Any recreational league basketball team, any police athletic league squad and every group of 8-year-olds who wear the same uniform are, on the first or second day of practice, introduced to the 2-3 zone defense.
The coach will say, "On defense, you two short guys stay near the foul line, and you three bigger kids, you go down near the basket. Put your hands up, and you're now playing the 2-3."
Fresh Air Weekend highlights 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:
Julia Sweeney is a figure of bicoastal sophistication. She's a comic actor who does one-woman shows about love, illness, faith and family. She's still remembered for creating the androgynous Pat on Saturday Night Live. She hobnobs with famously glamorous and witty people.
So how did it come to pass that she wound up in Wilmette, Il., driving a minivan and dreaming of solitude? Sweeney has put some of her musings on becoming a Midwestern mother — and keeping up her life in comedy — into a new book, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother.
Late last week, Amazon, which features reader reviews on its sales website, announced that it's buying Goodreads, a hugely popular reader review site. Now, the announcement jarred a lot of Goodreads fans and upset lots of reader-reviewers and authors too. Greg Bensinger has been covering the story for the Wall Street Journal. He joins us from KQED in San Francisco. Thanks so much for being with us.
GREG BENSINGER: My pleasure, hello.
SIMON: Why did Amazon want to inhale Goodreads so much?
Almost 5 million Americans are considered long-term unemployed, meaning they have been searching for work for at least six months.
This week, their plight is getting a bit tougher as the government cuts their unemployment benefits — part of the automatic reductions in federal spending that took effect recently.
On a recent day, about 40 people turned out at a Manhattan jobs center run by the New York Labor Department to get advice on looking for work. These are all people who have been out of work for at least 27 weeks.
Undercover agents, wiretaps, shady meetings in parked cars - the unfolding political scandal in the New York City mayor's race has all the right elements for drama. Six politicians - Democrats and Republicans, - have been arrested in an alleged plot to rig a primary in this year's election.
For more, we turn now to Errol Louis. He's the host of NY1's "Inside City Hall" political program and he joins us from New York. Errol, thanks so much for being back with us.
Charlotte Church was just 12 years old when she made her 1998 debut album, Voice of an Angel — and that's what she seemed to posses. The tween rocketed into success with classical and religious music, singing for the pope, the Clintons, Nelson Mandela and the queen of England.
"If I look at it cynically, I was just a little bit of a freak, really: This small little girl with this big adult voice," Church says. "And I was a commodity for a while, you know. But I think that's also just the bare truth of it, really. People are always curious about child stars."
April is the cruelest month, according to one of the most famous poems in the English language. Perhaps to take the edge off of April, the Academy of American Poets chose it as the month to draw attention to the art and legacy of poetry — and the achievement of American poets.
We're celebrating this month by hearing from young poets about how they chose — or were chosen by — poetry, and why poetry — one of the oldest human art forms — still matters.
You might think alarm bells would be sounding in Washington, given the warnings coming out of North Korea. But when they talk about North Korea, U.S. officials are sounding like exasperated parents responding to a child's tantrum.
At the White House on Friday, spokesman Jay Carney said the United States "would not be surprised" if North Korea actually carries out a missile test.
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.
Many critics ridiculed the film Deep Throat when it came out in 1973. Who couldn't mock its absurdities? Roger just wrote, "If you have to work this hard at sexual freedom, maybe it isn't worth the effort."
Roger Ebert was a Chicago newspaperman who typed with two fingers — it sounded like a machine gun, columnist Bob Greene remembered on Friday — who was from the age when reporters were fueled by ink and booze.
When I was a teenager falling in love with the theater, I picked up a book called Broadway's Greatest Musicals. The sole criterion for inclusion was that a show run for at least 500 performances, which translates to about a year and a quarter.
The number 42 has been retired from every team in Major League Baseball, and in recent years, teams have been eager for fans to remember why: It was the number Jackie Robinson wore for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he broke the sport's color barrier — and began to break a new path in American history.
Every Midwestern city has garages full of four local teenagers playing rock 'n' roll and dreaming of the big time ... but Rockford, Ill., boasts the few that made it. Rick Nielsen formed Cheap Trick with three of his friends back in 1973 in Rockford and since then they've traveled the world and put out more than 16 albums.
Since Nielsen was in a band called Cheap Trick, we've invited him play a game called "BAAAAAAAA." Three questions about sheep tricks.
"We are attempting to fulfill as many customer orders as possible," CPI said. "If you've had a recent session, your portraits may be available at your Sears, PictureMe or Kiddie Kandids portrait studio."
CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Brian Babylon, Roxanne Roberts and Peter Grosz. And here again is your host, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in Rockford, Illinois, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl. Right now, it is time for the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait-Wait to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
I can't believe it but it is time for our final game Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players now has 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as they can; each correct answer now worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?
CARL KASELL: We have a two-way tie for first place, Peter. Roxanne Roberts and Peter Grosz, they both have three points, and Brian Babylon has two.
The collapse and rebirth of rebirth of Somalia have been a long battle, and women like Dr. Hawa Abdi have been on the front lines. Back in 1991, when the Somalian government collapsed, Abdi was a young doctor operating a small clinic on her farm with her family south of Mogadishu. As the conflict raged on, Abdi's clinic grew into a 400-bed hospital — and ultimately, a refugee camp. At the height of the war, 90,000 displaced Somalis made their home around Abdi's hospital.
Tumult defines the Central African Republic. The landlocked nation in the heart of Africa is rich in natural resources such as diamonds, gold and uranium, but it remains one of the world's poorest countries. It has suffered from decades of misrule and coups.
The latest uprising occurred last month, when a rebel alliance seized control of the country and ousted the president. What followed were days of violence and looting, leaving the country in shambles: gas stations without pumps, hospitals without equipment, the university without computers.
The nation's capital has been undergoing something of a building boom. Dozens of construction cranes dot the Washington, D.C., skyline.
So it comes as no surprise that the federal government is hoping to take advantage of the real estate values and unload what's seen by many as an eyesore on Pennsylvania Avenue: the J. Edgar Hoover Building, headquarters of the FBI.
The new video for STRFKR's song "Beach Monster" is an absolute horror show disguised as a breezy day at the sea. The band members, decked out in matching Buddy Holly suits and glasses, play against an blank blue background while staring blankly into the camera. The scene is intercut with a smiling couple at the beach with two children who draw in the sand and uncover something deadly.
The forced budget cuts known as the "sequester" have not yet started to trickle down to the local level. But that hasn't stopped politicians from talking about what those cuts will mean. But business leaders in a city with strong aviation ties aren't looking at only the conversations in Washington as they plan their futures.
California's economy is a study in contrasts. The state's unemployment rate — 9.8 percent — is tied with Rhode Island for the highest in the country. Parts of the state are still suffering mightily from the housing collapse. But there are also large pockets of job growth and revival.