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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 Information for July 31, 2004
Catching Up After the DNC
While the Dems met at the Fleet Center this week, plenty of other things were happening all throughout the world. Alex and Ross catch up on all the news you may not have heard about, from the highest prices ever in crude oil, to a critical moment in the credibility of the World Trade Organization.
Music Bridge: Your Molecular Structure
Artist: Mose Allison
CD: Mose Chronicles: Live in London, Vol. 2 (Blue Note Records)

Winnie Kassa
Remembering Sudan
The world's worst humanitarian crisis continues to unfold in Sudan. Arab militias are blamed for killing 30,000 people... and leaving 2 million people in need of food and medicine. One girl who got out with her family is 16-year-old Winnie Kassa. She gives a first-person account. This piece was produced by Sesh Kannan.

Online resource:
Beyond the Fire: teen experiences of war, produced by Sesh Kannan for Electric Shadows and ITVS Interactive project.

Author Marilyn Wann is fat and proud. When she was rejected for health insurance coverage because she was deemed "morbidly obese," she decided to take a stand, and become a weight rebel. She explains why she doesn't apologize for her size

Online resources:
"FAT!SO?: Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size" by Marilyn Wann
FAT!SO? Web site

Music Bridge: Hanging On a Star
Artist: Nick Drake
CD: Made to Love Magic (Island)

Cruise Talent
The Cruise Crew
Reporter Dave Adox hits the high seas to go behind the scenes with a troupe of cruise-ship performers.

Music Bridge: Theme from "The Love Boat"

Skerker the Soothsayer of Weekend Weather...
Ben Skerker's unusual survey of events, celebrations, unplanned gatherings and -- of course -- his prognostications on weekend weather.

Part 1
Part 2

Blessing of the Cars
Holy Hondas, etc
Today in Southern California, more than 10,000 people are getting their cars blessed by a Catholic priest, and our host Alex Cohen is one of them. She explains why.

Online resources:
Blessing of the Cars Web site
"In wake of Arctic Rose, prayers for safe return" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Music Bridge: Alone Again Or
Artist: Colexico
CD: Convict Pool (Quarterstick)

Weighty genes?
The Science of Fat
Ross goes on a field trip to UCLA researcher Peter Tontonoze's lab, to hear about the latest in fat science. It turns out, fat cells play a vital role in making the body function. And they're beautiful, too.

Online resources:
Peter Tontonoz' Research and Web site
Calculate your body fat online

Music Bridge: My Comfort Remains
Artist: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Michael Brook
CD: Night Song (Pakistan)
Fat Underground
In a society that exalts svelte models and six-pack abs, fat is not fine. You're swimming upstream if you try to combat society's prejudices against large-sized people. But there is a resistance movement. And you can trace its roots to 1972, when a small group of feminist activists formed a group called the Fat Underground in Los Angeles. Judy Freespirit co-founded Fat Underground in 1972 and wrote the Fat Liberation Manifesto. Lynn McAfee was member. Earlier this week, Ross spoke with both of them.

Online resources:
The Fat Underground

Music Bridge: L.T.W.T.M.S.
Artist: The Trouble with Sweeney
CD: Fishtown Briefcase (Badman)
Women's Music
Music critic Christian Bordal visits a "Chick Singers Night" in Hollywood where women take to the stage and try out their talent.
The Bounce
There's a game everyone plays after the national political conventions. It's the convention bounce game. Because the media focus is constant and positive during a convention, the Presidential candidate can expect a bounce upward in the polls. So how high will the bounce be? Ross and Alex discuss, and demonstrate -- with tennis balls and basketballs.
Music Bridge: Anlauf
Artist: Blond
CD: Faller (Payola)
Two DNC Reporters Take a Deep Breath
This week the 15,000 reporters that descended upon Boston outnumbered the delegates they were covering by 3 to 1. This media orgy is all for what is widely considered to be a non-event. So what is it like to be part of this media circus? Some have compared it to a week in a deprivation chamber. Others, an all-you-can eat buffet (and by all accounts there IS a lot of food). Monica Brady-Myerov is a reporter for partner station WBUR in Boston, and Karen Schiffman produces the national show "On Point," also from WBUR. Alex talks to them about what it was like to cover the DNC, and the week-long transformation of their home town.
Fun with Fat
Enough with the dieting craze, fat just tastes better -- or so argues Russ Parsons, former food editor of the L.A. Times and author of the book "How to Read a French Fry." He joins Alex and Ross live in the studio to talk about the flavors of fat, and serve some calorie-laden treats.

More about this story:
Parson's book, "How to Read a French Fry," is available at the Public Radio BookSource. Your purchase helps support Weekend America.

Music Bridge: Future Vision
Artist: John Koong and Moonstar
CD: Fluid Ounce Unmeasured (Ubiquity)

Ann Randolph
A Slice of Drama
When life gives you lemons, why not turn them into a one-woman comedy show? After working at a homeless shelter for the last ten years, that's what Ann Randolph did. When her performance, "Squeezebox," opened in Los Angeles, actress Anne Bancroft was so touched that she signed on as producer and moved the play to New York. "Squeezebox" had its off-Broadway premiere this week. Writer and performer Ann Randolph dropped by our studios to read a portion of her play.

Online resources:
Squeeze Box -- plot description (New York Times)
"Anne Bancroft Becomes Off-Broadway Producer With Squeeze Box"
Ann Randolph Web site

Music Picks
The most daunting corner of a record store can often be the World Music section: So many different countries to choose from, so many names unfamiliar to American ears. That's where Tom Pryor of Global Rhythm magazine comes in. He plays Alex some of his favorite new world music releases, from Cuba, Mali and Brazil.

Online resource:
Lagrimas Negras -- Bebo Valdes & Diego la Cigala from the album, Lagrimas Negras
Oualahila Ar Tesninam -- Tinariwen from the album, Amasskoul (October release)
Alegria, Yai La -- Domenico +2 from the album, Sincerely Hot (unreleased)

(Most music available at the Pubic Radio Music Source. Your purchase helps support Weekend America.)

Press releases, reviews and homepages:
Bebo & 'Cigala' press release
Bebo & 'Cigala' album review
Tinariwen homepage & bio (scroll down for English)
Another Tinariwen homepage
Domenico +2's tour dates
Domenico +2 album review

Phoenix Flight
Forget about frequent flyer miles and peanuts -- or a return trip, for that matter: Since 1998, "The Phoenix Flight" exclusively caters to the needs of passengers who will never complain about delays or feeling sick when it's getting a little choppy up there. After all, they're all dead.

Medieval recreations
Medieval Times
Each summer, thousands of people escape the conventions of the modern world by going to Renaissance Faires to watch jousting, listen to a little mandolin music and eat a mammoth turkey leg. But for some, one weekend a summer is just not enough. Computer programmer Robert Ferrell is building an entire medieval village called Savernake on his 44-acre ranch in Texas. Reporter Michael May paid a visit to Savernake to meet the locals.

Online resource:

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As Mentioned on Weekend America
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As Mentioned on Weekend America
... on our December 15 broadcast:

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Weekend Weather

From the July 5 broadcast

As Mentioned on Weekend America
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ienced any strange seasonal changes: springtime plants sprouting; squirrels sunbathing?
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