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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2:03am

Sat September 14, 2013
Music News

Barbez Mines Resistance And Tradition Of Italian Jews

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 11:28 am

New York musician Dan Kaufman (third from right) traveled to Rome to learn more about the city's Jewish community and the Italian resistance during WWII. The result is a new album by his band Barbez, based in part on the lost melodies of Roman Jewish music.
Courtesy of the artist

The unique musical traditions of Rome's ancient Jewish community were almost lost for good. Now, those melodies are being revived — not by musicologists, but by a rock band based in New York.

"I fell in love with the melodies, and I started to re-imagine them for my band in our own style," says Dan Kaufman, guitarist and leader of the Brooklyn band Barbez.

The Tradition

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7:23am

Sat September 7, 2013
Sports

History Repeats Itself At Women's U.S. Open

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:01 pm

Serena Williams will take on Victoria Azarenka in the U.S. Open final. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Tom Goldman about tennis, as well as the season opener of the NFL.

7:08am

Sat September 7, 2013
NPR Story

Cow Tipping: The Myth That Just Won't Stand Up

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Cow tipping is considered an adolescent rite of passage in some places. Now, we have members of our staff in this very office of urban sophisticates who say they've been part of a group that tipped a bovine. But a journalist named Jake Swearingen insists that cow tipping is what amounts to a rural legend - no more real than jackalopes. His sod-breaking analysis appears in the new quarterly magazine Modern Farmer. Jake Swearingen joins us from our studios in New York. Thanks so much for being with us.

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7:08am

Sat September 7, 2013
NPR Story

Former Champion Makes Case For Squash As An Olympic Sport

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tomorrow, the International Olympic Committee will meet in Buenos Aires to decide which sport - wrestling, the combined sports of baseball and softball, or squash - will be added to the 2020 Olympics. Now, if squash is chosen, it would make its debut as an Olympic sport. Jonathon Power was the first North American to become the world's top-ranked squash player. He joins us on the line now. Thanks very much for being with us.

JONATHON POWER: An absolute pleasure. Thanks for having me.

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6:25am

Sat September 7, 2013
Education

New School Year Brings Sequestration Pain For Many Districts

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 8:39 pm

A student at Red Lake High School starts the 2005 school year following a shooting the year before in which eight people were killed. Because of sequestration, the district is not able to keep on staff a school psychologist brought in after the shootings.
Ann Heisenfelt AP

The superintendent of the Lancaster, Pa., school district is meeting with teachers and staff at George Washington Elementary. It's the start of a new school year, and he's trying to sound upbeat about the district's finances.

"We continue to lose 5 and 10 percent of budgets each year," Pedro Rivera tells them. "And our overall goal is to make those plans and stretch out dollars to not impact you, because no kids should go without. Right?"

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5:36am

Sat September 7, 2013
Music

A Children's Author Wrangles A Cowboy Soundtrack

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 6:11 pm

Sandra Boynton's new children's album and songbook is titled Frog Trouble.
Courtesy of the artist

5:33am

Sat September 7, 2013
Simon Says

When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:01 pm

Leo del Aguila (from left), Vesa Gashi, Scott Simon, Erblin Mehmetaj and Shawn Fox in 1999 in a housing complex in Pristina. Del Aguila, Simon and Fox were covering the Kosovo conflict for NPR; the children lived in the war-stricken area.
Courtesy of Erblin Mehmetaj

I was in a grocery store one night this week when a sturdy young man approached with a smile.

"Do you remember me?" he asked. "Bini."

Bini — Erblin Mehmataj — was a bony-shouldered 9-year-old boy with a full, toothy grin who lived in an Albanian Muslim housing complex in Pristina, where we stayed to cover the war in Kosovo in 1999.

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5:32am

Sat September 7, 2013
Author Interviews

Billy Crystal's 'Foolin', Full Of Fun — And Feeling

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 5:07 pm

Billy Crystal returned to voice the role of Mike Wazowski in 2013's Monsters University, sequel to the hit Pixar comedy that introduced the outgoing one-eyed scareball — sidekick to John Goodman's furry blue-and-purple star.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

Billy Crystal is ... 65. He feels that he's gone from being, as he puts it, "a cool Baby Boomer into a Diane Arbus photograph."

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7:38am

Sat August 31, 2013
NPR Story

NBC To Broadcast Britsh Soccer League

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's no joke in American sport circles. Soccer is the sport of the future and always will be. Is the future here? Big time soccer finally has a major American television contract, but it's not the L.A. Galaxy, Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquake, or Columbus Crew. The NBC sports network has started broadcasting a full schedule - should that be schedule - from Britain's premier league. That's Manchester United Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, the Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham.

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7:38am

Sat August 31, 2013
NPR Story

Contenders Battle In The U.S. Open

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and nice to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The U.S. Open full swing. We've seen a curtain call for James Blake, an early exit by Venus Williams, a glitter of greatness from Victoria Duval and Serena Williams star burning bright as ever. For the latest from Blushing Meadows we turn to Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. He joins us from his studios of the Radio Foundation in New York City. Howard, thanks for being with us.

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7:38am

Sat August 31, 2013
NPR Story

If 'Humanitarian,' Why Not Intervene In Syria Sooner?

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As U.S. forced reportedly prepare to launch a limited military action against the Syrian government, we turn now to a voice who's long made the case that the U.S. must take some action in Syria. Michael Ignatieff is a leading voice for the idea of humanitarian intervention. He helped develop the concept of the responsibility to protect. He is the former leader of Canada's Liberal party and now back on the faculty of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School.

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4:56am

Sat August 31, 2013
All Tech Considered

Call Me, Haiti? One Man's Quest To Skype Around The World

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

4:56am

Sat August 31, 2013
Music Interviews

Typhoon: Songs For A Lost Childhood

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 11:59 am

Typhoon, the Portland, Ore. band led by Kyle Morton, features a dozen musicians playing precise and complicated arrangements.
Jaclyn Campanaro Courtesy of the artist

7:35am

Sat August 24, 2013
NPR Story

Trading Domain Names For A Day With The Candidates

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Last month, Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes declared she'll run against minority leader, Mitch McConnell for the U.S. Senate.

ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES: ...Kentucky by running for the U.S. Senate.

(APPLAUSE)

SIMON: Her candidacy had been rumored for months. The obvious Web domain name, Grimesforsenate.com, had already been purchased. But not by the Grimes' campaign. By a man who's a kind of political hobbyist.

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7:35am

Sat August 24, 2013
NPR Story

1972 Dolphins Finally Get To Meet The President

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

These days the team that wins the Super Bowl usually counts on meeting with the president of the United States. But that wasn't the case when the Miami Dolphins went undefeated in 1972. So, early this week 31 members of that record-setting team finally got their chance to meet this president, more than 40 years later.

Their coach, hall of famer Don Shula joins us. Coach, thanks very much for being with us.

DON SHULA: Yes, glad to be with you.

SIMON: Any idea how this trip came about?

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7:35am

Sat August 24, 2013
NPR Story

ESPN Backs Out Of Concussion Documentary

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. So good to say it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

SIMON: And we're just a couple of weeks away from the start of the NFL season but inquiring minds want to know did ESPN take a dive for the NFL? Joining us now to explore this and a couple of other questions is our man, NPR's Tom Goldman. Tom, thanks for being with us.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good to be with you again, Scott.

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6:23am

Sat August 24, 2013
Author Interviews

Sisterly Conflict Against A Great War Backdrop In 'Daughters Of Mars'

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Naomi and Sally Durance are heroes of the Great War, that war which was supposed to end all wars. It didn't, but it did help these two Australian sisters overcome sibling suspicion and grow closer to each other.

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6:22am

Sat August 24, 2013
Books

'Bummers, Blisters And Boondoggles': A Jokester Joins The Army

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 2:59 pm

In a time when recollections can be reduced to just a few words, Jean Shepherd delivered monologues, soliloquies and musings. He was a raconteur.

Shepherd served in the Army during World War II — that same Army that stormed the beaches on D-Day, though Shepherd and his unit would never see the front lines. They were the homefront Army: stocking, re-stocking, sending, schlepping and training for a war they helped win — but only at a distance.

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5:31am

Sat August 24, 2013
Law

Cutting Public Defenders Can Cost Federal Government More

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 1:32 pm

Courts in Tucson, Ariz., are turning to private lawyers to represent clients who would have had public defenders.
Chris Morrison AP

These days, the Federal Public Defender's Office in Tucson, Ariz., has lots of space. Since the federal budget cuts known as sequestration began, the office has lost a quarter of its staff to layoffs or furloughs.

Under the Constitution, clients still need legal representation, so judges have to appoint private attorneys to replace the public defenders.

The sequester was supposed to save money. But in this case, the sequester is costing federal dollars.

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5:28am

Sat August 24, 2013
Education

Obama Campaigns For College Affordability Plan

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

President Obama makes an unannounced stop to talk with the Tully Central High School soccer team about their plans for college in Tully, N.Y., on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

President Obama toured Pennsylvania and New York by bus on Thursday and Friday to promote his college affordability plan.

He's proposing a affordability-rating system that would steer federal aid, but a budget battle with Congressional Republicans is looming.

'A Major Debate'

The tour had a back-to-school theme, but at his stop on Thursday, the fall semester hasn't even begun. Obama spoke to a packed high school gym in Syracuse.

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5:27am

Sat August 24, 2013
Simon Says

Remembering Elmore Leonard, A Writer Who Hated Literature

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

Many of Elmore Leonard's stories have been adapted for the screen, from the movie Get Shorty to the TV show, Justified.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Elmore Leonard was a writer who hated — and I don't mean disliked; Elmore had a contempt for putting pretty clothes on hard, direct words, so I mean hated — literature, or at least what he believed a lot of people mean when they say liter-a-ture, as if it were a Members Only club.

Elmore Leonard wrote for a living, from the time in his 20s when he turned out ads for Detroit department stores and vacuum cleaners during the day, and wrote cowboy and crime stories for pulp magazines at night.

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10:42am

Sat August 17, 2013
NPR Story

Gunfire Exchanged In Standoff At Cairo Mosque

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 7:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And this week, Egypt witnessed the bloodiest day in its modern history. More than 600 people were killed, most are in a security crackdown on supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi. And it isn't over. Dozens more people have died since, some in citizen on citizen violence.

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7:55am

Sat August 17, 2013
Movies

The Words Vivien Leigh Left Behind

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 7:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GONE WITH THE WIND")

VIVIEN LEIGH: (as Scarlett O'Hara) Oh, Rhett, please don't go. You can't leave me, please. I'll never forgive you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA")

CLAUDE RAINS: (as Julius Caesar) Who are you?

LEIGH: (as Cleopatra) Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.

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7:55am

Sat August 17, 2013
Environment

Dolphin Deaths Alarm Scientists

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 7:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Dolphins are washing ashore in alarming numbers in the Mid-Atlantic states this summer. More than 160 deaths of dolphins have been reported since early July and that's the worst fate in 26 years. Response teams from New York to Virginia are trying to determine just what's killing all these dolphins. Charlie Potter is working with one of those teams at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

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7:55am

Sat August 17, 2013
Digital Life

Happy International Geocaching Day!

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 7:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

He would be probably the first to wish you a happy International Geocaching Day. Geo what?

DAVE PREBECK: Geocaching is basically a high tech scavenger hunt.

SIMON: That's Dave Prebeck, president of NOVAGO, the Northern Virginia Geocaching organization.

PREBECK: We have people go out and hide something and then they post the latitude and longitude on a website - geocaching.com is the primary one - and then those of us with GPS's get the latitude and longitude from the site and go out looking for them.

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6:02am

Sat August 17, 2013
Politics

Immigration Reform Activists March To Calif. Farm Country

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 7:35 am

Marchers kick off a 21-day march calling for immigration reform in Sacramento, Calif. on Monday. The 285-mile walk through California's Central Valley ended in Bakersfield at the district office of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Immigrant and farm worker rights groups came from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, Calif., by the busload this week. Bakersfield, in the state's Central Valley, is farm country, and immigration is a complex issue here.

The groups were converging on the home of the third-most powerful Republican in the House, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.

Activists across the country are targeting a number of Republican members of Congress this summer, trying to pressure the House to take up the immigration reform bill passed in the Senate.

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6:02am

Sat August 17, 2013
Asia

To Care For U.S. Kids, Filipinas Leave Their Own Behind

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 4:53 pm

Lita and her son, Myke, now live in Houston together. She still works as a nanny and Myke is an interior designer. Lita's two daughters have also immigrated to the United States.
Ashley Westerman For NPR

Few American mothers could fathom a situation that would force them to leave their country in order to put food in their children's bellies, clothes on their backs and send them to school. This is the reality for many Filipina women, who cross oceans in search of jobs that pay enough to provide for their families back home.

The Philippines is known worldwide for sending its citizens overseas to work, and a recent study has shown the country consistently deploys more women than men. In the United States, Filipinas are often nurses and caretakers; many work as nannies

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2:03am

Sat August 17, 2013
Ecstatic Voices

Sufi Mystics Get A Modern Soundtrack

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 7:35 am

Riad Abdel-Gawad creates new Sufi music by translating sacred chants to the violin.
Courtesy of the artist

2:03am

Sat August 17, 2013
Music

William Tyler Speaks 'Truth' Through His Guitar

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 7:35 am

William Tyler performs in Iowa City.
Clay Masters

12:24pm

Sat August 10, 2013
Digital Life

TED Radio Hour: The Hackers

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 7:43 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Time now for an idea worth spreading from the TED Radio Hour. What if there were a way to hack into your brain and make your life better. Neurosurgeon Andres Lozano is doing just that. He told host Guy Raz how.

DR. ANDRES LOZANO: We are able to adjust the activity of circuits in the brain by using electricity...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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