Talk Of The Nation

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 health care, Talk Of  The Nation offers call-in listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with a variety of guests.

Composer ID: 
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NPR Story
7:50 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Science Looked Good In 2012

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:23 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

And now joining us is Flora Lichtman. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: Multimedia editor with our Video Pick of the Week, and it's topical, of course.

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NPR Story
7:50 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Cold-Water Fish Break The Ice With Antifreeze

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:33 am

Cold-water fish, snow-dwelling bugs and some grasses have evolved natural antifreeze proteins to avoid turning to ice cubes. Peter Davies, a biologist at Queen's University in Ontario, discusses how these antifreeze substances work, and their applications for human problems--like keeping the ice out of ice cream.

NPR Story
7:50 am
Fri January 4, 2013

'Full Planet, Empty Plates'

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:33 am

In Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity, Lester Brown says the world's food supply is tightening, and the reasons are many. People in developing countries are eating more meat, a grain-intensive food; farmers are overpumping, causing water tables to fall; and crop yields have plateaued, despite technological advances.

Law
10:59 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Op-Ed: The Constitution Is Just 'A Poetic Piece Of Parchment'

Law professor Mike Seidman argues that it's time to reexamine the role of the Constitution.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 8:01 am

One of the cornerstones of American democracy is the pledge that every federal officer takes to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

In a piece in The New York Times, Georgetown law professor Mike Seidman argues that our reliance on the document has created a divisive and dysfunctional political system.

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National Security
10:55 am
Thu January 3, 2013

The F-35 Fighter Jet: The Cost And Controversy

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

If plans go ahead, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be the workhorse of the Air Force, Navy and Marines for decades to come. The F-35 boasts a sleek profile that makes it nearly invisible to radar, and it's scheduled to replace as many as 10 planes that are currently in service, including the venerable F-16. Lieutenant Colonel Todd LaFortune is among the first to make the transition.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

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Author Interviews
10:55 am
Thu January 3, 2013

From Puberty To Pop Culture: What It Means 'To Be A Woman'

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 9:13 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Every year, we look back at some of the books we missed the previous year. Today, "How to be a Woman." British columnist and critic Caitlin Moran describes that process through her own experiences - the embarrassing moments of puberty; and the perils of fashion, career, marriage, childbirth; and along the way, explores what it means to be a feminist today - and does it all with a rare sense of humor.

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Around the Nation
11:34 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Closing The Circle: Memorable Stories Of 2012

Talk of the Nation kicks off the new year by taking time to follow up on some stories from 2012. NPR's Neal Conan talks with some of the memorable guests and callers from 2012, including a farmer devastated by drought and a new mom evacuated from a hospital during Superstorm Sandy.

Politics
11:08 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Incoming Congressional Reps. Discuss The Fiscal Fights Ahead

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Congress clamors back up the cliff but not before the speaker flips off the majority leader, and it's déjà vu all over again as we hit the debt ceiling. It's Wednesday and time for a....

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Groundhog Day...

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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NPR Story
10:55 am
Tue January 1, 2013

House Prepares To Take Up Senate Budget Compromise

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 11:35 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Early this morning, the Senate approved a fiscal cliff package that includes some important steps forward on taxes, an unemployment extension and a new farm bill, among others. But now it appears that bill may be in trouble in the House of Representatives. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins us now from his home here in Washington, D.C. Ron, Happy New Year.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Happy New Year to you, Neal.

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NPR Story
10:55 am
Tue January 1, 2013

How Will The Budget Deal Affect The U.S. Economy?

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 11:35 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. This afternoon, House Democrats and Republicans are meeting separately to consider the Senate-approved deal that would avert automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. Some House Republicans indicate they'd like to amend that bill and send it back to the Senate, which if it doesn't get done tonight could invalidate the negotiated deal. It would then become a problem for the next Congress, which takes office on Thursday. As of now, no vote is scheduled.

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NPR Story
10:55 am
Tue January 1, 2013

The Rose Parade's Evolution Into A Cultural Event

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 11:35 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Right now in Pasadena, the floats in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade are the homestretch. The Rose Parade is a long-established national tradition, of course, watched every year by hundreds of thousands across the country. Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison covered the event many times and wrote today: Its huge cultural shadow has been as much about what you didn't see on display as what you did.

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Remembrances
11:06 am
Mon December 31, 2012

A Tribute To The Remarkable Lives We Lost In 2012

Clockwise from top left: Conservationist Ralph Frese, novelist Rosa Guy, political activist Oswaldo Paya, inventor Frances Hashimoto.
Photo credits, clockwise from top left: Courtesy of Laurance Reed; Fern Logan; Jorge Rey/AP; Toyo/Gary Miyatake

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 11:22 am

In 2012, the nation mourned the deaths of some extremely influential individuals — from singer Whitney Houston to astronaut Neil Armstrong, writer Maurice Sendak and TV personality Dick Clark.

Each year, Talk of the Nation reaches out to colleagues at NPR for help remembering some of the remarkable men and woman who did not make the front page when they died, but whose lives still made a significant impact.

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Politics
10:58 am
Mon December 31, 2012

President Obama Speaks On The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:58 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Less than 10 hours from now, we arrive at the political deadline set by Congress and the president a year and a half ago when they mandated a deal on taxes and spending so awful, so unthinkable, that the prospect would surely force a compromise.

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NPR Story
9:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

The Renaissance Man Who Got It All Wrong

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 10:03 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. You've heard of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Galileo, Newton, maybe even Pascal and Hooke, all Renaissance men who, between them, innovated in painting, sculpture, physics, math, chemistry, astronomy, architecture, philosophy, the list goes on. But how about Athanasius Kircher? Yeah, have you heard of him? Not ringing - no bells are ringing?

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NPR Story
9:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

'Consider the Fork' Chronicles Evolution of Eating

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 10:03 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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