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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: May 20, 2006
Listen While You Work
This week, two ABC news reporters claimed they were given information by a senior federal law enforcement official that their phone conversations might be bugged. "It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source reportedly said in an in-person conversation. So what's it like living and working with the possibility that "Big Brother" might be listening in? Weekend America host Barbara Bogaev and substitute host John Moe put this question to Seth Faison. Faison was the Shanghai Bureau Chief for The New York Times, and he says it was a given that they were being tapped.
Online resources:
» New York Times Correspondent Seth Faison
» "South of the Clouds: Exploring the Hidden Realms of China" by Seth Faison

Private Eyes
Weekend America's John Moe heads out to the Spy Tech Agency in Los Angeles to meet with John Dresden, a private investigator. John talks with Dresden about the latest spying technology available to PIs and private citizens.
Online resources:
» John Dresden's page on the Internet Movie Database

Music Bridge: Retina - Artist: Ellen Allien & Apparat
CD: Orchestra of Bubbles (BPitch Control)
The Fever of Unknown Origin
The most innocuous phrase, "we don't know," can also be the most alarming when it comes from your doctor. These are the words that Mel Allen heard a few years ago when he had a fever. The doctors ran tests, and yet more tests. And still, the only diagnosis he's received is: "Fever of Unknown Origin." Mel's daughter, Jane Allen, is a health reporter and she recently visited her father in Tenafly, New Jersey, to try to help him unravel this mystery.

Music Bridge: Ripples in the Water - Artist: I'm Not a Gun
CD: We Think as Instruments (City Centre)
Music Picks
World Music Pick: Yungchen Lhamo
Anastasia Tsioulcas joins Weekend America host Barbara Bogaev to play the latest world music. She shares an album form a Tibetan singer, Yungchen Lhamo, it's called Ama, which means mother in Tibetan.
» Yungchen Lhamo's "Ama" (Real World) (O)

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Secret Codes
Amid much anticipation and a few lukewarm reviews, "The DaVinci Code" opened this weekend. As is the case with the best selling novel it's based on, the movie features hidden clues that reveal mysterious secrets. Computer programmers have been doing the same thing for decades. Leaving hidden-in-plain-sight puzzles for alert or informed viewers to catch. They call them "Easter eggs" and they're everywhere, especially in software and DVDs. Substitute Host John Moe talks with David Wolf about "Easter eggs."

Can you find the Easter Egg on this page?
Online Resources:
» The Easter Egg Archive
» The Da Vinci Code movie site
» Author Dan Brown's official web site

Special Treat: Find the Easter Egg on the Star Wars DVD.
Put disk 1 into your player. When the main menu comes up, select OPTIONS. When the Options screen comes up, press 1, 1, 3, 8. (You may have to press 10+, 1, 3, 8, depending on your remote.) Instead of seeing bloopers as in Episodes 1 and 2, a video of Yoda rapping will start to play. Enjoy! Courtesy of the Easter Egg Archive.

Music Bridge: Orange Alert (DFA Remix) - Artist: Metro Area
CD: Remixes: Chapter One (DFA)
Just for Pun
The 29th annual "O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships" is in Austin, Texas on Saturday. Barbara Bogaev and John Moe have some "verbal jousting" with two accomplished punsters who are emceeing the event - Gary Hallock and Steve Brookes.
Online resources:
» The O.Henry Pun Off in Austin, Texas, organized by Gary Hallock
» Punster and folksinger folksinger Steve Brooks

Music Bridge: Blues for Jimmy - Artist: Diego Urcola
CD: Viva (Camjazz)
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)
Like Father, Like Sweeney Todd
On Tuesday, Michael Cerveris was nominated for a Tony for his performance in "Sweeney Todd" on Broadway. Michael's father (also named Michael Cerveris) was trained in classical theatre as well: father and son talk about their influences, their diverging interests and mutual enthusiasm for "Sweeney Todd." Their story was brought to us by independent producer Trey Kay.
Online Resources:
» "Sweeney Todd" on Broadway
» Amazing Journey, the official web site for Michael Cerveris
» The 60th Annual Tony Awards

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Voting, New Orleans Style
The mayoral runoff election is happening in New Orleans on Saturday. It is estimated that as many as two-thirds of New Orleans' 300,000 registered voters are living elsewhere. Few evacuees voted in the recent primary, but a number of groups have tried to get out the vote for the run-off. Buses have been traveling back to New Orleans for the election, and the city expects a big influx of evacuated residents. That means a lot of reunions and, in New Orleans style, a lot of parties. Independent producer Eve Troeh visits one.
Online resources:
» NOLA.com's Election Guide

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Staging the Flood
A new play recently opened in New Orleans which depicts the city being wiped off the map by a hurricane. Here's the twist: It was written in 2003 by Yvette Sirker. Sirker is not clairvoyant but she tells Weekend America host Barbara Bogaev that the signs were there long before Katrina.
Online resources:
» Yvette Sirker's play, "Pink Collar Crime"

Music Bridge: Broken Monitors - Artist: B. Fleischmann
CD: The Humbucking Coil (Morr)
The Wall
The US House has passed a bill that would construct a 700 mile long wall along the U.S. Mexico border, and the US Senate has approved the construction of a wall that would be 370 miles long. There's a line in Robert Frost's poem, "Mending Wall," that says "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors." Is that the message a wall along our border would send? Weekend America's Phillip Babich takes a look at the symbolism of walls.
Online resources:
» The United States-Mexico Barrier
» Robert Frost's "Mending Wall"

Music Bridge: Lässt Nicht Nach - Artist: Couch
CD: Figur 5 (Morr)
Heat Vision and Jack
For TV shows, May is a real life and death month. Old, tired shows get the ax as new shows get picked up. And then there are the pilots that never see the light of day. Shows like "Heat Vision and Jack," a pilot that wasn't picked up back in 1998. The show, starring a genius NASA astronaut and his talking motorcycle, has become a cult hit. John Moe talks with the creators of the show, Rob Schrab and Dan Harmon about its staying power.
Online resources:
» Rob Schrab's "Heat Vision and Jack" site
» Watch the pilot for "Heat Vision and Jack"

At Home at the Jet Propulsion Lab
This weekend, people get a rare chance to explore the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. JPL, the home of the Mars rover expedition and numerous other space exploration missions, is only open to the public once a year and it's an exciting weekend for space junkies. Weekend America's Pat Loeb pays a visit.

What if you're a space enthusiast and you get to go to JPL every day? That's the case for Marc Rayman. He's the chief engineer of the Dawn mission. Weekend America's Barbara Bogaev talks with Marc Rayman about how his work intersects with the rich imagination of Sci-Fi stories.
Online resources:
» The California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory
» The DAWN Mission
» ION propulsion
» Wikipedia entry for "Marooned Off Vesta" by Isaac Asimov
» All About Spock's Brain

Music Bridge: New Birth - Artist: Birdy Nam Nam
CD: Birdy Nam Nam (Uncivilized World)
Weekend Weather
Weekend Weather
Weekend America's John Moe takes a look at the weather and Saturday happenings all across the country.

» Event information

Everybody Dance Now
You know how certain songs just get you moving? John Moe shares the results of a highly unscientific experiment involving pre-schoolers and a tune from C&C Music Factory.
Online resources:
» "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory
» Music psychologist Diana Deutsch

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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