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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 Date: July 8, 2006
Darfur Mitzvah
In 2004 Rachel Koretsky of Yardley, Pennsylvania learned that she had to complete a community service project for her Bat Mitzvah. After hearing about the genocide in Darfur, Rachel decided that she wanted to take action. She eventually managed to raise over $14,000. Rachel and her friend Rebecca Friedman sit down with Bill Radke and Barbara Bogaev to discuss how this mitzvah came to fruition. To make a donation or contact the girls, write to:
"It Could Be Me"
668 Stoneyhill Road,
PMB 209
Yardley, PA 19067
Online resources:
» The American Jewish World Service

Music Bridge: Five Star Group Travel - Artist: Root 70
CD: Heaps Dub (nonplace)
A Refugee's Advice
Andrew Lam fled his native Vietnam in 1975 with his family as a young boy. He carries his refugee status with him to this day. In this audio essay he offers his advice and empathy to current Sudanese refugees.
Online resources:
» Andrew Lam, winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Literary Award

Training a Spouse
Are you having trouble with your significant other? Amy Sutherland did and she decided to take her cue from animal trainers. Amy wrote a piece for The New York Times called "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage" a few weeks ago, and it struck a chord with readers. It's still among the most e-mailed articles on the web site. Barbara Bogaev and Bill Radke talk with Amy Sutherland, and seek advice from dolphin trainer, Terry Samansky.
Online resources:
» Terry Samansky's DolphinTrainer.com
» "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage," By Amy Sutherland, from the New York Times

Music Picks
Classical Music Pick: Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Barbara Bogaev sits down with Steve Smith, Classical Music Editor of Time Out New York, to listen to some new music. Steve shares a new recording of Mozart's Magic Flute conducted by Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
Heard:
» "Mozart's Magic Flute," conducted by Claudio Abbado and performed by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Mental Health Court
Over the last decade, courts designed to work with offenders who have severe mental illnesses have sprung up across the country. Jail time can be cut short for offenders who agree to the terms of this new program, which provides structure for the mentally ill to put their lives back together. Producer Gregory Warner recently met up with a mentally ill man who had agreed to go through this novel probation system.
Online resources:
» About Mental Health Courts from the National Mental Health Association
» Mental Health World Magazine
» "Mental Health Courts," by Karen Welch

Defending the Mentally Ill
What's it like to defend a client who won't stop screaming? David Meyer knows. He's Coordinator of Psychiatry and Criminal Law Training at the University of Southern California Institute of Psychiatry and specializes in mental health defense. Bill Radke talks with him about the efficacy of the Mental Health Courts around the country.

Weekend Weather
Weekend Weather
Weekend America's John Moe takes a look at the weather and Saturday happenings all across the country.

» Event information

Music Bridge: Beat Connection (Disco Dub Version) - Artist: lcd soundsystem
CD: DFA compilation #2 (DFA)
Death's Gift Shop
Droves of Americans traveled over this past Fourth of July Weekend, and many of them probably returned with souvenirs. Maybe some tourists picked up a presidential bust from Washington, DC or a Devil's Tower paperweight from Devil's Tower, Wyoming. Visitors to the Los Angeles County Coroner's office have the pleasure of buying a variety of tokens from the morgue's gift shop. Independent Producer Colom Keating paid the gift shop a visit.
Online Resources:
» Skeletons in the Closet, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office Gift Shop

A Polar Bear of a Trip
After two months explorers Lonnie Dupre and Eric Larson have become the first to walk to the North Pole during the summer. They had to traverse slabs of ice and open water in modified canoes to complete their journey. This expedition was launched by Greenpeace to raise awareness about global warming and its possible victim, the polar bear. Bill and Barbara talked with Lonnie and Eric when they called us from the North Pole.
Online resources:
» Greenpeace's Project Thin Ice
» Greenpeace USA
» The World Wildlife Fund and Polar Bears
» Polar Bear Research and Protection at Care for the Wild

Artist as Witness
In a continuation of our Artist as Witness series, Weekend America goes on a walk with two artists exploring their environment. First we meet cartoonist Ben Katchor who finds his inspiration in the urban streets of New York City. Next we encounter the world of architect Chris Taylor, who finds his inspiration where nature and humans collide. Taylor takes us on a walk through Austin where a stream bed cuts right through the center of town.
Online resources:
» Ben Katchor's Picture Stories
» Architect Chris Taylor's Land Art Blog
» The University of Texas at Austin's "Land Arts of the American West"

Music Bridge: Older Summers - Artist: Portastatic
CD: Who Loves the Sun (Merge)
Outhouses for Energy
If you live in the tiny village of Chauncy, Ohio you might wake up with an outhouse on your lawn. Last November the citizens of Chauncey voted down tax legislation that kept the street lamps on for years. Since then, the town has developed some interesting fund-raising solutions. Jerry Dowler and Ronnie McKibben are two of the locals behind recent outhouse appearances that aim to keep the lights on. They sit down with Bill Radke and Barbara Bogaev to discuss their incandescent issues.

Music Bridge: Horseback - Artist: LindstrÝm & Prins Thomas
CD: LindstrÝm & Prins Thomas (Eskimo)
Story Image
Pirate Popularity
The movie, "Pirates of the Caribbean," opens across America this weekend. And we've noticed that pirate life is invading the music industry, sports, and our language. Weekend America correspondent Alex Cohen looks into the growing popularity of pirate culture.
Online Resources:
» The Jolly Garogers
» International Talk like a Pirate Day
» No Quarter Given

WA Production Image
Pirates for Dummies
Do you struggle finding your inner Pirate? Do you need help with swashbuckling? Gail Sellinger, the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pirates" sits down with Bill Radke to breakdown some pirate stereotypes.
Online Resources:
» "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pirates," by Gail Selinger

Music Bridge: Shibboleth (Hans Appelqvist Remix) - Artist: Kammerflimmer Kollektief
CD: Kammerflimmer Kollektief Remixed (staubgold)
Weekend Weather
Weekend Weather
Weekend America's John Moe takes a look at the weather and Saturday happenings all across the country.

» Event information

Music Bridge: Beat Connection (Disco Dub Version) - Artist: lcd soundsystem
CD: DFA compilation #2 (DFA)
Song and Memory
What song from your past brings back a strong memory? In this installment of our ongoing series, "Song and Memory," we meet Sound Artist Nina Katchadourian. For Nina, it is a song that reminds her of childhood summers with her brother in Finland.
Online resources:
» PlayMobil.com
» Nina Katchadourian's web site
audio icon Listen to the full version of Nina Katchadourian singing "You're Only Lonely," JD Souther
» More stories from our "Song and Memory" series

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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