Talk of the Nation on KUER 1

Mon - Thu, Noon - 2pm
Neal Conan, Monday - Thursday. Ira Flatow, Friday
Mike Anderson

When Americans want to be a part of the national conversation, they turn to Talk of the Nation, NPR's midday news-talk show. Journalist Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape. From politics and public service to education, religion, music and healthcare, Talk of the Nation offers call-in listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision-makers, authors, academicians, and artists from around the world.

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Podcasts

  • Monday, June 10, 2013 11:00am
    The man who leaked details of two secret U.S. surveillance programs told The Guardian that he hopes to trigger a national debate about the NSA programs that gathered phone and Internet records. NPR's Neal Conan reads from a range of reaction to the leaks and the motives of the leaker.
  • Monday, June 3, 2013 11:00am
    Midnight dinner service will be canceled at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan in June. Officials say it's part of the drawdown process, and though it might not sound like a big deal, former U.S. Army paratrooper David Brown says Marines at Camp Leatherneck stand to lose more than just food.
  • Monday, May 20, 2013 11:00am
    Prominent women such as Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer are proving that women are finding their place at the table. But in an op-ed for The New York Times, former programmer Ellen Ullman argues that women in the field today face "a new, more virile and virulent sexism."
  • Monday, May 6, 2013 11:00am
    Job seekers often rely on friends, family members and other connections to land jobs. Nancy DiTomaso, professor at Rutgers Business School, explains her research that shows that such seemingly harmless favoritism in networking is driving black unemployment in the U.S.
  • Monday, April 29, 2013 11:00am
    The Boston Police Department and cooperating law enforcement entities were praised for working together to track down suspects in the marathon bombings. Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi asks whether police could have done more in the months, weeks, and even hours before the explosions.

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Middle East
12:06 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Egyptian Election Marred By Violence

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 2:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In another dramatic turn in Egypt, the first free democratic presidential election in the nation's history set up a run-off vote next month between two divisive candidates: Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahmed Shafik the last prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak. Between them, the two top candidates received just under 50 percent of the votes.

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Science
3:16 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Breaking Out Of A Web Of Fear

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

So if tiny ticks carrying Lyme disease weren't scary enough for you, how about something even creepier and crawlier? What happens when you see a spider in the sink? Do you panic? Do you shriek? Do you call in someone else to squash it?

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Science
12:00 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Tick Talk: Lyme Disease Under The Microscope

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:17 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky, in for Ira Flatow. You've probably already encountered them this year, buried deep in your pet's fur, maybe on your own skin - yes, ticks. These bloodsuckers are often no bigger than a poppy seed, but they can wreak havoc with your health and your pet's.

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NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Monster Turtle Fossil Discovered In Colombian Mine

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:16 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky, sitting in for Ira Flatow. This time of year, wildlife conservationists warn you to look out for migrating turtles crossing the road. OK, what if the turtle is nearly eight feet long, the size of a compact car?

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NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Humans, The World's 'Superomnivores'

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:16 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Are you a fan of crunchy, crispy foods? Well, I am. In fact...

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEWING)

DANKOSKY: Do you hear that? Yeah, that's a potato chip. It sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Now, no matter where you are in the world, you'll probably find that that crunch is popular with the locals. Think about it: tortilla chips, crispy chicken, fried calamari, biscotti, tempura, falafel, pekora - mmm, pekora.

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NPR Story
11:22 am
Fri May 25, 2012

What's The Secret To Great Tomato Flavor?

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 3:16 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. What if I told you I was going to cook up a pasta sauce using bananas, honey, roses, apples, melon rinds, vanilla, berries, sweaty cheese, peaches, chocolate, lawn clippings, lemongrass and a little dash of wasabi for good measure? Sounds pretty disgusting, right? Well, believe it or not, all those flavors I've just mentioned are components of a taste you probably already love: tomatoes. The taste of a tomato is really that complicated.

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Author Interviews
8:17 am
Fri May 25, 2012

From 'App' To 'Tea': English Examined In '100 Words'

"Tea" (a social word from the 17th century) is one of the words David Crystal examines in his book The Story of English In 100 Words.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 2:07 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on April 2, 2012.

Linguist David Crystal describes English as a "vacuum cleaner of a language." Speakers merrily swipe some words from other languages, adopt others because they're cool or sound classy, and simply make up other terms.

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NPR Story
7:54 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Watching Your Child Go Off To War

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 2:07 pm

With pride and sadness, writer David Freed watched his son go off to the war in Afghanistan. In the Los Angeles Times, Freed suggests that politicians who vote or make orders to deploy service members don't understand what it means to have a loved one serve. Originally broadcast April 4, 2012.

NPR Story
7:54 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Faris Family Fights For Their Military Marriage

Deployments can stress even the strongest of marriages.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 2:07 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on May 10, 2012.

To all appearances, Chris and Lisa Faris seemed to have it all together. He rose through the ranks of the U.S. Special Operations Command to become its top enlisted man, command sergeant major, and his wife tended to their family and many others on his long deployments.

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World
1:39 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Explaining Economic Inequality Between Nations

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. What makes some nations succeed while others fail? In his Pulitzer Prize-winner, "Guns, Germs and Steel," Jared Diamond looked back over thousands of years of human history and concluded that geography allowed Eurasia to get a big head start and develop agriculture, writing, bureaucracy and the military technologies that led to dominance over much of the globe.

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History
12:30 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Etan Patz News Resurrects Parents' Nightmares

New York Police have reported a possible break in the case of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who vanished 33 years ago on his way to school. No one was ever charged in his case, and the episode was a deep personal tragedy for the Patz family.

Health Care
12:26 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Changing Hospitals To Treat Patients Better

A recent poll found only half of people who have spent time in a hospital in the past year were very satisfied with their care. The rest complained about mistakes, poor communication and unresponsive nurses. But to better serve patients, some hospitals are changing the way they do business.

NPR Story
12:22 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Gjelten: How Things Have Changed At The CIA

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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Politics
12:35 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

VP Contenders: Pawlenty And Martinez

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Pop quiz, Ken: Name the primary opponent who got 42 percent of the vote against President Obama in Kentucky yesterday.

KEN RUDIN, BYLINE: That would be Mr. Wolf.

CONAN: No, that would be uncommitted.

RUDIN: Oh, uncommitted.

CONAN: Uncommitted would be the...

RUDIN: Oh, I should be committed.

CONAN: You should be committed.

RUDIN: I'm sorry.

CONAN: In which state with Dennis Kucinich run for Congress this year?

RUDIN: None.

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Strange News
12:08 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Couch-Surfing: Global Travel On The Cheap

Couch-surfers pay for their lodgings with social interaction, not cash.
studio tdes Flickr

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 8:14 am

Nearly 4 million people are members of CouchSurfing.org and can find a host in every country — including North Korea — free of charge.

New Yorker staff writer Patricia Marx became a member recently and stayed with seven friendly strangers, from a graduate student in Iowa City to a couple in Bermuda in their 60s. She wrote about her experience for the magazine.

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Strange News
12:08 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Son Discovers Father's Secret Past On A Surfboard

Bobby Waters, Don Waters' father, surfing at Manhattan Beach in 1955.
Courtesy of Don Waters

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 9:11 am

Don Waters was 3 when his father, Robert Stanley Waters, abandoned the boy and his mother. But before Robert Waters died, he sent Don a short autobiography, hoping it would help him understand his father.

It took years before Don could bring himself to read it. When he did, he discovered an unsuspected past — and a shared passion for surfing. What he read prompted him to take a trip along the California coast, where his father played a part in establishing the surfer culture's first beachhead on the American mainland.

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Theater
12:08 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Mike Nichols Warns 'Death' May Be His Last Job

Mike Nichols' directing credits include Spamalot on Broadway, the movies Working Girl and The Birdcage, and HBO's Angels in America.
Ida Astute

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 9:55 am

Mike Nichols has won every major entertainment award over a decades-long career that includes theater, comedy, television and film. He performed as half of the comedy team Nichols and May, won his first Academy Award directing The Graduate, and returned to Broadway with a revival of Death of a Salesman, which picked up seven Tony nominations. Nichols warns that the production may be his last.

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Health Care
12:19 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

The Ethics Of Compensating Organ Donors

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Each year, too many people die waiting for a transplant. Just about everybody agrees that the current system to distribute organs is both ethical and fair, but it simply doesn't provide enough, and some argue it's time to change.

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Middle East
12:15 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

The Definition Of Success For Talks With Iran

Originally published on Sun May 27, 2012 6:33 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Talks that President Obama calls the last chance for negotiations reconvene tomorrow in Baghdad. The U.S. and five other great powers will meet with Iranian officials to discuss that country's nuclear ambitions.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Rebuilding Joplin, One Year After Tornadoes

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

As the sun rose in Joplin, Missouri, today, a sunrise service was held to commemorate emergency workers, hospital staff, survivors and the 161 killed in a monster tornado a year ago. Yesterday, President Obama delivered the commencement address at Joplin High School and praised the town for its spirit of perseverance and resilience. While much of the rubble has been cleared out and new houses and stores sprout up, scars remain, not all of them visible.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Young Voters, Once Buoyed By Obama, Turn Away

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama rallied young voters to his cause with a message of hope and change. Polls show President Obama still ahead amongst the young but by considerably less. In an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times, Neal Gabler argues that the president severely disappointed many of his younger supporters and drove them away from established politics but toward new kinds of activism and public service. He calls it DIY politics.

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From Our Listeners
11:59 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Letters: Cancer In Your 20s And 'Ex-Gay' Therapy

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:06 pm

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments about previous show topics including the challenges of facing cancer in your 20s, and the controversial treatment known as reparative therapy that some argue can reverse homosexuality.

NPR Story
12:43 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Spitzer's Apology Changes 'Ex-Gay' Debate

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 12:40 pm

Dr. Robert Spitzer's research was widely cited by those who conduct conversion therapy as proof that it worked. Dr. Spitzer says his findings were misinterpreted, and apologized. The American Psychological Association has said there is no evidence that it's possible to change sexual orientation.

After our show, NPR reached out to Exodus International for a statement. The full text of that response follows.

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NPR Story
12:14 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Op-Ed: Send Message Of U.S.-NATO Solidarity

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 12:44 pm

In recent years, critics have questioned the need for a U.S.-European alliance, originally formed to confront the Soviet Union. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright argues the president and NATO leaders must reaffirm the importance of their union to U.S. security.

NPR Story
12:14 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Students Find It's Tough To Graduate In Four Years

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 1:35 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Only a little over half of fulltime students graduate with a bachelor's degree within six years of starting college. Educators blame the low rate on students who decide to adjust their course loads, take time off or drop out of school altogether.

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NPR Story
12:14 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Networks Must Adapt To Decline In TV Viewers

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Advertising executives gathered in New York City last week to get their first look at the fall primetime television lineup. The four big networks announced decisions to cancel some shows, including stalwarts like "CSI: Miami" and "Desperate Housewives." And they also welcomed newcomers, including lots and lots of new comedies. But this is all happening against the backdrop of a dwindling audience. It used to be that the network's losses were cable televisions gain, but cable ratings are also down.

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Medical Treatments
11:54 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Rerouting Working Nerves To Restore Hand Function

A paralyzed man with a spinal cord injury to the C7 vertebrae is able to move his fingers again. Surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine rerouted working nerves in the patient's upper arms to restore some hand function. Dr. Ida Fox discusses the procedure described in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Research News
11:44 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Stroke Victims Think, Robotic Arm Acts

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

(Unintelligible) at the beginning of the program about Cathy Hutchinson having not being able to drink anything without the help of caregivers for 15 years. She was paralyzed from the neck down. But she's very famous, very famous this week, because thanks to new technology described in the journal Nature, she took a very famous sip of coffee this week. You probably saw it on television or the Internet.

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Space
11:36 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Planning For A Solar Sky Show

On May 20th, skywatchers in the western third of the United States will be treated to an annular solar eclipse, a sight not seen here in 18 years. Dean Regas of the Cincinnati Observatory shares tips for viewing the eclipse, and tells how solar observers can safely get a peek at the elusive 'ring of fire.'

NPR Story
11:25 am
Fri May 18, 2012

On Eve Of Launch, SpaceX Head Talks About Mission

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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