Talk of the Nation

Monday - Thursday 11:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by 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.

Reporting in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, researchers write that extreme heat waves, such as the one last year in Texas, are 20 times more likely today than they were in the 1960s. NOAA climatologist Tom Peterson discusses what future climate change may bring.

The Nuts And Bolts Of High-Speed Rail

Jul 13, 2012

California lawmakers gave the green light to the first phase of construction of high-speed rail in the state. Does this mean that America is on track for faster, sleeker trains? What potential speed bumps still lie ahead? Railroad engineer Christopher Barkan discusses the costs, benefits and state of the technology.

What makes some types of cancer resistant to drugs? Reporting in Nature, researchers write that cancer cells may be dodging treatment with help from seemingly innocent bystanders. Cancer researcher Todd Golub discusses how a tumor's microenvironment may affect its behavior.

Researchers have found a fridge-free way to store vaccines and antibiotics. Biomedical engineer David Kaplan, senior author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discusses how heat-sensitive drugs wrapped in silk stay effective for months at high temperatures.

Look, Listen, Taste

Jul 13, 2012

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Conversations about the environment can often be polarizing. Jonathan Foley, director of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, says that rather than rehash the same old debates, environmental issues need to be reframed.

Investigators have yet to rule out arson as they continue to look for the cause of Colorado's Waldo Canyon fire, the most destructive wildfire in state history. Former FBI agent Brad Garrett and forensic psychologist N.G. Berrell talk about the process of investigating fires and the profile of an arsonist.

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Shocking and callous disregard for victims, repeatedly concealed critical facts, failure to protect the children created a dangerous situation for unsuspecting boys lured and victimized repeatedly.

Fans of Star Trek long ago noted that anonymous security officers who accompanied the show's stars rarely survived the experience. Shortly after being beamed down, they would be vaporized, stomped or eaten for dramatic effect. It's a plot device so common that these expendable crewmen became known collectively as redshirts.

In his novel Redshirts, science fiction writer John Scalzi follows Andrew Dahl, a similarly expendable ensign as he sorts out this life-expectancy issue.

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