In the UK, Simon Mayo is a household name. Countless people grew up listening to him as the breakfast show host of BBC Radio One and BBC Radio 5 Live, where he was on air during 9/11. He still broadcasts a daily show for the B, but has in the last few years turned his hand to writing. The second book in his children's series is called "Itch Rocks." It is out now in the United States. And he joins us from our studios in London. Mr. Mayo, thanks so much for being with us.
Actor John Turturro is known for his work in films like "Quiz Show" and "The Big Lebowski." With his long face and hang-dog look, he's probably not what you'd call a matinee idol. But he went ahead and cast himself as the title character in his new movie, "Fading Gigolo." And he cast Woody Allen as his pimp. Critic Bob Mondello says it's easy to imagine ways this concept might go terribly wrong, but it doesn't.
So you thought smoking in restaurants was out. Well, you are right, of course. Smoking cigarettes in restaurants and bars is definitely taboo, but another kind of smoking is pretty popular in the culinary scene these days. WEEKEND EDITION food commentator Bonny Wolf tells us more.
Now to a topic you may be intimately familiar with, the office - the paperwork, the cubicles, the potentially awkward social dynamic. It is an almost universal experience that's been baked into our pop-culture, like in the movie "Office Space."
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "OFFICE SPACE")
GARY COLE: (As Bill Lumbergh) Hello, Peter. What's happening? Uh, we have sort of a problem here. Yeah, you apparently didn't put one of the new cover sheets on your TPS reports.
Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 12:42 pm
Some books have a subject so timeless as to be almost mythic — it's as though these stories are reinvented each time a new book appears, since the subject is right at the heart of what it means to be human. Coming of age books, if they are any good, have this mythic quality. Here are three that are at the top of the scale.
What does it mean to grow up? And why are adults so fascinated by this transition from the innocent to the knowledgeable?
In the middle of the Mojave Desert, between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, there is a place that looks just like Afghanistan.
There are villages with houses, shops, a mosque and a marketplace. But it is all a facade. The area is actually a U.S. Army installation, the Fort Irwin National Training Center. If you want to see how a decade of fighting has profoundly changed the way the U.S. prepares its soldiers for war, this is where you come.
In the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the opposing camps seem increasingly entrenched, despite a diplomatic effort to ease tensions. Pro-Russian forces refuse to leave occupied buildings and public squares in the east. It's an uneasy Easter weekend and neither side is willing to budge.
The numbers from India's election are staggering: 814 million potential voters, nine stages of voting over six weeks. They are the biggest in the world. Correspondent Julie McCarthy talks with NPR's Arun Rath about the candidates vying for power.
Douglas Coupland's latest book, Worst. Person. Ever., is a profane, shocking novel that centers around an awful guy named Raymond Gunt.
"Imagine there's this really bitter English guy who has Tourette's and swore all the time, except he doesn't have Tourette's, he just swears a lot. Like, a lot — to the point where it almost becomes like performance art," Coupland tells NPR's Arun Rath.
Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 8:13 am
General Motors delayed a safety recall of more than 330,000 Saturn cars that have been found to have defective power steering systems, newly released federal documents show. The records also show federal regulators didn't demand a recall of the cars, despite thousands of complaints about them.
Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 8:59 am
Search teams have recovered the body of the 13th victim of a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest. Crews are digging through a mass of ice and snow in an unstable ice field on the world's tallest mountain in hopes of finding Sherpa guides who are still missing.
Health officials in Columbus, Ohio, are calling the city's mumps outbreak the biggest since the development of the mumps vaccine in the 1940s.
Columbus generally gets an average of one case of mumps a year, but since February, there have been 244 cases reported in an outbreak that began on the Ohio State University campus. Most had already been vaccinated.
Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 5:38 am
Prominent TV anchor Hamid Mir is in a Karachi hospital after gunmen opened fire on his car Saturday afternoon. Mir's car was ambushed by attackers, at least some of whom were riding motorcycles, according to local media reports.
Details about the attack are still emerging. Citing police, Mir's broadcast network, Geo TV, says he arrived at a hospital in critical condition after being shot three times in the leg and torso. Mir's driver reportedly escaped injury; the gunmen remain at large.
Fresh Air Weekendhighlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Modern Medicine May Not Be Doing Your Microbiome Any Favors: In Missing Microbes, Dr. Martin Blaser argues that the overuse of antibiotics, as well as now-common practices like C-sections, may be messing with gut microbes.
Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 11:36 am
In a surprising discovery, scientists have found evidence of a tundra landscape in Greenland that's millions of years old. The revelation goes against widely held ideas about how some glaciers work, and it suggests that at least parts of Greenland's ice sheet had survived periods of global warming intact.
Jonathan Henderson of New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network is flying Louisiana's coast looking for oil. As usual, he's found some.
"I just noticed something out of the corner of my eye that looks like a sheen that had some form to it," he says. "We're going to go take a closer look and see if there's a rainbow sheen."
It's a target-rich environment for Henderson, because more than 54,000 wells were planted in and off this coast — part of the 300,000 wells in the state. They're connected by thousands of miles of pipelines, all vulnerable to leaks.
Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 10:42 am
How did it happen? How'd the zebra get its stripes?
In Rudyard Kipling's version, a gray, horsey-looking beast went into "a great forest 'sclusively full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-batchy shadows," stayed there awhile, and after a "long time"... got stripy.
And it's time for sports. Today, the NBA playoffs begin, and several teams that normally steal the spotlight are nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, some old guys from San Antonio are again looking like contenders. We're joined by Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. He's at the studios of New England Public Radio. Good morning.
Despite Agreement, Standoff In Ukraine Appears Steadfast
This post was updated at 6 p.m. ET.
Citing progress in diplomacy and this weekend's Easter holiday, Ukrainian officials say they've suspended an "anti-terrorist operation" that is aimed at pro-Russian forces who have occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine.
Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 7:02 pm
This post was updated at 7:25 p.m.
Divers recovered more bodies early Sunday in South Korea, from the wreckage of a ferry that sank earlier this week. The number of confirmed dead has now risen to 46. Since the ship sank on Wednesday, difficult conditions have complicated recovery efforts; heavy cranes have arrived that can shift the ferry, but officials say they'll wait to use them until they're sure none of the hundreds still missing managed to survive.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn. This week, the NCAA voted to allow colleges to provide their student athletes with as much food as they like. It may sound like a bizarre move, but what the NCAA allows athletes to eat on the college's dime is subject to its own set of rules. And they can sometimes border on the absurd. The move by the NCAA comes at a time when the organization is facing a bit of second-guessing about the way it's gone about its traditional role of policing college athletics.
Sao Paulo is one of the biggest cities in the world and one of the economic engines of South America. Its center is known for its fancy malls, posh departments and even helicopter landing pads. The outlying areas where the vast majority of the workforce live are known for poverty and crime, less often for poetry and high culture. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on efforts to change that.