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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6:06am

Sat July 21, 2012
Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty

The Modjeska: A Star On Stage, Sweetly Remembered

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 10:20 am

The modjeska owes its name to a Victorian-era candy maker's infatuation with a Polish actress.
Melisa Goh NPR

In the back room of Muth's Candies in Louisville, Ky., Jonathon Skaggs and Bobby Masterson are busy dipping marshmallows into a copper pot.

The pot is filled with a top-secret hot caramel mixture. Skaggs and Masterson tap the excess golden caramel off each candy before placing it on a board to cool.

Masterson says it's a rhythm repeated hundreds of times each day.

"They're good ... they're a big-time seller in here in Kentucky, especially right here in Louisville," Masterson says. "There's a lot of people that come and get 'em."

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6:05am

Sat July 21, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

A Grand Soviet Symphony, By Way Of Brazil

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 9:08 am

Sergei Prokofiev (pictured) wrote a Fifth Symphony that has special resonance in Sao Paulo for conductor Marin Alsop.
Library of Congress

People keep asking me why I recorded Sergei Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony for my first CD release in my new post leading the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra. The simple answer is that it just felt right. But in thinking about it, I can now see many parallels — at least for me — between Prokofiev's music, the city of Sao Paulo and the country of Brazil.

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6:05am

Sat July 21, 2012
Music Interviews

A Tribal Anthem's Author — And A Cult Rock Hero

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 8:39 am

In 1969, Plant and See, a band led by the late Lumbee Indian singer Willie Lowery (second from left), made its only album, a cult classic rereleased this month.
Courtesy of the artist

In the 1960s, the late Lumbee Indian singer, composer and activist Willie Lowery led a band called Plant and See — as in, plant the seed in the ground and see what comes up.

The band recorded only one album, Plant and See, which went out of print shortly after it was released in 1969, but psychedelic rock fans have always held it in high esteem.

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6:08pm

Fri July 20, 2012
Politics and Government

NY Senate Democrats hopeful for November

A recent poll offers some hope to Senate Democrats who are trying retake the Senate after losing to Republicans two years ago, but the GOP says they are far from worried.
 

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7:54am

Sat July 14, 2012
Presidential Race

Obama On The Stump In Virginia

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As Mitt Romney defends his business record, President Barack Obama is on the campaign trail. He'll be in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C. today. Yesterday, the president traveled to the Tidewater region of southeastern Virginia, and he continued to make his pitch that he is the best champion for the middle class. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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7:54am

Sat July 14, 2012
Business

$6B Deal Eases Credit Card Surcharge Restrictions

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Visa, MasterCard, some of the nation's other largest banks have agreed to a multibillion dollar settlement of a class action suit involving credit card transaction fees. Now, those are what merchants pay when you use plastic instead of cash. Retailers allege that the two largest payment networks conspired with the banks to keep so-called swipe fees high. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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7:54am

Sat July 14, 2012
Europe

Italians Commemorate Costa Concordia Wreck

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Work has begun to remove the tons of rocky reef embedded into the Concordia cruise ship's hull, off Giglio Island in Italy. The plan is to eventually tow the wreck away from the island in one piece.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Last January, the captain of the Italian mega-cruise ship Costa Concordia committed an apparent act of maritime bravado a few yards from the shore of a Tuscan island. Thirty people were killed, and two are still missing.

Six months after one of the biggest passenger shipwrecks in recent history, relatives of the dead attended a memorial service Friday near the site of the disaster.

The solemn notes of Mozart's Requiem echoed through the small church of Saints Lorenzo and Mamiliano on the island of Giglio.

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7:54am

Sat July 14, 2012
History

50 Years Ago, Communications Became Global

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Fifty years ago this week, communications went global. July 12, 1962 the Telstar 1 satellite from AT&T became the first commercial spacecraft to beam television images from the United States to Europe.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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7:54am

Sat July 14, 2012
Around the Nation

Black Lung Makes A Deadly Resurgence

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Earlier this week, NPR and the Center for Public Integrity reported astonishing news: the coal miners' disease called black lung is a growing problem again. The investigative report also showed that weak regulation and industry deception has thwarted the effort to protect miners from the coal mine dust that causes black lung.

NPR's Howard Berkes joins us. Howard, thanks for being with us. first,

HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: It's good to be with you, Scott.

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7:54am

Sat July 14, 2012
Sports

Sports Roundup: LA Angels, Drew Brees, Jeremy Lin

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:27 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Mark Teixeira of the Yankees gets five RBIs to beat the Angels. And if beating Angels isn't bad enough, Saints from New Orleans throwing money at Drew Brees. And why do U.S. lawmakers want to put the torch to U.S. Olympic uniforms? Howard Bryant joins us now, senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the magazine, joins us from New England Public Radio in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Howard, thanks for being with us.

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7:54am

Sat July 14, 2012
Sports

Power To The Pedal: Sky Stands Out In Tour De France

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Saturday is Bastille Day, and the Tour de France is underway. Nearly 200 cyclists have just finished a grueling three-day stretch in the mountains and are headed down to the southern coast. Host Scott Simon talks about the race and its so-called doping era with reporter Joe Lindsey of Bicycling Magazine.

7:49am

Sat July 14, 2012
NPR Story

Starry-Eyed In Arizona Observe The Heavens

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There may be no better town in America for observing the heavens than Tucson, Arizona. It has low humidity, high elevation and a darkened desert. That part of the state has attracted quite a few astronomers, both professional and amateur. We sent NPR's Peter Breslow to Tucson to seek out this community of stargazers.

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7:49am

Sat July 14, 2012
NPR Story

Toil And Trouble: Eurozone Pot Continues To Boil

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

There's more gloomy news from the eurozone this week. Italy saw its sovereign debt rating lowered by one agency, at just a couple of notches above junk status. In Spain, civil servants, coalminers, and others took to the streets once again to protest more spending cuts and tax hikes. And Germany's highest court heard arguments challenging the constitutionality of two measures considered central to efforts to try to contain the euro crisis.

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7:49am

Sat July 14, 2012
NPR Story

Found In Musical Translation: Higgs Boson Explained

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's been over a week since scientists announced that they've found the Higgs boson particle. It's an important discovery. They say that although the Higgs boson particle is small - or, come to think of it, perhaps because of it - it holds the universe together. But for all the publicity the particle's received, how many of us could explain what it actually does? Well, here's the announcement from scientists in Switzerland.

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6:20am

Sat July 14, 2012
The Record

He Keeps fun. Running

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:31 pm

Shane Timm tunes Jack Antonoff's guitar on the stage at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn before a fun. show in June.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

When NPR's Scott Simon spoke with singer Nate Ruess of the band fun. three weeks ago, the band was wrapping up a marathon tour of the United States in support of its album Some Nights and the hit single "We Are Young."

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5:51am

Sat July 14, 2012
Food

Three Beers To Cheer Your Summer Suppers

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:58 am

iStockphoto.com

When the mercury's soaring, a cold, refreshing beer can be the best part of summer. As part of our occasional Taste of Summer series, we asked beer expert Graham Haverfield to recommend a few of his seasonal favorites.

Haverfield is the beer director for the Wine Library in Springfield Township, N.J. He's also a certified cicerone, or beer server. "Summer beers are typically lighter in body, they're typically a little lower in alcohol," he tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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5:51am

Sat July 14, 2012
History

Winston Churchill's Way With Words

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Fox Photos Getty Images

Winston Churchill is best remembered as the British prime minister whose speeches rallied a nation under a relentless Nazi onslaught in World War II. But few people know that he won the Nobel Prize in Literature — in part for his mastery of speechmaking.

Now, a new exhibition at the Morgan Library in New York City, Churchill: The Power of Words, holds a megaphone to Churchill's extraordinary oratory.

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5:50am

Sat July 14, 2012
National Security

Osama's Driver Freed In Latest Guantanamo Release

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Ibrahim al-Qosi, shown here on July 11 in Khartoum, Sudan, was released from Guantanamo Bay prison this week after spending a decade there. He was Osama bin Laden's former driver, and he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy with al-Qaida and supporting terrorism. There are now 168 prisoners remaining at Guantanamo.
STR Reuters/Landov

The latest detainee to leave the Guantanamo Bay prison boarded an Air Force jet earlier this week. His destination: Sudan. The man, 52-year-old Ibrahim al-Qosi, had admitted to being Osama bin Laden's bookkeeper, driver and sometime cook, and he was one of the first prisoners to arrive at Guantanamo in 2002.

Now, he is the latest to leave. His departure brings the total detainee population at the U.S. naval base in Cuba down to 168 — from a high of 680 in May 2003.

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2:03am

Sat July 14, 2012
Music Interviews

Milo Greene: Born Of A Music-Industry Phantom

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 3:49 pm

Milo Greene's self-titled debut comes out Tuesday.
L. Gray

Buzz has been building. There were standing ovations when Milo Greene toured with The Civil Wars. Esquire magazine put Milo Greene on its list of artists to watch in 2012, and Milo Greene will perform songs from its debut album on David Letterman's show later this month. But this budding star is probably not who you think he is.

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2:03am

Sat July 14, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Tanglewood: Celebrating Beethoven In The Backwoods For 75 Years

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:22 pm

Christoph von Dohnanyi and the Boston Symphony play Beethoven in the opening night concert of the Tanglewood Festival's 75th anniversary.
Hilary Scott Boston Symphony

It now seems like a natural rite of summer — open-air classical music festivals where audiences can hear great music while picnicking under the stars. But 75 years ago, when the Boston Symphony first performed on a former estate called Tanglewood in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, it was a novel idea.

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8:57am

Sat July 7, 2012
Around the Nation

Scranton's Public Workers' Pay Cut to Minimum Wage

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 4:29 pm

The city of Scranton, Pa., sent out paychecks to its employees Friday, like it does every two weeks. But this time the checks were much smaller than usual. Mayor Chris Doherty has reduced everyone's pay — including his own — to the state's minimum wage: $7.25 an hour.

Doherty says his city has run out of money.

Scranton has had financial troubles for a couple of decades — the town has been losing population since the end of World War II. But the budget problems became more serious in recent months as the mayor and the city council fought over how to balance the budget.

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8:57am

Sat July 7, 2012
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Eugene Levy And American Dreams

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Last Saturday, NPR's Jennifer Ludden introduced us to 30-year-old Michelle Holshue, as part of NPR's "American Dream" series. Ms. Holshue graduated with $140,000 in student loan debt just as the recession hit. She worries she'll never be able to own a home, or raise a family.

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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Economy

Adjustments Behind The Numbers Shape Job News

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Eight-point-two percent, that's the number economists and politicians are looking at closely. It is the unemployment rate for the month of June. The U.S. Labor Department reported that the economy added only 80,000 jobs last month. As the economy continues its very slow recovery, it's worth asking, is the jobs report always the best indicator? NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Economy

CEO Spill The Beans On Hiring Hesitancy

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

So, another month passes with U.S. stuck in a jobless recovery. Yet many major businesses are reportedly doing well. Their stock price is up. They have cash on hand. So why aren't more companies hiring?

I'm joined now by two chief executive officers. Christopher Gorman is the president of Key Corporate Bank and the CEO of KeyBank in Cleveland. He joins us from his office there. Mr. Gorman, thanks for being with us.

CHRISTOPHER GORMAN: Good morning, Scott.

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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Around the Nation

Anchorage Mayor Takes Oath Under Hawaiian Sun

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Dan Sullivan was sworn in for a second term as the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me. I, Daniel Sullivan...

MAYOR DAN SULLIVAN: I, Daniel Sullivan...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Solemnly swear or affirm...

SULLIVAN: Solemnly swear...

SIMON: The mayor sounded a little distant. He was. Nearly 3,000 miles from Anchorage - in Honolulu.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Africa

Libyan Elections Seen As Test Of Uncertain Peace

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And today, less than a year after the death of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, Libyans are electing a new parliament. But in the months since the dictator was killed by a mob in his stronghold of Sirte, life in Libya has been troubled. This election's being seen as a test for an uncertain peace.

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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
NPR Story

Economy's In Low Gear, But Obama's Bus Keeps Rolling

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Technology

New Projects Help 3-D Printing Materialize

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You may have heard of 3-D printers. These are computer controlled machines that create three-dimensional objects from a variety of materials. They've been kind of a novelty for a while but now they are being discovered by everyday consumers. Jon Kalish reports.

JON KALISH, BYLINE: Sean Hurley works for a software company called Autodesk. Not long ago the door on his clothes dryer at home developed a problem. It wouldn't stay shut, which made it impossible to use the dryer.

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7:50am

Sat July 7, 2012
NPR Story

Sports: Big Weekend For Tennis

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And it's a huge weekend on tennis' hallowed ground. Serena Williams has won her fifth Wimbledon title. She defeated Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, 6-1, 5-7 and 6-2 in the final. And on the men's side, Andy Murray is the great Scot hope, as he tries to win his first Wimbledon title. We spoke with Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the magazine from Wimbledon shortly after Serena Williams won.

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7:50am

Sat July 7, 2012
NPR Story

NOAA: Just To Be Clear, Mermaids Do Not Exist

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If the blobfish rarely moves, who does it encounter to spell its loneliness in the briny deep? The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency would urge the blobfish not to hold out for the chance to meet the mermaid of its dreams. NOAA issued a statement this week after receiving several queries following the broadcast of an Animal Planet program called "Mermaids: The Body Found."

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