Barry Duncan has an obsession that follows him everywhere he goes. "I see street signs, restaurant menus, objects while I'm walking along, and I'm just reversing them all the time," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.
Duncan is a master palindromist. He creates phrases, sentences, even passages that read the same forward and backward. He's been at it since 1981, when he was working at a bookstore in Philadelphia and stumbled onto a book of wordplay.
Jane's Addiction defined the Los Angeles rock scene of the late 1980s, and by the beginning of the next decade, the band had become famous worldwide. But almost as soon as they'd gained the world's attention, Jane's Addiction split up.
Modest reunions have taken place since then. This month, three of the four original members are back with a new album, The Great Escape Artist. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, who grew up listening to Jane's Addiction, spoke to the group's leader, Perry Farrell.
Tunisians are voting Sunday in the country's first free and democratic election. The small North African nation was the first to overthrow its dictator last January in a popular movement that soon spread to other authoritarian Arab nations.
Now, analysts say what happens in Tunisia will be key to whether democracy is to take root across the rest of the Arab world.
AUDIE CORNISH, host: Long before there were sitcoms, reality TV and programs like "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars," millions of Americans tuned their ears and their imaginations each week to the radio. Programs like "The Shadow," "Gunsmoke" and "Lux Radio Theater," were pretty popular in the 1930s through the 1950s; and even today, they have their fans. A few hundred of those fans gathered in Newark, New Jersey this weekend to keep the art of radio drama alive. But as Scott Gurian reports, this gathering will be their last.
AUDIE CORNISH, host: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winds up a week long overseas tour today, one that's focused on the war in Afghanistan and tensions with Pakistan. Her last couple of stops were in Central Asia, which is playing an increasingly important role as the U.S. begins its drawdown in Afghanistan. NPR's Jackie Northam has been traveling with the secretary. She has this report from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the last stop on Clinton's tour.
AUDIE CORNISH, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Audie Cornish. In Brussels, European leaders are meeting to forge consensus on a broad plan to stop the eurozone's worsening debt crisis from spreading. But it doesn't look like there will be a breakthrough - at least not until another summit on Wednesday. NPR's Eric Westervelt is in Brussels and we have him on the line. Eric, some people were saying that this was the weekend to save the euro, but what's happening?
AUDIE CORNISH, host: Look out your window. How long do you think it would take to identify all the living species you see in your backyard? From a giant oak tree or the family dog right down to the microscopic level, thousands of volunteers and scientists tried to do just that on 142 square miles in one day. NPR's Ted Robbins reports on the BioBlitz outside Tucson.
TED ROBBINS: Bert Frost, the chief scientist for the National Park Service looked at the people roaming Saguaro National Park and thought, we're having a treasure hunt.
Iowa voters were getting an earful Saturday at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition forum. Meanwhile, Nevada decided to move back its caucus to Feb. 4. NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson joins host Audie Cornish to look at the week's political news and preview what's ahead for the presidential race.