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Hour 1

  • Political Bets

    The big topic after the Republican National Convention seems to be Sarah Palin, an unknown when McCain picked her. The word you keep hearing is "gamble." She could flame out or pay off. It makes sense if you know that McCain likes to gamble. He's a craps player. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has stayed relatively quiet regarding Palin. As if he's sizing her up, reading her the way a poker player would. Turns out Obama loves poker.

  • McCain's Real Summer Home

    Cornville, Arizona. Population 3,300.

    The names of presidential hometowns have a special ring to them, a sort of geographical charisma or gravitas. There was Hope, Arkansas. Plains, Georgia. Crawford, Texas and Kennebunkport, Maine. Well if John McCain is elected, the world will get to know a tiny town tucked in Arizona's Verde Valley. It's where McCain goes for weekend getaways. And it's not where you think.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Pluxus
    CD: Solid State (Kompakt)
  • Retracing a Wartime Bike Ride

    Asta and Kristoffer Ladstein

    In 1940, Sasha Aslanian's grandmother, Asta Ladstein, biked across Norway with her husband. They did it when Norway was under German occupation. They took a ferry from their island off the southwest coast up into one of the fjords. Then they pedaled over the mountains through Telemark. They went over 200 miles, just to visit Asta's sister. Their two-year-old daughter came along in a handlebar basket. This summer, Sasha Aslanian and her husband Leif Larsen retraced their journey.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Tape
    CD: Luminarium (Hapna)
  • Letters

    Letters: Purple Hearts, Barbies Forever and Air Taxis

    A Cirrus SR22, known for its parachute.

    Charlie Schroeder's piece about his father catching an air taxi from Culebra to Puerto Rico prompted some of you to say "air taxis?"

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Minotaur Shock
    CD: Maritime (4AD)
  • Preparing for Fall

    Squirrel's Nest

    Ever since John Moe moved to St. Paul last March, he's been on alert, waiting for the next weather extreme. It was eight degrees below zero when he arrived, and there was snow on the ground until April. Spring was around just long enough to get a whiff of the wild flowers, and summer seems like it started about a week ago. Now, we're on to fall, and John's started bracing for the winter. Before then, we had him get some insight into what fall has in store for him.

  • Pappenfus Tomatoes

    Pappenfus Tomatoes

    Harvest time is fast approaching. The corn is sweet, apple trees are heavy and tomatoes are plump. Especially plump is the Pappenfus tomato. Never heard of it? You're not alone. It's a variety brought to the United States from Germany in the 1860s. And it's not for sale. It's only grown by and for the Pappenfus family. Tomato seeds have been carefully passed down from generation to generation. But what happens when you're the last one in the family?

  • College Football Mania

    This weekend the air is becoming brisk. And if you listen closely, you can hear the sound of marching bands playing football fight songs. For college football fans, die-hards, true believers, the months between January and September are months of darkness, joylessness and patient waiting for the season to begin. Nowhere are fans more rabid than in the South. Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and of course, the Crimson Tide of Alabama.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Caribou
    CD: Up In Flames (Domino)
  • Beauty of All Sorts

    "Heather Come Hither" by Bianka.

    Art lovers in the Boston area have a lot of options for their weekend museum browsing. You've got your Museum of Fine Art, your Institute of Contemporary Art, your Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum and scads of little galleries scattered all over town. But what about bad art lovers? Well, you're in luck. Just for you, there's the Museum of Bad Art.

Hour 2

  • Debra Barnes Snodgrass

    This Weekend in 1968: Miss America

    In Las Vegas this weekend it's the 88th annual Miss America pageant. At the 1968 competition, outside Atlantic City's Convention Hall, a group of women gathered on the boardwalk. They held signs that read "Women's Liberation." Their demonstration was a window into the emergence of a movement that would gain considerable strength in the decade to come.

  • Music Bridge:
    Spiral Arms
    Artist: Landing
    CD: Brocade (Strange Attractors Audio House)
  • Good News, Bad News, No News

    Palin in Charge, Files on the Lam, and Citizen Enforcers

    Vigilante parking ticket writers?

    Citizens of Asheville, N.C., are taking the law, and a pad of parking tickets, into their own hands. Asheville is effectively deputizing anyone who completes a five-hour training course to write parking tickets for vehicles illegally parked in handicapped spots. Parking space vigilantism: Good news, bad news, or no news?

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Nomo
    CD: Ghost Rock (Ubiquity)
  • The Flight of Thomas Selfridge

    Thomas E. Selfridge and Orville Wright

    This weekend, aviation fans from all around are heading to Fort Myer, Va., for the Centennial of Military Aviation Celebration. It was there a hundred years ago that the U.S. military started looking into those new-fangled flying machines. A number of firsts happened pretty quickly--the first military test flights, the first military aviation school, the first long-distance flight. There was another first 100 years ago when Orville Wright rolled in to Fort Myer with the latest in flight technology.

  • Music Bridge:
    Artist: Hauschka
    CD: The Prepared Piano (Karaoke Kalk)
  • Happy Birthday Google?

    If you Google the phrase "Google's birthday," some results say it's this weekend. Some say it's a couple weeks away. Some say it was a few days ago. It's almost as if you can't trust what you read online. We Google so much, it's an actual verb now. And much has been written about whether it's making us smarter, making us stupider, or just plain changing the way our brains work. Now that so many topics can be explored with Google, what's really left to talk about when you get together with friends to celebrate, or enjoy people's company?

  • Music Bridge:
    Me`tche� Dershe� (When Am I Going to Reach There?)
    Artist: Mulatu Astatke
    CD: �thiopiques, Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale 1969-1974 (Buda Musique)
  • Saving Memories

    Edwin Harrison

    This weekend, New Orleans native Edwin Harrison is relieved. He was only a month away from moving back into his home destroyed by Katrina when Hurricane Gustav bore down on the Gulf Coast. This time, his house was spared. It wasn't easy to leave everything he'd rebuilt and flee to Atlanta to wait out the storm. But there was one thing Mr. Harrison didn't have to worry about this time. Earlier this summer, he entrusted one of his prized possessions to a stranger.

  • Music Bridge:
    Butteryfly Effect
    Artist: Dave Douglas
    CD: Keystone (Greenleaf)
  • RNC Undercover

    Jim and Hugh

    The Democratic and Republican conventions that have dominated the last two weeks show an increasingly partisan America. In many ways, American communities are becoming more and more like political conventions all the time. Studies show that most of us spend the majority of our time interacting with people who agree with us. But that's not the case with reporter Jim Gates. He's a Democrat, but he found himself at the Republican National Convention as a personal guest of an Arizona delegate.

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