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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Children's Health
1:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Autism Rates Have Spiked, But Why?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly one percent of U.S. children have some form of autism, 20 times higher than the rate in the 1980s. Alan Zarembo of The Los Angeles Times and clinical psychologist Catherine Lord discuss what's behind the growing number of diagnoses.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Jake Shimabukuro Gives Ukelele A Chance To Shine

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 11:35 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Well, contrary to the old belief, the ukulele is no joke. Just listen to this.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

What Lessons Should Americans Draw From Iraq War?

The American public, military and the intelligence community were all affected by the Iraq war. Tom Ricks of the Center for a New American Security, retired Marine Col. Gary Anderson and Army veteran Andrew Exum discuss how Americans will remember the war, and what we should learn from it.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Dorfman on Havel: One Playwright Remembers Another

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 2:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Future Uncertain For Reclusive North Korea

The death of North Korea's Kim Jong Il leaves many open questions about the secretive country's future. Former Ambassador Christopher Hill and North Korea experts Hazel Smith and Alexander Monsourov discuss how Kim's death may affect the country's relationship with the international community.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

'The Art Of Fielding': Baseball Meets Literature

Chad Harbach's debut novel The Art of Fielding is as much about literary fiction as it is about America's national past time. The book follows the baseball team at a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin — with side trips to the big leagues of American literature.

Henry Skrimshander is that college's talented but socially awkward shortstop, destined for big-league stardom. But when a routine throw goes wrong, Henry's life falls apart as he ends up embroiled in conflicts with his teammates, his roommate and a school administrator.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

What Makes Wings Work?

Researchers at New York University are studying flight with a speaker, a soup pot, straws and a box full of paper aircraft. Emeritus professor Stephen Childress describes the experiment and what he and his colleagues have learned about flight from their homemade flying objects.

Medical Treatments
1:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Treating Stress, Speech Disorders With Music

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. You know that nice feeling you get when you listen to your favorite tune? What about music that can actually be medical therapy? It does exist. It's prescribed for illnesses from speech disorders to autism, Alzheimer's, even cancer.

Take the case of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. After she was shot in the head earlier this year, one way she learned to talk again was by singing her favorite songs, like this Cyndi Lauper tune.

(SOUNDBITE OF ABC BROADCAST )

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Science Diction: The Origin Of The Petri Dish

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

It's time for our monthly episode of Science Diction, where we explore the origins of scientific words with my guest Howard Markel, professor of history of medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, also director of the Center for the History of Medicine there. He joins us WUOM. Welcome back, Howard.

HOWARD MARKEL: Good afternoon, Ira.

FLATOW: We have a very interesting word, or actually lab equipment today.

MARKEL: That we do. It's my favorite plate. It's the Petri dish.

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Research News
1:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Physicists Find 'Hints' of Elusive Higgs Boson

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Scientists have been searching for decades for a subatomic particle called the Higgs Boson. You've heard about it. It's been in the news, and you know, in theory, it explains why and how objects have mass.

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Technology
1:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Exploring The Science Of Flying, From Your Window Seat

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 1:57 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This holiday season I'm sure is finding many of us on airplanes, flying around the country. It could take tedious hours of body scans, the crummy back-of-the-seat TV and scary airplane bumps and noises. But if you marvel at nature and technology, though, you can turn this torturous event into a more enjoyable learning experience.

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NPR Story
2:28 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Life With 'Gabby,' Before And After The Shooting

When Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords were dating, Gabby did most of the talking. Kelly describes her as "the most positive person I'd ever met." But since the Congresswoman was shot, speaking is a challenge. In their book, Gabby, they share their low points and the amazing progress she has made.

Law
1:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

High-Profile Cases Fill Supreme Court's Docket

The Supreme Court faces a momentous term in 2012. The justices recently added two high-profile cases to its docket, agreeing to weigh-in on Arizona's immigration law and a Texas case on redistricting. They previously agreed to hear a challenge to the Obama administration's health care law.

The Impact of War
1:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

What Was Gained, And Lost, In The Iraq War

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited Baghdad Thursday to mark the end of the nearly nine-year-long U.S. mission in Iraq. He told troops, "You will leave with great pride.... Secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to begin a new chapter in history."

Games & Humor
1:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

The Best Video Games For Your Holiday Gift List

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 3:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Politics
1:00 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

2012 Campaign Ads Owe Debt To 'Daisy Petals'

The GOP presidential hopefuls are airing ads in nearly all of the early voting states. NPR's Ken Rudin, political ad expert Ken Goldstein and Robert Mann, author of Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ, Barry Goldwater, and the Ad that Changed American Politics talk about ads past and present.

Your Money
1:00 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Money Scams Snare Desperate Investors

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 2:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

'Tis the season for scams. The suspicious email asking for a helping hand, the website that promises a free product in exchange for a credit card number, or the bogus charity. This year, there's been a significant increase in investment scams, Ponzi schemes, fraudulent promissory notes and worthless investment contracts targeting especially at baby boomers. Kelly Greene is a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and joins us now from her office in New York. Nice to have you with us today.

KELLY GREENE: Thank you for having me.

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Education
1:00 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Does A College Education Have To Cost So Much?

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 2:17 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. College tuition and fees rose over 400 percent between 1982 and 2007. Let me repeat that: 400 percent in 25 years. Many students get help from financial aid and scholarships, not to mention their parents.

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Television
1:00 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Crowd-Sourced Giving Changes Philanthropy

Websites like Kickstarter, Kiva and Giving Tree are changing how people donate money. With what's known as microphilanthropy, individuals, non-profits and even small businesses raise money directly from individual donors. Journalist and author Laura Vanderkam explains how crowd funding works.

NPR Story
2:10 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Slipping Out Of The Middle Class Can Hit Kids Hard

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 2:10 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The Department of Agriculture reports that the number of students receiving free or reduced lunch soared by 17 percent last year. That's up to 21 million. Given the state of the economy, the statistics may come as no surprise, but each new child who qualifies for free lunch means another family fallen out of the middle class.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Op-Ed: Protests In Russia Can't Sideline Putin

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And now the Opinion Page, which was moved - which we moved from its regular Monday slot this week because of our special broadcast yesterday from National Geographic. After big demonstrations in Moscow and other cities in Russia over the weekend, we heard comparisons to the Arab Spring. Some predicted the protests could herald sweeping change. In an op-ed for The New York Times, Kathryn Stoner-Weiss argues that the protests are not completely meaningless, but she concluded that things will go on, much as they did before.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Letters: The Postal Service,Why We Gossip

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Troop Pullout Not The End Of US Presence In Iraq

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. About 5,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, and they will all leave by the end of this month. Yesterday, President Obama marked the end of the nearly nine-year-long war as a campaign promise kept. He stood beside Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki yesterday and reflected on the costs and said U.S. troops will leave with their heads held high.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Medicare, Medicare Hard To Change, Says Former Head

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Until the beginning of this month, Donald Berwick served as administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Berwick's nomination got caught up in the partisan politics that accompany passage of the health care law, and he took office under a controversial recess appointment. His mission was to make the centers more efficient, to cut costs and to deliver more patient-centered care. On his way out of office, he said that as much as a third of the money spent on Medicare and Medicaid is wasted.

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World
1:00 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

Megacities: Scars On The Earth, Or Keys To Growth?

Critics have long derided the world's biggest cities as disorderly, overcrowded and polluted. But in recent years, as the planet's population continues to rise past seven billion and more and more people flock to urban areas, some now argue that cities may hold the key to sustainable growth.

World
1:00 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

The Insidious Tradition Of Taking Child Brides

Millions of young girls around the world, some as young as five, are forced into marriage every year. The practice is forbidden by international agreements and outlawed in many countries. But many young brides end up in abusive relationships without access to courts or education.

Environment
1:00 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

As Global Population Grows, Water Matters More

Clean, fresh water is an essential element to life — not only do people and animals depend on it, but it also sustains many businesses and agriculture. The majority of the fresh water used worldwide goes to irrigation, and the need is expected to rise with the growing global population.

Asia
1:00 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

A Trip Through Japan's Nuclear Exclusion Zone

Three months after the tsunami and nuclear disaster struck Japan, AP photographer David Guttenfelder ventured into the exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The only non-Japanese photographer allowed in, he captured crumbling reactor buildings and haunting footprints.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Inbreeding To Blame For Bedbug Renaissance

Presenting at a meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, researchers said bedbugs can survive many generations of inbreeding, allowing one pregnant female to cause a building-wide infestation. Biologist Rajeev Vaidyanathan discusses that study, and another on pesticide resistance.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Engineers Give The Jump Rope A Spin

When they both worked at Princeton, Howard Stone and Jeff Aristoff used to play basketball at lunchtime. One day, when Dr. Stone was warming up with his jump rope, the two wondered if anyone had mathematically modeled the shape of the rope. The two researchers decided to give it a whirl.

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