Weekend Edition Sunday

Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles KuraltWeekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Weekend Edition Sunday debuted on January 18, 1987, with host Susan Stamberg. Two years later, Liane Hansen took over the host chair, a position she held for 22 years. In that time, Hansen interviewed movers and shakers in politics, science, business and the arts. Her reporting travels took her from the slums of Cairo to the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula; from the oyster beds on the bayou in Houma, La., to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park; and from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In the fall of 2011, NPR National Desk Reporter Audie Cornish began hosting the show.

Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Weekend Edition Sunday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

P-22 is believed to have the smallest home range of any adult male mountain ...
A puma named P-22 had to master a suburban commute to find his home in Griffith Park. His name might not be pretty, but the biologist who collared him think it fits just right.

A mountain lion was holed up under a house in Los Angeles for a little while last week, making headlines across the country.

But the puma, known as P-22, was already pretty famous. He's got his own Facebook fan page with more than 2,000 likes, plus a couple of Twitter accounts.

His range is the 8 square miles of LA's Griffith Park, on the eastern edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, surrounded on all sides by development.

Jeff Sikich, a biologist with the National Park Service, captured P-22 in 2012 in Griffith Park and released him with a GPS radio collar. Sikich tells NPR's Rachel Martin that through tissue sampling, he can trace the puma's origins.

"The genetics show that he was born in the Santa Monica Mountains," he says. "Which is pretty amazing, because that meant, to get to Griffith Park, he had to cross two major freeways — the 405 Freeway, navigate through the Hollywood Hills, and then cross the 101 Freeway."


Interview Highlights

On P-22's solitary lifestyle

We've seen that in our core study area in the Santa Monica Mountains every young male before P-22 ended up dying when they got dispersed from mom. They either got hit on the freeway or killed by the adult male, so P-22 did find a way out to an area where there is no adult male. There seems to be plenty of prey, plenty of deer for him.

On his Griffith Park home

He has the smallest home range of any adult male, to our knowledge, ever recorded, so in a matter of time he might choose to leave, or attempt to leave, in order to find a mate.

On P-22's name

P is for puma; he's the 22nd puma caught in our study. Just because we have this numbering system does not mean we're not attached to these animals. I tell people to call them any name you like.

Who's to say what a good or a bad name is, right? I think P-22 sounds perfect. It's short. It's commanding. It rolls off the tongue. I think it fits him perfectly.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This week on The Howard Project, Ariel, Kevin, Taylor and Leighton talk abou...
As graduation nears, the four students of The Howard Project share the songs that have carried them through the past four years — from "He Has His Hands On You" to India.Arie's "Beautiful Surprise."

The class of 2015 is nearing graduation. For students at Howard University in Washington, D.C., that day is May 9.

Seniors are excited — and they are getting antsy.

NPR's Weekend Edition has been following four of those seniors all semester: Taylor Davis, Ariel Alford, Kevin Peterman, and Leighton Watson.

This week, the four joined NPR's Rachel Martin in our D.C. studios to talk about the songs that have formed the soundtrack to their college years.

Each student brought in two songs. Click on the audio link above to hear each talk with Martin about one of their picks, or look below both full songs.


Taylor Davis

On a moment that Lauryn Hill's "Just Like Water" reminds her of

"When I was on spring break, I went to Miami. And I went to South Beach at night. And I was having this moment just by myself with God. I was just looking at the waters. I was feeling the sand and the sky and the moon. ...

"I was just so in awe of creation and it was beautiful. When you're in a place of God's presence there's just total peace. Whenever I'm going through anything crazy at Howard, because crazy things happen all the time, whenever I can just center myself and drown in God's presence, I know that things are well and all is amazing."


Leighton Watson

On why he chose gospel singer Marvin Sapp's "He Has His Hands On You"

"I chose that song because, for me, it's important to remember that through all the ups — but then also through all the downs that we've all had while we've been here, when you're at your lowest point, and you feel like there may be no one there for you, you know that God has his hands on you. I think for me that spiritual connection and consistency kind of keeps you even throughout your experience. "


Ariel Alford

On why she brought India.Arie's "Beautiful Surprise"

"In high school, I thought that maybe there was something wrong with me because I saw too many things in the world that I spoke on and no one else seemed to speak about them. And, you know, you get alienated when you speak truth — especially when you speak truth to power. So, coming out of high school I really was like, 'Yep. There's officially something wrong with me and I'm just gonna be a loner.'

"And then, you know, I got to Howard and I really met some people — Taylor included — that are just very edifying and we're on the same wavelength. We vibrate at the same frequency. And it's really dope to have people who ponder the world in the same fashion and are interested in getting free.

"This song, you can talk about romantic relationships but a lot of my platonic friendships, especially with sisters, it goes way beyond that. It's a spiritual connection, and they were essentially beautiful surprises."


Kevin Peterman

On the meaning the song "A Change Is Gonna Come" has for him

"The first lines are simply 'I was born by the river,' and then he goes and he says, 'and I've been running ever since.'

"I think about growing up in conditions that were less than fortunate and then being able to be at Howard University. The privilege of a college education is something that I do not take for granted. And now moving on, I'm going to graduate school, going to Princeton. I feel like I've just been running. And it seems like somehow, some way ... what Leighton said earlier, you know, God had to have his hands on me. And it's just — I'm gonna keep running.

"I'm the first in my family to go to college. So, generations of generations who were denied an education — there are so many of them who are going to descend upon Washington, D.C., next month, simply because of its importance. I am truly the first to actually achieve this and we're all grateful."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sunday Puzzle....
For each word starting with "W," think of another word, also starting with "W," that can follow the first to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

On-air challenge: For each word starting with "W," think of another word, also starting with W, that can follow the first to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. Example: Walk --> Way = walkway

Last week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Peter Stein of San Francisco. Think of a job, in eight letters, that names someone who might work with actors. Change one letter in this to the following letter of the alphabet to name another person who works with actors. What jobs are these?

Answer: Promoter, prompter

Winner: Gary Grimm of Cedarburg, Wis.

Next week's challenge: The challenge comes from listener Steve Daubenspeck of Fleetwood, Pa. Take the first names of two politicians in the news. Switch the first letters of their names and read the result backward to name something that each of these politicians is not.

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.