It's a small town girl's dream: One day, you're strutting the floorboards of a summer stage; the next, the silver screen. Thus is the arc of Elsa Emerson, a Door County, Wis., girl whose life at the Cheery County playhouse never quite goes away when she becomes the Oscar-winning Laura Lamont.
Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with music from the heavens, as chosen by astronaut Stan Love.
"In space, every day is an important day of work," Love says. But when he was sent up to the space station to drop off and pick up crew members, the returning station crew member asked, "Dudes, where are the tunes?"
In a move to perhaps change the topic after a turbulent few weeks, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns. But the move has not silenced his critics. With just 45 days until Election Day, weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with NPR's White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro about the candidate's next steps.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
MITT ROMNEY: Eight percent unemployment for over, how many, 43 months right here in Las Vegas and in Nevada. You've seen housing prices bumping along the bottom, record numbers of foreclosures. These are tough times. We have a president who says he can't fix Washington. I can. I will lead. I'll get the job done.
A reminder from weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden that Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction is still open for submissions. Our judge, Brad Meltzer, is looking for an original short story that revolves around a U.S. president — fictional or real — in under 600 words. Listeners can submit their story online at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, September 23, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Theweekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.
For actor Michael Peña, whose credits include Crash, World Trade Center, and End of Watch, which opened in theaters this weekend, the movie he could watch a million times is Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose.
In the 1980s, Elliott Sharp was the height of New York City cool, a central part of that town's experimental music scene. His creations were inspired by advanced mathematical concepts. He tuned his guitars according to the Fibonacci Sequence and wrote challenging pieces inspired by fractal geometry.
And then there were three — record labels, that is. Regulators in the United States and Europe have approved the acquisition of EMI Music by Univeral Music Group. The combined label will own close to 40 percent of the world music market with a trove of acts that includes The Beatles.
President Obama named a new national monument on Friday: Chimney Rock in southwestern Colorado. With two sandstone spires soaring from a mesa, not only is Chimney Rock a spectacular place; it also provides a fascinating glimpse into the ancient people who lived in that region more than 1,000 years ago.
Wisconsin is a prime battleground state in this year's presidential election.
Republicans hope the pick of native son Paul Ryan as their vice presidential nominee will bolster their chances to turn the state red in November. Wisconsin hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1984. Barack Obama won the state by a blowout 14 points in 2008. And a run of Wisconsin polls this week shows him widening his lead over Mitt Romney.
So what do Wisconsin voters have to say about their choices — and their mood?
The Obama administration has named Chimney Rock, in Colorado as a new national monument. The ancient people who lived there were a little bit like modern Americans — they had an elite class and a 99 percent just like us.
Finally this hour, to California, where space shuttle Endeavour made its final flight today. Endeavour left Andrews Air Force Base this morning on the back of a 747. It flew over San Francisco and Sacramento before heading south to Los Angeles. There, it will find new life as an exhibit in a science museum. Before Endeavour touched down, it made a low-level pass over a number of Southern California landmarks. NPR's Mandalit del Barco was with some elementary school students as the shuttle flew by.
Arefa with her host family, sisters Jami Valentine (left) and Staci Freeman. Doctors in the U.S. have been treating Arefa's third-degree burns, and also performed skin-graft surgery for the top of her head. Each morning still requires a fresh dressing.
Credit Courtesy of Solace for the Children
Valentine and Freeman greet Arefa after she arrived at LAX in June.
There is limited medical infrastructure in war-torn Afghanistan, so severely wounded children are sometimes brought to the U.S. for medical care. Doctors in America say that for one little girl, her struggle to stay alive for three years until finding her way from central Afghanistan to a hospital in Los Angeles is nothing short of a miracle.