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How did your life collide with the headlines in 2007?
Iraq, the subprime crisis, Facebook, immigration, oil prices - 2007 had no shortage of hefty headlines. We'd like to hear about how these and other major news events of the past year affected you. Where did your life collide with the news in 2007?

What's your holiday performance story?
The office talent show, the neighborhood caroling posse, the school pageant ... At holiday time we often sing, dance, and dress as shepherds. Did you bloom in the warmth of your audience's adulation, or freeze up like the snowman you'd rather be building? Did your holiday performance change your life or that of someone close to you?

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Broadcast Information for August 7, 2004
Underground Railroad
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in Cincinnati this week. Bill Radke talks to reporter Naomi Lewin about her travels to a town just outside of Cincinnati, called Ripley, to interview people with stories of the Underground Railroad.

Online resources:
Web site for Ripley, Ohio

Music Bridge: Deep River
Artist: The Howard University Chamber Choir
CD: Wade In The Water, Vol.1:African American Spirituals:The Concert Tradition (Smithsonian Folkways)

Senator Morse
Photo: Courtesy of Wayne Morse Historical Park Corporation Enlarge
Gulf of Tonkin
Today is the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorized President Lyndon Johnson to take military action in South East Asia, essentially launching the Vietnam War. We hear an audio clip of Senator Wayne Morse from Oregon, one of the only two Senators to vote against the Resolution. In the clip, Morse argued that it was unconstitutional for Congress to cede its war powers to the president.

Online resource:
War Stories: The Gulf of Tonkin and Wayne Morse
Wayne L. Morse' Speech
Wayne Morse Historical Park Corporation

Music Bridge: Crevette Le Bandit
Artist: Billy Mahonie
CD: Bucolique Vol. 1 (Arbouse)

Her Long Black Hair
Her Long Black Hair
In lots of museums today, you'll find people wandering around with headphones, listening to an audio guide while they stare at the paintings. These recordings have also become quite helpful in guiding people on walking tours in public spaces, but in this story, we hear about someone who's turned the audio tour into an art form. The piece is called "Her Long Black Hair" by Janet Cardiff and it's up now through September 13 in New York City. Jocelyn Gonzales took the walk.

Online resources:

Sharon Glassman
Radio Essay on Demand
On your mark, get set, commentate! Performer Sharon Glassman delivers a thoughtful bit of radio wit -- on demand... her first tale takes us on a tour of somewhere very ordinary, a grocery store.

Online resource:
Suggest a topic for Sharon's next essay on demand

Music Bridge: Gibbious Orisha
Artist: Shark Quest
CD: Gods and Devils (Merge)
Skerker the Soothsayer of Weekend Weather...
Ben Skerker's unusual survey of events, celebrations, unplanned gatherings and -- of course -- his prognostications on weekend weather.

Part 1
Part 2

Listening Post: Gay Marriage
Gay marriage is back in the national spotlight this week, with two states headed in very different directions. On Tuesday, Missouri voters made theirs the first state since the controversial decision in Massachusetts to weigh in on the issue. The decision was a landslide, in favor of a constitutional amendment that will define marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman. Less than 48 hours later, a judge in Washington deemed that that state's law banning gay marriage was unconstitutional. So what's going on in America? Tom Weber, a reporter from KWMU in St. Louis, and Ross Reynolds, a talk-show host at KUOW in Seattle have joined Bill Radke to try to make some sense of this.

You Decide:
Should same-sex marriages be legal in the United States? Yes | No
Content partner coverage on same-sex marriage: KUOW, KPCC, MPR

Music Bridge: 28/06/00
Artist: Lack Luster
CD: Showcase (Merck)

Keith Jarrett
Don Byron
Geri Allen
Jazz Picks with "Jazz Times" columnist Nate Chinen
Saturdays are great for catching up on new music. Bill Radke and Jazz Times columnist Nate Chinen discuss three new releases for August.

Nate's set list:
I Can't Believe That You Are In Love With Me -- Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette from the album, The Out-of-Towners (August 31, 2004 release)
The Life of a Song -- Geri Allen from the album, The Life of a Song (August 24, 2004 release)
I've Found a New Baby -- Don Byron from the album, Ivey-Divey (August 31, 2004 release)

(Most music available at the Pubic Radio Music Source. Your purchase helps support Weekend America.)

McSweeney's Open Letters
Open Letter to the Elephant in the IKEA-Furnished Room
This week's "Open Letter to People and Entities Unlikely to Respond" pays tribute to a Swedish furniture store that sells products with inscrutable and mysterious Scandinavian names.

Online resources:
Read the Open Letter to the Elephant in the IKEA-Furnished Room
Submit an open letter to McSweeney's Open Letters to people and entities who are unlikely to respond

Sharon Glassman
Radio Essay on Demand
On your mark, get set, commentate! Performer Sharon Glassman delivers another thoughtful bit of radio wit -- on demand... this time, it's a "Letter to the Statue of Liberty".

Online resource:
Suggest a topic for Sharon's next essay on demand

Summer Jobs
Weekend America correspondent Hank Rosenfeld needed to make a little extra money, so he decided to look for a summer job. He applied at the Brite 'n Shine, a local car wash, and got hired on as a driver.

Online resources:
More from Hank Rosenfeld

Music Bridge: Car Wash
Artist: Rose Royce
CD: The Very Best of Rose Royce (Rhino Records)
Music Bridge: Pickin' Cotton
Artist: Johnny Talbot & De Thangs
CD: Bay Area Funk (Ubiquity)
Bush, Steel and the Economy
Economic indicators were revealed this week and the number of jobs created was disappointingly low. Barbara Bogaev talks with Bob Welling, a steel worker from Ohio, who has just returned from Active Duty in Iraq. Welling had the privilege of meeting the President on his campaign bus just last week.

Tom Ridge
Getty Images Enlarge
Terror Alert
Was it a case of "the boy who cried wolf", or was this week's heightened terror alert based on credible intelligence? Barbara Bogaev poses this question to New York Times reporter Ben Wiser.
Music Bridge: Oriental Wind
Artist: Wax Poetic
CD: Nublu Sessions (Wrasse Records)

Inventing Race
Casta Paintings
There's a one-of-a-kind exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art called "Inventing Race" featuring a unique genre of art called casta (caste) paintings. Part postcard, part political propaganda, the art features images of race mixing and interracial families. We sent KPCC reporter Adolfo Guzman Lopez to find out more about the social and historical context of these works, and the parallels and echoes in modern race relations.

Online resources:
Listen to the follow up commentary with "Giant Robot" editors Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Music Bridge: Ruido
Artist: Kemo The Blaxican
CD: Simple Plan (Dead Silence Records)
Music Bridge: Voodoo Silence
Artist: Boom Bip
CD: Mush Filmstrip (Mush)

Jim's Life
Modern Day Thoreau
Monday is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Henry David Thoreau's "Walden." In honorarium, we speak with a modern day naturalist. Jim Conrad grew up on a tobacco farm in Kentucky. By his own admission, he was an overweight kid. Insecure, he found solace in nature. He would spend entire days away from people in the forest observing plants and animals. He traveled the world for years, working as a botanist for the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis. But he has always been uncomfortable in conventional society, so, about nine years ago, he dropped out. Barbara Bogaev talks with Jim about life on the outskirts of society.

More about Jim Conrad:

Music Bridge: Scamper
Artist: Lambchop
CD: What Another Man Spills (Merge Records)

Getting Moody
Quantifiable Mood Music
Patsy Cline singing 'Crazy' makes correspondent Rebecca Roberts almost weepy, while just a few bars of Blondie's 'The Tide is High' improves her mood for the rest of the day. The emotional impact of music isn't usually quantified. It's more of an "I know it when I hear it" situation. But new research out of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, is giving numerical values to emotions caused by music. Rebecca Roberts fills us in.

Online resources:
Listen to the follow up commentary with "Giant Robot" editors Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong
"Emotionface: Prototype Facial Expression Display Of Emotion In Music" (PDF)
"University of New South Wales Web site"
Video of EmotionFace as it responds to: an excerpt of the slow movement from Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo [2MB], 'Morning' from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg [3.7MB] and the Slavonic Dance No. 1, Op. 46 by Antonin Dvorak [2MB]

Music Bridge: El Bombo Atomico
Artist: Tipsy
CD: Trip Tease (Asphodel)
Race for Enlightenment
The Race for Enlightenment in New York City ends on Monday. Runners lap 3,100 miles around the same block, hoping to achieve an enlightened state. Reporter Ian Chillag periodically dropped in on the race.

Online resources:
Listen to the follow up commentary with "Giant Robot" editors Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong
Galleries and Video from 3,100 Mile Race
Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team

Music Bridge: Dance Wit' Me
Artist: Rick James
CD: Ultimate Collection (Motown / PGD)
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As Mentioned on Weekend America
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As Mentioned on Weekend America
... on our December 15 broadcast:

» Weekend America
iPodEnhanced Podcast:
Skip back and forth through stories, see images on iTunes and on your iPod, all with better sound quality.
» The Huckabee Mystique: See video of Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris.
» Another Great Moment in Small Talk: Read how Charlie Schroeder became an unpopular "tool" because of Borat.
» Listener Letters: Renewable Christmas Trees: Read listeners' alternate endings to "Puff the Magic Dragon."
» Sign Up for the Weekend America weekly newsletter: Find out what's on the upcoming show, and listen to the most popular previous segments.
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Weekend Weather

From the July 5 broadcast

As Mentioned on Weekend America
Sign Up for the Weekend America Weekly Newsletter

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Send Us Your Stories
This week: Have you exper-
ienced any strange seasonal changes: springtime plants sprouting; squirrels sunbathing?
Let us know...
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