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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On Disabilities
11:13 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Wheelchairs Welcome? Not Everywhere.

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:30 am

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, former Major League Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent describes incidences of clubs, offices and public spaces posing obstacles for him and his wheelchair. He joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss the places where those in wheelchairs still don't feel welcome.

Mental Health
11:13 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Behind Mental Health Stigmas In Black Communities

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:30 am

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder has focused attention on the shame that sometimes accompanies mental health diagnoses in the African-American community. Psychiatrist William Lawson joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss why such a stigma exists.

Middle East
11:13 am
Mon August 20, 2012

In Syria, Factions Gain Strength Amid Chaos

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:30 am

Syria's civil war erupted again on Monday, just one day after the U.N. ended its monitoring mission in the country. Reporter Jon Lee Anderson joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss the different factions that are rising up amid the current confusion.

Book Reviews
10:55 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Actress Danica McKellar Helps "Girls Get Curves"

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

Up next, math books get a makeover. You may remember my next guest from her acting roles on "The Wonder Years." Winnie Cooper may ring a bell or "The West Wing." But for thousands of girls today, she's the writer and personality behind a bestselling series of books that aim to teach girls about math. First, there was "Math Doesn't Suck," then "Hot X: Algebra Revealed," and now we're onto geometry.

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Digital Life
10:50 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Arbiter Of 'Interestingness' Navigates The 'Net

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, and I'm Flora Lichtman. On any given day, visit the website brainpickings.org, and you'll find posts on topics ranging from Charles Darwin's notes on marriage, to a birthday tribute to Julia Child, to the poetry of Patti Smith.

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Medical Treatments
10:44 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Working Towards A Universal Flu Vaccine

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow, who's out today. This week, the FDA approved a new influenza vaccine for this year's flu season, and soon enough summer will be over and you'll be standing in line again at your pharmacy or doctor's office, participating in that yearly ritual - your annual vaccination allocation.

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NPR Story
10:16 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Some Docs Doubt Blood Type, Heart Disease Link

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:22 am

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. Do you know your blood type? You may have wondered about it this week if you heard news linking blood type to your risk of heart disease. In that study, researchers determined that those with blood type O had the lowest risk of heart disease and those with AB the highest.

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NPR Story
10:16 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Aging City Pipes In Need Of A Plumber's Touch

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. We're in the midst of the worst drought in over 50 years. Water tables are dropping faster than they can be replenished, and at the same time an op-ed in the New York Times today says that the United States is estimated to lose about one in six gallons, one in six gallons of clean water every day due to leaky pipes in the ground.

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NPR Story
10:16 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Solar Toilet Disinfects Waste, Makes Hydrogen Fuel

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:34 am

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

You might take that sound for granted. I know I do. That's because most of us hear it all the time, at least in this country. Toilets are everywhere here in the U.S. But a lot of people around the world don't hear that sound every day, because two-and-a-half billion people, with the B, don't have a safe, sanitary place to go to the bathroom, according to the World Health Organization.

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NPR Story
10:16 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Massive "Phoenix Cluster" Supersizes Star Creation

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:01 am

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

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Religion
11:10 am
Thu August 16, 2012

What Lies Ahead For America's Nuns

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:57 am

After the Vatican accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, America's largest organization of Catholic nuns, of failing to follow Church doctrine on several controversial issues, the group's president suggested they will not backing down.

On Aging
11:05 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Fact-Checking The Future Of Aging In America

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington; Neal Conan is away. The boomers, the Americans born between 1946 and 1964, from the start they have cut a wide swath through the American landscape, which just had to keep on accommodating them.

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Television
11:00 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Jaws, Teeth And Fins! Oh My! 'Shark Week' At 25

In a scene from the "Shark Week" show Air Jaws Apocalypse, a great white shark goes after a seal.
Chris Fallows Discovery Channel

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:06 am

The Discovery Channel's annual "Shark Week" is one of the longest running events on cable television. After 25 years on the air, the weeklong series of programming dedicated solely to sharks has become an American icon. Comedian Stephen Colbert has called it his second favorite time of year.

Legend has it that it all began as an idea scribbled down on a napkin during a brainstorming meeting.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Thu August 16, 2012

'American Gypsy': A Road From Siberia To Hollywood

Oksana Marafioti moved to the U.S. with her family when she was 15.
Courtesy FSG Books

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:54 am

Oksana Marafioti spent her childhood touring the Soviet Union with the family band. She is a Gypsy — from an ethnic group dispersed throughout Europe and linked by a language called Roma, or Romani.

In their travels — from the deserts of Mongolia to the Siberian tundra — her family endured intense racism.

"In the USSR ... people would just ... spit on you or hit you as soon as you said you were a Gypsy," she tells NPR's John Donvan.

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Around the Nation
11:32 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Great Hikes And The Surprises Along The Paths

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan.

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NPR Story
11:04 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Letting Go And 'Giving Up The Ghost'

In the 1980s, Eric Nuzum became convinced that he was being haunted by the ghost of a little girl in a blue dress who lived in his parents' attic.
Dial Press

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:57 am

Eric Nuzum barely survived his teen years. The period was scarred by depression, drugs and a brief period of institutionalization.

"I felt, my entire teen years, as many people do to some degree, as kind of an outsider, an outcast," he tells NPR's John Donvan. "I often describe myself as feeling like I was an interloper in my own life ... never feeling much of a sense of connection."

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Politics
11:04 am
Wed August 15, 2012

How Ryan Will Shift Campaign Strategy In Florida

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 11:27 am

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Ryan steps center-stage, Biden sparks outrage, Romney says let's turn the page, it is Wednesday and time for an...

MITT ROMNEY: Intellectually exhausted...

DONVAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

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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Election 2012
11:04 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Putting An Even Higher Price Tag On Campaigns

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the 2012 presidential and congressional elections will be the most expensive on record, at an estimated cost of nearly $6 billion. Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner says politicians should spend even more.

NPR Story
11:27 am
Tue August 14, 2012

How Books Shaped The American National Identity

This 1951 copy of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is one of 88 books on display as part of the Library of Congress' "Books That Shaped America" exhibit.
Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 1:14 pm

Books can change the way we think and can continue to influence events long after they were written. The Library of Congress exhibit "Books That Shaped America" features 88 books — from Thomas Paine's Common Sense to Dr. Seuss' The Cat In The Hat — that have influenced national identity.

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From Our Listeners
11:21 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Letters: Doctor Shortage, Studying Abroad

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 12:47 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments.

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