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Weekend Edition Saturday

Saturdays at 7am
  • Hosted by Scott Simon

Scorpions Infest Brazilian Cities

Dec 7, 2019

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Life in Sao Paulo, Brazil, may feel a little like a science fiction film right now. Scorpions roam the realm. They're finger-sized, armed with two pincers and, of course, a poisonous stinger. And apparently, they're everywhere.

French Entertainer Madeon On 'Good Faith'

Dec 7, 2019

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF MADEON SONG, "DREAM DREAM DREAM")

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The old way to think about your dog's "human age" — the age in actual years times seven — is wrong. And researchers now have a new formula they think will calculate your dog's age more accurately.

Simply put, compared with humans, dogs age very quickly at first, but then their aging slows down, a lot.

Trey Ideker of the University of California, San Diego was part of a team of researchers that looked at aging on the molecular level.

What makes a banana taped to a wall worth $120,000 to someone?

If it has been put there by the right artist.

This banana was duct-taped to a wall by Maurizio Cattelan, the Italian artist, and it's on display this week at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

The banana is real, by the way, not a sculpture. It will soon go brown, slimy, and may already be ... fragrant.

The Perrotin art gallery of Paris has already sold this piece of produce, and it turns out that $120,000 is practically a bargain. Another banana the artist taped to a wall is going for $150,000.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Now by seaplane, fishing boat and kayak to Southeast Alaska. There, NPR's Anya Kamenetz met a young woman who's trying to reinvent higher education. Her aim, to use the wilderness to prepare diverse students for lives of purpose in an ever more fragile world.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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And talk about methane release. Time to talk sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Meg Schmidt's signature song is a Top 40 track that could have been written for her.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHUT UP AND DANCE")

William Ruckelshaus was a conservationist, an Indiana Republican conservative who believed in conserving balanced budgets, limited government powers, constitutional checks and balances, and clean air and water.

"Nature provides a free lunch," he said, "but only if we control our appetites."

He helped write Indiana's first air pollution laws as a state deputy attorney general in the 1960s, and was appointed the first head of the Environment Protection Agency by President Nixon in 1970.

My Signature Song: 'This Must Be The Place'

Nov 23, 2019

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Sometimes there's a song that you know will stick with you forever. For Jerrica Vowels of Louisville, Ky, it's "This Must Be The Place" by Talking Heads.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THIS MUST BE THE PLACE")

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Now a story to lift the spirits of an improbable reunion. Five years ago, Viktor Usov adored Sasha, his fluffy, little black kitten. They lived happily in Portland, Ore. Sasha really liked people, and he loved being outdoors. Cue menacing music in your mind.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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The forced imprisonment of more than a million Muslim Uighurs in detention camps in the Xinjiang region of western China may make Americans feel outrage and sadness. But many may just shrug and ask, "What does that have to do with me?"

Look down at your shoes.

About 99% of the shoes sold in America are made overseas, with China being the largest manufacturer by far. Nike, Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl's, Hush Puppies, Keds and many other American companies make shoes in China, where the costs of production are far less.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF NOISEMAKERS)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Pope Francis has arrived in Japan for a four-day visit, where he is expected to call attention to the issue of capital punishment, which he contends is inhumane. Japan and the U.S. are the only G7 countries that have the death penalty.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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I look forward all week to saying it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Alex Gibney On 'Citizen K'

Nov 16, 2019

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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It might be called "Revenge of the Pin-Stripes."

In this week's House Intelligence Committee hearings, career diplomats dressed in somber suits who have often been derided as "elites," "insiders," "the establishment," and even "the Deep State" got the chance to tell Americans how they have been nonpartisan representatives of America from administration to administration.

Those parts of their testimony weren't news "bombshells." But their words are worth noting.

Ever since he was a child, Michael Menta looked up to his uncle Sal Leone for becoming a Marine. Menta would eventually follow in Leone's footsteps to serve his country, enlisting in the Navy during his senior year of high school.

Their shared veteranship brought them closer.

"We spoke the same language," Menta said, when he and Leone visited StoryCorps last month.

'Blue's Clues' Returns With A New Host

Nov 9, 2019

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BLUE'S CLUES AND YOU")

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: (As characters) A clue.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

"Blue's Clues" is back.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BLUE'S CLUES AND YOU")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Oh, a clue. Wait. Where's the clue?

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Germany today celebrates the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. NPR's Berlin correspondent Rob Schmitz brings us this story on what's left of where the wall once stood.

The Berlin Wall stood for 28 years. Today, Nov. 9, marks the 30th anniversary of when it began to come down.

It may be hard to imagine, a generation later, what a momentous event that was and why the sight of ordinary citizens, chipping away by hand and hammer at that edifice of cruelty, lifted so many hopes around the world.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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NPR has lost a friend and an old colleague. News reached us this week that David Rector died last month at the age of 69. He'd suffered an aortic dissection years ago that left him a quadriplegic.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

President Trump will attend the Ultimate Fighting Championship, MMA, mixed martial arts event at Madison Square Garden Saturday night. The event, of course, is a punching, kicking, pay-per-view brawl between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal that takes place inside a cage.

The winner gets a belt embellished with the initials BMF, which does not stand for Best Mocha Frappe.

Mr. Trump is not expected to be booed at Madison Square Garden, as he was at a World Series game earlier this week. The president is a fan and used to book MMA events at his casino in Atlantic City.

Thirty-nine people were found dead in a trailer this week in Essex, in the United Kingdom. Thirty-one men, and eight women.

They were discovered in the morning, in a sealed, refrigerated container of the kind that ordinarily transports fruits, vegetables or frozen food.

Four people, so far, have been arrested in connection with the deaths. But identifying those who died could take a long time.

Around Washington state, cannabis shops are being required to hang signs warning customers of "severe lung injuries" and "deaths" associated with vaping.

Kevin Heiderich, a co-owner of one such shop, House of Cannabis in Tacoma, Wash., believes the government response to vaping illnesses should focus on the black market.

"Something has just changed and no one really knows what it is," he says.

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