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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Studio Sessions
11:44 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Gregoire Maret Makes His Way On The Harmonica

On his self-titled debut, Gregoire Maret collaborates with Raul Midon, Marcus Miller and Cassandra Wilson.
Ingrid C. Hertfelder Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 8:23 am

Over the past decade, Swiss musician Gregoire Maret has redefined the role of the harmonica in modern jazz. After cutting his teeth as a sideman for some the biggest names in jazz, he's now taken center stage as a bandleader.

Here, Maret talks with NPR's Neal Conan about recording his self-titled debut album, building a following for the jazz harmonica and making the transition from sideman to headliner.


Interview Highlights

On how he got his start

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Education
11:03 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Weighing Alternatives To Affirmative Action

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:47 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Tomorrow the Supreme Court revisits the decades-long debate on the use of affirmative action in college admissions. In the latest case, Fisher versus University of Texas at Austin, a white student argues that she was denied admission on account of her race.

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From Our Listeners
11:03 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Letters: Helping Kids Handle Grief

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:47 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Strange News
11:03 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Casting Hopes And Dreams To Sea In A Bottle

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 9:37 am

Capt. Sean Bercaw has thrown hundreds of messages in bottles into the ocean, and received dozens of responses. It started when he was just a child.

"I was born into a family with this crazy dream of sailing around the world," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. At age 10, he and his family set off on a three-and-a-half-year voyage around the world. It was on that trip that he got the idea to put notes in bottles.

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World
12:37 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

War And Violence On The Decline In Modern Times

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Suicide bombers explode themselves in the heart of Damascus; tens of thousands killed in that Syrian civil war and counting; the U.S. ambassador to Libya and four other Americans murdered in an attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11; in Minneapolis, a gunman kills four people at a local post office before shooting and killing himself; just a few of the recent headlines from a world seemingly afflicted by war and violence.

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Around the Nation
10:20 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Skies Less-Than Friendly When Packing A Cello

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 12:37 pm

Paul Katz bought two tickets — one for himself and one for his cello — on a flight from Calgary to Los Angeles. But the captain told him his cello had to fly as checked baggage. After an agonizing flight, Katz cried when the captain returned his cello, unharmed. Originally broadcast August 27, 2012.

Religion
10:20 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Christians Divided Over Science Of Human Origins

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:16 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The Book of Genesis tells the story of creation, of the sea, the sky, the birds and animals and, finally, Adam. Chapter 2, Verse 7 reads: The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Eve was formed out of Adam's rib.

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Race
10:20 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Betwixt And Between: Studying Multiracial Identity

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 12:37 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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Medical Treatments
10:04 am
Fri October 5, 2012

From Stem Cells To Eggs (And Beyond)

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, turning stem cell into mouse eggs. Scientists have been growing stem cells in the lab for nearly 15 years now. And in that time they've learned to transform stem cells into pretty much anything they wanted to - heart cells, liver cells, brain cells. But now a group of Japanese scientists has raised the bar by transforming mouse stem cells into mouse eggs. And not only do they look like eggs but they can be fertilized and developed into healthy mice.

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NPR Story
9:11 am
Fri October 5, 2012

What Your Genes Can Tell You About Your Memory

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:03 am

A recent study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania identified key molecules involved in forming long-term memories. Experts discuss how this is the latest in a growing field of research on how our bodies regulate our genes, and how this process affects our memories.

NPR Story
9:11 am
Fri October 5, 2012

A Beetle That Puts The 'Extreme' in Extremity

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:03 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: What you got for us this week?

LICHTMAN: This week's video pick is about a very menacing creature, and I want to give our listeners a chance to guess what it is based on some clues from University of Montana, biologist Doug Emlen and Erin McCullough.

ERIN MCCULLOUGH: These males have a giant pitchfork sticking out of their forehead.

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NPR Story
9:11 am
Fri October 5, 2012

How Astronomers Measured the Edge of a Black Hole

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
9:11 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Why Mobile Maps Sometimes Lose Their Way

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:03 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Starting route to Empire State Building: Head northwest on West 43rd Street.

FLATOW: That's the voice of Apple's maps app for iOS 6. She sounds confident enough, but how do you know she'll actually lead you to the correct destination? Because as users all over the world have figured out, Apple's maps and their driving directions have some serious problems. Apple has even apologized for it.

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NPR Story
12:05 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Chef Jose Garces Follows His 'Latin Road Home'

Jason Varney

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:40 pm

Jose Garces is among the most talented and innovative chefs in America. He opened his first restaurant, Amada, in 2005, and since then his Garces Group has opened 14 other restaurants across the country.

In 2009, he won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region, and he's also a Food Network Iron Chef, rubbing elbows with the likes of Bobby Flay, Cat Cora and Michael Symon.

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Children's Health
11:17 am
Thu October 4, 2012

How To Help Kids Handle Death And Grieving

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:47 pm

In the aftermath of death, many adults struggle with how to talk to kids while dealing with their own grief. Often, the instinct is to protect children from pain and loss. That can sometimes leave kids out of the family grieving process, which can leave them feeling lonely and misunderstood.

Presidential Race
11:10 am
Thu October 4, 2012

What Obama And Romney Left Out In First Debate

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:47 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary. Mitt Romney proved he could go head-to-head with President Obama in the first of three presidential debates last night in Denver. Romney's strong performance gave Republicans renewed hope for his chance at the White House.

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Author Interviews
11:09 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Genius Grant Helps Junot Diaz Focus On His Art

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:47 pm

Dominican-American novelist Junot Diaz was awarded a MacArthur "genius grant" and the no-strings-attached $500,000 prize that comes with it. The Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Brief And Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao talks about the grant, his writing process and how the award may affect his work.

History
11:03 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Oxford Taps Crowds To Learn Words' Histories

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:47 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The Oxford English Dictionary needs your help. Do you know where words like disco, baked Alaska or email come from? For years the widely regarded authority in the English language has asked the public for help tracking down the history of words and phrases. Yet as our lexicon evolves, the mission grows even tougher. A new initiative called OED Appeals hopes to solve that problem by using that same crowdsourcing approach online.

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Around the Nation
11:21 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Planning For A Sustainable Mississippi River

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 7:12 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan broadcasting today from the University of Missouri St. Louis at Grand Center, home of St. Louis Public Radio. T.S. Eliot, who grew up here, wrote a poem about the Mississippi, which flows about three miles from here.

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Politics
11:17 am
Wed October 3, 2012

The Political Junkie's Presidential Debate Preview

President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney face off in Denver Wednesday for the first of three presidential debates. The president continues to hold a slight lead in many swing states, but Romney's been able to close the gap in the weeks since the conventions.

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