Scott Simon http://krwg.org en Bel Kaufman Took Us 'Up The Down Staircase' http://krwg.org/post/bel-kaufman-took-us-down-staircase <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=Bel+Kaufman+Took+Us+%27Up+The+Down+Staircase%27&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDA5NjA1MTgyMDEzMzk3ODE2ODgwOGQyMQ004)"/></div><p>Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>Bel Kaufman was a substitute teacher who bounced between public high schools in New York because her Ukrainian accent was considered a little thick. She liked to tell a story about a student who came in late. Welcome back, I said. What happened - did you rob a bank? Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:33:00 +0000 Scott Simon 71345 at http://krwg.org Happy Birthday To Amazon, And Its Data Mining http://krwg.org/post/happy-birthday-amazon-and-its-data-mining Amazon is now 20 years old!<p>In 1994, Jeff Bezos walked out of the Wall Street hedge fund where he worked after they declined to invest in his idea, and began to sell books out of his garage.<p>Today, Amazon is a retail and entertainment empire, selling books and shoes, computers, overcoats, band saws, sofa beds, kimchi, canned beans, artwork, wine, grills, generators, drones, kitty litter, pool filter pumps and garden gnomes, etc., etc., and more.<p>Type in "kitchen sink"- you'll find dozens.<p>Bezos chose the name Amazon, incidentally, because it begins with an A, to pop up to the top of al Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:35:00 +0000 Scott Simon 71334 at http://krwg.org Happy Birthday To Amazon, And Its Data Mining Buried By Picasso, The Man Beneath 'The Blue Room' Tells A Story http://krwg.org/post/man-beneath-blue-room 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 13:17:00 +0000 Scott Simon 68832 at http://krwg.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://krwg.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 67827 at http://krwg.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://krwg.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 67819 at http://krwg.org Adman Was King Of The One-Liners, But Knew Where To Draw The Line http://krwg.org/post/adman-was-king-one-liners-knew-where-draw-line George Orwell once referred to advertising as "the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket."<p>But there was some swill for which David Abbott would not rattle a stick. The British adman died this month at the age of 75. He was one of the founders of the agency Abbott Mead Vickers in London, and was considered a singularly good copywriter. Sat, 31 May 2014 12:29:00 +0000 Scott Simon 67329 at http://krwg.org Adman Was King Of The One-Liners, But Knew Where To Draw The Line South Korea Repaves For A 'Woman-Friendly Seoul' http://krwg.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 11:40:00 +0000 Scott Simon 67315 at http://krwg.org The Catchy Songs Of Eurovision Transcend Europe's Divided Politics http://krwg.org/post/catchy-songs-eurovision-transcend-europes-divided-politics Eurovision: Love it, hate it, or have no idea what we're talking about? With tensions high in Ukraine, Russian performers are facing the music at the kitschy singing contest. Sat, 10 May 2014 11:59:00 +0000 Scott Simon 65830 at http://krwg.org 'Muse Of Painting' Came To Churchill's Rescue — And Bush's http://krwg.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 63431 at http://krwg.org A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee http://krwg.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 62961 at http://krwg.org A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee A Tatar's Death Chills Those Who Suffered Under Russia Before http://krwg.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 62478 at http://krwg.org A Tatar's Death Chills Those Who Suffered Under Russia Before Ukrainian Olympic Skier's Stand Is A Sacrifice For Her Country http://krwg.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 60528 at http://krwg.org Ukrainian Olympic Skier's Stand Is A Sacrifice For Her Country Girl Scout Sells Cookies Outside Medical Marijuana Clinic http://krwg.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 60516 at http://krwg.org Shirley Temple's Films Still Charm After All These Years http://krwg.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 60045 at http://krwg.org Shirley Temple's Films Still Charm After All These Years Forego The Faux Snow: The Games Could Use A Permanent Home http://krwg.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 59552 at http://krwg.org Forego The Faux Snow: The Games Could Use A Permanent Home Opera Star Renee Fleming Brings Grace To The Super Bowl http://krwg.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 59048 at http://krwg.org Opera Star Renee Fleming Brings Grace To The Super Bowl Rodman's Tour Of North Korea: Diplomacy Or Propaganda? http://krwg.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 57600 at http://krwg.org Rodman's Tour Of North Korea: Diplomacy Or Propaganda? Billie Jean King Travels With A Message About History http://krwg.org/post/billie-jean-king-travels-message-about-history When President Obama announced that the U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics in Russia would include Billie Jean King, there was no need to explain who she is or the prestige she brings to her county. Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam tennis titles, defeated Bobby Riggs in the so-called Battle of the Sexes in 1973, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.<p>Lots of great players popularized tennis. But Billie Jean King helped turn Wimbledon and the U.S. Open into heavyweight championships. Sat, 21 Dec 2013 20:55:33 +0000 Scott Simon 56373 at http://krwg.org Billie Jean King Travels With A Message About History As We Memorialize Mandela, Remember Those Who Stood With Him http://krwg.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 55388 at http://krwg.org As We Memorialize Mandela, Remember Those Who Stood With Him Modern Love Is More About Algorithms Than 'Witchcraft' http://krwg.org/post/modern-love-more-about-algorithms-witchcraft The Pew Research Center issued <a href="http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Online-Dating.aspx">a report</a> this week with findings that may sound unremarkable, but have implications to alter not just how we live, but what we dream, fantasize, gossip and sing about.<p>Online dating has become commonplace.<p>Thirty-eight percent of people who describe themselves as "single and looking" — and by the way, if you were a pollster, would you rather talk to people about being "single and looking," or how they feel about the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics? Sat, 26 Oct 2013 12:07:00 +0000 Scott Simon 52598 at http://krwg.org Modern Love Is More About Algorithms Than 'Witchcraft' Judge: 'You're Still Deceased As Far As The Law Is Concerned' http://krwg.org/post/judge-youre-still-deceased-far-law-concerned Now and then there's a news story to remind us that few things are as simple as they may seem.<p>Donald Eugene Miller Jr. remained dead this week, even though he was feeling well enough to stand up in the Hancock County, Ohio, probate court and ask Judge Allan Davis to recognize what sounds pretty obvious: He's alive.<p>Mr. Miller, who is 61, disappeared from his home in Arcadia, Ohio, in 1986.<p>Authorities searched. They sent out alerts. Sat, 12 Oct 2013 17:18:28 +0000 Scott Simon 51719 at http://krwg.org Judge: 'You're Still Deceased As Far As The Law Is Concerned' Congress, Consider 'Courage' As Shutdown Wears On http://krwg.org/post/congress-consider-courage-shutdown-wears The shutdown of the U.S. government occurs in the weeks leading to the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and it might be an inviting time to look at a book he published in 1956 while in the U.S. Senate: <em>Profiles in Courage</em>.<p>Kennedy profiled eight politicians of all stripes who crossed party lines or defied the sentiments of their constituents to do what they felt was right — at a cost to their careers. To cite a few chapters:<p><ul><p><li>Gov. Sat, 05 Oct 2013 23:28:56 +0000 Scott Simon 51255 at http://krwg.org Congress, Consider 'Courage' As Shutdown Wears On Hemingway's Rejected Early Work Is Fit To Print After All http://krwg.org/post/hemingways-rejected-early-work-fit-print-after-all <em>Harper's Magazine</em> is publishing a story in its October issue by a promising young author named Ernest Hemingway.<p>"My Life in the Bull Ring with Donald Ogden Stewart," a five-page story about a socialite who comes face to horns with a bull, was written by Hem when he was just 25. It was rejected in 1924 by <em>Vanity Fair</em> magazine, whose editor, Frank Crowninshield, wrote, "With our regret ... Sat, 21 Sep 2013 23:01:06 +0000 Scott Simon 50249 at http://krwg.org Hemingway's Rejected Early Work Is Fit To Print After All When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children http://krwg.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 49136 at http://krwg.org When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children Remembering Elmore Leonard, A Writer Who Hated Literature http://krwg.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 48205 at http://krwg.org Remembering Elmore Leonard, A Writer Who Hated Literature 'Three Jewish Husbands, But No Guilt': My Mother's Wisdom http://krwg.org/post/three-jewish-husbands-no-guilt-my-mothers-wisdom Thank you for all of the kind notes and messages, from truly millions of people.<p>When I flew to my mother's hospital room here in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, I did not expect it to become — and prayed it wouldn't be — the place where she would die. I didn't set out to keep a deathbed vigil in short bursts, and am only now beginning to appreciate how the glimpse of her spirit in those tweets touched something raw and beautiful in so many.<p>I was a son trying to help his mother. Sat, 03 Aug 2013 18:07:02 +0000 Scott Simon 46840 at http://krwg.org 'Three Jewish Husbands, But No Guilt': My Mother's Wisdom Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe' http://krwg.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 45308 at http://krwg.org Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe' Bidding Farewell To Tony Soprano http://krwg.org/post/bidding-farewell-tony-soprano Anthony Soprano, a waste-management consultant from Essex County, N.J., died this week.<p>Tony Soprano was — according to reports that aired for six years on HBO — head of the DiMeo crime family, which allegedly ran illicit drugs, untaxed alcohol, illegal sports betting and other criminal enterprises from the back of an adult entertainment venue called the Bada Bing club on Route 17 in Lodi.<p>Mr. Soprano denied his involvement in organized crime. He said it was a "vicious stereotype" that slurs waste-removal professionals who promote a green, healthy environment.<p>Mr. Sat, 22 Jun 2013 12:57:00 +0000 Scott Simon 43887 at http://krwg.org Bidding Farewell To Tony Soprano Peaceful Protest Over Istanbul Park Turns Violent http://krwg.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 42392 at http://krwg.org High School Newspapers: An Endangered Species http://krwg.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 42387 at http://krwg.org High School Newspapers: An Endangered Species