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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Africa
10:05 am
Sun December 22, 2013

CAR Atrocities Must Be Answered, Says U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power

Samantha Power greets children on Thursday at a makeshift refugee camp in Central African Republic, where more than 40,000 people have found refuge from sectarian violence.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 8:56 am

The vicious sectarian violence in the Central African Republic continued last week as Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, visited on Thursday to make an appeal for peace.

It was a particularly significant trip for the ambassador: She began her career as a journalist and an activist, and was a vocal critic of the U.S. response to past atrocities and genocides.

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Around the Nation
9:47 am
Sun December 22, 2013

A Big Helping Of Christmas Compassion At Joseph's House

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Joseph's House is a hospice in Washington, D.C., for people who don't have a home. Started in 1990, it's a spot where people with end-stage AIDS and cancer can come to receive food, shelter, medication and community. NPR's Rachel Martin checks in for the holidays.

Sports
9:47 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Are NFL Kickers Getting Better?

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Monday's game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Detroit Lions came down to the kicker. NPR's Rachel Martin and sports reporter Mike Pesca discuss the role of the NFL kicker and whether that job is getting more respect from fans and players.

From Our Listeners
9:45 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Listeners Share Their First-Time-Ever Christmas Plans

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Weekend Edition asked you to share something memorable you'll be doing for the first time this Christmas. NPR's Rachel Martin shares some of your stories.

Deceptive Cadence
5:07 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Talking Great Teachers And Students With Two Piano Masters

Pianist Lang Lang sits down with his own revered mentor Gary Graffman, to discuss what makes great teachers — and bad ones.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:52 pm

The relationship between a teacher and a student can be transformative. It's a particularly important relationship in classical music. A teacher is part mentor, part manager — even a parental figure.

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Pop Culture
11:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Our Favorite TV Parties

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So, those are the fabulous soirees of fiction, but what about those lower-brow shindigs - the parties on our favorite TV shows that we'd love to crash? There is, of course, Elaine's epic dance fail at her office party on "Seinfeld."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW)

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (as Elaine) All right. Who's dancing? Come on, who's dancing? Want me to get it started?

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From Our Listeners
11:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

A Diamond, A Motorcycle, A Wooden Ring: Best Gifts Ever

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
8:29 am
Sun December 15, 2013

54 Days In The Eternal City: A Christian 'Pilgrimage' For Lent

Rome's St. Zeno chapel was built by Pope St. Paschal I in honor of his mother. The ceiling, a gold mosaic, was intended as an interpretation of heaven.
Stephen Weigel Courtesy of Basic Books

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Each year, millions of people from different faiths make religious journeys. They travel far, to Mecca, Jerusalem, the Ganges River or Lourdes, France, to walk the paths of prophets, saints and martyrs.

"Pilgrimage is something built into the human condition," says George Weigel, author of Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches. "There seems to be something hardwired into us, spiritually, that the idea of a journey from A to B becomes part of the rhythm of the spiritual life."

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Author Interviews
8:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

New Princesses Rescue Girls From A Distressed Damselhood

Princess Vinnea and the Gulavores." href="/post/once-upon-time-princess-saved-environment" class="noexit lightbox">
Princess Vinnea, guardian of plant life (left), and Princess Terra, protector of the land, examine one of many "gulavores" plaguing the land of Hortensis in the children's book Princess Vinnea and the Gulavores.
Courtesy Setsu Shigematsu

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

The princess industry is lucrative: DVDs, dresses, crowns, theme parties. But the story of going to the ball and waiting for Prince Charming is outdated.

So one Southern California mom has created a new princess series with modern sensibilities. Creator Setsu Shigematsu recasts princesses as environmentally conscious and not waiting around to be rescued.

At the heart of her series, The Guardian Princess Alliance, is what animates any fairy tale: simple storytelling.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

When Push Comes To Shove

NPR

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 3:04 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a five-letter word. You'll be given a clue for the word. Besides giving you a direct hint to the answer, the clue will also contain the answer in consecutive letters. For example, given "push over hard," you would say "shove."

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Author Interviews
5:25 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Satan's Naked Women, Gatsby's Cocktails, And Other Literary Fetes

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Throwing a perfect holiday party is no simple task. Do you want a swanky cocktail party, an intimate dinner party, or a huge New Year's bash? A whole host of decisions revolve around the menu — and don't forget your gluten-free or vegan invitees. Then there's the decor (is tinsel too much?), the music (festive, but not cheesy) and, of course, the guest list.

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Music News
5:24 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Meet Latin America's Teenage Korean Pop Fanatics

The room of Samantha Alejandra, 18, in Mexico City, doubles as a shrine to her favorite K-Pop boy band, Super Junior.
Marlon Bishop for NPR

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 11:27 am

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Around the Nation
5:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Oh My, Ohio! Five States Named 'Most Likely To Curse'

A rudeness ranking puts Ohio at the top of the list for "Most Likely To Curse," while South Carolina rates as the "Most Courteous" state.
Courtesy of Marchex

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:05 pm

Most of us like to think we comport ourselves with a certain level of civility. But apparently, phone calls with customer service representatives of all stripes can lead us into more colorful speech. And some people like to track it.

"There's just something about big data and sailor-cursing that complement each other — like peanut butter and mothereffing jelly," writes Megan Garber of The Atlantic.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:03 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Noteworthy Names, In Rhyme

NPR

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 3:56 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a famous person whose first and last names start with the same consonant or group of consonants. You're given rhymes for the two names. You name the people. For example, if given "cycle four," the answer would be "Michael Moore."

Last week's challenge: Name a dance. Change one of the letters to a U. The resulting letters can be rearranged to name an event at which this dance is done. What is it?

Answer: hula, luau

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Africa
7:58 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Gordimer, Mazwai Remember Nelson Mandela

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 11:50 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
7:58 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Rick Warren Writes A Faith-Based Diet Book

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 11:50 am

While baptizing 827 adults one day, evangelical pastor Rick Warren says he literally felt the weight of America's obesity problem. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Warren and psychiatrist and physician Daniel Amen about getting healthy and their new book, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life.

Movie Interviews
5:34 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Woody Harrelson Does Bad Pretty Good

Tapping into his anger and rage, Woody Harrelson plays the meth-smoking psychopath antagonizing Christian Bale in Out of the Furnace.
Kerry Hayes Relativity Media

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 11:50 am

In the new drama Out of the Furnace, a young man (Casey Affleck) gets involved with a group of criminals and then goes missing. Determined to find him, his ex-con brother (Christian Bale) grabs a shotgun and sets off.

Actor Woody Harrelson, perhaps best known for his role as the bartender on Cheers, steps away from comedy to play a member of that group of criminals, a viscous meth addict and bookie named Harlan DeGroat.

Harrelson spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin about the movie and preparing for a role that required letting loose a lot of anger.

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NPR Story
1:10 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Commuter Train Derails In The Bronx

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

An early morning commuter train derailed in New York City on Sunday, killing at least four people and injuring 63. Five cars went off the track as the train took a large curve in the Bronx burough of the city. Host Rachel Martin gets the latest from NPR's Jim Zarroli.

NPR Story
11:53 am
Sun December 1, 2013

N.Y. Train Derailment Kills 4

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

An early morning commuter train derailed in New York City on Sunday, killing at least four people and injuring 63. Five cars went off the track as the train took a large curve in the Bronx burough of the city. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Joe Stepansky of the New York Daily News, who's at the scene.

Movie Interviews
8:24 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Refashioning A Gospel Story In 'Black Nativity'

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In 1961, at the height of the civil rights movement, Langston Hughes wrote the musical play "Black Nativity." It featured an entirely black cast, and it was the first play to incorporate a real gospel choir.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CHOIR: (Singing) I'm coming home for you, you think (unintelligible).

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Middle East
8:13 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Palestinian Refugees On Losing Side Of UN Budget Crunch

Palestinian refugee Lawahez Burghal stuffs tripe with rice and garbanzo beans for her family in their home in the Amari refugee camp in the West Bank. Many refugees still depend on the United Nations for food, health care and education.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 8:17 am

The United Nations agency that provides basic health care and education to Palestinian refugees doesn't have enough money to pay local salaries this month.

The shortfall could directly affect 30,000 teachers, doctors and social workers, as well as the people using their services in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

Filling Basic Needs

Sit for an hour in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency office in the al-Amari camp for Palestinian refugees, and you get a sense of what people expect the agency to provide.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:13 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Be THANKful For This Puzzle

NPR

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 3:49 pm

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is a game of categories based on the word "thank," in honor of Thanksgiving weekend. For each category, name something beginning with each of the letters T, H, A, N and K. For example, if the category were "U.S. States," you might say Tennessee, Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada and Kentucky.

Last week's challenge: Name a tree whose letters can be rearranged to spell two herbs or spices. Hint: The tree has a two-word name. What tree is it, and what are the herbs or spices?

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The Sunday Conversation
8:13 am
Sun December 1, 2013

In Gujarat, Anti-Muslim Legacy Of 2002 Riots Still Looms

Zahir Janmohamed on his terrace in Juhapura, in the Muslim ghetto of Ahmedabad.
Miranda Kennedy NPR

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

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.

The U.S. Congress doesn't usually weigh in on domestic politics in other countries, but a resolution recently introduced in Congress by Rep. Keith Ellison is designed to put pressure on Narendra Modi, the front-runner to be India's next prime minister.

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Parallels
5:24 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Five Things You May Not Know About Child Marriage

Arinafe Makwiti, 13, says her parents forced her to drop out of school and get married to an older man last year to help with the family finances. Makwiti has divorced her husband, but now has a 9-month-old daughter.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 10:40 am

NPR's Jennifer Ludden recently traveled to the African nation of Malawi, one of many countries in the developing world where child marriage remains prevalent. She found girls like Christina Asima, who was married at 12 and became a mother at 13. She is now divorced and caring for her infant son on her own. You can read Jennifer's full report here. Below are a few more things she learned while reporting on child marriage.

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Animals
5:21 am
Sun December 1, 2013

Saving The Native Prairie — One Black-Footed Ferret At A Time

Biologist Travis Livieri checks a briefly sedated ferret's health status inside an improvised trailer clinic.
Elizabeth Shogren NPR

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 2:25 pm

American pioneers saw the endless stretches of grassland of the Great Plains as a place to produce grain and beef for a growing country. But one casualty was the native prairie ecosystem and animals that thrived only there.

Some biologists are trying to save the prairies and they've picked a hero to help them: the black-footed ferret. In trying to save this long skinny predator with a raccoon-like mask, the biologists believe they have a chance to right a wrong that nearly wiped a species off the planet.

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