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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NPR Story
2:31 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Joy Harjo's 'Crazy Brave' Path To Finding Her Voice

Joy Harjo has won a Native American Music Award for Best Female Artist of the Year for her album Winding Through the Milky Way.
Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 2:51 pm

In her new memoir, Joy Harjo recounts how her early years — a difficult childhood with an alcoholic father and abusive stepfather, and the hardships of teen motherhood — caused her to suppress her artistic gifts and nearly brought her to her breaking point. "It was the spirit of poetry," she writes in Crazy Brave, "who reached out and found me as I stood there at the doorway between panic and love."

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Around the Nation
1:59 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Storms Hurt Grid And Power Companies' Credibility

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. At the end of last month, a line of powerful storms left millions without electricity in the midst of record-breaking heat. The storms killed some as trees fell on houses and cars, then the heat took more lives as people sweltered without fans or air conditioning.

The heat wave's broken, the power's back on for most, but the widespread outages left many frustrated and angry. What took so long? Can't we protect power lines? And what about the crews who arrive to help out?

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Opinion
1:59 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Op-Ed: Now's The Time For A Candid Candidate

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And now, the Opinion Page. The ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes famously carried a lantern in daylight in hopes of finding an honest man. In an op-ed in Sunday's Washington Post, Kathleen Hall Jamieson embarked on an even more changeling quest: a search for an honest politician. Now more than ever, she wrote, with a public highly anxious about the economy and worn down after years of promises that things would get better, the time is ripe for a candid candidate.

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Middle East
1:59 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Reporting From Yemen Amid Ongoing Drone Attacks

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Science
1:55 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

At Long Last, The Higgs Particle... Maybe

This week physicists announced the discovery of the long-sought-after Higgs boson--or at least something that looks a lot like it. Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll explains why the tiny particle is so fundamental to our understanding of the universe, and why it took 50 years to find it.

Health
1:48 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

What's Your IQ On SPF?

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next up, in all this summer heat, what could be better than summer science? And if you're headed out to the town, to the beach, sailing, maybe going for a hike, my guess is you're probably taking along a bottle of sunscreen to protect yourself against that blazing summer sun. But do you know how sunscreen actually works, how it protects your skin from those UV rays? We sent our intern Eli Chen out to Times Square and Bryant Park here in New York to ask that question to a few people getting their rays.

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Food
1:43 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Relishing The Science Of The BBQ

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Up next on our summer science issues that we'll continue. Joining me now is editor - multimedia editor Flora Lichtman. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: Hi there.

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Books
1:38 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

SciFri Book Club Talks Silent Spring

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

I hope you're having your cup of coffee, your beverage of choice, maybe a little snack, sitting in your comfy reading or driving chair, settled in now because the first meeting of the SCIENCE FRIDAY Book Club is about to go underway. And for our first book, we have chosen the Rachel Carson classic "Silent Spring."

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Science
1:35 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Peering Into The Dark Side Of Scientific Discovery

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Now picture this: You're one of the many graduate students working round the clock in a university lab on a series of seemingly dead-end experiments, until one day, you strike gold. It turns out, you've discovered the cure to a mysterious disease which will save the lives of millions around the world.

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NPR Story
11:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Woody Guthrie's Indelible Mark On American Culture

Woody Guthrie singing aboard a New York City subway train.
Eric Schaal Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 9:51 am

The summer of 2012 marks the centennial of the birth of American folk icon Woody Guthrie, on July 14, 1912. A poet of the people, Guthrie wrote some of America's most important songs, including "This Land Is Your Land." He penned ballads that captured the heart of hard economic times and war.

While Guthrie left a lasting mark on music, culture and politics, he struggled with family poverty, tragedies and personal demons.

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NPR Story
11:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Land-Grant Universities And Future Of Agriculture

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 3:55 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
11:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

A Quarter-Century Of Memories Unfurl In AIDS Quilt

Visitors view the AIDS Memorial Quilt at the National Mall.
Ebony Bailey NPR

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 8:49 am

Quilts hold a special place in American culture, reflecting pieces of our lives that are passed on from generation to generation. In 1987, a small group of people in San Francisco started a quilt to document the lives and stories of people who died from HIV/AIDS.

Twenty-five years and thousands of stops later, the AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to the National Mall for the first time in more than a decade. To date, more than 48,000 panels have been woven together to memorialize the lives lost to the pandemic.

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From Our Listeners
2:29 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Letters: Storytelling, Making Work Work

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

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

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Fitness & Nutrition
2:24 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Debate Revived: Low-Carb Or Low-Fat Diet?

Is a calorie just a calorie? Science writer Gary Taubes says no. In a study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, diet researchers reported that patients on a low-carb diet kept weight off longer than those on a low-fat diet, re-introducing a long-standing debate.

Politics
2:14 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

How History Colors Our View Of Presidents

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 5:06 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. John Roberts plays the hero and the villain. Charlie Rangel may face a recount in New York. The attorney general is held in contempt, and Chris Christie has something spicy to say to a reporter. Stand by for it, it's Wednesday(ph) and time for a...

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: Are you stupid?

DONVAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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