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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Opinion
12:00 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Op-Ed: GOP Should Recast Its Message On Inequality

Occupy Wall Street and reports on the nation's growing income gap have helped rally the political left, argues Matthew Continetti of The Weekly Standard. It is not the government's responsibility to redress wealth disparities, he says, and the GOP must do a better job of communicating that message.

NPR Story
1:19 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

'Meaning Of Everything' Often Lost In Translation

There's a word for light blue and a word for dark or navy blue in the Russian language, but no word for a general shade of blue. When a translator is tasked with translating English "blue" into Russian, he or she must choose which shade to use.

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Economy
12:00 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Company Towns, After The Company Leaves Town

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Huntsville, Alabama, to some, is better known as Rocket City, where NASA engineers build rockets and kids come every year for space camp. With nearly half of the city's jobs linked to space and defense spending, the city is deeply connected to the nation's space exploration programs.

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Opinion
12:00 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Op-Ed: Cultivate Innovation To Kick-Start Economy

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, host: And now the Opinion Page. The Obama administration is expected to spend up to $1 billion to fund training and job placement for health care workers, a decision under the White House's We Can't Wait agenda. With unemployment at 9 percent, government officials have a single focus, and that is to create jobs. But inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen argues that the talk of job creation is actually setting a low standard. He says: We need more people who are passionate about finding new solutions and new industries.

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Television
12:00 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Abrams And Nolan Nab A 'Person Of Interest'

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, host: The new CBS crime drama "Person of Interest" tells the story of two men who prevent crimes before they can be committed. Excuse me. They find out about the crimes by looking at data gathered by intelligence surveillance designed to catch terrorists. The series was picked up by CBS after the network says it tested better than any other series in recent memory.

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Education
12:00 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Rethinking How Kids Learn Science

How important are museums, TV shows and after school clubs to teaching kids science? Ira Flatow and guests look at "informal science education" and what researchers are learning about learning science. Plus, what's the best way to keep undergraduate science majors in science?

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Meet The MythBusters

Discovery Channel's MythBusters have taken on more than 700 myths, from how hard it is to find a needle in a haystack (it's hard) to whether toothbrushes have fecal matter on them (they do). Series hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage talk about the show with host Ira Flatow.

Health
12:00 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Cure Winter Blues With Light Therapy

Or The Beach — Seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder, affects some five percent of Americans in the winter as daily sunlight hours dwindle. Psychiatrist Richard A. Friedman discusses the evolutionary origins of the winter blues, and treatments ranging from light therapy to a trip to the beach.

Author Interviews
12:00 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

'Steve Jobs': Profiling An Ingenious Perfectionist

For years, Steve Jobs courted biographer Walter Isaacson to write the definitive story of his life. When Isaacson learned how sick Jobs really was, he accepted. Here he discusses profiling the tech visionary, a task that often involved reconciling Jobs' recollections with those of his friends, family and colleagues.

Animals
12:00 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

Hunt For A Vanishing Woodpecker

In 1956, dentist and amateur ornithologist William Rhein captured the rare Imperial woodpecker on 16 mm color film. Although this 85 second clip is the only known photographic record of the bird, Rhein kept the film to himself until after he died. Writer and bird fanatic Tim Gallagher tells the story of Rhein's expedition to look for the bird, and his own trip to the same mountains over 50 years later.

Law
2:19 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

The Limits Of Confidentiality Agreements

When the Herman Cain harassment story broke, the accusers' names and their stories were blocked by confidentiality agreements. But one of those women has gone public, which raises questions about the purpose of confidentiality agreements, and how well they work.

National Security
12:00 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

IAEA Review Raises New Questions About Iran

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 10:53 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This week's report from the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog bolsters beliefs that Iran continues work on nuclear weapons and ballistic missile delivery systems. The United States, Britain, France and Germany all expressed varying degrees of alarm and vowed to find ways to pressure Iran.

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Environment
12:00 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

'Epic' Storm Slams Alaskan Coast

A storm one National Weather Service meteorologist described as of "epic proportions" hammered the coast of Alaska Wednesday, knocking out power and forcing residents out of flooded areas. Carven Scott of the NWS talks about the storm and how residents are coping.

The Impact of War
12:00 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Homelessness Harder On America's Veterans

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, many fear the rates of homeless vets could grow much worse. They tend to remain homeless longer than non-veterans and they're more likely to suffer from health conditions linked to early death, according to a recent survey by the 100,000 Homes Campaign.

Movie Interviews
12:00 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

'Where Solders Come From' And What They Return To

Spc. Dom Fredianelli rests during a cache sweep in Afghan village.
Heather Courtney

Dominic Fredianelli and his buddies signed up for the National Guard in exchange for a signing bonus and help with college tuition. A new documentary, Where Soldiers Come From by Heather Courtney, follows their path from carefree teens in Michigan to combat veterans facing battle in Afghanistan.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

'Modern Warfare 3' An Invitation To Non-Gamers

While DVD sales plummet in the U.S. and book publishers fear for their futures, pre-orders for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 totaled some nine million copies. Jamin Warrren of Kill Screen Magazine talks about how Modern Warfare 3 is extending an invitation to non-gamers to belly up to the console.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

What Tuesday's Results May Mean For 2012

In Ohio, voters overturned a controversial bill limiting union rights. With one race still too close to call in Virginia, Republicans in that state can still seize the senate. Mississippians elected a new governor and voted down an amendment on "personhood."

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Why Witnesses Do — Or Don't — Report Abuse

Allegations of sexual abuse have shaken institutions from the Catholic Church to public schools to Penn State's football program. In many cases, victims and their families say they reported the abuse to the people in charge, and for any number of reasons, those people didn't do enough to stop it.

NPR Story
1:16 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Leibovitz Takes A 'Pilgrimage' For Artistic Renewal

In 2000, the Library of Congress declared Annie Leibovitz to be a Living Legend. Leibovitz lives in New York with her three children.
Annie Leibovitz

Originally published on Wed November 9, 2011 10:14 am

From John Lennon curled around Yoko Ono to a pregnant Demi Moore, photographer Annie Leibovitz has made a career of capturing people, often celebrities. But her latest collection is something very different. In Pilgrimage, Leibovitz focuses her lens on places and objects that have special meaning for her.

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Remembrances
12:00 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Bert Sugar Remembers 'Smokin' Joe' Frazier

Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier died Monday night at the age of 67, just a month after being diagnosed with liver cancer. "Smokin' Joe," as he was called, was known for his powerful left hook that knocked down Muhammad Ali in 1971 at Madison Square Garden.

Law
12:00 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Supreme Court Hears Arguments In GPS Case

United States vs. Jones raises questions about the limits of police searches, personal privacy and the use of new technology in law enforcement. At issue is whether police need warrants to attach GPS tracking devices to a cars to monitor suspects' movements for indefinite periods of time.

From Our Listeners
12:00 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Letters: Student Loan Debt And Stay-At-Home Dads

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics, including ways to reduce student loan debt, finding the humor in life as a stay-at-home dad, and what schools teach students about sex.

Middle East
12:00 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Eight Months In, Violence In Syria Continues

The U.N. says more than 3,500 people have died in Syria's eight-month cycle of protests and government crackdowns. Residents of Homs, the third largest city in the country, report fierce fighting as government forces try to regain control of the city.

NPR Story
1:21 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Traveling With The O'Rourkes On 'Holidays In Heck'

Author P.J. O'Rourke fell in love with his horse, whom he dubbed "Trigger," on his ride through the Tian Shan Mountains. But that doesn't mean he loved the trip.
Adrian Dangar

After retiring as a war correspondent, P.J. O'Rourke decided to travel for pleasure, often with his family.

He went to some dream destinations — Disneyland with the family, Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, Italy's famed modern art exhibit Venice Biennale.

He also took some less conventional journeys — a horseback trek across a mountain in Kyrgyzstan, a voyage down China's Yangzte river, a couple's bird hunting trip.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Cain's Candidacy Changes The Politics Of Race

For the first time in history two black candidates, President Barack Obama and Herman Cain, may run against each other for the presidency. As it did three years ago, discussions of race and racism continue to play out around both campaigns.

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