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Ochen Kaylan

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  • A Sweet Potato Mystery

    Purple yam - a true yam that lives up to its name

    As Thanksgiving approaches, we approach a mystery of the produce aisle. The truth is, most of us have never seen a yam. The yams in the market are actually sweet potatoes, but a different kind of sweet potato than the vegetable next to it labeled a sweet potato. It's kind of confusing. Weekend America's Ochen Kaylan helps us sort it out.

  • So Long, Phoenix

    Phoenix at twilight

    We let go of a little part of our civilization this week. The Phoenix Mars Lander--the thing that found water on our neighboring red planet-- stopped sending messages back to Earth. In technical terms, it died. Producer Ochen Kaylan had a rough time with Phoenix's death this week, so he decided to write it a letter.

  • Duck Soup

    Groucho Marx

    The classic Marx Brothers' film Duck Soup -- a movie devoid of ducks and soup - is 75 years old this month. Weekend America producer Ochen Kaylan didn't know much about the film or the man at the center of it, so he chatted with someone who does.

  • The Science of Fall Colors

    Maple leaves in mid-color change.

    If you're in a part of the country dominated by coniferous trees, with needles instead of leaves, this time of year is just about getting colder. But if your landscape features deciduous trees, it is technicolor outside. But why do the leaves change color? What's actually happening in that tree? We're gonna get all public radio educational.

  • The First Sound Bite

    Fiery orator William Jennings Bryan.

    We seem to have gotten used to the idea that political campaigns are just strings of sound bites for months on end. And it seems like it's always been that way. But, of course, it hasn't. We don't imagine George Washington giving 10-second prefab answers to reporters. So when did political sound bites actually start showing up? Well, many historians say it happened exactly 100 years ago.

  • The Flight of Thomas Selfridge

    Thomas E. Selfridge and Orville Wright

    This weekend, aviation fans from all around are heading to Fort Myer, Va., for the Centennial of Military Aviation Celebration. It was there a hundred years ago that the U.S. military started looking into those new-fangled flying machines. A number of firsts happened pretty quickly--the first military test flights, the first military aviation school, the first long-distance flight. There was another first 100 years ago when Orville Wright rolled in to Fort Myer with the latest in flight technology.

  • Forget Ads, What's Your Brand?

    Almost every Saturday, 15-year-old Emily Erickson is at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. Most of its 500 stores don't interest her, except Hollister, a clothing store for teens. Hollister is odd. It's dark, with music so loud you can't hear yourself shop. The air is filled with a deep citrus scent that stays on your clothes for hours. But Emily loves it and keeps coming back. Hollister's "brand" invites her to become part of a particular tribe, and to show her allegiance by wearing its clothes. It's part of the way that branding has taken over from traditional advertising. We hear from brand designer Joe Duffy about the concept of "brand" for clothes, kids and even countries.

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