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To Buy Or Not To Buy A Book Store, And Some Considerations

Commentator Andrei Codrescu gets an offer to buy the Stein Bookstore in Jerusalem. It is the most distinguished bookstore in a city where books play an important role, and a place where great author once came.

Here's The Funny Thing About Black Women On 'SNL'

The late-night sketch comedy show is coming under new criticism. Should Saturday Night Live include more black, female comedians because it's the "right thing to do?"

Lincoln's 272 Words, A Model Of Brevity For Modern Times

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation has asked presidents, poets and sailors aboard the USS Lincoln to write their own 272 words on the Gettysburg Address, or another subject of their choice. NPR's Scott Simon shares the piece he wrote for the exhibit commemorating 150 years since Lincoln's famous (and famously brief) speech.

Modern Love Is More About Algorithms Than 'Witchcraft'

The Pew Research Center released a report this week that found online dating has become commonplace — 59 percent of all Internet users say they believe online dating is a sensible way to meet people. NPR's Scott Simon thinks the trend may have us changing the tune of our love songs.

How Do You Flavor A Vodka Called 'Chicago'?

Absolut, the Swedish vodka maker, is marketing a new spirit called Absolut Chicago. The vodka company describes its taste as "rich and aromatic with intriguing herbal notes of rosemary and thyme." But Scott Simon has his own suggested ingredients, from a kick of cold lake wind to a drop of the blues.

You Asked For It: Frank Deford's Top 12 List

Commentator Frank Deford responds to suggestions of things he should comment on. Here, he takes on the Washington Redskins' name; high school football games on national TV; hockey fights; Pete Rose and the Baseball Hall of Fame; and the tradition of pouring Gatorade on winning coaches.

Judge: 'You're Still Deceased As Far As The Law Is Concerned'

Donald Eugene Miller Jr. of Ohio is legally dead. But here's the thing: He's actually alive. Miller disappeared in 1986 and was declared dead in 1994. When he went in front of a judge this week to get his status clarified, Miller learned that declarations of death can only be rescinded within three years.

Congress, Consider 'Courage' As Shutdown Wears On

With the federal government in the midst of a shutdown, NPR's Scott Simon turns to Profiles In Courage by John F. Kennedy. As he pages through the chapters on politicians who did what they felt was right, in spite of party and constituent pressure, he wonders how similar defiance might play out these days.

Dr. Seuss Suited For The Senate; Shakespeare, Not So Much

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas held the Senate floor for 21 hours, and during that time, he read from Green Eggs and Ham. NPR's Scott Simon reflects on the quotes and texts politicians turn to, and the ones they avoid.

Is It Racist To 'Call A Spade A Spade'?

For almost half a millennium, the phrase "call a spade a spade" has served as a demand to "tell it like it is." It is only in the past century that the expression began to acquire a negative, racial overtone.