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"When I first started making music, I took a fake name to disguise the fact I was going to embark on what was bound to be a short, unsatisfactory musical career," John Wesley Harding says. That was 23 years ago.

Harding recently launched a side career as a novelist, for which he uses his given name: Wesley Stace. But he's continued to release music under his alias, a name he shares with a 1967 Bob Dylan record. Speaking with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon, Harding says he's learned to spread the wealth between his two creative personas.

Arthur Honegger's Joan Of Arc For The Ages

Nov 4, 2011

I became fascinated with Jeanne d'Arc Au Bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) by Swiss-French composer Arthur Honegger many years ago, when I first heard a snippet of the piece on the radio. It was one of those arresting moments where I felt I'd heard the music before and couldn't place it for the life of me. As it turns out, I'd never heard it, but it's understandable why I thought I had.

American Troops Die In Afghan Attack

Oct 29, 2011

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In Afghanistan today, a Taliban suicide bomber slammed a car packed with explosives into an armored bus carrying NATO troops in Kabul. At least 13 U.S. soldiers died in the attack. According to a Pentagon spokesman, the blast incinerated the vehicle and is the latest in a series of recent high-profile attacks in Afghanistan. For more on the incident, we're joined now by NPR's Ahmad Shafi in Kabul. Shafi, what more details can you give us about the attack?

Cardinals Are 2011 World Series Champions

Oct 29, 2011

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers by a score of 6 to 2 Friday night to win the Series in seven games. NPR's Tom Goldman has game highlights.

The World Series As An Old Pro Sees It

Oct 29, 2011

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host: Jim Bouton knows what it's like to stand on the pitching mound in a World Series with the world watching. He pitched three World Series games for the New York Yankees in 1963 and '64. Of course, he's also wrote the classic baseball memoir about baseball and life, "Ball Four." Jim joins us from Western Massachusetts. Thanks so much for being with us.

JIM BOUTON: Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: Couple of months ago, would a sane observer see the Cardinals winning the World Series?

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

John McCarthy, the American mathematician known universally as the father of Artificial Intelligence, died last Monday at his home in Palo Alto. He was 84.

WEEKEND EDITION's Math Guy, Keith Devlin, knew McCarthy and has this remembrance.

KEITH DEVLIN, BYLINE: I first got to know John McCarthy when I arrived at Stanford as a visiting professor in 1987. He was 60 years old at that time, with a towering and, to me, somewhat daunting, reputation.

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SCOTT SIMON, host: Time now for your letters.

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SIMON: Last week, we spoke with NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea. He was in Iowa talking to voters about Republican presidential contenders ahead of the 2012 presidential caucuses.

In 1971, a novel set off a frenzy that soon inspired a film — and then a firestorm.

Tony Bennett's Art Of Intimacy

Oct 28, 2011

When you think of American classics, you might think of baseball, Abe Lincoln, apple pie ... and Anthony Dominick Benedetto. That's Tony Bennett to you.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Dies

Oct 22, 2011

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

'Jane Austen Made Me Do It,' Authors Claim

Oct 22, 2011

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SCOTT SIMON, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Why is Siri female?

Siri is the name of a new talking virtual assistant feature on the latest iPhone that can tell you when you have an appointment, where to find a Thai restaurant and what the pollen count will be.

I have friends who have the phone and love to ask Siri, "What's the meaning of life?" She has an answer, which is impressive. Maybe it takes a circuit board to recognize the special quality of life. But frankly, her answer sounds a little robotic.

Your Letters: Herman Cain's Tax Math

Oct 22, 2011

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SCOTT SIMON, host: Time now for your letters.

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SIMON: Lots of mail about my interview last week with Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain, especially what Mr. Cain said about the taxes paid by a family of four making $50,000 under the current tax system.

HERMAN CAIN: Based upon standard deductions and standard exemptions, they're going to pay $10,200 in taxes.

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