Overnight, Hurricane Irene pounded the East Coast from North Carolina to New Jersey. The National Hurricane Center reports there will still be heavy winds and rain for the remainder of the day, although the storm is weakening. As many as 3 million people are without power. Guest host John Ydstie and NPR's Joe Palca discuss the causes and aftereffects of Hurricane Irene.
Evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson believes that evolutionary principles work not just at the genetic level, but also on the community level. He contends that evolution is among the factors that drive community involvement. Guest host John Ydstie speaks to Sloan Wilson about his new book, The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time.
The singer and songwriter Lissie gets much of her inspiration from her childhood in Illinois, where she grew up along the banks of the Mississippi River. Guest host John Ydstie speaks with the musician about her song, "Everywhere I Go," a track from her debut album, Catching a Tiger.
JOHN YDSTIE, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm John Ydstie. The rapture, or Judgment Day, when the faithful are rescued from the apocalypse in the end times is the starting point of author Tom Perotta's new novel titled "The Leftovers." It's about the lives of the people left behind; how they cope with loss, where they look for comfort and how they move their lives forward. Perotta's six previous works of fiction include "Election" and "Little Children," which were both made into movies. Tom Perotta joins us from WBUR in Boston. Welcome.
JOHN YDSTIE, host: It's time for your letters. We received many responses to a piece by NPR science correspondent Robert Krulwich, who reported on the efforts of math enthusiast Alex Bellos to find out how people choose their favorite numbers.
ALEX BELLOS: And people are, you know, sending me poems about numbers and saying things like, you know, I really love four but I cannot abide three and all this stuff gushes out. It's as if people have never been allowed to talk about this before.