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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Books News & Features
6:00 am
Sun July 14, 2013

An Ancient Parchment Refuses To Give Up Its Secrets

William Friedman, who helped create the NSA and became its first chief cryptologist, declared the Voynich Manuscript impossible to translate. He thought it was an early example of a made-up language.
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 1:47 pm

It reads like a Dan Brown novel: An indecipherable, cryptic medieval text, shrouded in mystery, filled with entrancing images, disappears for hundreds of years and then suddenly resurfaces at an Italian castle.

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Parallels
5:22 am
Sun July 14, 2013

The Don Who's Taken Charge Of Jordan's Biggest Refugee Camp

Mohammed al Hariri is known as the mafia don of the Zaatari Refugee camp. He is the man who gets things done.
Peter Breslow/NPR

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 11:14 pm

In chaotic situations, certain people rise to the top, and that is certainly the case for Mohammed al-Hariri, a former air conditioning repairman who commands enormous deference on the windblown streets of Zaatari refugee camp.

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The Sunday Conversation
4:00 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Patrolling Border, Sheriff Sees Immigrants' 'Determination'

Tony Estrada is the sheriff of Santa Cruz County, Ariz.
Courtesy of Tony Estrada

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

Tony Estrada is the sheriff of Santa Cruz County, Ariz., the poorest of all the border counties in the U.S. There are more than 1,000 Border Patrol Agents stationed in the county, which shares some 50 miles of border with Mexico.

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Arts & Life
3:58 am
Sun July 14, 2013

These Stormtroopers' Galactic Mission: Comic-Con

Sam Newcomer, a member of the Southern California Garrison of the 501st Legion, marches as Darth Vader leading his Stormtroopers in the Rosemead Fourth of July parade.
Courtesy of Mark Edwards

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

A short time ago, in a garage not so far away, Steve Leahy was having a problem with his armor. A tiny piece of plastic, maybe just a few millimeters wide, stuck out from the shin guard.

"I know it's a minor detail, and while you're wearing it, someone may never notice," Leahy says. "But I know it's there and I know it shouldn't be, so we like to put the effort in to make it as perfect as possible."

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Business
3:27 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Baggage Fees Turn Five Years Old; Passengers Turn Blase

A traveler collects his bag from a luggage carousel in the Philadelphia International Airport in 2011. Baggage fees have helped financially desperate carriers stay aloft.
Matt Rourke AP

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

Hey, baggage fees — happy fifth birthday!

Even if passengers aren't eager to celebrate, airlines are. The fees, born in 2008, helped financially desperate carriers stay aloft as the U.S. economy was spiraling down.

"That was a watershed year that scared the bejeezus out of the airline industry," said Mark Gerchick, an aviation consultant who has just released a book, Full Upright and Locked Position. Even as ticket sales were sliding, jet fuel prices were shooting to historic highs.

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The Salt
3:02 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Homemade Bitters Put The Local Bite Back Into Cocktails

Homemade bitters with medicinal herbs and roots at the Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth, N.H.
Emily Corwin New Hampshire Public Radio

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

Evan Mallett is hovering over some plants in a Victorian-era greenhouse in Portsmouth, N.H.

Mallett, a chef at the Black Trumpet Bistro, is collecting medicinal herbs, which he infuses in alcohol to make his own bitters, a bittersweet alcoholic concentrate used to flavor cocktails.

Mallett says he often forages in the woods for ingredients like wild chamomile, dock and burdock root for his bitters, too.

The "homemade bitters" trend is relatively new.

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NPR Story
2:21 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon Men's Championship

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now for more on Wimbledon, let's go to the men's single final, which Andy Murray of Great Britain has won. He beat the top-seeded Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Murray is the first Brit to win the tournament in 77 years, with the last champion Fred Perry taking the title way back in 1936.

Sports Illustrated correspondent Jon Wertheim was watching it all from Center Court from the All England Club, and he joins me now.

So, Jon, was this a big upset?

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NPR Story
11:19 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Many Unharmed, But Two Dead In San Francisco Plane Crash

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we're keeping our eye on that story of the plane that crashed last night at San Francisco International Airport. The Asiana Airlines passenger jet was arriving from Seoul, South Korea when it crashed on the runway and broke apart. The San Francisco fire chief said 182 people were injured. Many walked off the plane unharmed, but two died in the crash.

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NPR Story
11:19 am
Sun July 7, 2013

San Francisco Mayor's Statement On Crash-Landing

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Nearly 50 people remain in serious or critical condition after flight 214 crashed during landing at the San Francisco International Airport. The aircraft caught fire and skidded across the runway. Its tail section was ripped off. Two passengers were killed and have been identified as 16-year-old female students from China. More than 180 people were injured in the crash. But San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee had this to say yesterday:

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NPR Story
11:19 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Investigators Work To Understand San Francisco Crash

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board have recovered the flight data and voice recorders from flight 214. They are awaiting analysis of the so-called black box, as they investigate the cause of yesterday's crash in San Francisco. The Boeing 777 was flying from South Korea to San Francisco with 307 people on board.

(SOUNDBITE OF AIR TRAFFIC RECORDING)

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NPR Story
6:41 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Memories Served Dish By Dish

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Soft boiled eggs and buttered toast - it may not be something you need to follow a recipe to make and not perhaps the most memorable dish you've ever had, but soft boiled eggs and buttered toast have the power to connect author Kate Christensen to another time and place. Christensen has written a new memoir. It's called "Blue Plate Special." And in it, she includes recipes and talks about the foods that connect her to different chapters of her own life.

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NPR Story
6:41 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Random Acts Of Tipping

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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NPR Story
6:41 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Stevens Leaves Butler To Coach Boston Celtics

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Sad times in Indianapolis. Brad Stevens, the famous coach of the Butler Bulldogs men's college basketball team announced this past week that he is leaving to coach the NBA's Boston Celtics.

And that means a new, big-league salary for Stevens. He is reportedly stepping into a six-year, $22 million contract.

Here to do the due diligence on that deal is NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: How are you doing? Got my green eyeshades on.

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U.S.
2:53 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Despite Hefty Payouts, Fire Insurance Costs Hold Steady

Firefighter Brandie Smith walks by the remains of a structure destroyed in the Black Forest wildfire north of Colorado Springs last month. More than 500 homes have been lost to wildfire in the state this year.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:46 pm

Wildfires have already destroyed hundreds of homes in the American West this year. The insurance industry is once again poised to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to cover those losses, as it already has for homeowners who lost their houses during last year's fire season.

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The Record
2:41 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Small-Town Audio Geeks Bring Big Sounds To The Dance Floor

Fulcrum Acoustic engineer Rich Frembes (left) and founder Dave Gunness pose in their workshop. The company produces more than 2,000 speakers a year, often testing and tweaking the units obsessively to meet each client's specific needs.
Andrea Shea

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:21 pm

The headquarters of Fulcrum Acoustic is only an hour outside Boston, but finding the audio company can be tricky: Its address in Whitinsville, a quaint former industrial village in Massachusetts' Blackstone Valley, doesn't register on GPS. Fulcrum's founder, Dave Gunness, opened his workshop here five years ago and says people still have trouble finding it.

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Sunday Puzzle
2:33 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Easy As One, Two, Three Initials

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 2:21 pm

On-air challenge: You're given the three-word names of famous people. For each one, you get a clue to a familiar three-word phrase or title that has the same initials as the person. Name the phrase or title. For example, singer Billy Ray Cyrus has the initials B-R-C. And B-R-C are also the initials of the phrase "Blue ribbon commission."

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All Songs Considered
6:59 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

The Good Listener: How Do You Pick The Songs For Your Wedding?

Don't let a slow, introspective song crash your wedding reception.
Courtesy of New Line Cinema

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:11 pm

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NPR Story
7:20 am
Sun June 30, 2013

BOOK: DIFFICULT MEN

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) are plenty difficult themselves on AMC's Breaking Bad, one of many cable shows Brett Martin discusses in his book.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:28 pm

Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution from The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, explores what the author Brett Martin describes as the "Third Golden Age of TV," based on a new kind of television character.

Subscription cable channels don't have sensitive sponsors, commercials or concerns about language or violence. In the book, Martin argues that this relative freedom, combined with the old-fashioned appeal of serial storytelling, creates a new kind of high-quality television programming.

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NPR Story
7:20 am
Sun June 30, 2013

NBA Drafts Record Number Of Foreigners

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:43 pm

Players from other countries bring a tempting amount of uncertainty and risk for U.S. teams. Weekend Edition Sunday host Linda Wertheimer talks with NPR's Mike Pesca for his take on the past week's sports news.

NPR Story
7:20 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Mayonnaise Turns 100

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 12:43 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As you prepare the potato salad for your Fourth of July barbecue or your picnic, stop for a moment and wish your mayonnaise happy birthday. Love it or hate it, there's one brand that synonymous with mayo: Hellmann's.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing) When you want to bring out the flavor and bring out the zest, just bring out the Hellman's and bring out the best.

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The Salt
5:30 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Your Choice In Utensils Can Change How Food Tastes

Cheese might take on a whole new flavor when you use a plastic utensil.
Elizabeth Willing Courtesy Flavour

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 12:45 pm

Being "born with a silver spoon in your mouth" has long been known to have advantages. Apparently, eating off a silver spoon also has its perks — it seems to make your food taste better.

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Middle East
5:23 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Lack In Leadership Hurts Palestinian Peace Prospects

Palestinians wait for Mohammed Assaf, the first Palestinian winner of the Arab Idol contest, in front of his family home in the southern Gaza Strip last Tuesday. The cheering for Assaf crossed political and ideological divides.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 8:14 am

Shortly before midnight last Thursday, in front of a cheering crowd, 31-year-old Hussein al-Deik was picked as the president of Palestine.

It wasn't a real election; just the grand finale of a TV reality series, shot in front of a live audience. Suheir Rasul, co-director of the Jerusalem office of Search for Common Ground, the organization that put on the show, said the goal is to get young people excited about the democratic process.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:25 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Turn That Shrub Into Something Presidential

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 1:36 pm

On-air challenge: For the Sunday before the Fourth of July weekend, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president, which comes from their anagrams. For example, "shrub" without R is "Bush."

Last week's challenge: Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And what's another word with this property?

Answer: mite, item

Winner: Gig Moineau of Newton, Mass.

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NPR Story
11:19 am
Sun June 23, 2013

What Does The Taliban Want From Peace Talks?

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Michael Semple has been working in Afghanistan for more than 20 years. He is a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. And he joins us now from the studios of WGBH in Boston.

Welcome to the program, Mr. Semple.

MICHAEL SEMPLE: Hello.

MARTIN: So, what does the United States want from talks with the Taliban?

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NPR Story
11:19 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Hope Strained For Afghanistan Peace Talks

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

NATO allies officially handed over responsibility to the Afghanistan security forces this past week. President Obama has said that all U.S. combat troops will be out by the end of 2014. In this hour, we'll get several perspectives on what that means for Afghanistan. In a moment, we'll hear from one American businesswoman who left her Kabul business behind after five years.

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