Scott Simon

Scott Simon appears in the following:

Satire May Be Uncomfortable, But Humor Makes Us Human

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Satire is a tricky business. The punch lines quickly get stale. The same people who laugh at one joke can get offended by the next.

But this week, with the targeted killings of the cartoon satirists of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, we were reminded how dangerous people with no sense ...


The Plan To Report The End Of The World

Saturday, January 10, 2015

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Despite Its Beauty, Cuba Isn't Quite Ready For Tourists

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I've always had a good time in Cuba. The people are friendly and funny, the rum is smooth, the music intoxicating and the beaches wide, white and soft.

But you're accompanied everywhere by government minders. They call them responsables. Any Cuban you interview knows your microphone might as well run ...


Outrage Over Chinese Takeout Brings To Mind A Maxim

Saturday, December 13, 2014

"There's a Harvard man on the wrong side of every question," and this week that man may have been Ben Edelman, an associate professor at Harvard Business School.

Edelman, a Harvard Ph.D and lawyer, has been called the Sheriff of the Internet for pursuing companies he believes have committed ...


A Premature Obituary Can Be A Sweet — If Strange — Gift

Saturday, December 06, 2014

This just in: Kirk Douglas is not dead.

"The announcement of my death is premature," he told USA Today, after People Magazine's website ran an obituary this week for Mr. Douglas, who looks vigorous, says he feels strong, has just published a book of poetry, and will turn 98 ...


Helmets Aren't Always Enough To Keep Players Safe

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Australian cricket player Phillip Hughes died this week in Sydney after he was struck on the back of the neck by a bounced pitch that's an ordinary and routine part of cricket.

Mr. Hughes was 25, an accomplished and admired player. There's been an outpouring of grief in Australia and ...


Chicken Confidential: How This Bird Came To Rule The Cultural Roost

Saturday, November 29, 2014

If you looked at Earth from far off in the solar system, would it look like it's run by humans — or chickens? There are about three times as many chickens as people on this planet. And while horses and dogs are often celebrated as humankind's partner in spreading civilization, ...


Remembering 'Comic Meteor' Mike Nichols

Saturday, November 22, 2014

There are just a few words in the last four minutes of Mike Nichols' 1967 film, The Graduate.

"Elaine! Ben! It's too late! Not for me..."

A lot of directors would have ended the film on the two young lovers in the back of the bus, giddy, giggly and ...


Comet Lander, Firefighters Execute Dazzling Feats Above The Earth

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Everyone has days in which we wonder if much of anything works. Websites crash. Screens blink, go blank, or taunt: I'm sorry. Try later. We have an unusually high volume of calls. Download to update. Click here if you've forgotten your password.

But for a couple of hours on an ...

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Dreaming Up Ways To Use Fall Back's Extra Hour

Saturday, November 01, 2014

We can turn back time tonight. Well, at least our clocks, for an hour, as Daylight Saving Time ends and Standard Time returns.

There's been debate as to whether we really should flip time back and forth a couple of times a year. The hour of light we gain each ...


Two Lions Of Journalism, Roaring To The Last

Saturday, October 25, 2014

I think Ben Bradlee and Frank Mankiewicz knew the news business enough to realize that if two old lions die within a couple days of each other, they'll wind up sharing space in the same recollection on a weekly show.

I knew Frank when he was president of NPR, and ...


A Candidate With Low Poll Numbers, But High Hopes

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dr. Doug Butzier died on duty this week. He was 59 and crashed in his own small plane flying home to Dubuque, Iowa.

Doug Butzier was a former paramedic who put himself through medical school and became chief of the emergency room and medical staff at Mercy Medical Center and ...


Robot Bees Could Assist With Tricky Rescue Operations

Saturday, October 18, 2014

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In A Way, Gandhi Also Won 2014's Nobel Peace Prize

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mahatma Gandhi never won the Nobel Peace Prize. A lot of people who have dropped bombs, launched missiles and made war have won the Nobel, but not the man whose very silhouette — bald-headed, wrapped in cloth, and walking in sandals across a perilous world — is taken to be ...


A Stranger On A Train, A Phone Call, A Man's Life Transformed

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Every now and then you can see a short story come to life right in front of you.

We were on a train this week while a man in a seat nearby spoke in a voice loud enough to carry above the whoosh of the rails to a man whose ...


FAA Chief: No Quick Fix To Prevent Another Fire Like Chicago

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration is trying to deflect criticism over an arson fire at an air traffic control center that shut down Chicago's airports last week.

Administrator Michael Huerta toured the fire-damaged Chicago air traffic control center in suburban Aurora on Friday with members of the Illinois ...


Atlantic City Falls From Glittering Resort To Bargain Basement

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The U.S. may have added jobs to its payroll last month, but the losses are still huge in Atlantic City, N.J., where four casinos have closed this year. A fifth teeters, and more than 7,000 people — dealers, greeters, cooks and maids — have been laid off.

The job losses ...


Fresh Air Weekend: Lena Dunham And Matt Bai

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Lena Dunham talks about sex, oversharing and her new essay collection Not That Kind of Girl; Matt Bai discusses his book All The Truth Is Out about Gary Hart's 1987 affair and political journalism.


Banned Books Remind Us Of The Power Of The Written Word

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Here's an idea for weekend fun: Pick up a banned book.

Look for "the good parts" — the sections of Ulysses, The Grapes of Wrath, The Color Purple, Catch-22, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Lolita, the Harry Potter series, Animal Farm, A Farewell to Arms or ...


A Man Who Knew The Value Of The Human Voice

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A man known around here as "The Host Whisperer" has died.

David Candow was 74. He was a slightly tubby man from Newfoundland with a sly smile and a soft voice. I wanted nothing to do with him.

David was a consultant, brought in to work with NPR hosts and ...