It wasn't so long ago that a handful of Vermont legislators in a shabby Statehouse committee room struggled over what to call their proposal to give marriage-like rights to the state's gay and lesbian residents.
Democrat Howard Dean, governor at the time, had already made clear he'd veto any legislation labeled "marriage." Suggestions like "domestic partner relationship" were too clunky; "civil accord," they decided, evoked a car model.
Back in 1996, a group of baby cicadas burrowed into soils in the eastern U.S. to lead a quiet life of constant darkness and a diet of roots. Now at the ripe age of 17, those little cicadas are all grown up and it's time to molt, procreate and die while annoying a few million humans with their constant chirping in the process.
We want to remind everyone to join us here most weeks at the Chase Bank Auditorium, and don't miss our May 2nd cinecast event, where you can see WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! live at your local movie theater. We've got Paula Poundstone, Mo Rocca, Tom Bodett and America's sweetheart, Mr. Carl Kasell.
Tickets are going fast. For information, go to wbez.org, and you can find a link at our website waitwait.npr.org. Right now, panel, time for you answer some questions about this week's news.
Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank, but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-Wait-Wait, that's 1-888-924-8924. Or you can click the contact us link on our website waitwait.npr.org.
There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago. And check out our How to do Everything podcast. This week: Ian and Mike help a first grader realize his dream of becoming the world's greatest armpit farter.
Now on to our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our panelists now has 60 seconds to answer as many fill in the blank questions as they can; each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?
BILL KURTIS: Charlie and Amy have three and Tom has two.
SAGAL: OK, Tom, you're in third place. You're up first. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. Senator Harry Reid said this week that he is leaving the blank ban out of his gun violence bill.
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:
Award-winning author Chinua Achebe, sometimes described as the grandfather of modern African literature, died this week at age 82. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton in Lagos, Nigeria.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama heads home from the Middle East today after a mixed reception to his four-day visit. Mr. Obama spent much of that time in Israel trying to lay the groundwork to revive the long-stalled peace process with Palestinians. He also traveled to the West Bank and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. NPR's Scott Horsley has a recap.
Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan were doing just fine as solo performers. Then one night, Ryan walked into a bar where Pattengale was playing.
"I heard Kenneth perform a song that he had written from the perspective of a dead dog, only very recently having been hit by a truck," Ryan says, wryly. "And it was that sort of uplifting material that drew us together."
Editor's note: When Arab Spring protests broke out in Saudi Arabia in 2011, the government reacted quickly, pumping $130 billion into the economy and cracking down on dissent. While this approach has worked in some cities, the Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province continued to demonstrate. Reese Erlich, on assignment for GlobalPost and NPR, managed to get into the city of Qatif and meet with protest leaders.
F. Scott Fitzgerald first saw his future wife from across a crowded room at a country club dance in Montgomery, Ala., where he was in basic training and she was waiting to be discovered by the world. They wed in 1920, and the two went on to have a famously turbulent marriage — tarnished by personal and professional jealousy, alcohol abuse and mental illness — which they both immortalized in their writing.
In the late 1960s, an all-girl singing group hit it big. But they didn't come from Detroit or Memphis — the four young aboriginal women hailed from the Australian Outback.
At the time, aboriginal people were just gaining basic civil rights, like voting and being counted as Australian citizens. The girls faced intense racism at home, but they took their act all the way to Vietnam to entertain American troops.
Philip Roth turned 80 years old this week, and his hometown of Newark, N.J. — a city he left long ago, but often returns to in his books — honored the man often acclaimed as America's greatest living novelist with a marching band, a birthday cake in the shape of books piled high and lots of symposia.
NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 5: A return to shore finds that people prefer cars to corals.
It's not every day you open an in-flight magazine and read an ad touting "spitwater pressure cleaners for the mining industry." Flip the page and you'll also see an ad cajoling you to "snorkel, sip, snooze" on the Great Barrier Reef.
Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 10:13 am
Listening to The Milk Carton Kids on an album is one thing; watching the band work its magic live is another. This performance of "Hope of a Lifetime," the opening song on The Ash & Clay, was filmed at the Folk Alliance conference in Toronto. With its elegantly phrased messages about growth and the complexity of progress, "Hope of a Lifetime" moves delicately and thoughtfully.