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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.
A Read Down Memory Lane: Lessons From Your Former Self
Writings from childhood — cards, stories and other notes — can hide for decades, like time capsules tucked away in boxes, old bedrooms, attics and journals. Writer Jim Sollisch talks about how old thank you notes from his youth foreshadowed his adult life.
The President's Remarks On The Future Of National Security
In a speech at the National Defense University, President Barack Obama addresses the use of U.S. drones to target terrorists — including U.S. citizens — and his renewed efforts to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
A Look Ahead To The Flash Point In The South China Sea
Beijing continues to pressure its neighbors over strings of disputed areas in the South China Sea that reportedly hold massive deposits of oil and gas. The ongoing disputes raise serious questions about China's goals in the region and how the United States should address escalating tensions.
With White House Bogged Down By Scandal, GOP Looks For Boost
As criticism of the Obama administration over a string of scandals grows, conservatives see an opportunity to gain momentum for 2014 races. Host Neal Conan and Political Junkie Ken Rudin talk with political science professor Jack Pitney about the GOP and the re-emergence of the Tea Party. Plus: the week in politics from Anthony Weiner's New York mayoral candidacy to the Senate immigration bill.
Why Urban Dictionary Comes In Handy On The Witness Stand
The use of slang in court proceedings can be tricky, especially in criminal cases where an uncommon slang term used by a witness can make a difference in a case. New York Times tech reporter Leslie Kaufman and law professor Greg Lastowka talk about how judges and lawyers have turned to sites like Urban Dictionary to help define slang terms and the legal implications of the trend.
Looking Ahead: Peter Bergen on Al-Qaida
Two years after the death of Osama bin Laden, the U.S. continues to warn of the threat posed by the terrorist organization he led. As part of our "Looking Ahead" series, Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst and author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad, talks about the future of al-Qaida.
How That 'Nigerian Email Scam' Got Started
You've probably seen it in your inbox before: Someone who claims to have come into a fortune needs your help. You can share in the profits — if you send along a deposit or your bank account number. Boston Globe correspondent Finn Brunton talks about the history of the "Nigerian prince" or "419" scam, which actually got its start long before email.
The Art And Science Of Motivation
Graduation season is upon us and that means a slew of uplifting commencement speeches trying to motivate young adults to greatness. Science and experience tell us that everyone is motivated differently, so how do speakers, coaches and business managers inspire people?
Apple, Tech Giants And An Industrial-Age Tax Code
Apple CEO Timothy Cook made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, testifying after congressional investigators revealed that Apple avoided billions in taxes. The New York Times' Charles Duhigg and guest host Jennifer Ludden talk about the tax code and the digital economy.
When Tornadoes Are A Way Of Life
Monday's tornado tore through parts of Oklahoma City at 200 miles per hour and killed at least 24 people. Many more are missing orinjured. Guest host Jennifer Ludden talks to KOSU reporter Michael Cross and to meteorologist Paul Douglas about why it's so hard to track tornadoes.
Would Lowering The Drunk Driving Threshold Make Us Safer?
The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended reducing the legal limit for blood alcohol content for drivers from .08 to .05. Critics say it won't significantly help prevent drunken driving. Guest LZ Granderson argues that without more checkpoints, a lower threshold would do nothing.
The Future Of The Workers' Movement
As membership in private-sector labor unions has continued to nosedive, traditional labor groups have been forced to reevaluate — just as non-union worker groups have emerged. Guest host Jennifer Ludden talks to writer Josh Eidelson about what he calls 'alt-labor.'
Navigating Silicon Valley As A 'Woman Programmer'
Prominent women such as Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer are proving that women are finding their place at the table. But in an op-ed for The New York Times, former programmer Ellen Ullman argues that women in the field today face "a new, more virile and virulent sexism."
Tiny Living: The Rise Of Small Spaces
As the populations in big cities increase and more people choose to live alone, a new trend of living in very small spaces has emerged. But the tiny living movement is not without controversy as growth of these multi-unit buildings puts pressure on established neighborhoods.
Life In Argentina's 'Little School' Prison Camp
During Argentina's so-called Dirty War, thousands were abducted and taken to secret prisons like a place known as "the little school," where many were tortured and killed. Guest host Jennifer Ludden talks to a former prisoner, Alicia Partnoy, about her disappearance and her time there.
Resetting the Theory of Time
Generations of physicists have claimed that time is an illusion. But not all agree. In his book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that time exists--and he says time is key to understanding the evolution of the universe.
When Great Scientists Got It Wrong
In Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein, astrophysicist Mario Livio explores the colossal errors committed by scientific greats, from chemist Linus Pauling's botched model of DNA, to Charles Darwin's failure to understand genetics--the very mechanism of natural selection.
Researchers Report Cloning Advance For Producing Stem Cells
Scientists reported this week in the journal Cell that they had used somatic cell nuclear transfer techniques to create a source of embryonic stem cells from the skin cells of a patient. George Daley, director of the stem cell transplantation program at Boston Children's Hospital, and Josephine Johnston of the Hastings Center discuss the research.
Insects May Be The Taste Of The Next Generation, Report Says
A report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says insects offer a huge potential for improving the world's food security. Peter Menzel, co-author of Man Eating Bugs, describes some insect-based cuisine and the western aversion to creepy-crawly snacks.
Desktop Diaries: Daniel Kahneman
Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman is the latest subject in our Desktop Diaries series, although he has no desk. Kahneman, professor emeritus at Princeton University, won the Nobel Prize in economic sciences in 2002 for his research with the late Amos Tversky on our sometimes irrational intuitions and how they affect decision-making.