Weekend Edition Saturday on 90.5 WKAR

Saturday 8am - 10am

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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All Tech Considered
7:33 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Baby Robot Takes First Steps Toward Learning Language Formation

Human baby Charlotte, the 13-month-old daughter of NPR producer Tom Bullock, tried the same tests that DeeChee, the robot, does for language-learning experiments. Dr. Caroline Lyons says human babies have an advantage: They spend every waking hour of the day in a speaking world.
Tom Bullock NPR

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 1:51 pm

A baby robot has been born. Now, with little DeeChee's help, researchers are studying how babies transition from babbling to forming words.

Dr. Caroline Lyons of the University of Hertfordshire is one of the computer scientists who helped design DeeChee the robot. She tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon that humans are also critical to their experiments.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
6:24 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Rich Reads: Historical Fiction Fit For A Queen

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 11:33 am

I have always loved a great story set in the past. Give me a high-powered historical plot, and I will keep turning those pages until my eyes cross. Kings or consuls, functionaries or janissaries, it doesn't matter, only that it pounds onward to the conclusion — volcano explosion, battle or market crash. It's literary dessert, and I devour every bite.

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U.S.
6:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

What Title IX Didn't Change: Stigma About Shop Class

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 1:05 pm

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX, which said no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from any education program or activity. Vocational education courses that barred girls — such as auto mechanics, carpentry and plumbing — became available for everyone. But it's still hard to find girls in classes once viewed as "for boys only."

Zoe Shipley, 15, has a passion for cars and tinkering with engines.

"It's just kind of cool to learn how to fix a car or learn about it," she says.

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Movies
6:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Shirley Clarke's 'Connection': Will It Click At Last?

In The Connection, Leach (Warren Finnerty, right) and his friends wait around for their heroin fix, which eventually comes courtesy of Cowboy (Carl Lee). The controversial film was shut down in New York after two screenings in 1962.
Milestone Film

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:07 am

Fifty years ago, a movie called The Connection opened in New York — then closed after two showings. Police shut down the theater and arrested the projectionist.

The movie is about drug addicts, and the language is sometimes frank — too frank for 1962 standards. The director was an independent pioneer named Shirley Clarke, whose movie has been restored and is back in theaters, soon to be followed by restorations of nearly all her work.

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Author Interviews
6:23 am
Sat June 23, 2012

Lessons For Europe From 'The Second World War'

STF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:47 pm

For most people, the start of World War II means German soldiers marching into Poland. Historian Antony Beevor begins and ends his new book, The Second World War with something different: the story of a German soldier who was actually Korean, was captured in Normandy, and wound up living in Illinois.

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Around the Nation
6:03 am
Sat June 23, 2012

On This Stage, Jesus Is A Robber; The Devil's A Rapist

David Sonnier Jr., from Jeanerette, La., plays the Devil in Angola Prison's production of The Life of Jesus Christ. He was convicted of aggravated rape and is serving a life sentence.
Deborah Luster for NPR

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:07 am

There are more than 5,300 inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Nearly 4,000 of them are serving life without parole. Last month, the Angola Prison Drama Club staged a play unlike any other in the prison's experience.

The Life of Jesus Christ featured 70 inmates, men and women acting together for the first time — in costume, with a real camel, performing for the general public. For the untrained actors, this production held special meaning as they saw pieces of their own lives revealed in the characters they played.

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Sports
8:33 am
Sat June 16, 2012

NBA Finals Are On And No-Hitters Are Hot

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The NBA finals are on. Maybe it's just the weather forecast: Thunder, Heat, Heat, Thunder. Also, no-hitters busting out all over. And Bryce Harper scorches the major league circuit. Howard Bryant is back with us, senior writer at ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.

Howard, morning.

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

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Middle East
8:33 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Violence Forces U.N. To Halt Mission In Syria

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The United Nations is suspending its observer mission in Syria because of growing violence there. The official announcement came today from the head of the mission, General Robert Mood. The statement released from U.N. headquarters in Damascus cited rising violence over the past 10 days, and charged that both parties - the Syrian military and the armed rebels, known as the Free Syrian Army - are putting civilians lives at risk - and the lives of their monitors. NPR's Deborah Amos is in Damascus. Deborah, thanks for being with us.

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Media
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Greeks Take Over Reporting As Newspapers Go Under

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The austerity measures in Greece have reached into the journalists who would normally cover these elections. Thousands of journalists have lost their jobs. And in any case, many Greeks feel that the mainstream media are biased, and they're not getting news from alternative citizen-run outlets. Joanna Kakissis reports.

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Presidential Race
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Romney Rolls Into States Where 'Every Town Counts'

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It's a classic tradition of presidential campaigns - the small town bus tour. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney began his in New Hampshire yesterday at the farm where he kicked off his campaign a year ago. NPR's Ari Shapiro was along for the ride.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Summer in New England is practically designed for political ads: waving green fields, cherry red barns popping against a bright blue sky, and on this morning, live bluegrass music.

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Science
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

A Flicker Of Inspiration Brings Cave Drawings To Life

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Before Pixar or Walt Disney, was there Paleolithic Man?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The Chauvet prehistoric cave paintings in France have always glimmered with a mystery: why do the depictions of ancient animals seem to show beasts with several heads and multiple limbs? Are the multi-headed creature figures from mythology, folk art, or some kind of lost world?

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Politics
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Mayoral Agenda: What To Do About Gang Violence

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Suu Kyi To Accept Nobel Peace Prize, Decades Late

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Aung San Suu Kyi has delivered a speech in Norway to formally accept the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. The opposition leader of Myanmar, also known as Burma, was delayed giving that speech for 21 years because the country's then ruling military junta had put her under house arrest. In her speech, Aung San Suu Kyi urged the world not to forget prisoners of conscious who, unlike herself, are not free.

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NPR Story
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Voters To Decide Outcome Of Current Greek Drama

Street art by Bleeps.gr are allegories of the effects of the economic crisis on ordinary Greeks.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 7:53 pm

Debt-burdened Greeks go to the polls Sunday to choose between an establishment party, and continuing harsh austerity measures, or a leftist party that vows to replace the current bailout deal with less punishing conditions.

But many Greeks are aware that whatever the outcome, they face years of hardship in a rapidly unraveling society.

A recent TV news report on medicine shortages illustrated the anguish rippling through the country. The piercing screams of a woman in a pharmacy can be heard as she shouts, "Where am I going to find my medication?"

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Asia
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

China Mission A Leap Toward Larger Space Goals

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Earlier today, China launched an historic space mission carrying that country's first female astronaut and a couple of male astronauts into space. The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft is on a 13-day trip. The mission is considered an important step toward China's goal of building a space station. We're joined now in our studios by Dean Cheng. He's a research fellow at the Asia Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Cheng, thanks for being with us.

DEAN CHENG: Thank you for having me.

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Politics
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

The New Immigration Policy: What's At Stake

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. President Barack Obama has announced a major change to immigration policy, one that he says could lift the shadow of deportation, as he called it, from hundreds of thousands of young people.

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Middle East
7:48 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Egyptians Vote President To Succeed Mubarak

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
6:08 am
Sat June 16, 2012

A Shriver Learns It's Harder To Be Good Than Great

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

When Mark Shriver's father died last year at the age of 95, it seemed that everyone who knew him — politicians, priests, waitresses, presidents and trash collectors — used the same phrase to tell him what they had thought of his father. He was "a good man."

A Good Man is also the title of Shriver's new memoir about his father, R. Sargent Shriver. The elder Shriver, who once ran for president, ran the War on Poverty, the Peace Corps, Job Corps and the Special Olympics. On top of that, he was U.S. ambassador to France and married into the Kennedy family.

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Monkey See
6:08 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Explaining Muppet Theory: Are You An Ernie Or A Bert?

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. They even look like a clash between Order and Chaos, don't they?
Matthew Simmons Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

Most of the time, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court. She's been doing that for the last 13 years. But recently, you may have seen her name floating around in connection with the piece she recently wrote that she discusses with Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.

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Middle East
6:06 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Militant Territory Cleared In Yemen, For Now

Yemeni residents walk past vehicles and houses which were destroyed during recent fighting between the army and militants on a road leading to the city of Zinjibar on Thursday.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 12:27 pm

In southern Yemen, government forces backed by U.S. advisers claim they are routing al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and allied groups from territory that the militants had controlled over the past year.

This is the same al-Qaida that has tried to send so-called underwear bombers to attack U.S.-bound planes.

Abandoned Streets

Just outside the town of Zinjibar, it's clear that fierce battles went on here. It's deserted. There are no people, but there are an enormous number of bullet and shrapnel holes in the buildings.

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Music Interviews
7:52 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Glen Hansard: The Best Songs Come 'As A Gift'

Glen Hansard's new album, his first proper solo release, is titled Rhythm and Repose.
Heidi Rose

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 9:59 am

Glen Hansard began singing on the streets of Dublin when he was just 13. Now, in his early 40s, it's almost hard to count his honors. Once, the musical featuring his songs, just won eight Tony Awards.

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Annoying Music
7:48 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

The Most Annoying Songs Of The Summer (So Far)

No one ever said summer music had to be fun.
Ryan Lane iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

NPR Music has already put together a list of 50 of our favorite songs to help you celebrate the summer. On it, you'll find cheery synth-pop singles, smooth R&B ballads, thumping club bangers and fist-pumping rock anthems.

Missing, however, are those "deep cuts" that lend themselves to a detached, ironic, slightly campy appreciation — the songs that are so bad they're good.

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Simon Says
10:58 am
Sat June 9, 2012

When A Job Interview Turns Into Psychoanalysis

Why should someone who wants a job have to confide their fears and flaws to judgmental strangers?
Royal Five/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 10:17 am

What is your greatest weakness? And is that really any of my business?

Dear Lucy, the workplace advice column written by Lucy Kellaway in the Financial Times, ran a letter this week from a 52-year-old unemployed male.

"I've just been asked in a job interview to name my greatest weakness," he said. "I hummed and hawed for a bit and then said something like, 'Why don't you ask my wife?' I didn't get the job."

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Around the Nation
9:33 am
Sat June 9, 2012

At N.Y. Speedway, Families Join Dreams Of Race Glory

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To the daredevils of motor sports now - stock car racers. The Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, New York - racing takes on a hometown feel. North Country Public Radio's Sarah Harris went to an early season race and has our story.

SARAH HARRIS, BYLINE: At the Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, it's all stock car racing all day.

(SOUNDBITE OF ENGINE REVVING)

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Sports
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Safety Concerns Scratch Triple Crown Hopes

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:41 pm

Today had the promise of history — that is, until the horse I'll Have Another was scratched from the Belmont Stakes. Also scratched: hopes for a long-awaited Triple Crown winner. It was yet another piece of bad news for the horse racing industry, which is under new scrutiny over the safety and treatment of the horses.

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Middle East
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Tension Grows In Syria's Continuing Conflict

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

It's been another bloody week in Syria. This week, dozens of people were reportedly killed in cold blood in a tiny farming hamlet in Central Syria by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. It is the latest atrocity in a 15-month revolt against the regime.

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World
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Bahrain's Crackdown On Activists Extends To Twitter

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 1:42 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

From Syria we head now to Bahrain, where a prominent human rights activist is back in detention this time for what he's been writing on Twitter. The U.S. says it's looking into the case and continuing to encourage Bahrain to allow free speech. Activists say the U.S. isn't pushing its ally hard enough.

NPR's Michele Kelemen spoke with a Bahraini human rights advocate who was in Washington, D.C. this week to remind U.S. officials that activists are still under pressure a year after Bahrain cracked down on anti-government protesters.

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Around the Nation
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

New Plan Sees More Illegal Immigrants Deported From U.S.

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made a significant policy change. They increased the number of agents responsible for finding and deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records by nearly 25 percent. Now, the agency says it wants to remove offenders who pose the greatest threat to public safety or national security.

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NPR Story
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Licking Their Wounds, Progressives Regroup

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley in Providence. Netroots Nation is part pep rally, part technology seminar, and - this year at least - part postmortem. Netroots chairman Adam Bonin kicked off the gathering just two days after the Wisconsin vote, which was viewed very differently in this crowd than it was by the audience at CPAC.

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NPR Story
7:46 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Sports Roundup: Basketball, Boxing And Euro Soccer

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And there won't be a Triple Crown winner this year. But it's still a weekend for major matchups of all kinds, with Nadal and Djokovic, LeBron James and the Boston Celtics, and the peerless Manny Pacquiao in action. NPR Sports Correspondent Tom Goldman joins us.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

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