Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Stand aside Beyonce, there's a new sound in town. More than 9,000 sounds, to be more precise. The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has just finished digitizing its huge archive of wildlife sounds and made it available online.
"It represents the voice of the world — all the voices of the world," Greg Budney, audio curator for the archive, tells NPR's Scott Simon. Among the vast collection are birds, mammals, insects and amphibians, Budney says, all made available "to anyone who has an interest in nature, in conservation and in the world around them."
The Superdome in New Orleans has hosted heavyweight fights, papal visits, and — after this weekend — seven Super Bowls, an NFL record. But no event looms larger in the dome's history than Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that turned the stadium into a teeming shelter of last resort.
During the storm, reporters spared no hyperbole when describing scenes of human suffering. The Superdome, in particular, was described as a "hellhole" and "apocalyptic," and it was sort of true.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Kevin Spacey's got a memorable entrance in the new series "House of Cards." He looks into the camera and talks to the audience while he strangles an injured dog.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "HOUSE OF CARDS")
KEVIN SPACEY: (as Francis Underwood) There are two kinds of pain: the sort of pain that makes you strong; or useless pain, the sort of pain that's only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.
In Cairo you can get most anything — food, medicine, groceries — delivered right to your door, anytime. But civil unrest in the streets of the Egyptian capital has made it a riskier job for deliverymen.
Tabouleh restaurant, an upscale Lebanese joint, is tucked into a quiet neighborhood just south of Tahrir Square, the center of Egypt's revolution.
It's usually packed. But clashes between protesters and police have been ongoing for a week just two blocks away. On a recent night, there's only one table of diners.
There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and it's a number you might have heard a lot about this week from Washington lawmakers.
Since the 1970s, Jeff Passel, now senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, has been keeping tabs on a group that actively tries to stay off the radar. He says many actually do participate in the census count and other surveys.
Despite the cold and snow, some signs of spring are starting to break through in Colorado. The public library in the small town of Basalt is trying an experiment: In addition to borrowing books, residents can now check out seeds.
In a corner of the library, Stephanie Syson and her 4-year-old daughter, Gray, are just finishing a book with a white rabbit on the cover.
When Gray approaches the knee-high shelves filled with seed packets, she zeroes in on a pack labeled "rainbow carrots."
You might look for a player along the sidelines in the Super Bowl on Sunday named Alex Smith and wonder, as he might, if he'll be the next Wally Pipp or Ken Mattingly.
Pipp was the Yankee first baseman in 1925 who had a headache and was told to take two aspirin and sit out the game. A young player named Lou Gehrig took his place — and stayed at first base for 14 years, becoming one of baseball's most storied players.
Pipp wound up working in a screw factory. He was a good sport who told fans in later years, "I took the two most expensive aspirin in history."