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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 29, 2006
No Reservations
Acclaimed chef Anthony Bourdain had been in Beirut, Lebanon for two days when fighting broke out and the Israeli army began bombing the city. He was in Beirut to film a segment for his travel show, "No Reservations." Bourdain talks to Bill and Alex Cohen about the two blissful days he had in Beirut as a foodie, and the subsequent week he and his crew spent trapped in their hotel. Bourdain says he wishes he could show his viewers the beauty that he found in the city, before the fighting began.
Online resources:
» "The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones," by Anthony Bourdain

From Haifa to Boston
On the morning the first bombs fell in Haifa, a couple of teenagers from the city left Israel for an exchange trip to the US. The teens are staying with Barbara Gaffin and her family in Boston. Haifa and Boston are sister cities, and the Gaffins have hosted many exchange students from Israel before but this visit has a different, more somber tone. Weekend America's Shannon Mullen went along to have breakfast with the family and their guests.
Online resources:
» The Haifa-Boston Connection
» The Intel Computer Clubhouse
» Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston, a supporter of the Boston-Haifa connection

Music Bridge: Horseback - Artist: LindstrÝm & Prins Thomas
CD: LindstrÝm & Prins Thomas (Eskimo)
On the Road
Weekend America continues with our summer road trip series across the Lincoln Highway, America's first coast-to-coast road. This week, we make a stop in Iowa. This part of any cross-country drive is often approached with dread because of the endless rural landscape. Independent producer Kyle Gassiott shows us that there's more to Iowa than meets the eye, including romance.
Online resources:
» See and hear where we've been on the Lincoln Highway so far.

Music Bridge: Little Dance - Artist: Tom Verlaine
CD: Instrumentals (Thrill Jockey)
Music Picks
Indie Music Pick: Vetiver
Bill talks with Mark Wheat, from The Current in Minneapolis, about the newest release from the Bay Area band Vetiver. The band is the brainchild of Andy Cabic, who enlisted his friends and musical cronies to help update his traditional folk style.
Heard:
» "I Know No Pardon" from the new album by Vetiver, "To Find Me Gone." (Label: )

Sobriety without God
Religion often plays a big role in the 12 steps to sobriety offered by Alcoholics Anonymous. But some people looking to overcome addiction aren't comfortable with AA's religious overtones. Alex Cohen meets Stephen Rafferty, who found sobriety without God in a group called SOS, Save our Selves. Bill then discusses the role of spirituality in the treatment of addiction with Mark Willenbring of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Online resources:
» Secular Organizations for Sobriety / Save Our Selves
» Alcoholics Anonymous

Music Bridge: Look Into the Air - Artist: Explosions in the Sky
CD: How Strange Innocence (Temporary Residence)
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)
Music to Drive to
They spend thousands of miles alone on the road with nothing to keep them company but the tunes from their radios. Independent producer Gideon D'Arcangelo introduces us to a trucker who shares some of his favorite songs.
Online Resources:
» The Breezewood Truckstop today
» Breezewood Truckstop in the days of Lincoln Highway
» Gideon D'Arcangelo's web site

Music Bridge: Caught Up In You - Artist: 38 Special
CD: Flashback: The Best of .38 Special (A & M)
Kansas Intelligence
A few months ago, the Kansas Board of Education voted to change the state's science standards to require criticism of the theory of evolution and allow the teaching of intelligent design as an alternate explanation. The Board's Republican primary elections are approaching, and independent producer Laura Ziegler decided to hit the streets in her suburban Kansas City neighborhood to see where her neighbors stand on Darwin vs. design.
Online resources:
» The Kansas City Star's school board election coverage
» A definition of Intelligent Design from Wikipedia

Classroom Evolution
Depending on what happens in the school board elections on Tuesday, Kansas may be modifying the science standards again. Although it's school board members who make the rules, it's the teachers who then have to carry out their decisions. Pat New was a middle school science teacher for 29 years. For the last year, she fought to keep evolution in her lesson plans in Georgia. Parents, students, even her principal put pressure on her. Pat retired last month and Alex Cohen talks with her about evolution in the classroom.
Online resources:
» National Science Teachers Association
» National Center for Science Education
» National Science Education Standards
» Georgia Citizens for Excellence in Science Education
» State of Georgia Science Standards

Music Bridge: No Moon at All - Artist: Brad Mehldau
CD: Day is Done (Nonesuch)
Parallel Lives
Thirty years ago, Lebanese-American Robert Azzi was a photojournalist covering Lebanon's civil war. He now lives in New Hampshire and is watching his daughter Iman, a recent college grad and a print journalist at the Daily Star, cover the strife. Iman says she's safe for now, yet she wakes up nightly to the sound of Israeli jets and bombs falling on the southern parts of the city. Bill talks with the Azzis about their intersecting experiences living through and documenting a war.
Online resources:
» "Who speaks for the innocent Lebanese?," by Iman Azzi
» The Beirut Daily Star

Music Bridge: Deputy Piano-Wired - Artist: Alvarius B
CD: Alvarius B (Abduction)
Alpen Horn
Tuesday is Swiss National Day and Americans of Swiss descent will be celebrating today at Ellis Island in New York. Independent producer Peter Crimmins paid a visit to a New Jersey quartet which is breathing life into the Alp horn - the classic Swiss wind instrument.

Barbie Makeover Madness
In honor of the 26th annual Barbie convention, Weekend America talks about modifying Barbie. We'll meet Jim Faraone, who modifies Barbies for a living. He's even written books about it. We'll sit in on his class at the convention and then talk to him about curling Barbie's hair, shaping her eyebrows and even making Barbie-sized pastries for her sweet-tooth.
Online Resources:
» The 2006 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention
» See some of Jim Faraone's Barbie creations
» "Ultimate Fashion Doll Makeovers: Tips from the Experts," by Jim Faraone

Music Bridge: Mes Vacances A Rio - Artist: Rinôçérôse
CD: Rinôçérôse (V2)
Riding Dirty?
My, how quickly we turn. Just last week, the darling of the cycling world, Floyd Landis, rode to victory in the Tour de France, and the world celebrated. And on a dime, the world has turned, with the latest accusations of doping. Some fans, like Ian Chillag, are hoping for the best, and bracing themselves for disappointment.

Music Bridge: Tint Tina - Artist: Flanger
CD: Spirituals (nonplace)
Weekend Weather
Weekend Weather
Weekend America's John Moe takes a look at the weather and Saturday happenings all across the country.

» Event information

Showboat Theater
Nancy and Jack Mitchell tow their marionette puppet theatre, which is designed to look like a showboat, across the country, performing 700 shows a year at fairs and schools. Their passion for puppets is inherited—the Mitchells are the second generation in their family to take the show on the road. They're one of the last nationally-touring marionette companies left in the country. During a stop at the Ramsey County Fair in Maplewood, Minnesota, producer Sasha Aslanian took a peek inside the puppet theatre.

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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