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Author Interviews
5:46 am
Sun July 1, 2012

'Hitless Wonder': On Tour With A Band Of Also-Rans

Colin Gawel (second from right) and Joe Oestreich (second from left) formed Watershed 27 years ago in Columbus, Ohio. They now tour with Dave Masica (left) and Joe Peppercorn (right).
Courtesy of Globe Pequot Press

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 10:17 am

Barring a massive shake-up of the Billboard charts — and American tastes — "Little Mistakes" will not be the song of the summer. But that's not for lack of trying.

The song is the lead single off Brick and Mortar, the latest album by Watershed — a band from Columbus, Ohio, that most people have never heard of. But they have been playing dingy bars, tiny clubs and even the occasional arena for 27 years.

That career has inspired a new memoir called Hitless Wonder: A Life in Minor League Rock and Roll, written by one of the band's founders, Joe Oestreich.

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Music Interviews
5:45 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Stephane Wrembel: Music As 'A Question Of Life And Death'

Stephane Wrembel's new album is called Origins.
J. Elon Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 1, 2012 8:32 am

If you're a moviegoer, there's a good chance you'll recognize Stephane Wrembel's sound, if not his name.

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
5:44 am
Sun July 1, 2012

In 'Sponge Candy Crescent,' Addicts Hoard 'Heaven'

To get their summertime fix, sponge candy lovers on the shore of Lake Erie have to plan in advance.
Melisa Goh NPR

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:09 am

The eastern shore of Lake Erie is known as the "Sponge Candy Crescent." During the region's long winter months, this crunchy, chocolatey candy is a mainstay — especially for large gatherings and holidays. But come hot weather, you can't get the temperamental treat.

Ko-Ed Candies sells a lot of chocolate Easter bunnies, candy bars and other sweets, but co-owner Sandy Whitt says her customers mostly crave sponge candy.

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Politics
5:44 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Asian And All-American: A Political Star Rises In N.Y.

The seat Grace Meng holds on the New York Assembly was once held by her father, Jimmy Meng.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Sun July 1, 2012 1:58 pm

Earlier this week, Taiwanese-American attorney Grace Meng won the Democratic primary for New York's newly redrawn 6th Congressional District. She says she thinks of herself as an all-American kid, even if others didn't always see her that way.

"Growing up as a kid in Queens, there weren't really many Asians at all," Meng says. "I remember one day, my mom gave me dumplings to bring to school, and people were all like, 'What is that?'"

Meng says she would have preferred peanut butter and jelly.

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
1:15 am
Sun July 1, 2012

America's Affection For Hometown Confections

YouTube

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 10:40 am

From the maple sugar moose heads of New England to the chile brittle of the Southwest, from the Almond Roca of the Pacific Northwest to the key lime coconut patties of Florida, America loves its candy.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:03 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Mixing It Up On The Baseball Diamond

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a Major League Baseball team. You are given anagrams of their names, each with one letter added, and must name the teams. For example, given "dress," the answer would be "Reds."

Last Week's Challenge: Think of a familiar three-word phrase that might be used in poker and add an "E" at the end and you'll get a two-word phrase that's common in football. (The spaces in between the words changes in the two phrases but the letters stay in the same order.)

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Middle East
6:25 pm
Sat June 30, 2012

Sanctions May Squeeze Iran ... And Raise Oil Prices

European countries have agreed to stop importing Iranian oil as of Sunday. This could make it harder for Iran to find markets for its crude. Iran has been filling up tankers off its coast, but analysts say it could run out of storage capacity. This photo shows oil tankers off Iran's coast in January.
Kamran Jebreili AP

The sanctions noose around Iran is set to tighten Sunday as the European Union imposes a total embargo on all purchases of Iranian oil.

The new sanctions are aimed at putting pressure on the Islamic Republic to make concessions on its nuclear program. Iran insists the program is limited to peaceful, civilian purposes, but many Western nations believe Iran has nuclear weapons ambitions.

The move against Iran comes at a time when oil prices have been dropping for the past couple of months.

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Environment
5:56 pm
Sat June 30, 2012

The Trickiness Of Tracking Severe Weather

Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Laura Sullivan talks with Heidi Cullen, chief climatologist at Climate Central, a non-profit science journalism organization in Princeton, New Jersey. They discuss wildfires and extreme heat in the Midwest this week and how these climate conditions are tracked by Earth-observing satellites.

Sports
5:56 pm
Sat June 30, 2012

For Italy's Balotelli, Racism On And Off The Field

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

This past week, a star was born.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Oh, Balotelli. Mario's moment to shine.

SULLIVAN: That was the call on ESPN of the heroics of 21-year-old Mario Balotelli. He scored both of Italy's goals in their win over Germany in the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. The Italians now advance to the final tomorrow.

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Author Interviews
5:16 pm
Sat June 30, 2012

'Billy Lynn' A Full-Bore Tale Of Wartime Iraq

Ben Fountain sets his new novel in Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys from 1971 to 2008.
Al Messerschmidt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 10:19 am

Billy Lynn is a 19-year-old college dropout living in the small Texas town where he grew up. After he's arrested for trashing the car of his sister's ex, he's given two choices: face jail time or enlist in the Army.

He chooses the Army. And Iraq.

Author Ben Fountain's debut novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, is the story of what happens to Lynn after he joins Bravo Company in the early years of the Iraq war.

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