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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8:00am

Sat October 15, 2011
NPR Story

Sports: Baseball Playoffs And An NFL Game To Watch

Baseball playoffs are heating up with pennants on the line. Over in the NFL, the game everyone's watching this week is a battle of rising teams. Meanwhile, the NBA is still locked out, and if it stays that way, it could mean no Christmas games. Host Scott Simon and NPR's Tom Goldman talk sports.

8:00am

Sat October 15, 2011
NPR Story

'Moneycrats,' 'Devil Fish' And More Wall Street Protests

Protests against big banks and Wall Street are nothing new in American history. Host Scott Simon talks to Professor Steven Fraser of Columbia University about how the Occupy Wall Street protests fit into that history.

8:00am

Sat October 15, 2011
Simon Says

Baseball's New Bling Is Made For Believers

In this week's essay, host Scott Simon reflects on the comforting superstitions of athletes.

8:00am

Sat October 15, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: The Military-Civilian Gap

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Time for your letters.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPEWRITER AND MUSIC)

SIMON: Hundreds of responses to a story last week by NPR's Tom Bowman about a study by the Pew Research Center. The study found many civilians and military leaders don't share the same views on patriotism, or on who should bear the burdens of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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6:52am

Sat October 15, 2011
The Picture Show

A Woman Of Photos And Firsts, Ruth Gruber At 100

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:20 am

Ruth Gruber, Alaska, 1941-43

Photographer unknown Courtesy of International Center of Photography

At the age of 100, Ruth Gruber is responsible for a lot of firsts. When she was just 20, she became the youngest Ph.D. ever at the University of Cologne in Germany. She was the first photojournalist, much less female journalist, to travel to and cover both the Soviet Arctic and Siberian gulag. She documented Holocaust survivors and the plight of the ship, the Exodus 1947.

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4:57am

Sat October 15, 2011
Music Interviews

A Grand Musical Thinker, Inviting 'Friendly Experiencers'

Anthony Braxton has just released the recording of his fifth opera, Trillium E.

Michael Weintrob Tri-Centric Foundation

The rap on composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton has always been that his music is difficult.

But Braxton himself is far from austere. He's easily approachable, so much so that he uses the term "friendly experiencer" to describe his audience.

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5:46pm

Fri October 14, 2011
Music Interviews

Evanescence: Thrashing Guitars, Angelic Vocals

Evanescence's self-titled third album is out this week.

Courtesy of the artist

Goth metal has always been a niche genre, but over the years, a few artists have found ways to give it Top 40 appeal. Evanescence has pulled off that trick with two multiplatinum albums: Fallen in 2004 and The Open Door in 2006, both of which unite loud, heavy guitars and drums with the ethereal voice of singer Amy Lee.

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8:46am

Sat October 8, 2011
Monkey See

Sports From 'The Onion': A New Book Explores 'The Ecstasy Of Defeat'

Originally published on Sat October 8, 2011 5:04 pm

Brett Favre, seen here looking bummed in 2010, is one of the many sports figures taking a drubbing in the new sports book from the editors of The Onion.

Jamie Squire Getty Images

I'm going to make a confession. I have enjoyed many of the same Onion headlines as everyone else over the years, from the exploits of presidents and Congress to the activities of store clerks and sad dads. But their sports coverage, while it's passed around somewhat less often and is a bit less well-known, is generally my favorite stuff they do.

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8:00am

Sat October 8, 2011
NPR Story

A Bird Flies Into A Hurricane. Does It Fly Out?

Many migratory birds travel thousands of miles every year, over land and sea and, sometimes, through hurricanes. Host Scott Simon talks to Dr. Bryan Watts from the College of William and Mary, who used satellite transmitters to track shorebirds as they flew through Hurricane Irene.

8:00am

Sat October 8, 2011
Author Interviews

'Turquoise Palace' A True Political Murder Mystery

On Sept. 17, 1992, a group of Iranian and Kurdish opposition leaders were assassinated in a Greek restaurant in Berlin. Despite pressures to keep the investigation at the lowest possible level, a German prosecutor unraveled a tangle of threads that led to Iran's Supreme Leader himself. Host Scott Simon speaks with Roya Hakakian, author of the new book, Assassins of the Turquoise Palace.

5:00am

Sat October 8, 2011
Theater

Frank Langella On Acting, Aging And Being Very Bad

'Man' Of Some Importance: Actor Frank Langella (left, with Adam Driver) anchors the Roundabout Theatre Company's Man and Boy, about a highflying financier whose empire hangs by a thread.

Joan Marcus

Nobody glowers like Frank Langella. The man who brought Richard Nixon to life in his Tony Award-winning turn in Frost/Nixon and who was a true lizard in Seascape is now playing Gregor Antonescu, an acclaimed international financier who was exposed as a flagrant and successful fraud.

He's starring in a revival of Terrence Rattigan's 1963 play Man and Boy, which has its opening night Oct. 9. The play centers on the sudden reunion of the father (Langella) and the son he'd thought was dead. (Actually, the son's just living in Greenwich Village.)

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4:53am

Sat October 8, 2011
Author Interviews

The 'Blue Horse' That Inspired A Children's Book

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 3:44 pm

Eric Carle Penguin Young Readers Group

Even if you don't know the name Eric Carle, his work has probably made you smile. He's the author and illustrator of more than 70 children's books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? His books brim with bold and unique collages, bursting with color and clever words.

Carle has a new children's book about an artist who — like the author — enjoys stepping out of the box. It's called The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse.

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4:37pm

Fri October 7, 2011
Country/Americana

The McClymonts: Country-Singing Sisters From Australia

The McClymonts recently moved to the country-music mecca of Nashville after topping the charts in Australia.

Courtesy of the artist

Brooke, Samantha and Mollie McClymont are three sisters from Australia who have topped the charts Down Under — singing country music. Now, they're bringing their voices topside.

As The McClymonts, the three sisters have just released their latest album, Wrapped Up Good, and recently relocated to Nashville.

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3:30pm

Fri October 7, 2011
The Record

Sloan: How To Make A Band Last 20 Years

Sloan, in a recent press shot. The band is, from left to right, Chris Murphy (bass), Andrew Scott (drums), Patrick Pentland and Jay Ferguson (both guitarists).

Courtesy of Yep Roc

Four guys. Ten albums. 20 years.

The unlikely story of the band Sloan starts in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a college city in eastern Canada's Maritime provinces. It was there where four young musicians — Jay Ferguson, Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland and Andrew Scott — met and started playing together.

"We played our very first show at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, February 1991," Ferguson, one of the guitarists, remembers. "We played in the cafeteria."

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8:00am

Sat October 1, 2011
Europe

Fat Tax Lands On Denmark's Favorite Foods

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Times are tough in Europe these days. But if you crave comfort food in Denmark to lift your mood, it'll cost you. Starting today, shoppers in Denmark will pay extra kroner, according to the saturated fat levels of certain foods. Not just potato chips, ice cream, sweet rolls and candy bars, but famously clean, creamy Danish butter.

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8:00am

Sat October 1, 2011
Around the Nation

Pumpkins At A Premium, Thanks To Hurricane Irene

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 3:41 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

There's something missing this year from the fall scenery in the Northeast, especially in upstate New York. The state is normally a top pumpkin producer, but about a third of its crop was destroyed in the recent tropical storms.

Marie Cusick, of NPR member station WMHT in Albany, takes us to one farm that was spared.

MARIE CUSICK: There's no shortage of pumpkins at the Black Horse Farms roadside stand in Athens, New York. But some customers still aren't taking any chances.

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8:00am

Sat October 1, 2011
Television

'Homeland' Stars Torture And Terrorism, But Truth?

Originally published on Wed October 5, 2011 3:41 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

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

"Homeland" premieres tomorrow night on Showtime. It's a psychological espionage thriller that centers on a CIA officer, played by Claire Danes, who hears about a conspiracy when she gets a tip from a terrorist who is about to be executed by the Iraqi government.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES, "HOMELAND")

CLAIRE DANES: (as Carrie Anderson) You said you were an important man. You said you had information about an attack on Abu Nasir.

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8:00am

Sat October 1, 2011
Simon Says

White House Visit No Happy Ending For '85 Bears

The Chicago Bears showed some skills off the field and on the stage in 1985 when they recorded the "Super Bowl Shuffle."
Paul Natkin NFL via Getty

Next week, the Chicago Bears, who won the 1985 Super Bowl, will finally be received at the White House — now that a Bears fan lives there. Their original visit was canceled when the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded in January 1986.

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3:33am

Sat October 1, 2011
Art & Design

Pacific Standard Time: An L.A. Art Story

Made of glazed stoneware, Dora De Lario's Mother and Child (1968) is part of a collection of works that reflect on the history of Mexican-American artists in Southern California.
Autry National Center

The story of America's rise on the global art scene has mostly taken place in New York — but now Los Angeles wants in on the narrative.

Over the past 10 years, the wealthy L.A.-based Getty Foundation has doled out about $10 million in grants to help launch Pacific Standard Time, an unprecedented collaboration between more than 60 cultural institutions with one grand theme in mind: the birth of the L.A. art scene from 1945 to 1980.

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4:33pm

Fri September 30, 2011
Music News

A Singular Guitarist Emerges From John Fahey's Shadow

A friend and protege of the late John Fahey, Glenn Jones steps out of the shadow of the master on his new album, The Wanting.
Tim Bugbee

There's a restless quality to Glenn Jones' music that starts with the guitarist himself. Jones doesn't just write songs; he makes up a new way of tuning the guitar for each one.

"For me, inventing a new tuning goes with inventing a new song," Jones says. "The song is a way to navigate a tuning that I'm not yet familiar with. It kind of forces me to explore or dig into a tuning in ways that are atypical — kind of forces me to think."

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3:50pm

Fri September 30, 2011
Music Interviews

Johnny Winter: A Blues Legend's Texas 'Roots'

Johnny Winter's new album is called Roots.
Paul Natkin Getty Images

In the late 1960s, Columbia Records won a bidding war to sign a young blues-rocker. More than 40 years and countless recording sessions later, Johnny Winter is still playing the blues.

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10:48am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

'Moneyball': How The Oakland A's Gamed Baseball

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Baseball is a money game. Year after year, the teams with the biggest payrolls - the Yankees, the Red Sox, now the Phillies, make the playoffs. I know that doesn't explain how the Chicago Cubs have the third highest payroll and finish last. But the teams with the smallest payrolls often see their biggest stars just go off to the richest teams. In the new film, "Moneyball," the Oakland A's general manager portrayed by Brad Pitt, puts it to his scouts.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "MONEYBALL")

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9:23am

Sat September 24, 2011
Simon Says

Canceling The School Play Won't Avoid 'Kismet'

There will be no Kismet in Johnstown, Pa. This week the Richland School District canceled February's high school student production of the play.

The 1953 musical is the story of a wily beggar-poet; his unruly, beautiful daughter; and the handsome caliph who falls in love with her at first glance.

Kismet is adapted from that collection of folk tales known as Arabian Nights, with a score drawn from the music of Alexander Borodin.

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8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

'Book Of CIA Humor' Declassifies Top-Secret Jokes

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: A man named Ed Mickolus joins us now. Two spies walk into a bar. One spy says to the other...

ED MICKOLUS: I'm sorry, Scott. You're not cleared for that punchline.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Mr. Mickolus is a 33-year veteran of the CIA and a former stand-up comic. He's now written a new book called "The Secret Book of CIA Humor."

Thanks so much for being with us

MICKOLUS: Hey, just delighted to be here.

SIMON: Is that a smile face on your CIA I.D.?

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8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

Out Of Economic Chaos, A New Order May Be Rising

Every week it seems there are more people looking for work, more companies laying people off, and more nations teetering at the edge of unrecoverable debt. But beyond the latest headlines of gloom, there is a fundamental shift going on in our economy and our world. Host Scott Simon talks with Mike Hawley, formerly of MIT's Media Lab, who says that shift may also hold great promise.

8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
Author Interviews

Between China And India Lies Myanmar's Future

Transcript

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8:00am

Sat September 24, 2011
Fine Art

The News, As Reported By Andy Warhol

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Tomorrow, the National Gallery of Art opens "Warhol: Headlines" an exhibit of the late artists' works depicting the news industry in America. Andy Warhol would recreate front pages of New York newspapers in the way he did Campbell's soup cans, occasionally adding a change or flourish.

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12:01am

Sat September 24, 2011
Monkey See

Rin Tin Tin: From Battlefield To Hollywood, A Story Of Friendship

The original Rin Tin Tin was born in 1918 and died in 1932.
Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

The story of how Rin Tin Tin became one of the most celebrated animals in film history is almost as Hollywood-tinged as cinema itself.

The short version: Lee Duncan, an American serviceman during World War I, found a mostly destroyed dog kennel right on the field of battle. Duncan rescued the pup who became Rin Tin Tin, brought him home to California, and later put him in the movies.

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7:32pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Music Interviews

Gavin DeGraw: Make Do And Mend

Gavin DeGraw's new album is titled Sweeter.
Patrick Fraser

Gavin DeGraw charged onto the music scene in 2003 with his debut album, Chariot. It had hits that included the title track, "Follow Through," and his double-platinum smash, "I Don't Wanna Be."

He's gone through some hard knocks since then, but the 34-year-old singer-songwriter has taken it all in stride and has just released his fourth album, Sweeter. He tells Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon that his latest set of songs "straddles the line between sexuality and masculinity."

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8:00am

Sat September 17, 2011
Columns

Fatherhood, Not Testosterone, Makes The Man

In this week's essay, host Scott Simon reflects on the changes that fatherhood brings to men, including a surprising physical change.

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