Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Rachel Garlinghouse and her husband, Steve are both white, and they've adopted three kids โ two girls and a boy โ who are African-American. "We get double takes everywhere we go," Garlinghouse tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "You have to look at discrimination in a whole new way" as a transracial family.
On-air challenge: Every answer is a word that begins and ends with the letter A. You'll be given an anagram of the letters between the A's. For example, given "ern," you would say, "arena."
Last week's challenge: Name something in five letters that's generally pleasant, it's a nice thing to have. Add the letters A and Y, and rearrange the result, keeping the A and Y together as a pair. You'll get the seven-letter word that names an unpleasant version of the five-letter thing. What is it?
The Senate gets back to work Monday after a two-week holiday break. Just as Majority Leader Harry Reid promised, the first piece of legislation getting a vote will be a three-month extension of the long-term unemployment benefits that ran out a week ago for 1.3 million jobless Americans.
Though the Senate unemployment measure is bipartisan, it's not clear it has enough votes to beat a GOP filibuster. Regardless, Democrats are banging the drum on the issue as a midterm election year begins.
It's a near-perfect morning on Venice Beach in Southern California, temperatures in the 60s, with a breeze. You can hear the waves of the Pacific crash against the sand. Only a layer of clouds mars the scene.
Scott and Sue Nolan, visiting from Houston, play kickball in the sand with their son. They are grateful to be in this mild, if not perfectly sunny weather, but Sue Nolan has noticed something's not right.
"One of the thoughts, when we were driving through town was, how are they sustaining all this with what you see so dry everywhere?" she says.
These days, the middle aged gamer who enjoys Call of Duty after putting the baby to bed probably grew up on the games of the Atari - or maybe even maybe the Apple IIe. Nostalgic? Well, there is a cure out there. The Internet Archive is an archive of historically important software. And it's made hundreds of classic video games available for free play right in your browser. Casey Johnston writes for Ars Technica. It's an online tech news magazine. And she played some of these games. She's here to chat with us about it. Hey, Casey.
Phil Everly, half of the whole that was the Everly Brothers, died on Friday at the age of 74. The brothers were rock pioneers, and their style, including those close, unmistakable vocal harmonies, influenced a generation of musicians.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE")
THE EVERLY BROTHERS: (Singing) Wake up little Susie, wake up. Wake up little Susie, wake up. We've both been sound asleep. Wake up little Susie and weep...
Abortion rights activists are working on a counterattack to the 200 bills that have passed in states across the U.S. since 2010.
In the past three years, Republican-led legislatures have backed bills to regulate abortions and the doctors and clinics that perform them.
Bills to ban abortions at 20 weeks are among the laws that cropped up three years ago and have now passed in about a dozen states. This year, North Dakota pushed to end abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy.
The giant retailer Target continues to feel the fallout from a massive security breach at its stores. The latest revelation: Hackers who stole credit and debit card numbers this holiday season also collected encrypted personal identification numbers.
But Brigitte Clark had no worries as she left a Target in Los Angeles on Saturday morning, her cart full of groceries.
On-air challenge: You will be given some names that you probably never heard of before 2013, but that were in the news during the past 12 months. You name who the people are. These names were compiled with the help of Kathie Baker, Tim Goodman and Sandy Weisz.
Last week's challenge from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco: Think of a well-known filmmaker, first and last names. Add "S-U-N" before this person's first name and last name. In each case, you'll form a common English word. Who is the filmmaker?
The Polynesian society of Easter Island supposedly collapsed in the late 1600s after the population razed the island of every last tree. Recent evidence suggests a different story, one that hints not at environmental suicide but at successful adaptation. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with anthropologist Mara Mulrooney about her research.
In the two-year, $2 trillion budget deal that cleared the Senate last week, one item, worth just one-sixth of 1 percent of that total, was the reason many senators said they voted against it.
That item would produce some $6 billion in savings by shaving a percentage point off annual cost-of-living adjustments, and it would apply only to military pensions. Not all military pensions โ just the retirement paid to veterans younger than 62.
Joseph's House is a hospice in Washington, D.C., for people who don't have a home. Started in 1990, it's a spot where people with end-stage AIDS and cancer can come to receive food, shelter, medication and community. NPR's Rachel Martin checks in for the holidays.
The relationship between a teacher and a student can be transformative. It's a particularly important relationship in classical music. A teacher is part mentor, part manager โ even a parental figure.
So, those are the fabulous soirees of fiction, but what about those lower-brow shindigs - the parties on our favorite TV shows that we'd love to crash? There is, of course, Elaine's epic dance fail at her office party on "Seinfeld."
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW)
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (as Elaine) All right. Who's dancing? Come on, who's dancing? Want me to get it started?
Each year, millions of people from different faiths make religious journeys. They travel far, to Mecca, Jerusalem, the Ganges River or Lourdes, France, to walk the paths of prophets, saints and martyrs.
"Pilgrimage is something built into the human condition," says George Weigel, author of Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches. "There seems to be something hardwired into us, spiritually, that the idea of a journey from A to B becomes part of the rhythm of the spiritual life."
The princess industry is lucrative: DVDs, dresses, crowns, theme parties. But the story of going to the ball and waiting for Prince Charming is outdated.
So one Southern California mom has created a new princess series with modern sensibilities. Creator Setsu Shigematsu recasts princesses as environmentally conscious and not waiting around to be rescued.
At the heart of her series, The Guardian Princess Alliance, is what animates any fairy tale: simple storytelling.
On-air challenge: Every answer is a five-letter word. You'll be given a clue for the word. Besides giving you a direct hint to the answer, the clue will also contain the answer in consecutive letters. For example, given "push over hard," you would say "shove."