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Simon Says
9:45 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Phyllis Diller: Showing, And Celebrating, Her Age

Phyllis Diller attends an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences event in North Hollywood, Calif., in 2008. The comedic legend died this week at 95.
Charley Gallay Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

When Phyllis Diller died this week at the age of 95, much was made of the way she burst open doors for women in comedy. But she also showed a way for people to make a midlife crisis into a breakthrough.

Diller was an Eisenhower-era housewife in the smokestack-and-factory-whistle suburbs of Oakland, Calif., whose husband worked at the naval air base. They had five children and could use some extra income. Phyllis, who had been an art and music student in her youth, also had extra, unfulfilled ambitions to entertain. She volunteered at veteran's hospitals for the Red Cross.

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The Salt
9:13 am
Sat August 25, 2012

On A Quest To Roll Out The Bourbon Barrel And Fill It With Hot Sauce

Used bourbon barrels like these at the Goose Island Brewery in Chicago are finding new life by bringing distinctive flavor to beer, cocktails and hot sauce.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:39 am

Washington, D.C. blogger Sam Hiersteiner is a hot sauce fan turned maker. He's already harvested two pounds of chiles — serranos, jalapenos, and habaneros — from his 30-plant pepper garden this month, and he's ready to mash them into hot sauce as soon as more ripen. Last year, he mashed fifty pounds total.While he loved the results, he thought it would be even better with a whisper of the flavor imparted by a barrel used for aging bourbon.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Mike Birbiglia, Bill Hader

Scenes in the movie Sleepwalk With Me -- about Mike Birbiglia's sleep disorder — made him emotional while filming them.
Adam Beckman IFC Films

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:10 pm

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Participation Nation
7:03 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Handlebar Help In Rochester, N.Y.

Dan Lill of R Community Bikes.
Courtesy of RCB

R Community Bikes is a grassroots organization in Rochester that repairs and gives away bikes to people in need.

The vision and tireless work of Dan Lill has helped this group grow from a seasonal bike clinic in a soup kitchen parking lot — with two would-be bike mechanics — to a full fledged nonprofit with 50-60 active volunteer bike mechanics and a 6,000 square foot shop-and-warehouse that provides free repairs to the entire population.

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Around the Nation
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Hurricane Andrew: Florida's Unwelcome Visitor

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

For A Craftsman, Shining Shoes Offers Ties To Home

Marsha, who uses a 20-step shining process, promises that all of his customers will leave feeling like they have brand new shoes.
Tanner Latham for NPR

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 1:29 pm

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Arts & Life
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

For Writers, The School Of Hard Cops

Retired Sgt. Derek Pacifico trains screenwriters and novelists to bring more realism into their police procedurals.
Vince Stewart

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 6:51 am

Police procedurals are the spaghetti and meatballs of television programming. With so many permutations of Laws and Order, CSI and wisecracking cops, you can practically see yellow crime-scene tape stretched around the prime-time schedule.

Sgt. Derek Pacifico spent more than two decades with the San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sherriff's Department, responding to emergency calls and walking a beat. He has investigated close to 200 murders, shootings and other crime cases.

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Television
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Meet Peter Lassally, Late Night 'Host Whisperer'

Longtime late night producer Peter Lassally tells Scott Simon that being interviewed for NPR is a "big, frightening experience." "I'm not a performer," he says. "I'm a quiet person who doesn't like to blow his own horn."
Mark Mainz Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Peter Lassally is known as "the host whisperer." If you've ever watched a late night show with an opening monologue, a couch and guests bouncing off each other, then you've seen his work — he practically invented the form.

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Politics
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Ahead Of Conventions, Candidates Hone Message

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Republicans and Democrats will talk a lot about the economy during their national conventions over the next couple of weeks. And yet, the man who is about to be nominated by the Republican convention, Mitt Romney, briefly strayed from an economic message yesterday, while speaking in the Detroit suburb of Commerce, Michigan.

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Politics
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Revisiting Conventions Of Elections Past

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Political conventions used to be dramatic events that made history. They nominated candidates for president. They debated crucial issues under glaring lights. Now, not so much. Presidential candidates win or lose nominations in primaries, and parties tend to see - and use - conventions as what amounts to advertisements for themselves. Our apologies to Norman Mailer.

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Business
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Apple Win Over Samsung Sends Message To Industry

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Apple has won a decisive victory in a closely watched patent lawsuit. A federal jury in California yesterday ordered Samsung to pay Apple slightly more than $1 billion. The jury found that the world's largest maker of smartphones had essentially stolen iPhone and iPad technology. As NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, the impact of the ruling is likely to be felt throughout the tech industry.

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Strange News
6:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Need A Soprano? Get A Gibbon On Helium

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This just in: Gibbons on helium sing like sopranos. Wired magazine reports on a study at Kyoto University in which an ape named Fuku-chan was placed in a chamber filled with helium enriched air. This was not a party trick. Helium-rich air apparently allows scientists to more easily analyze vocalizations. Fuku-chan's bellow went from this:

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLOWING)

SIMON: To this:

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLOWING)

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It's All Politics
6:07 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Veteran N.C. Political Strategists See Obama Path To Winning Tar Heel State

President Obama walks onto the stage before speaking at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill on April 24.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:20 am

If you want to understand how the White House race will play out in North Carolina as we enter the convention phase, talking to Carter Wrenn, a Republican, and Gary Pearce, a Democrat, is a good start.

The two veteran political strategists have, over decades, been involved in many a Tar Heel campaign.

One of Wrenn's best known clients was Jesse Helms, the late North Carolina senator renowned for both his surliness and race baiting.

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Politics
5:47 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Romney Reboot? Convention Could Be The Ticket

Riggers load nets full of balloons for the Republican National Convention festivities inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday in Tampa, Fla.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Mitt Romney, 65, has spent the better part of a decade running for president. And as the son of a Michigan governor who headed a Detroit auto company, he's been in the public eye much longer.

Yet the former Massachusetts governor has remained an enigma to many voters, his political positions malleable, and much of his business and private life — including his Mormon religion — intentionally obscured.

Or simply declared off limits, like years of his tax returns.

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NPR Story
5:47 am
Sat August 25, 2012

'D'oh!' Simpsons Stamps A Flop For Postal Service

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's only one way to begin this item.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME FROM "THE SIMPSONS")

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