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Why Music Matters
4:05 pm
Sun July 1, 2012

Breaking Records To A Velvet Underground Beat

Christian Niccum and Dan Joye at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, Canada.
Shaun Botterill Getty Images

Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with Olympic luger Christian Niccum. Niccum says music was the key to one of his first accomplishments in the sport.

"I was 15 years old, in Berchtesgaden in Germany," he says. "It's the oldest artificial luge track in the world, and it's also the most difficult."

Daunted by the course's many sharp turns, Niccum turned to something borrowed for inspiration.

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NPR Story
4:00 pm
Sun July 1, 2012

Mexico Votes On Presidential Election

Originally published on Sun July 1, 2012 4:05 pm

Transcript

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.

Voters in Mexico are headed to the polls today to elect a new president. If public opinion polls are correct, the candidate of the PRI party is poised to win. This is the party that ruled the country with a strong arm for most of the 20th century before being ousted from power 12 years ago.

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Music Interviews
3:30 pm
Sun July 1, 2012

Bobby Womack: 'God Must Still Have A Purpose For Me'

Bobby Womack's latest album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, came out June 12.
Jamie-James Medina Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 1, 2012 4:05 pm

"We had two shows that night," says Bobby Womack, recounting a recent concert in Houston. "It was a small theater, about 5- or 6,000 people. The second show, I was just out of it; they had to take me to the hospital."

It was a serious scare for the 68-year-old singer-songwriter — who has also lived through drug addiction and the deaths of two sons — and it didn't end that night.

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Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Sun July 1, 2012

The Complex 'Tapestry' of Michelle Obama's Ancestry

Fraser and Marian Shields Robinson raised their children, Craig and Michelle, in Chicago, but their family's ancestry can be traced back to pre-abolition Georgia.
Barack Obama Campaign

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 9:17 am

When Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandmother was 8 years old, her life underwent a dramatic change.

Melvinia Shields was a slave who grew up at a South Carolina estate with a relatively large community of slaves she knew well. But then she was moved to a small farm in northern Georgia where she was one of only three slaves; most white people in the area didn't own any.

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Sun July 1, 2012

From Our Readers: Alien Vs. Internet Memes

Meme Maker

On a week monopolized by important political news, many of you still took time out to comment on our National Geographic inspired poll, which asked "Which president, would-be president or movie president would do the best job if extraterrestrials come to visit?"

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Pop Culture
1:08 pm
Sun July 1, 2012

Fans Restore Luke Skywalker's Boyhood Home

Construction Begins at the Lars Homestead
Mark Dermul

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 10:28 am

Mark Dermul is a serious Star Wars fan. He was just 7 years old in 1977 when the original movie hit the theaters. As soon as the huge Star Destroyer flew across the opening scene, he was hooked.

"It hasn't left me," he says. At 42, Dermul now guides tours throughout North Africa, visiting sites that were featured in the blockbuster films.

On one 2010 trip back to planet Tatooine — OK, Tunisia — he and his tour group noticed that Luke Skywalker's boyhood home was decaying. They jumped into hyperspace — OK, the Internet — to save it.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
11:47 am
Sun July 1, 2012

The Movie Elizabeth Banks Has 'Seen A Million Times'

John Travolta and Samuel Jackson in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction [THE KOBAL COLLECTION/MIRAMAX/BUENA VISTA].
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sun July 1, 2012 4:05 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen a Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Latin America
6:55 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Mexicans Vote With Drug War As Backdrop

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Mexico, a country so scarred by drug violence, is electing a new president today. And voters appear ready to reject the ruling party led by outgoing President Felipe Calderon. In the eyes of many Mexicans, his anti-drug campaign has done more harm than good, claiming the lives of more than 50,000 people over the last six years. But the candidate who appears on the verge of victory is from a party that ruled Mexico with an iron fist for decades.

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Latin America
6:55 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Election Gives Little Hope To Embattled Juarez

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

As Carrie said, the war on drugs is not the primary campaign issue in Mexico. But it has been at the heart of outgoing President Felipe Calderon's agenda. The bloodiest battlefield in that war has been Ciudad Juarez, which is right across the border from El Paso, Texas. And the presidential election has not put residents there in a hopeful mood.

As Monica Ortiz Uribe, of member station KJZZ reports, many in Juarez have little faith that a new president can bring peace.

(SOUNDBITE OF VEHICLES)

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Around the Nation
6:55 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Colorado Fire Victims Switch To Recovery Mode

Everyone who lost a home to the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado seems to have a story about stuff: the stuff they grabbed as they fled, the treasures they forgot to pack. Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee reports on what it means to start over.

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