Scott Simon http://wemu.org en Buried By Picasso, The Man Beneath 'The Blue Room' Tells A Story http://wemu.org/post/buried-picasso-man-beneath-blue-room-tells-story What's behind the man who is below <em>The Blue Room</em>?<p>This week, conservators at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., revealed that underneath Pablo Picasso's noted 1901 painting <em>The Blue Room </em>is another painting of a mustachioed man in a jacket and bow tie, resting his face on his hand.<p>Experts have long suspected something more must be below, as there were brushstrokes that didn't match the composition of the nude, bluish woman. Sat, 21 Jun 2014 13:31:00 +0000 Scott Simon 47674 at http://wemu.org Buried By Picasso, The Man Beneath 'The Blue Room' Tells A Story On The 70th Anniversary Of D-Day, A Look At What Could Have Been http://wemu.org/post/70th-anniversary-d-day-look-what-could-have-been The men and women who brought down Adolph Hitler's war machine cannot defeat mortality. As the dwindling number of veterans who served during D-Day are saluted on the 70th anniversary, we might consider how different our lives might have been if those soldiers and sailors had been turned back from the beaches.<p>Stephen Ambrose, the American historian who founded the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, believed the Allies might have tried another invasion, when ocean tides allowed. Sat, 07 Jun 2014 12:19:00 +0000 Scott Simon 47000 at http://wemu.org On The 70th Anniversary Of D-Day, A Look At What Could Have Been N.J. Nets, Devils Owner Gave Millions To Local Causes http://wemu.org/post/nj-nets-devils-owner-gave-millions-local-causes We remember Lewis Katz, who once said, "Life is meant to have as much fun as you can conjure up." Katz made a fortune as a sports team owner and gave millions of it away. Sat, 07 Jun 2014 11:54:00 +0000 Scott Simon 46991 at http://wemu.org South Korea Repaves For A 'Woman-Friendly Seoul' http://wemu.org/post/south-korea-repaves-woman-friendly-seoul Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>Seoul, South Korea's making some changes to its urban landscape. The mayor's office says the women-friendly Seoul campaign will make the city more comfortable for women. They say a lot of urban design focused on men when they were the sole workers in a family and that's changed. So, they're installing pink painted parking spots reserved for women that are a bit wider and longer than the average spot and closer to elevators.<p>They also plan to resurface sidewalks in a squishy material to make walking easier for people who wear high heels. Sat, 31 May 2014 11:46:00 +0000 Scott Simon 46660 at http://wemu.org 'Muse Of Painting' Came To Churchill's Rescue — And Bush's http://wemu.org/post/muse-painting-came-churchills-rescue-and-bushs Portraits of world leaders painted by former President George W. Bush go on exhibit in Dallas on Saturday. He took up the hobby after he read Winston Churchill's essay, "Painting as Pastime." Sat, 05 Apr 2014 11:52:00 +0000 Scott Simon 43942 at http://wemu.org A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee http://wemu.org/post/bill-distill-simmers-tennessee Would Tennessee whiskey by any other name taste as sweet?<p>A debate in Tennessee simmers over a legal definition of what makes Tennessee whiskey "Tennessee."<p>The state legislature passed a bill last year saying whiskey can be labeled "Tennessee" only if it's made in the state from a mash that's 51-percent corn, trickles through maple charcoal, and is aged in new, charred oak barrels.<p>There's some precedent in the spirits world. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 12:09:00 +0000 Scott Simon 43592 at http://wemu.org A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee A Tatar's Death Chills Those Who Suffered Under Russia Before http://wemu.org/post/tatars-death-chills-those-who-suffered-under-russia Amid all the of necessary analysis of what Russia's move into Crimea means geopolitically and strategically, it might also be good to remember Reshat Ametov.<p>Mr. Ametov was buried this week. He was 39 years old, married and the father of three young children.<p>He was last seen at a demonstration on March 3 in Simferopol, where he joined other Crimean Tatars held a silent protest before the pro-Russian armed men in unmarked uniforms who surrounded the cabinet ministers building.<p>Tatars make up more than 10 percent of Crimea's population. Sat, 22 Mar 2014 11:50:00 +0000 Scott Simon 43226 at http://wemu.org A Tatar's Death Chills Those Who Suffered Under Russia Before Ukrainian Olympic Skier's Stand Is A Sacrifice For Her Country http://wemu.org/post/ukrainian-olympic-skiers-stand-sacrifice-her-country Sports are supposed to be separate from politics, but athletes and games can't always be kept separate from life and death.<p>Scores of people were killed in Ukraine this week, as the security forces of President Viktor Yanukovich opened fire on anti-government protesters in Kiev's Maidan, now called Independence Square.<p>While some 800 miles away, more than 40 Ukrainian athletes have been skiing, skating, working hard to win medals at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.<p>The team, coaches and officials held a minute of silence on Thursday for those who died, and added black ribbons t Sat, 22 Feb 2014 14:58:00 +0000 Scott Simon 41922 at http://wemu.org Ukrainian Olympic Skier's Stand Is A Sacrifice For Her Country Girl Scout Sells Cookies Outside Medical Marijuana Clinic http://wemu.org/post/girl-scout-sells-cookies-outside-medical-marijuana-clinic Girl Scout cookies are never that hard to sell, but this week, one 13-year-old San Franciscan may have outsmarted the competition altogether. Sat, 22 Feb 2014 13:03:00 +0000 Scott Simon 41909 at http://wemu.org Shirley Temple's Films Still Charm After All These Years http://wemu.org/post/shirley-temples-films-still-charm-after-all-these-years Shirley Temple really could be as effervescent as a jolt of ginger ale and as cheery as a maraschino cherry in the kid's cocktail that is still ordered by her name. Sat, 15 Feb 2014 15:34:00 +0000 Scott Simon 41600 at http://wemu.org Shirley Temple's Films Still Charm After All These Years Forego The Faux Snow: The Games Could Use A Permanent Home http://wemu.org/post/forego-faux-snow-games-could-use-permanent-home The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, are certifiably the most expensive and allegedly staggeringly corrupt.<p>Upwards of $50 billion has been spent to turn a place that's been best known as a Black Sea beach resort, where rich Russians could warm themselves under palm trees during long Moscow winters, into a winter sports capital with ski slopes and bobsled runs.<p>There happens to be a long-standing armed uprising going on nearby, so a steel ring of security has been clamped around an event that will still make some of us dewy-eyed to see peaceful competition among the world's great ath Sat, 08 Feb 2014 15:47:00 +0000 Scott Simon 41293 at http://wemu.org Forego The Faux Snow: The Games Could Use A Permanent Home Opera Star Renee Fleming Brings Grace To The Super Bowl http://wemu.org/post/opera-star-renee-fleming-brings-grace-super-bowl Who knows who'll win the Super Bowl tomorrow, but history will be made before the coin toss.<p>Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Sat, 01 Feb 2014 15:03:00 +0000 Scott Simon 40968 at http://wemu.org Opera Star Renee Fleming Brings Grace To The Super Bowl Rodman's Tour Of North Korea: Diplomacy Or Propaganda? http://wemu.org/post/rodmans-tour-north-korea-diplomacy-or-propaganda There's been a publicity circus trailing Dennis Rodman to North Korea to present a big, bouncing birthday present of a basketball game to Kim Jong Un. But did you see the score of the game?<p>The U.S. team of former NBA players lost the first half, 47 to 39, before the sides were combined.<p>Well, if you play a team sponsored by a ruthless leader who recently had his own uncle iced, losing is probably the smart move.<p>I happen to like Dennis Rodman. I saw him up-close when he played for the Chicago Bulls, and he was one of the great re-bounders of all-time. Sat, 11 Jan 2014 15:10:00 +0000 Scott Simon 40089 at http://wemu.org Rodman's Tour Of North Korea: Diplomacy Or Propaganda? As We Memorialize Mandela, Remember Those Who Stood With Him http://wemu.org/post/we-memorialize-mandela-remember-those-who-stood-him By the time he died this week, Nelson Mandela was considered one of the few — perhaps the only — giants on the world stage.<p>But the man who was prisoner 466/64 on Robben Island was a giant among heroes who offered their lives for freedom as valiantly as he did. In a way, the acclaim the world now heaps so justly on Nelson Mandela commemorates them, too.<p>There was Walter Sisulu, who first recruited Nelson Mandela to the African National Congress, and formed the ANC Youth League with him in 1944. Sat, 07 Dec 2013 11:12:00 +0000 Scott Simon 38684 at http://wemu.org As We Memorialize Mandela, Remember Those Who Stood With Him Digital Music, In The Truest Sense http://wemu.org/post/digital-music-truest-sense Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>And now, another take on jazz hands...<p>(SOUNDBITE OF FINGER SNAPS, SLAPS)<p>SIMON: It may sound like Savion Glover tapping, or some kind of tin pan Buddy Rich, but this is digital music in the true sense. You're hearing the fingers and hands of Darren Drouin snapping and slapping out a percussive freestyle in a YouTube video that he uploaded this week.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF FINGER SNAPS, SLAPS)<p>SIMON: In that video, Mr. Sat, 02 Nov 2013 10:46:00 +0000 Scott Simon 37176 at http://wemu.org When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children http://wemu.org/post/when-weighing-intervention-syria-consider-children I was in a grocery store one night this week when a sturdy young man approached with a smile.<br /> <br />"Do you remember me?" he asked. "Bini."<br /> <br />Bini — Erblin Mehmataj — was a bony-shouldered 9-year-old boy with a full, toothy grin who lived in an Albanian Muslim housing complex in Pristina, where we stayed to cover the war in Kosovo in 1999.<br /> Sat, 07 Sep 2013 09:33:00 +0000 Scott Simon 34662 at http://wemu.org When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children Remembering Elmore Leonard, A Writer Who Hated Literature http://wemu.org/post/remembering-elmore-leonard-writer-who-hated-literature Elmore Leonard was a writer who hated — and I don't mean disliked; Elmore had a contempt for putting pretty clothes on hard, direct words, so I mean hated — literature, or at least what he believed a lot of people mean when they say liter-a-ture, as if it were a Members Only club.<p>Elmore Leonard wrote for a living, from the time in his 20s when he turned out ads for Detroit department stores and vacuum cleaners during the day, and wrote cowboy and crime stories for pulp magazines at night.<br /> Sat, 24 Aug 2013 09:27:00 +0000 Scott Simon 34047 at http://wemu.org Remembering Elmore Leonard, A Writer Who Hated Literature Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe' http://wemu.org/post/retire-phrase-wouldnt-be-scandal-europe I hope we've heard the last of people saying, "This would never be a scandal in Europe." They usually mean "sex scandal," and by now I think Americans are entitled to boast that we've become as blase about politicians with their pants down — or, in the case of <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/06/16/137225834/live-blog-rep-weiners-news-conference">Anthony Weiner</a>, pec-flexing with his shirt off — as Europeans like to think they are.<p>Mr. Weiner is now running for mayor of New York. Sat, 13 Jul 2013 09:47:00 +0000 Scott Simon 32113 at http://wemu.org Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe' Peaceful Protest Over Istanbul Park Turns Violent http://wemu.org/post/peaceful-protest-over-istanbul-park-turns-violent Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>This is Weekend Edition from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF RIOTING)<p>SIMON: Turkish riot police fired tear gas and water cannons on demonstrators in downtown Istanbul during a second day of protests. The clashes were triggered by the government's plan to build a shopping mall in a downtown park. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called for an immediate end to the protest. NPR's Peter Kenyon joins us from Istanbul. Sat, 01 Jun 2013 10:39:00 +0000 Scott Simon 30218 at http://wemu.org High School Newspapers: An Endangered Species http://wemu.org/post/are-high-school-newspapers-endangered-species Does your local high school have a student newspaper? And in this day when a social media message saying, "Tonight's Green Design and Technology class homework sucks!" can instantly be sent to thousands, does it need to?<p><em>The New York Times</em> reports this week that only 1 in 8 of New York's public high schools has a student newspaper — and many of those are published just a few times a year. A few more are online, which can leave out poorer schools.<p>The national figures are a little higher. Sat, 01 Jun 2013 09:29:00 +0000 Scott Simon 30214 at http://wemu.org High School Newspapers: An Endangered Species Mom's X-Ray Vision Also Sees The Best In Us http://wemu.org/post/moms-x-ray-vision-also-sees-best-us Mothers have eyes in the back of their heads. They may not show up on X-rays, but they're there.<p>Like a lot of youngsters, I used to get my mother to turn her head so I could search through her hair for the eyeballs she claimed to have back there, telling her, "No you don't! No you don't!" But when I'd scamper off to another part of the apartment and pick up an ashtray or fiddle with the window blinds, I'd hear my mother's voice ring out, "I can see you! Sat, 11 May 2013 13:22:00 +0000 Scott Simon 29252 at http://wemu.org Mom's X-Ray Vision Also Sees The Best In Us A 'Tough, Smart, Proud Town' Meets Terror With Determination http://wemu.org/post/tough-smart-proud-town-meets-terror-determination People in Boston can speak for themselves. And do. Loudly, bluntly and often with humor that bites.<p>It's a city that speaks with both its own broad, homebrew, local accent — although no one really <em>pahks thea cah in Havahd Yahd</em> — and dialects from around the world. It is home to some of America's oldest founding families, and fathers, mothers and children who have just arrived from Jamaica, Ireland, Bangladesh and Ghana.<p>There are people in Boston who dress in pinstripes and tweeds, and tattoos and spiked hair. Sat, 20 Apr 2013 17:57:00 +0000 Scott Simon 28314 at http://wemu.org A 'Tough, Smart, Proud Town' Meets Terror With Determination Roger Ebert: Elegance and Empathy http://wemu.org/post/roger-ebert-elegance-and-empathy Roger Ebert was a critic, not a blowtorch. He could be sharp if he thought a movie insulted the audience, but had a champ's disdain for a cheap shot.<p>Many critics ridiculed the film <em>Deep Throat</em> when it came out in 1973. Who couldn't mock its absurdities? Sat, 06 Apr 2013 09:11:00 +0000 Scott Simon 27713 at http://wemu.org Roger Ebert: Elegance and Empathy Resurrected Frog Gives Us Cause To Brood http://wemu.org/post/back-extinction-brooding-frog-or-thank-you-note The gastric brooding frog may be coming back. Does that give us a lot to brood about, too?<p>This week scientists at the University of New South Wales' Lazarus Project announced they have reproduced the genome — that bit of biological material that carries our genetic structure — of a gastric brooding frog.<p>The gastric brooder once lived in the rainforests of Queensland, Australia, and was declared extinct in 1983. It was not so named because it had the temperament of a Russell Crowe character, but because it gave birth through its mouth. Sat, 23 Mar 2013 12:13:00 +0000 Scott Simon 27152 at http://wemu.org Resurrected Frog Gives Us Cause To Brood Snowquester Fizzles, But We're Humbled Anyway http://wemu.org/post/snowquester-fizzles-were-humbled-anyway Snowquester fizzled.<p>Wednesday was more or less canceled this week in official Washington, D.C. An enormous winter storm bore down on the region, threatening ice, a foot of snow in the city (more in the suburbs), and wind and misery throughout the region.<p>Most of the federal government was closed. I know, I know. How could they tell? Local governments and schools, too. Sat, 09 Mar 2013 13:17:00 +0000 Scott Simon 26561 at http://wemu.org Snowquester Fizzles, But We're Humbled Anyway