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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6:37am

Sat June 23, 2012
Around the Nation

'Who Would Believe A Kid?' The Sandusky Jury

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:15 pm

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves court in handcuffs Friday after being convicted in his child sex abuse trial at the Centre County Courthouse in Pennsylvania.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky spent what could be the first of many nights behind bars Friday after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period.

In Bellefonte, Pa., Friday night, a crowd outside the county courthouse cheered when the guilty verdicts were announced.

The cheers continued as Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly praised the investigators and prosecutors at her side.

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6:37am

Sat June 23, 2012
All Tech Considered

Baby Robot Takes First Steps Toward Learning Language Formation

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:51 pm

Human baby Charlotte, the 13-month-old daughter of NPR producer Tom Bullock, tried the same tests that DeeChee, the robot, does for language-learning experiments. Dr. Caroline Lyons says human babies have an advantage: They spend every waking hour of the day in a speaking world.
Tom Bullock NPR

A baby robot has been born. Now, with little DeeChee's help, researchers are studying how babies transition from babbling to forming words.

Dr. Caroline Lyons of the University of Hertfordshire is one of the computer scientists who helped design DeeChee the robot. She tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon that humans are also critical to their experiments.

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5:24am

Sat June 23, 2012
Critics' Lists: Summer 2012

Rich Reads: Historical Fiction Fit For A Queen

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 10:33 am

Harriet Russell

I have always loved a great story set in the past. Give me a high-powered historical plot, and I will keep turning those pages until my eyes cross. Kings or consuls, functionaries or janissaries, it doesn't matter, only that it pounds onward to the conclusion — volcano explosion, battle or market crash. It's literary dessert, and I devour every bite.

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5:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
U.S.

What Title IX Didn't Change: Stigma About Shop Class

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 12:05 pm

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX, which said no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from any education program or activity. Vocational education courses that barred girls — such as auto mechanics, carpentry and plumbing — became available for everyone. But it's still hard to find girls in classes once viewed as "for boys only."

Zoe Shipley, 15, has a passion for cars and tinkering with engines.

"It's just kind of cool to learn how to fix a car or learn about it," she says.

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5:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
Movies

Shirley Clarke's 'Connection': Will It Click At Last?

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

In The Connection, Leach (Warren Finnerty, right) and his friends wait around for their heroin fix, which eventually comes courtesy of Cowboy (Carl Lee). The controversial film was shut down in New York after two screenings in 1962.
Milestone Film

Fifty years ago, a movie called The Connection opened in New York — then closed after two showings. Police shut down the theater and arrested the projectionist.

The movie is about drug addicts, and the language is sometimes frank — too frank for 1962 standards. The director was an independent pioneer named Shirley Clarke, whose movie has been restored and is back in theaters, soon to be followed by restorations of nearly all her work.

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5:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
Author Interviews

Lessons For Europe From 'The Second World War'

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 11:47 am

STF AFP/Getty Images

For most people, the start of World War II means German soldiers marching into Poland. Historian Antony Beevor begins and ends his new book, The Second World War with something different: the story of a German soldier who was actually Korean, was captured in Normandy, and wound up living in Illinois.

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5:23am

Sat June 23, 2012
The Record

A Summer With Fun.

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 11:26 am

Nate Ruess before fun.'s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Friday.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Fun. is in the middle of quite a run. For six weeks this spring, the band had the No. 1 song in the country with "We Are Young," an anthemic pledge of drunken solidarity that has appeared in countless commercials and TV shows, and dominated radio playlists and sales charts since March (it's still in the top five).

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5:03am

Sat June 23, 2012
Around the Nation

On This Stage, Jesus Is A Robber; The Devil's A Rapist

Originally published on Sat June 23, 2012 10:07 am

David Sonnier Jr., from Jeanerette, La., plays the Devil in Angola Prison's production of The Life of Jesus Christ. He was convicted of aggravated rape and is serving a life sentence.
Deborah Luster for NPR

There are more than 5,300 inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Nearly 4,000 of them are serving life without parole. Last month, the Angola Prison Drama Club staged a play unlike any other in the prison's experience.

The Life of Jesus Christ featured 70 inmates, men and women acting together for the first time — in costume, with a real camel, performing for the general public. For the untrained actors, this production held special meaning as they saw pieces of their own lives revealed in the characters they played.

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7:33am

Sat June 16, 2012
Middle East

Violence Forces U.N. To Halt Mission In Syria

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 1:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The United Nations is suspending its observer mission in Syria because of growing violence there. The official announcement came today from the head of the mission, General Robert Mood. The statement released from U.N. headquarters in Damascus cited rising violence over the past 10 days, and charged that both parties - the Syrian military and the armed rebels, known as the Free Syrian Army - are putting civilians lives at risk - and the lives of their monitors. NPR's Deborah Amos is in Damascus. Deborah, thanks for being with us.

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6:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
NPR Story

McConnell Argues Against Requiring Donor Disclosure

Friday Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said it's time to roll back the Watergate-era requirement for public disclosure of campaign donors. He accused President Obama and liberals of trying to stifle the First Amendment rights of conservative donors.

6:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
NPR Story

Suu Kyi To Accept Nobel Peace Prize, Decades Late

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 1:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Aung San Suu Kyi has delivered a speech in Norway to formally accept the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. The opposition leader of Myanmar, also known as Burma, was delayed giving that speech for 21 years because the country's then ruling military junta had put her under house arrest. In her speech, Aung San Suu Kyi urged the world not to forget prisoners of conscious who, unlike herself, are not free.

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6:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
NPR Story

Voters To Decide Outcome Of Current Greek Drama

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 6:53 pm

Street art by Bleeps.gr are allegories of the effects of the economic crisis on ordinary Greeks.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Debt-burdened Greeks go to the polls Sunday to choose between an establishment party, and continuing harsh austerity measures, or a leftist party that vows to replace the current bailout deal with less punishing conditions.

But many Greeks are aware that whatever the outcome, they face years of hardship in a rapidly unraveling society.

A recent TV news report on medicine shortages illustrated the anguish rippling through the country. The piercing screams of a woman in a pharmacy can be heard as she shouts, "Where am I going to find my medication?"

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6:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
NPR Story

Greeks Take Over Reporting As Newspapers Go Under

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 1:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The austerity measures in Greece have reached into the journalists who would normally cover these elections. Thousands of journalists have lost their jobs. And in any case, many Greeks feel that the mainstream media are biased, and they're not getting news from alternative citizen-run outlets. Joanna Kakissis reports.

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6:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
NPR Story

Egyptians Vote President To Succeed Mubarak

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 1:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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6:48am

Sat June 16, 2012
NPR Story

A Flicker Of Inspiration Brings Cave Drawings To Life

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 1:22 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Before Pixar or Walt Disney, was there Paleolithic Man?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The Chauvet prehistoric cave paintings in France have always glimmered with a mystery: why do the depictions of ancient animals seem to show beasts with several heads and multiple limbs? Are the multi-headed creature figures from mythology, folk art, or some kind of lost world?

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