Weekend Edition Sunday

Sundays at 8AM

On Sundays, Weekend Edition combines the news with colorful arts and human-interest features, appealing to the curious and eclectic. With a nod to traditional Sunday habits, the program offers a fix for diehard crossword addicts-word games and brainteasers with The Puzzlemaster, a.k.a. Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times. With Cornish on the sidelines, a caller plays the latest word game on the air while listeners compete silently at home. The NPR mailbag is proof that the competition to go head-to-head with Shortz is rather vigorous.

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The Picture Show
6:11 am
Sun November 20, 2011

A Photographer Changes The Focus In Africa

"Maternal health clinics encourage mothers to bring their children for checkups as a way to improve the health of mothers and children."
Betty Press

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:14 am

When photojournalist Betty Press lived in Africa from 1987 to 2009, she wanted to show a continent different than the one usually portrayed in the media — one of poverty, war and famine. Instead, she focused on the beauty, creativity and courage of the people.

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Games & Humor
12:01 am
Sun November 20, 2011

Where In The Blanks Are The Answers?

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is a familiar phrase in the form of "_____ for _____ ." Given the word that follows "for," what's the first word that precedes "for"? For example, if you're given "joy," the answer would be "jump" to complete the phrase "jump for joy."

Last Week's Challenge from listener Henry Hook of Brooklyn, N.Y.: What number comes next in the following series: 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 15, 20, 40, 51, 55, 60 and 90?

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Media
10:04 am
Sun November 13, 2011

Looking Up Words In A Book Not So Strange Yet

"Smoot" is one of 10,000 new words featured in the fifth edition of The American Heritage Dictionary, out this month. In an era when every definition is just a click away, why publish an enormous book of words? For the answer, host Audie Cornish turns to the dictionary's executive editor, Steve Kleinedler.

Monkey See
8:56 am
Sun November 13, 2011

'All-American Muslim': A Look At Five Very Different Families

Sister and brother Suehaila and Bilal at the marriage of their sister Shadia to her new husband Jeff, on the premiere episode of TLC's unscripted series All-American Muslim.
TLC

Originally published on Sun November 13, 2011 12:46 pm

There was a time before Jersey Shore, before Toddlers & Tiaras, before Dance Moms, when it seemed like unscripted television might be used for good. It goes all the way back to the time when the Louds were profiled on PBS's An American Family, but more recently when Pedro Zamora died of AIDS the day after the airing of his last episode of MTV's The Real World.

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Music
7:20 am
Sun November 13, 2011

Hilary Hahn Revives The Classical Encore

Hilary Hahn is a Grammy-winning classical violinist. Her newest project is called In 27 Pieces: The Hillary Hahn Encores.
Peter Miller Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 13, 2011 12:28 pm

When Grammy-winning classical violinist Hilary Hahn plays in front of an audience, you can expect classics from Beethoven and Bach, performed with a flair and energy that's uniquely her own. Now, Hillary Hahn has a new project in the works: She wants to bring back the encore.

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Alt.Latino
6:00 am
Sun November 13, 2011

Funky, En Español: Groovy New Latin Beats From Panama To Puerto Rico

R&B artist Goapele
MJ Kim Getty Images

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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun November 13, 2011

A Four-Letter Word For Capital City

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a world capital. You'll be given a four-letter word. The first two letters are the first two letters of the city's name, and the last two are the last two letters of the country's name. For example, if you were given "loin," the answer would be London, Great Britain.

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Music News
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

The Surgery That Saves Silenced Singers

Adele at the MTV Video Music Awards in August.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

The biggest-selling pop artist of the year has gone silent.

The British pop/soul singer Adele was forced to cancel the rest of her 2011 tour. Earlier this year, she suffered two vocal hemorrhages and will need to undergo surgery.

Singers are in a high-risk business. Many famous singers have needed similar treatment.

"Essentially, people who sing are vocal athletes," says Dr. Steven Zeitels, director of the Voice Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. "So you can look at this as a not unusual scenario as an athlete getting an injury in that area."

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Movies
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Kirsten Dunst On Expressing 'Melancholia'

Kirsten Dunst's latest film is Melancholia, the story of a melancholic young woman and her family on her wedding day, just before the end of the world. Host Audie Cornish speaks to the actress about translating depression into cinema.

Author Interviews
8:00 am
Sun November 6, 2011

'Breaking The Code' Of A Father's Secret War History

On his 81st birthday, without explanation, Karen Fisher-Alaniz's father gave her two notebooks. Inside were letters he'd written during World War II. The more she read, the more she discovered about the man and the secret role he played in the war. Host Audie Cornish talks with Fisher-Alaniz and her father about her book, Breaking the Code.

Music Interviews
5:26 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Vince Mendoza: A Song Doctor Gets Back To His Own Work

Vince Mendoza has earned many of his laurels arranging and orchestrating other musicians. Nights on Earth is his first album of originals in 13 years.
Marco Borgreve Courtesy of the artist

In 1969, Joni Mitchell released "Both Sides Now," a simple and beautiful song that would become one of her defining works. In 2000, an older, wiser, decidedly more introspective Mitchell revived the song in a radically different incarnation, featuring lush strings and complex harmonies.

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Business
4:08 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Custom Cycle Ferries Sperm To Fertility Clinics

Alan Dowden, lab scientist and occasional courier, works at the Seattle Sperm Bank.
Keith Seinfeld for NPR

Originally published on Sun November 6, 2011 6:58 pm

Sometimes, couples need help getting pregnant. In Seattle, that help may arrive by bicycle.

To be more specific, a bicycle with a giant sperm cell replica on it.

"It's a delivery bike, purpose-built delivery bike, and inside the front of the sperm we can store one of our cryogenic shipping containers," says Alan Dowden, lab scientist and occasional courier.

Dowden works at the Seattle Sperm Bank. The front of the bike is the bulbous head of a sperm, about the size of very large beach ball, with a long tail stretching behind. It's framed in electric blue.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Two Words Enter, One Meaning Leaves

On-Air Challenge: You will be given a five-letter word and seven-letter word. Rearrange the letters of one of these words to get a synonym of the other. For example, if you are given "alloy" and "devoted," the answer would be "loyal," which is an anagram of "alloy."

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Music News
6:42 pm
Sat November 5, 2011

How Opera Helped Create The Modern Media World

Jay Hunter Morris performs in the new Metropolitan Opera production of Richard Wagner's Siegfried. The show's vivid backdrops were created with advanced 3D projection technology.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

"This past week, the Metropolitan Opera opened a new production of Siegfried, the third of the four operas in Wagner's Ring Cycle — in 3D. You won't need special glasses to see the actors on stage. Instead, the background sets are three-dimensional projections of forests and other illusions.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Can Oil Fuel Libya's Reconstruction?

Transcript

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Obama's Economic Trip Across The Pond

Originally published on Sun October 30, 2011 12:45 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Efforts to solve the European debt crisis are sure to be front and center when leaders of the 20 big countries that make up the G-20 meet in France later this week. President Barack Obama arrives in France on Thursday for the summit meeting. And NPR's Scott Horsley joins us for a preview. Hey there, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Hi, Audie. Good to be with you.

CORNISH: So, is there any relief at the White House that European countries appear to be getting a handle on the Greek debt crisis?

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Author Interviews
8:00 am
Sun October 30, 2011

'Three Famines': A Struggle Shared Across The Globe

Famines, like the one happening in the Horn of Africa, share common threads with each other, even when they happen on different continents or in different centuries. Host Audie Cornish talks with Thomas Keneally, author of Three Famines: Starvation and Politics, about the modern history of famines.

The Picture Show
6:51 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Food For Thought: Chefs Pick Their Last Meal On Earth

Bobby Flay pictured with a cheeseburger

Melanie Dunea

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:17 am

In the restaurant world, even the most famous chefs have to be concerned with what's next: the next meal, the next dish, the next customer. But what if they took a step back to think about what's last — for themselves?

That's the question photographer Melanie Dunea posed to a group of chefs in her 2007 book, My Last Supper. What would some of the world's great chefs want for their final meal on earth?

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Food
6:15 am
Sun October 30, 2011

The 'Ick' Factor: Bugs Can Be Hard To Swallow

A Thai worker prepares grubs to cook. Eating bugs is accepted throughout the world, but it is now being proposed as a healthy and environmentally friendly treat that's catching on in North America and Europe.

Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

When it comes to creepy crawly things on your dinner plate, getting past the "ick" factor is the big hurdle. Entomaphagy — eating insects — is common in most of the world, but in North America and Europe it's considered, well, gross.

Now it's being proposed as a cheap food source and a way to save the planet as the world population explodes. Crickets need less feed, less land and emit fewer greenhouse gases than cattle.

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StoryCorps
5:19 am
Sun October 30, 2011

From Pre-Med To Teacher: A New Kind Of Healing

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Ayodeji Ogunniyi and his father, Abimbola "Yinka" Ogunniyi, at their first American home in South Holland, Ill., in 1993.

Ayodeji Ogunniyi

Ayodeji Ogunniyi is an English teacher at Thornton Township High School in Harvey, Ill. His family came to the U.S. from Nigeria in 1990. His father worked as a cab driver in Chicago, and he always wanted his son to become a doctor. But while Ogunniyi was studying pre-med in college, his father was murdered on the job. At that point, he says, his life changed course.

Ogunniyi, 24, says it was 11 p.m. when his family got the news that his father had been murdered, his body found in an alley.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun October 30, 2011

Putting The Name Back In The Fame

On-Air Challenge: You will be given the name of a famous person without the first and last letters of their first and last names. Determine the missing letters to add onto the name. For example, if you are given "err row," the answer would be "Jerry Brown."

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Folk
9:30 pm
Sat October 29, 2011

Lisa Hannigan's Path To Gorgeous

Lisa Hannigan's second album, Passenger, is out now.

Courtesy of the artist.

No less a musical authority than All Songs Considered has called Lisa Hannigan's voice "gorgeous." Elsewhere, the Irish singer's music has been described as ethereal, mesmerizing, whimsical and sublime. In 2008, after years of performing with her countryman Damien Rice, Hannigan set out on her own.

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Music
9:22 pm
Sat October 29, 2011

David Dye On 20 Years Of 'World Cafe'

David Dye has hosted WXPN's World Cafe since it hit the airwaves 20 years ago this month.

Joe del Tufo WXPN

Twenty years ago, in October 1991, a little college radio station in Philadelphia made a big splash when it launched a music program called World Cafe.

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Theater
8:39 am
Sun October 23, 2011

On Broadway, John Turturro Offers Three For One

Relatively Speaking, directed by John Tuturro.

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Ari Graynor (left) and Steve Guttenberg star in Woody Allen's "Honeymoon Hotel." It is one of three one-act comedies that make up Relatively Speaking, directed by John Tuturro.

Joan Marcus

Stroll the cross streets along Broadway in New York, and you'll notice the names of movie stars jostling for marquee space with theater heavyweights. Hugh Jackman, Angela Bassett and Brooke Shields are the latest round of screen stars drawing crowds. But come to a stop at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on 47th Street, and the movie star winning the attention is John Turturro.

Turturro is best known for roles in movies by Spike Lee, the Coen Brothers and others, but this month he's making his debut as a Broadway director.

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