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Sports
7:00 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Sports: Basketball Rebounds; An NFL Implosion

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 2:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Strange News
7:00 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Who Should Be The Next Celebrity Stamp?

The U.S. Postal Service has waived its rule banning someone from being honored on a stamp until he or she has been dead for at least five years. Host Scott Simon reports the Postal Service has received thousands of nominations from the public for new stamps to honor more recent celebrities, ranging from Billy Graham to Lady Gaga.

Politics
7:00 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Congress Tries, But Still Can't Save Payroll Tax Cuts

People who are lucky enough to have jobs could still see a cut in their paychecks next month unless Congress votes to extend a payroll tax cut. NPR's Scott Horlsey and Tamara Keith join host Scott Simon to talk about the status of the cut.

Books
7:00 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Bear Wants Hat Back; For More, See Kids Book

Jon Klassen's latest book, I Want My Hat Back, is the delightful story about a bear who loses, and then finds, his hat. Scott talks with Weekend Edition's ambassador to the world of children's literature, Daniel Pinkwater, about the story and the importance of art in children's books.

From Our Listeners
7:00 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Your Letters: Predictive Policing; Doris Day

We received hundreds of comments on our segment last week on predictive policing, which uses statistics and algorithms to deploy police where crimes are most likely to occur. Also, many listeners wrote to thank us for our chat with Doris Day. Host Scott Simon reads listeners' comments.

Around the Nation
6:56 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Decking The Halls: A White House Tradition

Ornaments made to honor loved ones decorate the Gold Star Families Tree.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:13 am

A group of more than 100 volunteers helped decorate the White House this year, covering the mansion in Christmas trees, cookie ornaments and several versions of the Obamas' dog, Bo. The real stars, however, were the military families who joined the celebration.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Politics
6:41 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Gingrich's Popularity: A Winning Boost?

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has seen a recent bump in the polls. More criticism is sure to come, but Gingrich says he doesn't think attacks from other candidates will be effective.
Richard Shiro AP

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 7:36 pm

Newt Gingrich is now the focus of the race to become the GOP presidential nominee — and with that comes the heat. His main opposition, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney went on the attack Friday, but Gingrich insists he'll stay positive. The big question is whether the former House speaker can sustain his surge in the polls.

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Simon Says
6:33 am
Sat December 3, 2011

What's In a (Baby) Name?

So many end-of-the year lists detail something trivial. But sometimes those lists can help us appreciate something obvious.

BabyCenter.com has just released their list of the most popular names for American babies in 2011.

The most popular girl's names: Sophia, Emma, Isabella, Olivia, and Ava, which sound like they could be lifted, letter by letter, from 1960s movie marquees. The most popular boy's names: Aiden, Jackson, Mason, Liam and Jacob, which could be the name of a Boston or Chicago law firm.

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Economy
6:08 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Behind Unemployment Figure, A Nuanced Outlook

NPR

The U.S. unemployment rate took a big tumble in November, from 9 percent to 8.6 percent, according to the government's monthly jobs data. Still, it's probably too soon pop the champagne corks. A combination of forces caused the big drop, some good and some bad.

Getting a big fall in the unemployment rate is always good news in the White House, but President Obama was careful not to gloat at an appearance Friday in Washington.

"This morning we learned that our economy added another 140,000 private sector jobs in November. The unemployment rate went down," he said.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Son's Funny And Loving Obituary About Dad Charms Readers

"Robert Spiegel's passion for Russian literature, the New York Mets, ethnic cooking and beagles endeared him to generations of students and colleagues at Central Connecticut State University," The Associated Press says. "Now, through the power of social media, the 77-year-old former English professor's obituary is charming strangers, as well."

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Ron Paul
5:03 am
Sat December 3, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Ron Paul

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul speaks with voters after a town hall meeting in Keene, N.H., on Nov. 21.
Cheryl Senter AP

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 2:42 pm

Everybody knows that Ron Paul is a doctor from Texas. Born in Pittsburgh in 1935, he graduated from Gettysburg College and Duke University's medical school. He was a flight surgeon in the Air Force. His wife's name is Carol. He has served as a Republican congressman for years and years.

Everybody knows that Paul has made bids for the presidency three times — as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and this time around. And everybody knows he lost the first two.

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Movie Interviews
5:02 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Gary Oldman Steps Into A Spymaster's Shoes

'Cosh And Carry': Smiley's colleague Peter Guilliam (Benedict Cumberbatch, left) runs the MI6 division charged with blackmail, kidnapping and other rough stuff.
Focus Features

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 2:31 pm

The character of George Smiley is an iconic one — longtime spy, mild, podgy, middle-aged. He blends into the fog and the old gray streets of London.

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Strange News
5:02 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Haiku Traffic Signs Bring Poetry To NYC Streets

John Morse NYC DOT

If you're walking or biking around New York City this weekend you might look up at a busy intersection and see signs like these:

Traffic warning street signs written as haiku are appearing on poles around the five boroughs, posted by the New York City Department of Transportation. The poems and accompanying artwork were created by artist John Morse. There are 12 designs in all, 10 in English and two in Spanish.

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Architecture
5:01 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Nature And Design Meet In Lautner's Modern Homes

Designed in 1958, architect John Lautner's Chemosphere House perches atop a 29-foot concrete pole on a roughly 45 degree slope in California's Hollywood Hills and is accessible via funicular.
Sara Sackner Courtesy of Judith Lautner and the John Lautner Foundation

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 2:31 pm

An artist with an idyllic childhood might be as rare as a house with walls made of air, but both play a part in the story of architect John Lautner.

Lautner's homes have appeared in Hollywood movies, but the architect himself wasn't particularly well-known when he died in 1994. Still, in 2011 — the centennial year of Lautner's birth — his hometown of Marquette, Mich., has honored him with two exhibitions: one at Northern Michigan University's DeVos Art Museum and one at the Marquette Regional History Center.

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Europe
4:00 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Turks Enjoy A Little Schadenfreude At EU's Expense

A woman walks up the stairs of Galata Bridge in Istanbul. With the financial crisis in the eurozone, Turks are rethinking their years-long bid to be a part of the European Union.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

As he prepares for the midday rush, Mustafa Baljan puts the finishing touches on the kebabs, salads and stews that make up many a working Turk's lunch. As the steam carries the scent of lamb and garlic into the street, the 37-year-old restaurant owner considers a popular question: With European economies on the ropes, should Turkey still be seeking to join the European Union?

"Are you kidding? Of course I don't want to join," Baljan says. "Countries are going bankrupt. Why would we want to join a union like that?"

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