Talk of the Nation

Weekdays 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Neal Conan

Talk of the Nation links the headlines with what's on people's minds, providing a springboard for listeners and experts to exchange ideas and pose critical questions about major events in the news and the world around them. Each day, Talk of the Nation combines the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result is a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

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Health
1:21 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Fighting To Breathe: Living With COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease that slowly robs sufferers of the ability to breathe. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., surpassed only by cancer and heart disease. There are treatments, but no cure for the disease.

Politics
1:11 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

The Legacy Of Watergate And The Semantics Of Scandals

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 1:34 pm

Forty years after the Senate committee hearings on the Watergate scandal, Political Junkie Ken Rudin talks with Lowell Weicker, who served on the Senate Watergate committee. Former White House speechwriters Paul Glastris and Peter Robinson talk about writing speeches amid scandal.

Music
1:10 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

As An Indie Musician, Chad Lawson Finds 'The Space Between'

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 2:08 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:10 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

'One And Only': The Argument For Raising Just One

Lauren Sandler is a journalist, only child, and mother of one.
Justin Lane

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 2:03 pm

In 1907, the first president of the American Psychological Association called only children "sickly, selfish, strange, and stupid." He concluded that "being an only child is a disease in itself."

In her book One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One, journalist Lauren Sandler takes on these stereotypes and sifts through a huge body of research that debunks many of the worst myths about only children.

Sandler, an only child and mother of one, talks to NPR's Lynn Neary about the joys of raising just one.

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Law
1:10 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Justice And Jury Selection: Judging Jurors Before A Trial

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 1:20 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary in Washington; Neal Conan is away. For the second day in a row, lawyers questioned potential jurors in the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, last year.

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NPR Story
1:35 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

'Matilda' Star Mara Wilson On Why Child Actors 'Go Crazy'

Mara Wilson, 25, was a child actor who starred in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire.
Ari Scott

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 7:50 am

After years in movies and TV shows, some child actors end up making headlines later in life for stints in rehab, or ongoing legal battles. But not all former child stars become tabloid fodder. Some leave Hollywood behind and pursue other careers.

Mara Wilson, who starred in Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire and Miracle on 34th Street, was able to avoid the drama. Wilson, 25, graduated from New York University in 2009 and is now a writer and playwright based in New York.

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Medical Treatments
1:05 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

The Promise In Unraveling The Mysteries Of Rare Diseases

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 2:13 pm

As a child, Jeannie Peeper was diagnosed with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, an extremely rare disease that causes a second skeleton to grow inside the body. Peeper and science writer Carl Zimmer discuss the efforts of a small group to fund research to battle the disease.

National Security
1:03 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Opinion Roundup: Edward Snowden And The NSA Leaks

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:07 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. And we focus today on what we now know about U.S. government information sweeps of telephone and Internet data and on the man who now admits he disclosed the top secret documents to The Guardian and the Washington Post.

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Author Interviews
12:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

How To Survive A Mass Extinction

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Up next, surviving the big one, and I mean a really big one. As any fan of dinosaurs knows, extinction happens. The Earth isn't immune to assaults. You've got your asteroids, your volcanic eruptions, events that cause so much disruption to the environment that eventually life or most of life is wiped out.

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Space
12:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Comet Shines Light on Sun Dynamics

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora. What have you got for us today?

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Ira, today we have the story of a comet that has a tale to tell.

FLATOW: Comets...

(LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: Get it?

FLATOW: I get it. Straight pun.

LICHTMAN: It's even better, Ira, because actually the part of - what the comet is telling us comes from its tail. OK, so let me...

FLATOW: Go for it.

(LAUGHTER)

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Medical Treatments
12:33 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Promising Results In Early Trial of Novel MS Treatment

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. In the disease multiple sclerosis, the body's own immune cells stage a mutiny. Those cells, white cells, normally go after foreigners in the body like bacteria or other invaders that make us sick. But in MS, the immune cells go after the body itself, attacking the myelin covering that wraps around nerve cells. As that myelin gets degraded, nerve signals don't get transferred properly, and that's what leads to the symptoms of MS.

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NPR Story
10:44 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Strengthening Buildings In Tornado Alley

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Powerful storms this spring: tornadoes like the ones in Oklahoma have caused damage estimated in the billions of dollars and dozens of deaths. But does the destruction have to be so devastating? What are the engineering challenges to designing and building stronger, more tornado-resistant structures and providing better protection for the people who live there?

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NPR Story
10:44 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Whole Genome Scans Could Reveal Too Much

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. If you're thinking about getting married or having children or just contemplating your health care options, you or your doctor may decide to have your DNA analyzed, looking for genes that may indicate possible trouble ahead. Maybe there's a telltale mutation hiding there or a recognizable pattern of genes.

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NPR Story
10:44 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Tracing The Origins Of French Winemaking

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:33 pm

Many people associate France today with the production of great wines. But winemaking isn't native to the French. Patrick McGovern, an archaeologist of fermented beverages, has dated the beginning of viniculture in France to around 500 B.C. and contact with the Etruscans.

Art & Design
1:51 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Inside The Cel: Behind The Scenes With Animators

The highly anticipated animated films Monsters University, Despicable Me 2 and Turbo hit theaters this summer. From cel technology to full-length, computer-animated, celebrity-studded movies, animation has come a long way.

Movies
12:30 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

From 'RoboCop To 'Robot & Frank': Best RoboMovies Of All Time

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 1:50 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Two writers can take credit or blame for the legions of metal men that marched through the movies - Karel Capek, who coined the word robot in his play "R.U.R." in 1920, and Isaac Asimov, who codified the Three Laws of Robotics and a series of stories collected in "I, Robot," and mostly ignored in the Will Smith movie of the same name.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "I, ROBOT")

WILL SMITH: (as Detective Del Spooner) You know what they say, laws are made to be broken.

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National Security
12:30 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The NSA, Verizon And The Future of Domestic Spying

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 1:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Later in the program, we'll continue our series of conversations and look ahead with NPR's Deborah Amos, who's been covering the war in Syria. But we begin today with a court order obtained by The Guardian's U.S. team, which authorizes the National Security Agency to collect information on billions of phone calls made by U.S. Verizon customers since late April.

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Middle East
12:30 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Looking Ahead To The Future Of Syria's Crisis

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 7:32 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. The war in and around Syria grows more horrific and more dangerous day by day: tens of thousands dead, many more injured, over a million refugees in neighboring countries and who knows how many millions displaced inside Syria itself.

It's almost hard to remember the early days of what's now grown into a civil war. More than two years ago, NPR's Deborah Amos reported on activists hopeful that Syria would be changed by the Arab spring.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RADIO BROADCAST)

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Politics
12:24 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

A Look Ahead To The Future Of The GOP

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Chris Christie calls a very special election in Jersey. Missouri 8th voters call for Jason Smith, and a House committee chair calls out the White House spokesman. It's Wednesday and time for a...

REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA: Paid liar...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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Middle East
12:18 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

After Protests, Evaluating Turkey's Role As A Democracy

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
12:16 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

In 'TransAtlantic', Author Colum McCann Returns Home

Random House

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 10:34 am

Irish-American author Colum McCann has spent the better part of his life inhabiting others in his novels.

To write Dancer, McCann learned how to pirouette with Russia's Kirov Ballet. He spent time in Slovakia to bring the story a young Gypsy poet to life in Zoli.

In his latest book TransAtlantic, he tells the story of his native country — covering 150 years of Irish history, through the voyages of four historic visitors.

McCann talks with NPR's Neal Conan about the emigrant experience and the decision to revisit home.

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Asia
1:34 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Obama Meets Xi: A Chance To Make History

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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From Our Listeners
1:21 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Letters: Prenatal Choices And The Power Of Apology

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. Last week, we spoke with Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor for The Atlantic, about moments of wonder: those times when you don't have all the answers, and you can't use a smartphone or Google to get them.

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National Security
1:03 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

What's Next For The FBI: A New Generation Of Challenges

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 5:06 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Ari Shapiro in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Robert Mueller has run the FBI for 12 years, through one of the most transformative times in the bureau's history. Now he's on his way out. Any day now, the White House is expected to announce that James Comey will take his place.

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Law
12:46 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Who Gets Asylum, Who Doesn't And How That May Change

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 1:36 pm

Every year, thousands of immigrants come to the U.S. seeking protection from persecution or violence in their countries. Many groups have a hard time qualifying, based on the legal limits of asylum. New immigration legislation could change the process.

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