Weekend Edition Saturday on AM 870 NewsTalk

10am - Noon

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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Europe
7:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

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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Sports
7:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

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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Media
7:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

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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Politics
7:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

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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Business
7:49 am
Sat May 26, 2012

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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NPR Story
7:34 am
Sat May 26, 2012

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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NPR Story
7:34 am
Sat May 26, 2012

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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NPR Story
7:34 am
Sat May 26, 2012

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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The Salt
7:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

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

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

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

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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Election 2012
6:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Can May Polls Predict A November Winner?

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

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

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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Author Interviews
6:18 am
Sat May 26, 2012

'Istanbul': A Twisted Tale Of Foreign Espionage

Atria Books

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

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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Music Interviews
6:17 am
Sat May 26, 2012

Cadence Weapon: A Poet Hones A Musical Personality

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

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

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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Remembrances
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

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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Sports
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Olympic Flame Flies To United Kingdom

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 1:47 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Olympic torch has arrived in Britain, ahead of this summer's Games in London. The torch, lit at the original location of the Games at the ancient Greek site of Olympia one week ago, flew in from Athens yesterday. Just a few hours ago, the historic flame began its tour of the UK. Vicki Barker reports from London.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS)

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Sports
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Calif. Hopes For A Preakness Win

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This afternoon, the 137th running of the Preakness takes place at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Kentucky Derby Winner, the horse called, I'll Have Another, will try to capture the second jewel in the Triple Crown of Horse Racing, something only 10 horses have done since 1978. I'll Have Another, its trainer and owner all come from Southern California, and hopes are high that a big win will give a much-needed boost to horse racing in the California. NPR'S Carrie Kahn reports.

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Technology
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

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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Business
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

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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Business
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

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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Simon Says
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Teaching Kids Balance Can Be A Lesson For Parents

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

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

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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NPR Story
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

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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NPR Story
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

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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Asia
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Chinese Activist Leaves Beijing For U.S.

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.

Chen Guangcheng, the blind, Chinese human rights lawyer, is on a plane headed for America right now, according to his friends and supporters. Chinese authorities gave Mr. Chen a passport today and drove him to an airport in Beijing. His departure caps a remarkable few weeks that included a daring escape from house arrest and high-stakes, diplomatic negotiations.

NPR's Frank Langfitt has been following the story from Shanghai. Frank, thanks for being with us.

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World
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

In Group Of Eight, A Lack Of Leadership?

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The world leaders at the G-8 Summit meet at a time of many urgent concerns, including the shaky world economy. But an article on ForeignPolicy.com says that the nations represented at the summit lack the power to lead right now, and questions what the G-8 can accomplish at this meeting or in the future. Ian Bremmer is the author of that article. His is the president of the Eurasia Group, an international consulting firm, and he joins us from New York. Mr. Bremmer, thanks for being with us.

IAN BREMMER: I'm very happy to join you.

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Africa
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

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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Space
8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

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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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sat January 28, 2012

Egyptians Divide As They Celebrate Together

This week, Egyptians marked the first anniversary of the uprising that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Deepening political divisions between pro-Islamist and secular protesters marred the event, erupting into violent scuffles. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

Simon Says
7:40 am
Sat January 28, 2012

A Fan's Notes On Pro Sports, Brain Damage

Trainers help Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy after he took a hit during a game in December. In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, 23 of 44 NFL players said they would try to hide a brain injury rather than leave a game.
Don Wright AP

Originally published on Sat January 28, 2012 1:31 pm

I will watch the Super Bowl next weekend, along with several billion other people. I expect to cheer, shout and have some guacamole.

But as a fan, I'm finding it a little harder to cheer, especially for my favorite football and hockey players, without thinking: They're hurting themselves.

Not just breaks and sprains but dangerous, disabling brain damage.

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Music News
3:47 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Chet Atkins: The Lasting Influence Of 'Mr. Guitar'

Chet Atkins at RCA's Studio B in the 1960s.
Courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame

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Music Interviews
3:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Cam Penner Spins Road Stories On 'Gypsy Summer'

Cam Penner's latest album is Gypsy Summer.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:35 pm

When your grandfather is a bootlegger and your family runs an illegal small-town roadhouse, you must have a lot of stories to tell. Cam Penner does, and he tells them in his music. The Canadian singer-songwriter's latest album is titled Gypsy Summer.

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