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Weekend America Series


Weekend America's ongoing coverage of the environment. Sustainability reporting is supported by the Tides Foundation.


  • The Power of Water

    You don't know the power of water until you have been caught in a flash flood. The Las Vegas Springs Preserve, but nothing beats the real thing. Weekend America host Desiree Cooper sits down with Bill Castle of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to talk about Las Vegas and flash floods. For ten years Castle was part of the search and rescue team for the city. He's plucked his fair share of victims from the raging waters of flash floods and talks to us about the power of water.

  • Las Vegas Now: Controlled Freedom?

    Las Vegas, or Sin City as it's more affectionately known, has branded itself as a place of hedonistic, adult pleasure. Most people think of Las Vegas as the ultimate getaway - a place where everyone lets their hair down. You're free to gamble and you're free to have a drink anytime of the day or night. But is Vegas really the all out, anything goes, Sodom and Gomorrah everyone envisions? Weekend America sent reporter Nate DiMeo to find out.

  • Life-Changing Purchase: Four Wigs

    The Caskettes, a Minnesota singing group, is comprised of four sisters -- Babs, Delna, Mimi, and CindyLee (their stage names). They first got a taste of the spotlight when they performed about ten years ago at their grandmother's funeral (she had a riotous sense of humor and would've gotten a kick out of it, says CindyLee). Now they get together and perform whenever and wherever they can -- birthday parties, piano bars, family talent shows. The Caskettes have always dressed to the nines (think feathers, sequins), but this year, they upped their glamour ante when Delna got sick. In particular they bought wigs, so that the effects of radiation and chemo couldn't be seen. The singing and laughter have been cathartic for all of the women, and besides, you look a lot less ill in a wig and go go boots.

  • Let Them Drink Coke

    Pretty much, someone is trying to market something to everyone, always. But this was not always the case. Not so long ago, African-Americans were largely ignored by marketers. As part of our "Consumed" series, Weekend America reporter Krissy Clark brings us the story of how Madison Avenue discovered minorities.

  • Weekend Carbon Emissions

    This weekend millions of families are going about their normal weekend activities: Little League games, shopping and running errands, meeting up with friends. "Weekend America" wanted to know where being green and the weekend intersect. How do normal activities affect one's carbon footprint--or the resources each individual is taking up? Host Desiree Cooper sits down with Lisa Wise, executive director of the Center for a New American Dream, and a couple of listeners to talk weekend carbon emissions.

  • Your Ad Here: Adventures in Assvertising, and Other Pursuits

    Ads are everywhere. They're on cars, buses and planes. They're on people's bodies: stomachs, foreheads and rear-ends. Marketers are constantly scouring for unexpected advertising real estate. Weekend America reporter Sean Cole has a look at where they're headed next.

  • Winning the Lottery Didn't Change His Life

    As part of our coverage of the consumer economy, we're asking listeners what single purchase changed their lives. In Florida, Pete had started a new job. One day, a colleague asked him if he wanted to join the office pool to buy a lottery ticket. He said yes, and they won $14 million dollars. Pete tells us his story of a truly life-changing purchase.

  • In Dallas, a Fight Over the Land Between the Levees

    On November 6th, voters in Dallas have a ballot question before them: Should the city build a toll-road along its river? Opponents of the toll-road say it puts the city more at risk of a catastrophic flood, and it will ruin a planned park. Supporters say that without the road, Dallas will strangle itself on traffic jams. Weekend America's Julia Barton navigates Dallas' wild river, portaging over log jams, clambering the muddy banks, whacking through head-high grass to find whether Big D is ready to embrace its soggy center.

  • 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.

  • Baby's First Mastercard?

    Babies now have the choice of Barney clothing, Elmo diapers and fruit chews shaped like Teletubbies. Weekend America's John Moe wants to know if this is a cynical marketing ploy or a harmless way of enhancing a child's experience. He hears from Dr. Susan Linn of the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, Dr. Rosemarie Truglio of the Sesame Workshop and some plain old parents.

  • Buy a Gun, Get Inner Peace for Free

    The first firearm Eric bought was a Ruger MK II pistol. It changed his life. According to Eric, owning the gun has made him think long and hard about the responsibility. And believe it or not, owning a firearm has brought calm to his life. Shooting at the range helps him take a step back from his hectic life and breathe deeply -- it's almost Zen.

  • Not Crazy Over Ethanol

    This year, America grew the most corn it has since the end of World War II. This bumper crop is thanks to demand for ethanol, an alternative to gasoline that's made by fermenting sugars. Weekend America host Bill Radke talks with two corn farmers, Larry Meints of Seamboat Rock, Iowa, and Barney Lavin of Dover, Wis., about why they're not crazy about the ethanol craze.

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