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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Music
11:31 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Randy Newman Becomes A Rock Star

Inductee Randy Newman performs on stage at the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 18, 2013.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:05 pm

Randy Newman never considered himself a rock star. He's had his hits like, "I Love LA" and "Short People," but may be better known for his work in TV show themes and film scores. His unmistakable voice has graced the soundtracks of dozens of films, including the Toy Story films, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc.

When the singer and composer got a call saying he'd be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was shocked. He told Rolling Stone, "I really thought maybe I'd have to die first."

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Health Care
11:00 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Hospital Costs Go Public: What Changes In Health Care?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. One hospital outside Dallas charges a little over 14 grand for pneumonia treatment. Another hospital a few miles down the same street charges more than twice as much, over $38,000. Why? Why has it taken so long for those prices to be made public? And now that they're out, how is that going to change health care?

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Around the Nation
12:38 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

A Look Ahead To The Future Of New Orleans

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The recession and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico hit New Orleans hard, and that was after Katrina. The population has yet to return to pre-hurricane levels. Some houses lie empty, some properties abandoned, and the city continues to suffer from crime and unemployment.

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World
11:25 am
Tue May 7, 2013

The History And Politics Of Humanitarian Intervention

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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Around the Nation
11:21 am
Tue May 7, 2013

The Cleveland Case And Missing Persons Investigations

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In Cleveland last night, a dramatic call for help.

(SOUNDBITE OF 911 CALL)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Cleveland 911. Do you need...?

AMANDA BERRY: I need police. Help me. I'm Amanda Berry.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do you need police, fire or ambulance?

BERRY: I need police.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: OK, and what's going on there?

BERRY: I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here, I'm free now.

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From Our Listeners
11:05 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Letters: Sign Painters, Favoritism And Unemployment

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Yesterday we spoke with Rutgers Professor Nancy DiTomaso about her argument that favoritism drives minority unemployment.

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NPR Story
10:45 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Bedside Manner: Conversations With Patients About Death

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 11:29 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. All of us prefer to be told the truth - at least, we say we do - even when the diagnosis is terminal. And doctors believe they have an obligation to deliver bad news except that often, they don't. In a survey of nearly 2,000 physicians by the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital, a majority said they believe they should never lie to a patient and yet more than half delivered a rosier prognosis than warranted, and 10 percent outright lied.

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NPR Story
10:45 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Could Syria's Civil War Become A Large Regional Crisis?

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 5:26 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In a strange way, Barack Obama and Bashar al-Assad find themselves in the same dilemma today: initiate military action that both would prefer to avoid or look weak, even hypocritical. The American president faces a chorus of criticism after he decided to wait for more proof that Syria's government has crossed his red line on chemical weapons, while Syria's president must now decide whether to respond to Israeli airstrikes on his capital or leave his supporters to wonder why not.

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NPR Story
10:45 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Unearthing History: How Technology Is Transforming Archaeology

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Legend has it that the rainforest of Mosquitia hid La Ciudad Blanca, the White City. For centuries, explorers tried to find the fabled city in the jungle of Nicaragua and Honduras. Protected by white water, coral snakes, stinging plants and brutal topography, the White City remained an archeologist dream. But with a new application of recent technology, a documentary filmmaker, not an archeologist, found the White City.

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NPR Story
7:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Ancient Earth May Have Smelled Like Rotten Eggs

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:03 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
7:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Living Inside the Box

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Here with us now is Flora Lichtman, our correspondent and managing editor for video. Flora, welcome.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi.

FLATOW: What wonderful stuff do you have for us this week?

LICHTMAN: Well, from the less practical or the no practical application to the very practical in this week's Video Pick.

FLATOW: Ooh.

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NPR Story
7:49 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Scientists Seek To Take The Measure of Antimatter

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY.

Up next, another installment in the continuing quest to understand antimatter, that stuff that's supposed to be the opposite of matter. It's supposed to have been created during the Big Bang in equal amounts as normal matter, but for some reason, it's all disappeared. No one knows why - yeah, that stuff or actually that anti-stuff.

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Arts & Life
11:03 am
Thu May 2, 2013

The Importance Of Learning Poems 'By Heart'

Caroline Kennedy's other works include of A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children and A Patriot's Handbook.
Disney Hyperion Books

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 10:17 am

Caroline Kennedy's latest book comes with an agenda: to encourage a return to poetic memorization and recitation that both families and schools once considered routine.

In Poems to Learn by Heart, Kennedy stresses the importance of memorizing poetry and presents a collection of poems that she believes everyone should internalize.

"I think there's something in it for all ages," she tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I realized this shouldn't be just for kids because older people are the ones that are really working on keeping their memories going strong."

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Medical Treatments
11:02 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Lessons In Emergency Preparedness After Boston Bombings

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 11:23 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Three people died from the blast and shrapnel of the pressure-cooker bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Hundreds more were injured, many severely. But as bad as it was, it could have been much, much worse.

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Digital Life
10:58 am
Thu May 2, 2013

A Look Ahead At The Future Of Tech

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 11:14 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Technology's already changed our lives in ways we couldn't have imagined just a few years ago, and now seems ready to reinvent our future. As we continue our series of conversations looking ahead, we've invited Farhad Manjoo to join us - he's Slate's technology columnist and a frequent guest on this program - on the latest gadgets, on the business of consumer electronics and on how we've adapted our lives, our jobs and our manners to all these changes.

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Television
11:25 am
Wed May 1, 2013

The Strategy Of Putting Politics On TV

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

Now, you've probably noticed this. Political drama is not confined to just the news on TV these days. We are in an era that is seeing a proliferation of politically themed television and other forms of streaming. And maybe you've also noticed shows like "Veep."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "VEEP")

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (as Vice President Selina Meyer) I'm the vice president of the United States, you stupid little (bleep).

DONVAN: And "Alpha House."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ALPHA HOUSE")

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Business
11:18 am
Wed May 1, 2013

The Quiet Strength Of Introverts In The Workplace

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

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Politics
11:05 am
Wed May 1, 2013

The Race For South Carolina's Congressional Seat

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Mass momentum for Markey, Sanford's ears and what they can't always hear, and Obama's sequester quest for an understanding with the GOP. It is Wednesday and time for a...

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NPR Story
11:31 am
Tue April 30, 2013

'Sign Painters': A Close-Up Focus On An Endangered Art

Marquee painted by Norma Jeanne Maloney on "Honky-tonk Row" in Nashville, Tenn.
Faythe Levine and Sam Macon Princeton Architectural Press

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 2:31 pm

Before the age of computers and vinyl printers, sign painters worked by hand to illustrate storefronts, billboards and banners. Local craftsmen often developed a signature style that could distinguish a neighborhood, or even a city.

But technology made creating signs less expensive — and less expressive. Sign Painters, a new book and documentary written and directed by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, focuses on dozens of artists who are keeping the art alive.

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NPR Story
11:05 am
Tue April 30, 2013

To Avoid Or To Embrace: How Actors Navigate Stereotypes

Retta as office manager Donna Meagle on NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Colleen Hayes/NBC

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:26 am

On NBC's Parks and Recreation, former stand-up comedian Retta plays office manager Donna Meagle. Donna is mostly in the background of the show, but is known for obsessing over her Mercedes SUV and for creating the Parks and Rec Treat Yo Self holiday.

Retta says this character is quite different from the roles she was offered in the beginning of her acting career.

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