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
1:10 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Analyzing The Language Of Suicide Notes To Help Save Lives

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 12:20 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Every 14 minutes, someone in this country commits suicide, and research on ways to reduce that grim statistic appears to be on a plateau. In other words, psychologists don't have much in the way of new ideas - at least, right now - except maybe for what's described as groundbreaking work on the notes that those who kill themselves sometimes leave behind. A team of researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital use computers to break down the language in these messages of despair, in the hope that they can better identify those at risk.

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U.S.
1:06 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Looking Ahead: Chris Hedges On Poverty, Politics, U.S. Culture

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Today as part of our Looking Ahead series, we'll talk with writer Chris Hedges, former New York Times foreign correspondent and old friend and colleague who's joined us many times over the years, going back to what's probably still his best known book, "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning."

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Your Health
1:00 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Treadmill Desks And The Benefits Of 'Walking Alive'

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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Asia
1:23 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

The Legacy Of Gen. Ridgway And America's War In Korea

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 11:07 am

The ongoing conflict between North Korea and South Korea is the legacy of the Korean War, which can help explain relations between the two countries. In a new book, historian Victor Davis Hanson discusses how the strategies of U.S. Gen. Matthew Ridgway helped to turn around what appeared to be "a lost war."

Hanson, author of The Savior Generals, tells NPR's Neal Conan that although the three-year war "ended right where it began," it did allow for South Korea to flourish as a democracy.

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Health
1:07 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

The Promise And Limitations Of Telemedicine

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The doctor will see you now, words we've all heard many times, but more and more now doctors see their patients over a video link. For years, telemedicine has allowed doctors to treat patients anywhere, but as technology improves, new applications arise.

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From Our Listeners
1:00 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Letters: New Orleans, Buzz Aldrin

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week we spoke with two doctors on how they discussed imminent death with their patients and patients' families.

Leila, a doctor, emailed us: Sometimes patients or families project their denial onto us as doctors. Some maybe more focused on honesty and others on optimism, misinterpreting honesty as pessimism, and they may blame us, the physician, for their selective listening. Sometimes all one can do is feel one's way through the conversation.

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Law
1:25 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Why We Can't Look Away From True-Life Courtroom Dramas

The trial of Jodi Arias, convicted of murdering her boyfriend, has become a national media sensation. Former Law and Order producer Robert Nathan and authors Laura Lippman and Walter Mosley explore why Americans are so drawn to real-life courtroom dramas.

Business
1:21 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Bangladesh Reveals Uphill Battle For Fair Trade Clothes

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 2:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. More than two weeks after a building collapse in Bangladesh, the number of bodies recovered stands at over 1,100. The building housed four factories that manufactured clothing. Bangladesh is the world's second-largest clothing exporter, in part because of a minimum wage of $37 a month, and in part because already lax fire and safety regulations were rarely enforced.

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World
1:07 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Drawing Security Lessons From Benghazi Mission Attack

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 1:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

The disclosure White House emails is the latest twist in the controversy of how the Obama administration handled the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi last September. Much of the debate here in Washington is over what happened afterwards and the roles of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

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NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Exploring An Ever-Expanding Universe

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 12:23 pm

Saul Perlmutter shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate. Perlmutter explains how supernovae and other astronomical artifacts are used to measure the expansion rate, and explains what physicists are learning about "dark energy" — the mysterious entity thought to be driving the acceleration.

NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Microexpressions: More Than Meets The Eye

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 12:23 pm

David Matsumoto, a psychology professor at San Francisco State University, trains national security officials and police officers to recognize "microexpressions"--fleeting, split-second flashes of emotion across someone's face. Matsumoto says those subtle cues may reveal how an interview subject is feeling, helping officials to hone their line of questioning.

NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri May 10, 2013

The Myth Of Multitasking

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 12:23 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, we'll be focusing on you and your true love - your smartphone. Think about it. Are you lost without it? Inconsolable if the two of you are separated? Willing to walk into a lamppost rather than look up while texting? Is it the object of your desire? Isn't it?

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

What We Can Learn From The Viral Spotlight On Charles Ramsey

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

This week, the country celebrated the story of three women liberated 10 years after they were kidnapped and held all that time in a house in Cleveland. But there's another person in this story who made headlines: Charles Ramsey. He's the animated neighbor who helped rescue Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Buzz Aldrin's Case For A 'Mission To Mars'

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on July 20, 1969.
NASA/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 1:40 pm

Sixty-six years after the Wright Brothers made history at Kitty Hawk, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the surface of the moon. From that pivotal moment on, Aldrin has advocated for continued and expanded space exploration. Now, he argues that 66 years after the Eagle landed at Tranquility Base, Americans should establish a presence on Mars.

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NPR Story
12:40 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Syrian Conflict Raises Thorny Issues Beyond The Mideast

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 7:28 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. At the beginning of this week, as we absorb news of Israeli air strikes outside Damascus and questions about nerve gas and red lines, there was a report that a Shiite shrine near the Syrian capital had been ransacked by Sunni extremists and the body of a Shia holy man exhumed and hidden away.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
1:52 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

The Role Of Trials In The Process Of Catharsis

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 9:33 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Music
1:31 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Randy Newman Becomes A Rock Star

Inductee Randy Newman performs on stage at the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 18, 2013.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:05 pm

Randy Newman never considered himself a rock star. He's had his hits like, "I Love LA" and "Short People," but may be better known for his work in TV show themes and film scores. His unmistakable voice has graced the soundtracks of dozens of films, including the Toy Story films, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc.

When the singer and composer got a call saying he'd be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was shocked. He told Rolling Stone, "I really thought maybe I'd have to die first."

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Health Care
1:00 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Hospital Costs Go Public: What Changes In Health Care?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. One hospital outside Dallas charges a little over 14 grand for pneumonia treatment. Another hospital a few miles down the same street charges more than twice as much, over $38,000. Why? Why has it taken so long for those prices to be made public? And now that they're out, how is that going to change health care?

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National Security
1:29 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Pentagon Charges China With Cyberattacks

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
1:21 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

The Cleveland Case And Missing Persons Investigations

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 1:22 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In Cleveland last night, a dramatic call for help.

(SOUNDBITE OF 911 CALL)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Cleveland 911. Do you need...?

AMANDA BERRY: I need police. Help me. I'm Amanda Berry.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do you need police, fire or ambulance?

BERRY: I need police.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: OK, and what's going on there?

BERRY: I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here, I'm free now.

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World
1:05 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

The History And Politics Of Humanitarian Intervention

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 1:25 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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Around the Nation
1:05 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

A Look Ahead To The Future Of New Orleans

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 2:38 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The recession and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico hit New Orleans hard, and that was after Katrina. The population has yet to return to pre-hurricane levels. Some houses lie empty, some properties abandoned, and the city continues to suffer from crime and unemployment.

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From Our Listeners
1:05 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Letters: Sign Painters, Favoritism And Unemployment

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Yesterday we spoke with Rutgers Professor Nancy DiTomaso about her argument that favoritism drives minority unemployment.

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Middle East
1:04 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Could Syria's Civil War Become A Large Regional Crisis?

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In a strange way, Barack Obama and Bashar al-Assad find themselves in the same dilemma today: initiate military action that both would prefer to avoid or look weak, even hypocritical. The American president faces a chorus of criticism after he decided to wait for more proof that Syria's government has crossed his red line on chemical weapons, while Syria's president must now decide whether to respond to Israeli airstrikes on his capital or leave his supporters to wonder why not.

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Health Care
12:50 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Bedside Manner: Conversations With Patients About Death

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:29 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. All of us prefer to be told the truth - at least, we say we do - even when the diagnosis is terminal. And doctors believe they have an obligation to deliver bad news except that often, they don't. In a survey of nearly 2,000 physicians by the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital, a majority said they believe they should never lie to a patient and yet more than half delivered a rosier prognosis than warranted, and 10 percent outright lied.

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