• News/Talk
  • Music
  • Entertainment

Hour 1

Hour 1

  • Fuel Alternative

    Politicians and celebrities have been spreading the word on biofuel, touting it as the best alternative to fossil fuels. But now experts are saying increased production of biofuel may actually cause more harm than good. From beer shortages to a surge in food prices, an increase could trigger a host of problems. What are the other potential consequences of a national shift to corn and sugarcane based fuels, and what other options are there? Weekend America host Bill Radke speaks with Earth Policy Institute founder and president, Lester Brown, to find out what other alternative choices Americans have to power their vehicles.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Landing
    CD: Brocade (Strange Attractors)
  • Life Changing Moment

    On March 11, 2005, Don O'Briant drove to work at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, where he'd worked as a reporter for 32 years. His life soon changed forever. In the parking lot, O'Briant was attacked by Brian Nichols, who had just finished a shooting rampage and killed three people. O'Briant survived, but he was deeply shaken, and as he came to terms with the incident, he decided to make some major changes in his life. One of them was quitting his job. Weekend America host Bill Radke talks with Don O'Briant about his new carpe diem approach to life.

  • Music Bridge:
    Water Clock
    Artist: Phelan Sheppard
    CD: Harps Old Master (Leaf)
  • My Bar Mitzvah Year

    Erez Mirer is having his bar mitzvah. Now that he's thirteen, the bar mitzvah means that according to tradition he's becoming a man with all the rights and responsibilities of Jewish adulthood. But what about his parents? How do they cope with the year long preparations to the big day? Jesse Green is an author and journalist and has been documenting the months leading up to his son's big day. While he and his partner, Andy Mirer wrangle over the menu, music and their son's predilection for velvet suits, larger questions around their own faith have been raised. Sure, this is Erez's big day, but the real rite of passage belongs to the parents.

  • Music Bridge:
    End Of The World Party
    Artist: Medeski Martin and Wood
    CD: Note Bleu: Best of Medeski Martin & Wood (Blue Note)
  • Slice of Pi

    If you remember anything from your high school geometry class, you might remember that pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. But can you remember the value of pi? Nobody knows its exact numeric value, because it goes on forever. But a man in Pennsylvania has just memorized 12,887 decimals of pi, which makes him the North American record holder. Marc Umile was shooting for 13,000, but after three hours and forty minutes of reciting, he fumbled at 12,887. He keeps the numbers straight in his head using sound and rhythm. Independent producer Peter Crimmins has the beat.

  • Tattoo "Yuo"

    When you're buying a tattoo, you're supposed to sign off on the design before it actually gets inked. And when you get words tattooed on your body, you want them to be spelled correctly, right? In Chicago this weekend, people are getting tattoos of a deliberately misspelled version of the phrase "Chi-Town." For the rest of their lives, they will have to explain to others why they have "Chi-Tonw" permanently written on their skin. Tattoo artist Sam Hacker Guest tells Weekend America guest host Tess Vigeland why he is inking this tattoo for free — and why people want it.

  • Music Bridge:
    Flying Officer
    Artist: Skalpel
    CD: Konfusion (Ninja Tune)
  • Gladys Calls

    Ellen Degeneres often invites average Americans to be on on her daytime television show. Sometimes she makes a phone call to Gladys Hardy for a chat. Gladys is an old Texas woman with a fondness for the way things used to be. But lately there are rumors that Gladys is not who she says she is. Weekend America's Alex Cohen tracked her down to find out who she really is.

  • Music Bridge:
    Astral Travelling
    Artist: Pharaoh Sanders
    CD: Boozoo Bajou remix (Impulsive!)
  • Vote 4 Me

    MySpace Poetry: 2008 Presidential hopefuls are entering cyberspace and finding plenty of support there. Troll around the internet and you'll see blogs and Web sites dedicated to the candidates, and on MySpace, you'll see candidates have accumulated thousands of "friends." Many of the profiles are fake, and the word "friend" is not used literally, but these friends are leaving plenty of comments. Writer and poet Jeff Johnson finds the poetry in what people are saying to the presidential hopefuls.

Hour 2

Hour 2

  • Citizen Lobbyist

    In January, Tina Richards traveled to Washington D.C. for a peace protest and never came back. Her son is an active marine who is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and when the Marines called him to ask him to prepare for a third tour she decided to become a permanent lobbyist for peace. Weekend America guest host Tess Vigeland talks with Tina Richards about being a citizen lobbyist.

  • Music Bridge:
    Carpet Sweeper
    Artist: Swimmingpool
    CD: Good Old Music (Combination Records)
  • Soul Searching

    A few weeks back Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, sent a memo to his company expressing his concern that the large coffee chain might be losing its soul. Weekend America reporter John Moe recruited Pastor Wayne Bacus and soul singer Felicia Loud to investigate. The experts on soul share their findings.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Robert Glasper
    CD: Canvas (Blue Note)
  • Good News, Bad News, No News

    Good News, Bad News, No News

    Our panel of non-experts review the week's events in a parlor game to gauge what kind of week America had. Weighing in are writers John Moe, Henry Alford, and Nancy French.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Millenial Terrioty Orchestra
    CD: MTO Vol. 1 (Sunnyside)
  • Who's asking?

    Throughout the year millions of high school students sit for the SAT — an aptitude test that helps college admissions officers determine whether a particular applicant is up to snuff. A cottage industry has sprung up to help kids crack the test, but for years now the test has retained its integrity. Weekend America's Alex Cohen goes behind the scenes to find out who writes the exam.

  • Music Bridge:
    Chaconne In G Minor
    Artist: Moondog
    CD: The Viking of Sixth Avenue (Honest Jons/Astralwerks)
  • About Time

    Benjamin Franklin came up with daylight saving time in a satirical essay he wrote over 200 years ago. Now it's a yearly ritual for most Americans. That's right "most." Not everyone falls back and springs ahead. In Arizona, what time of day it is a complex matter of geography and history. The state doesn't observe daylight savings but some of the Native American lands do. Independent producer Dan Kraker tells us how time flies in Tuba City, Ariz.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Mapstation
    CD: Distance Told Me Things To Be Said (scape)
  • San Francisco Herring

    San Francisco Bay this time of year is dotted with herring boats resting in the fog near its shore, just inside the Golden Gate Bridge. It's a beautiful place to work. And for Ernie Koepf, who has been fishing for herring in the Bay for 30 years, the job is more than a maritime idyll — it's lucrative too. At the peak of the herring season a few years ago, he made $185,000 in one month. Herring is the San Francisco Bay's last commercially viable fish, caught mostly for their golden colored eggs which are popular in Japan. Herring season just ended, but before it did, Weekend America's Krissy Clark went out on the Bay with Ernie on his herring boat, the Ursula B, for a unique look at the San Francisco Bay.

  • Music Bridge:
    Meteor Beach
    Artist: Tom Verlaine
    CD: Around (Thrill Jockey)
  • Napkin Fiction

    When people think of writing on napkins they think of scribbled phone numbers or business ideas. Esquire magazine sought to raise napkin writing to an art so they asked writers around the country to be creative and write a story on a cocktail napkin. They received nearly 100 responses and shared them with Weekend America.

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From the January 31 broadcast

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