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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Middle East
11:21 am
Thu July 26, 2012

The Crisis In Syria, On A Human Level

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 6:20 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We usually hear about the civil war in Syria from cell phone videos posted by anti-government activists to YouTube or government press releases from Damascus. Usually, those stories can't be verified because very few journalists have been allowed in.

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Around the Nation
11:07 am
Thu July 26, 2012

From Enron To Penn State, How Cover-Ups Happen

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 11:38 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Sex abuse in the Catholic Church and at Penn State, accounting practices at Enron, the break-in at the Watergate, in each of those cases and many, many more, senior officials lied to protect an individual or an institution. And while we've all learned that the cover-up is worse than the crime, very human impulses can overcome ethics, one lie can lead to another, and a bad situation becomes much, much worse.

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Economy
11:36 am
Wed July 25, 2012

The Ripple Effect From Rising Food Prices

As drought and high temperatures continue to devastate much of the country's corn and soybean crops, the USDA reports that food prices will continue to rise at least into 2013. NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax and The Earth Policy Institute's Lester Brown discuss the rising cost of food.

Politics
11:14 am
Wed July 25, 2012

The Tea Party's Texas Strategy For 2012

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. W will skip the GOP convention, the presidential rivals vie for the vet vote, and Romney lambasts White House leaks. It's Wednesday and time for a...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Contemptible...

CONAN: ...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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Movie Interviews
11:10 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Navajo Teens Make Tough Choices In 'Heartbreak'

Thomas Martinez stands in front of "The Wall," an inspirational collection of his accolades, at his father's house.
Anthony Thosh Collins

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 8:13 am

Like many high school students, Thomas Martinez and Tamara Hardy dreamed of leaving for college and finding their futures away from home. But both grew up on a Navajo reservation and were torn, between those aspirations and their strong ties to their poverty-stricken community.

Martinez struggles to balance the needs of his family with plans to run track in college. Hardy wants to earn an engineering degree away from home, yet like many Native parents, her mother and father are reluctant to see her leave.

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Around the Nation
11:10 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Eagle Scouts Return Badges In Protest

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 11:30 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Last week, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed the longtime policy of excluding openly gay Scouts and a ban on openly gay and lesbian adults as leaders. The Supreme Court ruled that this private organization is within its rights to do so. While many praised the group for upholding its values, some who earned the badge of Eagle Scout decided to return those coveted badges in protest. We'd like to hear from Scouts in our audience.

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From Our Listeners
12:36 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Letters: Leaving Home And Making New Friends

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. Last week, we spoke with Sally Koslow about the difficulties many young people experience as try to leave home and why the lack of jobs and enormous student loan debt can soon send them back to live with mom and dad. Chris Mall(ph) in Bradford, New Hampshire, responded: I don't know a single boomerang child who doesn't want to be self-sufficient. Ms. Koslow fails to recognize that young people are not letting opportunities pass by, he wrote. Those opportunities are no longer available.

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NPR Story
11:31 am
Tue July 24, 2012

After Ryan White's Death, Elton John Took On AIDS

Elton John speaks at the International Aids Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:05 am

During the 1980s, musician Elton John watched many of his friends and loved ones suffer and die from HIV and AIDS. Lost in a drug-fueled haze, he says, he did nothing to help people with the disease.

Then he met Ryan White, a teenage hemophiliac who was shunned by his community after contracting HIV. Ryan's struggle and eventual death marked a turning point for John. He entered rehab and became a vocal advocate for AIDS research, prevention and treatment, creating the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

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Europe
11:01 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Political Crisis Behind The Faltering Eurozone

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:36 pm

Spain's recession has deepened and Spanish borrowing rates are at the highest level since the euro was introduced in 1999. Walter Russell Mead of The American Interest and Steven Erlanger of the New York Times talk about the long-term political effects of the euro crisis.

National Security
11:01 am
Tue July 24, 2012

A Case For Continued 'Forward Engagement'

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:36 pm

Now is not the time to pull back on military and foreign engagement, according to former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy. In Foreign Affairs, she argues that strategic military deployments abroad, a policy of "forward engagement," help preserve the United States' standing in the world.

Medical Treatments
11:01 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Researchers Renewing Focus On AIDS Cure

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:36 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Since the early years of the AIDS epidemic, talk of a cure became almost taboo. In the past few years, advances in prevention and treatment became increasingly effective. Now some researchers say it's time to shift focus and resources to finding a cure. So why now, what's changed, and how close are we? If you have questions about the search for a cure for HIV/AIDS, give us a call: 800-989-8255. Email us: talk@npr.org. You can join the conversation on our website as well. That's at npr.org.

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Sports
12:26 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Hometowns Help Cheer Olympians To Victory

Sherone Simpson of Jamaica, Lauryn Williams of the U.S. and Veronica Campbell of Jamaica compete in the women's 100 meter final at the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games, the race in which Williams won her silver medal.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:41 pm

Before the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, U.S. sprinter Lauryn Williams accepted that her father, who was suffering from leukemia, wouldn't be there to see her compete in the 100-meter dash. But when residents of her hometown in Rochester, Pa., heard about it, they raised enough money to send her father and several other family members to Athens.

"I was very surprised," Williams tells NPR's Neal Conan. "It was really a great experience just to see everyone rally together."

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Mental Health
11:06 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Cognitive Disability Complicates Search And Rescue

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 11:30 am

People diagnosed with conditions including autism, Alzheimer's and dementia often wander. Dean King of Outside Magazine, Robert Koester of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and Dr. James Harris talk about why, and the challenges of search and rescue missions to find them.

Around the Nation
11:06 am
Mon July 23, 2012

What Previous Massacres Teach Us About Aurora

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 12:10 pm

Events like the mass shooting that killed 12 people and wounded dozes more in Aurora, Colorado can remind survivors of past massacres about their experiences. Edward Smith, a reporter with the Denver Post at the time of the Columbine shooting, and callers talk about what's been learned.

Sports
11:06 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Putting Penn State's Punishment In Perspective

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 11:23 am

Pointing to an "unprecedented failure" at the top levels of Penn State leadership, the NCAA announced wide-ranging sanctions against the football program. NPR sports correspondent Mike Pesca talks about public reaction and what it could mean for the future of Penn State football.

Sports
11:02 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Sniffing Out The Science Behind Sports Doping

How does blood doping boost performance in events like the Tour de France? Do anabolic steroids help the world's fastest man run faster? In his book, Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat , Chris Cooper discusses how these banned drugs work, or don't — and how they are detected.

Sports
10:59 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Getting High: Physics Of The Fosbury Flop

The world record for high jump — the event in which a person hurdles himself over a horizontal bar — is just over 8 feet. That's like leaping over a stop sign, and clearing it by a foot. Jesus Dapena, of Indiana University, has studied the high jump for 30 years, filming athletes to understand exactly how they produce the force required to clear the bar.

Environment
10:55 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Melting The World's Biggest Ice Cube

Antarctica has 90 percent of the world's ice--and it's melting. Ice sheet guru Bob Bindschadler talks about climate change in Antarctica, and rising sea levels across the globe. Plus, biologist Diana Wall talks about hidden life in the barren Dry Valleys, and microbe hunter John Priscu talks about "bugs in the ice."

Television
10:46 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Neuroscientist Turned Crime Solver in "Perception"

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 11:56 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PERCEPTION)

ERIC MCCORMACK: (As Doctor Daniel Pierce) In this class, we're interested in what goes on in the brain. And if we were to put someone in an FMRI machine and watch what happens when they make up a lie, we'd see their dorsolateral prefrontal cortex light up like a Christmas tree...

(LAUGHTER)

MCCORMACK: (As Doctor Daniel Pierce) ...because we use our brains when we lie. We use our brains when we're being lied to. But can the brain ever lie to itself?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
10:39 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Its Budget Sunk, Undersea Lab May Have To Surface

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 10:56 am

Florida's Aquarius Reef Base is the only working undersea lab left today. But now that federal funds have dried up, it may be forced to surface. Oceanographer Sylvia Earle joins Science Friday from inside Aquarius, 60 feet underwater, to talk about sponges, corals and other life she's observed on the reef.

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