Talk of the Nation

Mon. - Thurs. from 11am to 1pm (not including Science Friday)
Hosted by: Neal Conan

Talk of the Nation® links 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 combines the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result is a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

Monday through Thursday, host Neal Conan invites callers to discuss areas of topical interest, including politics and public service, education, religion, music, and healthcare. Talk of the Nation goes behind the headlines with decision-makers, authors, thinkers, artists, and listeners around the world, who become part of the conversation by calling 1-800-989-TALK.

Talk of the Nation won the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton Award in 1994-95 for "The Changing of the Guard: The Republican Revolution," as well as the 1993-94 duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for part of NPR's coverage of the South African elections. The program also won the 1993 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award.

Below, you will find articles, transcripts, and clips of many of the stories heard on Talk of the Nation.

Visit Talk of the Nation on NPR.org

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Animals
10:31 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Monster Turtle Fossil Discovered In Colombian Mine

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:16 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky, sitting in for Ira Flatow. This time of year, wildlife conservationists warn you to look out for migrating turtles crossing the road. OK, what if the turtle is nearly eight feet long, the size of a compact car?

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NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Humans, The World's 'Superomnivores'

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:16 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Are you a fan of crunchy, crispy foods? Well, I am. In fact...

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEWING)

DANKOSKY: Do you hear that? Yeah, that's a potato chip. It sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Now, no matter where you are in the world, you'll probably find that that crunch is popular with the locals. Think about it: tortilla chips, crispy chicken, fried calamari, biscotti, tempura, falafel, pekora - mmm, pekora.

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NPR Story
10:22 am
Fri May 25, 2012

What's The Secret To Great Tomato Flavor?

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 2:16 pm

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. What if I told you I was going to cook up a pasta sauce using bananas, honey, roses, apples, melon rinds, vanilla, berries, sweaty cheese, peaches, chocolate, lawn clippings, lemongrass and a little dash of wasabi for good measure? Sounds pretty disgusting, right? Well, believe it or not, all those flavors I've just mentioned are components of a taste you probably already love: tomatoes. The taste of a tomato is really that complicated.

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Author Interviews
7:17 am
Fri May 25, 2012

From 'App' To 'Tea': English Examined In '100 Words'

The Story of English In 100 Words." href="/post/app-tea-english-examined-100-words" class="noexit lightbox">
"Tea" (a social word from the 17th century) is one of the words David Crystal examines in his book The Story of English In 100 Words.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 1:07 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on April 2, 2012.

Linguist David Crystal describes English as a "vacuum cleaner of a language." Speakers merrily swipe some words from other languages, adopt others because they're cool or sound classy, and simply make up other terms.

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NPR Story
6:54 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Faris Family Fights For Their Military Marriage

Deployments can stress even the strongest of marriages.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 1:07 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on May 10, 2012.

To all appearances, Chris and Lisa Faris seemed to have it all together. He rose through the ranks of the U.S. Special Operations Command to become its top enlisted man, command sergeant major, and his wife tended to their family and many others on his long deployments.

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NPR Story
6:54 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Watching Your Child Go Off To War

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 1:07 pm

With pride and sadness, writer David Freed watched his son go off to the war in Afghanistan. In the Los Angeles Times, Freed suggests that politicians who vote or make orders to deploy service members don't understand what it means to have a loved one serve. Originally broadcast April 4, 2012.

World
12:39 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Explaining Economic Inequality Between Nations

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. What makes some nations succeed while others fail? In his Pulitzer Prize-winner, "Guns, Germs and Steel," Jared Diamond looked back over thousands of years of human history and concluded that geography allowed Eurasia to get a big head start and develop agriculture, writing, bureaucracy and the military technologies that led to dominance over much of the globe.

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History
11:30 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Etan Patz News Resurrects Parents' Nightmares

New York Police have reported a possible break in the case of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who vanished 33 years ago on his way to school. No one was ever charged in his case, and the episode was a deep personal tragedy for the Patz family.

Health Care
11:26 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Changing Hospitals To Treat Patients Better

A recent poll found only half of people who have spent time in a hospital in the past year were very satisfied with their care. The rest complained about mistakes, poor communication and unresponsive nurses. But to better serve patients, some hospitals are changing the way they do business.

NPR Story
11:22 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Gjelten: How Things Have Changed At The CIA

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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