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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Music Interviews
5:15 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Heartache Gives KT Tunstall's New Album A Split Personality

KT Tunstall's album Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon was recorded in two sessions, which fell on either side of a life-changing summer for the singer.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:39 am

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall made her latest album in Arizona, of all places. Working with musician and producer Howe Gelb, she recorded the first six songs in the spring of 2012, and the last six in November. But a lot changed for Tunstall in the months between.

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Music Interviews
4:46 am
Sun August 4, 2013

'The Weatherman': A Rambler's Folky Manifesto

Gregory Alan Isakov's latest album is called The Weatherman.
Erin Preston Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 6:16 pm

To be a folk musician these days, there's no requirement that you be some sort of rambling wanderer. But it can't hurt, right?

Gregory Alan Isakov was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He didn't stay there long: He moved to Philadelphia, then around the East Coast, switching schools every couple years. As an adult, he's found a more stable home: a remote part of Colorado. And in his music, he writes from the perspective quite happy to be away from any big cities.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:44 am
Sun August 4, 2013

First Names First

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 1:39 pm

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is called "What's in a Name?" Every answer consists of the names of two famous people. The last name of the first person is an anagram of the first name of the last person. Given the non-anagram parts of the names, you identify the people. For example, given "Madeleine" and "Aaron," you would say "Kahn" and "Hank."

Last week's challenge: In three words, name a product sold mainly to women that has the initials N-P-R. The answer is a common phrase.

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Afghanistan
3:58 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Regimental Combat Team 7 Rolls Up Its Flag In Afghanistan

Regimental Combat Team 7 cases its flag during their mission's closing ceremony in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 2:42 pm

At the peak of fighting in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, there were 20,000 Marines battling the Taliban. Now there are 8,000 — and more are heading home every month.

Among the latest to pack up was Regimental Combat Team 7.

At their mission's recent closing ceremony, several hundred Marines gathered in the scorching desert heat at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province. Their tan, pixelated fatigues blended in amidst the vast expanse of sand-colored tents and buildings of the largest Marine base in Afghanistan.

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News
7:07 am
Sun July 28, 2013

This Fountain Of Youth Has A Little Extra Zing

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

ORSON WELLES: Of course, there are all sorts of fountains. Some are beautiful, some are purely mythological. Some are silly fountains. Of course, the silliest of all, is the fountain of youth. Old Ponce de Leon thought that one was somewhere down in Florida.

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

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Sports
7:07 am
Sun July 28, 2013

High-Tech Boats Make Waves At America's Cup

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:31 pm

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

Slow season for sports? Not one bit. It is the season for that favorite activity of couch potatoes - yacht racing. Also, in another elegant sporting arena, some unexpected lessons at this year's Dallas Cowboys training camp. Our teacher on all this, NPR's Mike Pesca. Hiya, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi. Yachts and the Cowboys. That goes so well together.

STAMBERG: Yeah. So, the America's Cup right now - that's the prestigious yacht sail-off -and it seems that some of the racing boats are making some very serious waves, yes?

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Sports
7:07 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Athletic Glory At An Advanced Age

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:31 pm

Transcript

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

The Olympic motto - Faster, Higher, Stronger - has always applied to an ideal: a young, supremely fit athlete, performing wondrous tasks. The motto means something different for athletes over 50. Thousands of them are in Cleveland for the National Senior Games. These games may be lacking in youth and buff physiques, but NPR's Tom Goldman reports the event still has great significance for those are competing and watching.

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Author Interviews
6:18 am
Sun July 28, 2013

'Rural Life' Adds Natural Color To 'The Grey Lady'

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:31 pm

Verlyn Klinkenborg's essays about life on his farm in upstate New York have run in The New York Times since 1997. With a long family history of farming, his agricultural roots run deep into the soil.

"All of my aunts and uncles farmed; all of my cousins still farm," he says. "The home farm where my dad was raised has been in my family since the early teens, and ... following the track of modern agriculture, has changed its character hugely over time. But it's still in the family."

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Theater
6:18 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Wallace Shawn: From 'Toy Story' Dino To Highbrow Playwright

Wallace Shawn (from left), Larry Pine and Deborah Eisenberg make up the cast of The Designated Mourner. Written by Shawn and directed by Andre Gregory, the Public Theater show is a product of one of the longest collaborations in the history of the American theater.
Joan Marcus Courtesy The Public Theater

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:31 pm

Wallace Shawn is famous for his career as an actor, but over the past four decades he has written a handful of plays that are intellectually demanding and rarely produced. His characters tell stories in monologues, rather than acting them out onstage, and they use cascades of words to make dizzying arguments.

His work is being showcased at New York's Public Theater this season. A revival of The Designated Mourner opened July 21 and the American premier of another Shawn play, Grasses of a Thousand Colors, will open this fall.

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Art & Design
6:15 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Stories Of Race In America Captured On Quilt And Canvas

As a black, female artist in the 1960s, Ringgold says there were "a lot of people trying to get in my way and keep me from doing what I was doing." Above, a 1965 self portrait.
Jim Frank On loan from Elizabeth A. Sackler

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:31 pm

Artist Faith Ringgold is best known for what she calls her story quilts — large canvases made in the 1980s, on which she painted scenes of African-American life: sunbathing on a tar roof, a mother and her children, a quilting bee. She frames the canvases in strips of quilted fabric, carrying out an old African, and African-American quilt-making tradition.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington is showing an earlier aspect of Ringgold's art: big, strong, vivid paintings from the 1960s that reflect the violence and social upheaval of that time.

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News
5:43 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Which Citizens Are Under More Surveillance, U.S. Or European?

Protesters demonstrate against alleged NSA surveillance in Germany during a rally in Hannover, Germany, on Saturday.
Peter Steffen AP

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:31 pm

The disclosure of of previously secret NSA surveillance programs has been met by outrage in Europe. The European Parliament even threatened to delay trade talks with the United States.

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News
5:40 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Religious Orders Use Pope's Visit To Recruit Young Postulants

People dance in laser lights in a tent during World Youth Day events in Quinta de Boa Vista park, where religious orders are holding a job fair of sorts to recruit new postulants.
Silvia Izquierdo AP

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 2:07 pm

The Quinta de Boa Vista park is far away from the celebrations in Copacabana Beach, where three million people gathered Saturday to hear Pope Francis speak. But the park is attracting a crowd of young people.

Kiosks for religious orders like the Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Legion of Mary line the park. It looks like a job fair, and in a way, it is.

Nuns from the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Lourdes dance around in front of their stand, to the banging of drums and the strumming of guitars.

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News
5:40 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Reinvigorating A Detroit Neighborhood, Block By Block

Woodward Avenue runs through Midtown, a Detroit neighborhood that is reviving in the midst of the larger city's decline. In the background is downtown Detroit.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:31 pm

The debt-laden city of Detroit has been an incubator for new strategies in urban revitalization, including a downtown People Mover, casinos, urban farms, artist colonies and large scale down-sizing.

In the wake of the city's bankruptcy, many in the community are thinking small.

Just outside of downtown Detroit is a neighborhood called Midtown. Like many hip, urban neighborhoods, it's got hipsters on fixed geared bikes, yoga studios, boutiques for dogs.

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Sunday Puzzle
3:06 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Psst ... It's Class Time

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:31 pm

On-air challenge: This puzzle is supersonic. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name that has the consecutive letters S-S-T. Specifically, the first word will end in S-S, and the second word will start with T. For example, given, "A situation in which people speak on top of each other," you would say, "cross talk."

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NPR Story
7:33 am
Sun July 21, 2013

Lanky Pitcher Towers Over All-Star Game

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 12:41 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are right in the middle of a long, hot summer, and that means this past week while we were hunkered down next to the air conditioner, Major League Baseball had it All-Star Game, and NPR's Mike Pesca was there sweating it out for us. He's here to tell us what caught his eye. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: I did have a shirt that wicks away moisture so...

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NPR Story
7:33 am
Sun July 21, 2013

A Convert Travels To Catholic World Youth Day

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 12:41 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're now going to hear from one of the young pilgrims traveling to Brazil to see the pope. Hannah Mayo lives in Charleston, S.C. She converted to Catholicism just a couple months ago.

MARTIN: She joins us from Charleston. Hannah, thanks so much for being here.

HANNAH MAYO: Thank you.

MARTIN: So I understand that you weren't actually planning on going to the World Youth Day in Brazil. But a few friends - new friends, perhaps in your new church, help make it possible?

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NPR Story
7:33 am
Sun July 21, 2013

'Rapturous' Reception Expected For Pope In Brazil

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 12:41 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Pope Francis is headed to Rio de Janeiro tomorrow for World Youth Day. It's actually a week-long gathering for young Catholics held every few years in a different part of the world. The event is meant to inspire and energize the faithful, and more than a million young pilgrims are expected to attend this year. Pope Francis is the first pope from Latin America and he's making his first papal visit overseas. It is to Latin America.

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U.S.
6:30 am
Sun July 21, 2013

A Woman Among Men: Female Firefighter Blazed A Trail

Judy Brewer was the country's first full-time female firefighter.
John Duricka AP

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 12:41 pm

Arlington County, Va., wants more female firefighters. The fire department there has even set up a camp to inspire potential recruits. Donning helmets and matching camp shirts, teenage girls line up to watch a demonstration: A model room with furniture is ablaze.

Camper Tara Crosey says she came to camp in part because she "wanted to show that girls are as strong as boys and girls can do what boys can do."

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Environment
6:30 am
Sun July 21, 2013

Fighting Fire With Fire: Why Some Burns Are Good For Nature

An arborist from the Montana Conservation Corps works to clear pine trees from land in Centennial Valley, Mont.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 2:50 pm

Wildfires were once essential to the American West. Prairies and forests burned regularly, and those fires not only determined the mix of flora and fauna that made up the ecosystem, but they regenerated the land.

When people replaced wilderness with homes and ranches, they aggressively eliminated fire. But now, scientists are trying to bring fire back to the wilderness, to recreate what nature once did on its own.

One place they're doing this is Centennial Valley, in southwestern Montana.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:05 am
Sun July 21, 2013

The Price Of Fame: A Scrambled Name

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 12:41 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a famous person, past or present, with five letters in the first and last names. One letter in each name is changed to make a new word. You name the people.

Last week's challenge: In the phrase "clothes closet," all the letters of the second word can be found inside the first. Think of another two-word phrase that means a place to keep clothes in which all the letter of the second word are found inside the first. The first word has nine letters, the second has six.

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Code Switch
5:56 am
Sun July 21, 2013

Black Americans Welcome Obama's Entry To Race Discussion

A man holds up a sign at the "Justice for Trayvon" rally in downtown Chicago on Saturday.
Scott Eisen AP

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 12:41 pm

As soon as he made his remarks on race Friday, President Obama was part of an intense conversation around the nation.

In dozens of cities across the country on Saturday, protesters held coordinated rallies and vigils over the not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Many African-Americans insist that understanding the context for black distress over the Zimmerman verdict is key to honest discussions about race.

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Music Interviews
3:33 am
Sun July 21, 2013

OMD: New-Wavers Look Backward To Go Forward

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Tom Oxley Big Hassle Media

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 7:16 pm

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Zimmerman's Brother: Race 'Wasn't An Element In This Case'

Robert Zimmerman Jr. (left) speaking with defense attorney Mark O'Mara during a pre-trial hearing in May.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 12:12 pm

George Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman, Jr., tells NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that despite the acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, it will be a "long time" before his brother's life returns to normal.

"Believe me, he is overwhelmed," the elder brother said in an interview with host Rachel Martin. "And now it is time for him to readjust to that concept of being a free man, in every sense of the word."

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Author Interviews
8:34 am
Sun July 14, 2013

'This Town' Takes Aim At The Washington Establishment

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 12:12 pm

Washington, D.C. gets a bad rap: politicians love to run against it, voters love to complain about it — but New York Times Magazine correspondent Mark Leibovich says he's actually an optimist about our nation's capital.

Leibovich's new book is This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral — plus plenty of valet parking! — In America's Gilded Capital. It's a lively account of the sometimes incestuous mix of media and politics in D.C., and unlike many books about politics, it doesn't have an index.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:04 am
Sun July 14, 2013

A Geography Quiz With A Spelling Twist

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 1:59 pm

On-air challenge: You're given a series of clues, and every answer is the name of a U.S. state capital.

Last week's challenge: Rearrange the letters of INDIA and BELARUS to name two other countries. What are they?

Answer: Sudan, Liberia

Winner: Eddy Chandler of Piedmont, Calif.

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