Talk of the Nation

Monday - Thursday 11:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Neil Conan

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.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And so it's time to say goodbye. As you probably know, this, after 21 years, is the final broadcast of TALK OF THE NATION, and after 36 years, my last day at NPR.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

From small country churches to the stages of the civil rights movement to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Mavis Staples' career has spanned more than 60 years.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. It's Markey in Massachusetts, the court nixes DOMA and Prop 8, and the president bows to the summer heat and discards his jacket to take on climate change. It's Wednesday, and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It's not that sexy.

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?

In a 5-4 decision in U.S. v. Windsor, the Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense Of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The court rules that supporters of California's Proposition 8 case did not have standing to bring the case to court, which means same-sex marriages in California may resume.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Of the many programs we've aired over the years on medicine, none has been more interesting than the series of conversations with Sherwin Nuland and Atul Gawande, both surgeons and teachers. Both have also gone public as writers on their profession both to inform the public about what they do and why and how it's changing and to speak with their colleagues about what works and what doesn't.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This morning in a much anticipated decision, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Writing for a five-four majority, Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that Congress' action to protect minority voting rights in nine states was based on outdated data, and the formula used to determine which areas were subject to federal oversight was thus unconstitutional.

On May 13, 1985, after a long standoff, Philadelphia municipal authorities dropped a bomb on a residential row house. The Osage Avenue home was the headquarters of the African-American radical group MOVE, which had confronted police on many occasions since the group's founding in 1972.

The resulting fire killed 11 people — including five children and the group's leader, John Africa — destroyed 61 homes, and tore apart a community.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And now, time for the Opinion Page. There's a new kind of labor movement in the United States led by those who are not in unions, primarily retail and fast-food workers. These workers are protesting before they unionize. And in a column for the Chicago Tribune, columnist Clarence Page compares this new labor movement to Occupy Wall Street.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. After the war in Vietnam, the U.S. military changed in profound ways. A conscript force became all volunteer. Congress changed the rules to force much more extensive use of the National Guard in any future conflict. Training and equipment emphasized fighting at night. And technology made blunt instruments like aerial bombing far more precise.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. When you looked in the closet this morning, what did you pick out, and why? The power suit, the blouse that fits just right, the jeans and the boots? Even if you wear a uniform or overalls, we all make decisions about what we look like and why. Hair says a lot. So do accessories. But any message is also open to misinterpretation. What we hope to say doesn't always come across that way.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Coffee's Natural Creamer

Jun 21, 2013

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week. And it is more coffee.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Our fabulous coffee series by the great Jenny Woodward continues on SCIENCE FRIDAY. Drink up, everybody. This week we're diving into a tiny glass of espresso.

FLATOW: Ooh. Ooh. So small dive.

LICHTMAN: You need to be very careful. Keep your limbs in.

FLATOW: And why - what's so fascinating about espresso?

E.O. Wilson's Advice for Future Scientists

Jun 21, 2013

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. In his long career studying ants, nature and ecology, E.O. Wilson has been no stranger to controversy. In the 1970s he was doused with water at a science meeting for presenting his theory on sociobiology. Another new evolutionary theory he introduced a few years ago on kin selection continues to be hotly debated.

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Math

Jun 21, 2013

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

OK. Maybe E. O. Wilson's comments in his new book, "Letters to a Young Scientist", essentially says you don't want to have to be great at math to have a career in science, but it can't hurt, right? And to be great at math, it pays to start young, and my next guest is a - has a plan for you. Laura Overdeck is the founder of Bedtime Math. Her mission: to make math friendlier in a way by introducing kids to math problems at an early age.

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. This week, researchers reported that they think they've spotted the tell-tale signs of a previously undiscovered, subatomic particle. This one was unusual because it appeared to be made of four quarks bound together, an arrangement they have never seen before. And they're not sure exactly how that arrangement might work.

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. If you have a smartphone, you might take the Internet for granted, right? It's always there. But around the world, some four and a half billion people still are not connected. Google, being in the Internet business, has a plan to expand its reach, bring Internet to all these people, but it's not by spooling out fiber-optic cable or building cell towers. It's using a technology that, well, sort of sounds like it belongs in another century: free-floating balloons. They call it Project Loon.

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