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Weekend Edition offers news and features, expanding your world while making sense of the news of the week.

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Simon Says
7:00 am
Sat October 22, 2011

It's A Girl! The New IPhone Speaks

Siri's answer to the meaning of life is actually kind of impressive.

Oli Scarff Getty Images

Why is Siri female?

Siri is the name of a new talking virtual assistant feature on the latest iPhone that can tell you when you have an appointment, where to find a Thai restaurant and what the pollen count will be.

I have friends who have the phone and love to ask Siri, "What's the meaning of life?" She has an answer, which is impressive. Maybe it takes a circuit board to recognize the special quality of life. But frankly, her answer sounds a little robotic.

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6:04 am
Sat October 22, 2011

'Hamlet' On An Elevator? The Bard Gets A New Venue

Salty Shakespeare director Nancy Linehan Charles says she formed the company as a way to make Shakespeare more accessible to the public.


Wearing suits and somewhat harried expressions, veteran actors Michael Rothhaar and Tony Pasqualini blend right in with the lunch crowd of this Los Angeles office building.

As they head into the packed elevator, Rothhaar and Pasqualini jockey for a spot in the back. When the doors close, that's their cue.

"Lord, I think I saw him yesternight," Pasqualini says.

"Saw? Who?" Rothhaar replies.

"Lord, the king your father."

"The king, my father!"

"A figure like your father, armed at all points."

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Author Interviews
4:00 am
Sat October 22, 2011

The Harpers Ferry 'Rising' That Hastened Civil War

Tony Horwitz has written for The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker. His books include Confederates in the Attic and Baghdad Without a Map.

Courtesy of Tony Horwitz

On the evening of Oct. 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown led 21 men down the road to Harpers Ferry in what is today West Virginia. The plan was to take the town's federal armory and, ultimately, ignite a nationwide uprising against slavery.

The raid failed, but six years later, Brown's dream was realized and slavery became illegal.

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Monkey See
11:01 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

'Klitschko': Brothers And Boxers Who Fight Hard, But Never Each Other

If you think your kids have the potential for major sibling rivalry, consider the Klitschko Brothers, Wladimir and Vitali. They're the first brothers to hold world boxing titles simultaneously.

Director Sebastian Dehnhardt tells their story in a new documentary simply called Klitschko, and they talk about their story with Scott Simon Saturday on Weekend Edition.

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Music Interviews
5:01 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Coldplay: Four Best Friends, Powered By Chemistry

Coldplay's fifth album, Mylo Xyloto, comes out Oct. 25.

Sarah Lee

In 2002, when the British rock band Coldplay was on tour with its second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, frontman Chris Martin said, "I just want to make the best music of all time with my best friends." Since that time, Coldplay, with Jonny Buckland on guitar, Guy Berryman on bass and Will Champion on drums, has become one of the biggest acts in rock.

NPR's Scott Simon spoke with Martin and Champion on the occasion of their fifth album, Mylo Xyloto, due out this week. Martin says that, at the very least, the part about friends is still true.

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