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People & Life

People & Life on Weekend America


  • Garageland: Ben Jackel

    Ben Jackel

    If it's not too cold in there, some of you may be listening to this show in your garage. Ben Jackel in Los Angeles does, and he heard me asking for garage stories a while back. We're calling this series Garageland - about that space where a little free time and a little extra room can allow our visions, hobbies, or dreams to flourish. For Ben Jackel, the garage is home to a very precise, intense form of art.

  • The Real Story of Hanukkah

    Sora Golob making latkes

    Sunday is the first night of Hanukkah. Traditionally, Hanukkah wasn't a major holiday for Jews. But its position on the calendar gave American Jews a chance to enjoy the holiday season. Hanukkah's assimilation can be a sensitive subject among Jews. But independent producer Eric Molinsky looked into the origins of Hanukkah and found that these tensions are nothing new.

  • Letters: Cowboys and Human Rights

    Max Rameau, founder of Take Back the Land

    We open the Weekend America mailbag to hear your responses to recent stories. This week, in response to our story about Muslim country singer Kareem Salama, we hear from a black country music fan. Many of you also had questions about our piece on homeless people moving into foreclosed homes in Miami. We turned to an expert to learn more about human rights vs. property rights.

  • Skull Scanning

    A skull from the Mutter Museum

    For years, anthropologists have wanted to do research inside the heads of human skeletons to answer questions about the evolution of the human brain. Problem is, getting inside a skull is tricky without cracking it open. This weekend, researchers in Philadelphia are finally getting their chance to CAT scan 19th-century skulls.

  • To Shop or Not to Shop?

    Robert Reich

    The recession is starting to get you all fired up for some last minute Christmas shopping, right? Because don't forget, every time you reach for your wallet, not only do you hold the fate of your own economic health in your hands, you also hold the fate of the nation's. This is a big and completely confusing responsibility. So what do you do? That's what Weekend America's Krissy Clark wanted to know.

  • Cocktail Hour

    Lush: A Poetry Anthology and Cocktail Guide

    Tis the season for holiday parties and the goodies that come along with them, like cocktails. It's time to see beyond the ingredients of your drink. Spout Press released a poetry anthology dedicated to cocktails titled "Lush." We asked poets Stephen Burt, Cindy King, and Sima Rabinowitz to share some insight about their cocktail of choice.

  • Inside Blackness: Black Santa

    Jay Hollowell with Santa

    This weekend, you might be headed to the mall to see Santa. Some kids can't wait to get on Santa's knee. Others go to Santa kicking and screaming. For some people of color, the local mall's Santa can bring on a crisis of a different sort. As part of the series Inside Blackness, we hear about the complicated relationship some black families have with the traditional Santa Claus.

  • Conversations with America: Annette Gordon-Reed

    Annette Gordon-Reed

    It's never easy being president, and these days the transition to that job is fraught as well. We're continuing our series Conversations with America, asking writers and thinkers to talk about transitions of their own, and what should be on the incoming president's mind. Annette Gordon-Reed is a historian who's written extensively about President Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his slave Sally Hemings.

  • Kosher Meets Capitalism

    Shabbat Dinner

    With the weekend comes Shabbat, or Shabbos: the Jewish day of rest. On Shabbat, Jewish law forbids certain, very specific kinds of "work." That means even very simple things day to day actions are forbidden - even turning the lights on and off. But in recent years, an industry has emerged which manages to merge modern convenience and this sacred time.

  • Moving Into Miami's Foreclosed Homes

    An abandoned home in Miami

    New numbers on foreclosure rates came out this week, and Florida has risen to the number two spot. One in every 173 homes there is now in foreclosure, and that rate is not looking to get better in the near future. That adds up to a lot of empty houses in Miami, a place where there are a lot of homeless families as well. One local activist has decided to match the two together.

  • Songs for Celesta

    A celesta

    "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" from "The Nutcracker" and the other-worldly bell tones of the celesta have come to symbolize this time of year. But the celesta has to have a life beyond sugarplum fairies, right? Fred Child, host of Performance Today, stops by to suggest some alternate uses of the celesta.

  • Big Buck Hunting

    Bob Sweet and Sarah Lemanczyk

    This is the last weekend to go deer hunting in Wisconsin. Although hunting has been on the decline for the last decade in the rest of the country, it's been a fairly good year in Wisconsin for the sport. The economy's got everyone worried, and a deer or two can provide a lot of family meals. Deer hunting is something Sarah Lemanczyk knows well.

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