NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays, 7am - 9am
Scott Simon

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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6:56am

Sat October 6, 2012
NPR Story

Economic News Brightens Obama Rally

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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6:56am

Sat October 6, 2012
NPR Story

Wild-Card Wins And Anxiety-Prone Players

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Major League Baseball premiered its new high-stakes, single game wild-card playoff round last night. But a controversial call involving a famously vague old rule is at the center of attention today. The - eh-eh - defending world champion St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves in that game. The Baltimore Orioles put away the Texas Rangers. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us now. Morning, Tom.

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6:56am

Sat October 6, 2012
NPR Story

States Struggle To Manage Meningitis Scare

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Nearly two-dozen states are watching for new cases of a rare kind of meningitis, caused by fungal contamination in injections for back pain. Officials say the shots were custom made by a Massachusetts pharmacy that shipped about 17,000 doses to states from New York to California. While the disease cannot spread from person-to-person, at least five people have died and dozens more are sick. The outbreak first showed up in Tennessee as we hear from Daniel Potter of member station WPLN.

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5:26am

Sat October 6, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

The MacArthur 'Genius' Bow Maker Who Makes Violins Sing

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 6:55 pm

Over the past four decades, Benoit Rolland has made more than 1,400 bows for violins, violas and cellos.
Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Among the 23 recipients of the MacArthur "genius" grants this past week: an economist, a mathematician, a photographer, a neuroscientist, and a Boston-based stringed instrument bow maker.

Benoit Rolland acknowledges that the violin reigns supreme as the star of the strings, capable of fetching millions of dollars at auction. But what about the bow? "A violin with no bow is not a violin, that's clear," says Rolland.

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4:59am

Sat October 6, 2012
Author Interviews

A Love Song To Family, New York In 'Sunlight'

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 6:55 pm

Hulton Archive Getty Images

When we get an early glimpse of Harry Copeland, he's falling in love in an instant, with a girl he sees on the Staten Island Ferry. Her hair "trapped the sun and seemed to radiate light," he writes, "and with New York in 1947, when it brimmed with color, light, drama and a babble of voices that reminded him of the world he fought to save as a paratrooper in World War II."

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4:58am

Sat October 6, 2012
Asia

U.S. Drones Navigate Murky Legal Path In Pakistan

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 7:15 pm

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone sits on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport in southern Afghanistan in 2010. The U.S. has been using drones in Pakistan for years. The Pakistanis initially claimed the drone attacks as the work of their own military, but the strikes have become a source of friction.
Massoud Hossaini AP

The U.S. has been carrying out drone strikes in Pakistan for some eight years, but it's done so under a policy that has emerged piecemeal over that time.

"It started in 2004, when drones were really an oddity," says Daniel Markey, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was on the State Department's policy planning staff when it all started during the Bush administration.

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1:03am

Sat October 6, 2012
Music Interviews

Josephine Foster: A 'Vibrating Voice' To Shake The Soul

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 6:55 pm

Josephine Foster's newest album is titled Blood Rushing.
Jessica Knights Courtesy of the artist

Don't try to pigeonhole Josephine Foster. She has recorded albums of psychedelic rock and Tin Pan Alley, music for children, blues, Spanish folk tunes, 19th century German art songs and a song cycle based on the poems of Emily Dickinson. Although her soprano may be a little unusual, it's arresting.

Foster recently released a new album, Blood Rushing. She spoke with NPR's Scott Simon about finding her voice, collaborating with her husband, singing at funerals and embracing small-town life.

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12:58pm

Sat September 29, 2012
NPR Story

Arthur O. Sulzberger, Former 'New York Times' Publisher, Dies

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Former New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger has died today. He was 86 years old. Mr. Sulzberger took over the New York Times in 1963 after his brother-in-law and predecessor died unexpectedly of a heart attack. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger was 37, the youngest publisher in the newspaper's history.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED TAPE)

ARTHUR OCHS SULZBERGER: As I told my sister Ruth, said do I bade my first executive decision, decided not to throw up.

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6:43am

Sat September 29, 2012
Middle East

U.S. Increases Aid To Syria As Violence Rages On

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States will give another $45 million in aid to Syria. That aid will mostly go toward humanitarian assistance, but it will also include communications equipment for the opposition in Syria. The news came at the end of a week of speeches at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, where many raised alarms about the bloodshed in Syria. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

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6:43am

Sat September 29, 2012
Author Interviews

'Instant' Recounts The Magic Of Polaroids

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Decades before people would camp out for days, to get the latest next-big-thing in new technology, there was the magic of pictures you could snap and see instantly - or almost. Edwin Land created a company in his garage - sound familiar? - that would be both a success, and an inspiration, to Steve Jobs and other inventive entrepreneurs of a new era, Polaroid. Its products were considered elegant, original and desirable. The company was miles and dollars above any other, in innovative technology. So why couldn't it last into the 21st century?

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6:43am

Sat September 29, 2012
Author Interviews

Online And In The Open: Transparent Novel Writing

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Writing's often depicted as a private act - scribbling, crossing out, then crumpling two sheets into a fireplace; trial, error and angst - all of which is best kept private. Silvia Hartmann is now writing on a kind of electronic stage - in an open document, a Google doc - so that readers can see her story appear line by line, edit by edit. Silvia Hartmann joins us from the south coast of England. Thanks so much for being with us.

SILVIA HARTMANN: Hi.

SIMON: So what are you trying to do here, write a novel?

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5:38am

Sat September 29, 2012
Health

Why Tylenol Bottles Are Hard To Open

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Thirty years ago this weekend, seven people died from ingesting Tylenol that had been poisoned. Since then, Johnson & Johnson has overhauled its packaging.
iStockphoto.com

Opening a new package of Tylenol can take some effort. There's the cardboard packaging, plus the push-and-twist top and the safety seal.

It used to be a matter of just popping off a cap. Thirty years ago, seven people died in Chicago suburbs after taking poisoned Tylenol. Pharmacies pulled Tylenol off the shelf in a panic, and the nation was in shock.

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5:37am

Sat September 29, 2012
The Salt

Bouillabaisse: From Humble Beginnings To High-Class Tourist Meal

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 2:17 pm

The ingredients for a vrai bouillaibaisse at Le Miramar in Marseille, France.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

The southern French city of Marseille on the Mediterranean Sea has long been famous for its spicy fish soup, known as bouillabaisse. The soup started as a poor man's meal, made with leftover fish scraps, but these days, it's evolved to the point that it can run connoisseurs about $75 for a generously sized meal.

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5:23am

Sat September 29, 2012
Music Interviews

Frankie Valli On Hair Products And Finding His Falsetto

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 7:31 am

The Four Seasons pose for a portrait circa 1963 in New York City. They are, clockwise from the top, Nick Massi, Tommy DeVito, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

5:14am

Sat September 29, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Leonard Bernstein's 'Kaddish' Symphony: A Crisis Of Faith

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:46 pm

The traditional Jewish Kaddish prayer gets turned on its head in Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 3.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

I can't think of anything I loved more than talking to Leonard Bernstein. Or, more accurately, listening to him talk — about music or any topic under the sun. I remember a long discourse we had about one of my favorite books, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, and Bernstein's summarizing statement: "Well, of course, every author spends his whole life writing the same book."

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