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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Sports
2:06 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Hometowns Help Cheer Olympians To Victory

Sherone Simpson of Jamaica, Lauryn Williams of the U.S. and Veronica Campbell of Jamaica compete in the women's 100 meter final at the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games, the race in which Williams won her silver medal.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 3:41 pm

Before the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, U.S. sprinter Lauryn Williams accepted that her father, who was suffering from leukemia, wouldn't be there to see her compete in the 100-meter dash. But when residents of her hometown in Rochester, Pa., heard about it, they raised enough money to send her father and several other family members to Athens.

"I was very surprised," Williams tells NPR's Neal Conan. "It was really a great experience just to see everyone rally together."

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Sports
2:06 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Putting Penn State's Punishment In Perspective

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 2:23 pm

Pointing to an "unprecedented failure" at the top levels of Penn State leadership, the NCAA announced wide-ranging sanctions against the football program. NPR sports correspondent Mike Pesca talks about public reaction and what it could mean for the future of Penn State football.

Sports
2:05 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Technology Could Give Athletes An Edge At Olympic Park

Engineers say technologies like spray-on clothing and 3D-printed shoes could help future Olympians break records. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Philippa Oldham discusses how technology impacts sporting performance and why engineers should work closely with regulators.

Environment
1:56 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Its Budget Sunk, Undersea Lab May Have To Surface

Florida's Aquarius Reef Base is the only working undersea lab left today. But now that federal funds have dried up, it may be forced to surface. Oceanographer Sylvia Earle joins Science Friday from inside Aquarius, 60 feet underwater, to talk about sponges, corals and other life she's observed on the reef.

Environment
1:55 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Melting The World's Biggest Ice Cube

Antarctica has 90 percent of the world's ice--and it's melting. Ice sheet guru Bob Bindschadler talks about climate change in Antarctica, and rising sea levels across the globe. Plus, biologist Diana Wall talks about hidden life in the barren Dry Valleys, and microbe hunter John Priscu talks about "bugs in the ice."

Television
1:47 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Neuroscientist Turned Crime Solver in "Perception"

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 2:56 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PERCEPTION)

ERIC MCCORMACK: (As Doctor Daniel Pierce) In this class, we're interested in what goes on in the brain. And if we were to put someone in an FMRI machine and watch what happens when they make up a lie, we'd see their dorsolateral prefrontal cortex light up like a Christmas tree...

(LAUGHTER)

MCCORMACK: (As Doctor Daniel Pierce) ...because we use our brains when we lie. We use our brains when we're being lied to. But can the brain ever lie to itself?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:47 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Sniffing Out The Science Behind Sports Doping

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:02 pm

How does blood doping boost performance in events like the Tour de France? Do anabolic steroids help the world's fastest man run faster? In his book, Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat , Chris Cooper discusses how these banned drugs work, or don't — and how they are detected.

NPR Story
1:47 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Getting High: Physics Of The Fosbury Flop

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 1:59 pm

The world record for high jump — the event in which a person hurdles himself over a horizontal bar — is just over 8 feet. That's like leaping over a stop sign, and clearing it by a foot. Jesus Dapena, of Indiana University, has studied the high jump for 30 years, filming athletes to understand exactly how they produce the force required to clear the bar.

Politics
2:42 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Double Standard? Candidates, Politicians And Taxes

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
1:59 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Effects Of Midwest Drought Spread Across Nation

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:15 pm

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that more than 80 percent of the continental U.S. is either in a drought or considered "abnormally dry". Farmers and ranchers in the corn and soybean belt are feeling the effects, and the impact is rippling through other economic sectors as well.

Race
1:59 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

What To Say In The Face Of Offensive Remarks

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:21 pm

On a recent routine stop at his local dry cleaners, Keith Woods encountered a racist remark and he wrestled with how to respond. NPR's Vice President for Diversity in News and Operations talks about facing stereotypes and the difficult conversations precipitated by offensive remarks.

Law
1:59 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Laying Down The Law On Judicial Bias

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 5:05 pm

For a second time, attorneys for George Zimmerman, who is accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, have filed a complaint requesting that the judge presiding over his case be recused over concerns of bias. These objections raise questions about judge impartiality.

Environment
2:21 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Around The World, Cities Plan For Extreme Weather

From record-breaking temperatures to long droughts, extreme weather events are on the rise. Many meteorologists and climatologists say it's only going to get worse. Many cities are putting plans in place to prepare for a range of costly and deadly weather disasters.

NPR Story
2:03 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Rethinking Economies: Ideas For 'Fixing The Future'

Raquel Rodriguez and Sylvia Barrios work at Yo Mama's Catering Cooperative, the first worker-owned catering business in Austin, Tx.
JumpStart Productions LLC

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 12:42 pm

In the documentary Fixing the Future, reporter David Brancaccio traveled across America to talk to people who are working to reinvent the American economy. Through innovative approaches to creating jobs and wealth — like time banking, worker cooperatives, local currencies and community banking — Americans are rethinking how we measure prosperity and calculate GDP.

NPR's Jennifer Ludden talks with Brancaccio about new experiments in the economy of the future.

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NPR Story
2:03 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Romney Narrows Potential List Of Running Mates

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 2:10 pm

With the veepstakes underway, NPR's Jennifer Ludden and Political Junkie Ken Rudin talk with Dan Schnur, director of the Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, about the strategy of selecting a vice-presidential candidate.

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