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Weekend Edition

Sunday at 9am

Weekend Edition Sunday combines the news with colorful arts and human-interest features, appealing to the curious and eclectic. Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt, Weekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians.

The highlight for many listeners is the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz , the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

It's a big summer for conventions, the Olympics — and Barbra Streisand . She's on tour in nine cities across North America, and has a new album of duets called called Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway. Her collaborators include Anne Hathaway, Daisey Ridley, Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jamie Foxx, Melissa McCarthy, Antonio Banderas, and a host of other film stars. "The concept came to me when I was sent a version of a Marvin Hamlisch song called 'Any Moment Now,'" she explains. "It...

It looks like it could be a cartoon character, but it's real. And this little squid is making waves on the internet. Researchers from the Nautilus exploration vessel were cruising along the deep sea floor off California's coast when they came upon the bright purple creature with giant, stuffed-animal-like eyes. "Whoa!" they exclaim in unison. "It looks fake," one says. And those googly eyes? "It looks like they just painted them on," another says, to peals of laughter. In fact, the...

Security experts say that Russian hackers have broken into the computers of not only the Democratic National Committee but other targets as well. This has raised a new wave of concerns that on Election Day, the votes themselves could be compromised by hackers, potentially tipping the results. Most states have returned to paper-backed voting systems in recent years, but that still leaves vulnerable a number of states that rely solely on machines. Zeynep Tufekci, a professor at the University...

The massive container ships that ply the high seas bring us pineapples and mangoes in winter, and computers and cheap t-shirts all year round. But the shipping industry is a volatile, cyclical and ferociously competitive business. There are good years and bad years. And then there's this year. "This is likely to be one of the worst years ever in terms of losses," says Janet Porter, editor-in-chief of containers at Lloyd's List , a shipping industry news provider. She says over the...

After making two solo albums, singer and guitarist Charlene Kaye hit a creative wall. She was stuck, mired in writer's block and self-doubt — until she went on the road as the frontwoman for the baroque-pop band San Fermin . Now, she's rediscovered her own voice on a new EP, Honey , released under the moniker KAYE. Among the five songs on Honey is "Porcelain." Kaye says she wrote the song to explore her identity "as an Asian-American woman in the music industry, always...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Online home rental sites such as Airbnb might be good for travelers, but many cities complain that they drive up prices and take away housing for residents. Berlin recently banned short-term rentals. Barcelona's mayor plans to stop people from letting out their homes on websites without a license. Airbnb's No. 1 destination is Paris. And that city's trying to strike a balance. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Olympic swimming wraps up tonight in Rio. Fans are still recovering from last night. Katie Ledecky, 19 years old, of Bethesda, M-D, won another gold medal. She smashed her own world record in the 800-meter freestyle, one of the most dominating performances in swim history. Michael Phelps - another day, another medal. But this one was silver. He finished in a three-way tie for second in the 100-meter butterfly. As...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Before the summer goes, we want to pause to note the passing - (imitating Elaine Fantham) no, Scott, I can hear her reproach me, (imitating Elaine Fantham) say death - of Elaine Fantham - Lady Fantham, as we called her around here. Elaine, who was professor emerita of classics at Princeton University and at the University of Toronto before that, was our classics commentator. Now, news shows usually don't have a...

This summer marks my 25 th and final season as music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, Calif. What an amazing adventure this has been, working with living composers and being at the center of so many new creations. During my tenure, beginning in 1992, we have premiered 32 festival commissions, presented 85 non-festival commissioned world premieres, 18 U.S. premieres and 75 West Coast premieres. More than 150 composers-in-residence have attended the...

In September 1993 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn. It was an iconic moment — two mortal enemies had come to terms on a historic peace agreement. That agreement was forged during months of secret back-channel talks in Norway. A new off-Broadway play, OSLO , looks at this little-known part of the peace process. The most important piece of scenery in OSLO is a door: On one...

There was a time when people went to bars to talk to other people, maybe even meet someone new. But that was in the BC era — before cellphones. "I've been in the pub industry for a long time, and progressively it's become less and less social and more and more antisocial," Steve Tyler, the owner of the Gin Tub in Sussex, England, tells NPR's Scott Simon. And that's bad for business. So Tyler wanted to bring back the conversation, and he did by turning his bar into a Faraday cage — a 19th...

It's dusk at a park in Dallas, and white sheets are pinned up next to tall trees, fluttering like ghosts in the wind. They've been lit up with ultraviolet lights to attract moths. A handful of people are holding up their smartphones, zooming in on the small dark specks that fly to the cloth. "Bugs have become my obsession," says Annika Lindqvist. "And the more you look, the more you have to look at the tiny things, and when you blow them up you see that they are gorgeous."

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Dentist Protagonists In Literature

Jul 30, 2016

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: A correction now. Last week, we spoke with Dave Eggers about his fine new novel, "Heroes Of The Frontier." His protagonist - a dentist. The author and I agreed dentists are rarely major characters in literature. Boy, I was wrong. I'm glad I didn't have to see my dentist this week. He might've said, you have a huge cavity in your brain. George Bernard Shaw wrote a play, "You Never Can Tell," about a dentist. Doc...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton, but he won more than 12 million votes in the primaries and was respectfully and elaborately saluted by Hillary Clinton, whom he has endorsed. Where does the political movement that Bernie Sanders spearheaded go from here? We're joined now by Jonathan Tasini in New York. He was a surrogate for Bernie Sanders. He traveled with the campaign...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Take one part American Top 40 pop icon. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RUN THROUGH THE JUNGLE") CREEDENCE CLEERWATER REVIVAL: (Singing) Whoa, thought it was a nightmare. Lord, it was so true. They told me don't go walking slow. The devil's on the loose. SIMON: Add a dash of Latin flavor. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CORRE POR LA JUNGLA") BUNBURY: (Singing in Spanish). SIMON: And you get "Quiero Creedence," "I Want Creedence,"...

Bad Moms is a movie about good moms who try to go bad. Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn play suburban Chicago mothers who find themselves ground down by the daily cycle of school drop-offs and pick-ups, soccer games, supermarket runs, errands, chores and endless worries. One night they wind up at the same bar after a PTA meeting and together they decide to let loose. Bell tells NPR's Scott Simon that the film spoke to her own experience as a mother: "When you have a baby,...

Eleven U.S. Army soldiers are headed to the Summer Olympics in Brazil next month on a mission that doesn't have anything to do with security. They're all U.S. Olympians, including some who only recently became American citizens. The size of the contingent is testament to the Army's World Class Athlete Program, a detachment that allows soldiers to essentially train full-time in their sports. Credit is also due to a provision of U.S. law that offers expedited citizenship to immigrants who serve...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: And it's time for sports. (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) SIMON: Not a good week for Russian athletes. A ban against Russia's track and field team competing in the Rio Olympic Games was upheld. This after reports last year exposed a state-sponsored doping conspiracy. And on Monday, anti-doping officials called for Russia to be banned from this year's Olympics altogether. They said that the cheating extended way beyond track...

The Uppermost Aristocracy of the Hoverfly Society

Jul 23, 2016

You may have seen a hoverfly before. You also may have mistaken it for something else — a bee, or a wasp. They are masters of mimicry, imitating more dangerous insects to avoid predators. Fredrik Sjöberg is not fooled by these disguises. He's spent the last thirty years hunting for hoverflies, and can distinguish between species based on tiny differences in antennae color or wing shape. Sjöberg is an amateur entomologist, but a committed one. "You want to know something that no one else knows...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Here's a different kind of thriller, of the sort often called "literary": Susie Steiner's Missing, Presumed follows British detective inspector Manon Bradshaw as she investigates the disappearance of Edith Hind, a university student from a well-off family. But the book is much more than a detective thriller — it also takes a close look at its characters' personal lives. Steiner tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer, "What I very much wanted to do was to emulate what Kate Atkinson did in the...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

New Research Debunks The Dinosaur's Roar

Jul 16, 2016

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It was the summer of 1979, and disco was taking over the world. Donna Summer , Chic and Gloria Gaynor were at the top of the charts. Just a few months earlier, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack had been named Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards. Radio stations were switching to all-disco formats. Steve Dahl, then a 24-year-old disc jockey, was mad. He had been fired from a Chicago radio station when it, too, went all-disco. In his new job at a rival rock station, he took out his...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Journalist Gay Talese has never shied away from controversial topics. He took on the mafia in Honor Thy Father and dove deep into America's sex life in Thy Neighbor's Wife . But even Talese paused when he first heard about the Manor House Motel in Aurora Colo., back in 1980. Innkeeper Gerald Foos had outfitted his motel with a special platform which allowed him to spy on his guests — and he invited Talese to take a peek as well. Talese, a man of seemigly insatiable...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami began making films in 1970 and continued working in his homeland after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He helped make Iranian filmmaking a major international force, despite leaving Iran only twice to make movies. Kiarostami died Monday in Paris, where he had gone for cancer treatment. He was 76 years old. Kiarostami stepped onto the world stage in 1990 with Close-Up, a film that was praised by the likes of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino....

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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