Talk of the Nation

Monday - Thursday 11:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.
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.

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NPR Story
9:02 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Climate Change Takes Flight in New Novel

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 6:53 am

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

Here's a big, giant question for you: Why do we believe what we believe? And how is it that two people can look at the exact same set of circumstances and see two completely different things? That philosophical question is at the center of a new book where, to put it another way, one person's beautiful miracle is another person's ecological crisis.

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NPR Story
9:02 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Bioengineering Beer Foam

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:03 am

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

And one last salute to science before the weekend. Here are some news you can raise the glass to. Microbiologist Tomas Villa and colleagues report that they may be able to bioengineer better beer foam. That's right.

TOMAS G. VILLA: Beer foam. Foam is what you like the most in a beer. And a beer drinker wants foam to stay longer, right?

LICHTMAN: Of course. And the secret to long-lasting froth, proteins, produced by barley and yeast during fermentation.

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NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Author Warns 'Second Nuclear Age' Is Here

Second Nuclear Age

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 5:34 am

Since the end of the Cold War, many Americans have come to the conclusion we don't need nuclear weapons anymore and ought to focus on reduction of stockpiles as quickly as possible. The problem, according to Yale professor Paul Bracken, is that the other countries that have nuclear weapons view them very differently.

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Election 2012
11:03 am
Thu November 8, 2012

What Did The Billions The Campaigns Spent Buy?

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:34 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Before the election recedes too far, there are a couple more takeaways that deserve attention. One is the money. Spending in the 2012 campaign reached record heights. Some estimates put the total at more than $6 billion, and the new outside groups, the superPACs and the nonprofits, spent more than a billion to buy maybe one million television ads. In a moment, the effect of that unprecedented flow of cash.

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Asia
11:03 am
Thu November 8, 2012

In China, A Transition Of Power Begins

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:34 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

The contrast couldn't be clearer. On Tuesday night, crowds gathered to watch election returns. The candidates and their nervous supporters had no way to know who'd win. In Beijing, as the Communist Party Congress gathered, the government cleared Tiananmen Square to create an eerie scene one observer described as post-apocalyptic. China's new leaders are being chosen in secret and few have any idea how they proposed to direct policy.

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From Our Listeners
11:03 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Letters: Hurricane Sandy And The Snow Storm

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:34 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

With all the election news, we couldn't get to it earlier, so it's Thursday and time to get to your comments.

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House & Senate Races
11:07 am
Wed November 7, 2012

After Election, Congress As Divided As Ever

President Obama was the headliner Tuesday night, but most members of Congress also faced elections. Democrats retained control of the Senate while Republicans held on to control of the House. Now both sides of the divided Congress face significant challenges addressing the nation's fiscal problems.

Presidential Race
11:00 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Women And Latinos Propelled Obama To Victory

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The president scores four more years; a divided Congress remains, well, divided; and guess what? Florida is still counting. It's Wednesday and time for a post-election 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?

SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Guam's Straw Poll Picks Obama, Overwhelmingly

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's already tomorrow, Wednesday morning, in the American territory of Guam, 15 hours ahead of East Coast time. Residents there don't get to vote for president, but they do hold a straw poll on Election Day. Those results are just in. Since 1984, Guam's straw poll has correctly predicted the winner of the U.S. presidential election.

Jayne Flores is a contributing reporter to KPRG, our member station in Guam, and she joins us now from her home in Mangilao.

And did I pronounce that correctly, or anywhere close to correctly?

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Movies
10:55 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Cast Your Ballot For Your Favorite Election Movies

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:26 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Passionate preparations, raucous rallies, debatable decisions, last-second scandals and the awful, awful suspense, Hollywood celebrates Election Day dramatics, even when the vote's in high school.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ELECTION")

REESE WITHERSPOON: (as Tracy Flick) Dear Lord Jesus, I do not often speak with you and ask for things. But now, I really must insist that you help me win the election tomorrow, because I deserve it and Paul Metzler doesn't, as you well know.

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Election 2012
10:55 am
Tue November 6, 2012

If You Voted Election Day, Tell Us What You Saw

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:25 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The candidates repeatedly tell us that now it's finally up to the voters, which is true as far as that goes. But it's also up to the campaign volunteers who ferry supporters to the polls, to squadrons of poll-watchers who keep an eye out for shenanigans and to the legions of lawyers who will draft appeals and protests and orders to show cause.

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History
10:55 am
Tue November 6, 2012

History's Best Victory And Concession Speeches

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:25 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

While voters head to the polls, the candidates repair to hotel rooms and a select group of campaign staff prepares one final set of remarks. Well, two sets, actually. One for victory, one for defeat. You probably remember the remarkable scene four years ago when then President-elect Barack Obama addressed a rapturous crowd of more than 200,000 in Chicago's Grant Park.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)

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Economy
10:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Sluggish Economy Relies More On Part-Time Workers

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 11:16 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Over the past few years, the definition of work has changed in parts of the American economy. More and more restaurants and retailers have half as many full-time workers as they used to and twice as many part-time. They save money on pay and benefits, and they use new technology to schedule part-timers based on the season, the time of day or even on the temperature.

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Media
10:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Should Newspapers Make Political Endorsements?

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 11:21 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

In the run-up to Election Day, newspaper readers usually expect to see endorsements on the editorial page, but that tradition's come into question. Last month, the Los Angeles Times received a flurry of criticism following its endorsement of President Obama, and the editorial board responded with a defense of the practice. On the other hand, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is among the papers that's decided to stop endorsing political candidates altogether. We want to hear from you: Should newspapers make political endorsements?

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Around the Nation
10:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Sandy Recovery Effort Faces A New Storm

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 11:08 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Since this time last week, parts of the Northeast have been transformed. The lights are back on in many areas, the floodwaters retreated, most public transportation is up and running, and most New York City schools reopened this morning. But wreckage still blocks streets, hundreds of thousands still lack power, gas is still short in North Jersey and on Long Island.

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On Disabilities
10:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Op-Ed: Stop Using 'Retard' As An Insult

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 11:11 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Technology
10:40 am
Fri November 2, 2012

How Secure are Electronic Voting Machines?

Election Day 2012 is just around the corner, and many Americans will be casting their ballots on electronic voting machines. But how reliable are these devices? Michael Alvarez, professor of political science at Caltech, discusses the technologies at your polling station.

NPR Story
9:27 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Genetic Clues May Help Unravel Cause of Crohn's

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 10:40 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, a look at what current research tells us about what causes inflammatory bowel disease and the potentially simple way to treat it.

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NPR Story
9:27 am
Fri November 2, 2012

As Storm Recovery Continues, Looking To The Future

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 10:45 am

Communities along the East Coast are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Sandy, dealing with electric outages, flooded streets, damaged sewage plants and fractured transportation lines. Can cities rebuild stronger, more resilient infrastructure to weather the storms of the future?

NPR Story
9:27 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Seeing Sandy From Space

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 10:40 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next stop, our Sandy coverage continues with the Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora. Flora Lichtman's here.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. Yeah, how could we resist?

FLATOW: And how can we add something no one has ever seen?

LICHTMAN: I think we might be able to this week.

FLATOW: Yeah, yeah.

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