Talk of the Nation on AM 870 NewsTalk

Mon - Thurs 2pm - 4pm

When Americans want to be a part of the national conversation, they turn to Talk of the Nation, NPR's live, midday news-talk program. Host Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape.

From breaking news, science, and education to religion and the arts, Talk of the Nation offers listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision-makers, authors, academicians, and artists from around the world.

For two hours each Monday through Thursday, Talk of the Nation listeners weigh-in, share their thoughts and ask questions by calling, emailing, messaging through social media.

On Fridays the conversation turns to the topics of science, with Talk of the Nation: Science Friday with Ira Flatow, focusing on news and issues about the world of science and technology.

A long-time NPR journalist, Conan has been a reporter, editor, and anchor for NPR live events coverage. Conan played a major role in anchoring continuous live coverage of developments during the terrorist attacks and aftermath of September 11, 2001. His broadcasts are marked by their clarity, accuracy and eloquence.

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Colorado Crisis: America's Great River Dwindles in Drought

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 4:15 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Public Opinion On The Record Number Of Female Breadwinners

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

A new Pew study finds that in a record 40 percent of all households with kids under 18, mothers are either the sole or primary source of income. In 1960, that share was just over 10 percent. These breadwinner moms number in the millions, but about three-quarters of all adults say that the prominence of women's economic role makes it harder to raise children. Half say it's made marriage harder to succeed. If you're one of these breadwinner moms, call, tell us what we don't know about the tradeoffs.

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

The Role Of The Attorney General Throughout History

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 3:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The president throws footballs with Chris Christie on the Jersey Shore. Michele Bachmann throws in the towel in Minnesota. And Scott Gomez throws shade at Ed Markey in Massachusetts. It's Wednesday and time for a...

GABRIEL GOMEZ: Pond scum...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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Food
2:19 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Spicy Spectacles: The Hunt For The World's Hottest Pepper

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 2:57 pm

Part of a competition in Northeast India, Pu Zozam ate five chili peppers, then collapsed. Food scientists call the Bhut Jolokia he ate one of the world's hottest peppers. Writer Mary Roach talks about her experience traveling to the state of Nagaland to try the pepper for herself.

Around the Nation
2:17 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Tact, Tone And Timing: The Power Of Apology

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. I was heading out to do an errand a while back and I decided to drive, and as I approached my car, which was parked in the street, I walked up from behind and, drat, I spot the rear taillight has been smashed, somebody obviously trying to park behind me had bumped into it and cracked it open.

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Digital Life
2:11 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

What's Happened To Wonder? The Bliss Of Confusion

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 2:12 pm

As children, we are allowed to be confused, lost, and full of wonder. As adults in the age of Google, we are expected to project confidence, knowledge and understanding. Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor for The Atlantic, talks about how learning a foreign language reignited his imagination.

Around the Nation
2:09 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

The Business And Science Of Storm Shelters

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Neal Conan is away. A small hole in the ground, that's all it looked like the other day in the photo of the Christian Science Monitor, published in its coverage of a tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, a small hole in the ground surrounded on all sides by the wreckage of totally flattened homes, right up to the very edge of that hole in the ground, which oddly is rectangular in shape in the photo and has a door attached to it, flung open.

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Author Interviews
2:14 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Marking The Moment With A Meaningful 'Exit'

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. From saying goodbye to the kids in the morning to leaving a job after 25 years to the end of life, exits are universal. Long or short, big or small, we've all left home or ended friendships or marriages.

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Medical Treatments
2:11 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Is There A Doctor Aboard? Medical Emergencies In The Clouds

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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The Impact of War
2:11 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

A Grim Task: Military-Death Notification

Among the many thousands of men and women who chose to serve in the military, few volunteer for the duty of death notification. As the nation honors those killed in the line of duty, those who work intimately with the families of the fallen share their stories. (Originally broadcast May 29, 2006.)

Pop Culture
2:11 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

From 'Groovy' To 'Slacks,' The Words That Date You

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Cathy, a fifth-grade teacher in Stryker, Ohio, wrote to tell us that she elicited giggles when she complemented a student's footwear and called them thongs. A self-described ex-hippie named Paul emailed that he catches himself using the phrase, that's heavy. Sooner or later, once common words or phrases take on new meanings or just seem way, way out of date. Call and tell us about the term you've used that dates you.

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Medical Treatments
2:58 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Studies Question Potential Alzheimer's Treatment

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. Last year, researchers reported a breakthrough in treating Alzheimer's disease. They'd found a drug that appeared to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's in mice. The drug was already on the market, approved by the FDA to treat a type of skin cancer, meaning Alzheimer's patients could ask their doctors for a prescription, and some did.

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Environment
2:58 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Reinventing Farming For A Changing Climate

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. You've likely heard of the legendary explorers Lewis and Clark, but maybe not of the U.S. Army explorer Stephen Harriman Long, an engineer who led a scientific expedition through the Great Plains 15 years after Lewis and Clark.

His expedition traveled through Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. And what did his crew make of "America's Breadbasket"? A place wholly unfit for cultivation or agriculture, they said. On a map, the explorers labeled the Great Plains as the Great American Desert.

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Animals
1:01 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

'Crazy Ants' Spreading In The Southeastern US

In parts of the southeastern US, aggressive fire ants have been driven out by an even more recent arrival, the tawny crazy ant. Edward LeBrun, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, describes the newcomers and how one invasive species can out-invade another.

NPR Story
11:53 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Having a Dog May Mean Having Extra Microbes

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 2:57 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. If you could count up all the bacteria in your house, how many different species do you think you'd find - 50, a couple hundred? How about thousands, with an S at the end? My next guest had volunteers swab surfaces in their home - pillowcase, the TV screen, the toilet seat - to see what might be living there. And in each of the 40 households, the same spots were swabbed.

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NPR Story
11:53 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Tackling New Tech In The Golden Years

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 2:58 pm

Smartphones, tablets and computers could help seniors stay connected to their communities and families. But a hefty price tag, steep learning curves, and designs meant for younger eyes and hands could keep some older adults from logging on. Guests discuss the best ways for seniors to tackle new technology, and how devices can be adapted to accommodate older users.

NPR Story
11:53 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Tracking Killer Tornadoes

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 2:58 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

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Arts & Life
1:30 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

A Read Down Memory Lane: Lessons From Your Former Self

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 1:55 pm

Writings from childhood — cards, stories and other notes — can hide for decades, like time capsules tucked away in boxes, old bedrooms, attics and journals. Writer Jim Sollisch talks about how old thank you notes from his youth foreshadowed his adult life.

Asia
1:30 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

A Look Ahead To The Flash Point In The South China Sea

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 1:54 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Close to half of the world's maritime traffic passes through the South China Sea. Vast deposits of oil and natural gas are believed to lie beneath the ocean floor there. These waters are also the scene of bitter international rivalry as at least five smaller countries find themselves in lopsided disputes with China.

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National Security
1:30 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

The President's Remarks On The Future Of National Security

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 1:48 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is special coverage from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. In just a few minutes, President Obama will deliver what's described as a major address at the National Defense University here in Washington, D.C., a speech where he's expected to refocus strategy and tactics in the war against al-Qaida and its affiliates.

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Digital Life
4:31 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

How That 'Nigerian Email Scam' Got Started

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

If you have an email account, you've almost certainly received a message that sounds something like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I am Mr. Edward Impoya(ph), a member of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: We are members of the special committee.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I am Mr. Ahmed Guraba(ph), the bills and exchange director at the Foreign Remittance Department.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: I am David Mapalay(ph), the first son of Dr. Jonathan Mapalay(ph).

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Law
1:57 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Why Urban Dictionary Comes In Handy On The Witness Stand

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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Politics
1:55 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

With White House Bogged Down By Scandal, GOP Looks For Boost

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Immigration reform heads to the Senate floor, ex-congressman Weiner guns for Gracie Mansion, and Senator Inhofe on the distinction between disaster aid for a superstorm and tornados. It's Wednesday, and time for a...

SENATOR JAMES INHOFE: Totally different...

CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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Around the Nation
2:14 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

When Tornadoes Are A Way Of Life

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Residents of Moore, Oklahoma, are coming to grips with one of the most devastating tornadoes in history. Dozens are dead, and that toll is expected to rise. We'll speak with a meteorologist about forecasting such a disaster when lives are at stake. Also, growing up in Tornado Alley.

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Business
2:07 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Apple, Tech Giants And An Industrial-Age Tax Code

Apple CEO Timothy Cook made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, testifying after congressional investigators revealed that Apple avoided billions in taxes. Reporter Charles Duhigg of The New York Times and guest host Jennifer Ludden talk about how, as Duhigg writes, "technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age."

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Humans
2:05 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

The Art And Science Of Motivation

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. Neal Conan is away. It's graduation season, and that means 20-somethings and parents sitting through long commencement ceremonies while the older and wiser give advice. Here's comedian Stephen Colbert speaking at the University of Virginia.

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Law
2:03 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Would Lowering The Drunk Driving Threshold Make Us Safer?

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended lowering the blood alcohol content threshold for drunken driving from .08 to .05. The NTSB argues this could save millions of lives each year, but critics beg to differ. Some say lack of enforcement is the problem. Others point to our casual attitude about drinking and driving. Meanwhile, lowering the threshold could have implications for law enforcement, bartenders, maybe your dinner party.

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Around the Nation
2:14 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Tiny Living: The Rise Of Small Spaces

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Population in America's big cities is surging, and more people are choosing to live alone. But where? As the demand for housing rises, some renters are opting to downsize their belongings and move to smaller spaces - much smaller. Imagine a single room no larger than many American closets and a community kitchen shared with multiple residents.

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Around the Nation
2:10 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

The Future Of The Workers' Movement

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Non-unionized fast food workers walked off the job in Milwaukee last week, demanding, among other things, a raise to $15 an hour. Their actions follow those of workers in four other cities this spring, part of what some are calling the new face of the labor movement, that is collective action outside of traditional union membership.

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Latin America
2:04 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Life In Argentina's 'Little School' Prison Camp

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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