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Hour 1

  • The Texas Petrochemicals flare

    Politics on the Spot: The Houston Ship Channel

    For the final installment of our series Politics on the Spot, we head to the industrial heart of Houston, the Ship Channel. Texas has some of the weakest environmental enforcement in the country, and the city of Houston has no zoning codes at all to regulate its large number of oil refineries. As Weekend America's Michael May reports, it all adds up to a bad situation for families and children living right on refinery row.

  • Independent Uprising

    John P. Avlon

    It's easy to see this election as being between Democrats and Republicans. Most candidates are affiliated with one party or the other. But an increasing number of voters are breaking out of party lines and defining themselves as independent. John Avlon thinks they represent the ideas of most Americans. He's the author of "Independent Nation" and a fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

  • Music Bridge:
    My Name is Johnny Hawk
    Artist: Global Goon
    CD: Family Glue (Audio Dregs)
  • Tales of Terror

    Tales of Terror

    For the second Halloween in a row, Weekend America asked writers from all across the country to scare up some original - and short - spooky stories. Throughout the show, we bring you brand new tales of terror that clock in at just 30 seconds long. This year, we have David Rakoff, Elise Primavera, Dana Gould, Laura Benedict, David Wellington and Richard Sala.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Supersilent
    CD: 4 (Rune Grammofon)
  • The Obama Effect

    Catherine Squires

    As we head into the last week of the presidential campaign, pollsters say Sen. Barack Obama is pulling ahead of Sen. John McCain in key battleground states. Though the outcome of the race is still far from clear, Obama's historic run for the presidency has had an effect on everything from fund-raising to art. This week at the University of Minnesota, a conference called "The Obama Effect" explored Obama's impact on America.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Jeffrey Roden
    CD: Seeds of Happiness (New Albion)
  • Conversations with America

    Conversations with America: Ethan Book

    Ethan Book

    Ethan Book grew up in a small Iowa town and attended the University of Northern Iowa. Along with his wife Becca and two young children, Ethan oversees a growing herd of registered Dexter cattle and a flock of laying hens, and is expanding his operation on a small family farm in Southern Iowa.

  • Music Bridge:
    Cop Show
    Artist: Emperor Penguin
    CD: Extreme Gaming (My Pal God)
  • Garageland: Brad's Little Shop of Horrors

    Brad Palmer

    We continue our "Garageland" series this week as we head to South Pasadena, California, to meet Brad Palmer. During the week, Brad's a make-up artist for TV shows like "CSI: New York" and "Heroes." On the weekends, though, he kicks back in his garage to make props. Brad Palmer's garage looks like any ordinary garage. Until you notice the blood on the floor. And the shelves full of body parts.

  • Music Bridge:
    Built Up To Falling
    Artist: Foehn
    CD: Hidden Cinema Soundtrack (Fat Cat)
  • Let's Talk About Porn, Baby

    The Stranger's amateur porn festival logo

    We should alert parents out there, this story deals with the subject of P-O-R-N. It's the talk of the town in Seattle this weekend as thousands of people attend an amateur porn festival called Hump. But what some people find stimulating, other people find off-putting. Reporter Liz Jones falls into that latter camp. But she has a connection with this film festival that was not of her choosing.

  • Music Bridge:
    Dr. X
    Artist: Mike Shannon
    CD: Memory Tree (Plus 8)
  • Key-tar King

    Ben Folds

    Ben Folds has been touring on and off for more than 10 years now. That can be a grind, especially when you have to play the hits each night - and enjoy doing it. So Ben Folds brings toys. You should see the stage at his concerts: French horns, multiple glockenspiels, melodicas, a grand piano that he pulls from town to town. It's like an orchestra up there, but with just a few guys. We caught up with him at a recent show to talk about his touring arsenal.

Hour 2

  • Mahvish Khan

    My Guantanamo Diary

    This weekend, Mahvish Khan is packing to go to Cuba. Not for a sunny vacation, but to visit the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. An American born of Afghan parents, Khan has worked as an interpreter for lawyers representing Afghan detainees. Since then, she's gone back several times and has befriended some of the prisoners. She wrote about her experiences in her book "My Guantanamo Diary."

  • America's Infrastructure

    America's Infrastructure: Delaware Aqueduct

    A roadside sinkhole in Roseton, New York.

    The longest tunnel in the world supplies New York City with drinking water. And it's leaking: Just in the amount of time that this show is on the air, the Delaware Aqueduct will leak at least enough to put a football field under three and a half feet of water. It's just one part of America's infrastructure that's falling apart. Reporter Rick Karr has the story of the catastrophe that's unfolding several hundred feet underground.

  • Music Bridge:
    Airtight Golem
    Artist: Skyphone
    CD: Fabula (Rune Grammofon)
  • Good News, Bad News, No News

    Irrational Shock, Early Voting, and Expensive Lipstick

    Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan

    Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said this week that he "made a mistake" in trusting that the free market could regulate itself. Speaking to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he said, "Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders' equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief." Was Greenspan's admission of error good news, bad news or no news?

  • Music Bridge:
    Humourless Journalist Works To Rules
    Artist: Dub Syndicate
    CD: The Pounding System (On U Sound)
  • Letters

    Letters: Race, Money, and Sailing

    Endurance Sailing

    It's time to open the Weekend America mailbag and hear your responses to recent shows. This week, host John Moe learns about whether there's any way to determine world records in endurance sailing. Also we hear your responses to last week's segments on race and forgiveness at a Michigan church, and our essay from a college teacher forced to sell her books to buy food.

  • Music Bridge:
    The Devil in Us (Dub Version)
    Artist: Black Devil Disco Club
    CD: Black Devil in Dub (Lo)
  • Obama, Japan; McCain, North Carolina

    Obama Girls

    In this, the penultimate weekend before the election, you might be wondering what Obama and McCain are doing in their off-camera moments. That's what Weekend America's Krissy Clark was wondering. And she discovered that, oddly enough, Obama will be baking a lot of sweet bean cakes this weekend. And McCain will be eating a lot of turkey. You probably think we're talking about Barack Obama and John McCain. But we aren't.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Supersilent
    CD: 4 (Rune Grammofon)
  • Baseball Magnet

    Zack Hample poses with his famous baseball.

    This weekend the Tampa Bay Rays face the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 3 of the World Series. More than 43,000 fans will be on hand to catch the game. And some will catch more than that: a foul ball, or maybe a home run. Weekend America's Charlie Schroeder recently talked with one man who knows a thing or two about the art of getting baseballs at games. He's the Babe Ruth of the bleachers.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Kiln
    CD: Ampday (Thalassa)
  • Scaring the Kids


    What's the scariest movie moment you recall from childhood? It might not even be from a movie that was supposed to be terrifying. Instead, maybe it was a weird little moment of fright in a movie that seemed fairly innocent. Perhaps Gene Wilder's psychedelic boat ride in "Willy Wonka"? The Child Catcher in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"? Or the ultimate in childhood terror: the flying monkeys in "The Wizard of Oz."

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