All Things Considered Weekend

Saturday and Sunday at 5PM

It all starts with a strange letter left for a Beijing cabdriver, tucked away in the sun visor of his taxi. In the months just before the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wang Jun is living with his wife and daughter — but the message, and those that follow, quickly tangle that quiet life in complications.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Before donning polka dots, pencil skirts, plaid and stylish retro hairstyles on Mad Men, Alison Brie was sporting a far less glamorous look.

She worked the children's birthday party circuit as a clown.

Jon Cleary's songwriting is pure New Orleans. The pianist and singer has absorbed every last bit of sound from the Mississippi delta. But here's the thing: Cleary was born and raised in England.

High-profile, officer-involved fatalities across the country have put police departments everywhere under more scrutiny than ever.

For a lesson in how to move forward, they could look at the history of the Los Angeles police.

In the '80s and '90s, Los Angeles was trapped in a cycle of crime, crack and gang warfare. Investigative journalist Joe Domanick says back then, the Los Angeles police just made things worse with its crime-fighting strategy — which involved using military-style tactics to subdue and arrest suspects, who were mostly from minority neighborhoods.

Many of the families that were forced out of public housing by Hurricane Katrina now use government vouchers to subsidize their rents elsewhere. That shift was supposed to help de-concentrate poverty in the New Orleans area, but it hasn't worked as planned.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

Before the end of the second World War, Emperor Hirohito was considered by the Japanese to be a living God. And the first time most of his people heard him speak, it was to surrender.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

You don't host All Things Considered without having a list of memorable interview moments with musicians, actors and authors.

On her last day as host, NPR's Melissa Block takes a look at some of the highlights over her 12 1/2 years as one of the voices of All Things Considered.

An anxious, awkward teenager, social media, suicide. These are the themes at play in a new musical at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. The production has garnered praise from both the New York Times ("sweet, sad and quite moving") and the Washington Post (which said it "radiates charm and wit)." They're not the only ones buzzing about it — this play about human behavior in the digital age will head to New York's Second Stage Theater next spring.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Baskets of perfectly seasoned deep-fried chicken sizzle during lunch hour at Dooky Chase Restaurant in New Orleans, a city famous for its food. But the real magic happens early in the morning, when Leah Chase, 92, arrives to prepare the day's specials.

"I made meatloaf today. Smothered pork chops. I did oyster and artichoke soup," says Chase.

Dooky Chase is a landmark in the city's historically African-American Treme neighborhood.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This past week, residents of Ferguson, Mo., and demonstrators from far afield mark the anniversary of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. There were angry-but-peaceful protests.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Epicurus, the ancient Greek philosopher, once likened eating alone to "leading the life of a lion or wolf." This philosopher of pleasures, it seems, was a big fan of companionship. Communal meals are woven into our DNA.

But a lot of us are lone wolves these days when it comes to dining. New research finds 46 percent of adult eating occasions — that's meals and snacks — are undertaken alone.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

August - not just summer, but late summer, the perfect time to seek out a swimming hole. Well, North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann found one on the Boquet River high in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

MLB Home Teams Make History By Going 15-0

Aug 12, 2015
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Finally this hour, a little bit of baseball history.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: McFarland deals down the line.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Fair ball.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Oh, it's fair ball.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Editor's Note: This story contains strong language that some may find offensive.

The smell of blood hung in the air where 17-year-old Gerald Morgan was shot, as firefighters began washing down the sidewalk around the front door of a home in New Orleans East last month.

Police say at least two gunmen jumped out of a car, opened fire, ran near a two-story house and kept shooting, also hitting a 4-year-old boy inside. The teenager died at the hospital. The boy was listed in stable condition. Police have not offered a theory for the cause of the shooting.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Pages