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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Technology
12:50 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Unearthing History: How Technology Is Transforming Archaeology

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Legend has it that the rainforest of Mosquitia hid La Ciudad Blanca, the White City. For centuries, explorers tried to find the fabled city in the jungle of Nicaragua and Honduras. Protected by white water, coral snakes, stinging plants and brutal topography, the White City remained an archeologist dream. But with a new application of recent technology, a documentary filmmaker, not an archeologist, found the White City.

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NPR Story
9:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Scientists Seek To Take The Measure of Antimatter

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY.

Up next, another installment in the continuing quest to understand antimatter, that stuff that's supposed to be the opposite of matter. It's supposed to have been created during the Big Bang in equal amounts as normal matter, but for some reason, it's all disappeared. No one knows why - yeah, that stuff or actually that anti-stuff.

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NPR Story
9:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Living Inside the Box

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Here with us now is Flora Lichtman, our correspondent and managing editor for video. Flora, welcome.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi.

FLATOW: What wonderful stuff do you have for us this week?

LICHTMAN: Well, from the less practical or the no practical application to the very practical in this week's Video Pick.

FLATOW: Ooh.

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NPR Story
9:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Ancient Earth May Have Smelled Like Rotten Eggs

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Imagine stepping onto the Earth two billion years ago, taking a stroll along the shores of an ancient beach near the northern edge of what today is Lake Superior. You wouldn't see any trees. They didn't hit the scene until, oh, another billion-and-a-half years. What you might see, though, if you had a microscope, were tiny bacteria-like organisms on the shore having a ball eating each other.

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Medical Treatments
1:23 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Lessons In Emergency Preparedness After Boston Bombings

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Three people died from the blast and shrapnel of the pressure-cooker bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Hundreds more were injured, many severely. But as bad as it was, it could have been much, much worse.

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Poetry
1:20 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

'Poems To Learn By Heart': The Merits Of Memorizing Verse

Caroline Kennedy's other works include of A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children and A Patriot's Handbook.
Disney Hyperion Books

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 12:17 pm

Caroline Kennedy's latest book comes with an agenda: to encourage a return to poetic memorization and recitation that both families and schools once considered routine.

In Poems to Learn by Heart, Kennedy stresses the importance of memorizing poetry and presents a collection of poems that she believes everyone should internalize.

"I think there's something in it for all ages," she tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I realized this shouldn't be just for kids because older people are the ones that are really working on keeping their memories going strong."

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Digital Life
1:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

A Look Ahead At The Future Of Tech

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Technology's already changed our lives in ways we couldn't have imagined just a few years ago, and now seems ready to reinvent our future. As we continue our series of conversations looking ahead, we've invited Farhad Manjoo to join us - he's Slate's technology columnist and a frequent guest on this program - on the latest gadgets, on the business of consumer electronics and on how we've adapted our lives, our jobs and our manners to all these changes.

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Television
1:25 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The Strategy Of Putting Politics On TV

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

Now, you've probably noticed this. Political drama is not confined to just the news on TV these days. We are in an era that is seeing a proliferation of politically themed television and other forms of streaming. And maybe you've also noticed shows like "Veep."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "VEEP")

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (as Vice President Selina Meyer) I'm the vice president of the United States, you stupid little (bleep).

DONVAN: And "Alpha House."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ALPHA HOUSE")

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Business
1:18 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The Quiet Strength Of Introverts In The Workplace

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

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Politics
1:05 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The Race For South Carolina's Congressional Seat

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Mass momentum for Markey, Sanford's ears and what they can't always hear, and Obama's sequester quest for an understanding with the GOP. It is Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Trapped in a Taylor Swift album...

DONVAN: Edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

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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NPR Story
1:31 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

'Sign Painters': A Close-Up Focus On An Endangered Art

Marquee painted by Norma Jeanne Maloney on "Honky-tonk Row" in Nashville, Tenn.
Faythe Levine and Sam Macon Princeton Architectural Press

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 4:31 pm

Before the age of computers and vinyl printers, sign painters worked by hand to illustrate storefronts, billboards and banners. Local craftsmen often developed a signature style that could distinguish a neighborhood, or even a city.

But technology made creating signs less expensive — and less expressive. Sign Painters, a new book and documentary written and directed by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, focuses on dozens of artists who are keeping the art alive.

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NPR Story
12:49 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

An Intimate Portrait Of The Tsarnaev Family

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:58 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As the investigation continues into the Boston Marathon bombings, countless questions remain about the two prime suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This past Sunday, the Washington Post ran a long profile that offers a complicated portrait of the family.

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NPR Story
12:45 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

The NBA Has An Openly Gay Player: What Changes?

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 12:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. With just a few words, NBA journeyman Jason Collins made sports history. "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black, and I'm gay." With that announcement in the May 6th edition of Sports Illustrated, Collins became the first man still active in a major team sport to come out.

Most reaction has been positive. Earlier today, President Obama actually returned to the microphones at the end of that news conference to say a few words.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CONFERENCE)

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NPR Story
12:45 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

To Avoid Or To Embrace: How Actors Navigate Stereotypes

Retta as office manager Donna Meagle on NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Colleen Hayes/NBC

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 1:26 pm

On NBC's Parks and Recreation, former stand-up comedian Retta plays office manager Donna Meagle. Donna is mostly in the background of the show, but is known for obsessing over her Mercedes SUV and for creating the Parks and Rec Treat Yo Self holiday.

Retta says this character is quite different from the roles she was offered in the beginning of her acting career.

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The Opinion Page
1:16 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Op-Ed: Did Boston Law Enforcement Drop The Ball?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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Middle East
1:13 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Diplomacy, Sanctions And A Nearing Red Line With Iran

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 1:30 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. While Syria is the crisis of the moment in the Middle East, Iran looms as an even more difficult challenge in the months ahead. And these two issues are not unconnected. Iran remains the most important ally of President Assad in Damascus, and the survival of his regime is critical to Iran's larger struggle with its Arab rivals.

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Health Care
1:04 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Looking Ahead: The Future Of Health Care Policy

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The country is about to undergo the largest transition of national health policy ever. The Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative achievement of President Obama's first time, continues to phase in. Some of the more popular measures are already in effect. Parents can keep children on their own plans until they turn 26. Women have greater access to birth control.

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Music
1:04 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Life After Sweet Honey, A Founding Member Moves On

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

For 40 years now, Sweet Honey in the Rock has created music deep in the tradition of the African-American community. When the women joined us in our studios in 2005, they outlined the group's message: Keep moving forward, and make a way for those who are coming behind you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I REMEMBER, I BELIEVE")

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: (Singing) I don't know how my mother walked her trouble down. I don't know how my father stood his ground. I don't know how my people survived slavery. I do remember. That's why I believe.

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NPR Story
9:21 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Great Salt Lake Is No 'Dead Sea'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're broadcasting today from the Grand Theatre at Salt Lake Community College. And, of course, just up the road from Salt Lake City is the city's namesake, the Great Salt Lake. Parts of it are 10 times saltier than the ocean. But this is no Dead Sea. It's teeming with microbes which can turn the water bubblegum pink.

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NPR Story
9:21 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Studying Earth To Learn About Mars

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow.

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NPR Story
9:21 am
Fri April 26, 2013

The Bird That Struts Its Stuff

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, it's our Video Pick of The Week. And here with me, as always, is our managing editor and correspondent for video, Flora Litchman. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LITCHMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: You went on a...

(APPLAUSE)

FLATOW: You went on a local expedition for us.

LITCHMAN: I love Salt Lake City.

FLATOW: Yeah.

LITCHMAN: I just want to...

FLATOW: They love you, it sounds like. Tell us about your expedition.

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Economy
1:25 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Signing Up For Food Stamps: The Choice And The Stigma

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Another promising report today suggests that the economy in general and employment in particular continue to improve, but there's another statistic that's more troubling. More Americans than ever participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

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Digital Life
1:10 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Tweeting Crime: Law Enforcement Adapts To Social Media

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Last Friday evening the Boston Police Department tweeted the news that the city and the nation had been waiting for. Captured. The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over and justice has won. Suspect in custody.

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Arts & Life
1:06 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Steadicam Inventor Joins Inventors Hall of Fame

Garrett Brown with Sylvester Stallone during the filming of Rocky II.
Courtesy Garrett Brown

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:32 am

Rocky Balboa's sprint up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum in Rocky is a scene that would have once been impossible to film. Camera innovator Garrett Brown made it possible when he invented the Steadicam, a body-mounted camera that stabilizes handheld shots.

Brown has received three Academy Awards for his technical inventions and holds 50 patents for cinematography devices. The college dropout-turned-inventor will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May.

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Politics
1:13 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

When Conscience Conflicts With Constituents

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Sanford trails in South Carolina, the Democrats get it on in Massachusetts, and the lady from Maine scoffs at sequestration. It's Wednesday and time for a...

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS: Manufactured crisis...

CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

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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