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
10:43 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Finding The Truth In Politics

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 1:14 pm

Transcript

TOM GJELTEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Tom Gjelten in Washington. Harry Reid says Mitt Romney doesn't pay taxes. Romney supporters are furious. The VP speculation builds, and the debate on welfare reform is back on center stage. It's Wednesday and time for an...

MITT ROMNEY: Obamaloney...

GJELTEN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(MONTAGE OF ARCHIVAL 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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Health Care
11:15 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Prognosis Worsens For Shortage In Primary Care

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 12:40 pm

Transcript

TOM GJELTEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Tom Gjelten, in Washington, sitting in for Neal Conan. It's bad enough that a visit to the doctor's office can be expensive. Maybe you worry about the quality of care you'll receive. But that's not all. A common complaint these days is the length of time we have to wait before we see someone who can help us.

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Middle East
11:11 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Sinai: The Heightened Threat Of A Lawless Region

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 6:44 am

Transcript

TOM GJELTEN, HOST:

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National Security
11:03 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Is There A Role For Government In Cybersecurity?

The Cyber Security Act of 2012 failed in the Senate, despite growing alarm in the intelligence community about the vulnerabilities of the nation's infrastructure. The episode highlights a unique problem for politicians concerned about the balance between national security and federal regulation.

From Our Listeners
10:41 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Letters: Teaching Modern History, Mindfulness

NPR's Tom Gjelten reads from listener comments on several past programs, including teaching modern history, the role of violence in popular culture and how to use mindfulness to re-frame stressful situation.

World
10:41 am
Tue August 7, 2012

What Foreigners Teach Americans About U.S. Culture

Guidebooks help tourists plot journeys and choose which sights to see. The books also provide advice on dining norms, driving habits and punctuality.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:22 am

When visiting another country for the first time, you probably turn to a guidebook for travel information — recommendations for hotels, restaurants and sightseeing. First-time visitors to the U.S. turn to guidebooks for that information, and also for advice on navigating the complexities of American culture.

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Religion
10:38 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Oak Creek Tragedy Puts Sikh Community In Spotlight

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 1:18 pm

Questions remain about the motives of the shooter who led Sunday's deadly attack at a Sikh place of worship, known as a gurdwara, in Oak Creek, Wis. Authorities have identified Wade Michael Page as the shooter in the rampage that left six others dead.

Mental Health
10:38 am
Mon August 6, 2012

What We Know About Treating Brain Disorders

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:43 am

The human brain contains around 100,000,000,000 nerve cells and research has given us insight into how they connect to form memories and control emotion. Much less is known about how the brain responds to injury or disease.

Space
10:38 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Curious About Curiosity: What We'll Learn From Mars

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:11 am

The Mars Science Laboratory rover, named Curiosity, made a successful landing on the surface of the red planet, drawing shouts and cheers from the mission control staff at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. University of Redlands professor Tyler Nordgren explains what Curiosity may discover.

Technology
10:44 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Tech Giants Gear Up For Patent Battle

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 11:29 am

A court battle between Apple and Samsung is underway in California, with each side arguing over intricate patent and trademark claims covering how the companies' phones and tablets work, look, and feel. Robin Feldman, professor at the UC Hastings College of the Law, explains some of the key issues in the court case and how it might affect the technology industry.

Space
10:34 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Planning For 'Curiosity' On Mars

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 11:29 am

If all goes according to plan, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, nicknamed 'Curiosity,' will touch down on the red planet this weekend following what NASA has called 'seven minutes of terror' during the descent. NPR science correspondent Joe Palca and John Grunsfeld, head of NASA's Science Directorate, give a preview of the mission and talk about what scientists hope to learn from the latest ambassador to Mars.

Environment
10:30 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Changing Views About A Changing Climate

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 11:29 am

What is the role of humans in climate change? "Call me a converted skeptic," physicist Richard Muller wrote in an Op-Ed in the New York Times this week, describing his analysis of data from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. Though Muller was once a notable skeptic regarding studies connecting human activity to climate change, he has now concluded that "humans are almost entirely the cause" of global warming.

NPR Story
10:28 am
Fri August 3, 2012

One Doc's Prescription For Hassle-Free Healthcare

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 11:29 am

Dr. Jay Parkinson envisions a future of more efficient, hassle-free healthcare--and it starts online. He says he and his colleagues at the New York City-based healthcare start-up Sherpaa can solve 70 percent of patients' problems via email, eliminating a trip to the doctor's office.

NPR Story
10:28 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Spending The Holidays At A Toxic Waste Site

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 11:29 am

To avoid the crowds at Niagara Falls, why not sail the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or ogle oil refineries in Port Arthur, Texas? In Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures In The World's Most Polluted Places, Andrew Blackwell describes traveling to the world's most contaminated destinations.

NPR Story
10:28 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Making Movies That Zoom Into Foreign Worlds

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 11:29 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. A little later in the program, we'll be talking about NASA's landing of its new probe, Curiosity, to the Martian surface. But with us now is Flora Lichtman with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: This is a soothing...

(LAUGHTER)

FLATOW: I mean, I saw the video pick. It's so soothing, although it's on a topic that you wouldn't think is soothing at all.

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Movies
2:15 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Summer Movies: Olympic Medal-Winning Favorites

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Is a film in development where the aged Russian gymnast is allowed to give Michael Phelps the medal that broke her record? How about "Bad News Badminton" or "Dream Team V"? Well, there's no way to know whether we're going to see the butterfly, shuttlecocks or slam dunks in 3D anytime soon, but in the grip of Olympic fever, we kick off our annual summer film festival with a celebration of Hollywood's past focus on the drama of the games. Our favorite film buff Murray Horwitz joins us in just a moment.

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NPR Story
11:33 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Drive For Profit Wreaks 'Days Of Destruction'

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 11:19 am

In his latest book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges takes a look at the tensions that arise between profit, progress, technology and the pursuit of the American dream. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, written with co-author Joe Sacco, critiques an economic system that they say abandons too many Americans.

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Mental Health
11:15 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Mindfulness: Using Your Brain To Beat Stress

Ellen Langer is also the author of On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity.
Nancy Hemenway

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:58 am

When psychologist Ellen Langer asked participants at a seminar to talk about someone or something that just drove them nuts, one woman spoke about her husband always being late for breakfast — a minor, everyday annoyance that Langer suggested might be reframed: Focus on the gift of a few moments alone.

A small thing maybe, but over more than 30 years, Langer has conducted a series of ingenious experiments that show how small and seemingly simple changes in our lives can reduce stress and help us lead healthier, happier lives.

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Pop Culture
11:11 am
Thu August 2, 2012

After Aurora, Rethinking Violence In Pop Culture

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 2:15 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. After the most recent mass shooting took place in a movie theater, producer Harvey Weinstein proposed that Hollywood directors sit down and discuss the role of violence in their films. That's not to say that images of blood and bullets trigger violence in general or motivated the Aurora murders in particular; the fact is we don't know.

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NPR Story
11:35 am
Wed August 1, 2012

'Ways Of Forgetting' Color Japan's Present Day

American bomber pilot Paul W. Tibbets Jr. (center) stands with the ground crew of the bomber Enola Gay, which Tibbets flew in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Tinian island, Northern Marianas, August 1945.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 8:02 am

In 2003, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush argued that an occupation could work because history provided an example in a non-Christian, non-white, non-Western country: the United States' occupation of Japan during World War II.

He cited the work of historian John Dower, the pre-eminent scholar of postwar Japan, who promptly published an op-ed to protest a misuse of history. His work, he said, should have led President Bush to the opposite conclusion.

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