J.J. Abrams already had the Mission: Impossible and Star Trek franchises under his belt when he was offered Star Wars. He says taking on the beloved work of science fiction in addition to the others was a big decision:"It's too much power for one man!"
On-air challenge: Every answer is a made-up, two-word phrase in which the vowel in the first word is a short "e" and the vowel in the second word is a long "o." For example: A place to meditate would be a "zen zone."
Last week's challenge: There is a politician today, sometimes known by his or her full three-word name, whose initials are also the initials of a popular chain of restaurants. Who is the politician and what's the restaurant?
After several knee operations, 66-year-old Marilyn Cowser of Greenfield, Wis., found herself no longer able to Rollerblade or ride her bike.
She was advised to try a recumbent bike, but when Cowser went to her local bike shop, she found they were selling for upwards of $1,500. Cowser wasn't willing to spend that kind of money, so she went to see a guy about a half-hour away who builds recumbents in his garage.
"When I got there, he had them all out," she says. "And I got on this one and took off. I mean, I just went."
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The tone and pace of "Nebraska," Alexander Payne's latest film, is set from the very beginning. The opening scene - an elderly man, bundled up in a well-worn coat is lumbering down the shoulder of a freeway on the outskirts of Billings, Montana. He could be lost in a dementia-fueled haze or on a clearly defined mission. The truth about that man, Woody Grant, turns out to be a bit of both. Here's director Alexander Payne.
There are travelers and then there are travelers. Mike Spencer Bown is clearly the latter. For 23 years, he has wandered the Earth exploring every country on the planet. Now, he says he is hanging up his traveling shoes and returning home to Calgary, Canada. What more fitting guest could there be for our Wingin' It travel segment?
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MARTIN: Mike Spencer Bown joins us now for the studios of the BBC in London. Welcome to the program, Mr. Bown.
Author Dana Goodyear has spent a lot of time dining with foodies who champion bugs as a meal. And horses. And brains. Whales. Leaves. Weeds. Ash. Hay. Even plain dirt.
Goodyear, a staff writer for The New Yorker, set out to document the outer bounds of the extreme food culture that has taken hold among American foodies. Their quest for ever more exotic, challenging ingredients, she says, is raising fundamental questions about the nature of food itself and the assumptions that underlie what we view as acceptable to eat.
I read my guilty pleasure junior year of high school; a time when for many young men guilty pleasure means something else. I heard about a book of essays by Ian Frazier that was supposedly very funny. So I asked my Mom for a ride to the mall.
Back then there was no Amazon. Well, there was, but it was in South America. Fortunately, asking Mom if she'd like to go to the mall was sort of like asking Chuck Schumer if he'd mind going on television. Three minutes later, we were in the car. Mom asked the name of the book I was getting.
Fans of "Doonesbury" have been doing without the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip since the summer. The strip has been on vacation. But its creator, Garry Trudeau, has not exactly been chilling at the beach. Trudeau spent the last several months in a New York film studio making a sitcom called "Alpha House." The show is being launched online on Amazon. It chronicles the misadventures of four fictional Republican senators who share a Washington, D.C., townhouse. Jon Kalish visited the set and has this story.