Talk of the Nation

Talk of the Nation linked the headlines with what's on people's minds, providing a springboard for listeners and experts to exchange ideas and pose critical questions about major events in the news and the world around them. Each day, Talk of the Nation combined the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result was a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

Talk of the Nation ended its 17-year run on June 27, 2013.

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Afghanistan
2:05 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Afghanistan: When Should Longest U.S. War End?

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 5:15 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The war in Afghanistan has gone largely unmentioned by both presidential campaigns. When it does come up, conversations focus not so much on what happening now but withdrawal.

If timetables hold, the U.S. and NATO will hand over combat operations to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, but plans call for American troops to stay on for many years in support and counterterrorism roles.

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Politics
2:05 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Well-Liked Leaders Know The Secret: Make Us Laugh

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 5:15 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Last week, after Donald Trump asked President Obama to produce more records to prove his citizenship, the president used an appearance on "The Tonight Show" to dismiss the issue with a one-liner. Host Jay Leno asked, what's this thing between you and Trump?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy's October Surprise May Change 2012 Race

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The storm stops top-of-the-ticket campaigning for a couple of days; the president plays chief of state; Romney collects cans and water for disaster relief; it's Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Sandy...

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
2:00 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Disrupts Life For Weeks To Come

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:08 pm

The remnants of Hurricane Sandy continue to push north toward Canada, leaving behind flooding and destruction. Millions of people remain without electricity across more than 15 states, thousands are in shelters and it may be days before power and public transportation systems are restored.

Around the Nation
2:24 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

States Recovering From Superstorm Sandy

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. It's the day after in many places along the East Coast. Sandy, still powerful but now a post-tropical storm, continues its push to the West, bringing heavy wind, rain and snow further inland.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie surveyed the flooding and damage in his state and called it some of the worst he's ever seen. Con Ed, the power company in New York City, now says electricity will be restored in Manhattan and Brooklyn over the next four days.

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Around the Nation
2:09 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Inspires Hoaxes, Halts Business

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 3:29 pm

As Sandy moved north, stories and pictures of her power spread across social media. But not every photo could be believed. And on Wall Street, Sandy exacted a financial toll, closing down trading for two consecutive days.

Around the Nation
1:58 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Listeners In Hurricane's Path Report On Sandy

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 2:54 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
1:58 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Record-Breaking 'Superstorm' Sandy Hammers Coast

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 2:28 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. We've followed Sandy for more than a week now as the late-season storm developed in the Caribbean, pounded Cuba, Haiti and other islands, brushed past Florida and headed up the East Coast.

Unusually, it's taken a sharp turn to the west. Even more unusually, it's combined with a more winter-like system to become an enormous event that's already dumping snow in the Appalachians, surging water ashore in Lower Manhattan and slashing winds and rain from Virginia to Massachusetts.

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Opinion
1:58 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Op-Ed: U.S. Isn't Losing War In Afghanistan

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 2:43 pm

In a piece in the Washington Post, retired Army officer John Nagl argues that the U.S. has forgotten what losing a war really looks like. Nagl talks about what's been accomplished in Afghanistan, and the concerns that remain.

Politics
1:58 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Politics At Work: What Crosses The Line?

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 2:52 pm

With just over a week left before what may be another very tight election, many offices are seeing more and more heated conversations about politics. But what are the rules? Employment lawyer John Barr and human resources expert Lynn Taylor talk about the collision of politics and the workplace.

Books
1:08 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

The SciFri Book Club Falls For Mr. Feynman

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Time for our monthly meeting of the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club. Here with me are SCIENCE FRIDAY's multimedia editor, Flora Lichtman, and our senior producer, Annette Heist. And this month we have the physics - physics on our to-do list, right? A classic book by Richard Feynman, Annette?

ANNETTE HEIST, BYLINE: That's right. It is called "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character."

FLATOW: How did we pick that one?

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Digital Life
1:05 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

In Twitter We Trust: Can Social Media Sway Voters?

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. There it was in big, bold type on the Fox News website, how Twitter may have tipped the election for Romney. A column written by Juan Williams, who points out that Twitter reported there were, quote, a whopping 10.3 million tweets during the first debate, unquote.

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NPR Story
12:37 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Scared To Death... Literally

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 1:03 pm

Earthquakes, terrorist attacks and muggings have all scared people to death. Sporting events, too, sometimes cause frenzied fans to drop dead. Neurologist Martin Samuels of Brigham and Women's Hospital explains how positive or negative excitement can lead to a heart-stopping surge of adrenaline.

NPR Story
12:37 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Medusa's Gaze And Vampire's Bite

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SPOOKY MUSIC AND HOWLING)

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next up, the science of monsters. Like most myths, there are some real-world phenomena behind the stories. Take vampires, for example. Let me read you a passage from Bram Stoker's "Dracula," where Professor Van Helsing describes the monster.

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NPR Story
12:37 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Plunging Into the Science of BASE Jumping

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, time for our Video Pick of the Week. Flora Lichtman, our multimedia editor is here.

Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: You have a super-duper, super-duper this week.

LICHTMAN: Yes, and we have one of our listeners to thank. It is about - this week's video is about humans who fly.

FLATOW: Humans who - well, you get in the plane and you fly.

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