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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: June 3, 2006
Extreme Measures
Marie Alvarado is five-foot-three. As of last week, she weighed 371 pounds. But Marie had bariatric surgery on Thursday, and she's hoping her weight will quickly drop. Many people in the U.S. have turned to bariatric surgery as a remedy for obesity. The procedure radically reduces the amount that a person can eat. Weekend America's Alex Cohen spent time with Marie over the past couple of weeks and talked with her about her decision to undergo the risky procedure.
Online resources:
» Southwest Bariatric Surgeons
» The American Society for Bariatric Surgery
» The American Obesity Association

Music Bridge: Alles Sagt Ja - Artist: Couch
CD: figur 5 (Morr)
Be Like Barry?
Barry Bonds passed Babe Ruth's home run record last Sunday when he hit his 715th run, to the chagrin of many baseball fans around the country. As most fans know, Bonds has been embroiled in a steroid scandal and he is being investigated on perjury charges. Weekend America's Shannon Mullen looks into how all of the negative publicity surrounding baseball might be impacting young players' choices about steroids.
Online resources:
» Order the NFHS Steroids Awareness DVD

Music Bridge: Rio - Artist: Dub Spencer and Trance Hill
CD: Nitro (Echo Beach)
Music Picks
Classical Music Pick: Jennifer Koh
Steve Smith, classical music editor for Time Out New York, sits down with Alex Cohen to listen to the latest CD from violinist Jennifer Koh. Steve plays Koh's take on Bohuslay Martinu's "Violin Concerto, No. 2."
» Violin Concerto No. 2 by Jennifer Koh from "Portraits" (Cedille)

My Son, the Stranger
Writer Anne Lamott recently posted an essay at Salon.com about something that is usually spoken about in hushed tones. Lamott wrote about a fight she had with her teenage son, Sam. She revealed that, at times, she doesn't necessarily recognize, or even like, who he has become. Anne and Sam have since patched things up, but her essay has captured a sentiment that many parents may recognize. Bill Radke talks with Anne Lamott about life as a parent, raising a teenage boy.
» Read the Salon.com story: "My Son, the Stranger," by Anne Lamott
» "Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year" by Anne Lamott
» "Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith" by Anne Lamott

The Chaperone
It's prom season. Taffeta and tuxes are out in full force. And so are the prom chaperones. Robert McGinley Myers decided to be a chaperone this year and he shares what it's like to watch over the next generation as they celebrate a rite of passage.

Music Bridge: Mes Vacances A Rio - Artist: Rinôçérôse
CD: Rinôçérôse (V2)
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)
Maiden Voyage
It's summertime and people are taking to the highways for vacation. Bill Radke checks in with a family who have never been outside of Michigan as they hit the road. At least, that's the story they tell.
Online Resources:
» The Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival
» The Groundlings

Fostering a Union
Being a foster parent is a grueling job. The pay is lousy, there are no benefits and it is emotionally taxing. Still, it was a surprise when foster parents in the state of Washington joined a union, this week. Tess Thomas is one of those parents and she is also one of the leaders of the movement to unionize. She tells Bill Radke that they hope to have a louder voice in shaping the policies that impact their kids.

Then, a support community for foster parents called Treehouse opened in Massachusetts this week. It's a village designed to aid foster parents and the kids they care for. Independent producer Dan Bobkoff went to check it out.
Online resources:
» The Treehouse Foundation

Music Bridge: Ten To One - Artist: Wayne B
CD: Night Of The Hunter (Quatermass)
Get Skeptical
The California Institute of Technology is holding its annual Skeptics Society conference this weekend. The Skeptics Society is skeptical about all kinds of things, from paranormal activity to the power of prayer to intelligent design theory. Bill Radke talks with Michael Schermer who started the society, and also has a regular column in Scientific American. He talks with us about this year's conference, "Environmental Wars."
Online resources:
» The Skeptic Foundation and Their 2006 Conference

Music Bridge: We Do We Go - Artist: Nomo
CD: New Tones (Ubiquity)
Lone Drummer
Glenn Kotche recently did something risky: he stepped away from his hit band, Wilco, to make a record on his own. And not just any solo record, a solo percussion album. The stakes were high but Kotche pulled it off.
Online resources:
» Glenn Kotche's Web site
» Glenn's New Album, "Mobile"

Music Bridge: Projections of What Might - Artist: Glenn Kotche
CD: Mobile (Nonesuch)
Plane Love
Sean Tucker was recently practicing a tricky routine in Challenger, his stunt plane, when things went awry. He was going over 200 miles per hour, getting ready to go into a corkscrew, when heard a loud boom. Sean had to bail out and his great love, Challenger, met her end. Sean shares the tale of a stunt plane gone down with Weekend America's Bill Radke.
Online resources:
» The New York Air Show at Jones Beach
» Sean D. Tucker's Power Acrobatics

Just Drive
We've all heard of playing hurt but it turns out when you're a NASCAR driver and you get hurt in a crash, as long as you can get in and out of a car, they pretty much expect you to start the race. Tony Stewart is the defending NASCAR champion and he's had a good season up until a few weeks ago when he crashed his car into a wall. We'll talk about what it's like to drive after a major accident, even when you're a pro.
Online resources:
» "Stewart will likely drive until first caution Sunday," from NASCAR.com

Music Bridge: Druganaut - Artist: Black Mountain
CD: Black Mountain (Jagjaguwar)
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)
A Reunion to Remember
When David Rees went to his five year college reunion at Oberlin, things didn't go according to plan. There were some late night parties, and those were ok. But then, just one pilfered bottle of rum changed everything. Before the reunion, David had in mind that Oberlin was a mellow kind of place, but that notion changed as the weekend progressed.
Online Resources:
» See David Rees' comic strip, "Get Your War On."

Music Bridge: In The Bamboo Grove - Artist: The Bamboos
CD: Step it Up (Ubiquity Records)
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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