Scott Simon http://ktep.org en 'Muse Of Painting' Came To Churchill's Rescue — And Bush's http://ktep.org/post/muse-painting-came-churchills-rescue-and-bushs Portraits of world leaders painted by former President George W. Bush go on exhibit in Dallas on Saturday. He took up the hobby after he read Winston Churchill's essay, "Painting as Pastime." Sat, 05 Apr 2014 11:52:00 +0000 Scott Simon 38085 at http://ktep.org A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee http://ktep.org/post/bill-distill-simmers-tennessee Would Tennessee whiskey by any other name taste as sweet?<p>A debate in Tennessee simmers over a legal definition of what makes Tennessee whiskey "Tennessee."<p>The state legislature passed a bill last year saying whiskey can be labeled "Tennessee" only if it's made in the state from a mash that's 51-percent corn, trickles through maple charcoal, and is aged in new, charred oak barrels.<p>There's some precedent in the spirits world. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 12:09:00 +0000 Scott Simon 37630 at http://ktep.org A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee A Tatar's Death Chills Those Who Suffered Under Russia Before http://ktep.org/post/tatars-death-chills-those-who-suffered-under-russia Amid all the of necessary analysis of what Russia's move into Crimea means geopolitically and strategically, it might also be good to remember Reshat Ametov.<p>Mr. Ametov was buried this week. He was 39 years old, married and the father of three young children.<p>He was last seen at a demonstration on March 3 in Simferopol, where he joined other Crimean Tatars held a silent protest before the pro-Russian armed men in unmarked uniforms who surrounded the cabinet ministers building.<p>Tatars make up more than 10 percent of Crimea's population. Sat, 22 Mar 2014 11:50:00 +0000 Scott Simon 37180 at http://ktep.org A Tatar's Death Chills Those Who Suffered Under Russia Before 'Unproductive Anxiety' And The Solo Act Of Essay Writing http://ktep.org/post/unproductive-anxiety-and-solo-act-essay-writing <blockquote><p>"If you are squeamish<br />Don't prod the Sat, 08 Mar 2014 10:24:00 +0000 Scott Simon 36244 at http://ktep.org 'Unproductive Anxiety' And The Solo Act Of Essay Writing Ukrainian Olympic Skier's Stand Is A Sacrifice For Her Country http://ktep.org/post/ukrainian-olympic-skiers-stand-sacrifice-her-country Sports are supposed to be separate from politics, but athletes and games can't always be kept separate from life and death.<p>Scores of people were killed in Ukraine this week, as the security forces of President Viktor Yanukovich opened fire on anti-government protesters in Kiev's Maidan, now called Independence Square.<p>While some 800 miles away, more than 40 Ukrainian athletes have been skiing, skating, working hard to win medals at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.<p>The team, coaches and officials held a minute of silence on Thursday for those who died, and added black ribbons t Sat, 22 Feb 2014 14:58:00 +0000 Scott Simon 35315 at http://ktep.org Ukrainian Olympic Skier's Stand Is A Sacrifice For Her Country Girl Scout Sells Cookies Outside Medical Marijuana Clinic http://ktep.org/post/girl-scout-sells-cookies-outside-medical-marijuana-clinic Girl Scout cookies are never that hard to sell, but this week, one 13-year-old San Franciscan may have outsmarted the competition altogether. Sat, 22 Feb 2014 13:03:00 +0000 Scott Simon 35308 at http://ktep.org Shirley Temple's Films Still Charm After All These Years http://ktep.org/post/shirley-temples-films-still-charm-after-all-these-years Shirley Temple really could be as effervescent as a jolt of ginger ale and as cheery as a maraschino cherry in the kid's cocktail that is still ordered by her name. Sat, 15 Feb 2014 15:34:00 +0000 Scott Simon 34883 at http://ktep.org Shirley Temple's Films Still Charm After All These Years Forego The Faux Snow: The Games Could Use A Permanent Home http://ktep.org/post/forego-faux-snow-games-could-use-permanent-home The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, are certifiably the most expensive and allegedly staggeringly corrupt.<p>Upwards of $50 billion has been spent to turn a place that's been best known as a Black Sea beach resort, where rich Russians could warm themselves under palm trees during long Moscow winters, into a winter sports capital with ski slopes and bobsled runs.<p>There happens to be a long-standing armed uprising going on nearby, so a steel ring of security has been clamped around an event that will still make some of us dewy-eyed to see peaceful competition among the world's great ath Sat, 08 Feb 2014 15:47:00 +0000 Scott Simon 34430 at http://ktep.org Forego The Faux Snow: The Games Could Use A Permanent Home Opera Star Renee Fleming Brings Grace To The Super Bowl http://ktep.org/post/opera-star-renee-fleming-brings-grace-super-bowl Who knows who'll win the Super Bowl tomorrow, but history will be made before the coin toss.<p>Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Sat, 01 Feb 2014 15:03:00 +0000 Scott Simon 33959 at http://ktep.org Opera Star Renee Fleming Brings Grace To The Super Bowl Billie Jean King Travels With A Message About History http://ktep.org/post/sending-king-sochi-message-speed-history When President Obama announced that the U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics in Russia would include Billie Jean King, there was no need to explain who she is or the prestige she brings to her county. Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam tennis titles, defeated Bobby Riggs in the so-called Battle of the Sexes in 1973, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.<p>Lots of great players popularized tennis. But Billie Jean King helped turn Wimbledon and the U.S. Open into heavyweight championships. Sat, 21 Dec 2013 14:04:00 +0000 Scott Simon 31376 at http://ktep.org Billie Jean King Travels With A Message About History Draining The Daring From A High School Production Of 'Rent' http://ktep.org/post/draining-daring-high-school-production-rent Quite a show has been going on in Trumbull, Conn.<p>Last week, the principal of Trumbull High School canceled a student production of <em>Rent</em> scheduled for next March.<p><em>Rent</em> is Jonathan Larson's 1994 rock musical about a group of colorful young people living and loving in a colorful wreck of a brownstone on New York's Lower East Side, when struggling young artists could afford the rent there.<p>It is not <em>Mary Poppins</em>. Life is messy, tender and intense. A couple of characters have gotten mixed up with drugs. Sat, 14 Dec 2013 12:23:00 +0000 Scott Simon 30887 at http://ktep.org Draining The Daring From A High School Production Of 'Rent' As We Memorialize Mandela, Remember Those Who Stood With Him http://ktep.org/post/we-memorialize-mandela-remember-those-who-stood-him By the time he died this week, Nelson Mandela was considered one of the few — perhaps the only — giants on the world stage.<p>But the man who was prisoner 466/64 on Robben Island was a giant among heroes who offered their lives for freedom as valiantly as he did. In a way, the acclaim the world now heaps so justly on Nelson Mandela commemorates them, too.<p>There was Walter Sisulu, who first recruited Nelson Mandela to the African National Congress, and formed the ANC Youth League with him in 1944. Sat, 07 Dec 2013 10:29:00 +0000 Scott Simon 30417 at http://ktep.org As We Memorialize Mandela, Remember Those Who Stood With Him Crossing The Sea For Freedom A Familiar Story For Americans http://ktep.org/post/crossing-sea-freedom-familiar-story-americans This week, at least <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/26/247402219/dozens-of-haitian-migrants-reported-dead-afer-boat-capsizes">30 people died</a> when a packed sailboat ran aground and capsized off the coast of the Bahamas. The rest of the migrants on board clung to that splintered boat for hours until the U.S. Coast Guard found them. The survivors are being cared for at a Bahamian military base until they are sent back to the place they risked their lives to leave.<p>They were Haitians fleeing their island for America. Sat, 30 Nov 2013 12:31:00 +0000 Scott Simon 29971 at http://ktep.org Crossing The Sea For Freedom A Familiar Story For Americans Digital Music, In The Truest Sense http://ktep.org/post/digital-music-truest-sense Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>And now, another take on jazz hands...<p>(SOUNDBITE OF FINGER SNAPS, SLAPS)<p>SIMON: It may sound like Savion Glover tapping, or some kind of tin pan Buddy Rich, but this is digital music in the true sense. You're hearing the fingers and hands of Darren Drouin snapping and slapping out a percussive freestyle in a YouTube video that he uploaded this week.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF FINGER SNAPS, SLAPS)<p>SIMON: In that video, Mr. Sat, 02 Nov 2013 10:46:00 +0000 Scott Simon 28252 at http://ktep.org Judge: 'You're Still Deceased As Far As The Law Is Concerned' http://ktep.org/post/judge-youre-still-deceased-far-law-concerned Now and then there's a news story to remind us that few things are as simple as they may seem.<p>Donald Eugene Miller Jr. remained dead this week, even though he was feeling well enough to stand up in the Hancock County, Ohio, probate court and ask Judge Allan Davis to recognize what sounds pretty obvious: He's alive.<p>Mr. Miller, who is 61, disappeared from his home in Arcadia, Ohio, in 1986.<p>Authorities searched. They sent out alerts. Sat, 12 Oct 2013 11:36:00 +0000 Scott Simon 26912 at http://ktep.org Judge: 'You're Still Deceased As Far As The Law Is Concerned' Congress, Consider 'Courage' As Shutdown Wears On http://ktep.org/post/congress-consider-courage-shutdown-wears The shutdown of the U.S. government occurs in the weeks leading to the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and it might be an inviting time to look at a book he published in 1956 while in the U.S. Senate: <em>Profiles in Courage</em>.<p>Kennedy profiled eight politicians of all stripes who crossed party lines or defied the sentiments of their constituents to do what they felt was right — at a cost to their careers. To cite a few chapters:<p><ul><p><li>Gov. Sat, 05 Oct 2013 11:58:00 +0000 Scott Simon 26426 at http://ktep.org Congress, Consider 'Courage' As Shutdown Wears On Dr. Seuss Suited For The Senate; Shakespeare, Not So Much http://ktep.org/post/dr-seuss-suited-senate-shakespeare-not-so-much Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is an educated man. But like a lot of well-educated people who run for office, you might not detect it by the quotations he deployed over his 21 hours <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/09/25/225958003/watch-live-sen-ted-cruzs-senate-floor-speech" target="_blank">holding the floor</a> of the U.S. Senate.<br /> Sat, 28 Sep 2013 11:57:00 +0000 Scott Simon 25953 at http://ktep.org Dr. Seuss Suited For The Senate; Shakespeare, Not So Much When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children http://ktep.org/post/when-weighing-intervention-syria-consider-children I was in a grocery store one night this week when a sturdy young man approached with a smile.<br /> <br />"Do you remember me?" he asked. "Bini."<br /> <br />Bini — Erblin Mehmataj — was a bony-shouldered 9-year-old boy with a full, toothy grin who lived in an Albanian Muslim housing complex in Pristina, where we stayed to cover the war in Kosovo in 1999.<br /> Sat, 07 Sep 2013 09:33:00 +0000 Scott Simon 24585 at http://ktep.org When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe' http://ktep.org/post/retire-phrase-wouldnt-be-scandal-europe I hope we've heard the last of people saying, "This would never be a scandal in Europe." They usually mean "sex scandal," and by now I think Americans are entitled to boast that we've become as blase about politicians with their pants down — or, in the case of <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/06/16/137225834/live-blog-rep-weiners-news-conference">Anthony Weiner</a>, pec-flexing with his shirt off — as Europeans like to think they are.<p>Mr. Weiner is now running for mayor of New York. Sat, 13 Jul 2013 09:47:00 +0000 Scott Simon 20888 at http://ktep.org Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe' Bidding Farewell To Tony Soprano http://ktep.org/post/bidding-farewell-tony-soprano Anthony Soprano, a waste-management consultant from Essex County, N.J., died this week.<p>Tony Soprano was — according to reports that aired for six years on HBO — head of the DiMeo crime family, which allegedly ran illicit drugs, untaxed alcohol, illegal sports betting and other criminal enterprises from the back of an adult entertainment venue called the Bada Bing club on Route 17 in Lodi.<p>Mr. Soprano denied his involvement in organized crime. He said it was a "vicious stereotype" that slurs waste-removal professionals who promote a green, healthy environment.<p>Mr. Sat, 22 Jun 2013 12:57:00 +0000 Scott Simon 19473 at http://ktep.org Bidding Farewell To Tony Soprano Peaceful Protest Over Istanbul Park Turns Violent http://ktep.org/post/peaceful-protest-over-istanbul-park-turns-violent Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>This is Weekend Edition from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF RIOTING)<p>SIMON: Turkish riot police fired tear gas and water cannons on demonstrators in downtown Istanbul during a second day of protests. The clashes were triggered by the government's plan to build a shopping mall in a downtown park. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called for an immediate end to the protest. NPR's Peter Kenyon joins us from Istanbul. Sat, 01 Jun 2013 10:39:00 +0000 Scott Simon 18056 at http://ktep.org High School Newspapers: An Endangered Species http://ktep.org/post/are-high-school-newspapers-endangered-species Does your local high school have a student newspaper? And in this day when a social media message saying, "Tonight's Green Design and Technology class homework sucks!" can instantly be sent to thousands, does it need to?<p><em>The New York Times</em> reports this week that only 1 in 8 of New York's public high schools has a student newspaper — and many of those are published just a few times a year. A few more are online, which can leave out poorer schools.<p>The national figures are a little higher. Sat, 01 Jun 2013 09:29:00 +0000 Scott Simon 18046 at http://ktep.org High School Newspapers: An Endangered Species Kerry Acknowledges 'Years Of Disappointments' In West Bank http://ktep.org/post/kerry-acknowledges-years-disappointments-west-bank Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>Secretary of State John Kerry met with political leaders in Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank this week in his effort to try to restart direct peace talks between the two parties. NPR's Emily Harris is in Jerusalem. Emily, thanks for being with us.<p>EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.<p>SIMON: So if not a concrete plan, is somebody pouring the concrete?<p>(LAUGHTER)<p>HARRIS: It seems that Secretary Kerry is ready for the Israelis and the Palestinians to start pouring the concrete. Sat, 25 May 2013 11:02:00 +0000 Scott Simon 17585 at http://ktep.org The X-ray Vision Of Mothers http://ktep.org/post/x-ray-vision-mothers Mothers have eyes in the back of their heads. They may not show up on X-rays, but they're there.<p>Like a lot of youngsters, I used to get my mother to turn her head so I could search through her hair for the eyeballs she claimed to have back there, telling her, "No you don't! No you don't!" But when I'd scamper off to another part of the apartment and pick up an ashtray or fiddle with the window blinds, I'd hear my mother's voice ring out, "I can see you! Sat, 11 May 2013 12:54:00 +0000 Scott Simon 16632 at http://ktep.org The X-ray Vision Of Mothers A 'Tough, Smart, Proud Town' Meets Terror With Determination http://ktep.org/post/tough-smart-proud-town-meets-terror-determination People in Boston can speak for themselves. And do. Loudly, bluntly and often with humor that bites.<p>It's a city that speaks with both its own broad, homebrew, local accent — although no one really <em>pahks thea cah in Havahd Yahd</em> — and dialects from around the world. It is home to some of America's oldest founding families, and fathers, mothers and children who have just arrived from Jamaica, Ireland, Bangladesh and Ghana.<p>There are people in Boston who dress in pinstripes and tweeds, and tattoos and spiked hair. Sat, 20 Apr 2013 15:52:00 +0000 Scott Simon 15210 at http://ktep.org A 'Tough, Smart, Proud Town' Meets Terror With Determination How Did All Those People Get Inside Jonathan Winters? http://ktep.org/post/how-did-all-those-people-get-inside-jonathan-winters You can call anyone but Einstein a genius and start an argument.<p>Well, maybe Einstein or Jonathan Winters. The comedian, who died Friday at the age of 87, was immediately hailed by Steve Martin, Robin Williams and others as a genius.<p>He made hit comedy albums, was a regular on the old <em>Tonight Show,</em> memorably knocked down a gas station in <em>It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World</em> and co-starred with and inspired Robin Williams.<p>But Winters was best known for creating a repertory company of characters that he carried around in his head. Sat, 13 Apr 2013 09:07:00 +0000 Scott Simon 14748 at http://ktep.org Roger Ebert: Elegance and Empathy http://ktep.org/post/roger-ebert-elegance-and-empathy Roger Ebert was a critic, not a blowtorch. He could be sharp if he thought a movie insulted the audience, but had a champ's disdain for a cheap shot.<p>Many critics ridiculed the film <em>Deep Throat</em> when it came out in 1973. Who couldn't mock its absurdities? Sat, 06 Apr 2013 09:11:00 +0000 Scott Simon 14262 at http://ktep.org Roger Ebert: Elegance and Empathy Resurrected Frog Gives Us Cause To Brood http://ktep.org/post/back-extinction-brooding-frog-or-thank-you-note The gastric brooding frog may be coming back. Does that give us a lot to brood about, too?<p>This week scientists at the University of New South Wales' Lazarus Project announced they have reproduced the genome — that bit of biological material that carries our genetic structure — of a gastric brooding frog.<p>The gastric brooder once lived in the rainforests of Queensland, Australia, and was declared extinct in 1983. It was not so named because it had the temperament of a Russell Crowe character, but because it gave birth through its mouth. Sat, 23 Mar 2013 12:13:00 +0000 Scott Simon 13328 at http://ktep.org Resurrected Frog Gives Us Cause To Brood Power Of A Father's Love Overturns Longtime Beliefs http://ktep.org/post/power-fathers-love-overturns-longtime-beliefs When Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio on Friday became the latest conservative politician to announce his support for same-sex marriage, he disclosed that his son, Will, a junior at Yale University, had told him two years ago that he is gay; and that love and admiration for his son had moved the senator to reflect — and change.<p>When Mr. Portman was in the House of Representatives, he co-sponsored a 1996 law to prevent same-sex marriage.<p>"At the time, my position ... was rooted in my faith tradition," he wrote in Friday's <em>Columbus Dispatch</em>. Sat, 16 Mar 2013 09:28:00 +0000 Scott Simon 12869 at http://ktep.org Power Of A Father's Love Overturns Longtime Beliefs Snowquester Fizzles, But We're Humbled Anyway http://ktep.org/post/snowquester-fizzles-were-humbled-anyway Snowquester fizzled.<p>Wednesday was more or less canceled this week in official Washington, D.C. An enormous winter storm bore down on the region, threatening ice, a foot of snow in the city (more in the suburbs), and wind and misery throughout the region.<p>Most of the federal government was closed. I know, I know. How could they tell? Local governments and schools, too. Sat, 09 Mar 2013 13:18:00 +0000 Scott Simon 12422 at http://ktep.org Snowquester Fizzles, But We're Humbled Anyway