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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Theater
11:28 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Turner Channels Molly Ivins In 'Red Hot Patriot'

Kathleen Turner stars as Molly Ivins in Red Hot Patriot.
Mark Garvin Arena Stage

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 8:04 am

Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Kathleen Turner stars in the play Red Hot Patriot. In the one-woman show, Turner plays the sassy newspaper columnist Molly Ivins, whose liberal wit first drew attention during her coverage of the Texas Legislature in the 1970s.

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Election 2012
11:21 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Revised Platform Elicits Boos At DNC In Charlotte

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 5:34 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

A rare moment of dissention at the Democratic National Convention. After a routine adoption of the party platform on Tuesday, critics pointed out that the document omitted any mention of the word God and did not identify Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Then yesterday the chair of the platform committee, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, proposed amendments.

(SOUNDBITE OF CONVENTION)

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Fitness & Nutrition
11:13 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Exercise And Eat Well: How Doctors Dole Out Advice

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. We know the facts: More than one-third of U.S. adults and nearly one-fifth of American children are obese. Our doctors have the unhappy task to tell us to eat less, drink less and get more exercise, or else. But sometimes that conversation doesn't happen, and when it does, it's often not very productive.

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Business
11:09 am
Thu September 6, 2012

New Standards May Change How Cars Are Made

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:56 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last week, the Obama administration just about doubled fuel efficiency standards. By 2025, cars and light trucks will have to average better than 54 miles a gallon. That's a goal that pleases environmental groups and carmakers.

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Fitness & Nutrition
11:35 am
Wed September 5, 2012

What We Know, And Don't Know, About Organic Food

Many people buy and eat organic food because they believe it's more nutritious. A new study suggests that may not be the case. But with a vast number of influences and variables, from the ripeness of produce to the length of the studies, researchers note that more research is needed.

Presidential Race
11:15 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Dean On How Democrats Will Win The White House

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 11:35 am

Thursday, President Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. NPR's Ken Rudin, former Clinton White House speechwriter Paul Glastris and former Reagan White House speechwriter Peter Robinson talk about what the president should say to make his case for reelection.

Presidential Race
11:13 am
Wed September 5, 2012

The Political Junkie Recaps The DNC So Far

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 11:35 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The forecast drives the Dems back indoors, a wildcard on the presidential ballot in Virginia, and Paul Ryan runs into trouble. It's Wednesday and time for a...

PAUL RYAN: Two hours and fifty-something...

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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Law
10:57 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Use Of Confidential Informants Mostly Unregulated

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 11:35 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In May 2008, Rachel Hoffman(ph) put on a wire and went alone to buy two and a half ounces of cocaine, 1,500 ecstasy pills, and a semiautomatic handgun. Police lost track of her. Two days later her body was found, shot five times with the gun she was sent to buy.

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From Our Listeners
11:51 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Letters: Unemployed Veterans And Being Mormon

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week we talked about the high levels of unemployment veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq face and how difficult it can be to translate military training into civilian job skills. Not exactly the problem that listener Corey Morris faces in Denver. My husband served a 15-month tour in Iraq, and as a dentist he had no trouble getting work in the civilian world, she wrote. The issue I would like raise is that of spouses transitioning back.

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Around the Nation
11:51 am
Tue September 4, 2012

In A Crisis, Did You Act Or Did You Freeze?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

Last week, on the first day of classes at a Baltimore high school, panic broke out when a student opened fire in the cafeteria. One student was shot in the back and remains in critical condition, but it might have been much worse if not for guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer, who wrestled the shooter to the ground. He's being called a hero.

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NPR Story
10:59 am
Tue September 4, 2012

What's Changed In Egypt Since Morsi Took Office

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 5:32 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. In just over two months in office, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has asserted himself on several fronts. Just weeks after his election, he fired several senior defense officials, effectively seizing power from the military government that ruled after former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

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NPR Story
10:59 am
Tue September 4, 2012

'Rights Of Publicity' Extended Beyond The Grave

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:23 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
10:59 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Security Cameras In School: Protective Or Invasive?

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:39 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Students in many schools across the country will notice something new as classes' resume. Clifton High School in New Jersey, Garnet Valley High School in Pennsylvania, Ottumwa High School in Iowa, just three of the many schools that installed security cameras in hallways, classrooms, cafeterias, in buses and gymnasiums.

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Business
9:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Which Workers Need Unions, And Which Don't?

Union shops in the private sector have dwindled in recent decades. Now, public union leaders worry that they're losing political clout, bargaining power and members. That raises questions about whether unions fallen victim to their own success. Originally broadcast on June 7, 2012.

Music Interviews
9:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Classical 'Rock Star' Joshua Bell Takes On Conducting

Classical violinist Joshua Bell is the conductor of the orchestra at the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in London.
Ethan Miller Getty Images for The Smith Center

This interview was originally broadcast on June 7, 2012.

Joshua Bell, the violin prodigy who grew into what some call a classical-music rock star, has taken the helm of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, an English chamber orchestra based in London. Bell is the orchestra's first music director since Sir Neville Marriner, who created the group.

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Music Interviews
9:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

The Day Buddy Guy 'Left Home,' Bound For The Blues

"I didn't learn nothing from a book," Buddy Guy tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I learned by ... being quiet, keep your ears open and listen."
Paul Natkin

This interview was originally broadcast on June 5, 2012.

Guitar legend Buddy Guy has been called the bridge between the blues and rock 'n' roll, as well as one of the most influential blues musicians in the world. Guitar icons like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and countless others use words like "legend," "master" and "greatest of all time" to describe him.

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Author Interviews
9:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Understanding History With 'Guns, Germs, And Steel'

A growing number of colleges are assigning all incoming freshmen a common book to read so they can discuss it when they arrive on campus.
iStockphoto.com

Freshmen "common reads" are becoming increasingly popular at American colleges and universities. Incoming freshmen are assigned the same book over the summer and are asked to come prepared to discuss the book in their first week on campus.

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Science
11:13 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Meet Your Ancient Relatives: The Denisovans

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. You've probably heard of your distant cousins the Neanderthals, but how about a more secretive member of the family tree, the Denisovans? Yeah, ring a bell? No? That's because traces of Denisovans are hard to come by.

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Science
11:08 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Time To Overhaul America's Aging Bridges?

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. Five years ago this month, the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, sending a full load of rush-hour traffic into the Mississippi River. The disaster injured nearly 150 people, killed 13. The bridge was literally falling apart.

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Science
11:04 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Unwinding The Cucumber Tendril Mystery

How a cucumber creates its curling tendril has stumped scientists for centuries, including Charles Darwin and Asa Gray. With the help of time-lapse photography and prosthetic tendril fabricated in the lab, physicist Sharon Gerbode, biologist Joshua Puzey and colleagues figured out why tendrils twist, according to a new study in Science.

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