Talk of the Nation on KUER 1

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Neal Conan, Monday - Thursday. Ira Flatow, Friday
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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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NPR Story
11:14 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Untangling The Hairy Physics Of Rapunzel

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:59 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Joining us now is our multimedia editor Flora Lichtman who is - welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY, of course.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Thanks.

FLATOW: We'll have a backend. We have our Video Pick of the Week today, sort of an oldie goldie, right?

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NPR Story
11:14 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Designing A Bridge For Earthquake Country

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:56 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Where is the safest place to be during an earthquake? Yeah. Here, in San Francisco, everybody is shaking their head.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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NPR Story
11:14 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Exploring The Deepest, Darkest Spots On Earth

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:50 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're here in California, broadcasting from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. And just outside the Golden Gate, of course, is the Pacific Ocean. It is the largest body of water on Earth, and its trenches are also the deepest. You could put Mount Everest into some of them, and the top would not even peek out.

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NPR Story
12:51 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Ambassador' Guy Davis Takes Blues Around The Globe

Guy Davis performs in northern Italy at the Piacenza Blues Festival in 2010.
Giulia Ciappa Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:29 pm

The son of Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis, Guy Davis initially followed in his famous parents' footsteps. But then he discovered the blues in college, and now travels the world performing in places untouched by the genre, from Greenland to the Galapagos Islands.

Known as "The Ambassador of the Blues," Davis talks with NPR's John Donvan about his new album, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed With the Blues, and his passion for blues music.


Interview Highlights

On Fishy Waters, The Character He Created For His New Record

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NPR Story
12:26 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Inside The Hidden World Of Immigrant Smuggling

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 12:51 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Earlier this month, nine immigrants suspected of being illegally smuggled into the United States were killed in a car crash. That journey came to a violent and sudden end. But there have been, and there will be others bent on crossing the Mexican border north to the U.S. who will make that very same journey and with a similar setup.

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NPR Story
12:19 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Crack Addict Aspires To 'Ninety Days' Of Sobriety

Author Bill Clegg works as a literary agent in New York.
Christian Hansen

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:35 am

In his 2010 book, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, Bill Clegg described his addiction to crack cocaine and the dramatic spiral of self-destruction that left him nearly broke, homeless, out of work and suicidal. His latest book, Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery, picks up where that story left off.

Clegg talks with NPR's John Donvan about his harrowing journey through recovery, and the friends, family and fellow addicts who gave him second chances.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

From Kerouac To Rand, 'Harmful' Reads For Writers

Kilian calls Jack Kerouac's On the Road one of the 20th-century novels that has "done more harm than good to apprentice writers."
Alan Levine Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:50 am

Columnist Crawford Kilian advises aspiring writers to avoid Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and eight other well-known novels.

But Kilian isn't saying they're bad novels — quite the opposite, actually. In a piece for the Canadian online daily The Tyee, Kilian writes, "their readable styles look so easy that they might seduce a young writer into imitating them."

Kilian tells NPR's John Donvan that he composed his list based on personal experience.

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Technology
12:45 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Author Vernor Vinge Predicted Google Glasses

In his 2006 thriller, Rainbow's End, author Vernor Vinge imagined a near future when people use high-tech contact lenses to interface with computers in their clothes. Google plans to make at least some of it a reality later in 2012 with the launch of what are known as augmented reality glasses.

Latin America
12:21 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Columnist Says Invite Cuba To Future Summits

At the sixth Summit of the Americas, tensions flared over Cuba's absence, and continued U.S. efforts to isolate the country. Syndicated Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenhemier believes the first step to bringing Cuba back into the diplomatic community is to invite them to observe future summits.

Politics
12:08 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

What Their Bases Want From Obama And Romney

Guest Political Junkie Matt Bai of The New York Times and Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, talk about the state of the Democratic and Republican bases and what voters on each side are looking for in their candidates in the months ahead.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

The Byrds' Roger McGuinn Works To Preserve Folk Music

Each week, Talk of the Nation plays The Byrds' song "I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician" during the Political Junkie segment. McGuinn recorded a version just for the show. You can hear it in the last three minutes of this story.
John Chiasson

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 8:30 am

Singer-guitarist Roger McGuinn, best known as leader of The Byrds, is a folk-rock pioneer. The Byrds blended traditional folk songs with a rock beat and scored major hits in the 1960s, including "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Mr. Tambourine Man." The group disbanded in 1973, and McGuinn pursued a solo career, in which he performed acoustically and returned to his folk roots.

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Europe
12:53 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

How France's Presidential Contest Compares To U.S.

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Technology
12:45 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Drones Moving From War Zones To The Home Front

Congress recently passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which — along with funding the Federal Aviation Administration's budget through 2015 — encourages the acceleration of unmanned aircraft programs in U.S. airspace. Drones have taken on a large role in military operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The new legislation could make the technology more prevalent in several arenas, from local police departments to farmers monitoring crops.

Digital Life
12:29 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

What Makes Games Like 'Angry Birds' So Addictive?

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 12:31 pm

Angry Birds — a mobile phone game in which players use a slingshot to propel birds at tiny little green pigs — has been a runaway hit since its 2009 release, with more than 700 million downloads, a TV show and a feature film in the works. It isn't alone. NPR's Neal Conan talks with New York Times Magazine critic-at-large Sam Anderson about people's fascination with — and addiction to — what Anderson calls "stupid games."

NPR Story
12:15 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Letters: Baseball, Finances And Intimacy

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 1:02 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
12:22 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Op-Ed: North Korea Gets Too Many Second Chances

The United Nations Security Council issued a strong condemnation after North Korea's failed satellite launch attempt. Such condemnations were also issued in 2006 and 2009. In a piece in Foreign Affairs, Dartmouth College government professor Jennifer Lind argues that North Korea gets too many second chances.

Middle East
11:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

The Standoff Over Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 8:28 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We don't know much about Saturday's talks in Istanbul between Iran and the group of six major powers, but all sides used positive terms like constructive and agreed to a second round in Baghdad.

While diplomacy continues, the United States warns that the window for talks is closing. There's open talk of preemptive air strikes in Israel, and ever-tightening sanctions continue to squeeze Iran's economy.

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Movie Interviews
11:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

The Ratings Controversy Surrounding 'Bully'

The documentary Bully caught national attention when it received an R rating for harsh language from the Motion Picture Association of America. Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company — which distributed the film — discusses the decision to re-edit the film for release with a PG-13 rating.

Economy
11:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Spring Is Here, Will The Housing Market Bounce Back?

Foreclosure filings in March fell to their lowest level in four years. Some analysts see the market healing and turning around, yet others argue the next wave of foreclosures are just around the corner. NPR's Chris Arnold discusses how housing markets are faring across the nation.

Animals
2:05 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Searching For Nature's Time Machines in 'Relics'

In a new book, Relics: Travels in Nature's Time Machine, Harvard entomologist and photographer Piotr Naskrecki documents his travels, from New Guinea to New Zealand and beyond, looking for organisms whose genes can tell us something about conditions on Earth millions of years ago.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Living It Up In Space

How do astronauts take a bath in space? What happens to their sense of smell in a weightless environment? Two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station discuss the challenges of life in low Earth orbit and how their research is a stepping stone for future space exploration.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Engineering For Success By Building on Failure

In a new book, To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, engineer Henry Petroski chronicles disasters from the sinking of the Titanic to the destruction of space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. Petroski discusses why these accidents are often caused by factors other than a design flaw.

Science
11:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Marc Abrahams Makes Science Improbably Funny

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 2:05 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, some improbable humor. If you're a loyal listener, you know my next guest. He's been a SCIENCE FRIDAY regular for, oh, 20 years. Wow. Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. You know that. We play the first annual Ig Nobel Awards. They awards given to science that makes you laugh and then makes you think. Marc Abrahams is the co-founder and the emcee of the Ig Nobels. He's also the editor and founder of the Annals of Improbable Research, and he writes a weekly column for The Guardian. Welcome, Marc.

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Science
11:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

How Humans And Insects Conquered The Earth

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 2:05 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. It's easy to assume that we humans rule the Earth. After all, we can clear-cut forests, we can chop the tops off mountains. We can harvest anything we want from the land or the sea. But before we get too cocky, let's not forget about those other titans of the Earth, the bugs.

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Law
11:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Legal Strategies And 'Stand Your Ground' Cases

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. The man who Florida police first declined to arrest now faces second-degree murder charges for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman claims he is not guilty under Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which allows for the use of force in self-defense.

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Around the Nation
11:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Cities — But Not Their Citizens — Really Are Meaner

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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On Aging
11:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Couples Can Conflict Over When To Retire

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Baby boomers are the first generation with large numbers of dual-earner couples heading into retirement. That means negotiating the golden years is all the more complicated. Now there are two careers, two hard-earned nest eggs and quite possibly two competing visions of how and when to retire.

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Around the Nation
11:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Do I Freak You Out? Living With Physical Scars

Approach a person with an obvious physical difference like a child might — openly, and with compassion, says writer Mary Elizabeth Williams.
iStockphoto.com

"Do I freak you out?" It's a question that haunts writer Mary Elizabeth Williams and others whom she describes as "physically different, in ways both small and large."

Williams' surgery to remove cancer more than a year ago left a 5 centimeter bald spot on the back of her head. She doesn't mind it — it's a badge of survival — but her daughter, Beatrice, fusses about it from time to time.

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From Our Listeners
11:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Letters: Robots, Race And Retail

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on past Talk of the Nation shows, including the emergence of robots across the country, the racial history of Sanford, Florida, and the new balance of power in retail.

Your Money
11:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Tax-Time Procrastination, An American Tradition

People wait in line inside the Farley Post Office building on Tax Day 2009 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The April deadline comes around at about the same time every year. Still, with just a few days left before taxes are due, many people continue to put off filing.

The boxes of receipts, stacks of W-2s and 1099s are daunting enough. Add in row after row of fill-in boxes on the 1040, and it's no wonder so many people procrastinate.

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