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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Religion
1:59 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Atonement In Judaism, Christianity And Islam

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, begins at sundown next Tuesday. It's one of the holiest days of the year and marks a time for reflection and repentance. People of many faith backgrounds, and also those who are not especially religious, think about atonement, what it takes to achieve it, and how it affects their lives.

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Politics
2:07 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

The Inner Workings Of The Romney Campaign

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Forty-seven percent, the Palestinians have no interest in peace, and it would be easier to get elected president as a Latino. It's Wednesday and time for a...

MITT ROMNEY: Not elegantly stated...

CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.

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?

SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

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Education
2:00 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

What The Chicago Strike Taught Teachers Unions

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:59 pm

The strike in Chicago, the nation's third-largest school district, raises questions about teachers unions nationwide. Jane Hannaway, vice president of the American Institutes for Research, and Andrew Rotherham, co-founder of Bellwether Education, explain how different teachers unions work.

Sports
2:00 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Mets' Pitcher Makes 'Knuckleball!' His Own

Pitcher R.A. Dickey sits in the Mets' locker room in the film Knuckleball!
FilmBuff

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 1:48 pm

It's an exclusive club: Pitchers who rely on the knuckleball, and win, in Major League Baseball. It's one of the most difficult and unpredictable pitches in the game. Only about 80 players have ever used the knuckleball consistently in the major leagues. Even fewer have been successful.

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is one of the few active starting pitchers in professional baseball who use this slower, methodical pitch. He's chasing 20 wins, and a possible Cy Young Award, in the 2012 season.

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Politics
4:14 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Full Romney Video Puts Comments In Context

Mother Jones released the full video of Mitt Romney at a Florida fundraising event in May that included the clips they made public of Mitt Romney commenting on the "47 percent." NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving talks about the tape and how it could affect the presidential campaign.

From Our Listeners
2:25 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Letters: Housing Market And Pervasive Poverty

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments.

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

The Pros And Cons Of Gathering Biometric Data

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:13 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Anybody who watches police procedurals on TV knows the term AFIS. That stands for the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. And over the next couple of years, it's being updated, and we're going to have to get used to a new acronym, NGIS, the Next-Generation Identification System, which incorporates an improved fingerprint system and all kinds of other biometric data, from face recognition to iris scans.

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NPR Story
2:04 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Can Anyone Compete With Apple?

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:16 pm

Demand for Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to be so big that one economist predicted sales could boost the U.S. economy 1/2 percent. And Apple's going to court to shut down what it sees as copycats. Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo talks about who's competing with Apple, and whether it's working.

NPR Story
2:04 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Hospitals Fight To Stop Superbugs' Spread

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:11 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The NIH superbug claimed its seventh victim last week, more than six months after specialists at one of the country's most prestigious hospitals thought they had the outbreak contained. The bug is called Klebsiella - I'll get it right - Klebsiella pneumoniae, or KPC for short, and most antibiotics can't kill it. It's one of several drug-resistant bacteria that many hospitals struggle to control. The best known is probably MRSA.

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NPR Story
2:50 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

What 'The Influencing Machine' Teaches College Kids

W.W. Norton & Co.

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 11:56 am

Several colleges and universities have adopted a common read program, in which first year students read the same book during the summer, then discuss it when they get to campus.

NPR'S Neal Conan talks with Brooke Gladstone, co-host of On The Media, about her book, The Influencing Machine, a graphic novel that tries to decipher the rapidly changing media business and the ways people interact with it.


Interview Highlights

On why her book works as a freshman read

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NPR Story
2:49 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Exploring 'Hidden' Jobs, From Coal Miner To Cowboy

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:31 pm

Jeanne Marie Laskas first came across "hidden America" 500 feet underground, traveling with miners through a narrow, dark coal mine in Ohio. There, she realized how dependent Americans are on the work of miners, yet most people know very little about their world or their work.

In a new book, Laskas chronicles her weeks spent following the lives of those whose jobs are nearly invisible to most of us, from air traffic controllers and truck drivers, to migrant workers and professional football cheerleaders.

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World
1:58 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Politics, Religion And Power Behind Protests

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:30 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. In Beirut today, American diplomats burned classified documents as a security precaution while Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made a rare public appearance to demand suppression of an Internet video that's triggered sometimes deadly protests since last week.

The world should know our anger will not be a passing outburst, Nasrallah told tens of thousands of his supporters. The world did not understand the level of insult to God's prophet.

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Opinion
1:58 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Op-Ed: It's Time To Fix Our Broken Password System

Many of us use the same password in multiple locations, which can leave us vulnerable to hacking.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 1:09 pm

You need one password to log in to your computer, another for your smartphone, one for your email, for your bank, your music collection, your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Experts tell us those passwords should be long, contain numbers, letters and symbols and not include personal information like birth dates. Oh, and you're supposed to remember them all, too.

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Science
2:15 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Detecting the 'Artful Dodge'

During the Republican debates, Mitt Romney told a moderator "You get to ask the questions you want. I get to give the answers I want." Social psychologist Todd Rogers talks about how likely voters are to notice a subtle dodge. James Fowler joins to discuss whether social media can send more people to the polls.

Environment
2:10 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Field Trip To A Fungi Foray

What happens at the Northeast Mycological Federation Foray? "Mushrooms only," according to attendee Gary Lincoff, an instructor at the New York Botanical Garden and author of The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. Science Friday stopped by the conference for mushroom talk, mushroom crafts, mushroom eats and a mushroom hunt.

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