Music

German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who died earlier this month at age 86, was a paragon of excellence for generations of singers and fans. After his passing, we called American baritone Thomas Hampson for his memories of Fischer-Dieskau, whom he has called "a Singer for the ages, an Artist for eternity."

We already know that budgets and austerity measures are controversial, especially when it concerns the pensions of public employees. Wisconsin is solid proof. But if you need another reminder of just how combustive it gets when you mix politics, unions and public employees, just take a look at this video:

Host Jessica Harris speaks with Thomas Keller, chef, restaurateur, and founder of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. Harris also speaks with Travis Kalanick, co-founder of Uber, an app-powered car service that helps connect drivers and passengers.

Feel like you're paying more out of pocket for medical expenses? You've got company, according to the latest data from health insurers.

Enrollment in health savings accounts grew 18 percent last year as employers continued to steer workers into high-deductible medical plans, an insurance group said this morning.

Franz Kafka published just a few short stories and a novella during his lifetime, yet he was considered one of the 20th century's most influential writers.

The rest of his work was largely kept secret, and literary scholars have long wondered what gems they might find among Kafka's papers.

The answer may ultimately lie on Tel Aviv's Spinoza Street, inside a small, squat apartment building covered with dirty, pinkish stucco that looks like it's seen better days.

New In Paperback May 28-June 3

May 30, 2012

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Daniel Orozco, Donald Rumsfeld, Jim Axelrod and Simon Kuper.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This is the second of two stories we're doing this week on organ transplants. See the first story, Who Decides Whether This 26-Year-Old Woman Gets A Lung Transplant?

Nikolaos Trichakis is a Harvard Business School professor who studies air traffic. He was watching the news one night when a segment came on about the waiting list for kidney transplants.

Sizing Up The American Dream

May 30, 2012

In a nation as diverse as the United States, the idea of "the American dream" means different things to different people. Many associate the dream with intangible ideals like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, optimism and family ties. But the American dream has also long been associated with attaining a higher standard of living, particularly one that surpasses that of the previous generation.

The Pakistani doctor who American officials say was recruited by the CIA to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and has since been sentenced to 33 years in prison, was convicted of having ties to a banned militant group, not for alleged treason.

One American's dream can be another American's nightmare.

Consider: Some people long to live in big cities; others think cities have ruined the landscape. Some Americans love to drive big old honking SUVs; others see huge cars as pollution-producing monsters. For some people, the American dream is a steady office job. For others, the office is a sinkhole and the real dream is freedom from the office.

A wildfire that has burned 265 square miles of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico is now burning across 170,000 acres. That makes it the biggest wildfire in state history.

As the AP reports, this fire eclipses a blaze last year that burned 159,593 acres in Las Conchas and threatened the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Steven Rattner now finds himself in the middle of two debates that will be key parts of this presidential campaign. President Obama's former car czar dismissed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's claims about the auto bailout as complete fantasy. But Rattner is also among the Democrats who criticized the president's attacks against Romney and private equity as unfair.

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For years, many doctors questioned the value of the PSA screening test for prostate cancer. Yes, it can catch dangerous cancers and save lives, but last week a federal task force recommended against routine PSA tests.

The panel concluded that too often the blood test leads to unnecessary procedures that can leave patients impotent, incontinent or both. Essentially, the panel concludes, that men are better off not knowing. Some experts cheered, others were outraged.

'My RV': On The Road In A Rolling Home

May 30, 2012

Freelance writer and photographer Andy Isaacson rented a 19-foot motor home in the summer of 2011. He enlisted two friends, and together they spent eight days traveling from California to Oregon and back.

J. Lo

May 30, 2012

Transcript

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

OK. We're going to roll right along. Shall we welcome our next two contestants?

JONATHAN COULTON: Let's do it.

EISENBERG: All right, let's welcome Brian Herrick and Sally Dankas.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Brian, you are a musician.

BRIAN HERRICK: Yes.

EISENBERG: What do you play?

HERRICK: I play the trombone.

EISENBERG: Fantastic. It's hard one, that's a hard instrument I'm told.

HERRICK: Yeah, sure.

EISENBERG: It's like one of the top two hard ones.

Fifty/Fifty

May 30, 2012

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

All right everybody, this is what we've all been waiting for. It's the Ask Me One More final round.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: The final elimination round will determine this week's ASK ME ANOTHER champion, so let's bring back the winners from all of our previous rounds. From Who's That Girl? David Scher.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: From Dr. Who, Malia Jackson.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: E-Horror-mony, Gregg Silverman. And JLo, Sally Dankas.

(APPLAUSE)

Who's That Girl?

May 30, 2012

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

This is ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg, chosen for the job because my own name is a word game. Let me introduce you to our ASK ME ANOTHER puzzle guys. John Chaneski.

JOHN CHANESKI: Hi Ophira. Hey.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hi.

CHANESKI: Thank you.

EISENBERG: And Will Hines.

WILL HINES: Hello Ophira.

(APPLAUSE)

Doctor Who

May 30, 2012

Transcript

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's show for people who have multiple dictionaries, you know, just in case there's a word emergency. I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg, and with me is our resident puzzle expert, John Chaneski.

(APPLAUSE)

JOHN CHANESKI: Hello. Hello, Ophira. Hi. I have six dictionaries.

EISENBERG: You've six?

CHANESKI: Yes I do.

EISENBERG: Oh, so just four more till the complete collection.

E-HORROR-mony

May 30, 2012

Transcript

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

All right, standing in front of me right now are our two new contestants. Let's welcome Debbie Chen and Gregg Silverman.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Oh, I like that. Very sportsmanlike. You shook beforehand, that is good, very nice, yes. Hi Debbie, welcome.

DEBBIE CHEN: Hi.

EISENBERG: I am told that recently you were teaching in Hong Kong.

CHEN: I was. Kindergarten, English.

EISENBERG: I know, adorable.

CHEN: They were really cute.

(NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman has been embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan this month. On Morning Edition, he reported from the eastern province of Ghazni about what's being called "the last major combat offensive of the Afghan War." Now, he tells us about his interview with the No. 2 U.S. officer in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti.)

With most media organizations now projecting that Mitt Romney has secured enough delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, President Obama called the former Massachusetts governor to offer his congratulations.

The Obama-Biden campaign offered this statement on Wednesday:

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday he is "very confident" that Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker will survive next week's recall election.

And Priebus, a Wisconsin native, said that a Walker win Tuesday over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett would mean "a much tougher road in Wisconsin" for President Obama in November's general election.

Frontier Ruckus On Mountain Stage

May 30, 2012

Blame Sally On Mountain Stage

May 30, 2012

Should Humans Explore The Stars?

May 30, 2012

Last week I wrote about how ultra-advanced aliens would be virtually indistinguishable from gods. Today I want to take the opposite tack and argue for our cosmic loneliness and our role as space explorers. This is inspired by the phenomenal docking of the SpaceX Dragon module with the International Space Station last week and its expected return tomorrow, when it's supposed to land in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley says that he has reviewed his presentation at a Special Forces Industry Conference and has come to the conclusion that he was "accurately quoted" by a reporter from the The Diplomat.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for the Beauty Shop. That's where we get a fresh cut at the week's news with a panel of women writers, journalists and commentators.

Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

There was something anticlimactic to the news that the AP Stylebook will no longer be objecting to the use of "hopefully" as a floating sentence adverb, as in, "Hopefully, the Giants will win the division." It was like seeing an obituary for someone you assumed must have died around the time that Hootenanny went off the air.

There have been very few days lately when worries about Europe's debt crisis weren't growing.

As Spain struggles to shore up its third-largest bank with a $24 billion bailout, the country's borrowing costs continue to go through the roof as fears lingered about a possible run on its banks.

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