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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Arts & Life
1:26 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

The Prickly Process Of Changing Your Name

At 24, Silas Hansen left his birth name, Lindsay, behind.
Raena Shirali

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 2:00 pm

Names are possessions that we carry with us all our lives. But we seldom think about what goes into picking the right one. Some choose to change their first names in adulthood, because of family history or pure disdain for a moniker. For Silas Hansen, the reason was that he's transgender.

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Music
1:45 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

'Accidental Racist': The Controversy And The Conversation

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:49 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Country star Brad Paisley released a new album today, not usually something that becomes a national news item. But one song on "Wheelhouse" is generating conversation even before most people get a chance to hear it.

"Accidental Racist" is a collaboration with rapper LL Cool J. Brad Paisley sings of a Southern white man in a Starbucks who believes he's being judged for the Confederate battle flag on his T-shirt and responds with an appeal for understanding.

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Around the Nation
1:45 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

A Look Inside White Supremacist Prison Gangs

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:38 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Over the past few weeks, a white supremacist prison gang called the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas has emerged as one of the groups that may have had a motive to murder two prosecutors in Kaufman County. While any connection to those crimes is speculative at this point, there are stronger links between another white supremacist gang called the 211 Crew and the murder of Tom Clements, the head of Colorado's prison system, last month.

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From Our Listeners
1:45 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Letters: Adult ADHD, Second Chances In Politics, Isolation

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:55 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:02 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

How Margaret Thatcher Changed The World

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:06 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Margaret Thatcher spoke with utter conviction in her principles and absolute certainty in her actions. If she inspired passionate opposition, she couldn't care less. She reveled in her enemies and made them easily.

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NPR Story
2:02 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Op-Ed:

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 3:51 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:02 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

North Korea's Threats: Predicable Pattern Or Provocation?

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 4:05 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Tensions between North and South Korea show no sign of abatement. Today the North Korean government officially suspended operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex and withdrew all of its more than 50,000 workers. Many consider the complex the last remaining symbol of North and South Korean cooperation.

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NPR Story
11:46 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Searching For The Roots of 'Right' And 'Wrong'

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:54 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

You know, one of the first ideas drilled to you as a sort of a foreign idea to you as a kid is that life is not fair. How come she got a pony for her birthday, I got a goldfish, something like that? Yeah, right, yeah. but where did we even get the sense of what's fair and what's not, of what's right, what's wrong, our sense of justice? Were they from theologians, spiritualists, philosophers, Talk show hosts?

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NPR Story
11:46 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Tracking A Rise In ADHD Diagnosis

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:54 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Earlier this week, the New York Times reported new CDC data on diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, in kids. And the numbers are startling, with 11 percent of the parents surveyed reporting a diagnosis of ADHD for their school-age kids, higher numbers for some sub-groups of age and gender. That's a big jump. Estimates before that had been that ADHD affected somewhere from three to seven percent of children.

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NPR Story
11:46 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Building Synthetic Tissues from Water Droplets?

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:54 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

That flute can only mean that Flora Lichtman is here. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: Flora is our correspondent and managing editor for video. And we've got our Video Pick of the Week.

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Remembrances
4:07 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

'Simple And Straighforward': Remembering Film Critic Roger Ebert

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 5:46 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Murray, we're just hearing that film critic Roger Ebert has died. The Chicago Sun Times, Ebert's paper, tweeted the news a few moments ago. Ebert, of course, an icon of film criticism, a one-time filmmaker himself, best known perhaps for his days on TV with fellow critic Gene Siskel. Their thumbs up or thumbs down rating system now a de facto review method of critics and filmgoers alike.

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Around the Nation
3:36 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Tackling Terrible Traffic: How Cities Try To Ease Commutes

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 5:46 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Some of you are sitting in traffic right now, muttering darkly about how it's possible to hit every single red light. Los Angeles, a city that suffers more congestion than most, tried to unclog traffic for years by synchronizing its lights. Earlier this year, it became the first major city to tie all its traffic lights to a computerized system that uses motion sensors and cameras to monitor flows of traffic. They report modest improvements, but do drivers notice any change?

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Movies
2:15 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Starting At The Beginning: The Promise Of Prequels

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 5:46 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Like a lot of new movies, "Oz: The Great and Powerful" skips down some familiar pathways. Twenty years before Dorothy, Toto and friends followed the yellow brick road and a couple of witches consider the arrival of one Oscar Diggs who fancies himself a wizard.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL")

MILA KUNIS: (as Theodora) I simply want peace. That's all I ever wanted and the wizard can do that. He's a good man.

RACHEL WEISZ: (as Evanora) What do you know about goodness? Deep down you are wicked.

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Sports
2:06 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Op-Ed: Rutgers Waited Too Long To Fire Abusive Coach

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 5:56 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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National Security
2:04 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

The Least Bad Options For Guantanamo Bay

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 5:46 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. U.S. officials acknowledge that nearly a quarter of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are on hunger strike. Defense lawyers say the strike includes nearly all the detainees. The International Committee of the Red Cross believes the cause can be traced to uncertainty.

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Politics
2:19 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Second Chances In American Politics

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The president talks guns in Colorado. Hillary Clinton supporters talk 2016. And in New York City, six pols busted for talking turkey. It's Wednesday and time for a...

DAN HALLORAN: It's all about how much...

CONAN: ...edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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Science
2:18 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

The Remarkable Biodiversity Of Belly Buttons

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:42 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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On Aging
2:11 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Isolation V. Loneliness: The Difference And Why It Matters

Researchers from University College London followed thousands of people over the age of 52 for seven to eight years to assess the effect of loneliness and isolation. Isolation, not loneliness, may actually shorten people's lives regardless of health or income.

From Our Listeners
3:04 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Letters: Gun Violence, 'New Mind Of The South'

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics, including the epidemiology of gun violence, what it means to be a 'Southerner' and going off the map.

Mental Health
2:03 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

A Focus On Adults: Living With Chronic ADHD

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 2:57 pm

With rates of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at alarming highs, a study confirms that, for many, the condition persists into adulthood. A study by the Boston Children's Hospital and the Mayo Clinic finds that the chronic form of ADHD can lead to depression and substance abuse.

Science
2:03 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

The Buzz On Bees: Why Many Colonies Are Collapsing

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 2:57 pm

Bees have been dying off in increasing numbers over the past few years. Experts say that habitat loss and disease are the biggest culprits, and some believe that pesticides are to blame. NPR science correspondent Dan Charles explains the possible causes and what is being done to stop this trend.

Around the Nation
2:03 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

What Changes As Women Rise Through Law Enforcement's Ranks

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 2:57 pm

President Barack Obama named Julia Pierson as the head of the Secret Service, the first female director in the agency's history. At least one woman is said to be on the shortlist for FBI director. Women are also climbing the ranks on local police forces as well.

Politics
2:27 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

The Politics Of The Guest-Worker Program

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO agreed on a plan for a new system to import temporary workers. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving discusses the politics of the business-labor immigration deal. Rusty Barr, owner of Barr Evergreens, shares how he uses the guest-worker program.

Opinion
2:18 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Op-Ed: The Iraq War's Lessons For Syria

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 8:23 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And now Syria and Iraq on the Opinion Page this week. As we reconsider the 10 years since the invasion of Iraq, Washington Post editor Jackson Diehl says we should learn from that costly experience as we consider the civil war in Syria. About absent U.S. intervention, he argues, Syria could produce a much worse humanitarian disaster than Iraq. The tragedy of the post-Iraq logic embraced by President Obama, writes Diehl, is that it has ruled out not just George W. Bush-style invasions, but also more modest interventions.

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Sports
2:00 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

How Coaches Get Teams Through Rough Spots

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 3:02 pm

In Sunday night's NCAA men's basketball tournament, Louisville guard Kevin Ware suffered a gruesome injury. Coach Rick Pitino rallied the team and led them to a victory over Duke. When accidents like this happen, coaches are tasked with rallying team members and keeping them focused.

Space
9:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

Studying Rocks Found On Earth For Clues About Space

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

For the rest of the hour, we're going to talk about meteorites. They are more than just a chunk of rock. They can be a time capsule, or ancient secrets of our solar system may be locked up in its core. And it turns out - I didn't know this - that one of the largest meteorite collections, the largest one, the largest collection held by any university is just up the road from us in Tempe. And joining us now to talk about the collection is Meenakshi Wadhwa.

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NPR Story
9:02 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Segment 2

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 9:21 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. And for the rest of the hour we're going to talk about collisions, space collisions, space impacts, with Erik Asphaug, who's Ronald Greeley chair of planetary geology, School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY.

ERIK ASPHAUG: Thanks very much, Ira.

FLATOW: You must be very busy since this last collision in Russia of this asteroid.

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NPR Story
9:02 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Segment 3

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 9:19 am

When does a story about science become science fiction? Cosmologist Lawrence Krauss and theoretical physicist Brian Greene discuss how to spin a yarn about string theory or the Big Bang, without hyping the science. And novelist Ian McEwan, whose books touch on neurosurgery and quantum field theory, talks about what science offers to fiction.

NPR Story
9:02 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Segment 1

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 9:26 am

The Sonoran Desert, which spans some 100,000 square miles in southwestern North America, is one of the most diverse desert ecosystems in the world. Host Ira Flatow and guests discuss some lesser known desert creatures, and explore the secret life of that American southwest icon, the saguaro cactus.

NPR Story
2:28 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Catching Up With The World's Youngest Female Cannonball

Elliana Grace Hentoff-Killian is on tour with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show Built to Amaze!
Feld Entertainment

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 3:00 pm

Elliana Grace Hentoff-Killian grew up in the circus.

She made her circus debut at age 2 and mastered her first circus act at 6, when she learned the Spanish web — an aerial act performed on a rope. Now, at 20, she is currently the youngest female human cannonball in the world.

"I never thought I was going to be doing the cannon. I was always the one sitting there saying, 'You've got to be insane to get shot out of a cannon,' " she tells NPR's Celeste Headlee. "And, of course, that's what I'm doing now."

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