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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The Impact of War
1:10 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

A Grim Task: Military-Death Notification

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 1:11 pm

Among the many thousands of men and women who chose to serve in the military, few volunteer for the duty of death notification. As the nation honors those killed in the line of duty, those who work intimately with the families of the fallen share their stories. (Originally broadcast May 29, 2006.)

NPR Story
10:53 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Having a Dog May Mean Having Extra Microbes

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. If you could count up all the bacteria in your house, how many different species do you think you'd find - 50, a couple hundred? How about thousands, with an S at the end? My next guest had volunteers swab surfaces in their home - pillowcase, the TV screen, the toilet seat - to see what might be living there. And in each of the 40 households, the same spots were swabbed.

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NPR Story
10:53 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Tackling New Tech In The Golden Years

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 1:58 pm

Smartphones, tablets and computers could help seniors stay connected to their communities and families. But a hefty price tag, steep learning curves, and designs meant for younger eyes and hands could keep some older adults from logging on. Guests discuss the best ways for seniors to tackle new technology, and how devices can be adapted to accommodate older users.

NPR Story
10:53 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Tracking Killer Tornadoes

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 1:58 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
10:53 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Studies Question Potential Alzheimer's Treatment

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 1:58 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. Last year, researchers reported a breakthrough in treating Alzheimer's disease. They'd found a drug that appeared to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's in mice. The drug was already on the market, approved by the FDA to treat a type of skin cancer, meaning Alzheimer's patients could ask their doctors for a prescription, and some did.

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NPR Story
10:53 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Reinventing Farming For A Changing Climate

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 1:58 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. You've likely heard of the legendary explorers Lewis and Clark, but maybe not of the U.S. Army explorer Stephen Harriman Long, an engineer who led a scientific expedition through the Great Plains 15 years after Lewis and Clark.

His expedition traveled through Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. And what did his crew make of "America's Breadbasket"? A place wholly unfit for cultivation or agriculture, they said. On a map, the explorers labeled the Great Plains as the Great American Desert.

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NPR Story
10:53 am
Fri May 24, 2013

'Crazy Ants' Spreading In The Southeastern US

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 12:01 pm

In parts of the southeastern US, aggressive fire ants have been driven out by an even more recent arrival, the tawny crazy ant. Edward LeBrun, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, describes the newcomers and how one invasive species can out-invade another.

Arts & Life
12:55 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

A Read Down Memory Lane: Lessons From Your Former Self

Writings from childhood — cards, stories and other notes — can hide for decades, like time capsules tucked away in boxes, old bedrooms, attics and journals. Writer Jim Sollisch talks about how old thank you notes from his youth foreshadowed his adult life.

Asia
12:53 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

A Look Ahead To The Flash Point In The South China Sea

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 12:54 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Close to half of the world's maritime traffic passes through the South China Sea. Vast deposits of oil and natural gas are believed to lie beneath the ocean floor there. These waters are also the scene of bitter international rivalry as at least five smaller countries find themselves in lopsided disputes with China.

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National Security
12:48 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

The President's Remarks On The Future Of National Security

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is special coverage from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. In just a few minutes, President Obama will deliver what's described as a major address at the National Defense University here in Washington, D.C., a speech where he's expected to refocus strategy and tactics in the war against al-Qaida and its affiliates.

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Digital Life
3:31 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

How That 'Nigerian Email Scam' Got Started

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

If you have an email account, you've almost certainly received a message that sounds something like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I am Mr. Edward Impoya(ph), a member of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: We are members of the special committee.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I am Mr. Ahmed Guraba(ph), the bills and exchange director at the Foreign Remittance Department.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: I am David Mapalay(ph), the first son of Dr. Jonathan Mapalay(ph).

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Law
12:57 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Why Urban Dictionary Comes In Handy On The Witness Stand

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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Politics
12:55 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

With White House Bogged Down By Scandal, GOP Looks For Boost

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 3:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Immigration reform heads to the Senate floor, ex-congressman Weiner guns for Gracie Mansion, and Senator Inhofe on the distinction between disaster aid for a superstorm and tornados. It's Wednesday, and time for a...

SENATOR JAMES INHOFE: Totally different...

CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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Around the Nation
1:14 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

When Tornadoes Are A Way Of Life

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Residents of Moore, Oklahoma, are coming to grips with one of the most devastating tornadoes in history. Dozens are dead, and that toll is expected to rise. We'll speak with a meteorologist about forecasting such a disaster when lives are at stake. Also, growing up in Tornado Alley.

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Business
1:07 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Apple, Tech Giants And An Industrial-Age Tax Code

Apple CEO Timothy Cook made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, testifying after congressional investigators revealed that Apple avoided billions in taxes. Reporter Charles Duhigg of The New York Times and guest host Jennifer Ludden talk about how, as Duhigg writes, "technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age."

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Law
1:03 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Would Lowering The Drunk Driving Threshold Make Us Safer?

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended lowering the blood alcohol content threshold for drunken driving from .08 to .05. The NTSB argues this could save millions of lives each year, but critics beg to differ. Some say lack of enforcement is the problem. Others point to our casual attitude about drinking and driving. Meanwhile, lowering the threshold could have implications for law enforcement, bartenders, maybe your dinner party.

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Around the Nation
1:10 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

The Future Of The Workers' Movement

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Non-unionized fast food workers walked off the job in Milwaukee last week, demanding, among other things, a raise to $15 an hour. Their actions follow those of workers in four other cities this spring, part of what some are calling the new face of the labor movement, that is collective action outside of traditional union membership.

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Around the Nation
1:04 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Tiny Living: The Rise Of Small Spaces

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 1:14 pm

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Population in America's big cities is surging, and more people are choosing to live alone. But where? As the demand for housing rises, some renters are opting to downsize their belongings and move to smaller spaces - much smaller. Imagine a single room no larger than many American closets and a community kitchen shared with multiple residents.

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Latin America
1:04 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Life In Argentina's 'Little School' Prison Camp

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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NPR Story
10:23 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Resetting the Theory of Time

Generations of physicists have claimed that time is an illusion. But not all agree. In his book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that time exists--and he says time is key to understanding the evolution of the universe.

NPR Story
10:23 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Researchers Report Cloning Advance For Producing Stem Cells

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. This week, scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University, OHSU, announced a breakthrough in cloning of a human embryo. They took adult cells, put the cells into specially prepared human eggs and created genetically identical embryos. It's something lots of stem cell researchers have been trying to do for years without success.

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NPR Story
10:23 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Insects May Be The Taste Of The Next Generation, Report Says

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

What's on your plate? What do you like to eat? What are you eating for lunch, dinner at this point? As with many things, the answer to that might have a lot to do with what you're accustomed to do and, you know, what part of the world you live in. In some parts of the world, insects can be a delicious part of the diet. Well here not so much.

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Middle East
1:01 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Ex-Ambassador To Iraq Weighs In On Talking To 'Monsters'

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

As the death toll in Syria climbed over the past two years, many critics charge that President Obama has not done enough to aid the opposition. In an op-ed in today's New York Times, former Ambassador Christopher Hill argues that the administration has made a serious mistake, but, quote, "The real shortcoming of the administration's policy on Syria has not been an unwillingness to engage militarily, but the ill-advised decision in August 2011 to preclude the possibility of a diplomatic resolution involving all sides."

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U.S.
12:59 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Managing The $30 Million 'One Fund' To Aid Boston Victims

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Thirty million dollars is a lot of money, but how do you divide it among the families of the three people killed, the dozens maimed, the hundreds who spent time in the hospital, the thousands who witnessed the blasts at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last month?

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Economy
12:59 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Will Strong Summer Travel Be A Turning Point For Airlines?

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:56 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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