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.

Pages

Books
11:55 am
Mon April 2, 2012

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

The Story of English In 100 Words." href="/post/linguist-tells-story-english-100-words" class="noexit lightbox">
"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 Tue April 3, 2012 1:26 pm

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.

In his new book, he tells The Story of English in 100 Words, using a collection of words — classic ones like "tea" and new words like "app" — that explain how the the English language has evolved.

Crystal thinks every word has a story to tell, even the ones as commonplace as "and."

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Middle East
11:00 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Next Step In Syria: Peaceful Or Armed Intervention?

At least 70 countries, including the U.S., pledged millions of dollars in aid to the Syrian opposition. U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has set a deadline of April 10 for compliance with the U.N. peace plan. Some analysts believe it's too late for peaceful negotiations.

Opinion
11:00 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Coping With A Loved One's 'Justifiable Killing'

Writer Donna Britt's 26-year-old brother was killed by Indiana police officers decades ago. Amidst the news of Trayvon Martin's death, she is reminded of the unanswerable questions surrounding her brother's death. She talks about the challenges of coming to terms the violent death of a loved one.

Mental Health
11:00 am
Mon April 2, 2012

A Patient's Perspective: Police And The Mentally Ill

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

No Joke: Science Is A Laughing Matter

Want to hear a joke about sodium hypobromite? NaBrO! Can science be the butt of a good joke? Ira Flatow and guests test the hypothesis in an annual April Fools' joke-a-thon. They share the best gags in the business. Sidesplitting or groan-worthy? You decide.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Why Don't Spiders Get Stuck In Their Webs?

This mystery has plagued arachnologists for decades. William Eberhard and Daniel Briceno untangle the web question in a paper in the journal Naturwissenschaften. The answer has to do with spiders' oily, hairy legs.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Art, Mind And Brain Intersect In Kandel's Vienna

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:45 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. My next guest won the Nobel Prize in 2000 for his work on learning and memory, and he really needs no introduction as a neuroscientist. But there is another side to Eric Kandel that you may not know. He is an art collector, an historian of early 20th-century art in Germany and Austria, and he says he could have seen that passion as an alternate career path.

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Science
11:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Half A Century Later, A Return To Challenger Deep

The film director James Cameron has just completed a dive to Challenger Deep, the deepest point on Earth at nearly 36,000 feet under the sea. His manned descent is the first in 52 years, since the oceanographers Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard explored the Mariana Trench in the bathyscaphe Trieste.

Author Interviews
12:03 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

'Triggered': Anxiety And The Doubting Disorder

In Triggered, Fletcher Wortmann describes his struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as the "doubting disorder."
Thomas Dunne Books

From a young age, Fletcher Wortmann spent countless hours absorbed by his obsessions. In third grade, he became consumed with the idea that every nonwater substance on the planet would soon freeze. He spent hours laying plans for how he and his family would survive. Over and over, he replayed an imagined apocalypse.

Though he wouldn't be diagnosed until many years later, in retrospect Wortmann realizes the episode marked his "first full-blown bout" with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Health Care
11:00 am
Thu March 29, 2012

As Arguments Wrap, Future of Health Law Is Unclear

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 7:42 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. All this week, the U.S. SUPREME COURT commanded the nation's attention through three days of oral arguments on what may well be its most important case in decades.

The court's ruling could affect the lives of millions, redefine the role and limits of the federal government, and change the character of the 2012 election. We don't expect to know how the justices will rule until late June, but that doesn't stop journalists and legal experts from reading between the lines.

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Opinion
11:00 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Op-Ed: Hate The Bus? It's Time To Reconsider

piece for Salon.com, Will Doig argues that it's time for Americans to reconsider the bus." href="/post/op-ed-hate-bus-its-time-reconsider" class="noexit lightbox">
In a piece for Salon.com, Will Doig argues that it's time for Americans to reconsider the bus.
iStockphoto.com

Everyone loves to hate riding the bus — passengers complain about cleanliness, overcrowding, timeliness and inefficiency. In a piece for Salon.com, writer Will Doig argues that disliking the bus is "practically an American pastime," but buses are key to improving mass transit. Doig thinks that rather than spending money on expensive new systems like light rail or streetcars, cities should focus on making buses better.

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Sports
11:00 am
Thu March 29, 2012

What's The Extreme Sports Rivalry In Your Life?

The Louisville Cardinals will face the University of Kentucky Wildcats in the Final Four of the 2012 men's NCAA tournament. The long-time rivalry between these two Kentucky teams is just one example of conflicting team loyalties that can divide families, friends and neighbors for generations.

Books
12:06 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

'Hitler': The Lasting Effect Of An Infamous Figure

A.N. Wilson's book Hitler encapsulates the German dictator's life in just 190 pages.
Basic Books

In the new biography Hitler, A.N. Wilson describes the Nazi dictator as the "Demon King of history" — who instigated the Holocaust and forced the world into a second world war — but also as an ordinary, even boring man.

"We like to distance ourselves from anything to do with him because he was an essentially evil character," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "But actually, many of the ideas that he had and expressed were very ordinary ideas, and they were ideas that more or less everybody had at that time."

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Politics
11:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

When Is It Time To End A Political Run?

Though he insists he's not suspending his run, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich announced he's cutting his staff and shifting his campaign strategy. NPR's Ken Rudin and veteran campaign manager Chip Saltsman discuss the decisions candidates face when a win seems unlikely.

Around the Nation
11:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Pilots And The Cockpit: What We Don't Understand

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 12:27 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

A scary incident, yesterday, on JetBlue Flight 191 when passengers saw a disturbed pilot locked out of the cockpit shouting about a bomb onboard and forcibly restrained by aircrew and passengers.

(SOUNDBITE OF NBC NEWS BROADCAST)

CLAYTON OSBOURNE: I'm so distraught. We've got Israel. We've got Iraq. We've got Israel. We've got Iraq. We're going to get doomed.

DAVID GONZALEZ: He kept pointing at me and said, you know, you need to pray. As soon as he pointed at me, I grabbed his arm, and I put him in a choke hold.

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Business
11:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Employment Background Checks: How Far Is Too Far?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For years, employers have used credit checks and criminal histories to vet potential hires. With the growth of social media, hiring managers now turn to websites like Facebook, and some employers go so far as to ask applicants to turn over their passwords.

Facebook warns against this procedure. Two United States senators asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether these employers are violating federal law.

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From Our Listeners
11:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Letters: Mental Health And The Military, 'The Talk'

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week, after a member of the U.S. military was accused of slaughtering civilians in Afghanistan, we talked about how the military assesses mental fitness. Eman(ph) wrote from Sunnyvale, California to say the entire discussion left him uneasy. I feel very uncomfortable with the shooter-as-victim narrative that seems to be running through the U.S. media's coverage of the Robert Bales case, he wrote.

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Race
11:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin Story Sparks Difficult Conversations

The death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, has sparked nationwide demonstrations and school walkouts. It has also prompted new conversations about race in America.

Health Care
11:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Health Law's Individual Mandate Has It's Day In Court

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: We will continue argument this morning in Case 11398, the Department of Health and Human Services vs. Florida. General Verrilli...

DONALD VERRILLI: Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the court, the Affordable Care Act addresses a fundamental and enduring problem in our health care system and our economy.

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Sports
11:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Season Ends For Legendary Coach Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt, head coach of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers and the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2011. As her 38th season concludes, Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins talks about suspicions that Summit won't return next year.

Author Interviews
11:57 am
Mon March 26, 2012

A Doctor's Quest To Offer 'Best Care' At End Of Life

Dr. Ira Byock is the director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Mark Washburn Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 1:02 pm

Many people hope to die peacefully at home surrounded by their loved ones, but unfortunately it usually doesn't turn out that way. Thirty percent of Americans die in nursing homes, more than half die in hospitals and nearly half of those people spend their last days in intensive care units.

In his book The Best Care Possible, Dr. Ira Byock argues that the way most Americans die is a national disgrace — an ethical, moral and economic crisis that will get a great deal worse as the baby boomers age.

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National Security
11:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Defining Nuclear Security To Address Modern Threats

Speaking in South Korea, President Barack Obama said that the U.S. can further reduce its nuclear arsenal, while maintaining its security. Some insist that a credible nuclear deterrent requires a sizeable stockpile of weapons.

Opinion
11:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Op-Ed: Why I Wrote 'Stand Your Ground' Law

Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law faces increased scrutiny after the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. State Rep. Dennis Baxley (R-Fla.) co-sponsored the law and says it does not appear to be applicable to that case.

Health Care
11:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Health Care Law's First Day In Supreme Court

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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Movie Interviews
11:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

'Losing Control' In The Movies

A new romantic comedy opens in theaters this week, and it stars a scientist as the likeable, and only slightly nerdy, main character. The film's writer and director, former scientist Valerie Weiss discusses Losing Control, and why she made the shift from lab bench to big screen.

Health
11:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Picture An Embryo

As part of an NIH-funded project, Bradley Smith, associate dean for creative work, research and graduate education at the University of Michigan, posted a collection of optical images and MRI scans of human embryos to the web. Intended for a clinical audience, Smith talks about the unexpected response he got from the public.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Alan Alda Asks Scientists "What Is A Flame?"

At age 11, actor Alan Alda asked his teacher what a flame was. He received a confusing answer: "oxidation." In the spirit of better communicating science, he's created the "Flame Challenge," a contest in which scientists do their best to define a flame. Eleven-year-olds from around the world will judge the entries.

Technology
11:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Making the Shift To Electric Vehicles

Though the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf entered the market to fanfare, the battery-powered cars haven't been selling as quickly as hybrid models such as the Toyota Prius. Industry experts discuss electric car technology, from batteries to charging stations, and what it might take to encourage drivers to make the shift.

Science
11:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Archaeologists Revisit Iraq

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Race Cards: Six Words On Trayvon Martin's Death

Protesters demonstrate at a rally for slain teenager Trayvon Martin on March 22, 2012 in Sanford, Fla.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 10:34 am

Nearly a month after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Florida, the widespread shock and outrage has grown into a nationwide movement calling for justice. This week, the Justice Department announced it would conduct a federal investigation of the incident.

But the Trayvon Martin story has also turned into a dialogue about race in America, a conversation that NPR's Michele Norris has been engaged in for over a year with her Race Card Project.

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