Scott Simon http://news.stlpublicradio.org en A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/bill-distill-simmers-tennessee Would Tennessee whiskey by any other name taste as sweet?<p>A debate in Tennessee simmers over a legal definition of what makes Tennessee whiskey "Tennessee."<p>The state legislature passed a bill last year saying whiskey can be labeled "Tennessee" only if it's made in the state from a mash that's 51-percent corn, trickles through maple charcoal, and is aged in new, charred oak barrels.<p>There's some precedent in the spirits world. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 12:09:00 +0000 Scott Simon 34838 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org A Bill To Distill Simmers In Tennessee Ukrainian Olympic Skier's Stand Is A Sacrifice For Her Country http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/ukrainian-olympic-skiers-stand-sacrifice-her-country Sports are supposed to be separate from politics, but athletes and games can't always be kept separate from life and death.<p>Scores of people were killed in Ukraine this week, as the security forces of President Viktor Yanukovich opened fire on anti-government protesters in Kiev's Maidan, now called Independence Square.<p>While some 800 miles away, more than 40 Ukrainian athletes have been skiing, skating, working hard to win medals at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.<p>The team, coaches and officials held a minute of silence on Thursday for those who died, and added black ribbons t Sat, 22 Feb 2014 14:58:00 +0000 Scott Simon 33919 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Ukrainian Olympic Skier's Stand Is A Sacrifice For Her Country Shirley Temple's Films Still Charm After All These Years http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/shirley-temples-films-still-charm-after-all-these-years Shirley Temple really could be as effervescent as a jolt of ginger ale and as cheery as a maraschino cherry in the kid's cocktail that is still ordered by her name. Sat, 15 Feb 2014 16:03:00 +0000 Scott Simon 33745 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Shirley Temple's Films Still Charm After All These Years Forego The Faux Snow: The Games Could Use A Permanent Home http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/forego-faux-snow-games-could-use-permanent-home The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, are certifiably the most expensive and allegedly staggeringly corrupt.<p>Upwards of $50 billion has been spent to turn a place that's been best known as a Black Sea beach resort, where rich Russians could warm themselves under palm trees during long Moscow winters, into a winter sports capital with ski slopes and bobsled runs.<p>There happens to be a long-standing armed uprising going on nearby, so a steel ring of security has been clamped around an event that will still make some of us dewy-eyed to see peaceful competition among the world's great ath Sat, 08 Feb 2014 15:47:00 +0000 Scott Simon 33570 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Forego The Faux Snow: The Games Could Use A Permanent Home Opera Star Renee Fleming Brings Grace To The Super Bowl http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/opera-star-renee-fleming-brings-grace-super-bowl Who knows who'll win the Super Bowl tomorrow, but history will be made before the coin toss.<p>Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Sat, 01 Feb 2014 14:52:00 +0000 Scott Simon 33411 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Opera Star Renee Fleming Brings Grace To The Super Bowl Rodman's Tour Of North Korea: Diplomacy Or Propaganda? http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/rodmans-tour-north-korea-diplomacy-or-propaganda There's been a publicity circus trailing Dennis Rodman to North Korea to present a big, bouncing birthday present of a basketball game to Kim Jong Un. But did you see the score of the game?<p>The U.S. team of former NBA players lost the first half, 47 to 39, before the sides were combined.<p>Well, if you play a team sponsored by a ruthless leader who recently had his own uncle iced, losing is probably the smart move.<p>I happen to like Dennis Rodman. I saw him up-close when he played for the Chicago Bulls, and he was one of the great re-bounders of all-time. Sat, 11 Jan 2014 15:10:00 +0000 Scott Simon 32943 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Rodman's Tour Of North Korea: Diplomacy Or Propaganda? As We Memorialize Mandela, Remember Those Who Stood With Him http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/we-memorialize-mandela-remember-those-who-stood-him By the time he died this week, Nelson Mandela was considered one of the few — perhaps the only — giants on the world stage.<p>But the man who was prisoner 466/64 on Robben Island was a giant among heroes who offered their lives for freedom as valiantly as he did. In a way, the acclaim the world now heaps so justly on Nelson Mandela commemorates them, too.<p>There was Walter Sisulu, who first recruited Nelson Mandela to the African National Congress, and formed the ANC Youth League with him in 1944. Sat, 07 Dec 2013 11:12:00 +0000 Scott Simon 32048 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org As We Memorialize Mandela, Remember Those Who Stood With Him When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/when-weighing-intervention-syria-consider-children I was in a grocery store one night this week when a sturdy young man approached with a smile.<br /> <br />"Do you remember me?" he asked. "Bini."<br /> <br />Bini — Erblin Mehmataj — was a bony-shouldered 9-year-old boy with a full, toothy grin who lived in an Albanian Muslim housing complex in Pristina, where we stayed to cover the war in Kosovo in 1999.<br /> Sat, 07 Sep 2013 09:33:00 +0000 Scott Simon 29718 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org When Weighing Intervention In Syria, Consider The Children Remembering Elmore Leonard, A Writer Who Hated Literature http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/remembering-elmore-leonard-writer-who-hated-literature Elmore Leonard was a writer who hated — and I don't mean disliked; Elmore had a contempt for putting pretty clothes on hard, direct words, so I mean hated — literature, or at least what he believed a lot of people mean when they say liter-a-ture, as if it were a Members Only club.<p>Elmore Leonard wrote for a living, from the time in his 20s when he turned out ads for Detroit department stores and vacuum cleaners during the day, and wrote cowboy and crime stories for pulp magazines at night.<br /> Sat, 24 Aug 2013 09:27:00 +0000 Scott Simon 29355 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Remembering Elmore Leonard, A Writer Who Hated Literature Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe' http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/retire-phrase-wouldnt-be-scandal-europe I hope we've heard the last of people saying, "This would never be a scandal in Europe." They usually mean "sex scandal," and by now I think Americans are entitled to boast that we've become as blase about politicians with their pants down — or, in the case of <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/06/16/137225834/live-blog-rep-weiners-news-conference">Anthony Weiner</a>, pec-flexing with his shirt off — as Europeans like to think they are.<p>Mr. Weiner is now running for mayor of New York. Sat, 13 Jul 2013 09:47:00 +0000 Scott Simon 28201 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe'