The Torch
8:06 am
Sat July 28, 2012

London's Opening Ceremony Gets Rave Reviews; NBC, Not So Much

A scene from the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. The event was widely praised — but in the U.S., not all viewers were enthused.
Richard Heathcote Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 8:15 am

The London Olympics are in full swing, after an opening ceremony Friday that was chock-full of historic and cultural imagery drawn from Britain's past. Critics are gushing over Queen Elizabeth's role in the spectacle — along with James Bond. But there is room for debate — especially among viewers here in the U.S.

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The Torch
7:31 am
Sat July 28, 2012

Let's Catch Up: American Vollmer Sets Olympic Record; First Medals Are Won

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 10:41 am

Good morning. Here's a rundown of what's been happening in and around London, on the morning after the Summer Olympics' opening ceremony:

- U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer set new Olympic and U.S. records in her 100m butterfly qualifying heat this morning. Vollmer, of Granbury, Texas, had a time of 56.25 seconds. She says she can go faster.

- The first medals have now been awarded in the London 2012 Olympics, with China's Yi Siling winning gold in the 10-meter air rifle shooting competition. Poland took silver, and China took bronze, as well.

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Presidential Race
5:52 am
Sat July 28, 2012

Romney's Olympic Slip-Up: A Lasting Impression?

Mitt Romney is set to depart from London Saturday, after three days of photo ops and closed meetings. But his assessment of London's handling of the games drew a rebuke from Prime Minister David Cameron. Host Scott Simon chats with Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman about the visit and the perceptions formed by Romney's hosts.

Sports
5:52 am
Sat July 28, 2012

As The Games Begin, A Look At Early Results

NPR's Tom Goldman talks with host Scott Simon about the first medal events, including cycling and swimming.

Sports
5:52 am
Sat July 28, 2012

A British Critique Of The Olympic Opening

The 2012 Olympic Games opened Friday, with a ceremony that included James Bond and Queen Elizabeth parachuting into the stadium, flyovers, rippling Union Jacks, Shakespeare, sheep and fireworks. Host Scott Simon talks to Simon Hoggart, political sketch writer for The Guardian about the opening ceremony.

Sports
5:52 am
Sat July 28, 2012

Test Your Olympic Trivia Knowledge

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Our marathon man of trivia is A.J. Jacobs, who once read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica to learn more and get a book contract. Why didn't he just write 50 Shades of Knowledge? A.J. joins us now to talk about Olympic facts, some of which may actually be true.

A.J., thanks for being with us.

A.J. JACOBS: And thank you for having me.

SIMON: Let's start with the marathon, A.J. Apparently, one of your favorite athletes in history was Spiridon Louis, who was the winner of the first modern marathon back in 1896.

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Middle East
5:52 am
Sat July 28, 2012

On Syria's Front Lines: A Week With The Rebels

Throughout this week, NPR's Kelly McEvers has been bringing us stories from parts of Syria controlled by the rebels who are fighting to oust the regime of Bashar Assad. She talks with host Scott Simon about her reporting.

Music News
5:41 am
Sat July 28, 2012

The Not-So-Distant History Of Radio Jingles

WABC's Dan Ingram in 1981.
Courtesy of Allan Sniffen

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 10:35 am

Many people of a certain generation might remember a jingle or two from one of their hometown radio stations.

"It was, to use the current terminology, the branding or the imaging of the radio station," jingle producer Jonathan Wolfert says.

Jingles helped to create a station's personality. Throughout the 1960s and '70s, New York's WABC, a 50,000-watt powerhouse heard up and down the East Coast, was the Top 40 gold standard.

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Music News
5:40 am
Sat July 28, 2012

Rodriguez: Forgotten In America, Exalted In Africa

Detroit singer Sixto Rodriguez's sweet voice and socially conscious lyrics made him a legend in apartheid-era South Africa. This photo appears on the cover of his second album, Coming from Reality (1971).
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 5:52 am

Legends rarely disappear. But Sixto Rodriguez that did just that.

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Music Interviews
5:40 am
Sat July 28, 2012

Michael Kiwanuka: For Those Who Think Young

Michael Kiwanuka's debut album Home Again was released this spring.
Sam Butt Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 5:52 am

It's been a hugely successful year for Michael Kiwanuka. The British singer-songwriter, who just turned 25, has been voted the BBC Sound of 2012, and was picked to tour with Adele.

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