Weekend Edition

Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 10am
Scott Simon and Rachel Martin

News, analysis, essays, and features for your weekend, anchored by Scott Simon on Saturdays, NPR's Peabody Award-winning host and correspondent. Sundays are hosted by NPR's Rachel Martin and feature The New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz offering a challenging puzzle each week. Hosted locally by Liz Reid.

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Economy
12:31 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Housing Market Fake-Outs Stump Economists

Homebuilding remains slumped at levels not seen since WWII.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 3:13 pm

Many homebuyers have been throwing down cold hard cash for their entire house purchase in recent years. Some are baby-boomers who sold a bigger house and are downsizing. Some are investors. Others are from outside the U.S.

"Top of the list in terms of cash sales in the first quarter was Florida, with 64 percent of all sales going to cash buyers, followed by New York, 59 percent; Alabama, 56 percent," says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, which did a study on cash purchases.

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Movies
12:23 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

How George Lucas Transformed The Modern Fairy Tale

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

This week, a battle over which American city would become the home to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was settled. Chicago won out over San Francisco and Los Angeles. And the $1 billion museum named for its founder, George Lucas, will open its doors on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive in 2018.

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Strange News
11:46 am
Sun June 29, 2014

How 'Professor Godzilla' Learned To Roar

For William Tsutsui, incoming president of Hendrix College and author of Godzilla On My Mind, the iconic lizard is an obsession and an inspiration.
Hillsman Jackson

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 4:15 pm

Hendrix College, a small school outside of Little Rock, Ark., is about to get a new president. His name is William Tsutsui, a Princeton-, Oxford-, and Harvard-educated economist, but he's best known for a certain expertise that has landed him the nickname Professor Godzilla.

Tsutsui first heard the infamous roar of the radioactive monster lizard when he was 8 years old, living in the tiny college town of Bryan, Texas.

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Media
10:54 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Advertisers Come Out Of The Closet, Openly Courting Gay Consumers

Boyfriends, or roommates? Decades ago, commercials like this 1997 Volkswagen Golf ad left homosexual relationships implied, in a sort of secret code. These days, gay-friendly advertisers don't feel the need to be covert.
YouTube

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 3:16 pm

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Sports
8:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Die-Hard Fans Still Fill The Grids With Balls And Strikes

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 12:23 pm

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

And before R. A. Dickey headed off to the ballpark, I tossed him one more question about a decades-old baseball ritual - following the game with a pencil and a scorecard - keeping score.

R. A. DICKEY: I grew up watching WGN and TBS from my living room and having a scorebook there and, like, keeping score off the television. At the end of it, it's like you've put together this really neat puzzle and woven this story, and you've somehow played a part in it.

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Author Interviews
8:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Pitcher R.A. Dickey Tells Kids It's OK To Be Different

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 12:23 pm

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

R. A. Dickey is a phenomenal pitcher. He's also a lone wolf.

(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAMES)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: 1-2 to Davis...

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #2: In the air. Strike three. Whoa. Back-to-back one-hitters for R. A. Dickey...

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #3: The phenomenon that is Robert Allen Dickey continues to get more and more unlikely.

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Humans
8:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Curious Father Decodes His Unborn Son's DNA

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 5:22 pm

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Couples awaiting the birth of a child face a lot of unknowns. Boy or girl? Will they be healthy? Advances in genetic testing allow parents to know more than ever. But current tests generally target a single medical condition. It's only recently that the genes of a fetus have been completely genotyped.

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Shots - Health News
12:10 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Shortage Of Saline Solution Has Hospitals On Edge

Reid Kennedy, materials manager at San Francisco General Hospital, stands next to racks of saline solution. He has had to carefully manage the hospital's supply of saline during this shortage.
Mark Andrew Boyer KQED

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:09 am

Hospitals across the country are struggling with a shortage of one of their essential medical supplies.

Manufacturers are rationing saline solution — essentially pharmaceutical-grade saltwater. The stuff is used all around hospitals to clean wounds, mix medications or treat dehydration. Now drug companies say they won't be able to catch up with demand until next year.

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Iraq
12:10 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

'I'm An Iraqi': A Family Attacked, A Brother Missing

In 2005, Iqbal al-Juboori's family, who is Sunni, was attacked at home. The attackers kidnapped Juboori's brother simply because of his ethnicity, she believes.
Courtesy of Iqbal al-Juboori

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 12:33 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Iqbal al-Juboori is well acquainted with the ethnic tensions coming to a head in her home country of Iraq right now. In 2005, her family, who is Sunni, was attacked in their home and her brother was kidnapped simply because of his ethnicity, Juboori believes.

Her brother hasn't been seen since.

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Fine Art
12:10 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

'The Illustrated Courtroom' Finds Art In Real-Life Legal Drama

Artist Elizabeth Williams sketched NPR's Rachel Martin during their conversation.
Elizabeth Williams

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 1:26 pm

For some trials, courtroom sketches are the only images the public ever sees. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with artist Elizabeth Williams about her new book, which looks at 50 years of such drawings.

Code Switch
11:18 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Shape-Up And Checkup: LA Barbers To Start Testing Blood Pressure

Ben Russell iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 3:14 pm

Barbershops are a traditional gathering place for African-American men — a place to talk politics, sports and gossip. Now, some doctors in Los Angeles are hoping to make the barbershop a place for combating high blood pressure among black men.

Death rates from hypertension are three times higher in African-American men than in white men of the same age, says Dr. Ronald Victor, the director of Cedars-Sinai Center for Hypertension in Los Angeles.

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Music Interviews
8:01 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Tom Freund Is Oddly Upbeat In 'Two Moons'

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 2:33 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Back in the early '80s, Randy Newman famously sand about the City of Angels.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I LOVE L.A.")

RANDY NEWMAN: (Singing) It's like another perfect day. I love LA. We love it.

NEARY: Singer-songwriter Tom Freund offers his take on Los Angeles right out of the box on the first track of his new album "Two Moons."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ANGEL EYES")

TOM FREUND: (Singing) Funny how when you leave L.A., you got to drive into the desert. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

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Music News
8:01 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Almost Intermediate: Adults Learn Lessons In 'Late Starters Orchestra'

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 2:35 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

By our measure, Ari Goldman is a successful man. A former New York Times reporter turned college professor, he is deeply religious and a happily married husband and father. But for all of that, there was something missing in his life. Goldman yearned to play a musical instrument.

ARI GOLDMAN: The cello is sort of the music of my soul. It's the instrument that speaks most directly to me. I never thought that I would be able to play a cello.

(SOUNDBITE OF CELLO)

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Author Interviews
8:01 am
Sun June 22, 2014

'Astonish Me' Asks, Is It Enough To Only Be Good?

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 2:17 pm

We're continuing our weekend reads recommendations with author Alexander Chee, whose novel Edinburgh won multiple literary awards. Chee's pick for you this weekend is Astonish Me, by Maggie Shipstead — the tale of a ballerina who leaves the dance world to have a baby. Chee tells NPR's Rachel Martin that he appreciates Shipstead's prose, which he calls excellent but not flashy. "I think of it as having a transparent quality which is to say that you're drawn into the story more than you are made to consistently pay attention to the style of it.

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The Record
11:30 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Casey Kasem, An Iconic Voice Of American Radio

Casey Kasem, in 1975.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 12:56 pm

Casey Kasem, the countdown king of music radio and the voice of Scooby-Doo's Shaggy, has died at 82, his publicist confirmed Sunday.

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The Sunday Conversation
10:49 am
Sun June 15, 2014

The Joy Of Leaving An Arranged Marriage — And The Cost

Fraidy Reiss was married to an abusive husband when she was 19 years old. After leaving her husband and the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community she'd known all her life, she founded an organization to help other women escape their arranged marriages.
Courtesy of Unchained For Life

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 11:03 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

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Food
10:04 am
Sun June 15, 2014

The Milkman's Comeback Means Dairy At The Door And More

Driver Rick Galloway of South Mountain Creamery delivers milk in Liberty Town, Md., in 2004. Today the company has 8,500 home delivery accounts in five states.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 10:50 am

You don't even have to get out of your PJs to go to the farmers market now.

All over the country, trucks are now delivering fresh milk, organic vegetables and humanely raised chickens to your door — though in New York, the deliveries come by bike.

Fifty years ago, about 30 percent of milk still came from the milkman. By 2005, the last year for which USDA has numbers, only 0.4 percent was home delivered.

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Iraq
9:38 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Militants' Advance In Iraq Agitates Oil Markets

Cars pack a Kurdish checkpoint as residents flee Mosul in northern Iraq. The city was overrun by Islamic militants last week.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 11:38 am

When Sunni militants began seizing broad swathes of territory across northern Iraq last week, global oil markets shrugged it off. After all, instability in Iraq is nothing new.

But that all changed on Wednesday, when the insurgents swept into the oil refinery town of Baiji, says Robert McNally, president of the Rapidan Group, an energy consulting firm. The price of oil climbed nearly 4 percent in just a few short days.

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History
9:23 am
Sun June 15, 2014

From Former Slaves To Writers, Civilians, Too, Rest At Arlington

Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 men and women. Most were members of the armed forces who served in active duty — but not all.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 1:32 pm

Just over the Arlington Memorial Bridge, which connects the nation's capital to Virginia, lies a piece of sacred ground: 624 acres covered in rows and rows of headstones and American flags.

Sunday marks the 150th anniversary of the designation of Arlington National Cemetery. The military burial ground was created on land that was once the home of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — and was established, in part, to accommodate the many Americans killed in the Civil War.

Today, more than 400,000 men and women are buried there.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:20 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Floating Down The Anagram River

NPR

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 11:38 am

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is geographical. Every answer is the name of a river — identify it using its anagram minus a letter. Example: Top minus T = Po (River).

Last Week's Challenge: Name part of a TV that contains the letter C. Replace the C with the name of a book of the Old Testament, keeping all the letters in order. The result will name a sailing vessel of old. What is it?

Answer: Viking Ship

Winner: Jay Adams of Monticello, Fla.

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Author Interviews
7:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Painful Path To Fatherhood Inspires Poet's New Collection

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 1:00 pm

Douglas Kearney's new book of poetry, Patter, is not something you pick up casually. It demands a lot from its audience — one reviewer wrote that the book's readers must be "agile, adaptive, vigilant and tough."

But the payoff is worth it. Kearney takes his readers into an extremely private struggle, shared with his wife: their attempt to conceive a child. The poems trace a journey through infertility, miscarriage, in vitro fertilization and, finally, fatherhood.

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Music Interviews
7:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

'SNL' Music Director Writes A Finnish 'Prescription'

Lenny Pickett has played in the SNL band for 29 years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 4:10 pm

You may not immediately recognize the name Lenny Pickett. But if you've watched Saturday Night Live in the last 30 years, you've heard him.

The curly-haired saxophonist is there, wailing front and center, every week as the host enters the stage. He's been with the house band for nearly 30 years, and the show's musical director since 1995.

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Sports
7:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Spurs Could Settle NBA Championship On Sunday

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 11:38 am

Slate.com's Mike Pesca looks at the odds of the Miami Heat staging a comeback to beat the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA championship in a chat with NPR's Scott Simon.

Sports
6:34 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

The World Cup Reminds Us That All The World's A Soccer Field

Children play soccer in the village of Limon in the Peten region of northern Guatemala.
Jason Beaubien NPR

The global reach of soccer never ceases to amaze me. I travel all over the world, sometimes to incredibly remote areas. More often than not, when I get there, somebody is kicking around a soccer ball.

It doesn't matter if it's Asia or Africa or Central America. Kids make a goal out of a couple of backpacks, throw out a ball and the game is on. The "ball" could be a knotted towel or a tennis ball or a tattered leather shell that's barely holding air.

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National Security
6:34 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

If The NSA Can't Keep Call Records, Should Phone Companies Do It?

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., questioned whether phone companies would retain calling data.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Perhaps the most controversial spying program revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was the agency's hoarding of Americans' phone records.

Congress wants to change that program.

The House has passed legislation that would end the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' calling data and let phone companies hold the records instead.

As a Senate panel found last week, that proposal could run into trouble.

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