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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5:35am

Sat November 2, 2013
The Salt

Mash Donalds? Iranians Copy American Fast-Food Brands

Originally published on Sat November 2, 2013 2:37 pm

Is that Subway? Middle East analyst Holly Dagres is on a hunt for fast-food lookalikes in Tehran.
Holly Dagres

Iran may not love America politically, but Iranians love American food — especially fast food.

With no formal diplomatic relations between the two countries, though, it's rather hard to find a McDonald's or a Pizza Hut. But if you wander through the streets of Tehran, you might find a Pizza Hat or a Mash Donald's.

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5:34am

Sat November 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

So You Found An Exchange Plan. But Can You Find A Provider?

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 6:51 am

New York University's Langone Medical Center in New York City is considered in-network for relatively few of the health plans offered in the state marketplace.
Glen Argov Landov

Consumers shopping for coverage on the new health insurance exchanges have been focused on the lowest-cost options. But some shoppers are trying to determine which plans offer the widest array of doctors and hospitals — and are finding that can be trickier than it sounds.

John Batteiger applied for insurance coverage on the New York state exchange. But after he'd selected a plan, he had second thoughts: He'd forgotten to check if the plan he picked included a hospital near him.

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5:34am

Sat November 2, 2013
Fine Art

Dead Bees, Nail Clippings And Priceless Art In Warhol's 'Time Capsules'

Originally published on Sat November 2, 2013 11:36 am

Andy Warhol kept much of the ephemera of his daily life in boxes called Time Capsules, now at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. This correspondence addressed to Warhol at his studio, The Factory, comes from Time Capsule 10.
Lauren Ober NPR

Marie Elia likes to describe her job this way: She is the secretary to a dead man. As one of two catalogers for Andy Warhol's Time Capsules, it's her job to go through the 610 boxes he left after his death in 1987.

In one box she found a mysterious, small tin. "I opened it and it was full of fingernail clippings, dead bees and those little holes that come from a hole punch," she says. The fingernail clippings weren't Warhol's. They were sent to him by a fan. "I don't know why. Somebody mailed that to him. Somebody thought that he would like it."

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5:08pm

Fri November 1, 2013
Regional Coverage

Fall in Pulaski brings thousands of salmon, and fishermen out to catch them

Jose Fernandez holds a small salmon he caught in a creek in Pulaski. He's been fishing in the area for 30 years.
Joanna Richards

Each fall, thousands of salmon swim upstream along the Salmon River and nearby creeks, trying to return to the state's Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar, where they were born. The fish head home to spawn. But they face a gauntlet of fisherman in the waterways around Pulaski, drawn by the fishes' large sizes and numbers. In this audio postcard, Joanna Richards spoke with local Pulaski resident and 30-year-fisherman Jose Fernandez along a small stream, where he was stalking salmon and escaping the crowd.

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11:19am

Sat October 26, 2013
Politics

Bipartisan Anger, Competing Interests Over HealthCare.gov

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. With the drama of the 17-day government shutdown over, the spotlight returned this week to the troubled rollout of the Obamacare insurance exchanges. Both Republicans and Democrats expressed anger over the crippled HealthCare.gov website during hearings that were conducted this week, but of course there are competing agendas, as there always are.

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9:12am

Sat October 26, 2013
Music Interviews

Katy Perry On The 180 That Saved Her Career

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 8:22 pm

Katy Perry's new album, Prism, is out now.
Cass Bird Courtesy of the artist

8:07am

Sat October 26, 2013
Health Care

'Loyal Soldier' Sebelius Vows To Stay Put, Fix HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 11:19 am

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks Thursday in Phoenix.
Laura Segall Getty Images

This has not been an easy month for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas — who learned the political ropes working for Sebelius' father-in-law, then a Kansas congressman — called for her to step down over the debut of HealthCare.gov, the problem-plagued website where people are supposed to apply for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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8:07am

Sat October 26, 2013
Music Interviews

Katy Perry, Through A 'Prism'

Perry, perhaps the biggest pop star in the world, joins host Scott Simon (on her birthday, no less) to talk about her new album.

8:07am

Sat October 26, 2013
The Salt

How A Portland Cook Became A 'Proud Copycat' Of Thai Food

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:48 am

Ricker's grilled eggplant salad with egg and dried shrimp.
Austin Bush

Andy Ricker is passionate about changing how Americans think about Thai food. So passionate that he was willing to go deep into debt for it.

Ricker spent the better part of a decade eating in roadside restaurants, noodle stands and home kitchens across Thailand before opening his first restaurant, Pok Pok, in Portland, Ore. Eight years later, Ricker has seven restaurants in Portland and New York City, and he's just written his first cookbook.

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8:07am

Sat October 26, 2013
Politics

Pondering A Presidential Run? Cruz Dines In Iowa

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 11:19 am

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks on Friday during the Republican Party of Iowa's Reagan Dinner in Des Moines.
Scott Morgan AP

Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican and Tea-Party darling, was in Iowa Friday headlining a fundraising dinner for the state Republican Party. It was Cruz's third visit to Iowa in as many months, but this time was different.

It was his first time back since the government shutdown and his 21-hour, anti-Obamacare talkathon that preceded it — events that catapulted him from junior senator to a conservative hero and household name.

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8:07am

Sat October 26, 2013
Code Switch

Fusion Wants Young Latinos To Turn On Their TVs

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 9:47 am

A countdown clock at Fusion's Miami studio tracks the time until the network's Monday launch.
J Pat Carter AP

The generation now coming of age in the U.S — sometimes called the millennials — is the largest ever. They pose a problem for television broadcasters: Many millennials watch little or no live TV.

On Monday, ABC and Univision are joining forces to launch a cable channel that hopes to change that. Fusion plans to attract a young audience by blending news with entertainment and humor. And it's aiming for a specific group of millennials — young Latinos.

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5:25am

Sat October 26, 2013
The Salt

Fish Sauce: An Ancient Roman Condiment Rises Again

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 11:19 am

Ava Gene's, a Roman-inspired restaurant in Portland, Ore., incorporates colatura, a modern descendant of ancient Roman fish sauce, into several of its dishes.
Deena Prichep NPR

Fish sauce — that funky, flavor-enhancing fermented condiment — is part of what gives Southeast Asian cooking its distinctive taste. But it turns out, this cornerstone of Eastern cooking actually has a long history on another continent: Europe. And it goes all the way back to the Roman Empire.

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6:44am

Sat October 19, 2013
Around the Nation

Do-It-Yourself Library Brings Neighborhood Together

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

On the other hand, and we say that a lot in the news business, libraries with books on shelves are still with us, maybe closer than you think.

DINA MORENO: I can see the library from my kitchen window, just up. It's sort of out of the way, but I can just see it and I see people constantly going through there.

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6:44am

Sat October 19, 2013
Around the Nation

Bookless Library In Texas Aims To 'Break Down The Barriers To Reading'

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. San Antonio's newest library doesn't look very bookish. It's got neon orange walls, a play area for children that has glowing screens, and it abounds with desktop computers, iPads, eBooks and laptops. They call it BiblioTech because it's completely digital. There is no paper in this library.

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6:44am

Sat October 19, 2013
Sports

Calculating The Worth Of The Redskins Brand

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 7:40 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Washington, D.C.'s football team has been under increasing criticism for keeping an old team name that's a racial epithet. I usually don't say it. I will now - for the purposes of information. The Washington Redskins. That name's been hotly debated, criticized for being a racial slur, but defended by the team's owners as actually being a kind of tribute to Native Americans.

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7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Politics

Some In Congress Have Behaved Badly From The Start

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 9:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The shutdown of the U.S. government has sparked lots of finger-pointing and name calling in Congress. But our friend A.J. Jacobs says this is hardly the nastiest dispute in the history of our democracy. A.J., an editor-at-large at Esquire Magazine - until they come to their senses - joins us now from New York. A.J., thanks so much for being with us.

A.J. JACOBS: Thank you for having me.

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7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Politics

D.C. Tourists Shell Out Admission Fees Amid Shutdown

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The government shutdown is now entering its second week. That's left many lawmakers with little to do and many tourists in Washington, D.C. wandering wanly through the streets of the city, wondering how to spend their pre-planned vacations. NPR's Alan Yu checks in with some of them.

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7:36am

Sat October 12, 2013
Sports

'Fun' Teams Out Of Baseball Playoffs

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It's time now for sports and we have to begin with the sad and tragic story. The two-year-old son of Adrian Peterson, the great running back of the Minnesota Vikings died this week apparently of abuse and allegedly by a boyfriend of the little boy's mother. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi Scott.

SIMON: Hard to know what to say.

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6:07am

Sat October 12, 2013
The Salt

Women, The 'First Brewers,' Lean Into Craft Beer-Making

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 10:09 am

Meg Gill is the president and co-founder of Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. Her brewery is favored to win awards at the Great American Beer Festival.
Melissa Kuypers NPR

Thousands of beer aficionados are in Denver this weekend for the Great American Beer Festival. Some 600 breweries from around the country are represented at the marquee event for the craft-brewing industry.

And while this annual competition has long been male-dominated, that's starting to change.

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6:02am

Sat October 12, 2013
StoryCorps

With Veteran's Life In Peril, His Parents Take Up The Fight

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:28 pm

The Schei family in 2010 (from left): Anneka, Gordon, Erik, Deven and Christine.
Courtesy of the Schei family

In October 2005, 21-year-old Army Sgt. Erik Schei was shot in the head during his second tour in Iraq. The bullet shattered the top half of his skull.

Christine and Gordon Schei got the phone call about their son's injury at around 4 a.m. Christine Schei says her husband was "white as a sheet" and shaking after answering.

A sniper had struck their son; a bullet "entered above his right ear and exited above his left," Gordon Schei says.

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6:01am

Sat October 12, 2013
It's All Politics

Would The U.S. Be Better Off With A Parliament?

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 3:31 pm

A view of the German Bundestag, or federal Parliament, in Berlin.
Michael Sohn AP

There are many reasons for the gridlock in Washington. Some are recent developments, as the U.S. becomes more politically polarized. Others are structural, built into the American political system.

Regardless, the extreme paralysis that has recently become the norm in D.C. almost never happens in Western European democracies.

"You're asking: Do other democracies have this problem? And the answer is: Not many," says Jane Mansbridge, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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2:03am

Sat October 12, 2013
Music Interviews

Electronic Music's Godfather Isn't Done Innovating

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 8:05 am

Morton Subotnick performs at New York's La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in 2004. The pioneering electronic composer recently created a mobile app for children.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

8:34am

Sat October 5, 2013
Technology

Concern raised over robotic surgery complications

The use of surgical robots has increased by more than 400 percent in the United States over the past six years. But a recent study published in the Journal for Healthcare Quality suggests that there’s underreporting of complications resulting from robotic surgeries.

Robot-assisted surgery is a minimally-invasive method in which a small incision allows remote-controlled instruments to be inserted into the body. The instruments are then controlled during the procedure by the surgeon using a console.

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8:03am

Sat October 5, 2013
Research News

NYC Cockroaches Stick To Their Neighborhoods

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is "West Side Story" - on six legs. Dr. Mark Stoeckle, who's a researcher at Rockefeller University, says that New York cockroaches can be just about as territorial as the sharks and the jets. He joins us from the studios of the Radio Foundation on the Upper West Side. Thanks so much for being with us.

MARK STOECKLE: It's good to be here. Thank you.

SIMON: So are cockroaches as native to New York as poppy seed bagels?

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8:03am

Sat October 5, 2013
Author Interviews

Children's Author Takes On The Dreaded Itchy Head

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

David Shannon has written books about an adorable West Highland terrier, a duck on a bike and a fairy named Alice. Maybe he's tired of drawing cute. So, now the author and illustrator has done a book called "Bugs in My Hair," and it isn't about pets, forests or fantasy creatures. No, it's about head lice. David Shannon joins us from the studios of KQED in San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us.

DAVID SHANNON: Oh, my pleasure. Thank you.

SIMON: Yuck.

SHANNON: Yeah.

SIMON: Why a book about head lice?

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8:03am

Sat October 5, 2013
Sports

Baseball Swings Into Playoffs

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Playoff time in Major League Baseball. So many games, but the Cubs aren't in any of them. However, we are joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine to talk about those good clubs playing now. Thanks for being with us, Howard.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. If the Cubs are what you're looking for in playoff baseball, I suggest a new team, a new century.

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6:58am

Sat October 5, 2013
Music

Run River North Stays The Course — And Finds Success

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 4:36 pm

John Chong (from left), Sally Kang, Joe Chun, Alex Hwang, Jennifer Rim and Daniel Chae of Run River North.
Doualy Xaykaothao

6:49am

Sat October 5, 2013
Politics

What Furlough? GOP Lawmakers Choose How Much Burden To Bear

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 12:20 pm

A seagull walks on the edge of the reflecting pool near the Capitol on Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

As the government shutdown enters its fifth day, House Republicans and Senate Democrats continue to spar over who's being more unreasonable in this fight.

GOP members now find themselves on the defensive, as they face questions about forgoing pay and forgoing staff during the widespread furloughs.

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6:15am

Sat October 5, 2013
Code Switch

'Linsanity': For Asian Fans, It Felt Just Like 'Young Love'

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 12:44 pm

Jeremy Lin fans cheer during a game between the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers in March 2012.
Drew Hallowell Getty Images

6:07am

Sat October 5, 2013
Author Interviews

40 Years Ago, 'Fear Of Flying' Showed Women Like Sex, Too

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 9:31 am

Courtesy of Henry Holt and Co.

In 1973, Erica Jong was tired of reading about silent, seething housewifes, so she introduced a new kind of female protagonist: a frank young woman who loved sex and wasn't ashamed to admit it. Fear of Flying turns 40 this year, as does its most famous phrase: "the zipless f - - - ." Jong defines it in the novel:

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