Weekend Edition Saturday for Saturday, November 30, 2013

How Will We Know If HealthCare.gov Is Fixed?

Saturday is the day the White House promised the website for the Affordable Care Act will work for the "vast majority of users." NPR's health policy correspondent Julie Rovner explains what that means, and whether the deadline is going to be met.

3 Stories From HealthCare.gov Users

The experience has been mixed for three people who signed on to the website to buy insurance. Scott Simon asks an office manager, a family therapist and a social media manager if they think the process has improved.

A New Worry Looms Online For The Affordable Care Act

HealthCare.gov is supposed to be mostly fixed by Saturday, but errors in an obscure but crucial form could further disrupt the rollout.
At least 30 Haitian migrants died this week when a packed sailboat capsized off the coast of the Bahamas. NPR's Scott Simon reminds us how some of the first Americans arrived on the continent, risking their lives to sail across rough seas.

Pope Signals A New Direction For The Church

Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation criticized the way much of the world, including the United States, does business. Host Scott Simon talks with the Rev. James Martin, editor at large for America magazine, on why this document is so interesting.
Renewable energy has become a $220 billion a year industry. But to significantly slow climate change, the power of wind, solar and other renewable sources must vastly expand. Some say the tech breakthroughs needed are on the horizon, though a top economist sees a tougher road ahead.

Just What Is Yahoo Anymore, Anyway?

The company has just hired Katie Couric, the latest in a long list of high-profile defections from other media outlets, including The New York Times. But what is Yahoo, exactly? Media analyst and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis joins host Scott Simon to explain.

Infomercials Still Tell, And Sell, Product Stories

The infomercial industry is predicted to hit $250 billion — 1 percent of U.S. GDP. Host Scott Simon speaks with business writer Jon Nathanson about the economics and enduring strength of infomercials.

Tester Finds Novel Ways To Use Google Glass

A.J. Jacobs, editor at large for Esquire magazine, is one of several thousand people testing Google Glass, the mini-computers for the face. Jacobs has used them to — among other things — cheat at poker. He tells all to host Scott Simon.

'Gold' Ponders The Glittering Metal's Allure

Matthew Hart tells the story of humankind's obsession with gold around the world and through history in his new book, Gold: The Race for the World's Most Seductive Metal. He joins host Scott Simon to explain why he writes that "gold is its own country."
Jazz legend Herb Alpert and his wife, Lani Hall, are both Grammy winners, and Alpert, who co-founded A&M Records, has sold over 75 million albums in a career that dates back to the late 1950s. They join host Scott Simon to talk about their new album, Steppin' Out.
Both countries are trying to sell the agreement limiting Iran's nuclear program to hard-liners within their borders. Host Scott Simon talks with Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council, who believes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be doing Iran a favor by criticizing the deal so harshly.

A Day For Small Businesses To Stand Out In The Crowd

Tucked between Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday. It's a designation invented by American Express, but it's becoming vital to small businesses around the country.
Small Business Saturday is this weekend, but for author Sherman Alexie, it's also Small Bookstore Saturday. He's encouraging authors across the country to visit their local independent bookstores and put in a shift behind the counter, selling their favorite titles.

Spain Has Been In The 'Wrong' Time Zone For 7 Decades

Spain's dictator Francisco Franco set the country's clocks an hour ahead in World War II in order to be aligned with Hitler's Germany. Memo to Spain: the war is over, the Nazis lost and it's OK to turn back the clocks now.

Britain And Spain In Deadlock Over Gibraltar

In a breach of international law, a U.K. diplomatic bag was opened by Spanish border guards as the pouch was being taken from the British protectorate of Gibraltar into Spain. Host Scott Simon speaks with Dominique Searle, editor of the Gibraltar Chronicle, about the long-running standoff between the U.K. protectorate and Spain.
Afghanistan is a poor country with very expensive weddings. There is no alcohol, the sexes are completely segregated, and the families may negotiate over the dowry right up to the last minute.

Front-Runners Emerge In NFL Playoff Race

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, the playoff battle in the NFL is heating up. And in hockey, 10 former players have filed suit against the NHL for failing to protect players from concussions. ESPN's Howard Bryant fills in the details with host Scott Simon.

The Case Against Big Data In Sports

University of Miami professor Robert Plant is starting to wonder if big data is ruining sports. He talks with host Scott Simon about how crunching the numbers is changing — and has already changed — the games we love to watch.

A London Cabbie's Guide To Lit Gifts

Will Grozier, the incredibly well-read London cabbie, joins host Scott Simon to help tick through shopping lists with book recommendations for all sorts of family members and friends.
Science isn't known as a career field that attracts showboats. But academics must give seminars, pharmaceutical researchers present results, and graduate students defend their work. In San Diego, one of the country's science hubs, a group aims to teach scientists the art of small talk and public speaking.

Tony Joe White's Steamy 'Hoodoo' Rock

Even if you haven't heard of Tony Joe White, you've probably heard his music. His songs have been performed by Elvis, Ray Charles and Tina Turner. He's even been sampled by Kanye West. Host Scott Simon talks with White about his distinctive swamp rock sound, and his new album, Hoodoo.
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