Weekend Edition Saturday for Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Supreme Court resumes hearing oral arguments this month. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks with Tom Goldstein, co-founder and publisher of SCOTUSblog, about the court's term so far and the cases to be decided in the New Year.

Transgender Issues Follow Path Blazed By Gay Rights

Some gay and lesbian activists say 2013 was "the gayest year ever," but as 2014 opens, another issue is gaining traction — transgender rights.
Jan. 8 is the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's War on Poverty. NPR's Linda Wertheimer reflects on whether Johnson succeeded in his goal.

Winter Storm Gives Eastern U.S. A Walloping

Life is getting back to normal in the Northeast as residents finish cleaning up from a major storm that dropped plenty of snow and forced the closure of highways and schools. Thousands of flights were canceled.

Bloomberg Contributed Personal Wealth To His Legacy

Michael Bloomberg has stepped down after 12 years as mayor of New York City, leaving a big imprint on the city. Errol Louis, the host of Inside City Hall on NY1, speaks with NPR's Linda Wertheimer about Bloomberg's legacy.
The term "Rube Goldberg machine" has become shorthand for a convoluted contraption made up of a series of chain reactions. But Goldberg was also a real person, whose ideas for whimsical devices have captivated imaginations for decades.
What happens when you cross thesis research-induced delirium, a sardonic sense of humor and Tumblr? LOLmythesis, a pithy collection of one-line summaries of academic theses. Angie Frankel, the creator of LOLmythesis, speaks with NPR's Linda Wertheimer about the funny, sometimes depressing submissions.
Americans buy about 30 million live trees every year. Many end up as mulch, but in some communities they help rebuild dunes, create fish habitat and feed zoo animals. Hear the story of arborial resurrection in anapestic tetrameter.

Your Personal Reinventions For 2014

With the New Year and so many resolutions upon us, we wanted to know how you might reinvent yourself in 2014 — or how you already did at any point in the past. We put out a call for any big changes you've made at work, home or life. NPR's Linda Wertheimer shares your responses.
Paul Bragiel is a successful venture capitalist in San Francisco. Early last year he realized he needed to participate in the Olympics at least once in his life. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Bragiel from Finland, where he's training to go from "chunky computer nerd" to Olympic cross-country skier.

Pushing A Tradition Forward, Bandolim In Hand

A master of the Brazilian version of the mandolin, Hamilton de Holanda is determined to show the world what the instrument can do — and he's found friends in disparate musical worlds who are helping him prove is point.
The Arab Spring was a seismic event in the Arab world and beyond. But after the initial democratic shockwaves, how much has changed? A new collection of essays, Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution: Voices From Tunis to Damascus, looks back on the revolution and ahead at the ongoing struggle. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks with editor Matthew Cassel and contributor Yasmine El Rashidi.
After decades of war in Afghanistan, the country has thousands of orphans. One home for these children ended up with an improbable benefactor — an Iranian-American who came to Kabul to do rule of law development work, and stumbled into a side project working with disabled orphans.

Boeing Machinists Accept Contract By Slim Margin

Boeing machinists voted Friday to accept a slightly revised offer that union rank-and-file rejected in the fall. Union leaders say they want to preserve pay and benefits, but they feared if machinists didn't accept the offer, Boeing would consider moving production of the 777X elsewhere.

Female Farm Workers Speak Up About Sexual Harassment

Female laborers are starting to speak up about the hidden price some pay to keep their jobs in the fields: enduring sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape. It can be emotionally difficult for any rape victim to press criminal charges, but female farm workers have to overcome additional cultural hurdles. (This story originally aired on Nov. 6, 2013 on All Things Considered.)

Revenues, But Not Profits, Soar For Hollywood In 2013

Hollywood set records at the box office in 2013. NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks with Stephen Galloway of the Hollywood Reporter about the year in movies, from big budget flops to the awards season logjam, and what to expect in 2014.
Movie theater seats are getting more deluxe. A couple chains are installing recliners in the latest effort to give movie-goers more of the comforts of home. (This story originally aired on Nov. 29, 2013, on Morning Edition.)
As much as the BCS system was criticized for using statistics instead of actual playoffs, this year's matchups were pretty interesting. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks with sports reporter Tom Goldman about the end of a college football tradition, NFL playoffs and the collision of football and politics.
Students at Rice University in Houston are finding low-cost solutions to big global health problems. The women running the program are hoping to get these young engineers hooked on helping. One particularly successful device that helps infants breathe has already been tested in Malawi and will be distributed to hospitals around the country.
The ability to identify musical notes by ear is usually thought to be something developed early in life. Now a Harvard study says a drug normally used as a mood stabilizer might allow adults with no musical experience to learn perfect pitch.

Hip-Hop's Aboriginal Connection

Beat Nation is a traveling art exhibition that mines the similarities between hip-hop and indigenous culture. It's made a big splash in Canada, where indigenous protest movements have recently captured headlines.
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