Weekend Edition Saturday for Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Limits To A Limited Military Strike In Syria

The Obama administration seems to believe that U.S. military action in Syria will restore Washington's credibility. Reuters columnist David Rohde argues that is impossible, first because the U.S. lacks a strategy in the Middle East, and second, because Obama is deeply ambivalent about any engagement. Rohde speaks with host Scott Simon about the predicament.

Russia To U.S.: Follow U.N. Rules On Syria

As Congress debates whether to give President Obama the authority to attack Syria, Russia's ambassador told a U.S. think tank Friday that the United States should uphold international norms of war and peace.
This week, NPR's Scott Simon ran into a young man he knew years ago while covering the war in Kosovo. His friend was just a child during that conflict, and their chance reunion prompted Simon to wonder anew about children trapped in conflict zones and the unknowable consequences of military intervention in Syria.

NSA Able To Crack Basic Web Encryption

The agency has access to individuals' most private information, including banking reports, medical records and email, reports Jeff Larson of ProPublica. Host Scott Simon speaks to Larson, whose article appeared in Friday's New York Times and Guardian newspapers.

Industrial Soot May Have Melted Europe's Glaciers

About 160 years ago, Europe's glaciers began melting, centuries before the temperatures started rising. Now NASA scientists offer a possible explanation for this apparent paradox: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice. (This piece initially aired Sept. 3 on Morning Edition.)

Oklahoma's Master Meteorologist Retires

For more than four decades, KWTV's Gary England guided Okies through heat waves, droughts, flooding and tornadoes. Host Scott Simon talks to England, a local legend who became national news.

Captured Sounds From Ausable Marsh

Summer's winding down, but it's still hot and muggy enough for a canoe trek to one of the wildest places in New York state. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann sends an audio postcard from Ausable Marsh, in the Champlain Valley.

Mind-Melding, With An Internet Connection

Two researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle did something amazing: One influenced the movements of the other simply by willing it. They were separated by an entire college campus, connected only through electrical caps on their heads and the Internet. Host Scott Simon talks with Rajesh Rao, one of the researchers.

Tennis Trivia: The Game With An Egg For A Zero?

On the final weekend of the U.S. Open, host Scott Simon talks to trivia expert A.J. Jacobs about the sport's obscure and bizarre history.
Three major museums have collaborated to give the American artist thousands of square feet in exhibition space to display immersive works that play with light, color and perception. At 70, he's still creating his major life's work — located in a volcanic crater in Arizona he bought 40 years ago.

A Children's Author Wrangles A Cowboy Soundtrack

Writer and illustrator Sandra Boynton recruited some of rock and country music's finest to create an eclectic collection of tunes for her new album and songbook, Frog Trouble.

Obama Wins Support From Only Half Of G-20

The president is back in Washington Saturday after spending several days trying to convince world leaders at the G-20 summit in Russia that a U.S. strike against Syria is necessary. Ten of the G-20 leaders signed a statement in support of U.S. action. The other half remain wary.

Youth Unemployment Remains Stubbornly High

Participation in the American labor force fell in August to its lowest level in 35 years. A significant part of the drop: 18- to 29-year-olds going back to school or dropping out of the workforce to raise kids.

Progressive De Blasio Leads New York Mayoral Race

It's been 24 years since New York City voters elected a Democrat mayor. The candidate who's the most progressive is the favorite to win Tuesday's crowded primary.
As the nation's public schools reopen this fall, many are facing budget deficits and scarce money due to sequestration. Experts say districts with large numbers of poor students are hit the hardest.
Author Jesse Walker argues that believing in shadowy cabals and ominous secrets isn't just for people on the margins — it's as American as apple pie. He says that our nation's paranoia stretches back to the colonial era, and that some conspiracy theories are believed by a majority of Americans.

History Repeats Itself At Women's U.S. Open

Serena Williams will take on Victoria Azarenka in the U.S. Open final. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Tom Goldman about tennis, as well as the season opener of the NFL.

Former Champion Makes Case For Squash As An Olympic Sport

Members of the International Olympic Committee will consider Saturday whether to add baseball-softball, wrestling or squash to the 2020 Olympics. Host Scott Simon talks to former world champion squash player Jonathon Power, who feels squash is a lifetime sport with a fanatic following.
Pro wrestling in Mexico is usually associated with buff, tough show-boating guys. But it's also an unlikely niche for the country's LGBT, thanks to Los Exóticos — campy, mostly gay male wrestlers who are known as much for their wrestling skills as they are for their feminine garb and flirty behavior.

Cow Tipping: The Myth That Just Won't Stand Up

Though it may be considered an adolescent rite of passage in some places, journalist Jake Swearingen insists it can't be done. Swearingen talks to host Scott Simon about the science of cow tipping, and why it's mathematically impossible.

Billy Crystal's 'Foolin', Full Of Fun — And Feeling

The comic and actor talks to NPR's Scott Simon about his insomnia, his friendship with baseball legend Mickey Mantle, and the love of his life. They're all topics in his memoir, Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell are My Keys?
Find an archived Episode: