While many universities try to win national attention with their sports programs, one school is dominating a lesser-known competitive arena: speech teams. Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., will defend its U.S. title again this weekend at the National Forensic Association tournament in Huntington, W.Va. Jonathan Ahl reports.
JONATHAN AHL, BYLINE: Cecil Blutcher is on stage, practicing his poetry recitation in front of his fellow speech team members.
CECIL BLUTCHER: Now my face is stuck to lamppost, glued to plate-glass windows.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The city of Boston has been through an extraordinary string of challenges this week. The city's famous race was bombed, killing three people, injuring scores of others. The city was locked down for nearly a full day in order to search for the killers.
And of course last night, many Bostonians cheered the news that the second suspect in the marathon bombings had been captured. While the backdrop is tragic, residents across the city permitted themselves a moment of celebration. People were also expressing relief that the lockdown of the city was officially over.
NPR's Chris Arnold visited a lockdown party in Boston and filed this report.
People in Boston can speak for themselves. And do. Loudly, bluntly and often with humor that bites.
It's a city that speaks with both its own broad, homebrew, local accent — although no one really pahks thea cah in Havahd Yahd — 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.
There are people in Boston who dress in pinstripes and tweeds, and tattoos and spiked hair. Sometimes, they are even the same person.
Back in the early 1990s, Melinda French was a rising star at a software company when the boss asked her out on a date. This was complicated because he was her boss, and frankly, he was kind of a nerd. But they fell in love and got married, and decided to raise a family, retire from the business, and in their spare time give away more money to charity than anyone else in the history of the world.
A shorter version of this segment was originally broadcast on Feb. 14, 2013.
Since Al Gore's term as the 45th vice president of the United States ended in 2001, he has starred in an Oscar-winning documentary, won a Grammy Award and received the Nobel Peace Prize. But obviously he won't be satisfied until he wins the NPR news quiz, so we've invited him to play a game called "Maybe you can beat Bill Clinton at this."
Arne Duncan is President Obama's secretary of education, and if, while he's on this show, a disaster befalls the president, the vice president, the speaker of the House and every other member of the Cabinet except Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, he would be president.
How do you write something like Partita for 8 Voices, the a cappella vocal piece that is this year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music?
"Very late at night," says the composer, Caroline Shaw, speaking with NPR's Scott Simon. "Sometimes it comes from having a sound in your head that you really want to hear, that you've never heard before, and struggling to make that sound happen in any way you can."
Al Neuharth died Friday at his home in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
He was 89.
Al's name may not be familiar to you, but this blogger hopes that you are acquainted with the newspaper he willed to life in 1982: USA Today.
From 1984 to 2009, I was either a reporter or editor — and sometimes both — at McPaper (a nickname that critics bestowed upon USA Today, but which those of us who were there in its best days adopted with the pride of underdogs).
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
"A powerful earthquake jolted China's Sichuan province Saturday near where a devastating quake struck five years ago," The Associated Press writes. According to CNN, early estimates put the death toll around 100. More than 1,000 other people were reportedly injured. Both figures could change substantially as more information comes in.