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People & Life

People & Life on Weekend America


  • Cartoons and Poetry

    Billy Collins

    As a kid, Saturday morning meant one thing: cartoons. You'd wake up early, maybe pour yourself a bowl of cereal, turn on the tube, and get lost in a universe of the implausible. Billy Collins remembers. His Saturday mornings were flooded with the Looney Toons characters of Warner Brothers. Before he was twice appointed U.S. Poet Laureate, before he'd won awards and written volumes of poetry, Billy Collins was just a boy sitting in front of a black-and-white TV.

  • Conversations with America: Alexandra Fuller

    Alexandra Fuller in Wyoming

    Elections are bearing down on us. Sometimes we can get a sort of mental whiplash from all the back-and-forthing during the week. The weekend, if you're lucky, is a time when you can stand back from some of that and reflect on what's really important. Between now and election time, we're asking some folks to bring us their personal takes on what's important in this election. Our first essay comes from Alexandra Fuller. She's a writer in Jackson, Wyoming. But she grew up in a very different place. Sort of.

  • Music for the Deaf

    Sean Forbes Interpreting a Song

    For many of us, going to see live music on the weekend is something we take for granted. We obsess over a band, listen to their music and go to their shows. There's a smaller segment of the population that has been mostly ignored by musicians, but they're just as passionate about the music: the deaf and hard of hearing. This weekend, a competition kicks off to come up with technology that will help the hard of hearing community experience music.

  • Science of Happiness

    Dalai Lama speaking on happiness and responsibiliy

    A new book, "Emotional Awareness: Overcoming the Obstacles to Psychological Balance and Compassion," brings together the thoughts and experience of world renowned scientist Paul Ekman and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. An unusual project for a renowned brain scientist, but Ekman is the kind of researcher who inspires passionate following.

  • Obama's Hawaiian Getaway

    Obama on Kailua Beach

    In the midst of non-stop campaigning, presidential candidates need a place to rest and recharge. For Barack Obama, the Hawaiian island of Oahu serves that function. Obama was born on the island and he says it's an important spot for him to check in and rejuvenate. Only now, he does it with an entourage of media, something that certainly wouldn't change if he became president.

  • Bankopalypse, Drilling, and Anchovies

    Wall Street tries to stabilize after meltdown

    It's been a rough week if you have or would like to have money ever. Or if you participate in the economy in any way. Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch was hastily sold to Bank of America. Insurance and financial services giant AIG got an $85 billion loan from the government. The Dow plunged, then soared later in the week as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced a plan to back troubled money market funds.

  • Lost At Sea

    Megan Kellie by the cruise ship

    This weekend, seven cruise ships are leaving from U.S. ports. Megan Kellie is on one of them. She's a comedy writer and performer in Los Angeles. Earlier this year, she spent three months entertaining people on a cruise ship from L.A. to Mexico as part of an improv comedy troupe. We asked Megan to give us a sense of what it's like to live and work in a place where it's always the weekend.

  • Life After Life

    Philip J. Seiler

    What does it mean to serve a life sentence in prison? After a ruling from California's highest court revising the terms of parole, one inmate from San Quentin State Prison was notified he was getting out after 20 years behind bars. Nancy Mullane was there on Philip J. Seiler's first weekend out and has his story.

  • Kontemporary Kartoons

    Weekend America's John Moe was once a dedicated watcher of Warner Bros. cartoons. Today John's own son faithfully tunes into cartoons every Saturday morning, but John finds it difficult to enjoy them. They're not funny, for one thing. But it's not the seriousness. The cartoons that John's son enjoys all follow a similar theme: Regular children in a magical world, beset with monsters, and fighting battles. Adults, as in dads, just don't really matter.

  • America's Weekend: Astroland's Final Days

    Coney Island Dancers

    On our website, there's a little feature called "America's Weekend via Flickr." It's a photomontage of snapshots tagged "weekend" and "america" on the photo-sharing service Flickr. One photo that caught our eye is of friends on the beach. And it caught our eye because that beach is Coney Island - you can see the defunct parachute jump in the background. Another big part of Coney Island became defunct last weekend after Astroland closed for good last Sunday. We talked to the photographer, Diana Taft Shumate.

  • Retracing a Wartime Bike Ride

    Asta and Kristoffer Ladstein

    In 1940, Sasha Aslanian's grandmother, Asta Ladstein, biked across Norway with her husband. They did it when Norway was under German occupation. They took a ferry from their island off the southwest coast up into one of the fjords. Then they pedaled over the mountains through Telemark. They went over 200 miles, just to visit Asta's sister. Their two-year-old daughter came along in a handlebar basket. This summer, Sasha Aslanian and her husband Leif Larsen retraced their journey.

  • Letters: Purple Hearts, Barbies Forever and Air Taxis

    A Cirrus SR22, known for its parachute.

    Charlie Schroeder's piece about his father catching an air taxi from Culebra to Puerto Rico prompted some of you to say "air taxis?"

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