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Around the Nation
4:15 pm
Sun October 9, 2011

Ashes To Ammo: How To Reload Your Dead Loved One

Thad Holmes and Clem Parnell's company Holy Smoke takes your loved one's ashes and turns them into ammunition.

Courtesy of Thad Holmes

When a loved one dies and is cremated, family members face a tough decision on what do with the ashes. Some want the final resting place to be spectacular — spread in the Grand Canyon, launched into space, sprinkled in Times Square; others just keep Aunt Jane's remains in an urn at home.

"The ashes get put on the mantel, stay there for a couple of years, and then a couple of years later, they get put in the attic," says Thad Holmes. "A few years later, the house gets sold and, 'Oh gosh, we forgot the ashes!'"

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Middle East
3:00 pm
Sun October 9, 2011

At Least 19 Dead In Egypt Riots

Clashes between Coptic Christian protesters and the Egyptian military in Cairo on Sunday left at least 19 people dead and more than 100 wounded, according to official counts. The violence erupted after the Christians were marching to protest what they claim was an attack on a church in southern Egypt by radical Muslims.

Music Interviews
2:44 pm
Sun October 9, 2011

Bjork's 'Biophilia': Interactive Music, Pushing Boundaries

Bjork's new album, Biophilia, is also an interactive multimedia project.

Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

The title of Bjork's new album came to her after she read a book by neurologist Oliver Sachs about the mind's empathy for music.

"He called it 'musicophilia,' she says. "Obviously, I make music, but I wanted to do a project about nature. So I thought, if I call it Biophilia, it's sort of empathy with nature."

So there are song titles like "Solstice," "Dark Matter" and "Crystalline." The lyrics actually touch on processes in nature — for instance, how crystals grow.

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Asia
2:42 pm
Sun October 9, 2011

Caterpillar Fungus: The Viagra Of The Himalayas

Caterpillar fungus in the ground, partially exposed.

Daniel Winkler

In the produce aisle at your local grocery story, button mushrooms go for about $4 a pound, Shitakes cost about twice that, and black truffles can run $800 a pound.

But that's nothing compared to a rare Asian fungus that sells for $50,000 a pound.

In English, it's called caterpillar fungus. But it's better known throughout Asia by the Tibetan term, yartsa gunbu, which means "summer grass, winter worm."

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Strange News
2:41 pm
Sun October 9, 2011

Florida Family's Antique Legacy: Pickled Cucumber

James Boyle's great-great-grandmother bottled this pickle in 1876, and the family has been passing it down ever since.

James Boyle

Originally published on Sun October 9, 2011 6:39 pm

Here's a partial list of things that happened in 1876:

It was, of course, the nation's 100th birthday. George Armstrong Custer met his fate at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Alexander Graham Bell made the first phone call. A giant squid, 18 feet long, washed up on a beach in Newfoundland.

And James Boyle's great-great-grandmother grew a very special cucumber in her Illinois garden. She put the sprouting vine in an old medicine bottle, so the cucumber grew inside it.

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Middle East
1:33 pm
Sun October 9, 2011

Riots Over Church Attack In Egypt Kill 19

Massive clashes that drew in Christians angry over a recent church attack, Muslims, and Egyptian security forces raged over a large section of downtown Cairo Sunday night, leaving at least 19 people dead and more than 150 injured, Health Ministry officials said. It was the worst violence since the 18-day uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February.

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Author Interviews
1:10 pm
Sun October 9, 2011

Quest For The Holy Doughnut, And The First Dessert

OK, forget the vegetables. It's time for dessert.

And not just any dessert ... the oldest dessert in New York City. No, not those rock-hard doughnuts from the corner coffee cart. We're talking about the kinds of sweets people would have been eating 500, 1,000, even 2,000 years ago.

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Pop Culture
10:14 am
Sun October 9, 2011

Paul McCartney Might Get Married Today

Security barriers have been put in place outside Marylebone Town Hall in central London in anticipation that Paul McCartney will marry American heiress Nancy Shevell there.

The couple announced their engagement earlier this year. Shevell, 51, would be the former Beatle's third wife.

The couple are reported to be planning a Sunday afternoon reception at McCartney's house nearby in the St. John's Wood neighborhood.

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Reporter's Notebook
8:03 am
Sun October 9, 2011

In Tripoli, Gadhafi's Palace Becomes People's Market

Libyans visit the destroyed Bab al-Azizia military barracks and compound of their country's ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi, in the southern suburbs of Tripoli, Libya.

Bela Szandelszky AP

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 10:50 am

From presidential palace to people's market — in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi's compound in the heart of Tripoli has been put to new use, as NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro explains in this Reporter's Notebook.

For most Libyans, Bab al-Azizia was the most foreboding address in the country. Moammar Gadhafi gave some of his most defiant speeches from the sprawling compound in Tripoli.

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Europe
8:00 am
Sun October 9, 2011

Germany Reopens Nazi War Criminal Investigations

In 1977, the family of retired autoworker John Demjanjuk was astounded when he was accused of having been a guard known as "Ivan the Terrible" at a Nazi death camp in World War II. His case was considered the last of the Nazi war crimes trials, but this week, prosecutors in Germany said they were reopening hundreds of investigations. Host Audie Cornish talks with historian Deborah Lipstadt about how that might play out.

Middle East
8:00 am
Sun October 9, 2011

Damascus Roils As Protests, Violence Continue

Syria on Friday issued a warning to other countries in the world not to recognize the newly-formed Syrian National Council. For the last seven months, protesters have been trying to force changes in the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. So far Assad has resisted change, often forcefully. NPR's Deborah Amos was given rare permission to visit the Syrian capital of Damascus this week, and updates host Audie Cornish on the state of the uprising.

Sports
8:00 am
Sun October 9, 2011

Oakland Raiders' Al Davis, A 'True Legend' Of The Game

Longtime Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, whose maverick style had a huge impact on professional football, has died. The 82-year-old saw his team win three Super Bowls. His independent streak was both admired and excoriated, but stubbornness in his later years was blamed for the team's struggles. NPR's Allison Keyes has this remembrance.

Election 2012
8:00 am
Sun October 9, 2011

Values Voters Call The Tune For GOP Campaign

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 10:50 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: And now I'm joined by Mara Liasson, NPR's national political correspondent. Hi there, Mara.

MARA LIASSON: Hi, Audie.

CORNISH: So, as we just heard, a new controversy for Rick Perry this weekend, after evangelical leader Robert Jeffress, who's a Perry supporter, said that Mormonism is a cult. And he did this when he was speaking with reporters at the Values Voter Summit. First, let me just play a clip of that tape.

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Around the Nation
8:00 am
Sun October 9, 2011

Ex-Employee Caught Putting National Archives On eBay

A former longtime employee of the National Archives pleaded guilty this week to stealing almost a thousand audio recordings belonging to the federal government. The stolen goods range from radio episodes of Dragnet and Gunsmoke to a 1937 recording of Babe Ruth hunting. Host Audie Cornish has the story.

Education
8:00 am
Sun October 9, 2011

Undercover Student Tests A For-Profit College

Lately, for-profit colleges like DeVry, Kaplan and the University of Phoenix have been subject to scrutiny and new regulations for allegedly deceptive recruiting tactics and the high number of federal loan defaults among their students. Host Audie Cornish talks to Christopher Beha, who discreetly enrolled as a student at the University of Phoenix, and wrote about it in a piece in this month's issue of Harper's Magazine.

Politics
7:46 am
Sun October 9, 2011

Values Voters Lukewarm, But Romney Presses On

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 10:50 am

Social conservatives have wrapped up a two-day Values Voter Summit in Washington. Their goal is to keep the focus on issues such as abortion and gay marriage, even as the economy tops the list of concerns for most voters.

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Around the Nation
2:25 am
Sun October 9, 2011

Frightened Families On Front Line Of Ala. Immigration Battle

Roughly 80 people, most of them Spanish-speaking women and children, packed the media center of Tarrant Elementary School, just north of Birmingham, Ala., recently. Considering the number of kids in the room and spilling out into the hallways, there was surprisingly little noise.

It was a "Know Your Rights" meeting, meant to calm fears and familiarize families with their legal rights in light of Alabama's tough new immigration law.

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Law
12:58 am
Sun October 9, 2011

A Matter Of Interpretation: Justices Open Up

Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer (left) and Antonin Scalia testify during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The justices showed that while they are legal opposites, they are by no means opponents.

Alex Wong Getty Images

In a rare moment, two Supreme Court justices appeared before a Senate committee on Wednesday for a hearing about the role of judges under the U.S. Constitution. Among the topics of discussion was the granddaddy of all legal debates: how to interpret the Constitution.

Justice Antonin Scalia is a staunch conservative, what he calls an "originalist." He believes judges should determine the framers' original intent in the words of the constitution, and hew strictly to it.

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Around the Nation
4:44 pm
Sat October 8, 2011

It's A Bloody Business, Being A Demon

A closer look and you'll be dinner.

Courtesy of Blood Manor

It's October, which means the country's supply of fake cobwebs is getting dangerously low.

The reason, of course, are the commercial haunted houses opening for business, filling the night with the screams of terrified teenage girls.

Wait. That's actually me — at Blood Manor in New York City. From the name, you would never guess it's on the second floor of a downtown office building. It probably used to be a hedge fund.

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U.S.
4:37 pm
Sat October 8, 2011

Can The U.S. Economy Really Function Without Undocumented Workers?

We often speak about the immigration debate in terms of justice, rights and the protection of our borders, but there's a business story to be told as well. The question is: can the U.S. economy really function without undocumented workers?

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Author Interviews
3:30 pm
Sat October 8, 2011

Modern Horror Defined By Edgy Realism Of The 1970s

Jason Zinoman is a critic and reporter for The New York Times.

Earl Wilson

By the late 1960s, classic horror movies pioneered by Vincent Price and Boris Karloff had run out of steam. What took their place in the period after that was something different, edgier and altogether more terrifying.

"To some extent you could say that modern horror started with the Universal classics, but I do think there is this significant turning point starting in 1968," says Jason Zinoman, author of the new book Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Sat October 8, 2011

Ron Paul Wins Straw Poll At Values Voter Summit

It's day two of the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Robert Smith talks with NPR's Don Gonyea about the surprising results of a straw poll there today: Ron Paul won big, Herman Cain was a strong second, and Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney trailed badly.

Sports
3:00 pm
Sat October 8, 2011

Oakland Raiders Hall Of Famer Al Davis Dies

Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis died today at age 82. Davis was a legend in the football world and was largely responsible for building the Raiders into a three-time Super Bowl champion. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Robert Smith Robert Smith talks to sportswriter Peter Richmond, author of the book "Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders."

U.S.
3:00 pm
Sat October 8, 2011

Week In News: Visionary Steve Jobs Dies

The world lost a titan of industry this week with the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Robert Smith speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, about the Jobs legacy and other stories from this past week.

Presidential Race
1:25 pm
Sat October 8, 2011

Ron Paul Wins Straw Poll At Values Voter Summit

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas pushed aside GOP presidential front-runners Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a straw poll at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

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