9:09am

Sat September 1, 2012
Participation Nation

Americans In Action, Helping Each Other And Making The Whole Country Better

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 11:32 am

With your help, we spent a month sharing stories about Americans taking action to make their world a better place.
Milos Luzanin iStockphoto.com

Like a quietly efficient operating system whirring away in the innards of a supercomputer, a vast array of Americans — mostly unseen and unsung — spend hours and hours of every week working together to find ways to make their communities — and the whole country — better.

This is Participation Nation.

In a monthlong blog that ended Aug. 31, NPR collected stories of people actively helping other people, animals and the planet. Here is an executive summary of what we discovered.

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6:03am

Sat September 1, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Regina Spektor, Victor LaValle

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 9:08 am

"To me, the voice is an instrument, just like any other instrument," Regina Spektor says.
Shervin Lainez

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:

Regina Spektor: On Growing Up A 'Soviet Kid': The singer spent the first nine years of her life in the Soviet Union, where she and her family faced discrimination as Jews. She talks about Russia and her new album, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats.

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5:03am

Sat September 1, 2012
The Salt

Want To Grill Like A Zillionaire? There's An App For That

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:14 pm

The iGrill on display at Macworld 2011in San Francisco.
Tony Avelar Bloomberg via Getty Images

There are so many cooking apps out there, it's easy to get lost. Good thing the iGrill has Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on its side.

Sales of the $80 device spiked by 400 percent after Zuckerberg updated his Facebook status on Aug. 19 with an enthusiastic thumbs up for the iGrill, a cooking thermometer that uses Bluetooth to connect to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

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3:30am

Sat September 1, 2012
It's All Politics

Republicans Gear Up To Thwart An Obama North Carolina Two-Peat

Romney-Ryan campaign volunteers Will Moore and Mindy Moorman in the Greensboro, N.C., office.
Frank James NPR

Blindsided is what North Carolina Republicans felt four years ago when President Obama won the state, though by the slightest of margins — a mere 14,177 votes out of 4.3 million cast.

Republicans admit they had taken as a given a 2008 North Carolina victory by Sen. John McCain. And who could blame them? No Democratic presidential candidate had won the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

But as McCain learned to his grief, history isn't always destiny. Obama's campaign had an effective strategy to win the state, and did.

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3:12am

Sat September 1, 2012
Book Reviews

'Headbangers' And The New American Pastime

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 7:24 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Baseball is still called the national pastime, and poets still compose paeans to its subtlety and gentle pace. But in the 1970s, pro football began to become America's defining game, and it was about as subtle as a kick in the head. As Kevin Cook suggests in his new book, the '70s - the days of Mean Joe, "Mad Dog" John Madden, buttoned-up Tom Landry and Howard Cosell - the days when football was raw and unfiltered.

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3:12am

Sat September 1, 2012
Politics

The GOP Convention Is Done, But The Swag Lives On

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 12:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Finally, a story of a couple of guys on a road trip to find a few things that may be priceless. Remember, it's a road trip. Our two stars are...

LARRY BIRD: I'm Larry Bird.

HARRY RUBENSTEIN: Hi, this is Harry Rubenstein.

SIMON: Larry Bird and Harry Rubenstein are curators at the National Museum of American History. They've been in Tampa this week and will be in Charlotte next to collect stuff.

BIRD: I mean, it could be anything - banner, badges, buttons, ribbons.

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3:12am

Sat September 1, 2012
Economy

The Economy: What Are The Central Bankers Saying?

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 12:31 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Every year at this time, many of the world's central bankers gather in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for an annual economic policy symposium, within sight of snow-capped mountain peaks. The economy continues to be weak in much of the world. A select group of journalists is allowed to attend - and Robin Harding, the U.S. Economics Editor of the Financial Times, is one of those journalists.

He joins us from Jackson Hole. Mr. Harding, thank you for being with us.

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3:12am

Sat September 1, 2012
Sports

Week In Sports: U.S. Open To Be Roddick's Last

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 12:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And I wait all week to say time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The 2012 tennis season is in the home stretch - or is it the last set? What do we call it? The U.S. Open in New York, and it's been eventful. We'll also hit the gridiron in a moment. First, Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine joins us now from New York. Howard, good morning.

HOWARD BRYANT: Good morning, Scott. How are you?

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3:12am

Sat September 1, 2012
Around the Nation

Gone But Not Forgotten, Isaac Leaves Messy Wake

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 12:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. The remnants of Hurricane Isaac have now moved north, dumping heavy rain in Arkansas and Missouri. In Louisiana and Mississippi, it will take many weeks - if not months - to clean up the mess from the flooding and torrential downpours. As NPR's Russell Lewis reports, residents there are taking things kind of in stride, even as they need to rebuild yet again.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPLASHING WATER)

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3:12am

Sat September 1, 2012
Presidential Race

Romney Visits Storm-Stricken La. Ahead Of Obama

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 12:31 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And there are a little more than 60 days left until the presidential election. Democrats are gearing up for their nominating convention, in North Carolina next week. Republicans, of course, held their convention this week, in Florida. And in a moment, we'll hear a report on President Obama's visit to a U.S. military base.

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