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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Interviews
4:24 pm
Sat December 24, 2011

Christmas Songs From Off The Beaten Path

From the cover of Bill Adler's 2011 Christmas Jollies compilation.
Album cover

Bill Adler's resume doesn't scream "Christmas nut": He's a Jew from Detroit who spent years as a record executive at Def Jam Recordings. But since 1982, Adler has produced a yearly compilation for his friends and family titled Christmas Jollies, which gathers holiday-themed music from unexpected places.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 18, 2011

From Greek Crisis, A Call For Transparency Emerges

2011 has been a year of social and economic upheaval in Greece. In exchange for bailout money to stave off default, the government is imposing harsh austerity measures. Reporter Joanna Kakissis says the task is especially daunting because Greeks have lost all trust in their civic institutions.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 18, 2011

The Cost Of War, In Dollars And Lives

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 12:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Victory, defeat, stalemate - no matter how historians ultimately view America's involvement in Iraq, this much is clear: all wars are paid for with the coffers of a nation's treasury and with many, many lives. We're going to spend the next few minutes with experts on how much of both had been spent in Iraq. And we start with Todd Harrison. He's a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. I asked him what should be an easy question: how much has America spent to date on the war in Iraq.

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Movies
8:00 am
Sun December 18, 2011

The Next Hit Film Might Be On The 'Black List'

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 12:40 pm

Transcript

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 18, 2011

The Economic Reality Of Marriage

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 12:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. In the intersection of love and marriage and divorce, there are romantic and economic considerations. This past week, NPR's Jennifer Ludden told us that fewer Americans are getting married; and when they do, they're taking longer to get down the aisle. NPR's Shankar Vedantam is working on the other half of the equation - when things go bad, divorce appears to be less of an option. Jennifer Ludden and Shankar Vedantam join me now. Welcome to the program.

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Movies
6:17 am
Sun December 18, 2011

'100 Cult Films': Some You'd Expect, But 'Star Wars'?

A Clockwork Orange was a reader suggestion for the NPR list of best cult films of all time.
The Kobol Collection

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

If one movie can sum up the definition of "cult film," it would probably be The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Yeah, that is why it's up there at the top of the page.)

Midnight-movie screenings and singalongs with the film's musical numbers have cemented Rocky Horror's status in the pantheon of cult classics.

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Music Interviews
6:17 am
Sun December 18, 2011

The Roots Weave A Tale Of Crime And Karma

Founded by Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter, The Roots have now been performing for more than two decades. The hip-hop group's latest album is undun.
Chago Akii-bua Courtesy of the artist

The Roots might be best known today as the house band on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. But the group has been making boundary-pushing hip-hop for more than two decades, and has just released its latest album, undun.

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Monkey See
12:31 am
Sun December 18, 2011

Patton Oswalt On Comedy, Change, And What Happens If You Never Leave Home

You might know Patton Oswalt as a stand-up comedian, as a writer, as a player on TV shows like United States Of Tara and Dollhouse, as the voice of the primary rodent in Ratatouille, or as the New York Giants obsessive in the dark film Big Fan. Now, he's appearing opposite Charlize Theron in the black comedy Young Adult.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun December 18, 2011

Rearranging Titles On The Magazine Rack

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Rearrange a series of anagrams to identify some well-known magazines. For example, if given "never point," rearrange the letters to spell "Prevention," the name of a popular health magazine.

Last Week's Challenge: Think of an animal whose name contains the letter "O." Change the "O" to an "H", and rearrange the result to name another animal. What animals are these?

Answer: Change the "O" in "antelope" to an H, and rearrange the letters to spell "elephant." "Orca" and "char" is an alternative pairing.

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NPR Story
9:01 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Your Letters: Spain's White Elephants; Meatballs

Host Audie Cornish shares listener comments about last week's show, including a story of public projects in Spain that have shut down due to budget cuts, and an essay on meatballs.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Canada Escapes Recession's Grip

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 9:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As Europe works to solve its financial problems, closer to home - and with a little less fanfare - America's biggest trading partner is thriving. Canada has built an impressive track record throughout the recession. It's got low unemployment, little government debt, and some of the healthiest economic growth in the industrialized world. Brian Mann traveled to Toronto for WBEZ's Chicago's Front and Center project, and has this story.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Waves Of Russians Fill The Streets To Protest Putin

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 9:58 am

Tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets of Moscow Saturday, shouting "We exist!" against Vladimir Putin's inevitable return to the presidency. Host Audie Cornish speaks with Julia Ioffe, Foreign Policy's Moscow correspondent, about post-election protests in Russia.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Youngest South-Pole Skier In Family Of Firsts

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 9:58 am

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Congress May Be Tied To The Hill For Holidays

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 9:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Whoever winds up winning the Republican nomination will get a chance to be president, and one of the most trying parts of that job is dealing with Congress. Joining us now is NPR congressional correspondent David Welna to walk us through the issues still on the table as Congress approaches its Christmas recess. Hi there, David.

DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

U.S. Moves On, But Can't Leave Iraq Behind

Nearly nine years after the Iraq war began, the U.S. is winding down its involvement there. Host Audie Cornish speaks with Stuart Bowen, the special inspector for Iraq reconstruction, about lessons learned and challenges ahead.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Big Cash Prize For Untangling Shredded Paper

California software developer Octavio Good and his team won $50,000 for reassembling shredded documents. Host Audie Cornish talks to Good about the Pentagon-sponsored contest.

NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Iraq PM, Obama Get Together To Break Apart

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 9:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

Nearly nine years after the Iraq War began, the U.S. is winding down its involvement there. U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by December 31st. The Obama administration says what comes next will be a new phase in the relationship with Iraq. What that involves will most likely be part of the discussion when Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, heads to Washington to meet with President Obama tomorrow.

NPR's Kelly McEvers reports from Baghdad.

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Sun December 11, 2011

In N.Y.C., Front-Row Seats To Spanish Soccer

Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of the best soccer teams in the world. They're also bitter rivals, and when they met Saturday in the showcase El Clasico match-up, fans around the world turned out to watch the game. Reporter Jesse Hardman joined soccer enthusiasts at New York's Spanish Benevolent Society.

Politics
7:38 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Arguing Over A Tax Cut Nobody Notices

Congress and the White House continue to debate the future of a 2-percent payroll tax cut that expires at the end of the year. While both Republicans and Democrats appear interested in extending the break, party leaders have been squabbling over details.

Democrats blocked a Republican proposal to tie an extension to speeding up approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.

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Music Interviews
6:11 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Miracles Of Modern Science: No Guitars Necessary

Miracles of Modern Science are a rock group with a love of jazz and chamber pop — and no need for a guitar. The band's debut album is called Dog Year.
Courtesy of the artist

A lot of rock bands visit the NPR studios with maybe a fiddle or two in tow. But Miracles of Modern Science are not a typical rock band. the group boasts a mandolin, upright bass, cello, violin, drums — and absolutely no electric guitar.

Evan Younger, Josh Hirshfeld, Kieran Ledwidge, Tyler Pines and Geoff McDonald met in college, where they bonded over a shared love of jazz, rock and classical music. But even more important to their chemistry, McDonald says, is a belief that those genres can play nice together, with satisfying results.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun December 11, 2011

Teasing Out A New Word

On-Air Challenge: Add a letter to create new words in a series of word teasers.

Last Week's Challenge from listener Monti Montgomery of Washington, D.C.: Name a style of music. Change the middle letter to a B, and you'll name a style of cooking. What are the style of music and the style of cooking? (There are several ways to spell the cooking style, but the answer is one of them.)

Answer: "Baroque" is the style of music, and "bar-b-que" is the cooking style.

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Music Interviews
7:59 pm
Sat December 10, 2011

Robin Thicke: Heart And Soul In 'Love After War'

Robin Thicke says many of the songs on Love After War were inspired by his wife, actress Paula Patton.
Anthony Mandler

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:30 am

"They used to call me Brian McWhite," Robin Thicke says, laughing.

Discovered by Brian McKnight, the singer-songwriter got a record deal at 16, and got his start writing and producing songs for artists like Brandy and Christina Aguilera. Since embarking on his solo career in 2003, Thicke has released five albums, the latest of which is titled Love After War.

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Monkey See
11:15 am
Sat December 10, 2011

Ever Wanted To Help Cover The News? Here's How You Can — In The UK, Anyway

I get somewhere between four and six e-mails every day from NPR's news managers, each one an update on the network's coverage plans for the day — and each one bearing this stern all-caps warning:

*THIS NOTE IS STRICTLY FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY: INFORMATION IS NOT FOR PUBLICATION, BROADCAST OR SHARING WITH THIRD PARTIES*

Like most news organizations, we keep our so-called "story budgets" close to the vest, not least out of competitiveness.

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Author Interviews
8:34 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Short And Sweet Status Updates Tell Their Own Story

Lou Beach Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Illustrator Lou Beach started practicing his writing on Facebook out of boredom in 2009.

"I was bored with what I was reading from other people's status updates, and I was bored with my own," he tells Weekend Edition host Audie Cornish.

Beach's fanciful and often surreal graphics have appeared in Wired, the New York Times and Harper's. He's done album covers for groups like Weather Report and Blink 182.

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The Record
6:16 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Spotify Is Good For The Music Industry, Its CEO Says

Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, speaks at a news conference in New York on Wednesday.
Louis Lanzano Bloomberg via Getty Images

American music lovers took note when the digital music service Spotify arrived in the States this summer. It's already Europe's largest paid subscription music service. Spotify's essential offering is a robust catalog of music — some 15 million songs – available for on-demand streaming. Users can call up songs for free and download them to a mobile music player for a monthly fee.

Some industry watchers see Spotify's offering as the end of the music download business. But Daniel Ek — the company's Swedish-born, 28-year-old founder and CEO — feels differently.

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Not Just Any Set: Behind The Scenes At 'Funny Or Die'

Mark Duplass and Ken Marino star in the new video "The First A.D.," a video at the successful website Funny Or Die.
Screenshot

Funny Or Die is far more than a leading comedy website that draws millions of viewers to its "Drunk History" videos or the ones where Will Ferrell gets berated by cranky toddlers. It's a creative sandbox for comic actors and writers.

For example, Adam Scott, a star of NBC's Parks And Recreation, wants to direct. So he's overseeing crew members in a derelict old warehouse in downtown Los Angeles as they spray smoke for his actors to walk through.

Problem: There's too much smoke.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Making Changes Is Up To You

On-Air Challenge: Change one letter in each word of a made-up, two-word phrase to get two new words that will start a familiar proverb or saying. Determining which letters to change is up to you.

Last Week's Challenge from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif.: Think of a common five-letter word in one syllable. Change the fourth letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a common word in two syllables, also in five letters. What words are these?

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Music Interviews
2:00 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

The Black Keys: Necessary Roughness

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney release El Camino, their latest album as The Black Keys, on Dec. 6.
Danny Clinch

The Black Keys' last album — Brothers, a winner of three Grammys — sold more than half a million copies. Now, the blues-inspired rock duo is trying for a harder sell: its old minivan. The band's new album, El Camino, is named for the band's 1994 Chevrolet coupe utility vehicle, which is currently for sale on The Black Keys' website. Both the van and the music are a little rough around the edges.

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StoryCorps
8:16 am
Sun November 27, 2011

Teacher Pushed Struggling Student To Honors

Meliza Arellano (right) is now an 11th grader at Democracy Prep in New York City. Her seventh-grade teacher, Sarah Benko, inspired her to want to become a teacher.
StoryCorps

When Meliza Arellano started seventh grade at New York City charter school Democracy Prep four years ago, she was below grade level in both math and reading. She was put in a class that helps students like her get up to speed. Her teacher was Sarah Benko. That was the year Arellano became a serious student.

"I kinda didn't like you at first," Arellano tells Benko. She says Benko would take her outside to tutor her, and that made her mad.

At her old school, Arellano rarely attended class, and she says the teachers never encouraged her to put in the extra work to succeed.

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Sunday Puzzle
9:00 pm
Sat November 26, 2011

Keep Your Head Above Water

On-Air Challenge: Each answer is a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase containing the consecutive letters H-H-O, as in H2O. For example, given the clue "Dutch province containing Rotterdam and The Hague," the answer would be "South Holland."

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