string of private beach communities that hug the Mediterranean coast. Here, the weather is cooler and the breeze off the sea carries the shouts of snack sellers. Those vendors make it possible for beachgoers to purchase snacks without leaving the shade of their umbrellas.

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5:58pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Simon Says

Without A Career, How Do We Know Who We Are?

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 3:31 pm

Are we what we do?

A lot of Americans identify themselves by their work. It's often how we introduce ourselves or describe our friends and parents: "I'm a police officer." "I'm a spot-welder." "My dad was a druggist." "My mom was a teacher." "My wife is a pilot." "My friend is a firefighter." "I sell insurance."

Our work has been a kind of identity stamp, defining us as much as our last name or place of birth. As Studs Terkel wrote in his 1974 classic, Working, "Our jobs give us daily meaning as well as daily bread."

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10:16am

Sat August 25, 2012
Food

Not All Chinese Restaurants Are Created Equal

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Hungry? You might give a listen now to David Chan. Mr. Chan is a Los Angeles tax lawyer who says he's eaten in more than 6,000 Chinese restaurants in North America and knows how to identify the best. David Chan joins us on the line now.

Thanks very much for being with us.

DAVID CHAN: Well, thanks for having me, Scott.

SIMON: So what do you look for?

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9:45am

Sat August 25, 2012
Simon Says

Phyllis Diller: Showing, And Celebrating, Her Age

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Phyllis Diller attends an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences event in North Hollywood, Calif., in 2008. The comedic legend died this week at 95.
Charley Gallay Getty Images

When Phyllis Diller died this week at the age of 95, much was made of the way she burst open doors for women in comedy. But she also showed a way for people to make a midlife crisis into a breakthrough.

Diller was an Eisenhower-era housewife in the smokestack-and-factory-whistle suburbs of Oakland, Calif., whose husband worked at the naval air base. They had five children and could use some extra income. Phyllis, who had been an art and music student in her youth, also had extra, unfulfilled ambitions to entertain. She volunteered at veteran's hospitals for the Red Cross.

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8:25am

Sat August 25, 2012
World

What's Next For Jailed Pakistani Christian?

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 8:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's been international outcry over the arrest of a young Christian girl in Pakistan, who's charged with blasphemy. A Muslim neighbor denounced her for allegedly burning parts of the Quran, a crime that's punishable by death in Pakistan. An Islamic cleric caught word of it and stirred up an angry mob that beat the young girl. NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Islamabad, the girl is now behind bars and unable to see her lawyer or family.

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8:25am

Sat August 25, 2012
Sports

Armstrong's Decision Ripples Outside Of Sporting World

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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8:00am

Sat August 25, 2012
Politics and Government

Owens works the senior vote in the North Country

Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) campaigns in Massena.
David Sommerstein North Country Public Radio

Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) is making Medicare a big issue in his race with Republican Matt Doheny.

Senior citizens vote at higher rates than the rest of the population.  So they’ll be key to the eventual winner of the North Country’s 21st Congressional district.  And issues important to seniors, like health care law and Medicare, will take front stage until November.

Owens’ campaign has been ratcheting up the debate with Doheny on Medicare.

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6:28am

Sat August 25, 2012
Politics

Ahead Of Conventions, Candidates Hone Message

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Republicans and Democrats will talk a lot about the economy during their national conventions over the next couple of weeks. And yet, the man who is about to be nominated by the Republican convention, Mitt Romney, briefly strayed from an economic message yesterday, while speaking in the Detroit suburb of Commerce, Michigan.

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6:28am

Sat August 25, 2012
Politics

Revisiting Conventions Of Elections Past

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Political conventions used to be dramatic events that made history. They nominated candidates for president. They debated crucial issues under glaring lights. Now, not so much. Presidential candidates win or lose nominations in primaries, and parties tend to see - and use - conventions as what amounts to advertisements for themselves. Our apologies to Norman Mailer.

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6:28am

Sat August 25, 2012
Around the Nation

'D'oh!' Simpsons Stamps A Flop For Postal Service

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's only one way to begin this item.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME FROM "THE SIMPSONS")

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6:28am

Sat August 25, 2012
Africa

Remembering Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia's Champion

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 8:35 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Ethiopia's longtime prime minister died this week. Meles Zenawi was 57. He came to power in 1991 when a rebel army toppled that nation's Marxist dictator and the Ethiopian leader became a trusted U.S. ally in the war against terrorism. As NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports, he leaves behind a mixed legacy.

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6:28am

Sat August 25, 2012
Afghanistan

New U.S. Ambassador To Afghanistan Faces Tough Job

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. James Cunningham has taken one of the most difficult diplomatic posts in the world. He is the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.

AMBASSADOR JAMES CUNNINGHAM: I, James D. Cunningham...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do solemnly swear.

CUNNINGHAM: ...do solemnly swear...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That I will support and defend.

CUNNINGHAM: ...that I will support and defend...

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5:47am

Sat August 25, 2012
NPR Story

Apple Win Over Samsung Sends Message To Industry

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Apple has won a decisive victory in a closely watched patent lawsuit. A federal jury in California yesterday ordered Samsung to pay Apple slightly more than $1 billion. The jury found that the world's largest maker of smartphones had essentially stolen iPhone and iPad technology. As NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, the impact of the ruling is likely to be felt throughout the tech industry.

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5:47am

Sat August 25, 2012
NPR Story

Need A Soprano? Get A Gibbon On Helium

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This just in: Gibbons on helium sing like sopranos. Wired magazine reports on a study at Kyoto University in which an ape named Fuku-chan was placed in a chamber filled with helium enriched air. This was not a party trick. Helium-rich air apparently allows scientists to more easily analyze vocalizations. Fuku-chan's bellow went from this:

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLOWING)

SIMON: To this:

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLOWING)

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5:47am

Sat August 25, 2012
NPR Story

Hurricane Andrew: Florida's Unwelcome Visitor

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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2:03am

Sat August 25, 2012
Music Interviews

Selah Sue: From Online Stardom To A Stage With Prince

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 11:18 am

Selah Sue performs at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Just a small-town girl, living in a lonely world — in Belgium, with her guitar and a MySpace page. That's how Selah Sue used to introduce her music to those outside her hometown: with short videos made between high-school classes and weekend shows at local clubs, posted to her online journal.

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2:03am

Sat August 25, 2012
Music Interviews

Sean Rowe: An Outdoorsman Enters Civilization

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Sean Rowe's new album is The Salesman and the Shark.
Marius Bugge

Sean Rowe has a voice and a style that stands out in popular music. His voice is deep — really, truly deep — fine, and often doleful. He's a baritone troubadour who sings of roads not taken, regrets and the dreams that shake you awake at 3 in the morning.

After years of working bars, road houses and more bars, Rowe is playing concert stages and winning over critics for his story-songs and that remarkable voice. But, as he tells NPR's Scott Simon, he wasn't always so proud to be a singer.

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2:03am

Sat August 25, 2012
Music Al Fresco

A Roving Percussionist On The Big Easy's Busy Streets

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 12:53 pm

Clyde Casey has been performing on the streets of New Orleans for 40 years.
Tegan Wendland

All summer long, Weekend Edition has been bringing listeners the sounds of music played outdoors by all manner of street performers. Of all the cities in America that embrace buskers, New Orleans, with its tradition of jazz and oompah bands at Mardi Gras, may be the most welcoming. It also happens to be a city with a certain eccentric flair — so Weekend Edition wasn't surprised to find Clyde Casey there.

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9:58am

Sat August 18, 2012
Sports

Preparing For The 2012 Paralympic Games In London

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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8:00am

Sat August 18, 2012
Business

NY state beer industry could see substantial growth

Saranac is brewed and bottled in Utica, NY.
Ardyiii Flickr

Beer is big business in New York state. The industry, which already has a major impact on the state's economy, expects to grow even further.

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6:31am

Sat August 18, 2012
Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty

Valomilks: A Sweet Treat That Runs Down Your Chin

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 5:23 pm

The family-owned Russel Sifers Candy Company has been making Valomilks — and only Valomilks — for decades.
Melisa Goh NPR

The Valomilk was once advertised as "the 5-cent candy bar with the 50-cent taste." And while the price has changed, the product has not.

For more than 80 years, the family-owned Russell Sifers Candy Company has been using the same recipe to churn out a rich concoction of chocolate and creamy marshmallow goo.

The candy-making machines are busy on the factory floor in Merriam, Kan., just southwest of Kansas City. This is the headquarters of the century-old company, where Russell Sifers himself is a fourth-generation candy maker.

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6:31am

Sat August 18, 2012
Business

In Wall Street 2.0, Computers Are King

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks to Sean Gourley, physicist and founder of quid.com, about the computers that trade stock shares faster than human minds can comprehend.

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