Author Interviews
5:24 am
Sun August 26, 2012

'The Ethicist' Explains How To 'Be Good'

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Randy Cohen served as "The Ethicist" for The New York Times Magazine for 12 years.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 11:32 am

After 12 years writing a column on ethics, Randy Cohen is convinced ethics is not a moving target, unique to time or place.

"I believe there are a set of principles that are so profound and so essentially moral that if I were just slightly smarter and slightly more eloquent, I could travel everywhere and persuade everyone that they should apply," he tells Weekend Edition guest host Linda Wertheimer.

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Books
5:24 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Faith, Family, And Forgiveness In 'We Sinners'

Author Hanna Pylvainen based We Sinners on her own childhood experiences.

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 11:32 am

Hanna Pylvainen's debut novel, We Sinners, is about a large — very large — family that belongs to a small religious sect in Finland originating in the dim distant past. The sect, Laestadianism, calls for very strictly regulated behavior — think Amish, with possible overtones of Lutheran, purified by a schism or two. The novel is told from the point of view of family members, each of whom get a chapter, and the story goes forward in time with each person.

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Music
5:24 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Music Al Fresco: Milwaukee's Saxaphone Summer

Scott Summers has been playing saxophone for close to 30 years, and performing outside for 10.
Lucien Jung

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 5:55 pm

"My favorite location is Miller Park, bar none," Scott Summers says. "Go Brewers!"

Summers is a saxophone player based in Milwaukee. He's been blowing the horn for 30 years — and about 10 years ago, he started playing on the street. Summers says performing outside the ballpark has brought him loyal followers.

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Music
5:24 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Composer Keith Kenniff Keeps The Ads Humming

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 11:32 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Keith Kenniff writes music for advertising.

KEITH KENNIFF: It was funny. When I first started doing this I, thought of commercials like jingles. Like the Roto Rooter, you know, jingle or something like that.

(SOUNDBITE OF A ROTO ROOTER AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing) Call Roto Rooter, that's the name.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) And away goes trouble down the drain.

WERTHEIMER: But Kenniff's music is different

(SOUNDBITE OF AN IPHONE AD)

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Presidential Race
4:27 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Despite Delay, Republican Stage Is Set In Tampa

Workers prepare for the Republican National Convention inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 8:32 am

After a year and a half of preparations, Tampa, Fla., is ready host the Republican National Convention.

Some 70,000 delegates, support personnel, media and protestors are gathering for the party's nominating event. Originally scheduled to start on Monday, the convention was pushed back because of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum — a hockey arena that's been transformed into a high-tech political stage — it's a vision in red, white and blue. There's a nod to tradition, placards marking the sections reserved for each state's delegation.

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Middle East
4:21 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Palestinians Flood Into Israel, If Only Briefly

A mother and son wait to enter Israel through the Qalandia checkpoint, which separates the West Bank and Jerusalem. Most of the year, Israel permits relatively few Palestinians to visit, but over the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, 1.2 million Palestinians were allowed in.
Daniel Estrin for NPR

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 10:27 am

As Palestinian Muslims in the West Bank celebrated the end of Ramadan this past week, many traveled to a place that's usually off limits: Israel.

At the main Israeli checkpoint between the West Bank and Jerusalem, you could hear the taxi drivers offering to take Palestinians to the beach in Tel Aviv.

The drive is no more than an hour from the West Bank boundary to Israel's Mediterranean coast. Yet many Palestinians have not taken a dip in years, if ever.

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Remembrances
4:21 am
Sun August 26, 2012

In Just 'One Small Step' Armstrong Became An Icon

Armstrong stepped into history July 20, 1969, leaving the first human footprint on the surface of the moon.
NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 11:32 am

It was the kind of history that ignites the imagination of humanity.

On July 20, 1969, hundreds of millions of people around the world watched or listened as the lunar module Eagle carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon. Armstrong got on the radio to let them know "the Eagle has landed."

Almost seven hours later, Armstrong stepped off the ladder in his bulky white space suitand said those famous words: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind"

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Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest
4:20 am
Sun August 26, 2012

'Torture Lab' Kills Trees To Learn How To Save Them

Powers walks along plastic gutters designed to keep rain away from tree roots to simulate drought. Scientists here are studying the effects of sustained drought conditions on the tree species of the Southwest.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 5:03 pm

Last of a five-part series

The droughts that have parched big regions of the country are killing forests.

In the arid Southwest, the body count is especially high. Besides trying to keep wildfires from burning up these desiccated forests, there's not much anyone can do. In fact, scientists are only now figuring out how drought affects trees.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:12 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Making Peace With Our Cyborg Nature

Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Panama.
Arnulfo Franco AP

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 7:51 am

I loved the TV show The Six-Million Dollar man growing up. For me, Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors) wasn't less cool because he had bionic implants that enabled him to perform superhuman feats. He was more cool.

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Sunday Puzzle
11:03 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

What Hat Holds The Answer?

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 11:32 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a two-word phrase in which one of the words starts with W and the other word is the same with the W removed. For example, if you were given the clue "desires scurrying insects," the answer would be "wants ants."

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