Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturday at 8-10am
Join Scott Simon Saturday Mornings for Weekend Edition
Scott Simon


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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7:55am

Sat June 2, 2012
Business

Implications Of The Facebook Let-Down

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You know, if Facebook were a Broadway show, they'd be firing the director and rewriting the script. Facebook share price closed this week at $27.72. That's more than a 25 percent drop from its initial public offering price. The social networks debut as a publically traded company last month has been panned, questioned and trouble by a Securities and Exchange Commission probe and shareholder lawsuits.

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7:55am

Sat June 2, 2012
Economy

Europe's Debt Weighs On U.S. Employers

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

So, why is job growth slowing? Well, part of the problem, as we just heard, appears to be in Europe. The economic turmoil there is looking worse, and that has ripped into the U.S. economy and slowing down hiring. NPR's Chris Arnold has more from Boston.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: The weather this week was beautiful in Boston, so it's perfect for tourists having lunch outside by the harbor or taking a trolley bus around to do some sightseeing.

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6:43am

Sat June 2, 2012
Monkey See

For Impressionist Jim Meskimen, The Voice Is 'A Sample Of Who We Are'

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:50 pm

Jim Meskimen arrives at the premiere of Frost/Nixon in November 2008.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

6:20am

Sat June 2, 2012
Food

America's Gone Bananas: Here's How It Happened

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:01 am

iStockphoto.com

Today, Americans take bananas for granted. They're cheap, they're ripe, they're everywhere. But take a moment and consider: How did a pale, fragile tropical fruit become so commonplace in America? Immigrants arriving at the South Ferry terminal, where the Ellis Island ferry landed, were once handed bananas and told, "Welcome to America."

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6:09am

Sat June 2, 2012
Books

London's Mayor On 'The City That Made The World'

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:01 am

London Mayor Boris Johnson stands atop the ArcelorMittal Orbit, an observation tower in London's Olympic Park, at its unveiling on May 11. Johnson is the author of Johnson's Life of London: The People Who Made the City That Made the World.
Christopher Lee Getty Images

In just a few weeks, the world will descend on London for the Olympic Games.

But the world goes to London every day, according to Boris Johnson, the former journalist who has just been re-elected mayor of London. In his new book, Johnson says people don't just visit the city, they've made their lives there for centuries now. It's a city, Johnson writes, where national soccer teams from all over the world can show up and count on crowds of thousands of fans to support them.

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5:57am

Sat June 2, 2012
Religion

Conspiracies Swirl As Vatican Scandal Engulfs Rome

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 7:13 pm

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives for his weekly general audience on May 30 at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

The scandal over leaked documents that has been engulfing the Vatican is the biggest breach of confidence and security at the Holy See in recent memory.

Known as Vatileaks, the crisis has shed light on a Vatican gripped by intrigue and power struggles like a Renaissance court.

Vatileaks erupted into a full-blown scandal with the publication two weeks ago of a book of Vatican documents alleging corruption and conspiracies among cardinals.

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5:56am

Sat June 2, 2012
National Security

'Flame' Virus Fuels Political Heat Over Cyber Threats

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 1:51 pm

iStockphoto.com

New information about computer viruses shows how countries may be lining up to fight a cyberwar. The New York Times reported that former President George W. Bush and President Obama both authorized computer attacks against Iran, culminating in the Stuxnet virus, which targeted Iranian nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile, a United Nations agency raised alarms about another virus, dubbed "Flame," which may also have been designed for use against Iran.

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2:03am

Sat June 2, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

A (Very) Young Composer Gets His Chance At The New York Philharmonic

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:51 pm

Very Young Composer Milo Poniewozik at the New York Philharmonic's School Day Concerts, where his piece was performed in front of more than 2,000 kids.
Michael DiVito New York Philharmonic

What would it be like if you were 10 years old and composed a piece of music that was played by the New York Philharmonic? For a few New York City school kids, including one fifth-grader, it's a dream come true, thanks to the orchestra's Very Young Composers program.

Composer Jon Deak, who played bass with the New York Philharmonic for more than 40 years, says the idea for Very Young Composers came when he and conductor Marin Alsop visited an elementary school in Brooklyn several years ago.

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6:59pm

Fri June 1, 2012
Music Interviews

Kelly Hogan: Cashing In An Album's Worth Of Favors

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:01 am

Kelly Hogan's new album is I Like to Keep Myself in Pain.
Courtesy of the artist

"I started singing in bars when I was still in high school," says Kelly Hogan. "It's not the easiest thing to do if you like to eat something besides ramen noodles and have insurance."

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7:49am

Sat May 26, 2012
Politics

Reading Between The Polls: What Voters Should Watch

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As we just heard from Ari, early polling can do much to shape political campaigns, but voters who are just trying to follow the debate, polls and surveys can seem contradictory and confusing. To help us see through some of the fog of polling, we're joined now by Michael Dimock. He's the associate director for research at the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. Thanks for being with us.

MICHAEL DIMOCK: Thank you.

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7:49am

Sat May 26, 2012
Author Interviews

Author's Tweets Give New Meaning To Short Fiction

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Thursday night, dispatches from a glum future began to appear on the Twitter account of The New Yorker magazine's fiction department - a science fiction story, told sentence by sentence, tweet by tweet, a story about Jennifer Egan titled "Black Box." It features a character from her 2010 novel "A Visit from the Goon Squad" which won the Pulitzer Prize.

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7:49am

Sat May 26, 2012
Sports

Sports: Ice, Hoops And Rackets

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The Stanley Cup finals are set - left versus right, a frequent flier bonanza. The NBA playoffs feature a thrilling matchup between Texas and Oklahoma, the Old Hands versus the Young Guns. And tennis, red, dusty and with a side of frites - the French Open opens. Here to talk about all of it, NPR Tom Goldman,

Morning, Tom.

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7:49am

Sat May 26, 2012
Middle East

Egypt's Elections Stamp The Arab Spring Timeline

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. This week in Egypt, a nation that has been ruled for thousands of years by pharaohs, colonial rulers, military regimes and dictators held its first free election for a national leader. Egyptians went to the polls on Wednesday and Thursday, and though the official results are not yet in, the election is certainly a milestone in the democratic awakening known as the Arab Spring. Here's a selection of voices from Cairo in the week that Egypt voted.

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7:49am

Sat May 26, 2012
Media

Residents Expect New Orleans Paper Cut To Hurt

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

New Orleans had endured so much - the Civil War, yellow fever, the Depression and a string of spectacular political shenanigans, but its award-winning daily newspaper, the Times-Picayune, has not been able to survive as a daily. Eileen Fleming of member station WWNO reports now on the diminution of a paper that's continued reporting during the darkest days of Hurricane Katrina.

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7:34am

Sat May 26, 2012
NPR Story

Harvard Diversity Stats Put Warren In Hot Seat Again

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate and Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren continues to be dogged by the question of if she has claimed American Indian heritage. Yesterday, in the wake of new allegations, Republican Senator Scott Brown accused Professor Warren of misleading Harvard about her Native American ethnicity. From member station WBUR in Boston, Fred Thys reports.

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7:34am

Sat May 26, 2012
NPR Story

A Holiday Treat: Lower Prices At The Pump

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And if you're one of millions of motorists on the roads this holiday weekend, you may have noticed something unexpected and welcome. Gas prices are falling. This at the start of the summer driving season when gas prices usually spike. We turn now to Daniel Yergin. He's author of "The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World," and chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. He joins us from his office in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Yergin, thanks so much for being with us.

DANIEL YERGIN: Thank you.

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7:34am

Sat May 26, 2012
NPR Story

At Eurovision 2012, Politics Take The Stage

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The annual kitsch contest known as the Eurovision Song Contest takes place later today. It's always held in the home country of the previous year's winner. This time, it's authoritarian Azerbaijan in central Asia. So it's been hard to avoid politics at what's supposed to be a nonpolitical event. Vicki Barker reports on both the contest and the context.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WATERLINE")

JEDWARD: (Singing) Oh, I am close to the waterline.

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7:18am

Sat May 26, 2012
The Salt

Clean Your Grill, And Other Hot Holiday Tips From Food Network's Alton Brown

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 3:40 pm

Food science guy Alton Brown says the last thing you want to see is flames touching food on the grill.
iStockphoto.com

If there's one grilling tip to remember this Memorial Day weekend, it should be this: Flame is bad.

"Flame does nasty things to food," food historian and science guy Alton Brown tells NPR's Scott Simon in the kick-off segment of Weekend Edition's "Taste of Summer" series.

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6:18am

Sat May 26, 2012
Election 2012

Can May Polls Predict A November Winner?

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Mitt Romney greets guests after addressing the Latino Coalition's 2012 Small Business Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
Mario Tama Getty Images

A Quinnipiac University poll out this week found Mitt Romney with a 6-point lead over President Obama in Florida. That would seem to be very good news for the presumptive Republican nominee in what may be the biggest swing state this fall.

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6:18am

Sat May 26, 2012
Author Interviews

'Istanbul': A Twisted Tale Of Foreign Espionage

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Atria Books

The big war is over, and the Cold War has just begun. Leon Bauer, an American tobacco man, wonders how to fit into this new world.

Bauer and his wife, Anna, a German Jew, made it to Istanbul just before World War II began. With his U.S. passport and fluency in German and Turkish, the tobacco man became useful to allied intelligence.

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6:17am

Sat May 26, 2012
Music Interviews

Cadence Weapon: A Poet Hones A Musical Personality

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 10:52 am

Hope in Dirt City is the third album by Cadence Weapon, the performing name of Canadian poet Rollie Pemberton.
Evan Prosofsky Courtesy of the artist

Rollie Pemberton is a poet — in fact, he was poet laureate of his hometown, Edmonton, Alberta, for a couple of years. That meant he was expected to write three poems a year about events in a town sometimes nicknamed "Dirt City." But outside of Edmonton, Pemberton is better known under a different name: Cadence Weapon, the hip-hop artist.

In poetry and song, Pemberton finds inspiration, tough and otherwise, in his Edmonton roots. The latest Cadence Weapon album, his third, is called Hope in Dirt City.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Africa

Violence Haunts Zimbabwe Ahead Of Elections

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To Zimbabwe now, where elections are in 2008 elections were marred by extreme violence. Now, elections are once again on the horizon.

And as Anders Kelto reports, violence is escalating while many are still trying to heal.

ANDERS KELTO, BYLINE: In a quiet garden on the outskirts of Harare, a group of men and women sit in a large circle. They stretch their arms and perform breathing exercises.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND BREATHING)

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Space

Failure To Launch: SpaceX Delays Mission

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. A tall white rocket is still standing on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The rocket belongs to a company called SpaceX, and it was supposed to blast-off this morning, send an unmanned capsule on a mission to the International Space Station - the first time a personal spacecraft will try to visit the station. But the launch attempt fizzled out this morning in the last seconds of the countdown.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Remembrances

Katie Beckett Leaves Legacy For Kids With Disabilities

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Katie Beckett has died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at the age of 34. She was just 3 years old when her case changed health care law. NPR's Joseph Shapiro has more.

JOSEPH SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Katie Beckett died Friday morning in the same hospital where she'd once made history. In 1981, Katie Beckett was living at St. Luke's Methodist Hospital in Cedar Rapids. She was stuck there because of a clash between advancing medical technology and antiquated health care law.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Space

How To Watch The Solar Eclipse

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you're in the Western United States tomorrow afternoon, you're in for a show.

DEE FRIESEN: The disc of the sun will be a ring. The moon will be inside the sun. There will be a ring of light around the moon, and they sometimes call it a ring of fire.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Sports

Sports: Proving Your Worth

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: In the NBA, the Miami Heat have a lot to prove against the Indiana Pacers. In the NHL, the L.A. Kings are proving it. And a farewell to Kerry Wood. Howard Bryant of ESPN and ESPN.com joins us.

Morning, Howard.

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

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Simon Says

Teaching Kids Balance Can Be A Lesson For Parents

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 1:23 pm

It's a constant test for parents: Everything you thought you were doing right may be wrong.
iStockphoto.com

To be a parent is to be constantly reminded that almost everything you thought you were doing right for your children will one day turn out to be wrong.

The wisdom on whether your baby should be put to sleep on his back or stomach, whether fevers should be treated or left to run their course, seems to change every few years. Parents used to think nothing of letting their children bounce around like pingpong balls in the back of a car. Now, children are strapped in the back like astronauts waiting for blast off.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Technology

Journey Through Musical Time With This App

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Music has a way of transporting us in time.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "G.I. JIVE")

SIMON: So, indulge a little. Close your eyes, turn up the radio, you might just get transported to 1944.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "G.I. JIVE")

LOUIS JORDAN: (Singing) P-F-C to C-P-L, S-G-T to the L-T. C-P the O-D, the M-P makes ya do K-P. It's the G. I. Jive Man.

SIMON: 1971.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAGGIE MAY")

ROD STEWART: (Singing) Wake up Maggie, I think I've got something to say to you.

SIMON: Or 1993.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Business

What To Expect In Facebook's Future

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Stock in Facebook went on sale for the first time yesterday, the largest initial public offering of stock for an Internet company, and the sale instantly created scores of millionaires in Silicon Valley, about half a dozen or so billionaires. NPR's technology correspondent Steven Henn joins us. He's followed it all from Silicon Valley. Steve, thanks for being with us.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Sure, my pleasure.

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8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Business

Average Investors Share Facebook Feelings

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Facebook IPO hasn't just sent a jolt of excitement through Silicon Valley, there are many average individual investors who are also thrilled. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: All right. It's a little after 9:30 on Friday. The bell just rang on the NASDAQ, and I'm gonna check in with some regular investors. I'm gonna start with Nelly Sai-Palm. She's a student at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and I'm going to give her a call.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEPHONE RINGING)

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